Podcast: Reviving a Dying Church in Uncertain Times

A conversation with Brady Boyd from the Church InTension podcast

Pastor Brady Boyd took over New Life Church, whose previous pastor experienced a highly publicized moral failure. Bringing the church back to health would be an uphill battle. That’s when disaster struck. A shooter entered the church and killed two members after services. “It was the darkest day of my life,” says Brady Boyd.

In this episode of the Church InTension podcast, Dr. Jon Chasteen talks to Brady Boyd about how the church survived and is now thriving. Recorded in early 2020, this podcast talks about creating a culture of health in a polarized political climate. Listen here, and read the transcript below.


Dr. Jon Chasteen: Well hey, what’s going on listeners? We’re so glad that you’re taking some time out of your day to join us at the Church Intention Podcast. And I’m really excited about our guest today, and I’m excited for you to meet this gentleman. He’s been a friend of mine for several years, he’s been a mentor of mine when I first became lead pastor. He had walked through something that we’re going to talk a little bit about, but he had walked through something in leadership stepping into a church that I was in the process of walking through. And Pastor Jimmy Evans connected me with him and he just became a mentor of mine, somebody that I could call in my darkest of moments, and he just was such a help to me. But our guest today is Pastor Brady Boyd. Pastor Brady Boyd is the senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He’s an author. He’s an amazing pastor. He’s an amazing leader. He’s an amazing father to grown college-

Pastor Brady Boyd: College age.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Kind of grown Abram and Callie. He’s been married for 30 years to Pam, and just an amazing woman. He’s a dear friend of mine. He’s written many, many books, you need to Google them, you need to go to Amazon and get them. His most recent one was a book called Remarkable, but he’s written a really good book that all pastors should read called Addicted to Busy. He’s written a book called Fear No Evil, he’s written a book called Sons and Daughters, and on, and on, and on, and on. But he’s been at New Life Church since 2007 and has just done a phenomenal job of taking that church from a very unhealthy place to not surviving, but thriving. The church is doing absolutely amazing. And so Pastor Brady, thanks for being on the show today. We’re honored to have you.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Oh, thanks Pastor Jon. It’s a joy to be with you. And I love the title of this podcast as Church InTension, because it seems like the church is being shaped and formed by some pressure right now. And so I love the topic. I love what you’re doing at Victory Church in Oklahoma City, I love the leadership you’re providing, and I’m looking forward to the conversation today.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Yeah, thanks so much for being on. So yeah the idea, you really nailed it on the head. The idea of this podcast is it’s a dual meaning, it’s the church intentions, the intentions of the church. Because I think even when most, I should say most, most pastors leaders, their intentions are good. We might not always make the right decisions but our intentions are hopefully good. But it’s also the church in tension, that there’s just some tension points. There’s some topics that we can’t or don’t talk about that this podcast provides a safe place for pastors to learn about how to lead in those maybe precarious situations.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: So before we get into those tension points, the things that we’ll talk about today, man, just tell us about yourself. How did you get into ministry? And really what I want you to talk about is leading up to your time at New Life. And you worked, obviously for the listeners out there, he took over a little known guy that no one really knew who he was. His name was Ted Haggard. And so you came in on the heels of that. So kind of just walk us through that. I know you spent time at Gateway, and I don’t want to take all your thunder so just tell us.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yeah, no, I was at Gateway Church serving with Robert Morris. And I honestly had the best job in the world at the time because I was supporting Pastor Robert at Gateway, I was preaching regularly, overseeing staff. I tell people I had all the benefits of being a senior pastor without the pressure. And Pastor Robert was carrying that weight at Gateway, but the Lord spoke to me about being a senior pastor. And New Life Church, I remember the Friday morning that I opened up my laptop and there on the headline of the website was the story of Ted Haggard’s moral failure at New Life. And for some strange reason I was really emotionally moved by the story. I mean so much so that I went and woke Pam up and said, “Something’s going on here.” And showed her the story, not knowing that just a few months later I would be contacted by New Life Church and asked if I was interested in being their next senior pastor.

Pastor Brady Boyd: I’d never been on their campus, I didn’t know anyone there. I was literally on the backside of the desert tending my father’s sheep and the prophet showed up and asked me if I’d be king. And it was that kind of moment for me. So I ended up at New Life Church and really didn’t go there… People tell me I was courageous to go there, but quite honestly I was just innocent. I was naive probably. But I was willing, and I think the Lord looks for people who are willing sometimes more than smart or courageous. And so I was willing, and the line by the way was pretty short of pastors who wanted to take that spot. I found that out after I said yes, that the line of candidates was pretty small. And so I should have taken that as a clue.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: So I want to stop you just for a second because you started feeling this sensation or urge or calling to be a lead pastor, right?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Right.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: So even for the pastor out there that’s listening to that, how do you do that in a healthy way? How do you feel a burden, you’re carrying someone else’s vision, there’s a senior pastor I’m carrying their vision, and now I’m starting to feel this desire to be a senior pastor. How do you do that in a healthy way?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Well fortunately Robert allowed for us to have conversations with him if we felt transition happening in our heart without consequence. And I am finding that most churches do not have that environment. If you raise the flag and tell your senior leader that you’re thinking of leaving you pretty much, you’re done. And I think that’s a mistake for senior pastors. And if senior pastors are listening today, I think you need to have open conversations with your staff and tell them, if you’re feeling transition let me be involved. Don’t come announce it to me-

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Please tell me.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Right, let me know about it. And so Robert said that to me early and often. I think Robert saw in my life that I was destined to go do something else, and he had allowed that environment of health to happen at Gateway. So early on I went to Gateway elders, to Robert and told them that what I was sensing and feeling. And they said, Brady, if that’s what’s happening, we want to be a part of that. If your heart changes and you’re supposed to stay at Gateway, we want you to stay here for the rest of your life. And so I had the freedom and the ability to go out and explore some opportunities without feeling like I was going to lose my job at Gateway. And that’s pretty rare. And I just want to commend Pastor Robert and the elders at Gateway for allowing that kind of environment there.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And I’ve now have perpetuated that at New Life. I’ve told all my staff that listen, if you’re feeling something going on in your heart, I want to be a part. I’m your greatest friend, I’m your champion of that. Don’t come announce it to me, let me be a part of the decision. And that has been the environment we have at New Life. So I ended up at New Life, and I talk about the, there’s an analogy I use about uprooting a tree in your yard. So if you just jerk a tree up, like out of the roots and try to plant it somewhere else, that tree is going to die. But if that root system has been carefully lifted out of the soil and placed in really good soil, the chances of that transplant happening are really good. And I felt like that’s what happened to me at Gateway. My root system got lifted up in a healthy way, and I was able to go to Colorado and be planted in that soil with the approval and with the affirmation of Robert Morris, and Jimmy Evans, and Tom Lane, my apostolic leaders at the time. And the guys that were really mentoring me and still mentor me.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And so when I arrived at New Life Church I was very hopeful about what God was about to do there, not knowing that 100 days after I arrived, on my 100th day as senior pastor a guy came on our campus with an AR 15 assault rifle, 1,000 rounds of ammo, and opened fire. Killed two teenage girls in my parking lot, opened fire inside my building, and wreaked havoc on us. I tell people that the darkest day of my life was that day. I mean I really felt, quite honestly Jon, I felt that I was called to be a hospice pastor to New Life Church, to give a once great church and honorable funeral. Because I had no hope at all that the church could survive a scandal that was on the front page of every newspaper, 13 months later a shooting that was on the front page of every newspaper. I mean most churches don’t survive a one of those things. We had to have those things in 13 months.

Pastor Brady Boyd: I remember sitting in the back of a police car the night of the shooting because I was cold and I was out at the end of our parking lot doing a news conference. There was media outlets from all over the world up there. And I was sitting in the back of the police car with Daniel Growthy, a young pastor at the time, who’s still on my staff and a dear friend. And I said to Daniel, I said, “I guess all the good jobs were taken, and there’s no way we can recover.” And we just kind of had a moment where we mourned and said, game over. This is the end of New Life, let’s all get our resumes polished up and let this church die. We’ll sell it as a used car lot and we’ll move on. I mean that’s how we were feeling.

Pastor Brady Boyd: But to our surprise, four days later on a Wednesday night we had a prayer meeting, and we made the mistake of praying. I tell people we prayed and what happened on that Wednesday night will forever mark my life, because it was a resurrection moment where I saw a church lift their head and square their shoulders and make a holy vows that the enemy was not going to rob of us what the God had given us. And it was years after that before we ever got back to real health, but I saw it happen that night and I knew that night in the middle of that prayer meeting as we were singing the song Overcome, as we’re singing that song the Lord said, “I’m going to do a resurrection miracle here.” And it happened.

Pastor Brady Boyd: So fast forward, I’ve been there 12 and a half years now. I can look back and see that New Life Church is a resurrection story. And there’s some pastors probably listening today that you wonder if your church can survive and thrive after going through a dark season. Let me just tell you, Psalm 23:4 says, “When we walked through the valley of the shadow of death we don’t have to fear any evil, because his rod and staff protect us.” And I just want to encourage the pastors listening today that maybe you’re listening to this on a Monday after a really bad weekend-

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Yeah, get the offering report.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Right? We all want to resign on Mondays. But I just want to encourage you that if God started your church that God will sustain your church. If your church was started by human ingenuity, then good luck. But if God started your church and it’s not built on the personality of man and just the strength of one person, but it’s on the rock. Jesus said, “On this rock I’ll build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail.” And he was talking to Peter and Peter just made a declaration that Christ was King, that Christ was Messiah. That’s the rock. So if Jesus is the center of your church, if Jesus is really the real focus of your church, if he really is Lord of your church and he started your church, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against you.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: He will build his church.

Pastor Brady Boyd: He will build it. And I think sometimes pastors take on way too much pressure upon themselves. It is a high responsibility, a holy responsibility to lead the church. But at the end of the day if Christ doesn’t build his church it won’t get built. And if it does get built without Jesus, it’s on sand. And the first storm that comes is going to sweep away your church anyway.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: I think one of the things you told me early on, helped bring perspective for me because when I came in I was on the heels of a moral failure as well. You began to mentor me through that process. I wasn’t a moral, let me rephrase that, I hadn’t had a moral failure I was coming in as the senior pastor. And I remember I asked you one time in one of our phone calls I said, “How long did it take you to get New Life healthy? The culture?” And I remember when you told me it pierced my soul, like I was so depressed, you said five years. And I was like, oh, I don’t know that I can survive that. Because we were probably a year in at that point.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: But it also gave me perspective to say, okay, I need to calm down. I’m not going to turn this thing around overnight. And so I think it’s important for pastors to hear that perspective because in an age where it’s all instant gratification, I preach the best sermon and get a million followers and it can happen overnight. Like the American Idol dream, I just flip it all around in a moment. Really it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Changing the culture, whether your church has been through a moral failure or not, if you’re in a season of difficulty it’s not going to happen overnight.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Well the only way to lead a church from the pulpit is with trust, and trust is earned and drops but lost in bucketfuls. And the only way to get trust is to do the right thing for the right reason for a really long time.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: A long time.

Pastor Brady Boyd: A long time. And even today there’s probably more suspicion about the role of pastor than at any other time in American history. So right now the American pastor is seen with a lot of cynicism and is viewed through the lens of cynicism. And so for the American pastor, especially if you’re pastoring a church of any size and influence, then you’re already looked at with suspicion going in. It used to be 40 years ago that when you told people you were a pastor, that there was an immediate sense of trust and security when you told people that. Now when I tell people I’m a pastor I have to overcome some barriers that weren’t there 20 years ago. And it’s because of the moral failures we’re talking about and the consistent failure of pastors along the way that has built up this resistance to us as leaders.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And so I know that going in, when a new family comes to my church it’s going to take them six months to a year to believe what I’m saying, and to really follow my leading as a senior pastor. And so the requirement for me on Sunday is to tell the truth, and to be kind, to be truthful. To under promise and over deliver. To not make grandiose promises out of the pulpit that I know are not going to happen, because that’s only going to lose trust with people and it’s going to delay the process of leadership in their lives. And so I know this, that I would actually tone down some of the rhetoric. My advice to young pastors is stop the hyperbole, stop using grandiose language that you can’t fulfill. Instead be faithful, be consistent, be steady. I’m not saying be boring, and certainly cast vision that God’s given you, but use language that is believable.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: We overcomplicate it.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yes. The hyperbole is hurting us right now. This constant temptation to be the sensation on the stage, to be this giant personality on the stage. Listen, most people, especially millennials and gen Z people, see through that quicker actually. They’re sniffing out anything that’s not authentic anyway. So you’re only hurting yourself by using that kind of language. And if you’ll just be consistent, I tell people I don’t want to be boring, but I do want to be consistent. Steadfast, believable, trustworthy.

Pastor Brady Boyd: In fact I’ve been the pastor at New Life now 12 and a half years, and I feel like I’m just now able to stand at the pulpit and say exactly what I need to say to the church. And they receive it. Because I’m in my fifties now, and I’m not a young guy anymore but I’m not an old guy either. But I’m in that magical space where I’ve been there long enough that they know I love them, that I’m not going anywhere, that I’m going to show up next Sunday, that I’m going to be their pastor. And that I have a pattern of telling them the truth in a way that’s kind and sincere, but it’s the truth. And they receive it now. And I think a lot of pastors try to short circuit that and shortcut that when it just doesn’t work with people.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Well it gave me a ton of perspective to think. Because as a young man I was like, well I’ve been doing this a year, why don’t they trust me yet? So it’s great to have that perspective that it’s going to take somebody up to six months to… So are there some really practical things that you would suggest pastors do in that realm? Like say certain things do certain things? Or is it really there’s no magic formula it’s just, like anything specific?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Tell the truth in believable language. I mean that’s what I would tell people. Tell the truth in a way that they can understand it. In other words, don’t tell people that everything’s awesome when it’s not. If it is awesome, celebrate. But rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. I think one of the great mistakes that pastors make is they don’t tell people when something wrong is going on. Instead that the worst thing that a church can do is to find out that something is going on. If something is broken, tell the church. I think the church can handle the truth more than pastors think. Think about this, your congregation showed up on Sunday out of their own Goodwill. They got out of their warm bed, got their kids dressed, came to your building, sat in your pews on a Sunday morning when there’s about 15 other things they could be doing.

Pastor Brady Boyd: If you can’t trust those people with the truth, then you don’t have any business telling them the truth. But they’re more steadfast than you think. They are stronger than you think. They’re not as flighty as we’ve imagined. They’re not going to take off and leave. In fact, I think it does exactly what we talked about, it pours giant buckets of water of trust into your leadership vacuum when you do tell the truth. So rejoice when things are awesome, tell everybody it’s awesome. When things are a struggle or there’s a stress point that they need to know about or something has happened that the church needs to know about it, they don’t need to know everything but there is something they do need to know, tell them. If you’re going through a financial dip right now, tell your leaders that the finances are not great right now. If there is a staff issue that requires you to tell the church, tell them. And I think people tend to rally around a crisis than run from it.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: I do too. I think a lot of leaders feel this insecurity of, well if I announce anything bad then it’s a reflection on my leadership, my lack of leadership ability.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Or it hurts momentum.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Right. There you go, hurts momentum.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And when did Jesus said, I can not find any scriptures where Jesus said, go into all the world and build momentum. He said, “Go into all the world and make disciples.” If you’re going to make disciples there’s going to be good days and bad days. It’s like raising children, okay? You’re a dad, I mean tell me the last stretch of eight or nine days where it was awesome.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: So good, yeah.

Pastor Brady Boyd: No, there are days where your kids need correcting. Every day in my house is not awesome Brady Bunch day. I mean there are days where I have to discipline, and ground them, and confront them. But it leads to better days. And I know if I don’t correct them I will have a stretch of bad days, but if I correct them I can build toward better days. And I think the churches, we have to see the church as an organism like the family, and not every day of your family is Thanksgiving day.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Yeah. What you said there, I can’t stop thinking about that. The church is not called to build momentum. Because if you really look at most pastors and most churches, let’s be honest, that’s what a lot of us are trying to do.

Pastor Brady Boyd: How many people listening have gone to the Great Church of Ephesus or the Great Church in Galatia? No, all those churches had seasons where they did well and they don’t exist anymore. So the point I’m making is every church has seasons where everything is really going well, but we’re not called to build some kind of false sense of momentum. We’re called to build a foundation that will last generations. And my goal for New Life Church is not to be the most awesome church in America, my goal for New Life Church is for it to be healthy and for it to be generational. In other words, when I get ready to hand that baton to the next leader that’s coming behind me, I want to hand him a healthy church, a strong church, a church that is founded on Christ.

Pastor Brady Boyd: So what if the attendance has gone flat or we’ve plateaued somehow? Listen, that’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to lead a healthy church and God will grow the church. But I think if we would focus more on just healthy internal systems inside our church, and we would just focus on healthy relationships, healthy theology, healthy ecclesiology, then over time you’re going to grow the church. There are families every Sunday, this is the greatest compliment I have at New Life Church, and we’re growing right now. We’ve grown 3% to 6% in attendance since 2013. So this is seven years in a row we’ve had measurable, sustainable growth. Not magical growth, we’re not on the front page of any magazines, but we’ve seen consistent 3% to 6% growth now for about seven or eight years. And I’m grateful for that, but that’s not the compliment I’m looking for.

Pastor Brady Boyd: The greatest compliment I get, and I hear it almost every week, is a new family comes to New Life and they say to me, “This feels like a safe and healthy place.” They say nothing about, they’re not complimenting my preaching, or the great worship, or the lights, or the cool coffee house that we have. What they’re saying to me is there’s something internal and systemic that is safe and healthy here. My family can thrive here, and that is the greatest compliment any pastor can receive. This place feels safe. This place feels stable. This place feels like a place my family can thrive. That’s what the goal is.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: This is so good for all pastors to hear. And we’ve had this conversation a couple of times with different people, but it always rises back to the surface. Because what we’ve talked about on a few of the podcasts is how pastors see success and how that has shifted. And if your church isn’t booming and growing in followers then you failed as a pastor, and it’s completely the opposite.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Well envy is the sin of comparison, and there’s probably not a more envious group in the world than pastors. Because we compare ourselves to each other every Monday. How many did they baptize? What was their night of worship like? How many new campuses did they launch this week?

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Exactly. How big is there LED wall?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yeah, right. How many multi-sites did they launch where they raised $40 million in three hours? I mean quite honestly there is sometimes on Monday I just don’t even look at social media, because I just know what it does for my soul. I do by the way, I think the opposite end as well, we should learn to rejoice when our brothers are succeeding. And I don’t think pastors should be ashamed of celebrating real good things. Like if something great happened at your church, you should celebrate it without any apologies, as long as you’re doing it with the right spirit. Like we’re having some good times right now, we just baptized 300 people in three months at New Life Church. Well for us that’s a joy. I mean it’s not the biggest baptism in the history of the American church, but for us it is. And for our church it’s the most people we’ve ever baptized in a three month period since I’ve been there.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And so that’s exciting. I want my church to celebrate because they’re the ones that brought their neighbors and friends to church and saw them come to salvation. So I want to encourage that. But I’m also aware that when another pastor across the country in another part of the world is reading that, it could be discouraging to them. So we have to just understand the power of social media has created a lot of unfair emotions in the hearts of pastors. And we just need to make sure we filter the right messages, and hear the right messages, and not compare ourselves constantly to other pastors.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: That’s really good. So I want to shift gears and talk about attention. Let’s talk about attention in the church coming up in 2020. It’s an election year, you know that right?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Oh my Lord do I know it.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Oh my Lord.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yeah, this is my fourth presidential election since I’ve become pastor at New Life Church.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Good, so you’re going to bring some perspective there.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yeah, and I’m in a swing state. So I’m in Colorado where the first, I think the first year it went Republican, but the last two cycles it went to the Democrat. And so I’m in that swing state. I would say about 60% of my church votes conservative and about 40% of my church votes maybe more moderate. I don’t think we have extreme liberals probably in our church, but we do have that tension in my church where I know as a pastor if I become partisan I can’t pastor my church. And I don’t think that the pastors that were called to be partisan, I think we’re called to be prophetic. And let me explain that.

Pastor Brady Boyd: I believe there’s not an example in world history where the church has become partisan, that they did not along the way lose their conviction and their prophetic voice to the culture. If you look at the Roman empire, you look at the British empire, you look at all the great empires of the world, when the church became entangled in politics where they became one in the same as a political party, they lost their prophetic voice. And along the way they misused the same power they were trying to call into alignment with Christ. We’re all prone to misusing power when it comes to us, and political power is the easiest to misuse. And I think the church has to be careful right now that we rise above the political rancor, the political vitriol that’s happening in our culture, and make sure that we can see clearly what’s happening and call both parties into alignment with the King.

Pastor Brady Boyd: I told a pastor the other day that, and I feel this strongly, our Messiah is not coming in on Air Force One. First of all let me back up and tell you, I don’t want people to misunderstand this, politics are important because laws affect the marginalized more than it affects those in power. So the poor, the widow, the orphan, when bad laws get put into place, they’re the ones affected most. So as a church we should be very concerned about laws that are enacted, especially those that will affect the poor, the marginalized, the widow. So for us to say, don’t get involved in politics, don’t raise our voice in protest, that’s foolishness. Of course we should have our voice heard in the political realm. Of course we should run for office. Of course we should be involved in pluralistic political discourse.

Pastor Brady Boyd: However, when you align yourself with one political party and only find favor with one political party, you become partisan. And along the way you’re going to have to compromise some of your convictions to stay in alignment with that party. When we rise above partisanship I then can speak to Republicans and Democrats, and they both come in my office asking for my endorsements, both parties come into my office. I got invited to meet with Obama many times. I’ve got invited to meet with every president because I’m in a swing state. I’m one of the largest churches in a swing state. So I know the pressure that comes from, and it’s very intoxicating by the way. White House visits, Senators coming into your office, it’s very intoxicating. But it also can be easily corrupted.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And I just want to encourage pastors if this is the moment where Jesus is King, where Christ is Lord? And I get asked all the time why I don’t talk about politics at the pulpit, I say because I have something so more important to talk about on Sundays. And I have 35 minutes to shape and form my congregation into Christ followers. And I do talk about issues, and I do talk about social issues that are affecting my congregation, that are affecting my town. But I do not endorse candidates. I do not endorse one political party over the other because I think both need Jesus right now. If you look at the mess in Washington DC right now, I think both parties need revival.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: I’m pretty sure you’re right there.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yeah, I’m pretty sure both political parties need a good dose of the Holy Spirit right now. And the church is the only third party voice that can awaken both parties. And instead of using our political clout to get one particular party in power, how about let’s use our political clout to call both parties into alignment with scripture?

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Yeah, because you do pastor from a different perspective. You’re not in the Bible Belt, you’re not in the buckle of the Bible Belt. So the churches in the Northern regions or the Northwest or the Northeast, you really do have to come, you have to pastor all of them.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Yeah. And it’s not because I lack courage to bring up issues. I don’t, I talk about everything out of the pulpit with no apologies. So it’s not because I’m trying to, I’ve had people say, well you don’t talk about politics because you’re afraid of losing members. You got to be kidding me, right? I mean if you had that kind of fear in the pulpit, you’re already done, you’re already toast. Because the gospel is very offensive. And if you’re worried about offending-

Dr. Jon Chasteen: That’s true.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Listen, every Sunday I have to tell people bad news before I tell them good news. The bad news is we’re lost without Jesus, the good news is he’s already come to find us. But if you don’t tell bad news the good news is not good news. So I believe that if you lack courage… If you want to please everybody sell ice cream, right? That’s what Steve Jobs said. Don’t be a leader, because leadership means confronting people. It means dealing with issues. It means there’s conflict built in to the very essence of leadership, and if you’re afraid of conflict, you’ll never be a great leader.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Yeah. So I want you to tell us about your book. I want to have a chance to be able to talk about that. You’ve written several great books, I love Addicted to Busy.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Thank you.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: So if you don’t mind, will you talk about Addicted to Busy for just a second? I want to get to Remarkable, your newest book Remarkable. But I want you to talk about Addicted to Busy for a second.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Addicted to Busy is a book I wrote out of great pain because I burned out as a pastor. And when I got on the other side of that and found healing I discovered the Jesus rhythm of living, where I’ve found that Jesus worked hard and rested well. And he worked hard and he rested well. And he honored the Sabbath and he often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. That even Jesus, who had three years to save the world, found himself a way resting, restoring himself, refreshing himself, and did not give into the temptation of working himself into a frenzy every day. So when I discovered that Jesus rhythm of living it changed my life. And I wrote the book Addicted to Busy to help save some pastors from burnout. And I hope they take a look at it. I get more feedback from that book that I wrote than any other book I’ve ever written, because I think it’s still an epidemic in the American cultures to work yourself into some kind of a corner and then you can’t find a way out.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: How do you guys go about at New Life encouraging your staff to rest and encouraging versus making? How forceful do you guys become on that?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Well first of all, if I don’t rest my staff can’t rest. So I have to lead the way. If I don’t model a rhythm of Sabbath and rest and working hard, so there’s a balance here that I’m not telling people not to work hard. I work hard, I’m super productive every day. I work hard, I plan my day, I don’t waste a lot of time. But when it’s time to stop, and go home, and rest, and take a day off, I’m really good at it. And you have to be as disciplined in your work as you are disciplined in your rest. Both require a great amount of discipline. So if you’re going to work well, then plan your day, and follow your plan, and don’t waste time. But when it gets time to rest you have to be as dogmatic about the day of rest as you are about the day of work.

Pastor Brady Boyd: I mean on my day of rest I just say no and I don’t worry about offending people. I am going to unplug, I’m going to unwind. I’m going to turn my phone off, I’m going to spend time with God, I’m going to spend time with Pam and the kid. I’m going to go for a walk, I’m going to work out, I’m going to get some vitamin D my face. I’m going to restore my soul, I’m going to watch a movie, I’m going to go to bed early. That’s Sabbath to me. I call them bedhead days in the book where I get up and I have the option of combing my hair or not.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: That’s when you know you’re really resting is when you don’t have to comb your hair.

Pastor Brady Boyd: It’s awesome. Put a hat on and spend the rest of your day doing whatever.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: That’s awesome. So talk about your new book, what’s the heart behind it? What brought it about?

Pastor Brady Boyd: Well I wrote Remarkable, the book Remarkable because I see that the church is coming into a pivotal age where if we don’t regain our witness we might lose it forever. And we are called to be remarkable witnesses to a watching world right now. And I know that the church is going through a lot of pressure, and tension, and reshaping, and reforming. But this is actually a time for the church to be purified and stand up and say, we’re going to be people living a life, living a faith that’s worth talking about. So I talk about what the Bible says about marriage and why the idea of marriage is such a remarkable thing, the covenant of marriage. I talk about purity in the book. I talk about prayer. I talk about worship and what makes our life stand out? Why are we a city set on a hill? What is it about our lives that are a witness? How can we go out into the world and represent Jesus in a remarkable way?

Pastor Brady Boyd:

Loving people purely, really, really investing in people’s lives in a way that makes people take notice of things that are different in us. The joy that comes to us. We are a people of abundant joy, and the watching world should look at us and see the most joyful, happy, contented, pure people. And our lives should be so intoxicating, so tempting for the watching world, I want to be like them. I want to live like that. I want my marriage to look like that. I want my devotion to God to look like that. And I just think it’s time for the church to step up and take on the role of witness, and to be a pure witness, a powerful witness, a present witness in the watching world.

Pastor Brady Boyd: So I wrote the book Remarkable as a way to call people to a higher standard of living. Not out of performance and not out of legalism, that’s not what I’m… But I want to see people come to Christ. I want to see the lost come home. I want to see the prodigal return to the Father’s house. And the only way to do that is to go out into the world and not hide from the world, but to invest ourselves in the world and show them that there is a greater alternative to the life they’re living. And for them to see something in me that represents Jesus and it calls them home. So I wrote the book for that reason.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: I love that. And you can obviously pick up those books on Amazon and go check out all Pastor Brady’s books, and you will not regret that. You can also, Pastor Brady also has an amazing podcast that I want to plug for just a second. It’s called the Essential Church Podcast. And it’s he and a few of the leadership team at his church, which by the way, love Pastor Brady’s model of leadership. He empowers leaders, he lets them be local pastors in congregations and preach on a weekly basis. I just love the model that he shows. And you need to check this out if you’re a pastor looking for, wrestling through models of ministry, and why don’t you just take a minute and talk about that, Pastor Brady, I think it’s important.

Pastor Brady Boyd: Well all of us, a lot of us when your church gets to a certain size start thinking about multi-site. And there’s really two ways of thinking about multi-site. One is the video model, which is more of a franchise model, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think a lot of churches do it really well, including Gateway Church, Trinity Fellowship Church, the churches that I’m aligned with do it really well. Highlands Church, New Life Church in Conway, Arkansas, they do a fantastic job of broadcasting their services out to other campuses and using the video technology. What I found at Gateway is that we had a team of young preachers on my staff-

Dr. Jon Chasteen: You mean at New Life?

Pastor Brady Boyd: That right, at New Life. And so when I was at New Life I discovered that I had a lot of young leaders and preachers, and we developed a congregational model that’s more of a family model, where I allow those guys to start congregations in the city, under the umbrella of New Life Church. And so we collaborate with our preaching, but we allow for contextualized ministry, and then we centralize ministry support. So we collaborate with the preaching, we contextualize the ministry in the neighborhood for whatever the neighborhood needs, and then we centralize support systems that allow those churches to thrive. So I have seven, we’re about to launch our seventh congregation. All seven congregations have a live preaching team at every congregation, including New Life North where I am.

Pastor Brady Boyd: And we preach basically the same sermon series every week together. We study together, we preach together, we allow those pastors to express themselves in the way that God’s designed them. So it might look a little different if you go to one congregation versus another, but we have shared convictions which holds us all together. And there’s a great deal of relational unity that happens. It’s hard work keeping that kind of relational unity together, but we have seen our church really grow and thrive because I’m releasing those young leaders out to go out. And instead of losing them I’m keeping them. And what I love about it is there’s a sense of collegiality that happens in brotherhood and friendship. And it’s just a lot of fun, number one, to be together and not feel so isolated. A lot of pastors are studying without community, and I think that it’s a problem.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: And all the pressure’s on them.

Pastor Brady Boyd: It’s the flawed Moses model where Moses comes down from the mountain and he’s the only one with the sermon. I think first of all, that didn’t work for Moses either.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: No, it didn’t. That’s true.

Pastor Brady Boyd: I mean I think he got corrected. And I have found that it’s saving me about 10 hours of study a week by studying with a group of people. They’re bringing stuff to the table that we all share, and the congregation doesn’t know we’re sharing it but it helps me see things clearer, study better, preach better since I’ve started studying with a group of people. I do study alone, but I also study with them.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Sure. Well I just thought it was important for pastors out there to hear that. Because sometimes we’re faced with that decision, and we don’t just need to do it because everybody else is doing it. What I love about your model is you said, okay, what’s best for New Life? What is best for our culture and best for our people? So I love that. So thank you for listening today. Pastor Brady, thank you so much for coming on. And I love you, love what you do. Thanks for being a pastor in my life and for what you do in Colorado Springs, but all over the places that you get to minister. We’re honored to have you. So you’re listening today, go to go check out New Life. If you’ve never heard of them, if you’ve never checked out Pastor Brady, you need to follow them on social media. You need to go to their website, check them out. You need to listen to their Essential Church Podcast. Just become a part of his life, you will be blessed by it.

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.