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Life After Being Let Go from a Church with Justin Herman

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Welcome back to another episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m excited to have a new friend with us, Justin Herman from the Controlled Chaos podcast.

Controlled Chaos is focused on serving youth ministry workers and interviews great leaders in this area while also getting into the tactics of youth ministry.

Justin is with us today to talk about his own experiences in youth ministry and how to respond when things don’t go as planned.

  • Let others create with you. // Justin was let go in youth leadership by his church when his strategies for change didn’t match his church’s ideas. He learned three things that you should keep in mind when trying to push change within your church. First, people will support what they help create. People will love being a part of a ministry that’s thriving, but they will stay up at night thinking about how to improve the ministry if they are part of creating it. Don’t create solely on your own or shoot down everyone else’s ideas. You need to have a collaborative working environment.
  • Experience the setting around you. // Second, allow for the time to understand how you are experienced within a different church culture. Justin got his position at his new church quickly, but he didn’t take the time to really experience the setting and culture around him to learn what works and what doesn’t, even if it did work at the previous church.
  • Listen to your spouse’s advice. // The third thing Justin learned was that he didn’t consider his wife’s advice enough. He would share his frustration and she would offer her thoughts, but he would be very quick to dismiss them because she wasn’t the one in that position experiencing what he was. Take time to step outside of the situation and see it as someone else would. What is actually happening? What’s allowing it to go sideways? Reach out to mentors to hear their insights on the situation.
  • Don’t pass off the guilt. // In determining his next steps after being let go from his position at the church, Justin had to face the disappointment people had in him. It can be easy to blame everyone else for what happened but as the leader you need to take ownership for the situation and that things didn’t happen the way they should have because of choices you made. Don’t pass off the responsibility and guilt to everyone else.
  • Ask yourself three questions. // When determining what your plan is after a situation like this, there are three things to ask yourself: Where is your community, the people who really love you? What are you actually going to do? What are the things you can veto as making these decisions? Go where you really feel part of the community and where the people love you. Determine what you will do now and what future you will go after, but talk with your spouse about what they veto in this decision making and respect their thoughts and decisions too.
  • Controlled Chaos. // Controlled Chaos was birthed from an idea Justin had while working in youth ministry. He interviews other people in the ministry world who can share advice and stories from their own experiences to help others in the youth leadership world. He also worked on the book Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry with Kurt Johnston to give advice on what he has learned in youth ministry.

You can visit controlledchaos.fun/linktree to find everything related to Controlled Chaos—podcast links, blog, social media, and YouTube channel.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Pro Media Fire

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.