Thriving in the Midst of Life’s Storms with Ben Young

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s unSeminary podcast. Today we have Dr. Ben Young with us, who is a writer and pastor at Second Baptist Church, a diverse, multi-ethnic church with over 20,000 people attending weekly services online and on six campuses throughout the city of Houston.

Technology and the fact that we’ve become a culture that never slows down and never takes a day off has led to unprecedented stress levels, anxiety disorders and addictions in our society and our churches. Yet as church leaders, we are far from immune to these life storms and pressures. Today Ben is here to share from his own personal experience what to do when your storm lasts for years and how to emerge stronger on the other side.

  • The pressures of today’s society. // Stress and anxiety are widespread in our culture today. Life feels out of control and people feel like they have to go nonstop to deal with the pressures placed on them. Some cope by collapsing into depression while others may have panic attacks or turn to addictive behavior. Additionally technology contributes to our not being fully present and able to really connect with others. How can we navigate these cultural pressures, deal with our personal storms in a healthy way, and be fully present to minister to others?
  • Encountering life’s storms. // We all encounter our own life storms and we never know how long they will last, or if we might enter into a storm that we don’t know the way out of. Ben has written a book, Survive the Day: Thriving in the Midst of Life’s Storms, about how not only to survive, but thrive, in the midst of life’s storms.
  • Listen to the stronger voice. // In the middle of life’s storms, it’s easy to start caving into the “shadow voice” in our heads that is caught up in self-pity and hopelessness, and this can take us to dark places. Instead we need to listen to the stronger voice of truth and meet the challenge to move forward in our lives when everything else is pushing us backwards.
  • Humility, grace, surrender. // Ben found that we need to find ourselves in three positions in order to move forward—positions of humility, grace, and surrender. Putting ourselves into that position of humility is essential in order to hear from God and others. For Ben, humility was the realization that he had to depend upon other people to get through his storm. You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstrap and make it by yourself. God didn’t intend for us to do it that way. It’s also important to learn what it looks like to receive God’s enabling grace, minute by minute and hour by hour, to make it through the day. Lastly, figure out what are the things in your life you can control versus the things you can’t. Learn how to let go of what you can’t control.
  • Get outside help. // There can be a big stigma around getting outside help when we face life’s storms, especially for Christian leaders. Pastors may think that they should have all the answers because they are well-versed in scripture, went to seminary, and have tons of resources at their fingertips. Others may believe they should be above issues because they are the ones that help others. And sometimes it’s shame or embarrassment that can keep us from asking for help. Whatever it is, we need to humble ourselves, admit we need help, and seek godly Christian counselors and therapists to speak truth into our lives.
  • Grow through your storm. // Difficult and strenuous times provide opportunities where we can grow the most. COVID, the unrest in our nation, or any number of other personal storms are opportunities for us to draw closer to God so He can do the needed work in our lives.

You can learn more about Ben’s books at his website www.benyoung.org and learn more about Second Baptist Church at www.second.org.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Carey Nieuwhof

Surrounding yourself with other high capacity leaders is so important right now. When you’re well connected, you can put meaning to content and make well-informed decisions.

Carey Nieuwhof created The Leader’s Circle in March 2020, an inner circle of high capacity leaders who have direct access to him and to one another. If you want to stop leading alone and start leading together, apply now to join The Leader’s Circle.

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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.