Here's what I want to do today is I want to start this thing off with a question for you. What's your best scripture on anxiety? I'm going to share a couple with you here, and I'm going to be real transparent about my journey with anxiety and where I think it leads to if it's not mitigated, particularly with scripture. Sorry about the table there.
Before I dive into that, let me tell you what I'm doing with the livestream going forward. I'm trying to figure out what the themes for each day would be. Mondays are going to be Mindset Monday. Now, the irony is, I sat in a hospital with my dad all day yesterday. Don't worry, he's fine, but on Mindset Monday instead, I was having my mindset shifted by Emory Hospital here in Atlanta, so I didn't get to that.
Mondays are normally going to be mindset information. I'm going to give you some mindset information about what I'm learning, connecting with you as pastors. I'm going to ask Pastor Lawson to do the same, to share with you some of the things that he's just learned about pastoring a church from anywhere from 60 people to about 3,500 people, which is where they are now.
If you don't know, Pastor Jerry Lawson is my partner in 24toDouble, which is the page that you're on right now where we're live streaming from. Jerry's just got a lot of insight, not just about what he's learned, but also about what he is learning, which I think many times is much more powerful when we talk about not just what we've been through, but what we're actually going through.
Going forward, I'm going to use Mondays as Mindset Monday. I think Tuesday's going to be Technology Tuesday. With that, here's what I'd ask. I will share with you some of what I'm learning. If you don't know, we run an online training for pastors, for churches, around church growth called 24 to Double. It's a whole church discipleship model.
If you want to find out more about that, that's not what this video is about, but if you want to find out more, everything you need to know is on a link that you can find if you go to 24Trial.com or 24 to Double, which is hard to spell, thusly the reason we have other short links. DoubleChurch.com will also get you there. You can find out everything you know.
Here's what we're doing is we've got this revolutionary new thing that we're doing, which is teaching pastors and their teams through online platforms, much like what we're doing right here. Well, along the way, obviously, we've had to learn a thing or two about how do you leverage technology to be able to reach people who are far from God, but probably right outside the doors of your church. I'm going to use Tuesdays to talk through technology.
Wednesday's Hump Day, whatever that means for people that don't really like humps. I think on Wednesdays, what I'm going to try to focus on is what are the humps that we're trying to get over, what are the things that seem to get us stuck. That may sound a lot like mindset, but I'm going to try to be as practical as possible about the areas where I feel like we as an organization are stuck and what we're doing to attack those stuck places in our organization to move forward.
Thursdays, I'll jump around a little bit. I'm not sure exactly what's planned for Thursdays. Fridays, I'm just going to dive in. Hopefully what I'll do is dive in and start answering questions that we get off of live streams that we do here or information that we get when people email us that are on our email list. That's how I'm going to use that.
A couple of cool things to tell you about going forward is we are going to leverage this platform for pastors with anxiety a lot more, live streaming. We think it's a great way to connect with people. If you'll notice, if you're on with us live, you might see five, 10, 15 people all on live with us at any given time, but if you look back on the next day, you'll see we might have 800 to 1,000 views using live stream.
Now, why that's important for you, pastor, is this is a crazy, incredible opportunity that we have to reach people that are never going to darken the doors of our church. It gives us an opportunity to get outside of the doors of the church not just with the message of Jesus. I think that's important, but you and I both know that one of the biggest obstacles to people knowing Jesus is just us and their perception of us and their experience with who they think we are. I think it's important that we're finding ways to get that message out to people without making them having to wake up on Sunday morning and come to church for the very first time.
I was actually trying to explain to my mom yesterday while we were sitting in the hospital how weird it is for somebody to come to church for the first time, because I've grown up my whole life in church. My mom's dad was a southern Baptist pastor, and we just don't know what it's like to not go to church on Sunday morning, but for people that don't know Jesus, that don't have experience with church, walking into a party where they don't know anybody and the first thing they do is start singing about a God that they're not even sure exists, well, that's weird. We've got to deweirdify, and I think one of the ways that we do that is by leveraging technology just like this one.
All that to say that's kind of where we're going with this. Let me dive in a little bit and talk to you about some of what I'm learning about anxiety as it relates. Now, I keep an Evernote file that's got a massive amount of information in it about anxiety scripture, things that I'm learning, thoughts that I'm having on it.
The reason I do that is because I work for myself. I run this online platform. Every day, I'm the one that gets up and tells me what to do, and there's always a tension between what I'm telling myself to do and actually how much I can do. A lot of people think being your own boss is the bee's knees. Not sure why I used that reference, but I did. Everybody thinks, "Hey, I'd love to have that kind of freedom," and I'm not saying that there's not a lot of upside to having this kind of freedom.
The downside to it is you're the one that gets to decide what you do every day, and sometimes you don't know what you should do that's going to be most effective. Pastor, hopefully that sounds very, very similar to what you're doing every day, and not to mention the expectations that you have on you by other people. Same is true for me.
The first scripture I have on this is John 16:33. This is one of the most common ones. Again, before I read this, hey, whatever your favorite scripture on anxiety is, if you'll drop it in the comments. As people watch this more and more throughout the day and over the next couple of weeks, I think the guys that are struggling that see this tagline, Pastors with Anxiety, and they read that, I think it would be super important for them to see your favorite scripture. The whole scripture, not just the reference, but that scripture, or you can put the reference in there and just some kind words. I think that's how we can love and serve each other with a platform like this.
That scripture says, again, it's John 16:33, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world." One of my key characteristics, the things that God created in me is I love to know how things work. When I am trying to understand how things work, I try to put them in simple, often mathematic terms. That'll make more sense when I read you this.
Here's what that scripture means to me. In the world, you will have trouble. The world equals trouble. In me, you will have peace. Behold, I have overcome the world. The world equals trouble. The Lord equals peace.
Now, here's why that's important for me right now, pastors with anxiety. Every time we start a new initiative, with 24 to Double right now, we're getting ready to launch a training on how to engage Millennials. We'll be offering that after the first of the year. Every time we do this, I start to feel the tension that the enemy creates in our business, which is, "Why are you guys doing this? What do you have to say about this? Is anybody going to listen? Is this important? Are you going to spend a lot of time doing this work?"
It creates anxiety in me. What I realize about myself is that I am trying to find my peace in serving you. Pastor, I'm trying to find my peace in the work that we're doing at 24 to Double and the fact that we're reaching churches all across the world, which is very encouraging, but a lot of days it just feels like man, who am I to do this? That is when I know that I am trying to find peace in the world, but the world does not equal peace. The world equals trouble.
Now, pastor, here's what you ought to be relating to that. That is the same thing for you. Let me put the cookies on as low a shelf as I can for you. Your ministry does not equal your identity. It is not who you are. That's such a hard thing to do. I talk to pastors all the time, and who they are as a leader is quantified by the number of people that are in worship on Sunday and how those people feel about them.
Let me just tell you, pastor, that's a lie. Your peace is found in the Lord alone and not from the success of the ministry as we define it, because you and I both know that some of the greatest ministries in history, 100 years from now when we look back, we'll say, "Man, that little church in southern Alabama was absolutely killing it." If you're in southern Alabama, I hope you're absolutely killing it and you're praying and that God is blessing you, and you're not turning that blessing into a curse because you don't have Andy Stanley type numbers at church on Sunday morning.
"In the world, you're going to find trouble. In me, you're going to find peace," is what Jesus said. Peace is found in him. Here's what I put into that for me. I don't know if this will matter to you. Two and two will always equal four. The Lord is where you find peace. It's just like two and two always equals four. You will not fund sustaining lasting peace in this world. It is basic math.
In Jesus, you may not always feel like you have peace, but let me just tell you, pastor, it's always available. Usually when we don't have it, it's because we're trying to find it in the wrong place. In fact, what I wrote down here at the bottom is, "Peace equals alignment with God." Not him lining up with what I want, with what I want in my church, with what I want in this ministry of 24 to Double, with what I want financially in my life or for my daughter or for my wife. That is not me trying to get God to come in line. What is peace, right thinking, is me coming in line with what God is doing.
The other scripture I have here, oh, this is really good. I think I hijacked some of this off John Piper a million years ago, but it's first Peter five, six through seven. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand that he may up in due time." I'm messing this up. This is the best thing about live, too. Just let me pause a sec. The best thing about live videos, there's no retake. When you screw it up, it's just screwed up. I think I typed this wrong. It says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time," and then the next verse says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Well, the way that John explained this was he said this. Those are not two different sentences. It's not, "Humble yourself, and then cast your anxieties." He said basically that humbling yourself was in fact an act of humility, or casting your anxieties on the Lord is an act of humility. It's not humble yourself and then cast. It's not two different things. It's humble yourself by casting your anxieties. Man, I'm glad I finally got that out. Humble yourself by casting your anxieties on the Lord.
This is what I'll ask you. What are you anxious about? Right now in this moment when you're watching this livestream or if you're watching it recorded, right now, what are you anxious about?
Hey Jessica, thanks for putting that same scripture in there. I don't know Jessica Weston, but I know that my assistant's name is Jessica, and if you're half as awesome, then you're way awesome as my assistant Jessica. That is funny. That is the very same. Oh yes, this scripture, second Timothy 1:7. "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." That is one that I learned in my mentoring group years ago that I quote often when fear tends to come.
Pastor, back tracking, what are you anxious about? Here's what I think a lot of people don't understand. Through many years of counseling, I've gotten there. If you let anxiety hang around long enough, it turns into depression. Depression is a lot harder to get unstuck from than anxiety. There's still a way to work yourself out of it.
I alluded to my way several times in this conversation so far. The number one way is I try to journal my going into, being in, and coming out of anxious or depressed seasons in my life. I think it's something that a lot of people deal with, and every time they go in, it's like the very first time. For me, I try to keep a file, as I said, in Evernote where I document what's happening, what's going through my mind, and then what scripture clicks with me on this.
Now, I've got a treasure trove of scripture that's in that. I would share that with you, but there's a lot of very personal thoughts in between that scripture. Maybe I need to go back and purify and get just the scripture out, which maybe I'll do at some point, but the bottom line is, the revelations for me are not going to be for you anyway. I think it's figuring out how to dive in and grab that scripture that's going to be useful for you.
Now, if you are a pastor, let me tell you this. 30% of the people that sit in your sanctuary Sunday are going to be struggling with anxiety or depression in some way, shape, or form. I just saw a stat that said a little over 33% of high school kids struggle with suicidal thoughts. I think that we can assume that adults are at least in that ballpark, and those thoughts come, they're deeply rooted in this pathway from anxiety to depression.
I would say this. Knowing that this is something that most of us are going to struggle with from time to time, make sure you're keeping good records. When you find great scripture on this, separate it out into a separate Evernote document so that when somebody's struggling, the first thing you can do is shoot them a link to it from your phone to get them some immediate scripture to grab hold of, memorize, and begin to use in the effort against the enemy that's constantly whispering in their ear. I think that would be huge for those people. I often do that with this document, but again, it has a lot of personal information that I wouldn't share that with just anybody.
That's it. Let me wrap this up by saying whether you're watching this live or recorded, drop your scripture in, number one. Number two, if you haven't liked my page already, go ahead and like the 24 to Double page. I think what happens, and again, I'm still trying to figure this part of live streaming out. I think what happens if you like the page, when we go live, you'll be notified. Now, you can turn those notifications off down the road if you don't want to get them every time.
Again, we are focused. We are an organization that is focused on one thing, and that is keeping the church alive in America. We do that primarily through a whole church discipleship model called 24 to Double, and we know that every day, we need to be finding ways to reach out to you and connect to you so that we can earn the right to be heard about the things that we're doing with other churches.
Again, you can find out more about 24 to Double at 24Trial.com. In fact, if you scroll down, you'll see several testimonies from pastors that are in or been through the process. If you have questions, obviously just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll answer any questions you have, or I hadn't even thought of this, you could plug them in right here in the comments and we'll jump on there and you'll see the reply.
Other than that, put your scripture in. If you're watching this to this point, man, thanks for hanging in. If you've got questions about technology, and when I say technology, big bucket things, oral things. If you're like, "Well, hey, how do we livestream our services on Sunday morning?" Well, we've got a training for that.
Funny enough, we've got a training that we just started offering that I think we're going to bring the pricing down on a little bit just to get it in more hands of churches at the beginning of the year. I'm working on the offer, too, to make it where it's easily handed off to a volunteer. In fact, I'm sure it's there now. We've got some questions we've got answered in that area.
Whatever your macro technology or micro technology questions are, we might be able to help you answer those just because we've got our hands in so many different platforms related to technology and reaching people that aren't going to stand in front of us or sit in front of us every week.
Okay, thanks , pastors with anxiety for hanging out with me, and I will catch you on the next livestream, which will probably be tomorrow. I might talk about Hump Day, some of the stuff that we're trying to get over right now. It's always a good time of the year to talk about the humps, what's going to hold you back and how you're going to break through next year. Okay, thanks pastor, and I'll catch you in the next video.