Podcast: Co-Leading With Your Spouse

Every church has unique power dynamics, but imagine sharing equal leadership duties with your spouse. Bianca Olthoff doesn’t have to imagine because she and her husband Matt co-lead the rapidly growing Father’s House Church in Orange County, California.

In this episode of Church InTension, Dr. Jon Chasteen talks with Bianca about what it’s like to co-lead The Father’s House with Matt and how they maintain a work-life balance.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Today is one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet in your life, Bianca Olthoff and she’s an author, she’s a speaker, and she’s a Christian leader. Her and her husband Matt co-lead a church called the Father’s House Church in Orange County, California. And this girl is not afraid of any topic. She will talk about anything. That’s why she’s such a good candidate for a host on the Church InTension podcast. And we’re going to talk about, I don’t know what we’re going to talk about. It’s going to be a great day, but she has an amazing podcast that I really would encourage you to go listen to. And the name of her podcast will let you know her personality. The name of her podcast is We’re Going There. I love that title. She’s written a few books. She wrote a book called Play with Fire, and then she wrote a book called How to Have Your Life Not Suck. Can we say that as Christians?

Bianca Olthoff:  We could totally say that. We could totally say that.

Jon: How to Have Your Life Not Suck, she talks about relationships. She’ll talk about race relations, fashion. This girl is super fashionable. I don’t know if we’re going to get into that, because I don’t know how to talk about fashion, Bianca. But Bianca you’re my friend. Thank you so much for being on my podcast, I know you’re a busy girl.

Bianca:  No, I’m honored. I’m honored. And after the introduction, I always knew we were cool and I hope that we were cool, but you should call me your friend. We were a different, we text each other about good hotel recommendations where you and Michelle like to stay. We like to text each other, some beverages of choices that we prefer.

Jon: That’s right. That’s right.

Bianca: We like to talk about different conferences who we’re listening to. So, oh, my favorite though is my favorite is like, now we’re getting we’re really going there already because I will admit and confess that Matt Olthoff, my husband had a Peloton riding bike war. You were like the metrics. You were the bar of like, whoa, look at how Jon slang. And he came in one day, he came in with his cycle cleats on just to tell me that he beat your PR.

Jon: And then what happened?

Bianca: Then you smashed it.

Jon: Then I crushed him. I crushed him.

Bianca: Oh yeah, you smashed him, put a bow on it and everything.

Jon: Well, I didn’t know we were competing. So, once he decided we were competing, now I will admit whenever I went back on and beat his time, I almost killed myself. I’m glad it wasn’t being videoed because I was laid out in the floor dying, but-

Bianca: I love it.

Jon: I love you guys so much and I admire your ministry. I admire both of you and how you work together. And I want to get into that. But I admire how you just have a love for the body of Christ and what you may not know about Bianca is she is on the circuit. This girl once she preaches the house down with fire, but she is preaching at all the top conferences you can imagine. But really what I love about you, Bianca is you have put the local church as a priority. And how long has it been since you guys launched the church?

Bianca: Thank you, friend. That means a lot coming from you. I, we really consider you a seasoned leader, a seasoned pastor as seasoned ministry leader. And so that means a lot. So, thank you. We just crossed over three years, my husband and I lead the Father’s House here in Orange County, California. But I’d like to say that we get a redo because Archer is open for 15 months and then closed for 17 months because of COVID.

Jon: That’s crazy.

Bianca: So, it’s banana. It’s just bananas. So, technically we’re three, but I like to say like our little baby was on life support, praise the Lord. She’s growing, she’s thriving. She’s back to normal, but my God, it was a little touch and go there for a moment.

Jon: And didn’t you just get a building recently.

Bianca: We got a miracle building. Yeah, actually it was in the middle of COVID. Every pastor and church leader out there is going to resonate with a, we don’t have to spend time kicking a dead horse of just how hard 2020-2021 was. However, there was some beautiful God moments in the midst of that. And so I think the silver lining for us was we were prior to COVID. We were in four different locations in two years. So, it was not even two years under two years. And it was just, it was very dramatic. It was very traumatic, but we were growing church and we didn’t want to stop and locations in Orange County were just really difficult to find.

So, in the middle of COVID, someone had said, hey, there’s that movie theater on Birch Street. And Birch Street is in a city called Brea in Orange County. And it’s a marketplace. There’s two movie theaters, there’s a Nordstrom, there’s restaurants, there’s Black House, White Market. So, there’s the Laugh Factory. There’s a lot of great little spots and I’m like, there’s no way we’re going to get this commercial real estate here. And sure enough, God done did it. And not only did he do it, but my husband is a man of German descent, which is hilarious because I’m MexiRican.

Jon: Wait, what?

Bianca: Yeah, yeah. So, we like to say we’re chips and salsa. Like he’s white and salty and then I’m fiery and they go together. So, he has the Germans, the organized man who’s got with the budget, the money and then he has a MexiRican who just wears lots of makeup, shows up and love to throw a party. So, together it’s a good thing.

But, so we had our executive pastor kind of like run numbers, his background in real estate and pharmacy. And he said, you guys, this is like $90,000 a month for rent. And Matt went in and offered 25 and they countered for 27, but not to be undone. My husband’s like, well, technically it’s COVID and we can’t meet. So, until we can legally meet, we’ll pay half of the rent.

And look at God, He made some lemonade out of lemons and what the enemy meant for evil, bro, we’re sitting in a 50,000 square foot building in downtown Brea area. And we are just, we’re blessed. We’re blessed. It’s comes with this complications but the story is beautiful. Yeah.

Jon: That’s so amazing. I’m still trying to process MexiRican. That’s amazing.

Bianca: Oh, it is the best of both worlds. It’s the Latina that’s cubed. Okay. It’s Mexican and Puerto Rican. So, it’s just like extra. Okay. It’s extra.

Jon: So, let’s rewind Bianca. I want know and I already kind of know, because I know you. But for our listeners, let’s go back to, pre now like pre Bianca, traveling, speaking, leading a church, married to an amazing man. How did you get your start? How did you get into ministry? You don’t have to lay on a couch and this isn’t a psychology session, but tell us like how this got impact and God’s obviously done amazing things in your life, but how did you get to that point?

Bianca: Okay. Honestly, I wish it was more romanticized than this, but I said I would never be a ministry. I would never marry a pastor and-

Jon: Me too.

Bianca: And all of these nevers. And then I realize how God works now. And so now I’m saying I’ll never have a six pack. I’ll never own a boat. I’ll never have a magic because everytime I say never to God, I have to walk through. So, anyway-

Jon: Preach.

Bianca: So, actually, my father’s a pastor still is in east Los Angeles, California. 30 years is leading a church in the concrete jungles of East LA. I have so much respect for my father. I have so much love for ministry, but I also saw the sacrifice and the toll that it took on, not just him, but also our family. And so I love ministry, but I was like, it’s just not going to be for me.

I want to be in the art industry. I wanted to own my own art gallery. I was in graduate school when long story short. So, cultural background is within our church. Our spiritual cultural background is I’m so grateful. Our church loved and was passionate and is passionate about dispensing the word of God exegetically line by line verse by verse chapter, my chapter book by book.

My inordinate love for Bible teaching is directly connected to my dad. Within the church structure though it was male led and women were definitely esteemed. I mean, esteemed beautifully empowered was a different conversation. So, I just never saw women in leadership and I never, besides women’s leadership, women’s ministry. And then never saw women on an executive team or in pastoral team. So, my paradigm was that’s for men.

I’m basically my dad with hair. I love people. I love dispensing the word of God. I’m like passionate. And I was actually in graduate school and we had like a short summer break in between semesters and youth pastor new to the church was taking a hundred kids to Lake Havasu here in California and there was no female leaders and I did the Christian thing, but I didn’t mean it.

I just did the Christian thing where you say like, if you need any help brother, let me know. Well he did, he didn’t wait. And he said, yes. And then of course I’m back battling. I was like, oh, well I’m in grad school. So, I don’t have money. And he’s like, I’ll pay for you. And he wrote a check for $150. First of all, who has a checkbook nowadays? He wrote a check and he’s like, here, you’re coming to summer camp.

And while we were at this summer camp, he said, okay, we’re going to split up the guys and girls, hello, very conservative background. He’s like going to split up the guys and girls and you’re going to teach the girls. And I was like, I’m sorry, teach the girls, what teach. And he’s like, you’re going to teach your Bible said, I said, I can’t teach the Bible. Are you kidding me? He’s like, oh your dad’s a pastor you’ll be fine.

And so I’ll never forget. I taught at a Psalm 52, we opened up the word of God. And I remember being in this wooden cabin in Lake Havasu, dispensing the word of God. And it was like something in the eyes of the girls just lit up. And I was like, wait a minute. I love teaching the word of God. And I’m passionate about making the word of God alive and not just alive but applicable to our lives. It’s not some ancient book. It’s an ancient book of antiquity, but speaks to us in modernity. And that is what made me just say, I want to do this for the rest of my life. I never saw a paradigm though.

So, I was just like, well, I’m going to I’ll serve in youth ministry. But even then it was just for the girls. And then my mom had said, hey, would you mind doing like a Bible study for women? And I said, well, there’s nothing for the 20 somethings and mom like, we’re not going to go to women’s Bible studies because everyone’s like 50 going through menopause and talking about their children.

I’m just on a different trajectory. I’m in grad school, I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I don’t know if the Lord even has anyone for marriage for me. I just, I don’t know if that’s my jam. She said, well, why don’t you do something during the summer and see who comes? So, I opened up a Bible study for young women that first year we had 150, the next year we had 300, the next year we had 500 and I started to think like, oh, maybe I could do this.

And I’m just jumping loops here. But again, just, I only taught at my dad’s church and a couple churches would invite me whether it was like women’s teas or women’s retreats and that sort of stuff. But again, it was never my ambition. I never thought I could. I never wanted to was something that I just loved doing.

And I met my husband and he was on staff at a large church out in Orange County, California called Mariner big megachurch. I called it.

Jon: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Bianca: Yeah. 14 years he was on the EMT executive management team, the whole nine. Right? And so we meet on eHarmony. That’s a whole other story for a holder podcast book. I know. I know. And so-

Jon: At least it wasn’t Tinder. It’s okay.

Bianca: To be honest with you, this was like a decade ago. So, Tinder didn’t exist. This is when the Craig list pillar was still cool. And I’m like freaked out, thinking, oh my gosh, have I succumbed to online dating? I’ve seen Dateline had to catch a predator. I’m going to end up in a ditch, like all these things, I’m a catastrophe clearly. And so, anyways, we meet and we start having very interesting theological conversations.

So, Mariners’ roots are Baptist, but it’s slightly more progressive. They have past female pastors, not necessarily senior pastors, but still pastors staff and not just over student ministry, but other staffs as well. And so we had this interesting conversation where we were dating and he said, well, you’re he said something flippantly like, oh yeah, well you’re a pastor. And I was just like, hold up. I know very clearly what Paul says and we started to have a very heated, theological debate. And I said, I’m not a pastor. He said, okay, well tell me what a pastor does. And so I started listing the attributes of a pastor, and then he said, which one of those are you not doing?

Jon: Exactly.

Bianca: And then I was like, well I know and then I started to refute cultural context and I started to, and then I just started sitting with it. And I was forced to kind of wrestle with this internal question of at one point at, on someday I’m going to meet my maker and I’m going to stand before God almighty and he’s going to ask me what I did with his son. And I was so terrified that I would have to stand before my maker and say, I did not do what you’ve gifted me to do because I’m a female. And so if I err, I’m going to err, on the side of preaching the gospel, evangelizing teaching and equipping the saints. And if I’m wrong, I’m going to be wrong in a blaze of glory and God forgive me for telling people about you. So, that’s kind of like the whirlwind story.

But the pastoring thing, and yet, even then I never had the title. In fact, I never worked at a church. I was always, I never wanted to work at my dad’s church because I felt like pastor’s kids on staff was totally nepotism. And it was just because they didn’t have a life. There’s some pastor out there that’s going to be so offended. But then, hey, nobody’s going to tell you, the kid on staff is just taking the payroll.

Jon: Oh my gosh, this is what I love about Bianca.

Bianca: Hey, we’re going there. Right? Right?

Jon: I love it.

Bianca: So, anyway.

Jon: She don’t care.

Bianca: I don’t. I don’t. And so, anyway, Matt and I ended up getting married and I was still serving at my dad’s church and I was still helping out with a lot of their special events and social media. I love marketing’s. My background business is my background, business and art. So, communicating a story and making it pretty are the things that make me come alive. And I was doing at my dad’s church.

And then eventually I met a woman by the name of Christine Kane. And I knew that my season at my dad’s church was transitioning out and I didn’t, there wasn’t necessarily a spot or a role for me at Mariner’s church. And Christine offered me a job as chief storyteller. And I jumped on it and I worked for Chris for six years.

Jon: It’s so cool how my head’s spinning with 50 million different directions. I could go and want to go. But because there’s so many areas of your story that I relate to. I never wanted to be a ministry. I never want to be a pastor. I never wanted to do any of those things. And every time you say no to something, that’s when God grabs you.

But I’m even fascinated of how the Lord brought one, that he brings all these pieces of your giftings and talents together, your marketing, your art and this is how you communicate, this is how you preach. And it’s beautiful the way you do that. But how he brings all these things together and you don’t really realize he’s doing it until it’s in reverse and you look back and then it all begins to make sense and how God does that. But even more so, I think it’s fresh in my mind because we did a podcast. I don’t remember if it was last month or the month before, but we had a really, a young up and coming theologian. His name’s Dr. Swoboda and he did-

Bianca: Oh, that’s Matt professor for his PhD program.

Jon: What?

Bianca: Yes.

Jon: He was just on my podcast.

Bianca: Oh, isn’t he brilliant?

Jon: Oh, he’s amazing. He teaches some courses here at TKU some. And so we did a whole episode on deconstruction. And so really this whole idea of you having to deconstruct some of your thinking about a woman being a pastor, like you had to go through this really healthy there’s healthy deconstruction and healthy construction deconstruction. But you had to go through this process and it I’m just fascinated of how, when God has a calling and something in mind, he’ll do anything he has to do to get through to us.

You had this upbringing and it was never, never crossed your mind in a million years that you had become a pastor or preach to thousands of people or lead a church. But God got through you. God got through to that and he used Matt, obviously. I’m sure he had other voices that he brought along the way for you to go through that journey of realizing your gifting and your talent.

And then just seeing that come to fruition, it’s so cool. How many years, we’re not going to give away hints to tell people how old you are. But how many years has that been? That process, that journey, when you met Matt and that process journey began, you first started teaching for your dad to now how many years was that process?

Bianca: I would say a solid 15. So, I’ve been married 10 years, 11 years, been married 11 years to Matt. And I started teaching a little bit before that. And so, but I’ve been in ministry since I was 16, like literally dubbing tapes. Do you remember cassette tape for my dad?

Jon: What?

Bianca: Yeah. And helping out at the radio ministry for my dad, helping out the church cafe, volunteering with youth, helping as a photo fairy at the front office of the church. So, I feel like a concerted leadership teaching component would be about the last 15 years. Yeah.

Jon: So, as you’ve started this journey, so before I go there, I got a place I’m going to go. But before I go there, tell us how it looks to co-lead at the father’s house. So, I know there may be some churches where like it, where I’m the lead pastor. People may call Michelle pastor Michelle, but she does some pastoral duties, but she’s not a pastor on staff that she’s not a lot of pastor’s wives are. And she certainly doesn’t preach. If I ask her to hold a microphone, she would hit me with it. So, that’s not her jam, but you guys have such a cool, unique thing that you guys do where you truly do, at least from my perspective, you truly do co-pastor. So, what does that look like?

Bianca: Yeah. So, the way that we’ve best explained it is there’s a lot of people who will use the nomenclature co-pastors or they’re both the pastors. I think it gets a little confusing for people because the title pastor is one that carries weight. And so the way that we entered into the ministry, I think a little bit of context is when Matt had said, so a little bit of background.

Matt is a level three sommelier, he’s a wine expert. And while he was transitioning on staff at Mariners, I told him, I said, hey, I want you to find a hobby and something you’re passionate about. And so he started studying viticulture and then we started opening up our house for food and wine nights, wine education. I love to cook and he loves to educate. And we would invite the most random people from a server at a local restaurant to my yoga instructor, to neighbors, just to have conversations around the dinner table.

What we didn’t realize was that this was incarnation ministry. If you take a look at the book of Luke, Jesus is going to a dinner, he’s at a dinner or he is leaving a dinner. So, clearly life changes happening around the table. What we didn’t realize is the same thing was happening in our house so much so that one night, a girl who I will choose my words carefully, but, and I’m not one to judge, but when she said, oh, I love my church. Keep in mind, this was the night that she was wearing basically nothing. Her entire wardrobe was consistent of a ball of yarn. And she was passing like a sailor. And then she said, oh, I love my church. And I’m like, oh, what church do you go to? And she said, this, this is my church.

That night we were washing up and I was kind of recounting the story to Matt and laughing like, ha-ha, you know, what she said? She said, this was her church. And Matt was just dead serious. He said, Bi, I think we’re starting a church. And I said, Matt, I think you drank too much, we are not starting a church.

So, that’s the Genesis of the church. Right? But here’s the difference. My husband has been an ardent advocate for the voice of the other. He was the outreach pastor of Mariners. And he brought in people literally from around the globe to come in and not just talk about change, but actually implement change.

He felt like churches and staff and friends should look like the kingdom. So, it should not be monoculture, monolingual, mono color. It should look different. And so when we were talking about the church, he said, Bianca, I’m not going to do this without you. Because if the church is a family, we refer to this all the time. The church is a family and a family has, there are families that have one dad or one mom, but a successful, healthy family in the way that God has designed it, should have a mother and a father.

Now I’m not asking a whole lot of you, but I want you to pray and see like, if we’re starting this, what’s your role going to be? And so I think it’s akin to Deborah and Barack. Brock has a really bad reputation of being this weak willed warrior. When the truth of the matter is he goes down as one of the most successful Hebrew warriors in Hebrew history. He was considered to be a prisoner of war multiple times over, he was incredibly successful. He was grossly outnumbered, grossly outnumbered.

So, we could now understand the hesitancy and why he was really listening to Deborah, to be voice a mouthpiece from God, for the people. So, Matt knows that I’m just passionate about hearing from God. And so he knew if he were to give me the challenge, hear from God, I will, I will respond. And I did. And God gave me a very clear vision.

I came back to Matt and I said, okay, we’re going to do this. And so the best way to explain it is that the language of co-pastor is something that a lot of people understand, but co-influence is the language that we really implement because I carry a lot of weight and he carries a lot of weight. All of our direct reports, our school of leadership, our vision for where the church is going that’s all him. As far as creative, as far as culture, as far as teaching, that’s all me.

And so what people don’t understand is because the person on platform is usually the one that people associate as the leader. I think it does a disservice to the entire staff, not just the spouse, but the entire staff. I think it’s one person that’s leading a juggernaut of a church. And so what we try to do is diversify power. And that starts from the top down. So, both Matt and I are co-leaders with co-influence and-

Jon: That’s so good. So, how many times a year do you preach you think out of 52 weeks?

Bianca: I’m the primary communicator.

Jon: Ballpark.

Bianca: I’m the primary communicator. So, I think I’m at 60%.

Jon: Okay. And then he’ll preach, but just occasionally.

Bianca: No, he’ll preach at the very least once a month.

Jon: Once a month.

Bianca: Yeah.

Jon: But let’s say, and I’m just asking all these questions out of curiosity. So, let’s say that it’s a vision night or a vision we’re going to cast vision for-

Bianca: We have heart and soul next week and he’s running the entire thing.

Jon: Building whatever.

Bianca: Yep.

Jon: He does those. Is he kind of like a behind the scenes more like an executive pastor doing some of the finance, overseeing finances and all that kind of stuff, you guys do that together.

Bianca: Yeah. So, he’s doing all the executive lifting. He really is. And so, also strategy. So, executive management, strategy, leadership development, our leadership pipeline and all of our staff.

Jon: Yeah. You referenced that story of Deborah and you know, we have a women in ministry leadership program here at the King’s University and actually today in our chapel, somebody preached a sermon on women in ministry leadership. And then at the end they had all of our students come down, all the women come down to the front and I got up and I actually talked about that story that you were just referencing in the warrior Barack and how, how Deborah said, hey, I want you to go and fight So,cira and he says, I’ll go, if you come with me and probably one of the most gangster phrases in the entire Bible.

You already know where I’m going. I’ll preach a sermon on this at a women’s conference when she says, okay, I’ll paraphrase and okay, I’ll go with you. But just so you know, you’re not getting the credit for this victory. This battle will be one at the hands of a woman. And that is one of the most gangster phrases of all time.

So, anyways, I think it’s incredible what you guys are doing, and I think you’re blazing a trail and you may not realize it now, but I feel like there’s a lot of people looking to you and this model ministry that really is not to say you guys are the first to ever do it, but you’re one of the few that I know that truly are co influencing. I love that. I think that’s such a great way to put it.

So, what are some of the, let’s get raw. I know you’re like, we’re going there. What’s some of the challenges you guys have faced. Have people in your church challenged, you have you guys had people get mad at you, dirty emails tell you off. Maybe I’m like trying to get too much.

Bianca: No, no, no.

Jon: I think like, what kind of adversity have you faced?

Bianca: Yeah. So, I will say to the point that you’ve just made. I have to agree because multiple people have said, we’ve heard the term co-pastors, but this feels innovative. And I think one of the things that both Matt and I are really sensing if we’re just kind of, the canary in the mind is the next generation is really looking for doing things together in a communal sense, whether that’s through marriage or relationship. And we haven’t seen a paradigm do that. We’ve seen a lot of church models and business models with an oligarch and someone rolling with an iron fist or someone with a big personality, but we haven’t really seen a whole lot of healthy power sharing.

Jon: I agree.

Bianca: And one of the things that I’m just really proud of is we aren’t doing it perfect, but we’re trying to take a stab at it. And so now let’s talk about some of the tension points that we’ve faced. So, I think of course the first and foremost is marriage, like how do you leave work at work or church at church? So, that’s great. The first I would say all pre-launch, we didn’t have a problem at all. And when we launched, I actually gave the first message in TFHC history. And so if people didn’t like a woman communicating on our first day, then they just put it back.

Jon: They’ll figured out pretty quick.

Bianca: Right. And so we actually, we haven’t gotten a whole lot of like, why is a woman preaching? Because that’s just, we just started there. We started on the assumption that this is who we are if you don’t like it’s totally fine. There’s a lot of other great churches in the area that you can participate in.

Where we started to bump heads is probably six months into the ministry. And we started realizing that without delineating lanes, the delineation of lanes and influence and what we’re responsible for, there was a lot of him coming over into my space and me going over his space, but we didn’t know what our spaces were. So, we actually met with a coach. She’s a counselor that’s worked with businesses and churches and she, it took her Dr. Jon, it took her a really long time. I would say four sessions to really understand our dynamic.

She’s like, no, no, no, no. Okay. Wait, so who’s in charge and then wait, wait, wait. Okay. So, who teaches? Wait, wait, wait. So, it was four sessions of really explaining no. We really are 50/50. And so the great language that we have now is through meeting with her and creating our system and structure is we subscribe to an Archie model at ARCI accountable responsible consultant and informed.

And so with all of the ministries, we have a clear delineation, okay. Who is responsible for this, who is accountable, who is consultant that’s who’s informed. And then we were able to parse out, wait a minute, Matt literally does everything from admin to vision, to implementation, to strategy, to development, to fund development, to finances. He’s overall that, and then I really am heavy handed with the worship experience, the creative experience, the marketing and teaching.

And so I like to say that I actually got this language from, I have a twin sister and she’s a successful business woman and her and her husband also co-owned and co-lead their business. And I was listening to them talk. They have a very successful model of leadership and marriage. She said this that you have to understand that, yes, it’s 50/50, but in various areas, you’re going to have to be who’s 51 and who’s 49. And the person with the 51% is going to make the decision. But then the person with the 49 is going to say, I may not agree, but I am co-signing because you are the one making the decision on this and I fully support it.

So, for instance, now that we have our lanes. Well, actually this was a tension point this week. So, we have, prior to the church, Matt was super involved with developing churches and church leaders in Europe and his hearts passion. And during COVID, we experienced a lot of loss in America, but my God Europe got-

Jon: Oh, it’s way worse.

Bianca: Mashed. I got chills, even just talking about it. So, many amazing churches, thriving, what Europe would consider megachurches decimated. And so Matt’s just, he’s got a Tinder heart for soft spot for Europe. And so he said, hey, I think we should go and invest in. And he listed a couple churches and yeah, to me financially, I’m like is now the time to go, do we have the money for it? That’s you out of pocket? That means I have to preach that weekend. That means you’re going to take two people from team. So, I’m going to logistics. And then I realize, I say, you know what? I don’t understand it, but this is the 51. And if you see the value in it, then I’m going to co-sign and I’m going to support you publicly.

Jon: That’s so good. Yeah. That’s so good. Yeah. I love that. And it’s a give and take, right? It’s like any relationship. And I think that the whole co-leading thing, I love what you’re doing co influence because influences leadership as we know, so a lot of churches would say we have co-leadership, but if we can be super blunt, I like to be blunt on this program.

Bianca: Good me too.

Jon: The co-leading is the male with the wife standing next to him, pageant waving to-

Bianca: And don’t forget, she’ll speak on Mother’s Day. She’ll speak on Mother’s Day.

Jon: But Bianca, you can only interview her because I don’t know that we could really, just let’s have two cute chairs on the stage. So, just to be safe that way. Okay, we should probably, it’s not good on that road. But no, I love this and I really do think, and really I’m not even saying there’s anything wrong with that model. That’s great for some churches, but I love what you guys are doing because you’re really tapping into your gifts and your talents and there isn’t a leader by opinion out there in the world that all of the giftings that you’re listing the executive, the vision, the planning, and then the creative, the preaching. I don’t know, one human being on the planet who has all of those, all wrapped up in one.

So, I love that you guys are, are going about it that way. So, what would you say is the most challenging part of that? Maybe you’ve already mentioned it. Maybe it’s just living together or taking, not taking work. Is there anything else that’s kind of a big challenge.

Bianca: Well, if you want me to be real, I hate when I have to submit yeah. There’s moments where I’m just like-

Jon: The MexiRican in you doesn’t mind-

Bianca: Oh, absolutely.

Jon: Doesn’t like submitting.

Bianca: And I’m going to confess my trespass a month to saints right now, as James tells us, because I have gotten so good at saying, okay, let’s do it. But inside I’m like over my dead body. So, I would say the hardest, no, but in all honesty, the hardest part is there has to be a first among equals and I’m aware enough to know that I’m not the best first among equals he’s the first among equals. And so I submit to him and I don’t submit just because like, oh, he’s my husband and the Bible ask me to submit, I submit volitionally because he’s an amazing leader. I love him at the end of the day. I trust him. I trust him.

Jon: That’s so good.

Bianca: So, it’s the hardest part, but we out here doing it. Yeah.

Jon: Let’s talk about crazy schedules because I know you know, like me, you are probably executive platinum with American airlines because we spend a lot of time on airplanes.

Bianca: Delta baby, Delta.

Jon: Delta. Well, I’m just American because flying out of Dallas a lot. But so I know your schedule. I know some of your schedule, you’re constantly traveling, hoping on a plane, flying to speak at a conference and then being the primary communicator back home at your church. And so how do you guys navigate that? What are some things you’ve learned? What have you learned? How to prioritize, right? Any secrets or trades, trade secrets to pastors out there, leaders that are trying to balance and maybe they’re not traveling and speaking at conferences, but they’re balancing work and home kids and work life. So, what have you learned through that process?

Bianca: So, I think we are far enough removed from 2020 that we could speak in a way that recognizes the pain and the loss. But then also what did we learn in that season? And one of the things that I learned was I was running myself into the ground. I am a high capacity person. I’m a seven on engram. I naturally wake up at 4:45. I just.

Jon: Come on.

Bianca: Yeah. We’re the early bird plug.

Jon: I’m an early riser too.

Bianca: Yes, yes, yes. And so I think I’m naturally wired that way. However, I didn’t realize the how taxing it was in my body, how taxing it was on my health. And just, I think that we as a culture, but specifically as Christians have lost the art of the pause. We can use the word Sabbath, but let’s not even go that far. What about just the pause to hear God’s voice, to catch our breath, to sit in his presence, to dwell with God. And so I think that was one of the gifts that COVID provided. So, coming out now, you’re my witness to this. I can’t say yes to a quarter of the invites that I used to say yes to just because.

Jon: Yeah, you just turned us down.

Bianca: I did.

Jon: You just gave me the cold shoulder not too long ago. It was awesome.

Bianca: Okay. Okay. But this is proof-

Jon: I’m kidding.

Bianca: This is proof of boundaries because I’m like, and you’re my friend. You’re my friend that I knew. I’m like, I just, I can’t the baby’s the priority. The church is the priority and we’re too fragile right now coming out of COVID and just opening up. We’ve been open now like eight months, but still that.

Jon: Just that’s 100% the right choice.

Bianca: Thank you.

Jon: 100%.

Bianca: Thank you. So, how are we doing that? Number one, Google calendars are really a game changer and I really like I, if a great book at your best carry new off. So, I run my life through Google calendars. I have the church Matt’s calendar and my calendar all synced up. So, I know where we are, what we’re doing. We plan out. I know that it sounds neurotic, but we plan out date nights. We plan out vacations. We plan out everything because we’re not careful we’re two ships in a night. Plus I have two step kids. I’ve been in their life since they were three and five. Parker is graduating, he’s going to a D1 football program.

Jon: Nice. I didn’t know that.

Bianca: Yes.

Jon: Where’s he going?

Bianca: He’s going to Drake. Go Bulldogs.

Jon: Okay. That’s nice.

Bianca: Yeah. And listen, I may not have birthed him, but I have fed him for like 15 years. And so he’s-

Jon: I follow you on Instagram. I’ve seen you feed him the P Pancakes with the letter P.

Bianca: That’s right. Oh, my God you’re my real friend, Jon.

Jon: I’m a real friend Bianca.

Bianca: Okay. But we have to get it right. We have to get it right. It’s “Prince Parker protein pancakes.” Because I love-

Jon: Prince Parker protein pancakes.

Bianca: I do an alliteration in the nation. Yeah.

Jon: Oh, got to line up. I’ve seen the pancakes. You’re a good mom.

Bianca: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. So, he’s going to college next year. We have a 16 year old, she’s going to be a junior. So, there’s a lot of moving pieces from church to our family to ministry and even just fun. We play hard. We work hard, but we definitely play hard as well, so we want to schedule that time in and-

Jon: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Bianca: So, Google calendar is being intentional and saying no really saying no in the season.

Jon: And hit the Peloton.

Bianca: Every day, baby. Every day.

Jon: You guys are way more hardcore than me. I can get on that thing and murder myself, but I don’t ride it near as often or as much as I should.

Bianca: It’s helps me think. It helps me just burn off steam and then with COVID everything closed down. So, I just, I make it a point, like, no matter what, even if I just do a hike and they have the app now, so I’ll do like weight classes or yoga classes or whatever. So, it’s fun.

Jon: I’m impressed that you get up and ride the Peloton on Sunday mornings. Even sometimes like I would be-

Bianca: I’ll say three out of four Sundays.

Jon: Scroll through Instagram.

Bianca: Yep. I’m on there at 4AM.

Jon: That’s crazy. You’re a lunatic. You’re a lunatic is what you are.

Bianca: Listen. Listen, I don’t have good genes like you. I’m brown. Okay. I look at this bar and gain weight. I’m like, and the older I get, my metabolism’s just like sludge it ain’t moving no more. So, that’s what I’m there.

Jon: Oh man. I ride the Peloton for my knees. More than anything.

Bianca: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Jon: I don’t know why we’re talking about. This isn’t a Peloton commercial, like run the Peloton commercial right now this will help fund this podcast.

Bianca: They better give a kick back. They got give us a kick back bro.

Jon: Come on, at least give us a month free, something. Well, Bianca, I could chat with you all day and I want to be respectful of your time, but I just want to say how much I love you and Matt and Michelle and I, we adore you guys.

Bianca: Thank you. Likewise.

Jon: And we love doing life with you. And thanks for coming on the podcast. Thanks for what you do. Your ministry has blessed the church that I pastor, but I know that it’s blessed countless others and the people that are coming to Father’s House OC and you guys are just awesome people doing awesome work. And I think you should know that.

And for our listeners, if you don’t know who Bianca and Matt are, you’re lunatic. You have no idea. You need to come out from under the rock you’re living under. So, how can they, what’s the best way that they can kind of follow you guys. I know you’re on Instagram. You have a website. Do you not have a website?

Bianca: I do. I do. So, Bianca Olthoff, O-L-T-H-O-F-F on all social media platforms, as well as website. The church is the Father’s House OC on social media. It’s THF/OC and keeping touch with everything that’s going on with church and podcast books, daily life, Prince Parker’s protein pancakes and all.

Jon: Well, and if your church needs a having a conference or anything like that, she is an amazing communicator. She’s funny. But then she also brings that Latino flare. She’s going to preach the word and it’s so we appreciate you Bianca. Love you so much.

Bianca: I appreciate you too.

Jon: Thank you guys again for watching or listening to this podcast. I pray that it blesses you. If you’re a pastor, we pray for you. If you need more resources, you can actually go to churchintention.com, where we have tons of articles, tons of things, to help you sinks right up with the King’s University, with all the resources at the University. So, thank you for watching. Thank you for listening. We love you Bianca, and we will see you guys on the next episode.

Church InTension
Church InTensionhttps://church-intension.simplecast.com
The Church InTension podcast is a place to have healthy conversations about areas of tension and the intentions of the Church. Hosted by Dr. Jon Chasteen and powered by The King's University and Gateway Church.