62 - Healing Your Story - Kim and Rob Hock
Kim and Rob Hock join Tom and Sean to talk about how they found hope in the darkest times in ministry. Kim shares about her counseling ministry and how she is using story work to help men and women heal.
Rob Hock is the senior pastor at Southport Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN. He has served in ministry since coming to Christ in the early 90’s and has been at Southport Pres since 2012. He has an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Kim Hock has 20 years of experience working with adults, children and adolescents in diverse settings. She has also had the privilege of walking with many individuals through life’s valleys and mountains, witnessing transformation in brokenness.
Kim is most passionate about encouraging others to live embodied and free. She specializes in helping women heal from sexual trauma and recover from spiritual abuse and purity culture. Her hope is to always provide space for people to be who they are without judgement. Through her unique vision, Kim sees the world in pictures and seeks to find ways to ask questions with the goal of seeing others well.
She began her work as a story facilitator while completing her Masters in Counseling. She trained and earned a certification in Narrative-focused Trauma Care through The Allender Center in Seattle. She also holds a certification in Soul Care from The Soul Care Institute.
Kim spends much or her time with her husband and four children. She enjoys traveling, reading, and dining. She feels the most invigorated and free in nature and enjoys driving her Jeep with the top down.
Virtual Story Groups
Contact Kim Hock (info below) to learn more about her Virtual Story Groups.
Virtual story group for pastors:
10 week session
Virtual Story group for ministry spouses:
10 week session
In-person Intensive Weekend of Story
For ministry wives only
Location: Shepherd’s Gate Inn, Martinsville, IN
All meals and lodging included
Reduced cost: $500 per person
Kimberly Hock, LMHCA,
NCCUnder the supervision of
Patricia Anderson, MA, LCSW
Transcript of Interview with Rob and Kim Hock
This transcript was produced automatically by Otter.ai. So, it will contain some errors.
I’d have really one of the darkest seasons I’ve ever been in a ministry and had a friend of mine say you had the smell of death on you. And my wife’s responses you guys felt like that for a while.
Joe Chambers 00:14
Welcome to hope renewed helping you find new hope when ministry leaves you hopeless. The hope renewed podcast is brought to you by PIR ministries. Here are your hosts, Tom Jameson and Sean Nemecek.
Tom Jameson 00:35
Kim and Rob Hoch, welcome
to hope renewed.
Thanks. Happy to be here.
Sean Nemecek 00:39
Yeah. Welcome, guys. All right. So we want to jump into this conversation and just ask you first to start by introducing yourself a little bit to our listeners and tell us a little bit about your ministry journey.
So Rob Hoch, born and raised, Midwest spent my childhood split between St. Louis area and Dallas, Texas Land and milk and honey was the son of the son of a farmer. And spent years in Texas ended up coming to Christ during college and went to a&m, Texas a&m, and then started a ministry in Houston. Where and that’s where Kimmy and I. And that wasn’t the first time we met, we actually met at a&m, but our friend groups sort of overlapped. And so we just knew of one another, get married, ended up, stepping into Gordon Conwell, and then had been in pastoral ministry. Ever since. So married, we have four children, the oldest is 24, the youngest is 17, almost 18. middle two are 21 and 20. And so we’ve got one graduated marrieds. We have an in law, we’ve got a dog, you know, who own the backyard and a fence. So
Tom Jameson 02:04
it sounds like the Midwest.
Yeah, yeah. And my call him like my, in some ways, my stepping into ministry is very normal in other ways. That normal, normal and that, you know, coming out of college, just began to felt the sense that the Lord was calling me to ministry. And in Texas at that point, if you were a young man who loved Jesus, everybody wanted to go to seminary ministry. And so their counsel was don’t go into some don’t go to seminary, seminary and ministry and the Lord wants you there. That’s the whole point you and I worked really hard not to go into ministry, and the Lord was really determined to put me in ministry. So and my journey was, you know, as a youth director for a couple of years and when seminarian came out of that, and served the church as an associate in the DC area, got to experience 911 in DC we had, if you remember the sniper, that was our neighborhood, and had a couple other fairly significant traumas in the community. ended up serving a small church as a solo pastor on Central Washington, halfway between Spokane and Seattle. It’s a close community about seven to 10,000 and then ended up coming here
to people there.
Right. The mule died, Honey, we’re home. And then we had been here, southside of Indy for about 10 years, and I say, so in some ways, it’s very normal. Otherwise, it’s abnormal. And then I came to Christ as an adult. And so I really show up primarily for the lens of an outsider. I didn’t grow up in the church, some relationships, a Roman Catholic context. Most of that did not feel good as a child. I’ve come to appreciate a little more as I’ve grown older. And so in many ways, it’s abnormal in that I don’t have deep heritage. My family does not historically know Jesus. Some of them have come to know Jesus sense but so yeah, all right, honey. Yeah,
I’m kaun married to rob. Same Poor kid. Same dog.
Tom Jameson 04:30
Like can you put the ring on the dog right next to each other?
Hello, Hill. Appreciate that. Yeah, I came to faith in high school. I did not grow up at the church background at all either. And that, really, probably, I would say in a sense godless, like there is no connection in my home, but through the For young life actually in high school, I came to faith and my journey in ministry was started with young life. And all through college I worked at a young life camp every summer backpacking, guiding backpacking trips to the mountains in Colorado, which is super fun and of course my in my mind that that was ministry and that’s what my life was going to look like. I think we’ve been backpacking one I thought for sure the husband I was gonna marry was going to own a camp and camp ministry was going to be the way for me and we ended up admitted in at Gordon Conwell on faith, both of us got accepted. And we’re planning on attending Gordon Conwell, and on the drive there, in a big new hall, we decided that I would, I would continue my teaching career, and he would attend school. And so although I did attend along the way, I think, because I listened to a lot of papers, and that’s where my theological training is rubs papers. Yeah, then really family became a ministry. And I had never quite felt called to pastoral ministry. In fact, I remember where we were sitting and, and the conversation in our little blue Subaru. When Rob told me that he was he felt he sent a calling into petrol ministry. And I thought, I don’t think. And that’s, I think that along the way, you know, three churches, lots of different ministries, lots of ways that I have been involved, and I and my family has been involved, involved, I think, all that time, I was honing in on my skill of people, reader. And so what’s interesting is that my story lends a little bit to really falling right into some misconceptions of pastoral ministry. In fact, that was taught in my home, a lot of focus was on appearance, and not seeing what was going on behind closed doors. And so entering in as the wife of a pastor, even though I didn’t know the ins and outs of a church, there was, there’s the beast of appearance and the Beast of secrecy. And so that I just kind of was able to feed the beast a little bit. But that’s, that’s what I knew. So that’s kind of how I ended up showing up in that role. But through the years to also, knowing that my skill of reading people and listening to people was really what my time was preparing for.
Tom Jameson 08:03
That’s such a important point that you bring up that, you know, we often talk about pastors having misconception about ministry, you know, when they they’re answering the call, but a pastor spouse, a pastor’s family also has to deal with the same kind of conceptions or understandings. And there is that sense that it’s not just the pastor that’s being called to ministry, it’s it’s the whole family, if it’s a family or a couple, the couple itself. So both of you are engaged in active ministry. So and we’re going to dive into that and learn more about what the specific ministry roles that you’re filling look like. But just in general, now that we’ve kind of cast this pall over ministry, what do you love about ministry? What is it that just really kind of makes your heart sing when when you you consider the opportunities and the giftedness and directions that God has called you to?
I would call myself a lover of people. And I’ve always been a lover of people. And I’ve always been an adventurer. So what I’ve loved about ministry is walking along by people in their stories, and in their adventures. And part of so when I say I love people, I just, I am always blown away by people and their creativity and their wit. And the way they look at things and the way they say things. I often find myself, my kids. Show me send me Tik Tok all the time, and I’m just in awe all the time. Like how do people think of these things? And so I think I’m constantly an audit of others. So to me, ministry is seeing people and experiencing life with them. And I love letting them know that they’re not alone. So, with being a lover of people and an adventure, I feel like I’m always on a journey with them. And I thought of when I was thinking about this question I thought of, I don’t know if you guys have read hind feet in high places. It’s an old allegory of faith. And the character’s name is Micah frayed. And as she goes on her journey, she has two companions with her all the time and their sorrow and suffering. And she doesn’t necessarily like her, her companion of sorrow and suffering, she doesn’t understand their presence until the end. And I don’t see myself necessarily a sorrow or a suffering, per se, but I do some I see myself as a companion along the way, a companion that’s present for the journey, and always enabled to be there to always remember the stories of path and remember the future of people propelling and moving forward. And so I love that part of ministry.
And for the record, Kimmy has never called me either sorrow or suffering. So we made the companion
Tom Jameson 11:06
answer what she would call you.
Yeah, and I love that that can be one of things that’s really fun about Kimmy she’s just so curious about folks, and she just has this ability to see people really well, which is fun. And then she just asked questions, and lets folks just be discovered, and help folks discover themselves. So what I love about ministry is Melusine folks walk through the process of transformation. And I love folks coming to a greater understanding of their image bearing what it looks like to flourish and thrive and to lean into wholeness that God has spoken this great picture over us about who we’re designed to be. And ministry for me is, it’s an opportunity to invite folks into exploring that story. What does God have for them? How has he made them both with this speaking and creation, but even in the sum total of all their experiences? Right? So you know, I say said earlier, my, my journey and ministry, in some ways is normal. In other ways, it was abnormal, there’s a part of me that I could argue I’ve been prepared for ministry since I was two years old. Because the home I grew up in the role that I filled, my job was to set aside my desires and to meet other people’s needs and tell lots of stories to that would from a childhood that would reveal how my parents have raised me to pay attention to others set aside my desires, that others may be cared for and could flourish, right. So I’ve been prepared for this. And so for ministry, for me, the thing that’s really fun, is to watch folks begin to discover who they are, and to find freedom to step into the fullness of them. So and you know, so preaching like it to do that, and preaching because didn’t teaching get to that and pastoral counseling, and I get to do that even in leading the team. So it’s a multi staff, church I’m at and so leading the team and even an organization. How do you, how do you calendar together and how to get right, it’s, it’s all of that, for me just sits under that category? Of what does it look like for us to invest in the community? Those in and those outside the community are awesome. And then of course, you know, how do I invest in the staff, right, the team?
Sean Nemecek 13:45
So I’m guessing ministry hasn’t all been, you know, puppies and roses and wonderful rainbows. That maybe seminarians think it’s gonna be like, when we first stepped into the call in some of the darkest times of ministry, how did you to maintain hope in Christ?
But yeah, I mean, we’ve had some really dark days. I some of that is the days get darker. Some of that’s the context we’re in some of that is just work we hadn’t done, again, the son of the son of a farmer and so forth, you just work harder. And once that just actually further drove me into places of despair. You know, so I’d say, you know, there were lots of dark days where I don’t know that I had much hope in Christ. And in God’s grace, I’m son, the son of a farmer, and you just wake up the next day and you just go back at it, which is not a recommendation. But it was part of the reality and I think so like, I think The way I that I would their voice I do different. In some of that is, you know, I stepped into soccer as to to Shawn, where you and I met out of really one of the darkest seasons I’ve ever been in a ministry and had a friend of mine say you had the smell of death on you? And my wife’s responses. Yeah, I smelled like that for a while. I was deeply offended, what do you mean? And in this service to come combination of not doing good work, not caring for myself not having good rhythms that are sacred and life giving. And some of it as well was, was being driven into isolation. And feeling like I’m alone. And I’m the first one to ever experience any of these things. And, and only to discover that I’m not the first one to experience these things. And that these things, when you’re a community can be held well. And even when darkness and despair invite me to walk away from Sacred rhythms, learning how to hang on to the shreds and tatters of it. With the hope that the next time, there’s more that you’re hanging on to that would be healthy rhythms in the midst of hardness,
I would say many of our dark times were didn’t have to be so dark.
Sean Nemecek 16:41
Yeah, say more about that camera. What do you mean, they didn’t have to be so dark? Well, I
think, again, you know, I was in this perpetual cycle of closing the door and appearing. Okay. Right. And so, and that’s all I knew. And so and when Rob’s dead, you know, being pushed more and more into isolation, when I think the irony of that, though, one of the men I’ve tried to train under Dan allander, he does, we’re meant for relationships. And we, we all know that right? Were meant created for relationships. And yet we are harmed in relationships. And the only way to heal is in relationship. But when we get harmed in relationships, we think that that we need to do is get away from relationships, and isolate more. And that’s a that’s a dangerous, dark place. And so when darkness or darkness of the soul, or the darkest times, as you said, they come and they do come and make sure we say they’re plural, right? It’s a bit like being in a really dark room and all the furnitures been moved in here, that our tendency is to sit in the corner and stay and isolate. And eventually, it’ll get light or something or I don’t know, or we get up and we start bumping around. But we need someone we need people to help us out. We’re meant to navigate this life with others. And I think ministry tends to tell us differently, somewhere along the way, and that we’re supposed to do it alone. And when the reality is that there’s very few safe spaces when you’re in ministry or safe people to get help us out of those dark times. But we need the connection, if we’re going to continue. If we’re going to stop that narrative, we are alone, and we’re not going to make it so I would say hope in the dark time now very different than hope in the dark time years ago. And the places that we’ve been and so now I’m in a rhythm of, I have people and I know who those people are. And no matter how ridiculous or silly or burdensome or annoying I feel. I reach out and I let those people know where I’m at and what I need. Because I know I can get back in my own story and my own narrative and remain there.
Tom Jameson 19:21
So the trick is being able to kind of interrupt that cycle that we kind of naturally go to this cycle of isolating. And I we just we find it so much that those involved in ministry pastors, ministry leaders and counselors just struggle with the very thing that you’re talking about remaining connected, having the good friends, the ones that you can pour your soil what’s what have you found to be the key to that? How do you create those connections and maintain those connections so you have them when when you’re in those two workplaces?
Well, I thought I did have them. I don’t think I did. So like it. I thought, oh, yeah, I have friends, I have a friend, I have friends, I can call on distance, or I can, but I don’t know that it necessarily. I think it goes against everything in me to make sure I am connected in a very deep way consistently with people. I, I have learned I have to have a therapist, I have learned I have to have a group that I attend. Because that is where I’m safe. And that’s where I get to show up. However I show up. And so when the thing I have, I have people now there are people within my church that I’m good friends with, there are people that I can go to. So that’s not unknown or unheard of. I, I realized I need I need an army. I don’t need a few people, I need an army. I need an army. I need the people who are gonna hold up my arms when the battle is on. So that there’s any hope for it to win. And I also need the people fighting on my behalf. So I need that army and haven’t always had that. And so it’s very deliberate, intentional. Building
that in you know, because ministry in some ways, but the bus nature is really complex. Right. And Kimmy, you’re talking to Kim, he spent some time with him, by the way. Oh, Kim. Sorry. I know there’s Kimmy. But in the professional world, her name is Kim. So Kim spent some time at a sort of Presbyterian at our at Prestbury, which is regional collection of churches, if you’re not sure what that is that we connect together for mutual benefit. And in God building right? Doing some training on how churches can better care for pastoral families, spouses and their kids. Right? It really should be. It would be ministry families. And one things that you were pulling out was just how isolated this right because as a ministry spouse, I don’t have a pastor or church and and just a complexity about the churches, our community and yet it’s not our community. Right as in ministry. I don’t, I don’t I’m not cut from the cloth that you can’t have good friends inside the church. I but I am aware that it just creates tremendous complexity. Relationships are just different.
Tom Jameson 22:47
So how have you navigated that? Right?
Um, well, mostly not well.
Tom Jameson 22:57
So honestly, that’s one way.
Yeah. I tend to, to I probably could benefit from an army, I tend to not need an army, I think it’s just my rhythm. I tend to have a couple of really close folks who know me and have access and freedom to speak into life, and almost all those are actually pastors. And
in our church now,
yeah, and they’re and, and there’s a couple of those who are in the church. And I just think one. There just creates a lot of some sensitivities when, when it’s a place around any complexity and ministry, which so rarely has happened. And so there’s there’s certain things that I probably couldn’t bring to them that would be relational in nature in the church, just because it’s just not fair to ask them to carry that. But I’ve got other folks that can bring that that too. And what they may just simply know is there’s some, there’s some difficulty right now in relationships in the church or decision making or whatever, right. But I do think it I think he is right, and that we aren’t designed to do that life alone, man, think about Genesis Gatsby’s Christian in the beginning, right. And it’s good, it’s good, it’s good, it’s good creates Adam, and he says, not good. And so then Eve gets created and, and at least part of the implication from that is that there was something more that Adam needed than simply the presence of God. God was there Adam and God. Right. And yet God knew that Adam I needed a Help me, okay. Which now I feel compelled to geek out. And that word is most often used for God, it’s not a, you know, I’ll just move on, you know, create create a spiral right to be in relationship with one another. And so we’re not designed to be alone. And at times in ministry, we we can give up relationships outside of the church, or even inside the church. And, and some of those, you know, Kimmy in her story of work that she’s been that she’s done, and that she leads, it actually invites really deep. LIFE GIVING relationships because it requires honesty, and then invites, invite folks to hold honesty.
Sean Nemecek 25:54
So you brought up attending soul care, that was one of my delights to get to meet both of you. We were in the same cohort together. And we all brought our own baggage to soul care. And we’ve had a gym and Kayleen Dirksen on the podcast. So out of your experience in soul care. How did that impact you? What? What did you notice? Change from learning to care for your soul?
Yeah, like I think so. I’m the one that came with the smell of death. And, you know, I should probably apologize. I write a letter to everyone. October. I’m so sorry, how it shows up?
Tom Jameson 26:38
Are you kidding? You made everybody feel so good about themselves?
Sean Nemecek 26:42
Don’t think you’re the only one
person I know. Yeah, like when I think about soul care, the thing that was really impactful for me, the content was good, right. And I resonated with a number of the folks that came in, and a number of the books like The Brennan Manning, stuff was just so good to me. Or good for me. And the time to check the group was fantastic. But you know, he’s from my tribe, and so uses the language that I would use. And so it felt very familiar and translated really well. But I think the biggest thing for me was the expectation of the sacred rhythms. I think that was the thing that was the that brought life back. And it’s the thing that brings life is the slow work of God across time, be impatient, and learning to be okay. With where the Lord has you even if you want to be someplace else, and that he’s got your worries, gotcha. And so the question is, how do you show up? And how do you begin to notice and ask the question, Lord, what are you? What are you doing? What are you doing? Because I I’m not sure. And and so that was probably the thing that was most significant for me, relationships, great. But I came and so cash was hidden or made out. So in the end, so yeah, it was real life given to me,
I would say, I’d already begun a lot of soul work before soul care. And so we’re starting that two year time. So SilkAir actually ended up being like, very confirming to me of what I was already in, and it kind of enhanced, there was no buy in, of why be there or what was happening, like I already had the buy in because I was already not in the same way. But I was already in these rhythms of soul adjustment and care. And I think the impact that had the biggest impact, I would say, is on our marriage. If there were videos of us coming on the first week, and then over two years to the last week, you would have seen, I mean, like, I don’t know that Robin, I could even stand being in the same room.
I don’t really. You have always been.
Yeah, so I was there was a lot of incongruence before we went because I was already doing a lot of work towards my health and goodness. And and that was causing disruption in our marriage that was causing an incongruence. And so the impact was that then we were both kind of speaking some of the same language and we’re both kind of starting to look at how to attend to our soul differently. And then that became more congruent.
And that’s one of the realities. And of course, we either know what sometimes one of the terms, but we also know the experience of family system, right. And when when Kimmy had begun doing work, she then was showing up differently in relationships and the rules were changing. But I knew I was still trying to live on the old rules. Here’s how we resolve conflict. Here’s how we make decisions. Here’s how we speak to one another. And when I give you this look, it means it’s time for you to be quiet, not keep talking. And when you give me this, look, I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m supposed to leave the room, right? Minute, like we have these rules. But as well as Kimmy began to pursue health and began to navigate through her story, that create disruption because you show up different and it’s one of the things I think, to grab a hold of is, is that will happen in relationships is whether spouse or friends, that is, one begins to grow healthy. That naturally has an impact on relationships, that will be disruptive. And that disruptions good and life giving except that won’t always feel good and life giving. And so yeah, those first days, I wasn’t in good places, and, and there was wobble in our relationship.
Tom Jameson 31:32
It has your experience been that you’ve seen that in, in ministry? Marriages in those relationships that incongruence and kind of at the heart of that question is, gosh, is it ministry that causes that incongruence?
I see it all over the place.
Yeah. I agree. I mean, it. I don’t think ministry attracts in congruence. I think it just exists, I think it’s the world we live in invites us to, to join relationships like that, to be incongruent.
Sean Nemecek 32:07
I think in some ways it exposes, it exposes our incongruence in many ways that that other relationships won’t experience.
Yeah, yeah, this is a pressure and intensity about relationships and ministry, when you’re in vocational ministry that and there’s a there’s a public nature to relationships. So it’s more difficult to hide
the uniqueness of ministry in relation and those marriage relationships or any relationships is, is what Rob just said, there’s, there’s almost a demand to hide. And, and there’s got to be a fight against that.
Tom Jameson 32:47
Right, you’ve already mentioned the beast of appearance, the beast of secrecy, and, and how those in ministry and other professions just gets heightened. Through you know, false expectations or false perceptions of who we’re supposed to be when we’re in the ministry. We’re supposed to be perfect, or we’re supposed to know everything, or we’re not supposed to have any flaws. And and the more that gets squelched and pushed down, the greater pressure, creates in, in, in relationships, as you say, since we’re made for relationship.
And so what’s it look like to to invite community of faith, A church, to be able to engage and healthier relationships with their ministry staff, and at which has been a lot of what Kimmy and I have been Kim, and I’ve been thinking across years and began to invite the church we’re serving South WordPress and into healthier rhythms and it’s been disruptive.
Tom Jameson 33:53
That whole ministry is messy. thing. And Kim, you you have a specific focus in your ministry and your counseling ministry. Tell us a little bit about that. And particularly, what are the words curious and be brave and be free mean to you?
Yeah, I love that because rather than so let me just say, I’m going to be a little expansive in the fact that I think counseling is just one of the tools I carry in my tool belt is definitely become more of my profession at this point. And so I do have a counseling business in which I see clients. I see clients individually, I see clients in groups. I also hold intensive weekend. But what I would say is, when I started therapy for myself years ago, I experienced care in a way that was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And there was a rhythm I was In a family in which my role in the family was to make sure everyone remains happy. And I was able to do that, with my gregarious personality with my, my adventurous spirit, my humor, my playfulness. And so in that, that was a place of meat constantly having to give myself away, a little care for me. So when I was experiencing in therapy, something of this chair, it was something I couldn’t get enough of like, and then I felt like I couldn’t keep it for myself. And so I decided to go ahead and get my Master’s in mental health counseling, and pursue license. And alongside that, I began to discover my story and become really curious about my story. And I had to have a mental amount of courage. So I think that the words be curious, be brave and brief three. There is no freedom without curiosity and bravery. And, to me, the opposite of curiosity, is judgment. And I live decades, under judgment of others, and more importantly, under the judgment of myself, the stepping into my story with curiosity, that stepping out of my own bondage of judgment. So it was counseling. And what I do is it’s unique, because alongside getting my degree, I was also at the same time being trained at a place called the Islander center. And so I became specifically trained to do a work, a trauma focused modality of therapy. And I feel like I like Rob said, He’s been training in training of a being a pastor since he was two. And I’ve been in the training of being a therapist and doing story work with people that probably two or four before because I learned how to read people really well, I had to learn how to read in order to make them happy in order to respond and do the job I was supposed to be doing in the family, whether it was a good job or not, it was the role that I played in my family system. And so I became quite vigilant and aware of everyone around me and what was going on with them and how I could respond to them. And so that’s how, that’s what I say, when I’m counseling that it’s a little piece of what I do. I feel like it’s been what I’ve been doing for a long time, it just hasn’t always looked like it does now where I can sit face to face with people or with groups of people and hear their stories.
Tom Jameson 37:58
Who do you tend to serve? A lot.
I tend to serve with curious if I am really opening open to serving most anyone and who was drawn to the work that I do is usually women, women who have been through something, some sort of crisis, or who have tried lots of things or feel really stuck in what they’re in and can’t get out. I I serve a lot of people with sexual trauma. And that’s a, I think, a unique calling. I think I I stand in a really specific place that I straddle the church world in the non church world, and I think I’m safe for both. And so it’s interesting to see I do see a lot of people who have church background, but I also see a lot of people who don’t have any church background. Yeah,
yeah. And Kim sits in this place where she, she’s an admin, she’s, she’s remarkable. She is really good. And just fantastic as a therapist.
I’m not his therapist, by the way.
There was a day and she’s really good. And she’s really good theology, which I don’t like him. So 27 years of pastoral ministry, I have not found a lot of folks that are really good therapists that do have really good theology. It’s really difficult to find someone that has both of those skill sets and any and and camis able to Kim’s able to really sit in both those worlds and hold those well and, and really has a desire to see folks with at least one things you’ve said in the past is desire. See folks who are in churches and even have experienced harm in in churches. receive care Right and restoration out of that. Is that fair to say that?
Yeah, I think I’m definitely drawn to those who have been hurt within the church
Sean Nemecek 40:11
is speaking of that. It’s, it’s kind of been my observation and working with pastors and their families that a lot of pastors in ministry, families experience trauma. Some of that comes from the Ministry itself. Some of its being exposed to the trauma of others. Sometimes we bring that with us into ministry. And, and it can actually be the reason why we go into ministry. But why is it important for pastors and their spouses to to engage with our trauma counselor? If they’ve faced those things?
Yeah. So let me take crack at it. And,
and then I’ll sleep it up now.
Yeah, that’s right. We all step into, it doesn’t matter if you’re on vacation this year or not. We have these, these experiences. And I tend to use the word harm because I think folks hear trauma, and they go all like, technical and like, you know, what does that mean? Exactly. And so I just I attendees were harm. And we had these stories from our childhood where we were harmed. And what happens is we, we re experience those kinds of harm moments later on. And so and so I told the story, you know, I learned at a very young age, I have two experiences, I can tell you very specifically where I had a precious item, as child, you know, this is something I loved, right? And one out of just playing with it, and the other out of a moment of frustration, I broke the item. And my dad was actually there when I broke him, and my dad cursed me. And he didn’t say I curse you, Rob, but he named me is dangerous. And so when I go, when I went into ministry, I went the ministry with the understanding that I was dangerous to people, and I was going to harm them. And so I couldn’t be me, I had to hide me, and suppress my unique calling and my unique design, so that I can ensure I would never harm anyone. So then you preach a sermon and somebody would like the sermon because they don’t like the sermon. And and then I’m thrown off in the great darkness because I brought them harm, or I counsel them and they don’t like with the counseling goes. And so then in mind, the impact of that is just traumatic, right? Okay, little T traumatic, maybe big treat traumatic, right. And so we these harm stories is when we’re children show up over and over and over again, and it keeps us from rising into being all that God had designed us to be. So, you know, as we address those, like, they don’t go away. I mean, I and yet, I’m aware that it’s not true. I, I’m not harmful, right? The gospel is offensive, let’s be honest, right? Because what the Gospel says, I’m no better than and you can kind of fill in the blank for whoever it is, you think is the worst person in the world. Right? Why No, in the gutter, if that’s the person, the guy on the street corner, asking for help, like, an addict, like I don’t, whatever he knows better than. And the Gospel says it’s true about me. And the gospel also says God’s grace is big enough, right? To cover that, to deal with that brokenness. And I don’t want to add a fence to the Gospels are already offensive. And so understanding my story and understanding my harm, helps me have a better ability to lean into the gospel. Right. Living does speak about it, to introduce others to it and not hesitate. Right, because I could hesitate I don’t want to say this because it will thin them and then therefore that would be really bad. The problem is the gospel sometimes is offensive. Into a keep me from actually rising into full gifting. Alright, baby soup it up.
Yeah, well, look, just firstly, I think everybody should be in therapy and trauma therapy, not just patches and stuff. But I think for sure. Yeah. Rob said and I agree with you, Sean that we do. We experience harm all the time. We experience trauma all the time. Not all the time, but enough and One thing I’ve been taught is trauma begets trauma. Any current crises or trauma you’re in, is going to expose and reveal any past trauma or crises that we’ve had so many people don’t think they have had trauma, or have spent much of their time comparing how bad how bad others trauma is, in comparison to their so clearly, you know, I don’t my recent trauma, and so we dismiss our own trauma, and that lock that away, lock this inside of us and our begin, our bodies begin to hold it. And then something happens in our life that we can’t control which will, right and we have no capacity to hold it. There’s no space to hold it. And it’s just going to expose everything beneath it, that got locked inside and spilled all over everything. So. So I believe pastors and or ministry, families, for sure, are experiencing trauma, not only are they experiencing theirs, but many other people’s and they’re holding all of it. And that’s a level of stress that is just naturally going to expose whether or not you’ve dealt with your story. And because anytime we’re under stress, so are our trauma stories, our stories of childhood, shape, our fears, and our passion, and then those fears and passions that shape who we become and how we show up in relationships and in the world. And so if those fears and mean, there’s no doubt about it, those things are there. And sometimes we think we’ve dealt with them. And oh, they’re kind of again, but anytime we’re on a level of stress, it’s going to expose all of that. And so, for me for ministry, it was a perpetuation of one I, you know, I could read my violent father really well. And I could read everyone else really well, I was hyper aware, I’ve already said that needed to keep everyone happy. And so I was really good at painting those beasts, and I was also taught really well how to deceive and not be a truth teller, because of in a home that silence and or gaslighting are things that were true. Were told to me that they weren’t true. And things that weren’t true. Were told to me they were true. So it’s constant disorientation, right. And ministry then put me in this place and perpetuating that narrative. So when we would hit rock bottom, or we had a crisis in our church, or even within our nuclear family, because we have four kids, so there’s going to be crisis. I, my job was to attain the peace and keep it all secret. And I’d be so disoriented. And so any current job trauma, I would face began to expose patterns and rhythms that I had learned for most of my life. And I couldn’t understand why I was still running in circles, just trying to make everyone happy and losing all of meaning in the process. And there was no way for me to navigate. And I’d get lost in those places. And so I think we need people to walk alongside us and help us see those things. And I think ministry, leaders and spouses being in trauma therapy is important because we all have it.
Tom Jameson 48:43
And you’re both talking about stories. This is what you mean by story work, right? Yeah. It’s a little bit more about that, because it’s a true, yeah,
I could talk a long time about story work. I have what Robin I will call the boring clinical Anthro what story work and then I can kind of give you some more to it. So I would say story work is the processing the process is a modality of therapy, right? It’s a process of identifying and speaking, our own stories of pain and harm in in safe places, for the purpose of repair and healing and restoration. So it’s really telling stories of our childhood, where we’ve experienced harm, and bring care and repair to those very deep old wounds. When we experience harm. We are often they’re harmful because we were often not surrounded by care or response or words, or soothing or anything in response to it. And so then we bring in, we buy into this false narrative and defense mechanisms to protect us from more harm. And story work is different. In the sense it’s different than other therapy because I don’t tell people how to think differently to change their patterns or how to behave differently, which will change your thinking. Like, that’s a lot of what talk therapy can tend to do. And there are 1000s of modalities of therapy. And so many of them are brilliant. And I use many of them. I use a lot of different approaches in my work. But the driving force is definitely story work. And so Rob’s told the story of how he had the narrative that he’s dangerous, and he breaks things. And it was being it’s what he was named. And it was a story of, and he didn’t say it, but it was a story of a red bike that he had when he was sick. I love that it wasn’t his crew. It wasn’t until he was in a group, a Story Group and read it to the group. And let others bear witness that he he didn’t understand the message and the name that was given to him decades ago. And then that main net main mean, then began to shape how he saw the world, and direct how all the other new narratives were happening. That that was that began to be what shaped all of that. And so he actually had to have other people bear witness and care for that moment, when he was harmed. And story work brings clarity and care where wounds need to be cared for, and they heal. But there was there’s no freedom and no healing without actually entering the pain of the wound. And I told the story of my home, I brought a lot of delight, the situation. And having an unpredictable and violent father, and knowing his violence my whole life. I did not know it. I didn’t not know that that was about that. That was my role the way my father was. I’d been to counseling and learned about the ways that I coped. It’s not like I didn’t know those. But then when I started telling the story, writing them and reading them about my home and how I brought to light, but I was able to understand this the full truth of what was going on. Because I think as a child, I didn’t have all truths. But as adult look into the story, they see some truths that I’m unable to see. Yeah, I think Rob and I had went and had coffee this morning, and I had I had a pumpkin scone with the white chocolate. And I could tell you guys all about how that’s gone was and it was pretty spectacular. And how it tasted and how crispy it was on the outside and, and I how I ate it with my coffee. But then unless you and you might be able to experience some of that. But unless you actually were there and eating the scone as well. You don’t have a full sense of what it was like. And so that’s how I feel like three work is I feel like I I tried to put words around it and give language to it and help people but it’s so hard to, to understand unless you experience it. I’m happy to come back and do a story with you. Then you can experience it. And that would be pretty awesome. Yeah.
Yeah. And to be clear, what she means is you would bring a story of harm, and she would read your story in front of everybody. And it would be Laureus and fantastic. And like like as a kid, he says and here’s one things fun is now that Kim and I both have discovered some of these roles in our home. There’s always more discovery right? As you refine it and grow and understanding and health right. And we know some of these places of our of our story, then then, like our marriage has gotten richer, because we can notice each other and how each other responding and reacting we can have a better understanding of how something lands on one another even like so I’ll tell you the experience. I so came out with teaching essential class like it was early this year, maybe February, March and we had a gunner congregation passed out now he does about four or five times a year. I don’t I don’t think he eats like breakfast. Church. Worship. Yeah, that’s not the school during worship, he passes out. And, and again, you know, it’s four times a year this happens and so I’ve gotten used to it and I watch when I’m preaching, you know, okay, they okay. But and they would never want to have attention drawn like medically had been checked out like Okay, right. Well had a new staff person who was noticed this and didn’t know the story. And so, you know, as you know, I’m preaching and she stopped says, Is there a pastor in the house?
Is there a doctor in the house? It? Sorry? Is there a doctor, a doctor in
the house and calls 911. And the fire department shows up and they come in, but like, I mean, it was worship that word like it was crazy. And it’s the kind of thing like in, you know, ministry, like, you know, you can’t not acknowledge what’s going on. And so, but I stepped in Sunday school, and I’m just jacked up like I am just. And again, right. So my story is harm I harm people. And so, you know, this classroom teaching and some videos in it. And so we show this video and I leaned over to Kim and I say, Hey, man, I’m just jacked up and she goes, what happens? I tell her the story of this guy passes out in the fire department, you know? And she goes, Well, what did you do? Do? I didn’t do anything? I didn’t cause it. It’s just like, No, I mean, how did you respond to it? So much story shows up like, what are you accusing me of? Like, I was just preaching, I did no harm to the guy in and so and Kimmy Oh, no, no, no, no, no, like, because that’s a, that would be our natural reaction for me. But Kimmy knows that. And so when I respond, she knows where that comes from. And then is able to, to hear better to respond and kindness, to put words on? No, I’m not accusing you of harming anyone. I was actually curious, how did you respond to that? What did you
Tom Jameson 56:35
do? But your story influenced how you heard which Oh, my
God, oh, yeah, I thought she was saying, how did that harm the guy
years ago, that would have caused a lot of friction with us. And now we can, I can be really curious. I can know, you know, because he knows his story in a way that now he can communicate to me and I can know his story. And vice versa,
Tom Jameson 57:00
I guess I’m just so struck, you know, thinking about the gospel, and the power of the gospel, tied with this work of, I think of it as tilling the soil, the telling of our stories of the digging down, and the loosening of the clay and the solidness to really understand what’s down there, and how important it is to do that work. So that the gospel can reach the very depths of who we are. You know, I lived so many years of my life with a wall with a secret room behind it, you know, and the gospel couldn’t penetrate, I wouldn’t let the gospel penetrate that now, of course, the Lord knew all that was there. And so in his kindness, he ripped the wall down and ripped my life apart. But that’s the goodness of God, right? And how, how important it is to be open to that. And it’s hard, and it’s scary, and it takes work, and it takes safety, someone who can walk with you, someone who will be there with you, when it all comes out. So that the gospel can fully, deeply richly be applied to the very depths of who we are. There’s no resurrection without
Sean Nemecek 58:21
So we like to end every podcast with the same question. What words of hope would you each like to offer pastors and their families,
I would just say you’re not alone. And to find places of connection. There’s some there’s a we’ve already talked about the strange, unwritten, unspoken rule somewhere that seems to shape our inner soul that we can’t, we can’t be connected and and that’s the very place that we need to be connected. So I would say, find those places of connection, and you’re not alone.
So I guess what I did to that is, trust the slow work of God. A lot of times to grow discouraged, because we just don’t, we’re not seeing the change in ourselves or others that we want. Or God tends to move slow. But he moves. And so when you find yourself in the spots where things don’t seem to be working and you seem frustrated, the Lord moves, he just moves slowly, sometimes and trust that he has you where he would have to be.
Sean Nemecek 59:26
Thank you so much for your generosity and coming and your vulnerability and sharing so much. Thanks for coming on. Hope renewed.
It’s been fun. Appreciate it, guys.
Yeah, thank you guys.
Tom Jameson 59:36
We want to thank our listeners, we encourage you to reach out to us at our website hope Renu podcast.com We’d love to hear your comments and interact with you there. It is our prayer that the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.
Joe Chambers 59:52
Thank you for joining us on hope renew. Please help us reach more pastors by sharing this episode with your friends. If you enjoy this podcast rate and review us on Apple podcasts, Google or Spotify or your favorite platform for receiving podcasts, thank you. This means the world to us. The hope renewed podcast is brought to you by PIR ministries. at PIR, we partner with God and the church in the work of pastoral renewal and restoration. Pastors. Our goal is to help you cultivate new hope for healthy life and ministry. We do this by building relationships. We trained both pastors and churches to promote a culture of ministry health. If you’ve experienced a forced exit from ministry, we provide a process of restoration for you and your family. We also have proven resources and tools to assist you in the challenges of ministry life to contact us, or to learn more about the IR visit PIR ministries.org