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11: Interview with Pastor Jimmy Carroll of Journey Church and Liberty Church Network Director Rob Wetzel

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2020 8:00 pm

11: Interview with Pastor Jimmy Carroll of Journey Church and Liberty Church Network Director Rob Wetzel

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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Welcome to Crossroads connection is the show all about having conversation surrounding life ministries and culture was a quick thank you to our friends at the Truth Network for sharing this program everybody were here for another episode of Crossroads connection Andy and Jamie are here with me. I'm Tyler.

Are you guys doing well doing, I know member meeting virtually. Again, we can together and it breaks my heart but I'm just so encouraged to see your faces right now. Let's say what I think.

I think this is a this is an introvert dream right now, so the listening you are loving what's happening right now. I am an introvert at staying at home but I'm an introvert with a one-year-old which takes a little bit of you just takes all my energy. So yeah, you're getting cured of your being an introvert really quickly here yeah yeah I think so yeah it's been it's been really good to be able to continue the show. So what every listening from right now. You know, as you're listening to this program. I hope that what I hope you are encouraged by it and you know we have a lot of things happening the world around us right now hope that over the next 27 minutes that you'll stay tuned in and be encouraged by none of them talk about now, but also we got some incredible guests coming on later will actually what you just that you recently preached a sermon, and that was pretty timely sermon for the times we find ourselves thinking Thomas absolutely you know you been following along with this we are in a your transformation skull transmission 2025 thinkers every listening go ahead and go to Crossroads.org/2020. Because what I love is that we been going to the Bible together since January 1 and were preaching from where we are in the Bible and what I love every single week that there is something that was written to three, 4000 years ago. That is absolutely relevant and as you said Jamie timely for what were going to right now so nothing longer. Preached a message on the first Kings chapter 18 and this the iconic passage were Elijah is gathering up the profits of bail and he challenges them to challenge them basic to up to duel of who got what God is real and what God is going to answer them and at the end of that passage at the end of first Kings 18 his prayer is God, let it be known today that you are the God of Israel, and I thought the terminology of let it be known was so impactful in the winter. That passage opens in first Kings chapter 18, seven verse 20 is a have gathers all the people of Israel together and Elijah comes near them and he says this in verse 21 he says how long we go limping between two different opinions if the Lord is God, follow him. But if bail, then follow him and I think that that such a very timely timely message for us today on who you think God is and and really the question I pose the church that I love to ask everybody right now who are listening to this this program is how long you wait before you make a decision if God is real then follow God. But if you don't think is real or real things relevant or you don't want to call him your God then follow somebody else.

God is not in a share.

You guys, I can assure you.

Time was he was a jealous God and so I love that Elijah opens with the question to everybody. How long will you go between two opinions and I think right now once again listeners out there this point ask you how long you wait you know if you can follow your money in your career and your success in your job and even family relationships of that's going to be what you serve, or to get to be God and if it's can be God and God has to be first but then this this iconic passage gets even more incredible as you keep reading through that. Also, what happens is they put a test out there and they both take a bull and in the profits of Bill take this bull jumping the pieces put on the altar and then Elijah says you prayed your God, I'll pray to the God of Israel and whatever God answers. He's the real God and they say okay let's go for the strike so they do this and what you see happening is the profits of bail pretty much all day are running around the altar and their shouting and their yelling and devices are cutting themselves and they keep doing this and an inverse 26 of first Kings 18.

I think there is a very sad passage innocently says this is as they took the bull that was given them and they prepared it and called upon the name of bail from morning until noon, saying old bail answers and here's the sad thing it says there was no answer and there is no voice in any keep reading down down verse 29.

This is as midday pass, they raved on and so the time of the offering, but there is no voice. Now listen to this.

No one answered and no one paid attention and I think that's very sad. I think that there's people right now, especially during this time that are trying to find answers in things that are absolutely dead and not alive try to find answers in and there's their own self write or try to finances and money to try to financers and in their own little g God's and they're knocking to get an answer and so I guess today what I want people to know is, let it be known that God is the God God is the guy that can answer God is the guy that can meet you where you are. Even though church might look different even though life is different even though jobs might be a little insecure that there is a God that can actually answer us M's Tony if we start to look for answers in other places you can find silence and you can find chaos does not give me an answer and it's gonna be chaotic you know so that that's me is the timely message of war going through right now and I love that today we get to interview in just a few minutes were not were in a be interviewing two incredible leaders here in Raleigh, pastor of a local church and a director of the Libby church network, your success as a leader hinges upon buying from your teams clear and consistent communication from you and strategic delegation. My name Cheryl Scanlon C3 Advantage helps you steward your most valuable resource. Well, improve retention grow employee engagement and generate higher team and individual ownership.

The success of your organization begins with you and depends on your team go deeper as a leader and watch organization further visit C3advantage.net three Vantage and we are back from the break with my two very very special guest Pastor Jimmy Carol of journey church and Rob Wetzel, the director for the liberty church network guys. Thank you so incredibly much for joining me on this program management project greatly with the absolutely will you know. Listen we are all trying to figure out effect before your record. We are talking about how we are really figuring out how church life and even discipleship, to some degree is very very different than it was just a few months ago. In some ways were enjoying it in other ways.

It's challenging and so Pastor Jimmy you lead an incredible church here in Raleigh called journey church and first I want, just tell us a little bit about the mission and vision vision of journey church is a church that you started that you planted and so does a little bit of the mission and the vision the harpy behind your church yeah man thanks for having us today that we we started back in 2005. We started with that eight families and a party room of the bowling alley not far from where we sit today and we moved from there to Millbrook elementary school in a week from the beginning we said that our vision was to make Jesus famous our city nation world that still remains the vision today which I'm just a different way of saying what every church should have as their mission of the first 10 years of our church. We had is our mission to help people follow Jesus of about 10 years and we realize that that was too soft of a mission wasn't as clearly defined, as we wanted to be in so a few years back we went we change our mission statement to say we want to be a church that helps people be disciples who make disciples slow it will be clear focus. Trust him and that is that's that that's that's really good Jimmy I'm wondering if you can walk me through how journey church has been impacted during the stay at home time I was the our people can come to the building anymore.

We can gather for services. So how have you adapted you accomplishing that mission and that mission is journey church yeah me like every church were just trying to figure it out by no means have we figured it out but we are determined to figure it out.

I really do see this this season as an opportunity. I'm not discouraged that were facing. I'm determined that the mission doesn't change right just because we have to stay on examination doesn't change and so it's it's incumbent on those of us who lead churches ministry leaders is incumbent figure it out, and so as a team vessel were trying to do and try to figure it out. Obviously it most of it is on the phone urged soon calls like this is all virtual, but you can still do discipleship. Virtually there's no excuse not to get the job done. In some ways as we start to come out of this. I think at least early on is going to look a lot like you looked in the book of acts where the church was scattered throughout the city and so you are not meeting virtually. I think what I've immediately got a jump back into thousands of people and building all at once and said that actually really excites me and it's forcing us right now to come up with a plan to recruit and train more leaders will be ready to step up when we were allowed to leave our home. Start meeting in groups of 20 or 30 or 50 or whatever it might be to get to get prepared for that. That time because it is gonna come, yeah, absolutely. And could you walk us through what is your Sunday services in your Sunday gatherings look like a guys meeting online now completely is doesn't look the same. It's just noise in the building or have you kind of adapted that look differently yeah we we tried to get as creative as possible. We pre-produce everything instead of doing like a true last drink. Okay, so I will be the record a message at a time right now were actually going back and playing a series that I did six years that I took a small video crew that Israel and film flat five sermons from Israel is called origins the content is so relative to what were facing today with this pandemic talk about in times of prophecy dug up. In a dry season faith versus fear/topics. It is irrelevant what facing today is really well produced about 50% of each video is be roasted people who never get to go to Israel. We bring Israel to them all. Obviously, all of our music is prepared to just as well we are still trying like every other church to figure out you know, we try to keep it is as tight as possible, as short as possible.

People watching on their mobile devices or the TV. I just don't have the attention span. What they would have sitting in our auditorium for lab service to try to get creative with it. Make it as simple as as possible for people to access it, and then during the week trying to provide as much content as we can put my stuff out of YouTube and Facebook and everything everybody else is trying. It's awesome. So Jimmy in what ways are you encouraging your church to continuing their discipleship journeys right now.

That's a great question to me. But I continue to safeguard people is when crisis hits, and there's no doubt were in crisis right as followers of Jesus we don't shrink back. We step up as followers of Jesus season like this is a test for us is a test to tell us or we who we say we are do we believe what we say we believe and our neighbors are family members and are coworkers throw look at us were people of faith during this season I think it's a great opportunity for people who claim to be followers of Jesus to accept and embrace personal responsibility to help other people find apologies just because you can't do that in person and in most parts you can make your neighbors but just to get you can't do that with the masses of those where you live, work-study coin shop. You can do with all of them in person again is like a said earlier it's not an excuse to not keep making disciples. You can figure out a way to get it done at Denali spacelike target evangelism identify people in your in your circle of influence that you know I need Jesus and strategize awaits it to be Jesus to them to be a voice of hope to be the hands and feet of Jesus again to demonstrate that we are who we say we are and that we believe we state. We believe that's really a pastor and so was back up just one step to the terminology discipleship. I would think that most people should have a pretty good understanding but I've been around 25 years of full-time ministry and I've seen all over the board. I'm sure you have as well. So how how would you just simply define what discipleship is now made it in the simplest terms, is training people to be more like Jesus right Jesus is the goal. The Bible is not the goal we studied about the Bible is not the goal. The goal is to live and act in love like Jesus. And so when I think about discipleship is just helping people be more like Jesus like you just say it assembles and that's wonderful and so I know you said earlier that you our Christmas stuff online as possible and you only the shifted journey church a couple years ago. So what would be. Can you give me one practical wave that you're currently encouraging that still happen. Is there a specific thing that you're putting a liners or certain teaching or doing or is it really just to the small groups at homes that you're really trusting that to you may currently currently get near the end of this, unique season that we never had to do a Bible scan so we so we started several more. Online will become additional communities of initial community for us is a family of missionary service sent by Jesus to be disciples who make disciples.

That's how we define the mission of community and so where were adding more mission communities online right now and by the way for somebody who's a functioning introvert, like me, of the virtual and stays perfect because you can you could be discipled and you can decide whether people around so it's perfect so degraded that this actually great entry point for an introvert who could that it is intimidated about going to someone's home and so there's this that's that's for doing were trying to identify and recruit and develop and train more people to the lead virtual emcees, and as I said earlier, to be ready when we are really trusting all water started moving the homes by the way, and you think one of the things that were learning is I don't think we will ever not be virtual again.

There is there somebody business people in our church that travelers looking just like a crossroads. The travel that that can't be, and whatever you call small groups in Michigan exhorted me to do they think they can't be involved in so it's hard to discipled those guys but now were we are learning that we can actually do it.

Virtually that's right so we will continue to do that after release from the stay all morning start to gather together work.

I continue to do virtual emcees for us yet.

Yeah, you're right. Having this this really has caused us to not just rethink what were doing immediately, but I think it is can produce some really great things coming out of it as well. So let me let me send the topic of discipleship and making disciples because one of the things that why guess I was introduced to it through you, Jimmy and journey church and that is the liberty church network and Rob you are the director of literature's network and I know that the one of the major heartbeats of that is discipleship. And so what you just Rob take a few minutes and just get people come up to date on who the liberty church network is in, the purpose and importance of it in Charlotte about the vision, the values and strategies of your great thanks for heavenly yes of the liberty church network was founded back in the early 80s by Dr. Jerry Falwell, who also founded liberty University and now he started this organization as originally as a church planting organization and a fellowship for pastors who were coming out at that time.

Liberty Baptist college and the organization evolved over the years became more of a strategize. Focus network at funding church planters and then just in 2015 we rebranded relaunch to become a network of pastors around the country who are helping their people, the better at making disciples so we've kind of taken a shift from just church planting really helping pastors unleash all their people being disciple makers.

So that's really the vision what we do right now. Strategically, as we develop what we call local centers and local centers are groups of pastors that meet around the country on a monthly basis to talk about lots of different things they pray together they fellowship together for the most part, all of our conversation centered around a coaching about how we can get better helping our people you disciple makers. So yeah they day we right now we have about 35 of these local centers out 700 pastors around the country and I were seeing a lot of 6000 pastors really changing the way their thinking about just not doing church but really being and releasing their people at making disciples who make disciples. That's wonderful, and is a pastor and and Jimmy McNeil speaking is to I think that the pastor side there's a couple benefits of something like the liberty church network and obviously the. The growth side, which is learning how to build disciples strategies of how to do that. I know at the local center here in Raleigh.

There's a lot of great conversation about what churches are doing and how they're doing it, but I think for me it's it could be almost even equal, maybe even a little more, so it's just the networking with other guys that are in the trenches and ministry. In other society Camille, Jim, is there something about being around people that know the heartache that you're going through. As a pastor that I don't exactly 1 of the things it that I think is unique to our network and as Rob said about our local centers is a lot of times when that when networks gather together the pastors. I want to talk about church growth strategies talk about how to build a culture of generosity want to talk about leadership development. They want to talk about all types strategies in and help student to build your church.

That's not what we do, we can we tell our guys if you're interested in just growing your church. You're not a good fit for our network right. We are looking for pastors who care about. As Rob said training and equipping your people to be missionaries, where they already are. When you get a group of guys in a room together that have that vision in that mindset there's something really awesome about that.

Me. When we relaunch this back in 2015 we realized is that the majority of churches at least in the circles that we rent function is like an attraction model church where the pastors and professionals right in the people who Shelby don't call them customers or consumers, but we might as well excessively cute and so we create we created little we created on probably promote cute phrases like invest invite best relationships and abide your friends, family members, coworkers, neighbor stood our weekend gathering will work will where we would tell your friends about Jesus right when they accept Jesus will create discipleship opportunities like we are friends and that method worked for a long time, but we slowly started realizing is that method is no longer working and it's not even biblical. Anyway in New Testament everyone who accepted Jesus just knew that I was synonymous with with the commitment of thought help other people find and follow Jesus and so he says a network that's who were going to be started to get a room about you guys at that mindset that grounded your church in our church 1 mile apart and I love I love that were partly together when crossroads wins the kingdom went right. I pray God just blows your attendance through the roof because at that. That's a win for the kingdom, but I know you and your heart is like mine more than I'm not as interested in how many people show up on the weekend we can write out what I get whenever you back. That's right, less interested in having people show up on the weekend and I'm more interested with how many of the people he called journey church home, accept and embrace personal responsibility for the mission of Jesus. That's what our network is all about right. That's wonderful and so Rob, there's actually people listening to this.

There's pastors are stable churches. So who is this network for so it's not just for liberty grad is not just for Baptist Church is so, but at same time we want certain people with a heartbeat to be in this so I guess Rob the question that's in there is how how can some get more information about it and and what he most encouraging pastors to do and think about when it comes to networking to something like literature's network. The first thing guys can do is go to our website to learn more about who we are what we do when we meet. And that is the liberty church network.com liberty church network.com, and so for the most part we are network made up of pastors from all denominations and all networks so you could be from any denomination. Obviously, like you said, these are guys who have a heartbeat to help their people be disciple makers so if you really don't care about that, you're probably not talking about but but we have pastors from every denomination, all kinds of networks around the country. It's not an exclusive type of thing we tried to make the door really wide so we could get as many people that care about making disciples to be a part of the network so if you go on the website. You can see where all these local centers are are situated when they meet every month and and then again, it's kind of each center is kinda unique to the pastor who leads it like Jimmy's leads a local center here in Raleigh and a lot of the guys know Jimmy are in relationship with him and are network with journey church. You know those are kind of the guys I calmly have one in Clayton, North Carolina one Broadway North Carolina Winston-Salem so we have quite a few in Virginia and North Carolina so yeah it it it just kind of vary from place to place. That's wonderful and so once again say the website for everybody to see more information for your pastor out there church out there to go and check out the website liberty church network.com liberty clerk network.com excellent lodging with our time left Ask you as a pastor I know your heart and your heart for people. What would you say to people listening right now that maybe are just as lucky letter anxious.

My people are just little bit and there's some in the some real economic and social exam be happening from results this so how would you status and curse of a listening right now with thanks thanks thanks again for the opportunity to be with you guys today and and opportunity even answer that. I'm sure like you I've been so frustrated with so many Christians that I see online.

Poor not taking the serious who are making people who are anxious and fearful feel guilty or less than Christians who are online, trivializing and misquoting Scripture and is making people feel bad and whatnot.

What I challenged our church is don't do that because what were facing Israel.

Some people are handling it better than others. I just encourage RB but I would encourage anyone listening and just keep your eyes on Jesus, don't minimize how somebody else fills empathize with them and encourage them and that I am to those who are listening that you yourself are struggling right now. Listen again and the time of the word I use uncertainty.

No one has the answers except except God. Right wait we think we know what's gonna happen, but we don't know what's going happen and so I think just keeping our eyes on Jesus is sort of the illustration I used our people is that Peter what he wanted to walk on the water and he stepped out and we criticize Peter right but he was the only one to step out of the boat and as long as his eyes were on Jesus, he was able to walk on water is stored at fate versus spirit thing. He began to sink. And I think it's a similar thing for us if we can learn to renew our mind replace our thoughts. We learned whatever controls your thoughts control your life right so I think practicing the discipline that Scripture teaches about renewing your mind capturing your thought bringing your thoughts into obedience, making obedient to Christ enough the bulb you have when you evaluated. If it doesn't align with Scripture does a lot of God says about you that is not from him. She got replace that. You can't just stop thinking about it. You got replace that with something you know Paul is clear about that income. These things so we do have that ability so I think just keep your eyes on Jesus, learning to renew your mind and make sure your thoughts are in alignment with Scripture in the don't get too far ahead of yourself. Let's just get there today. Don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to come.

Let's just get today. Absolutely fascinating.

This is a great word and pastor Jimmy thank you so much what you do for the kingdom and listen if you listen right now to look for a fantastic church please please please check out journey church here in Raleigh and Rob, thank you so much for your heartbeat for discipleship in such a making and all that you do to connect pastors and churches with the liberty church network and thank you both for being on this program today and were encouraged by you and thank you for your time and understanding key for joining us for shelves and you can contact sponsoring this agreement forward to having you join us on the next shall perhaps you've asked yourself this question. Are you running the business or the business running.

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