Join us today for Part 4 of the Interview with Dr. Gary Brown from E2 Effective Elders...
This is Part 4 of the interview I had with speaker, pastor, and teacher Dr. Gary Johnson.
In today’s interview with Dr. Gary Johnson, I ask Gary about his definition of stewardship. I ask Gary about the key to making an impact and I ask him to talk about his dreams for his legacy.
Join in on the Chat below.
00:00:00 Thanks for joining us on episode 631 of the inspired stewardship podcast. Hey friends, my name is Dr. Gary Johnson and uh, I serve as the executive director of
00:00:30 having the ability to grow yourself through self leadership is key. And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this. The inspired stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Mader Probably depend largely on what Jesus said in the Royal commandments. Love God. Follow your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love people, your neighbor as yourself, both.
00:01:04 Those are principles by which to live. Think with me when he said, love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Matthew, or excuse me, Mark chapter 12 verse 30 and 31 Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time,
00:01:26 your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the inspired stewardship podcast, we'll will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact The world. And today's interview with Dr. Gary Johnson. I asked Gary about his definition of stewardship. I asked Gary to share his keys to making an impact and I asked him about his dreams for his own legacy.
00:02:02 One reason I like to bring you great interviews like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books, but if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read and that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible.
00:02:23 Go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from and instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books. The same way you're listening to this podcast. Dr. Gary Johnson has served in the preaching ministry for four decades.
00:02:57 He now leads
00:03:35 Jared and Aaron who are both serving in the ministry. His pursuits outside of church life include running, mountain climbing, racquetball cycling and backpacking. Still one of the greatest joys in life for Gary is being called grandpa by his six grandkids. Welcome to the show, Gary. Well, thank you Scott. It's a privilege to be invited. So one question that I ask everyone is about,
00:04:01 you know, the title of the show stewardship. We've used that word a few times over the last few weeks, but can you define what stewardship is both personally for you as well as from a ministry leadership position? How, how should ministry leaders think about stewardship and then what impact that this definition has had on your life? Um, stewardship to me as,
00:04:25 uh, we've said before, uh, in conversation, it involves every aspect of life. It is not limited to money. A whole lot of people just think stewardship is about money and the things that money can buy that is just part of the, the meaning of stewardship. When we look in the word of God, uh, the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians chapter six,
00:04:54 you are not your own. You are bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body. So every aspect of our lives, our physical body, how we care for it, are we resting, exercising, eating well, smartly, uh, our minds, we are accountable, uh, with regard to our mind. Even our mouths, the words we speak,
00:05:24 Jesus said, you're going to be held accountable for every word that you have spoken. You said in Matthew chapter 12, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks meaning out of the abundance of the interior world. The word heart means interior world. He's not talking about our cardiac muscle. He's talking about our interior world. So whatever I'm thinking in my mind,
00:05:43 whatever attitudes I'm harboring within me, it's going to spill out of my mouth. And stewardship to me is an accountability. Accountability is woven throughout the word of God. Uh, and, and it's a good thing. Accountability is a good thing. Um, there's nothing to fear about being held accountable. Um, whether at work or whether in a church setting,
00:06:10 in a marriage, we should want standards of accountability because living and examined life is a good thing. Even Satan. Think with me in the book of job, chapter one and chapter two, job appears in the presence of God. And we want to ask, he says, where are you, Ben? Boy, what you've been up to. He holds him accountable.
00:06:35 And we in the spirit of stewardship, need to be giving an account. I need to take care of my vehicles, my home, my yard, all that God has entrusted to me. I need to be a steward, a caretaker of everything that he's given to me. Okay. And that includes my mind, my body, uh, so much more than just my money.
00:07:04 Yeah. Unfortunately, I, and a lot of churches, um, you know, the joke that I use that, uh, isn't really a joke, is that stewardship is often mean hold onto your wallet because we're starting a building campaign and it's like, you know, that's not really the meaning of the word, unfortunately. We've turned it into that.
00:07:21 Yeah. We're, we're stewards of our relationships, our marriages, our children, our grandchildren, our friendships. We are stewards of all of that. So if someone really wants to make a dent in the universe, uh, I, I liked the way that Steve jobs frames. Is that a, a dent in the universe, water, the top two or three principles that you would say that they need to learn to really be able to,
00:07:47 to focus on making a positive impact on the world? Mmm, I would, uh, probably, uh, depend largely on what Jesus said in the Royal commandments. Love God. All of your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love people, your neighbor as yourself. Uh, those, those are principles by which to live. Think with me when he said,
00:08:14 love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Matthew or excuse me, Mark chapter 12, verse 30 and 31, he's talking about your whole being. Your heart is your interior being your mind, your intellect or your heart is your emotion. Mind is the intellect. Uh, heart, mind, soul. That's your spirit and strength.
00:08:36 That's your physical body. So every aspect of your existence love God with every part of your being. What a principle by which to live. That's a, and then love your neighbor as yourself. And your neighbor is anybody who crosses path with you can be at work, at school, it can be in the church, can be in the neighborhood, can be in the extended family.
00:08:57 Um, uh, so I believe that those are principles by which to, uh, live, uh, a very God honoring life. And then Jesus said, uh, for on these, the rest of the law and the prophets hang everything else stems from that. You know, when, when we choose to be full of the Holy spirit. Ephesians chapter five,
00:09:18 verse 18, uh, we read that the apostle Paul says, don't get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the spirit and he's referring obviously the Holy spirit. Here's a principle. When I am filled with the spirit, God in my skin, first of all, God has no skinny spirit. Jesus is God with skin.
00:09:41 He became flesh and dwelt among us. The Holy spirit is God in our skin. So if I'm filled by him, that means I'm living under his authority. And that that closeness to God is again, that hunger for God, that being anchored in his word, that spiritual discipline of seeking after God. When God is existing in me, what am I going to do?
00:10:12 I'm going to bear the fruit of the Holy spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Galatians five 22 and 23 when when he's filling me and I'm yielding to him, yielding to his Lordship, that's what he's going to bear in my life. Now, that's not a complete list. Paul gave to us nine fruit of the spirit.
00:10:32 He could have added many, many more and right after that says against such things, there is no law who would write a law against being a person of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, et cetera. Who would make a law against treating people kindly? So if I want principles by which to live a life of influence effectively until the day I draw my last breath,
00:10:56 it has everything to do with loving God, loving people, and I can do that through the Holy spirit. God in my skin, empowering me. Greater is he who is in me than he who is in this world. First John four. Four. So Gary, if you could travel into the far future, maybe a hundred, 150 years into the future and look back on your life,
00:11:25 what impact do you hope you've had on the world? I would say Scott. Um, hopefully, um, I have, uh, pursued the great commission that Jesus has given to me, uh, to make disciples of all nations. You know, followers of Jesus, immersing them in the name of the father, son, Holy spirit and teaching to obey all that he has commanded me.
00:11:55 Now that sounds intimidating, man. How can I do that? And anybody who's a follower of Jesus needs to pursue that and the great commission we have to always remember it comes with a great companion, uh, the great companion. And lo, I will be with you always, even to the end of the age. I'm going to be with you in this.
00:12:13 You can do this. And so if I were looking in the future, I hope that I will have fulfilled my vision statement of providing help for today. Hope for tomorrow, bringing people to a saving knowledge of Jesus and then growing them in the faith, growing them in Christ. And that's not the role of a preacher. It's the role of anybody who's a follower of Jesus.
00:12:37 Um, so Yeah, one of the things I encourage late lady direct recognizes the priesthood of all believers. You know, that at the end of the day we're all called to commit the great commission, not just the, not just the folks that happen to be at the far front of the church that Sunday. Absolutely. So what's coming next for you as you continue on your journey to living out your call and impacting the world?
00:13:02 Um, the, um, the Lord has really, um, laid on my heart a concern for elders in the church. And um, so this ministry, uh, that we have of coaching elders to lead all the more effectively in the local church. I, I see myself being called of God to do that, uh, until I can do no more.
00:13:32 Because, you know, you know, as well as I do, a church can have a very gifted staff. They can have men and women leading that church, uh, with great capability. But if you do not have lay leaders, uh, leading alongside of them who are equally effective, the church will not be at its, uh, will not reach its potential.
00:13:55 So, uh, that's what I want to do. I, um, I have had hundreds upon hundreds of students in seminary who were, uh, preparing for, uh, ordained vocational ministry. Uh, but now I'm done grading papers. I'm not going to do another lecture. I'm not going to grade a thesis of somebody's master's degree. It is all about drawing alongside elders to help them lead the church for the glory of God in almost a Christ exalting way.
00:14:25 So Gary, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener? Uh Hmm. Yeah, I, you know, I think that, um, something that has really helped me, um, my mom and dad were, uh, they're, they're both home with the Lord now, but just very common people. And, uh, I didn't inherit gobs of money or acres of ground stock portfolios for my parents,
00:14:54 but I inherited something from my mom and my dad, both uniquely to each of them that has been beyond monetary value. And here's what I inherited from my mom that I would leave with your listeners. When my mom was born, she was the first child. Her mom died giving birth to her. So at birth she lost her mom. When my mom was five years old,
00:15:21 her dad committed suicide by hanging because he could not get over the grief. Mom was adopted by her grandma, her dad's mom and grandma Ritz raised my mom. And, uh, the week of my mom's high school graduation, grandma Ritz died of a massive heart attack at home. And then mom met my dad. They fell in love and they got married.
00:15:47 Um, and my mom's uncle, uncle Reinhart gave her a way, uh, in the wedding, kind of like a, an adopted dad. Well, uncle Reinhardt, right after mom and dad married, he contracted cancer and mom took care of uncle Reinhardt in their little two bedroom, newlywed apartment until the day that he died in their apartment and then mom and dad became pregnant with their first child.
00:16:15 My sister Mary and Mary lived one day after she was delivered and by the time my mom was 22 years of age, her mom died. Her dad died, her grandma died. Who raised her? Her uncle died, who gave her away in her wedding and her first child died by the age of 22 if anybody could be mad at God, it could have been my mom.
00:16:42 But what I inherited from my mom, Scott, was this in indomitable ability to see what is right with life. I grew up, I would complain about something and my mom would look at me and she'd say, Gary, you'd get a life. There are people with far greater problems in you, young man. And she would put me in my place over and over again and I learned to look for what was good in life.
00:17:04 I never once heard my mom complain. I didn't hear my mom criticized people. She just had this sweet spirit of Jesus where she saw everything that was good in the land of the living. And so Psalm 27, verse 13 and verse 14 have become huge in my life, all my life. Uh, and that verse says, but I am still confident of this.
00:17:28 I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. So this side of heaven, I'm going to see God's goodness when today if I open my eyes, I will see his goodness in my life. This side I haven't been, and I'm, I can be confident of this. And then verse 14 says, wait on the be strong.
00:17:50 Take heart and wait on the Lord. And that has changed my life. Every morning a huge part of my morning devotions. I journal from the last 24 hours item after item after item of how I saw the goodness of the Lord. And, uh, I have journals just full full of all of these. I'm not asking God for anything. I'm thanking God for everything.
00:18:17 And I, and I would just say to people, please lift your eyes onto the Hills and look, you will see God's indescribable mercy, grace, his love for you today. Um, because of his great compassion, we are not consumed. His mercies never fail. They are new every morning for great is his faithfulness. New mercies today, this morning,
00:18:40 all I have to do is look for them. Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode, please, please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes
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Probably depend largely on what Jesus said Love God with all of your heart mind and strength and love people. - Dr. Gary Johnson
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