Paul Hansen (00:00):
If we're really going to be world-class Christians, we really need to be global minded, because that's just simply the heart of God. No matter what our capacity is as we serve, we just need to have that sort of lens. We can't get myopic.
Paul Hansen (00:14):
I think when we don't have a wider lens, in terms as for all the things that God is up to across the globe, we really miss out.
Welcome to the Modern Church Leader, where you'll hear executive pastors share practical tactics and strategies that churches are using right now to thrive in our digital world and advance the kingdom of God.
Here's your host, Frank Barry.
Frank Barry (00:42):
Hey guys, Frank with Tithe, coming to you with another episode of Modern Church Leader.
Frank Barry (00:46):
Today, I am pumped to talk about global outreach here with my new friend, Paul Hanson, from a great church.
Frank Barry (00:54):
Paul, I'd love for you to jump in and tell all the listeners a little bit about yourself and what you're doing as Global Outreach Pastor at Grace Community Church.
Paul Hansen (01:04):
Frank, happy to do it. Really, really glad to be here with you, and listen, as we were talking offline just a bit ago, just kudos to you and your team, and just thank you so much just for putting this together.
Paul Hansen (01:16):
I just think having these opportunities as we get to spend the time together as believers, is such a huge thing. I think when we were talking about it, it's a gift, because what the scriptures talk about is that we might be mutually encouraged by one another's faith, and that is a spiritual gift to impart to one another, and so this medium is just one way of doing that. So to you again, and your team, Frank, thank you so much.
Frank Barry (01:39):
Yeah. I love that, and I love that perspective. I might have to use that in like the show description.
Paul Hansen (01:44):
Totally take it. Just delete this episode and you just rip it off. That's great.
Frank Barry (01:50):
I mean, I just love that you picked up on it. That really is kind of the spirit and the heart of the show is just like, there's a lot of church leaders all over the world, and I don't think they all have access to hearing from other church leaders. Do you know what I'm saying?
Paul Hansen (02:05):
Frank Barry (02:06):
Obviously, the internet has changed that big time, and there's a lot of content online, but we try to get in churches of all shapes and sizes, all types of churches from all over the place, and bring church leaders out of those kind of context onto the show, and really like there's thousands and thousands of churches that are 100, 200 members, and so hearing from church leaders of those size churches, and what they're going through, and kind of how they're doing church, and how things are changing, I think is powerful, right.
Frank Barry (02:43):
Then, you're a church that's a couple thousand, and so hearing from guys like you, and what you're doing, and there's other churches like you. It's like just bringing that kind of diversity of types of church leaders and types of churches. I think there's just a lot to learn, so I love it. I love having these conversations.
Paul Hansen (03:00):
I think again, if anything else, it's taught us from the time of COVID and all the difficulties, we've all been through, it's been the great leveler in so many ways. I don't think there's a leader out there that hasn't felt a lot of pain. I don't think there's a leader out there that hasn't been really discouraged. I don't think there's a leader out there of churches of any size that hasn't said, "Maybe I should do X, or something, anything else."
Paul Hansen (03:23):
Whatever we can do, I think, to pull the veil back, I think the darkness, it's really trying to just put that in with the thieves coming to kill, to steal, to destroy, and instead, if we can return our eyes and our focus where it needs to be onto Jesus, where we can get encouragement together, and I think that's it.
Paul Hansen (03:44):
I think such an important thing, and we can bring that joy, I think as far as a perspective for all of us, I think we're all better for it.
Frank Barry (03:52):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, man, let's talk outreach. I mean, you've done a lot, actually. Let's start with you.
Frank Barry (04:00):
How did you get into ministry, and what's your journey been like to this spot?
Paul Hansen (04:06):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We had a chance to chat around this a little bit, but so the church I'm at presently, God's given me the grace to be here for about 20 years now.
Frank Barry (04:14):
That's a good run right there.
Paul Hansen (04:18):
Yeah, so I started when I was 9. Dang it. Yeah, no, again, that would be an absolute lie. I've been here for 20 years. We've been here, my wife and I, Amy, have served this particular church, Grace Community, a couple different capacities over the years. I think I chatted about this a little bit with you, but we were their ministry development pastor for a number of years, their executive pastor, and presently, I serve in the area of global outreach.
Paul Hansen (04:49):
Coming to the idea of global outreach, I think, well, firstly, if we're really going to be world-class Christians, we really need to be global minded because that's just simply the heart of God. No matter what our capacity is as we serve, we just need to have that sort of lens. We can't get myopic, and so many times, it's just so easy just because in ministry, there's so many things that just like, man.
Paul Hansen (05:13):
A lot of times, there's things that can encourage us and take our perspective, but things that discourage us and take our perspective, and just take us from out here into here. That's too bad, because I think when we don't have a wider lens, in terms of far as for all the things that God is up to across the globe, we really miss out, and one of my very favorite verses just talks about the endgame.
Paul Hansen (05:37):
The endgame is scriptures make it pretty plain. Some from every tribe, some from every nation, and will be there. At the end of the day, we just simply need to have a heart that has at least a focus to that sort of perspective from to the end of the earth.
Paul Hansen (05:52):
In here, as a global outreach pastor, a couple things that we've tried to do, probably one thing that we've been working on over this past year is just as far as really sousing out what does it really mean when we talk about this idea of global outreach? It sounds really big, sounds really impressive, sounds that sort of thing, but really, it's just our biblical responsibility for every single believer that we'd have again, that sort of focus.
Paul Hansen (06:18):
We kind of take it from the idea of, far as for in the great commission when Jesus challenged us, he said all authority in heaven and earth have been given to me, therefore, go and make disciples in all the nations. The idea here is, far as when he gave us our marching orders, told us that we're to be about when the loss, or building them up, and equipping the worker, and so as we have that focus, what we like to talk about here at this particular church, is we like to branch out.
Paul Hansen (06:48):
When we are branching out, we try to break it down to three different ways. One, we will want to talk about what does it really mean when we just simply can cross the street with the gospel? This is the opportunity that I have to reach out to friends and neighbors who are in my walks of life, my circles.
Paul Hansen (07:06):
I think a real challenge, here's just kind of a sidebar, for guys in ministry is that many times, if we're not intentional ourselves, it's so easy just to simply have most of our friends, most of our folks that are close in, be folks who already know Jesus. When that happens, that puts us in a place where we miss out on a lot of great things, I think that God wants to do and through our life, personally, and remind us just how good it is to know Jesus.
Paul Hansen (07:36):
Anyways, but that's sort of the focus. What does it mean for me to be looking to cross the street? We also want to focus on what does it mean to cross cultures? We don't necessarily need to hop on a plane to do that. Many times, we need to, and that's good, but to cross a culture is just simply to reach out for someone who's not like me, someone who's not like me, and maybe a socioeconomic status, or someone who's not like me, in terms of melanin, or that sort of thing. We're just different.
Paul Hansen (08:03):
We try to drill into that a bit, and the third way, what we talk about is just really crossing barriers to the gospel. What do we need to do to really help people who have not yet placed their faith and trust in Jesus? Because they don't know about Jesus. They haven't heard him, they haven't heard the name. We're trying to drill into that, and so with all of those things, this is stuff that we're just trying to move towards. These aren't things that we're an expert in, by any stretch of imagination.
Frank Barry (08:30):
Yeah, yeah. How do you ... I think churches, church leaders, right, have kind of that's the big vision, the big kind of way to describe the vision.
Frank Barry (08:42):
How do you take that to the church, the membership, the people, and kind of inspire them to go do something? What does that look like?
Frank Barry (08:55):
Just practically in the church, in your communication, in your programs, or whatever you guys are doing, how does that kind of go into real practical application?
Paul Hansen (09:05):
Yeah. I think practical application maybe gets back to that idea before we even do a program, which we can. A lot of different things we can do and line up, and I think we need to be intentional with that. We're always trying to do something like that, but I think before what we need to be doing things, we really need make sure that we're being intentional, ourself.
Paul Hansen (09:29):
This idea is definitely something, I think, recently the Lord's been putting on my heart. What does it really mean to be with God before I do for God? In that respect, part of my being is trying to line up just the intentional path of my life that on a consistent basis of getting time with folks who don't know Jesus.
Paul Hansen (09:48):
Personally, before I'm talking to the rest of the church about what they can do, what am I doing, in that respect? That's not a burdensome thing. That's just a thing that, again, it's just, man, what the scripture says, is pray that you be active in sharing your faith, that you might have a good understanding of all the things we have in Jesus.
Paul Hansen (10:08):
If we don't own that up close and personal ourself, I think our doings always going to be just maybe on a programmatic level of nothing less. Just try to do that for me. One way I do that is, at least a local gym that we've been a part of, actually, my wife and I do that together. We're taking a little bit of a hiatus on some things right now.
Paul Hansen (10:36):
I'm actually in the middle of training for a half marathon with my oldest daughter, so old dad trying to keep up with a young woman doing as best he can.
Frank Barry (10:44):
I get it. Hey, I have triplet nine-old-boys, so I still got time.
Paul Hansen (10:50):
Frank Barry (10:51):
But I'm right there with you. I got to be able to keep up at least-
Paul Hansen (10:56):
Well, that's good. I remember, when I was running with my girl in high school, too, my oldest girl, and I remember, I don't know we were running a 5K together, and I thought we were doing pretty good . I just thought this is great keeping pace with her. Of course, this is the first third of the race, and of course, at this point I'm 100% spent. Then, finally, she just sort of just kind of sighs and says, "Well, dad, I'll see you later," and then just like pow, she's just gone.
Frank Barry (11:22):
She's like, are you warmed up yet, dad. We're going to start running.
Paul Hansen (11:26):
I'm in the middle of a hard race, and it's like, what do you mean?
Frank Barry (11:31):
Paul Hansen (11:32):
Yeah. Oh, well.
Frank Barry (11:34):
No, that's awesome, so anyways, you're going to the gym.
Paul Hansen (11:36):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Frank Barry (11:36):
[inaudible 00:11:36] your personal, personal outreach, and personal kind of just efforts, right. I mean, I love that. I guess, I think every church leader, right, being the example to the people around you is kind of critical, right. People will be inspired by your life.
Frank Barry (12:00):
Great leaders don't always have to say a lot of things, or put a lot of programs in place, or whatever. People are inspired by being around them and the life they live, and they want to kind of imitate that just by seeing it.
Frank Barry (12:12):
I think kind of what you're saying is really important. If you can infect a bunch of people around you to want to go reach out to people at the gym, like that all just keeps growing, because it becomes peoples' life.
Paul Hansen (12:24):
Yeah. I think that just helps us when we just start trying to think through the narratives of what Jesus said what it's like, in terms of reaching a loss. He says, listen, the fields they're white unto harvest, and right before that, he says these just compelling words, "Open your eyes."
Paul Hansen (12:44):
I think sometimes just what that requires is, again, way before I'm thinking about the doing, way before I'm thinking about this program, or that program, or this effort, or that effort, man, I just need to be immersed with the opportunity that, boy, Jesus wants to use me today to simply be a light, in otherwise a dark place. In those moments, man, I tell you what, it doesn't need to be complicated.
Paul Hansen (13:10):
It's just some of those moments that I think have been particularly a highlight for me, looking back over the past several years is, yeah, there's definitely been big moments. We've seen folks come to Jesus who otherwise wouldn't, but sometimes, it's just been, "Hey, they've got a chance."
Paul Hansen (13:24):
There's a little bit level of a bit more. I'll even say authenticity, perhaps in peoples' lives, when they're just sweating together, and working really hard, and just trying to get oxygen. You get a chance to share some things that come up more quickly, and you just be say, "Hey, could I just pray for you on that right now?"
Paul Hansen (13:43):
I remember, this one guy when I offered that, we were just coming off the mat of one particular gym. It was actually a kickboxing gym is what it was, and so I just offered that. I said, "Do you mind if I just pray for you really quick on some of these things we talked about?" He's like, "You mean, like here?" I'm like, "Yeah, sure." He's like, "You could do that?" I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, we could do that." He was like, "Okay. Yeah, let's do it."
Paul Hansen (14:10):
Just prayed for him on things that he had brought up, and he was like, "Man, that's amazing. I can't believe that. Thank you so much." I think it's interesting, most people, and I feel like I've heard this story accounted for a number of other folks that have done this too, as far as won't refuse getting the opportunity if you just want to pray for them. What a great way to begin to open the door to number of other spiritual conversations in the future.
Frank Barry (14:37):
Right, right. Yeah. Definitely sets a tone, and opens up the door, right. Unless they just run for the Hills, but you'll see them at the gym again.
Paul Hansen (14:49):
That's right. That's right. And said, "There's that weird guy." That's all right.
Frank Barry (14:57):
I guess, again, getting in a little bit of the practical stuff, like I'm trying to tease out stuff that other folks thinking about wreaking their community, and maybe they're in a seat at their church, as a church leader, thinking about how to equip the church, right. I love the personal responsibility, the personal, like the leader being the example, and obviously, I think that applies to every great leader.
Frank Barry (15:23):
What have you seen change or kind of morph over the last 18 months, 24 months with COVID, and your church reaching the community? I don't know. What's it been like? Coming out of it, maybe not out of it, but coming to this point, where things are significantly different than 18, 20 months ago, what's changed and what are you guys doing?
Paul Hansen (15:48):
Yeah. I'd say a lot of things have changed, actually as it comes even to this particular position, this happened throughout the course of the pandemic. We were actually in the midst of a number of things that just required us, a lot of things from the pandemic, some other things were at work, too, but we were going through a time of just reorganization as a church.
Paul Hansen (16:11):
We were all finding our feet, and I think that's probably, and I don't know, this is where I definitely would say, this is sort of situation that we're in, is just we're beggar, where we found some bread. We'll share what we've got, but man, we need a lot ourselves.
Frank Barry (16:25):
Paul Hansen (16:28):
In terms of a number-wise, sharing this with you earlier, we basically, we're about half the size of the church that we were prior to the pandemic. A lot of that is kind of set up for showing, I think, maybe some innate weaknesses that, we, as a church, and I would say probably others had within, too.
Paul Hansen (16:47):
I don't know if really the pandemic caused as much as it revealed, and so I think, presently, at this point, I think one of the most important things, even before, although there's a number of ways that we're still trying to just even just help our folks, what does it mean to reach out specifically to schoolteachers right now?
Paul Hansen (17:05):
It's one thing that we're starting to head into, just been having obviously a very, very trying time. How can we bless community leaders and civil servants, who've been just raked over the coals? We're trying to just kind of hone in on that.
Paul Hansen (17:21):
We've had a number of, actually even, some places, not only have we encouraged folks to do that, we've also had some coordinated events to help just bring that focus specifically to, I think, those that have been really been hit hardest. I think that's something would really bless the heart of God when we have that sort of focal point, as far as, this is definitely, I think, a context of the least of these in that respect. We've done it unto him, so let's go for it.
Paul Hansen (17:46):
We've done all that, but let's say what we've been learning is, is that, man, gosh, the prayer that Jesus started for the church millennials ago, is something we still need to make sure that we are praying, ourselves. That we'd pray that we would be one as you Jesus, and the father are one.
Paul Hansen (18:03):
What is too bad, quite frankly, was that to see where we were as a church is like, man, just go ahead, pick any issue. Let's pick on masks, shall we? Let's do it. It's just like, man, here, you got this thing that, for some reason, had the power of being so divisive that it was stronger than at least what we professed the blood of Jesus to be.
Paul Hansen (18:31):
I don't know about you, but I find that enormously convicting, regardless of what side you are on those particular issues, just the fact that that lack of unity was there, and again, I think we can say in the end, we can say, "God, thank you for your mercy and simply revealing what we needed to see."
Paul Hansen (18:50):
When God says, "I test the heart," it's not because God says, "Man, I wonder what's in their heart?" It's like, no, he knows what's in our wicked little heart. We need to see what's in our hearts, and so getting a chance to see some of those things gives us the opportunity. "Why would he do that?" It gives us the opportunity then, so that we can repent of those things, and continue to reach towards him and trust him in the process.
Paul Hansen (19:19):
I'd say it's been, of all things, we've continued to do things that we know are right, in terms of, far as for, as I mentioned, some of those other practical things, reaching out to the community, reaching out to those, but in the process, boy, our prayer that we would be one, as Jesus and the father are one, and where we've seen where we have been the cause of this unit, may we be the one quickest to humble ourself before the Lord, and so that he could lift us up and due time.
Frank Barry (19:50):
Right. Yeah, yeah. I love that. How have you guys, in terms of unity, and navigating the mask issue, or social justice, or race, or in just any of the stuff that has bubbled up, politics, obviously. I mean, I think all of that stuff plays a role in community outreach, right. Like tying it back to kind of what you do and what you're focused on. Like figuring that stuff out, and it's really hard.
Frank Barry (20:19):
I would put church leaders in the bucket of kind of teachers, and police force, and hospital workers, right, the front-line people that have in different ways been on the front lines for all of this stuff over the last year to two years.
Frank Barry (20:40):
I mean, I've just heard from a lot of pastors that it's been really hard, because they're stuck in this spot where they want to help people fix their eyes on Jesus, and be disciples, and live like Jesus would through all of this. But, man, it's really hard, and people get caught up in all these different things, and it's just hard, and pastors are stuck going, "What do I do? How do I lead through this? How do I help people?" They focus on Jesus.
Frank Barry (21:08):
Anyways, that's just a lot of words to say, how have you guys kind of reached the community and been the light through all of this? Like [inaudible 00:21:20] you've done well?
Paul Hansen (21:22):
Let me pause before we get into the formal things, back to the church, I just want to just grab ahold of that real quick, what you brought up, and I really appreciate you just bringing that to the forefront.
Paul Hansen (21:33):
If you, or anyone else, who've been paying attention to a lot of the headlines, as they go past, you've seen a wake of destruction in the wider evangelical church over these past number of months. Some of it you could say, they brought upon themselves. Some of it might have been started before the pandemic, but the net yield is all the same. There is a wide swath of devastation that has gone in within the leadership of the local church, and you can [inaudible 00:22:00] church, specifically.
Paul Hansen (22:02):
Part of my heart, my wife's heart, on terms, we have a heart to see that those things would continue to be addressed, not just from the pandemic, but would continue to be addressed effectively. One thing that I would say as a whole, the evangelical church, we've done poorly on is really seeing that our pastors and our leaders are in a position of health and strength in administering from a place of where they can be restored, as necessary.
Paul Hansen (22:35):
I don't mean just from quote unquote, the big sins. I'm meaning, just as far as the practicality of day-to-day life, that, boy, our pastors, and our leaders, I think are often put in positions in places where no one is caring for the shepherd, and there's not enough really been put forward to see that they can be leading from a place of strength.
Paul Hansen (23:00):
All the time, I hear people want, "Oh yeah, we want a stronger church. We want stronger influence for the gospel." In the end, they'd say, "Do you know what? You want a stronger church, then you need a stronger leader." If you want a younger leader, then you need to see that they're positioned to lead and to love out of a powerful restorative life-giving influence.
Paul Hansen (23:18):
The only way that's possible is if there is at least some greater intentionality, which is at least what has been really on my heart more recently, and my wife's heart, we both actually come from, not only we've been in full-time ministry ourself, now for 27 years, we both come from full-time ministry homes.
Paul Hansen (23:35):
I grew up as a-
Frank Barry (23:37):
Second gen or?
Paul Hansen (23:38):
Second generation, yeah, so yeah. I grew up as a PK. She grew up as an MK. Together, we were TO, theological offspring, and then now, we've had our kids, I guess that goes even further. It's just like, man, so I think we, at least, are at least mildly familiar with the challenges that come from that. A tremendous place of privilege, and something I would never, ever, ever change, regardless, but it also comes with a very unique set of pressures and difficulties that we, as a wider church, I think, need to say, yes, I'm willing to do something about that.
Paul Hansen (24:14):
Some things that my wife and I have been dreaming and working on towards, as far as what do we do to really see that we can effectively network pastors together in a place that they are safe in which to share, what can we do to see that some of coaching issues that maybe perhaps need to be identified, or dealt with, both either in the home, or in the church, and what can we do to just simply provide space?
Paul Hansen (24:34):
Sometimes, it's interesting, I've talked with this one gal, she's a young single gal. Actually, excuse me, she just got married, and now even has a little kid of her own, but she was speaking of the years growing up when her dad was a pastor, who is no longer a pastor. When I talked to her, I said, "Tell me about, as far as for your dad, and some of those transitions there, especially at the end were kind of difficult, what was that like for you?"
Paul Hansen (25:03):
She said, "My dad was just a great leader, and I think he could have made it if someone just would've given him a break, but no one would give him a break." It's just like, man, it's like, oh, that is so, so I think such a deep convicting thing for the wider church, that we have somehow created an atmosphere where that wasn't okay for, at least a pastor, to take a break.
Paul Hansen (25:35):
Anyways, yeah, I didn't want to get hijacked, too COVID, but that's pretty huge.
Frank Barry (25:40):
COVID, and everything else around this time, hasn't helped that. It's made it harder, I think. Not trying to kind of lament the difficulties of being a pastor for everybody. Like people do it because it's their passion, it's their heart. They feel called, and that's why they do it. It's not because it's easy. It's not because it pays the best. It's not because glory or anything like that.
Frank Barry (26:07):
As with being a police officer, or a doctor, or a nurse, or a teacher, like all these things, people don't do them for the glory, and the money, and those kind of things. They do them because they love whatever that profession is.
Paul Hansen (26:20):
Frank Barry (26:20):
But it's hard when you're stuck, as a church leader of any level, and you're kind of stuck in the middle on a lot of these topics, decisions, just debates, right, about of is right to wear the mask, or not wear the mask? Then, you got people in your church that fall on either side, and now, you're stuck in a pretty difficult place.
Frank Barry (26:45):
Anyways, there's a lot there, and I've done some, not a ton of episodes on it, but I did one recently. I interviewed a pastor, and we talked all about kind of mental health, and his groups, and counseling, and pastor's groups, and things that have helped him really make it through times like this. You need those networks, you need those people that are in your corner, just believing in you, and kind of fighting in the trenches with you, regardless of kind of what the drama is, but they're with you. I think that's important.
Paul Hansen (27:22):
Frank Barry (27:22):
Let's just jump back into the outreach thing. What about online? A lot has changed. I'm sure, going online has been a big thing for you guys over the last couple of years.
Frank Barry (27:34):
I don't know. What around outreach, and reaching your community, and reaching the world, globally, have you guys seen into terms of doing church online?
Paul Hansen (27:44):
Well, for sure, I would be totally remiss not to say that there wasn't some really great wins through COVID, which I think, through the pandemic and everything, really helped us to maybe stretch our lens a little bit, in terms of what we thought was possible for many churches. Of course, you've seen that things that they weren't even doing at all online suddenly, obviously, it all was online.
Paul Hansen (28:02):
Those are things, I think, that we can truly to be thankful for. I guess I'm having out the opportunity. There's a number of dear friends and ministry partners all around the continent of Africa that I've had the chance to, over the past number of years, sometimes be with in-person. I've always enjoyed that, but now, at least, there's at least more opportunity to stay, at least, maybe perhaps more consistent contact.
Paul Hansen (28:26):
If it be, again, through doing short Zoom conferences with a number of leaders, or if it be simply staying much more in contact and intentional, via WhatsApp with ministry opportunities, challenges, and prayers, and being a part. Those things, I think, we can really say again, plus, plus, plus. None of the stuff of the pandemic, obviously, sidelined the Lord's ideas and stuff. This is stuff that just, again, I think, has helped a great deal press us into new ways of thinking about stuff.
Paul Hansen (29:00):
I think on the other side, though, that as far as when it is, again, possible to be together, and I think if anything, what the pandemic has also taught is that shoot, it's a great opportunity to expand new spheres we might have missed. It also shows us how much we need one another.
Paul Hansen (29:20):
I think of what Paul in the Philippians, "My being with you, your joy will be made full," and so the idea here of that being, again, in far as for what we can have anything, hopefully, it is just turned up a notch, in terms of the levels of importance that Hebrews admonishes us. Hey, now, what is possible for us, don't be in the habit of some, who forget to gather together, but encourage one another, all the more as you see the day approaching.
Paul Hansen (29:56):
I think if anything, maybe perhaps it's turned up the meter, the importance of getting that time together and being a bit more intentional in that respect.
Frank Barry (30:05):
Paul Hansen (30:07):
The win, I think, creative opportunities using particularly, as far as the mediums, when really just gathering is not possible either on a health perspective, or on a travel perspective. There's still ways to be a bit more intentional, and maybe we were prior to that, and I think those are just good things, and as much as we can keep dialing on it, great.
Paul Hansen (30:29):
Hopefully, if it can be galvanizing towards our convictions, when we can gather, shoot, we better be making the most of these opportunities, in that respect.
Frank Barry (30:38):
Right, right. How are you guys getting people back in the building?
Frank Barry (30:44):
Your point about gathering, right. It's massively important, and I think the whole world, the light has been put on the fact that people need to get together with people.
Frank Barry (30:58):
It's so important, we were created in this way to be social, to have relationships, to connect with others, and you can do it on Zoom, and you can do it on video, but it's not the same. I think everybody knows and craves that real getting together, and being with my family, being with my friends, being with my small group, being at church. At the same time, churches are having a hard time getting people back in the building for lots of reasons, all related to everything that's going on.
Frank Barry (31:28):
What are you guys up to? How's it going? What do you feel like is connecting with people to get back in that kind of community?
Paul Hansen (31:37):
Yeah, that's such a great question. I remember at the beginning, the start of our time here together, we talked about that one thing that was helpful, even if it was unfortunate through the pandemic, was it was very revealing to see like, okay, the level of unity we thought was there actually was not there.
Frank Barry (31:53):
Paul Hansen (31:53):
It looks a number of things that we thought everyone held to as primary importance, they said, "No, these things are more important." Then, it gives us the opportunity to correct.
Paul Hansen (32:01):
One thing that then, just even then through this interim period, what we noticed is that we get some folks, that perhaps they've tasted of the gospel. They've tasted of the Lord. They've seen that he's good. But it's just like, "Man, so you mean, all I need to do is just kind of stroll over to this couch and turn it on? Isn't that cool? Is that it?"
Paul Hansen (32:25):
Last I checked, I don't think that's actually going to make the disciple that makes the disciple that we say we're about. It's just not going to do it. Part of our solution, not that we're in a sense trying to be heavy-handed, but we're like, "Okay, we're enabling the problem if we just say, this is the plan."
Paul Hansen (32:46):
There's a delightful little switch on your live streams, I'm not sure if you've found it or not, but it's actually called off, and so, for our streaming of, like for instance, our services. We've actually gone to making the decision, we've turned it off. It's not that we don't record anymore. It's not that we don't make it available online in the future, but if you want to participate in the present, we are actually encouraging you to come out and join us.
Frank Barry (33:14):
Paul Hansen (33:14):
Because we value in that happening, and so if it's absolutely impossible, hey, great. We're going to have it posted up online for you, catch it later, but it's not a substitute just to kind of hang out indefinitely with no further plan.
Paul Hansen (33:28):
We want you to, again, some folks will feel differently. Don't go past your comfort level, feel safe if that's what it is, but we're also, then ... What we're trying to do is be strategic enough to, at least, love you enough. Maybe that's what we're saying, to love you enough to say, "For your best, we really believe you need to be with other believers."
Paul Hansen (33:48):
It may not be possible for you, and that's okay, but if it is possible, we're going to make it, at least, a little bit more desirable, and so we've clicked that off.
Frank Barry (33:58):
When did you do that?
Paul Hansen (33:59):
Oh, I think, let's see. We're probably about four months in now to that, maybe.
Frank Barry (34:05):
Paul Hansen (34:05):
It's been a little while.
Frank Barry (34:07):
When you did it, what was the response?
Paul Hansen (34:09):
I think, honestly, what people are responsive to, is they just need to have, I think, it gives a chance. You're not going to please everybody. I think, we all found that, hopefully, now. It's just like you think you just got to say, "This is, versus we prayed about it, and determined this is the best that we believe what we need to do at this time."
Paul Hansen (34:25):
We were trying to be consistent about it, too. We had other, for instance, smaller gatherings, where they were kind of doing the same thing that we just asked them to follow suit.
Paul Hansen (34:35):
That's just like, "Okay, so if you're meeting, where you can make something available for the future, but in terms as far for live stream, we're not doing live streams. We're either in-person or we're not, and if you want to record it great, but for as far as for live streams, we're just holding off on that right now."
Frank Barry (34:51):
Yeah, and when you did it, did you see over the course of weeks or months, like attendance kind of creep up a bit, more people coming in-person?
Paul Hansen (35:01):
Yep. Yep, and I think, again, maybe if I can go back all the way to the thing, way, way, way in the start of the pandemic, when some of our personal pain, when we were trying to navigate net mask, no mask, how we do all that, it was interesting.
Paul Hansen (35:17):
One thing that I had a chance to observe was a place that I go, the gym that my wife and I attend, they were actually much more of a liberal approach, because in our state, they could do it that way. They just made the decision and went on, and one thing that was a little bit sad to me was that there was a whole lot less drama at that gym than there was at my church.
Paul Hansen (35:46):
People just sort of like, well, they were good with it, because it just was like, it was clear. It was decided they weren't trying to please everybody. They said, "This is what it is. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine, maybe there's someone else, it will work."
Paul Hansen (35:58):
I think, again, if you can be clear, if we're going to be really godly in our communication, it's not going to be because you please everybody. It's going to be because you're clear. I think godly communication, in the end, is clear communication, and those are things that I've, personally, had to repent over.
Paul Hansen (36:15):
I think, oftentimes, many times in the past, just try to do what you can to kind of make it good for all, "Hey, don't want to do that," and I think in the end, you got to make it clear, have some good godly counsel with you. You got to have a good plethora of counselors around you, but then you, I think, to make the most godly decision, you just got to be clear and just say, "This is what it is," and then you just, biding except for something else really else happening that you just didn't plan on at all, just stick to it.
Frank Barry (36:45):
Right. Yeah, stick to it and roll. Well, man, this has been awesome. I don't want to take up a ton more time.
Frank Barry (36:51):
Let me ask you two quick closing questions.
Paul Hansen (36:52):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, this has been great.
Frank Barry (36:54):
Give us a book that you would recommend to other church leaders. It could be on any topic, but something that's inspired you that you're like, "Oh, you got to read this one."
Paul Hansen (37:05):
Oh, very good. Okay. Well, I would say this is one that I just personally love. It's called Get Your Life Back, Get Your Life Back, and is by John Eldredge.
Frank Barry (37:21):
Paul Hansen (37:21):
I don't necessarily endorse 100% of everything, but I'd say, man, if you want to be challenged, personally, as a church leader, specifically, I'd say this is a book for our time. Huge.
Frank Barry (37:34):
Paul Hansen (37:34):
Frank Barry (37:35):
Get Your Life Back.
Paul Hansen (37:37):
Just probably finished it a couple weeks ago.
Frank Barry (37:38):
Love it. Okay. Last question, what's a podcast that you're currently listening to?
Paul Hansen (37:44):
Podcast. You know what, tell you what, I kind of jump around to a number of different ones, but a great podcast that is just fun to jump into particular, so if you want to start wrestling around with this idea of effective global outreach. It comes from an organization called 1615 by Matt Ellison, and I think it has a cleverer name, but if you Google that 1615 podcast.
Frank Barry (38:12):
Like spelled out, or the numbers?
Paul Hansen (38:14):
The numbers, 1615, it comes from Mark 16:15 that we would be ultimately reaching the gospel, the ends of the earth.
Frank Barry (38:23):
I love that.
Paul Hansen (38:24):
1615, Matt Ellison. Just an extra free one, as far as a book that he recently put out, that particular fellow Matt Ellison, author of the same, would be a book called When Everything Is Mission.
Paul Hansen (38:40):
Go ahead, check that out. Again, just to kind of tickle your thoughts, as it pertains to global outreach opportunities.
Frank Barry (38:46):
I love that. Love that. Well, man, it's been good to have you on, and to talk about all the things going on over there, and your role, and just the work you guys are doing.
Frank Barry (38:55):
I hope this episode encourages a ton of other church leaders out there.
Paul Hansen (38:58):
Awesome. Frank, thank you so much. It's been great just to spend the time together. Really appreciate it.
Frank Barry (39:02):
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, everybody, for watching or for listening.
Frank Barry (39:07):
We'll catch you next week with another episode of Modern Church Leader. See ya.
Paul Hansen (39:10):
See you later, guys.
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