Leadership Journey With Bill Search

Bill sits down with John Ortberg, pastor and author of numerous books including "The Life You've Always Wanted." John shares his experience with leadership in ministry, as well as discusses mentoring others, his legacy, and great advice that he has received.

Show Notes

Join Bill Search as he digs into Leadership Lessons with John Ortberg. They cover a lot of ground including:
- John Ortberg's legacy
- The difference between being a mentor and a mentee
- Advice that John has received from some of the best leaders of our generation

Check it out and don't forget to subscribe and leave a review!

What is Leadership Journey With Bill Search?

Take your leadership to the next level with Bill Search. Looking at real world problems and offering practical solutions, Bill brings a biblical approach to leadership for a new generation.

Leadership Journey is a Lumivoz podcast.

00;00;00;17 - 00;00;17;21
Jason
Welcome to Leadership Journey, part of the group Talk Network of podcasts. Join Bill Search as he walks you through. Biblical Christian leadership gives you keys to personal growth and development as well as dynamics of leading others that honors God. Open your heart and mind. Enjoy Leadership Journey with Bill Search.

00;00;18;03 - 00;00;46;07
Bill Search
Well, welcome back to the Leadership Journey. I'm your host, Bill Search, and I'm delighted to share with you a recording. I had the privilege of making with none other than John or Bird He had visited my church here in Oklahoma City Crossing's Community Church. And in the process of the time that he spent here with our church, with our leaders, I was able to sit down and record with him around the topic of Christian leadership.

00;00;46;17 - 00;01;18;15
Bill Search
I know you're going to enjoy this recording. It's set up a little bit differently, so I hope you get to view it, but I know you'll get to listen to it. It'll be a special time. So thank you very much for joining me and John Ortberg on the leadership journey Well, I'm sitting down here with a friend of Crossing Community Church, John Ortberg, who is, of course, a published author of numerous books, a veteran pastor of both Midwest and West Coast.

00;01;18;29 - 00;01;27;20
Bill Search
And it's a real privilege, John, to have you on the podcast today to talk about leadership from a Christian point of view. Thanks for being with us.

00;01;28;12 - 00;01;39;08
John Ortberg
Thank you, Bill. Crossings has become just a very meaningful place to me. And so I'm glad to be here and get to see you again. But in California, where we have met before, but in May.

00;01;39;19 - 00;02;02;13
Bill Search
Well, it is you know, Oklahoma is a definitely not on most people's bucket list. But I always tell people, once you move here, you'll never leave. Yeah. It's it's a it's a pretty remarkable place, so. Well, I want to talk to you about leadership, because you have such a proven track record in this arena and the people listening are in some capacity or another leading.

00;02;02;13 - 00;02;28;08
Bill Search
They might be paid in a ministry and they might also just serve as volunteers and could run the gamut from working with kids to working with adults. But just taking a very, very high view of this topic. When when you're remembered as a leader years and years from now, what would you like people to say about you?

00;02;29;07 - 00;02;53;13
John Ortberg
You know, there's a wonderful statement from Dallas. Well, there was somebody influenced me a lot. And he used to say, the main thing God gets out of your life is the person you become. And that we tend to focus on was the resume one of my achievements. And I'm a three on any Graham, so I can be very focused on what have I done and what do people think about what I have done.

00;02;54;10 - 00;03;18;16
John Ortberg
So even asking the question of what do I want people to think of me is a little dangerous because it goes into my shadow territory but to have become someone who really loves people, I would love for that to be true. I we're recording this during the Lenten season, and I'm working on spending some time each day just reflecting on the previous day.

00;03;18;23 - 00;03;36;13
John Ortberg
Who is I with? What did I notice about them? What's going on in their hearts? How could I pray for them? Is there anything that I could do just to try to get a little bit better at love? So if I could choose anything, it would be You love me.

00;03;36;29 - 00;04;03;13
Bill Search
You know, John, for those of us who know you through your writings, or your preaching, that's one of the things that people do love about you is that comes out in the messaging so strong so often. It's interesting. Many people, the response to that question would be things they loved, things they touched. But just to bring it back down to what this is really all about, it's the people.

00;04;03;28 - 00;04;30;20
Bill Search
Leadership is a people centric enterprise. And that you'd notice that that's good. I find that encouraging. I find that challenging. Yeah. That's such a great reminder. Well, on that note, over the last 20, 30 years, maybe longer, there has been a great deal of influence that the business of the commercial sector has had on the church. I mean, for generation fans in church work.

00;04;30;28 - 00;04;57;03
Bill Search
Church leaders spoke to church leaders about the church work and then beginning really in the, in the modern era, we began to look at people like Jim Collins and Marcus Buckingham and, and other influential writers. Malcolm Gladwell, these are all great writers great thinkers. And so that's come into the church. And so more and more church leaders refer to those folks.

00;04;57;16 - 00;05;10;06
Bill Search
What's been good about that influence within the church and what's maybe been some of the not so good as a result of that business enterprise? Coming into the church setting?

00;05;10;12 - 00;05;36;10
John Ortberg
Yeah, I think the good part of it is people are people. Human nature is human nature. Organizations or communities are communities. And there's certain constants around that. So to be able to cast a noble vision that inspires people, that's a really good thing. To be able to marshal resources and leverage them effectively against a worthy mission, that's a good thing to be able to evaluate.

00;05;36;10 - 00;05;54;29
John Ortberg
Now that these voices are not working well, to be able to get the right person lined up with the right job and give them feedback and be developmental so they can get better to build a team, have the right people on the right chairs in the team, have the team moving in the right direction, have the team be healthy.

00;05;56;04 - 00;06;28;28
John Ortberg
All of those things I think are wonderful gifts. I think we've all had the experience. One of one of the early great leaders that I had was when I was in high school and I sang in the choir. Let's go to Lenny Lundstrom and I did not know it's and he was a very good musician, but he was a great leader and there are certain mantras we would kill ourselves to try to sing really well for Lenny, and other people would give out praise like candy he did not give praise unless you had done really well.

00;06;28;28 - 00;06;53;20
John Ortberg
So we would work really hard for that. And one of his mantras was we would, you know, sing very hard through a technical part of some song. And he would just pause and say, do it again, do it again. And anybody who sang under him, they would be able to quote that now many, many decades later. So those capacities that leaders bring to call out the best of us, to cast a vision of what might be.

00;06;54;06 - 00;07;37;13
John Ortberg
Those are wonderful. And I think there are lots of folks I love Abraham Lincoln I cannot get enough of. I'm always reading some Lincoln book or another. And so to learn about leadership through people like that is a great gift. I think the dark side of it is when we start to think about the church in terms of metrics, results, or celebrity culture and the glamorization of leaders we can start to create cultures that reinforce narcissism.

00;07;37;27 - 00;07;49;11
John Ortberg
It's interesting, a guy who is on the board of the ministry organization my wife leads is Pat Gelsinger, and Pat's the CEO of Intel. An amazing.

00;07;49;11 - 00;07;50;03
Bill Search
Pretty good job.

00;07;51;05 - 00;07;55;27
John Ortberg
He was named a few years ago, the least narcissistic CEO in America.

00;07;56;05 - 00;07;58;24
Bill Search
It's funny that there's like a tracking of.

00;07;58;26 - 00;08;22;21
John Ortberg
There actually is. They had metrics. They developed like in the annual report of the corporation. How big was the picture of the CEO and how often is the name of the CEO mentioned? And how many times does the CEO use the pronouns? I mean, mine. So there were all these ways of monitoring. And Pat was named literally you look it up, the least narcissistic CEO in America.

00;08;23;00 - 00;09;04;27
John Ortberg
I think sometimes in the church world, when we import stuff from that, along with that, we can import some of the worst parts of it. And I think because churches are residential spiritual communities and the leaders often are also people that stand up on the platform and talk about life, virtue, love, excellence, God, and try to embody that a cult of celebrity, you know, and people identifying with the leader where a lot of the tone of the church is, how's the leader doing?

00;09;05;08 - 00;09;18;12
John Ortberg
Is he happy? Is he doing well? He's my guy. There's a lot of stuff that feeds into that cult of celebrity narcissism, lack of accountability. That's a real problem.

00;09;19;01 - 00;09;43;04
Bill Search
It's it's interesting. You you you bring up that cult of celebrity because then sometimes it's in business. Like with the era of Steve Jobs at Apple, there's no question cult of personality a keen insight, that sort of thing. But where he's remembered for really the products, the innovation and so forth, not for not for some trend he started.

00;09;43;17 - 00;10;16;06
Bill Search
And as celebrity culture has come into church, as we talk about this just not long ago, was a very famous podcast about a church in the Pacific Northwest that was all about that sort of thing. And yet when you're in the midst of it, you're not always the best judge of the toxicity of it. So how could a, you know, someone listening because so many of our churches do use those business examples and so forth.

00;10;16;06 - 00;10;27;10
Bill Search
And as you pointed out, some of that's really great stuff. How can is there is there any sort of internal barometer a person, a leader could use to say, you know, that's a bridge too far?

00;10;27;16 - 00;10;45;22
John Ortberg
Yeah. I was listening to some of the other day who's a really good thinker, New Testament theologian, and he was saying he doesn't like the word leadership. He just likes the word followership. And I get that. I think it's a wonderful point in a lot of ways. I think the need for humility and needing to be a follower is a very important thing.

00;10;45;28 - 00;11;00;28
John Ortberg
When Jesus talked about leadership, most often it was to warn people about it. Yeah. And I think that's because we all have a kingdom. You know, your kingdom is the reign of your effective will. It's very hard to lead people without violating their kingdom.

00;11;01;08 - 00;11;01;17
Bill Search
Yeah.

00;11;02;19 - 00;11;13;13
John Ortberg
So and I think sin always gets into everything and the better and more powerful something is when it's good, the worse it is when sin infects it, you know?

00;11;13;13 - 00;11;13;25
Bill Search
Wow.

00;11;14;11 - 00;11;33;29
John Ortberg
So I think because leadership can impact so many people, that's why leadership is so toxic when it becomes damaged. I was talking to some people very recently about a system that they're in where clearly there is toxicity and unhealthy. I think one question to ask is, if I was on the outside looking into this situation, how would it sound?

00;11;34;26 - 00;12;00;19
John Ortberg
And those podcasts for martial were fast dating. If you're listening from the outside and you hear a story, you think, how can anybody tolerate that? Who would put up with that when you're inside it feels totally different. God is at work. Amazing things are happening. I'm not sure that I'm correct about this. So just asking the question, pretend for a moment that I was completely outside the system.

00;12;00;26 - 00;12;17;25
John Ortberg
I didn't know any of these names. Somebody described to me these behaviors, these comments, these words, these dynamics. Would I say that that's crazy, unhealthy and needs to be addressed or what I say? Nope. I think that's really on target. I think that help people have time.

00;12;18;17 - 00;12;35;25
Bill Search
That's that that's just what we need to hear is that kind of insight of outside looking in. Would I say you think about that could be in a family that could be in a dating relationship. There's just so many places where you can plug that one in.

00;12;35;28 - 00;13;08;24
John Ortberg
That's exactly right. The if you are living in a crazy system, you have to be crazy to survive. Yeah. So if you're in a marriage with an alcoholic and you want to keep being married, then you have to adjust your own responses. Your approach to accountability, honesty, you have to crib in order to make space for that. And but the problem is when you've been in that system for a long time, it feels normal from the inside.

00;13;09;09 - 00;13;14;16
John Ortberg
It it looks and feels like, yeah, this is just ordinary life.

00;13;14;24 - 00;13;23;04
Bill Search
It's sort of like that pound or two you put on every year. And then after ten or 15 years, the doctor says, do you realize what's become of your.

00;13;23;05 - 00;13;24;13
John Ortberg
Oh, I had no idea. Yeah.

00;13;24;15 - 00;13;39;19
Bill Search
I was just 11. Dorito, too many. Just. All right. That's all heavy stuff. So let's come up for air a little bit. Shifting gears. You could sit down over a cup of coffee with three leaders from history. Who do you sit down with?

00;13;39;20 - 00;13;45;26
John Ortberg
Yeah. Abraham Lincoln, for sure. Jesus. It kind of goes without saying that's.

00;13;45;26 - 00;13;51;13
Bill Search
Your only Bible one. You get. You got Jesus. So nobody else from the Bible. Abe Lincoln. Jesus.

00;13;51;26 - 00;14;05;20
John Ortberg
I also enjoy a lot of reading about Winston Churchill, and I think partly because I love communication, and his communication was so extraordinary and he was just such a colorful.

00;14;06;10 - 00;14;18;29
Bill Search
He was a yeah. A masterful politician who didn't always make people happy and occasionally what he wins the Second World War. And shortly thereafter, is voted out of office. So it goes. But then he's back in.

00;14;18;29 - 00;14;35;10
John Ortberg
I guess there's a lot of people who would say basically he had about 18 months when England stood alone against Hitler and his speeches roll it everybody. And he got it right then and was wrong for much, if not most of the rest of his career. But I would love to be at a dinner with him.

00;14;35;10 - 00;15;02;22
Bill Search
Or he might have tea, not coffee. But I like your choice that you would have whiskey. Yeah, I think he would. Which would make the whole thing more colorful. Certainly. Okay. Years ago I was introduced to a concept that, especially for Christian leaders, that using the example of the Apostle Paul is that everybody needs a Paul in their life, someone who's building into them, challenging them, maturing them, and everybody needs a Timothy, somebody that that is.

00;15;02;22 - 00;15;17;29
Bill Search
If you've gotten to a place of your own spiritual life that you can pour into others. So with that in mind, where do you go looking for a Paul? Where do you go looking for a Timothy? I imagine in your life you've. I know Dallas Willard has been a call to you. So how do you find these people?

00;15;18;04 - 00;15;50;08
John Ortberg
Yeah, I have been I was talking to a friend about this that's really just extraordinarily fortunate in a number of people. The first pastor I worked for, John F Anderson, was a person of immense joy, believed in me, encouraged me. And then David Hubbard from Fuller Seminary, guy named Luce means that was also from Fuller, Neil Warren getting Max to preach who's an amazing leader that I'm Sam Reeves, Dallas Willard for sure.

00;15;50;15 - 00;16;04;03
John Ortberg
So I have been and I don't know why, just extraordinarily fortunate. I had a good relationship with my dad. And I think in some ways that kind of set me up for those kind of relationships by the.

00;16;04;03 - 00;16;10;05
Bill Search
Way, everybody listening to this of a certain vintage just kind of turned a little green with envy because you mentioned some.

00;16;10;20 - 00;16;12;06
John Ortberg
Stuff. Just amazing people.

00;16;12;06 - 00;16;13;19
Bill Search
Stellar names right there.

00;16;13;20 - 00;16;17;12
John Ortberg
Yeah, yeah. The preaching teacher, Ian Watson, who would be on that list.

00;16;17;12 - 00;16;25;25
Bill Search
Also, did Max Dupree give you any Herman Miller furniture just from that relationship? I mean, did you come away with an Eames fiberglass chair?

00;16;26;10 - 00;16;33;17
John Ortberg
I don't have any of Max's furniture, but Max passed away just a couple of years ago, and I did his service and.

00;16;34;01 - 00;16;40;20
Bill Search
For those listening, Max Dupree was the the head honcho of Herman Miller office, correct? Yes.

00;16;40;22 - 00;16;41;21
John Ortberg
No, that's exactly right.

00;16;42;03 - 00;16;55;02
Bill Search
I'm a Michigan native, so. Oh, no kidding. Yeah. Max is a it was a legend in that state for what he did in turning office furniture into something that wasn't boring. But now we have around our dinner table.

00;16;55;07 - 00;17;03;09
John Ortberg
Yep. And there's a thousand Max Dupree stories about the nature of leadership. Yeah. First task of a leader is to define reality.

00;17;03;12 - 00;17;03;21
Bill Search
Yeah.

00;17;04;04 - 00;17;22;14
John Ortberg
And so I have lots and lots of wisdom for Max, but no, he didn't give me any furniture. I don't know what that's about. Well, okay, but I would say, look for somebody that you can learn a lot from and that you deeply admire. And then there has to be a certain level of chemistry. They have to want to be around you.

00;17;22;21 - 00;17;44;12
John Ortberg
Yeah. And for people who are looking for someone like that, I think it's important to take it one step at a time. Sometimes a person will approach a stranger and ask, Will you mentor me? Hmm. And trying to go from zero to 100, I think is not a good idea. So ask for a single conversation and bring some value to them.

00;17;45;07 - 00;18;15;11
John Ortberg
You know, a thought and idea. Expressions of Appreciation by Adam Coffey. Yeah. And and so take that relationship one step at a time. And then I think it's the same thing. On the other hand, getting older to ask who can I put back into? And I've had to be more intentional about that. Bill. I found being a mentee for whatever reason of health or unhealthy came very naturally to me being a mentor.

00;18;15;29 - 00;18;20;09
John Ortberg
I have less clarity as to whether I'm being helpful for someone or not.

00;18;21;25 - 00;18;24;16
Bill Search
Everyone listening right now is like, I'll sign up to have John.

00;18;25;13 - 00;18;25;17
John Ortberg
And.

00;18;25;17 - 00;18;26;21
Bill Search
It'll be of great value.

00;18;26;28 - 00;18;27;08
John Ortberg
Well.

00;18;28;01 - 00;18;34;08
Bill Search
But I hear what you're saying. There is that sense where did did this conversation help you?

00;18;34;14 - 00;19;02;09
John Ortberg
Yeah, what I find is if I give a talk, I have a sense I may be off, but I have a pretty clear sense of, yep, I think that was really helpful or nope. I feel like that missed the mark and why if I have in our conversation with somebody, I'm much fuzzier on that. And I think there are people whose wiring is different, who are naturally great coaches who when they got to the end of a talk, they'd be able to take you back to.

00;19;02;15 - 00;19;24;23
John Ortberg
This was the key moment right here. I saw that person was really moved here. I could have challenged them, but I didn't And so I have to be more of a student of. That's part of why, like I mentioned before, I'm trying to take some time each day to think back on my encounters with people. The previous day and look at how are they doing, what did they say, what was their mood like?

00;19;25;13 - 00;19;41;19
John Ortberg
Part of that is because I'm trying to get better at those conversations and how can I serve to mentor or coach because I feel like I got such a gift from that, but it doesn't feel to me like it comes nearly as naturally as giving talks to us.

00;19;42;00 - 00;20;00;21
Bill Search
Well, it just in there so much wisdom of you need to have the built in reflective space to think back on the conversation to think about what was said, what you said, what they said. Was that helpful? I think in my own life I tend to move from thing to thing to thing, appointment to appointment to appointment without the reflective space.

00;20;00;21 - 00;20;14;28
Bill Search
So you just given me something to chew on there, and I imagine those who are listening, that's something to chew on. Right? There is of the people that God's put in my path that I have some sort of influence over, what do I know about them? What do I know about their needs?

00;20;15;08 - 00;20;20;22
John Ortberg
I was just talking the other day to a guy who's written a wonderful book Managing Leadership Anxiety.

00;20;21;04 - 00;20;24;04
Bill Search
Steve Couscous. That is terrific, isn't it?

00;20;24;07 - 00;20;55;23
John Ortberg
Yeah, it was. It's a brilliant book. Yes. But he was talking about his model of development as he was being educated for a ministry. It's super simple. It's action, reflection, action Yeah. And that was just built into his education process. And there used to be CPE clinical pastoral education in certain traditions. And so that engaged in ministry, preaching counseling, leading whatever.

00;20;56;01 - 00;21;22;04
John Ortberg
And then you take a chunk of time to write and reflect on it. Yeah. What happened? How did I experience it, what worked, what didn't, where was God in it? And then take that back into your next activity. And I think just something as simple as that model would serve people well. But you're right, a lot of us get so anxious to get stuff done that we don't do the reflection part and we really short-circuit our growth because we just end up making the same mistakes over and over.

00;21;22;05 - 00;21;49;10
Bill Search
We always have these debates about breadth and depth, and so often we end up shallow because we're just spread too thin. And that's not news. We've known that forever. Franklin Covey and those people are out there to try to help us Stephen Covey, you know, that years ago would write on Seven Habits. There's all kinds of variations of Covey's work, but it's always trying to get us to focus on what's most important but we still focus on what's not sometimes, or we focus.

00;21;49;11 - 00;22;13;03
Bill Search
We have too many important things. I'm glad you mentioned Steve's book neatly. The best part of his audible is he reads it and he's Australian. So, you know, you get this great Australian accent and he's a great storyteller. So I hope to bring him on this podcast at some point. Well, you have a legendary wife, at least in my eyes, in the eyes of many.

00;22;13;15 - 00;22;37;29
Bill Search
Nancy is a Phnom Snow leader in her own right. She has served on pastoral roles. I know of, at least in a couple of different places that you have served. And for those who are listening, who are married to someone who also is in the trenches of ministry leadership, how do you keep work at work that is, how do you keep the ministry?

00;22;37;29 - 00;22;58;04
Bill Search
Because if I imagine if you're relationships, anything like the relationship I have with my wife, who's very engaged in ministry, not in a paid way, but in a in a deeply involved way. There's times where I have to say, you know, once we enter into like the bedroom area or something, I don't mean anything by that, by the way.

00;22;58;17 - 00;22;59;11
Bill Search
But I mean, just so.

00;22;59;13 - 00;23;07;10
John Ortberg
Sure, you know, we all know where you are headed, River. I don't mean anything, but And you're worried about being ruffled either. So we're going to.

00;23;07;19 - 00;23;09;29
Bill Search
Have to cut that part. No, there's.

00;23;10;01 - 00;23;16;03
John Ortberg
No there's no you can't cut theirs. I will refuse to sign off on this interview. If you cut that. All right.

00;23;16;03 - 00;23;21;28
Bill Search
We'll keep that part. But there's there's got to be a space in your house where, like in this room, we don't talk about you.

00;23;21;28 - 00;23;45;10
John Ortberg
Yeah. Yeah. So Nance and I you know, when we dated each other, we knew that we were both interested in ministry, but it wasn't what pulled us together. We enjoy each other a lot. Yeah, and we've certainly had lots of issues and seasons of intense, difficult stuff to work through, but there's pretty much always been a sense of enjoying each other and also of being interested in ministry.

00;23;45;10 - 00;24;05;09
John Ortberg
And how does church ministry work? There have been adjustments in that. Talking about leadership, if you think about leadership as a spiritual gift. Nancy's gift of leadership is much higher than mine and a more of a communicator. When we first got married, I would never have been able to acknowledge that even to myself.

00;24;05;23 - 00;24;06;03
Bill Search
Yeah.

00;24;06;20 - 00;24;27;28
John Ortberg
And then over time, it became unavoidably clear, and it was immensely painful for me for a while. And I felt like, Oh, man, she's just going to keep going up and up and up, and I'm going to go down and down and down and then going through the pain. A question that was super helpful to me is, do I want to be the kind of man whose wife has to diminish her gifts in order for me to feel good about myself?

00;24;27;28 - 00;24;28;08
Bill Search
Wow.

00;24;30;18 - 00;24;51;19
John Ortberg
And when I would ruminate over my limits and her gifts, that question was really helpful to me. Because if I was just ruminating, I could spiral into all kinds of negative scenarios. But I when I would come back to that question. Do I want her to have to be less so I can feel better about me? I knew the answer to that was no.

00;24;52;01 - 00;25;09;04
John Ortberg
And so eventually it got to the point where a long time ago it hit this point. I just love the fact that she has the gifts that she does. And that she's able to lead so well and celebrate that and feel great freedom with that. And no need to have any amount of that attached to my own self with it.

00;25;09;18 - 00;25;33;18
John Ortberg
So there have been those kind of when we're both involved, the ministry. What does she do? What do I do? Well, what does she do better than me? What do I how do we think through that stuff? And then as well, particularly when we were in Chicago and we both worked at the same church and we had kids at home where it would actually probably have been okay for us to talk about that stuff a lot.

00;25;33;28 - 00;25;49;16
John Ortberg
But the kids got sick of it. And they actually said to us, You're talking too much about work. So we had to put a moratorium on when we come home, when we have dinner, when the family is together, we will not talk about that. And that was a very deliberate, intentional.

00;25;50;23 - 00;26;09;26
Bill Search
It's tough when you love the ministry, when you're called to the ministry, and then you're, you know, in the trenches of it. It can sometimes cloud out or crowd out. All hobbies, interests others. So if you're not talking about it, yeah, there's there's not a lot. And so I love that your kids my kids have been there, too.

00;26;09;27 - 00;26;38;29
Bill Search
My kids have definitely been there, too. And before we get to the how do you strike strike a boundary here? Is I appreciate that that vulnerability that asking yourself, do I want to suppress my spouse's gifts and in order for me to have certain position or feel good about who I am. And and in in all truth, I it took me years to come to that realization in my own home.

00;26;38;29 - 00;27;02;21
Bill Search
I thought, I'm the one called to this. And she's supporting and she's far wiser and smarter. And there are many a conversation that was if you'd have taken my advice a while ago, we wouldn't be or you wouldn't be or this wouldn't be in this situation. And I moved from resentment to actually realization. And then now we joke about it all the time.

00;27;02;27 - 00;27;11;26
Bill Search
In fact, in our home, we have a day, once a year when I'm right about something and we celebrate that. That's that one moment where I'm like, Hey, wait, I'm right about this time, like.

00;27;11;26 - 00;27;15;06
John Ortberg
The Day of Atonement. Yeah. It turns out you're allowed to go into the holy holy.

00;27;15;13 - 00;27;33;21
Bill Search
And she always gives she always has that look like don't get too excited. Yeah. I get the rest of the year. Yeah. But all right, let's talk about the boundary side. How do you your kids obviously were one part of it is like, hey, could we not talk about this? Yeah. And is there a do you do you have anything like that set up or have you had that set up?

00;27;33;22 - 00;27;36;05
John Ortberg
You know, we're both Super P on the Myers-Briggs.

00;27;36;05 - 00;27;36;17
Bill Search
Okay.

00;27;36;18 - 00;28;17;11
John Ortberg
So organized boundaries and that kind of stuff. Like, you know, the fact that we started out with three kids and they're all three still alive, we feel really, really good about But so it'll be it'll be a much more informal, spontaneous process for us. But for sure, Nancy, actually, we'll talk about this quite a lot, a study that involved a couple of different schools that found when we asked the question, what sustains people in ministry, leadership or a big litmus test was do they have a hobby in which they engage, during which time seems to stand still?

00;28;17;12 - 00;28;20;22
Bill Search
Wow. Well, that's interesting, isn't it? Okay. What's your hobby?

00;28;21;00 - 00;28;39;27
John Ortberg
And so I love to surf. I'm not good at it, but I love to surf. All right. I enjoy playing golf. I used to be a tennis player when I was growing up, but I shifted over into golf. I love to read. I love music. I play the piano. I'm not good at it, but I play recreationally. But I enjoy that a lot.

00;28;40;20 - 00;28;53;03
John Ortberg
I enjoy traveling with Nancy a lot. But yeah, I think those it's just super important for people that are doing business. They're really leadership in any way that your life be way bigger than your job.

00;28;53;16 - 00;29;16;21
Bill Search
That's good. That is so I just as you say that I'm thinking, yeah, that's true in my home, this is how nerdy my wife and I are. She loves ancient Egypt, like oh, cool. Every documentary we know, the main historians of ancient Egypt from all these documentaries haven't been there yet. And I am fascinated with the Roman Empire.

00;29;16;28 - 00;29;23;14
Bill Search
So we joke that we each have something to tell the other person, and sometimes they overlap, you know?

00;29;23;14 - 00;29;27;23
John Ortberg
And I just got it audible. Audible book speaks. You are? Oh.

00;29;28;05 - 00;29;31;25
Bill Search
Yeah. Yeah, I've I've read it twice. That's Mary Beard. Yeah, she's amazing.

00;29;31;25 - 00;29;35;13
John Ortberg
I've not. I just downloaded it two days ago, so I'm.

00;29;35;19 - 00;29;52;18
Bill Search
Know my wife jokes. I always tell her that if I if if I inherited millions of dollars, I would go on vacation and hire Mary Beard to go with us. Is a family vacation to give us the inside tour of that lady. Some great documentaries. All right. All right. I'm going to I'm going to get too deep in the weeds on this one, so.

00;29;52;18 - 00;30;09;06
Bill Search
All right, you and Nancy both have experience of ups and downs in ministry. Just what have you learned in both extremes? What have you learned about yourself? About God during the ministry ups and the ministry downs.

00;30;16;00 - 00;30;31;29
John Ortberg
I would say in the ups the joy of being able to contribute and be involved in ways where you feel fully alive. Eric Little from Church Fire. What I run, I feel his pleasure.

00;30;31;29 - 00;30;33;14
Bill Search
And that's such a great image.

00;30;33;14 - 00;31;12;06
John Ortberg
And it's not really at all about scale. It's just about the joy of running when you were made to run. I always loved that that version of 19 that the son rejoices like a strong man rejoices to run its course yeah. And so that picture of being able to do ministry with that sense I love a lot in the down areas, it would be much fuller and richer I would say one of them would be I used to think that life was supposed to be joyful and if there was pain, it was my job to try to fix it.

00;31;12;06 - 00;31;45;17
John Ortberg
And stop it. And now my understanding is much more. There will always be deep pain and there can be deep goodness together with it. And they're like two faucets that are on in the bathtub. And so to be able to embrace the goodness and joy and live with name, honor the pain and the hurt, and to meet other people in that place, like there's a lot of people I'm able to meet with and talk with because they know that I've been through painful stuff that I never would have been able to if I hadn't.

00;31;46;18 - 00;32;11;15
Bill Search
You know, you think about how often in the New Testament the word persevere shows our and the Old Testament as well. And it's not something we preach on, teach on or muse on a whole lot. And part of that probably is in general our lives in the Western world pretty good. Yeah. But thinking in terms of God, meeting us in both places, yeah.

00;32;11;16 - 00;32;30;09
Bill Search
In both extremes that yeah. You know, in his omnipresence, maybe that's the joy of those old creeds. So, so few churches are cradle and mine is not cradle base but sometimes you repeat those creeds about things of God's omnipresence, and he can meet you in all places, in all situations.

00;32;30;09 - 00;32;52;13
John Ortberg
And there's words that can only come to mean something to you when you enter into a situation that is different. And one of the phrases that I read over these last couple of years that's been helpful, there's an old spiritual guide writer named Francis Fenlon, and he writes about a cross and he says, sometimes resisting the cross is harder than the cross itself.

00;32;54;08 - 00;33;18;01
John Ortberg
So when there is suffering and you can't fix it. Yeah, the prayer your will be done and surrender. And just, you know, this serenity prayer give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage, the change. I think that can the wisdom to know the difference that takes on a whole different meaning when there is a really difficult cross.

00;33;18;07 - 00;33;31;11
John Ortberg
And if my mindset is this is terrible, this is awful, I can't stand this. This must not happen. That can actually create even more suffering or more unnecessary suffering than the object of suffering itself.

00;33;32;04 - 00;33;43;17
Bill Search
Well, and so often we know those first few lines of the Serenity Prayer, but when you read the whole thing in its entirety, you know that to accept the world as it is right now, not as I want it to be, but.

00;33;43;22 - 00;34;06;27
John Ortberg
The courage to know the difference and taking one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking the world as he did, not as I wanted, but as it is knowing that he will make everything right if I surrender fully to him so that I might be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with knowing.

00;34;06;27 - 00;34;41;20
Bill Search
That I you. Now, people are going to Google the serenity because everyone thought they knew the serenity prayer, but they really only know the few first few lines. But the the the thing in its entirety is is tremendous. It is absolutely beautiful. What connected to this the ups and downs ideas. How do you avoid both and maybe avoids the wrong term, but how do you come to terms with the idealism that a lot of ministries built on and at the same time avoid or deal with the cynicism that can come with ministry experience?

00;34;42;00 - 00;35;03;09
Bill Search
You know, you think in our early days we're going to save the world and build churches and then 20, 30 years later, there's, I think of every British Anglican priest, you know, if you ever watch British dramas, I asked a friend of mine who's from England, I said, why is every priest and every British drama a fake? And he goes, Oh, that's what they do.

00;35;03;09 - 00;35;16;29
Bill Search
They poke fun, but they always kind of have this I'm giving up type of deal. And I'm not picking on an Anglican priest, by the way. But so how do we avoid both the idealism or the cynicism or maybe maybe come to terms with it, maybe not avoid it?

00;35;17;04 - 00;35;30;29
John Ortberg
Yeah, you know, it's a great question, but I don't know. I've ever thought about it in that way before. I sure thing for all of us who do ministry there's just going to be a journey and there's certain things that you can't learn except by experience.

00;35;31;02 - 00;35;31;09
Bill Search
Okay.

00;35;31;18 - 00;36;08;13
John Ortberg
So I think the hopefulness of youth is a natural thing, and the acceptance of limitations is good to be more informed as we get older I think cynicism is a really important thing to guard against. And churches tend to be places that breed cynicism and you know, cynicism is different than skepticism. You could be you could be skeptical that it's going to rain tomorrow.

00;36;08;13 - 00;36;11;25
John Ortberg
You can't be cynical that it's going to end. But cynicism is all about people.

00;36;12;08 - 00;36;12;19
Bill Search
Yeah.

00;36;14;13 - 00;36;43;04
John Ortberg
And I think there's always something fearful about cynicism because go back to the serenity prayer. Courage involves facing, naming, taking action. And I don't know of any courageous, cynical people you know. And so I think as we grow older to keep asking in this situation, what would a courageous person do? Can help me not go down the path of cynicism?

00;36;43;19 - 00;37;01;22
Bill Search
I like that. You know, if you think about cynicism, I'm a Gen-Xer. So they, you know, born with a chip on my shoulder type of deal. And that was all part of this was my coming up years was the era of grunge, which wasn't really pleasant music to listen to. No one's no one's really listening to that right now.

00;37;01;22 - 00;37;22;22
Bill Search
Maybe I'll make a comeback. But it had kind of this darker, darker tone kind of thing. But but it actually cynicism is a coward's way out. I mean, to take it the opposite of it's courageous not to be cynical, in other words, to just go whatever. That's actually just weak. Yeah. But but it's it's a it's a protective shell.

00;37;22;22 - 00;37;34;17
John Ortberg
It's weak, but it doesn't feel weak. It enables you to hide. That's right. The choice of fear and avoidance, and that's always toxic to the spirit.

00;37;34;28 - 00;37;36;07
Bill Search
All right. Happier subject.

00;37;36;07 - 00;37;36;16
John Ortberg
Yes.

00;37;37;04 - 00;37;39;23
Bill Search
What are your devotional habits? How do you feed your soul?

00;37;40;00 - 00;38;05;09
John Ortberg
Yeah. So for the last couple of years, when it's been a more intense season, I will find myself waking up during the night every night. And so I've needed to have just a plan for what do I do? And initially, I would always get up and read and do the first few pages of Henry now. And it was a good place good person to read in a time of pain.

00;38;06;19 - 00;38;28;12
John Ortberg
Now, my wife and I live in a one room cabana that we rent from folks, so I don't have another room that I can go away to. So I will listen to a talk from Dallas where there's just tons of those talks online. And then when I get up, I I'll say this for anybody listening to us so that they don't feel oppressed.

00;38;28;27 - 00;38;36;11
John Ortberg
Dallas will often talk about the notion of a deal. A quiet time is a burden that just crushes the life out of a lot of people.

00;38;37;02 - 00;38;39;03
Bill Search
Wow. Say that again. Just say that one more.

00;38;39;10 - 00;38;55;15
John Ortberg
The idea of a daily quiet time is a burden that crushes the life out of a lot of people. And I think it's really important to recognize that when I was a kid growing up in the tradition that I grew up in, if somebody asked, How's your spiritual life going on? Which is a great way to kill a conversation, of course.

00;38;55;22 - 00;39;21;10
John Ortberg
But if they did, my immediate thought would be, have my devotions been regular and long? Sure. And did they have my spirit lives going great? And I realized at one point, like, if you measure spiritual maturity by devotional practices, the Pharisees would come out on top. So so how do we measure spiritual life in a way that doesn't make the Pharisees come out on top?

00;39;21;16 - 00;39;59;29
John Ortberg
And I asked Dennis that one time, and he said he would ask himself, Am I growing more or less irritable these days and am I growing more or less easily discouraged? These days? Because if I'm living in the love of Jesus, I will be less irritable and that the peace of Christ is raining in my heart, I will be less easily discouraged So this is all by a preamble, by way of saying over the last couple of years when I get up in the morning, mostly just because the level of pain and difficulty in my life has been quite great, I have had to have time to be alone with God just to get a thought

00;39;59;29 - 00;40;24;02
John Ortberg
that can help me move forward to the day And so I will start by reciting the Lord's Prayer and kind of placing myself in that while I stand up. Ignatius talked about just take a moment before you enter in and then I'll sit down. I will go through Psalm one 21. When my dad died two and a half years ago, I was reciting the last words of that Psalm Board will watch over.

00;40;24;02 - 00;40;51;09
John Ortberg
You're coming out, you're going in both now and forever more. Took his last breath, never breathed then. So I will use that as a way of saying, help me with this. I will go through what are three things that I was grateful for yesterday. I will take some time to do, just kind of mindful prayer where I'm mostly breathing maybe around the word of peace, and then I will do a bit of scripture and then think through my day yesterday and who are people that I was meeting with.

00;40;51;17 - 00;41;11;19
John Ortberg
So that's ways that I'll start rewarding. I have a good friend, Rick Blackmon, and every morning it's six 15, Monday through Friday we call each other up How was your day yesterday? Temptations would you face? What do you do today? Pray with each other. We love that. So that's that's my morning.

00;41;11;27 - 00;41;39;13
Bill Search
With it always is to me. One of the most fascinating questions to ask a spiritual leaders how they feed their soul. I love your answers to that. During the during the pandemic, I grew up Baptist and Lutheran. So Baptist Church. Lutheran School. Oh well and so part of our religion class was Luther small catechism and I had to four class memorized parts of it well so I went back to memorize parts.

00;41;39;13 - 00;42;03;09
Bill Search
That's wonderful and I have found of all things now this isn't in Luther Small but that was the gateway into the Athens creed. And so as I fall asleep at night, I recite what I can remember because that anyone who has creeds memorized knows the affirmation is a real long one. So I can't say it's committed fully to memory, but it helps me fall asleep at night.

00;42;03;14 - 00;42;17;08
Bill Search
And like yourself, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I. I turn to the Lord's Prayer, and if I am still awake, then I move into one. I just start mulling over one of the creeds. I fall asleep to the Trinity pretty good. That's not bad.

00;42;17;11 - 00;42;18;27
John Ortberg
Trinity's good thing to fall asleep to it.

00;42;19;07 - 00;42;31;02
Bill Search
All right, last question. You get the Bible and one book to sit with for the next 365 days, one year Bible and just that one book.

00;42;31;02 - 00;42;47;11
John Ortberg
Yeah, super easy. The Spirit of the Disciplines. It's a book by Dallas Word is the first book of his that I read, and that has impacted me by far the most of any book that I have ever read. And I can just keep going back and going back and going back through it.

00;42;49;23 - 00;43;11;21
John Ortberg
I can still remember the seat that I was sitting on in the plane when I read. He said the thesis is that authentic transformation is genuinely possible if we're willing to do one thing, and that is to arrange our lives around the rhythms and practices Jesus engaged in to remain fully at home with and receive power from the Father like somebody has thought this out.

00;43;11;26 - 00;43;12;20
Bill Search
That's it.

00;43;12;23 - 00;43;13;01
John Ortberg
Yeah.

00;43;13;19 - 00;43;28;07
Bill Search
Well, I was going to guess Dallas Willard, but I wasn't going to guess that would be so very good. Well, John, thanks so much for sitting down for this conversation. It's I have found it personally enriching. I know those who are listening will find it enriching as well. So thank.

00;43;28;07 - 00;43;29;16
John Ortberg
You. Thanks, Bill. Enjoy.

00;43;30;00 - 00;43;45;11
Jason
Thank you for listening to Leadership Journal, part of the group Talk Networks podcast, if you like what you've heard. Make sure you subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favorite podcast. If you want to learn more, make sure you check out Small Group Network. Not uncommon for more resource.