Episode 49: Focus on What’s Within Reach

Episode 49: Focus on What’s Within Reach

From young to old, each of us are responsible for what God’s placed in front of us. Chris unpacks how “bad math” can cloud our vision, heeds people who boast in their gifts, and sheds light on how he deals with discouragement.

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  3. Instagram: @otherchris

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Episode 49 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

Hello and welcome to the PD Podcast where we dialogued with some of today’s most insightful ministry leaders on topics relevant to the next generation. I’m Mingo Palacios, your host and pastor of evangelism and culture at Saddleback Church. Every episode you’ll meet a future focus leader who’s changing the face of ministry from millennials by simply observing the past. It’s our hope that these conversations challenge you to dream bigger, lead better, and intentionally make time to honor those who let us stand on their shoulders. Thanks for joining us.

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome to the Purpose Driven Podcast. My name is Mingo and we are here at Thrive Conference and for two and a half days you have some of the most influential and some of the most hungry leaders coming together so that they can mutually pay into one another. For lack of any sort of introduction, we get the pleasure of hosting pastor Chris Brown, North Coast Church. Thanks for being on the podcast today, Chris.

Chris Brown:

Really cool to be here, man. I love what you guys are done with the podcast wagon and it is nice to finally be invited inside.

Mingo Palacios:

Get out of here. We’ve been inviting you for seasons, but to catch you that is a blessing of ours. So, Chris, our audiences always made up of senior pastors, executive pastors who are trying to lead well with what God has brought to the table. And then we have emerging leaders who, they’re hungry to have a significant portion in ministry but often don’t seem to find the opportunity in front of them. There’s tension. There’s misinterpreted expectations and it’s like a giant disaster. What would you say to your peers? We call them seasoned leaders. Chris.

Chris Brown:

I’m now. My peers are now super seasoned leaders.

Mingo Palacios:

You are a seasoned leader. When you’re on stage with like the senior pastors and you have a senior pastor title. You are a seasoned leader.

Chris Brown:

All right.

Mingo Palacios:

The emerging leaders are the kids that are coming through the ministry, volunteering, serving their holding part time roles, full time roles, but they’re looking at you as the example. Talk to me about your thoughts on merging generations and the tensions. Talk to me about some of the successes that you’ve seen. Just talk.

Chris Brown:

Man, let me tell you. First of all, you hit a couple nerves, like hot buttons for me. Just in that introduction on these emerging leaders. I’m serious cause we’ve got on one side, we’ve got this- your vision has got to be global. Your vision has got to be bigger than anything. We’re telling people this prayer of Jabez you’ve got to be. So now the expectations are I’m going to be serious and significant when I can achieve these global stages, global visions and these emerging leaders-

Mingo Palacios:

Global checkmarks.

Chris Brown:

Yeah, and man, OK, if that’s your tribe and if that’s you go with and the guys, I get that to a point, but whatever happened to just pursuing obedience.

Mingo Palacios:

Here we go.

Chris Brown:

Whatever happened with just maybe the most significant thing you can do is be obedient with what God has in front of you. I don’t find a lot biblically about guys that go, well, I’m going to start here, but I’m only starting here, so one day I can get my own castle on my own kingdom, my own stage. I just don’t find a lot of that biblically and yet I hear a lot of that rhetoric in Christian leadership now. I never sought out one. It was opposite. People always told me, well, one day you’ll make a good senior pastor. I never wanted to be a senior pastor.

Mingo Palacios:

Where did you start? For people that don’t know you.

Chris Brown:

Driving tractors. Driving heavy equipment.

Mingo Palacios:

No. Shut up. You were a tractor driver?

Chris Brown:

Yeah I was doing construction, grading and paving asphalt, clearing land, doing firebreaks, driving dozers, scrapers, front-end loaders.

Mingo Palacios:

Where?

Chris Brown:

In Fallbrook.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh Wow.

Chris Brown:

That’s what got me out of West Texas man. A West Texas boy that came out here. Started running my life just like I was running the dozers, go wherever I want, just bulldoze anything in front of me doing what I want.

Mingo Palacios:

But then how do you enter ministry then?

Chris Brown:

I had an older brother who had enough common sense to realize you’re not going to straighten this boy out by getting in his face. Just run alongside them and was the coolest guy I’ve ever known in life and he happened to be my older brother. One of the reasons I also came here from West Texas. He pulled me aside one day and basically said, “hey, you’re pretty much a screw up screwing up your life for as far as I can see” and I’m like, yeah.

Mingo Palacios:

Thanks for that.

Chris Brown:

Well, I almost took it as a badge of honor, like, yeah, but I’m doing it my way.

Mingo Palacios:

Still here.

Chris Brown:

And he was the first guy that introduced me to Christ outside of Christianity. For me, I needed those to the Christianity I was brought up in and saw was terrible and horrific and I never separated Christ from Christianity. I never separated God from an incredible bad church environment toxic I was in. So they were all in league together and my brother, the first one that did that and got me on that track.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s awesome. Now you end up, what’s your first ministry role?

Chris Brown:

I end up then going back to the church my brother’s going to. They don’t have a college ministry or Young Adult Ministry for me, but the youth pastors overwhelmed with high schoolers that are coming. He needs help. The high schoolers have scared away all the adult volunteers. Literally they set a guy on fire, they set an adult leader on fire. That’s a story for a different day.

Mingo Palacios:

No way. Was there like announcements they didn’t even want to do like a really great announcement- Sunday, we’ll light you on fire, people will come to the men’s barbecue.

Chris Brown:

The great announcement was we got all these kids coming in and they need people to work with them. And then the people that came in to work with him, they just blew out.

Mingo Palacios:

They got lit on fire.

Chris Brown:

So this youth pastor looked at me and said, hey, you drive dozers. He could hang with some teenagers and that was only three to four years older at the time. Loved it. Little did I know that God was calling me kind of through that side door into ministry because if that was presented to me, I would’ve run 180 degrees.

Mingo Palacios:

If you would’ve been presented with the opportunity or asked to lead a generation that would have been peace out can’t handle it.

Chris Brown:

Well not lead a generation in church.

Mingo Palacios:

What that’s what it is you take over a few years. That’s a generation of folks.

Chris Brown:

Yeah, but I just hated church and I hated the people that worked in it. And so my life then was like, for me it’s like, OK, I’ll be a youth pastor, but that’s not a real pastor. So, I’m still OK.

Mingo Palacios:

Pseudo. It’s like you’re kind of, you’re inching into the opportunity.

Chris Brown:

And the moment I’m too old and too out of date, irrelevant to work with youth, I’ll go back to doing construction or sales. I was in general engineering doing sales.

Mingo Palacios:

But then from high school and Youth and young adult you bumped to-

Chris Brown:

God just sidetrack me. He kidnapped me from that moment on, I didn’t see what he was doing otherwise I would’ve ran.

Mingo Palacios:

You probably got blinders on because if you would have seen who and what you were being built into, then you would have disqualified yourself a long time ago.

Chris Brown:

Back then I wouldn’t have liked it. Even if you told me, Chris, you’ll be a senior pastor at when the largest churches in California, the nation for that matter, I still wouldn’t have been in it. I would have been like, well then, no way. I mean no one ever told me that God’s dream he’s given you is also the one he is birthed in you. You’re just using a different direction. You don’t know that what God has for you is what’s going to bring you the most joy and contentment.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Chris Brown:

Which is another reason back to these emerging leaders looking at who I want to be, what I want to do, and I’m like, man, just follow what God’s given you right now. You have no idea what point A is going to lead to point B and then where point C is. Just be obedient and if you can be happy and content doing what you’re doing now, why would he ever give you a bigger stage?

Mingo Palacios:

Now let’s turn the scope around though to the existing senior leaders who you know the call is a bigger building, wider reach, let’s go from one expression, let’s get we want 10 and 10 years. I mean, that’s what we’re seeing. I was told one time by a senior leader do as I say, not as I do, which was rough.

Chris Brown:

Holy cow.

Mingo Palacios:

Right? That’s rough. But when I’m looking at that and I’m managing my own little corner of ministry, but I look at the senior guy and he’s going for 10 and 10, how do I balance that or what do you say to your peers that might be setting up, it’s not setting somebody up for failure, but man, they’re chewing on something a lot bigger than we can we can stomach.

Chris Brown:

Maybe there’s just different schools of thought and maybe they’re both. OK. Mine is not to speak against, you know, the guys that may have been-

Mingo Palacios:

Not at all.

Chris Brown:

But mine is just be faithful with what you have. The only reason we’ve ever pursued bigger buildings and more land is because our current buildings and land couldn’t hold the people we had going multiple service, multiple parking lots.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re already maxing it maxing it maxing it.

Chris Brown:

None of us wanted to leave. We were in warehouses. We had to do multi-site ministry because of warehouses and no one ever wanted to buy 40 acres. We didn’t want to buy buildings, but week in week in and week out we’re telling people, I’m sorry you didn’t show up for church a half hour early so you can’t get in today. We’re counting the cards we’re turning away every week and we’re not the people in the seats, all the seats are filled. That’s why it’s like dog gone it. Are we really going to become one of those big churches?

Mingo Palacios:

That’s such good perspective though, because if you don’t have the context, you’re just looking at it and going, oh, they just want to buy some more land. Right? It’s instant. For some people it’s real animosity can be birthed in not knowing the context.

Chris Brown:

And here’s the other thing. I think what we’re inadvertently doing when we’re talking about these grandiose and these big, and by the way the guys that are doing this stuff, all you have to do is spend 10 minutes with them and listen to the talk and you realize, OK, these guys are unicorns. I mean they’re not your average Joe. They’re not your average pastor, but they’re gathering thousands of average pastors around them and I think what we’re doing accidentally or consequently is we’re telling the Pastor, oh, you’ve had the same church for about 250 300 people for 10 years. Whoa, it’s because you don’t have God sized dreams. And I’m like, hold on there. So there’s a great little story Jesus told one of his little make believe fictional parables that had an ending that just gut punched to you about a king that’s going away and he gives a certain amount of talents and then the servants, one guy can make three, one guy makes five, one guy makes 10. And then this king comes back to see what his servants have done with the talent that they have given him. The one servant comes and goes, man, I took your talent and I made three. And Jesus goes, well done, good and faithful servant. The next guy comes and goes, I took the same talent but I made five. And the scripture says Jesus took the one that made three and he cast him out of the Kingdom because now he knew what really could be done with those talents.

Mingo Palacios:

No, I feel like that’s not-

Chris Brown:

Well, that’s what I hear most leadership conferences because Jesus told the guy that made three and the guy that made five and the guy that made the exact same thing, well done. You know what buddy? You’re a 3 talent guy and you know what? This guy was a five talent guy and you know what? This guy was a 10 talent guy and they all got the exact same wording. Well done, good and faithful. What’s wrong with telling the pastor of a Church of 200, thanks for being faithful for 10 years.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good.

Chris Brown:

Is there fruit? That’s all I’m asking. Is there fruit? And you go, I’ve only picked two oranges, but this guy has learned how to have crops of oranges. I’m like, man, you’d be faithful to those two oranges.

Mingo Palacios:

Ah, that’s such a great reminder for somebody who because of social or because of their ability to see what’s happening, you come to a conference like this and sometimes you can’t help but walk away discouraged as much as the intention is that you’d be encouraged and lifted it up and you’d be spurred on to great things for the next season. You look around and you go, God, where are you? Because I’m not where these guys are right now. Thanks for walking us down that road for just a second.

Chris Brown:

And yet we’re called to have vision. I mean, we’re called to have that and I’m like, I get that. I just, man, I think you can err on both sides of this incredibly and somewhere there’s got to be a middle ground where we can free people up to go your you’re three talent you’re five, you’re 10, do it. And if it ever turns into four or six or 11, great. If not, great, and if it diminishes by two, but you were faithful and for the right reasons and the right things. Great.

Mingo Palacios:

Celebrate. I have a question for you concerning people whose platform is expanding. As you have walked through an expanded platform, not because of anything other than God’s provision, what are some of the biggest pot holes that you’ve probably gone into and come out of and you’ve almost lost the wheels, but you know you could speak to a listening audience and say, keep an eye on this, watch out for this, be aware of this. What would those things be?

Chris Brown:

I think one of the things I would just encourage everyone, if you’re in a ministry that’s expanding and yet it’s the exact same advice for one that’s in a ministry and things aren’t going well. Be careful of doing bad math. Bad math looks at what’s going on, either growth or what’s going on with negative or conflict and it puts you in the equation and the outcome then is going to be when things are positive and expanding and going well, you’re going to take too much credit. Your pride and arrogance is going to blow up. But that same equation, when things are going bad, you’re going to become depressed and you’re going to think, oh, it’s me and you’re going to go into a spiral of self evaluation and maybe depression on that, and both of those results are from the same bad math. You put way too much of you in this equation and that’s what I would just encourage. I’m glad, looking back, I’m not glad that it happened. I wish it would’ve never happened, but I’m glad I had those years of just being Chris and an utter failure and seeing who I was and what I could make in my life when I built it, because then from that moment on, no matter what happened, I still go back to my rear view mirror and go, that’s who I am. This is what God has done, but that’s who I am. That’s what I’ve done. That’s what Chris can build. And now for the last 28 years, this is what God’s done and it really helps remove me out of the math of going pat myself on the back too much. Even gifts and talents. We talk about giftedness a lot-

Mingo Palacios:

Come on.

Chris Brown:

In ministry. Can we define that? What is a gift?

Mingo Palacios:

A gift is something that I received that somebody else was thoughtful enough to give to me.

Chris Brown:

How much did you have to do with it?

Mingo Palacios:

I mean, only be alive to receive it.

Chris Brown:

Gosh, can you get over yourself guys? We talk about gifting and then for those that are more gifted than others, we all have gifts. Some are just more in this current culture of ministry. The gift onstage, the teaching gift, the gifts in the spotlight. Maybe it’s the worship gift. Some of us have gifts that are used just in front of more people on platforms. We actually think we had something to do with and the only thing you added was maybe faithfulness. It was a gift by definition. It wasn’t yours. You had nothing to do with it. I was ordained before I was born. I came out of my mother’s womb with this personality, with this woo charisma that I have, with a teaching gift. I didn’t know it was used for teaching, I thought it was my mouth was to get into trouble and out of trouble. But all that was given, how have we taken it as personal, as us?

Mingo Palacios:

As something that you’ve… well, you can be a great steward of a gift that might be the only thing that you can do.

Chris Brown:

That’s what I said. Your faithfulness to it. Stewardship. What I’m doing with it, great.

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah, that’s good.

Chris Brown:

But then you’ve got to look at it and go any other gift in the kingdom then, what you match up yours to anybody else’s are they being faithful? Can I encourage? Not what is my gift brought the platform or where it’s taken me. That isn’t yours. That was all packaged in the gift. The only thing you can look at others is, are we being faithful?

Mingo Palacios:

Yes. Thank you for that. Solid gold, solid gold oldies, solid, gold freshies. When you speak about your kids and the things that you see God teaching you through the lives of your kids. I was a camper when you would speak at summer camps and

Chris Brown:

What?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. Crazy. Right? I have more gray hair than you. Consequentially, I don’t know how that happened,

Chris Brown:

But you make it look good. I just look like that old chubby dude.

Mingo Palacios:

Give me some of your favorite, what the Lord has revealed to you and your family when it comes to leadership inside of your ministry. Because there are a lot of people who listen, who have families. And I love when you draw a picture that says, my family taught me this and it really shocked me, like you said, got me in the stomach about how God sees me or about how I live inside of his family. Anything come to mind?

Chris Brown:

Wow. So much. I mean just understanding what it is to fully love a kid when they’re an idiot. Cause I’ve gone from little kids and cute and cuddly and infants and toddlers and it’s like. And when they make little mistakes, it’s because you know they’re toddlers and it’s so forgivable. Now I’m in the realm of a 16 year old.

Mingo Palacios:

Just got a license.

Chris Brown:

Just got a license, not a car. You get a 16 year old, 15 year old and a 12 year old. So now I’m in the realm of kids making mistake because they want to make mistakes. Kids make mistakes even though a thousand times before I’ve told them this is not a mistake you will make. And still in the midst of even discipline and working through, how much and I would even say how much more I love my kids in the midst of their disobedience. Because when they’re not, when they’re obedient, they’re good. You just love them. They’re great kids. In their disobedience, my heart now is broken. My heart for how much I want to see them and who I know they can be. And why would you ever choose this path? By the way my kids aren’t doing drugs. I don’t have a 15 year old pregnant at home. They’re just doing teenaged goofy, you know, they said they’re going to be here and instead they went here and they didn’t know. I’m just talking to those things. As a dad, just understanding how much my heart still loves the kid even more in disobedience. It breaks my heart, but how much more then I’m invested in them. So much of that and even leadership in how I teach and understanding grace and mercy, so much of understanding as ministry continues to go and as I continue to talk to so many guys in ministry, how important those kids are to me and this time in their life. I’ve cut down a lot of my teaching. I’ve cut down a lot of my traveling. I’ve cut down a lot of stuff that right now I’m at a place in my career, man, if you wanted to ride this rocket and really put some fuel into it, writing and speaking and traveling. I mean, it would be a full schedule, but we say no to 49 out of 50 requests. In fact, I have a group of people that will say no for me without even telling me what it was because they know I’m likely to say yes.

Mingo Palacios:

They can manage it for you.

Chris Brown:

Because I’m like, are you kidding me? I said no to this? And they’re like no. Why? Because look at the board. On my calendar. I have a wall calendar that does all of our traveling teaching where we go and it’s got a picture, one of those what do you call the long pictures?

Mingo Palacios:

A Panorama.

Chris Brown:

It’s got a big panorama, but on one side, it has my three kids, all with their faces scrunched together, like in a chair, when they were three years old. And on the other side, it has a picture of all three of my kids last year as teenagers. And in between it just has these dotted lines with big letters that says, choose wisely. Which every time before we make a decision on where am I going to speak, what am I going to take? What am I going to do? I have to look at a picture and actually move it off my calendar to see dates underneath it that simply says, these are the stages these kids are going through right now buddy. There’ll be a day when these kids are out of the house and doing what they’re doing and you and Amy can do what you want to do. That day is not now.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s so good. What do you say to the guy who’s on the ledge who’s-

Chris Brown:

Don’t jump. Was there more?

Mingo Palacios:

I’ll try to make that more eloquent, but somebody who’s about to walk away maybe from their calling from their position. A highly discouraged situation. Don’t jump. I mean you could. You can unpack that I know you’ve got words in you.

Chris Brown:

First of all, I would sit down and go, ma’am, buddy, whoever you are, you’re in incredible company. Can I walk you through the amount of people that wanted to jump? Can we just go back and look at Elijah after the greatest mountain top experience in history, calling down fire, wiping out satanic profits and the entire nation coming back to God and the next day he goes out in the wilderness and he commits Jewish suicide. A Jew can’t take your life. Only God who gives life. Only God could take it so he will expose himself to the elements in the desert and he will ask to die. Congratulations, you’re sitting with Elijah right now. Remember, Moses, the greatest leader of Israel has to climb up on a sand dune and just have one of the most awesome prayers with God. He says, I’m tired of their whining and complaining. Did I bring all these children in the world? Did I breastfeed them? Do they look like me? Why have you put this burden on me? It. This is how you’re gonna treat me? Why don’t you kill me right now? And God said, print it. That’s a good prayer. Moses is ready to jump. Jeremiah, blasting God for spiritually molesting him for turning him against his will. Cursed be the day I was born. The guy that came out of the waiting room and told my father, good news you’ve had a son. I hope he would die. When you’re cursing the delivery room, dude, you’re in a bad day and God goes, print it. That’s good Bible.

Mingo Palacios:

Print that.

Chris Brown:

So I would just encourage those of you go, hey, you’re in a tough place right now, but you may be in one of the best places spiritually you’ve ever been and you don’t even realize it because you’re standing in great company.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re too close to it.

Chris Brown:

Step out, take a breath, get some people in your life, because right now you’ve surrounded yourself with what’s in front of you and you’ve got stinking thinking going on. Each one of these guys did in this scenario, let’s not even get into the psalms of David. They’re doozies. God said, print it. I mean, God knows great men and women of God are going to go through seasons where you’re just wanting to climb under a Bush and say, I’m done. And every one of them got back to eating and sleeping right. Every one of them had to get back to people in their life because they were doing this alone. Every one of them had to step out for a while and get a 30,000 foot perspective and go, OK, so this is what I’m called to do and how do we do it? But just because you’re on that ledge doesn’t mean you’re in a bad place. As long as you don’t jump.

Mingo Palacios:

Perfect word.

Chris Brown:

Mic drop. Can I drop this mic?

Mingo Palacios:

Please don’t because it’s the only one I have a that was so solid. If you’re listening and that caught you, just stop. You can just turn it off at this point. I’ve got a question for you. What is taking you to your knees right now in what you’re learning? What’s sweeping your leg and catching you off guard in this season where God has you.

Chris Brown:

I tell you, the biggest thing for me right now is continually trying to take what I’ve been given and say, how do I serve those around me? I’ve been on about a year and a half, maybe two year journey, which is this upper room story. It keeps coming out over and everything I do of Jesus picked up the towel and he washed the feet after he had already told him on the road, if you want to be great, you’ve got to be serve number one then put yourself last. He stressed this. And because of what I’ve been given a title and position and size of things, that is my constant. I try to drive onto our property every day with this little, as soon as I drive onto the church property, there’s a little thing going- make sure you out serve the staff more than you expect them to serve you. Because there’s a fear of mine. I’ve seen what titles and positions do to normally humble people who got into this who just wanted to love God and love others. But the size of the platform and the title and the position now has changed us to people that, well yeah, I get served. I mean, look what I have built. Look what I have maintained. And it brings me back to the definition of a gift and the definition of a Christ-ian is one who serves like Christ. Those are the things that keep bringing me back to say, God, my goal is I drive off the property today and there’s not a single staff person that could say I had to serve Chris more than he served me today.

Mingo Palacios:

What is the future of the church look like in your eyes from your perspective?

Chris Brown:

It’s amazing. Yeah. Especially the church in America. It is doing some incredible stuff right now. There’s a weeding out, there’s an old way of church and there’s an old dead leadership model that some people are in that’s being weeded out and there’s some people that’ll just lost the flame and the passion and because we haven’t taken care of great ministers as far as retirement or what they can do afterward, they still are holding on to positions even though they probably shouldn’t be in one. There’s a lot of change. There’s a lot of stuff on life support right now. Some of it’s being resurrected, some of it just needs to die, but I look at what is happening now. What’s happening is we’ve got a greater divide between culture and church than ever before and that is healthy for the church.

Mingo Palacios:

Nice separation. Some healthy separation.

Chris Brown:

40 years ago- Are you a Christian? Of course I’m an American. Nowadays are you a Christian? Oh, I wouldn’t be one of those. And I’m like, yes. Someone asked me to sign the petition in front of a Home Depot, Lowe’s, something like that. It was two years ago now. Because they’re taking Christmas. There’s no Christmas decorations. There’s no Christmas trees they’re holiday trees.

Mingo Palacios:

Yes.

Chris Brown:

People came up and said, oh my God, our pastors here, he’ll sign this number. What’s this for? They’re trying to make them where they’re not Christmas trees and this is just signing it saying they got to be Christmas trees. And I go, oh no, I won’t sign that. And they were shocked and I’m like, I hope they take Christmas out of everything. There’s three other people from another church. My poor lady is now flabbergasted at what’s this make our church look like? And I said, look, let me explain. The moment we can stop using Christmas for the junk that it was never intended to mean Christmas will mean something again. And I would love to say Merry Christmas to someone at this time of year and then to stop and go, oh, he’s thinking of that Christ. Not My tree or my decoration or the lights I put on my house, but I would love for Christmas to mean something. Right now it doesn’t. And so I am one that actually, I love that split. I love that churches are becoming more defined.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s something I think the word is a holy. Set apart.

Chris Brown:

Which is funny because they’re calling it holiday tree and I’m like, that’s more holy than Christmas. That’s holi-day. What are we doing? I look at what Christians are fighting about. I go, don’t put my name on the paper.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s awesome. Chris, would you have anything else that you would lob up to an audience listening that has served faithfully in church or are just getting into ministry, maybe they’ve seen your lead for so long, they’ve maybe lost the passionate or lost the vision. We’ve got a wide audience.

Chris Brown:

I think to the one just starting and the one may be at the end feeling they lost himself in it, I would just really, really encourage get back to just being you and stop trying to follow someone else’s paradigm, someone else’s program, someone else’s leadership model. If you look closely their leadership model and their paradigm is built around their personality. Successful people build stuff because they were true to their personality. Go back and be true. I love the story of David. Everyone puts on Saul’s armor on this guy. Here’s what it’s going to take to fight and David had enough common sense to know I can’t fight like this. I’m not going to be the leader, the warrior. I’m not going to be the guy in the armor that you expect me to be. I’m going to be a dude with a sling and it looks out of place. In fact it’s going to be laughable to some people, but this is what I do. I’m a sling guy and there is so much wisdom in there. We have great youth pastors who become senior pastors and they change everything about themselves that made them great youth pastors because they’re like, oh, now I gotta be real pastoral little differently. I’m gonna start doing my message differently. Different and I like. You were a great youth pastor because you were you. Now that you’re a senior pastor, I don’t like you anymore. I used to be one of my favorite guys. I just had nothing else to go to. From youth ministry they had me start speaking to adults and I just realized if I tried to pretend to be more spiritual than I am, people know I’m not. If I try to pretend to be smart, I can’t pronounce the big words that I’m trying to put in there so they know right away. Oh, you don’t even know what you’re talking about. So all I had was my stick of, hey, tell stories of the Bible and make some great application and send people off, and I just thought they’re going to eat me up. What I didn’t realize is, oh the me that worked at that level is the me that God really wants. God didn’t call you into ministry if you’re starting ministry or if you’re at the end, God didn’t call you in the ministry and then once you got there, he realized, I made a mistake. God really made you the way you are because he wants you to be the way you are with all your quirkiness and all your goofy stuff and your stuff that doesn’t fit in other people’s boxes and that’s what he wants and you’re not going to reach someone else’s crowd. You’re going to reach the crowd he’s called you to reach and you’ll never do either unless you can be yourself.

Mingo Palacios:

Boom. I don’t think we can say much more when you’re breaking the microphones with that much gold. As you try to break my podcast setup, I’m going to tell Rick and you’re going to have to pay him for the microphones you’ve been breaking.

Chris Brown:

Tell Rick I said hi.

Mingo Palacios:

I will tell Rick you said hi.

Chris Brown:

He doesn’t know me. We’ve never met, but it’s one of those cool things you say in a podcast, hey by the way when you see Rick tell him I said hi. Yeah that guy has no clue who I am.

Mingo Palacios:

Chris, thank you for leading so transparently. I mean, I don’t know that you have the ability to do anything otherwise, but that is an inspiration of itself. Thanks for allowing people to listen to your sermons and when they didn’t know how to preach their own sermons, you gave them permission to preach yours in their place because that’s pretty much what I did for the first five years that I was asked to be a camp speaker. I just downloaded great Chris content and then re-preached it only to Canadian kids cause they had yet to hear you.

Chris Brown:

There you go.

Mingo Palacios:

Then the Lord enters in and he says, you know, Mingo, if you copy, you will never experience me in the totality that I have for you. And then you start writing your own stuff.

Chris Brown:

There it is. And now we boom turn around-

Mingo Palacios:

Boom.

Chris Brown:

20 years now I want to be like you. See how this whole thing works? This is amazing.

Mingo Palacios:

Chris, I appreciate you. If people want to know or get connected to some of the things that you guys are doing because you guys do some great things that help people break through and experience their own life to the fullest. How do they get in contact with you or the church you go to?

Chris Brown:

If they’re writing and listening to this right now, the easiest way, just knowing my name, pastorchrisbrown.com. There’s nothing for sale on that site, but it puts you in touch with our church, North Coast church down in San Diego area. It gets you in touch with all of our free materials or archive our messages, our leadership stuff. It’s all for free. So just remember the name of Chris Brown, but put pastor in front of it because if you Google Chris Brown and some other guy messed me up.

Mingo Palacios:

Chris, we love you. The podcast loves you. You are a friend of the podcast. Thanks for the live studio audience for hanging out in tuning in. Until next time, we’ll talk to you guys soon.

Mingo Palacios:

We’d like to think Purpose Driven Church for making this podcast possible. If you’ve been feeling burnt out or plateaued in your ministry, we invite you to join us for Purpose Driven Church conference happening this June right here in southern California. You can learn more and register by visiting PD Church. We hope today’s insights left you feeling inspired and propelled towards your greatest potential. Thanks again for joining us for another episode of the PD Podcast. Until next time.

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