64 - Bivocational Ministry and Coaching - Cedrick Barrett
About Cedrick Barrett
Cedrick L. Barrett is founder and Senior Pastor of Purpose Church, a thriving intergenerational church located in Wilmington, NC. Cedrick holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master of Arts in Christian Practice from Duke Divinity School at Duke University. He has over 20 years of experience in accounting and finance and has held numerous executive roles in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Cedrick has a passion to assists clergy leaders in developing sound fiscal structures and practices that underscore growth and ministry expansion.
As a strong advocate for personal wellness, Cedrick recently founded the Healthy ME organization which teaches skills, practices, and host retreats aimed at improving one’s mental health and wellbeing. When Cedrick is not pastoring, coaching others to wellness, or working as a financial leader in the marketplace, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 23 years Latoya, and their 3 adult children Daniel, Essence, and Josiah. He also enjoys the beach, reading a good book, and watching sports.
Visit Purpose Church here.
For more on Clergy Coaching check out Episode 31 – Every Pastor Needs a Coach
Transcript of Cedrick Barrett Interview
I have made it okay. Not to be okay. And know that you don’t have to just do it because it’s on your list and you’re supposed to, then if you’re having some mental or kind of emotional challenge, it is okay to say hey, I need a break.
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.
Well, today on Hope Renewed our guest is Cedrick Barrett. Cedrick, welcome to Hope Renewed.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Glad to be here.
And this is this is kind of a unique conversation, we’re gonna have. Sean, I’m going to be treating you a little differently today. As you have a neat relationship with Cedrick real quickly, just kind of outline your relationship with Cedrick.
Oh, boy, Cedrick and I are good buddies. We’ve been coaching together for two and a half years. And it’s been my privilege to serve as his clergy coach and friend over that time.
And that’s so great. We’re gonna dig into that a little bit. And also, Cedrick, you are a bi vocational pastor. And we want to dig into that a little bit as well. But if you would just introduce yourself to our listeners, and tell us a little bit about your ministry journey.
Yes, yes, Tom, thank you so much. I currently pastor in Wilmington, North Carolina. I’ve been pastoring now for 10 years, also work as the Chief Financial Officer for the YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina. And it’s been a good but yet challenging journey. I’m the also the founder and the senior pastor. So which means when we founded this church, back in 2012, it was just me, my wife, my kids, and probably three other families. And so you know, you can imagine all the arduous hard work that it takes, you know, pioneering a church. And so, like I said, we are about 10 years old. And we have grown, I would say 80% of our congregation is between the ages of 25 and 45. So we kind of had that young millennial audience. And so yeah, it’s just been, you know, a great time.
Yeah. And you’re a bivocational pastor, so, just wanted to hit on that a little bit. At first, tell us a little bit about your, your marketplace job with the YMCA, and how you decided, at least for in this season of your life? Why both bivocational and ministry is for you?
Very good question, Tom. I guess for me when I first founded, the church, you know, you’re trying to build your congregation. And so the finances or the resources there for a full time pastor can be a challenge. And so luckily, I’ve been blessed with a with a role, that gives me the kind of flexibility I need, that I can work from home, I can maybe take off sometimes during the day finish up work at night. And so it was a good fit for me at that time. I think one of the blessings is that I’ve been able to take a lot of the resources and pull them back into the church, because a lot of them wasn’t needed to, you know, to take care of me. And so I think that’s been one of the one of the blessings, but I think we’ve grown to the point now, where hopefully sometime soon here, you can make a transition that’s me and Sean have been talking about . . .
A good coaching topic. Right?
We can have a lot of conversations around that one, haven’t we? Hey Cedrick, can we back up just a little bit? I’m just curious. How did you decide to go into ministry? What was your sense of calling into pastoral ministry?
I was not really raised in church. I became a Christian when I was 15. And, you know, I kind of grew up in a single parent home. And I’ll never forget, I was sitting in church, and the minister said, God can be your father. And that just grabbed me. And I thought when if God can be your father, like you can talk to God like a father. You can ask him questions like a father, he’ll lead you. He leaves you like a father. And so I got saved, you know that that day, and really just was on fire, on fire for God. It was funny, because my, my, my wife, her and I actually met at 14. And so she’s so she’s the one that brought me with her. And so whenever I was there and just heard God was Father, it grabbed my heart. I preached my first message when I was 17 years old. I started a Bible class when I was in college, which was interesting, because I guess I was somewhat pastoring before I was a pastor, right? Because in college, that Bible, that Bible ministry grew from just me and one other person to about 65 students. And it just kind of blossomed from there.
Yeah, so you picked up your bivocational role from a sense of being called to ministry, as opposed to already being in in a secular job and then going into ministry out of that is head accurate to say?
Yeah, I’ve kind of always had that sense that at some point in time, God was gonna call me the pastor, I didn’t think it was if, it was just when. I think what really caught me was, this is funny, what really caught me is that I was at work one day, God, this is probably before I was before I was pastoring. And one of my co workers, they would always love to come and just talk to me. And they would just talk to me, and they would just tell me about their problems. And it was like, Hey, can you pray for me? And I’m sitting there talking to him, and they’re crying during work. And I’m like, You know what? Something’s going on here. We got off the page here. God’s kind of been leading me that way. Probably ever since I was 15.
So you’re, you’re a pastor who works in the secular world as opposed. . .
Right? Correct. Yeah. Yeah, you said that well.
What do you think’s the biggest challenge bivocational ministry for you?
Oh, where do I start for me, and Sean has really helped to help me with this, is sometimes the guilt that you feel. Meaning that you don’t feel that you can be present like you think you should. Meaning that when it comes to managing your time, energy, sometimes you feel like I should be giving more. And especially if you look at those pastors who have full time, you start to think, well, maybe I’m not as good as them. Or maybe I’m not doing as good as the job is them, because they have more time they can really commit to it. So I think the first thing is just kind of getting over the getting over kind of that guilt, realizing that God has you right where he has you for the season. The other thing is probably managing time. Because anytime you have to give, you know, 40 plus hours to a job, then you have to, you know, Pastor, as well trying to figure out, okay, how do I do this? When do I have my sermon prep time? When do I cast vision to my team? When do I train my team? Events, were just on and on and on. So that’s probably been the biggest challenge is just managing the time. And the schedule, not to mention, you know, you’re a husband, a father, all that other stuff. And it’s something Sean has been very helpful with, and then there’s the self-care. How do you take care of you? Yeah, I would say that’s probably the big has been the biggest challenge for me.
Yeah, one of the things we really encourage pastors on when we talk with them is this idea of rhythm and good rhythms. And just it just sounds like that’s a real challenge when you’ve got a huge chunk of a job that’s just sitting in there it is.
So before we get into our coaching in what what that’s been like I’m just curious a lot of bivocational pastors will say they work two full time jobs. Was that you early on?
Let me say yes, yes. And yes, again. That’s how you okay, if I can be honest because I think we can be honest. I . . . there was about a three or four year period areas where I look back and said, I didn’t have a weekend free. Like, you know how normal people they work Monday through Friday, and then their weekend is their weekend? For me, that’s not the case. And so I felt that my days, my weeks, my months were just running into each other. Because you’re right, it’s a full time job. And so you know, you pretty much work Monday through Friday, and then weekends, you try to squeeze in all that stuff, ministry wise, that you couldn’t get done in a week. And so yes, it was a full time job. I probably looked back in between pastoring and also a marketplace ministry, I was around 80 to 90 hours a week. Easily.
Wow. Oh, man, that sounds exhausting.
Yeah, I’m getting tired talking about it.
That’s why I found you. Right?
In 2020, you reached out to me through my website, The Pastor’s Soul, you’d been reading some of my articles. And I’m just curious, do you remember what issues you were facing that led you to ask for help?
I do. You know, COVID happened around March 2020. And the world shut down. And I can honestly say for me, that pause saved my life. Because I was running on E. The issues I was facing is I was anxious. You know, we had been through some issues at church with people leaving the church and so I didn’t really trust others very well. My family would always say, you know, that, that I was here, but not here. So physically I was here, but emotionally, mentally, I was not. My spiritual disciplines were pretty much gone. And so I was a mental and emotional wreck, to the point where, you know, I had thought about just kind of ending it all at some point, just walking away from life, ministry, family, just kind of everything. And so I knew that I needed help. I would wake up tired, go to bed, go to bed tired. If people asked me to do anything, I was on a edge. I was just angry. So I knew that okay, Cedrick, something is wrong. And so I think I Googled pastoral burnout or clergy burnout, something like that. And then Sean’s article popped up. And I’ll never forget the first time, Ooh, this is getting me, I never forget the first time. Because it takes me back. It takes me back to that moment. And I remember reading Sean’s article. And honestly, I just sat there and cried. Because it was like, somebody was giving a voice to what I was feeling. Because sometimes in the black community in the black church, we don’t talk about mental health, and Pastor burnout. You know, it’s like, you go pray, you go fast, you go lay before God, and it’s gonna be okay. But sometimes it takes more than that. And I hadn’t had anybody to just pour out my heart too. Because pastoring can be a very lonely journey, because you don’t know who to talk to. And so that’s kind of where I was. When I found Sean.
I remember that first conversation, you said, I don’t know how much longer I can do this.
Yes, I did. That’s right. And I was very honest. I was very honest. Because I had so much bottled up. I think one of the things I think one of the first assignments Sean gave me was just journal, just go somewhere quiet and just journal. And when I started to just start a journal. Sometimes my tears were just wet the page, because for the first time, I had all this stuff in that I was finally getting out. So yeah, yeah, that was a major turning point for me.
I was gonna ask you, Sean. Yeah. So what do you do with a hot mess like Cedrick? As a coach, what’s your strategy, when you get that phone call?
So coaching pastors through burnout is a little bit different than our normal coaching process. I know what it’s like to be a hot mess, I was in that place. And so being able to say here’s what you’re experiencing, here’s what it’s like, and speak with that kind of empathy really opens up the conversation. But then a pastor who’s in burnout really needs to be directed for the first few months, they need some help getting their feet under them and establishing some healthy rhythms before they’re able to start exploring their own issues and what they want to work on. Normally, in coaching, we would say, you know, the, the coach is the is there to help, it’s the client who takes the lead, and decides what we’re working on. But in coaching through burnout, the first few months, it’s really directed by me. And some of the things that I know every pastor in burnout needs to work on.
Sean, that’s so true. Because when you’re a pastor, and you’re burnt out, you don’t know what to do. Because pretty much you have this bad rhythms or patterns that have kind of got you here. And so what is next? You’re trying to figure that out? And so I would say, yes, Sean just kind of guided me probably the first year to be honest. Just the first year every call, Hey, Cedrick, I need you to do this. Well, Cedrick, have you thought about this? And that was great for me, because it gave me some action steps, some things to do after the call.
Yeah, I should, I should say that coaching relationship isn’t the same from pastor to pastor. It’s still customized based on where Cedrick was at. And so we explored, really, his story a little bit to start, and I just listened for those common themes that I hear and figured out what’s the most needful at this moment? And, and we agreed on that together before moving forward. It wasn’t like I was just telling him what to do. I was offering him here’s, here’s some ways forward. What do you think?
Yeah, yeah. And that’s a crucial component, isn’t it just being able to take the ownership of what those are? And I don’t know, Cedrick, are you comfortable and sharing what some of the issues you and Sean have worked on? Remember, this is a family show.
Sure. Oh, absolutely. I have no problem, I think I would say one of the things that Sean and I worked on at first was, me being a perfectionist. You know, my identity was rooted in the things I do. And so, so because of that, you know, I always tried to dot every I and cross every T. And if things didn’t turn out perfect. I felt it was a direct reflection of upon who, who I was. And so Sean had to work me through anchoring my identity in Christ, and not the things I do. Big difference. And that was very helpful. He talked about I remember one session, we talked about your, your true self versus your false self, and how you show up. And I had been showing up as my false self, you know, trying to put on this perfect image, this perfect face, getting it all. All right. And so we had to work through you know, that it is okay not to have all the all the answers, it is okay to say, hey, I don’t really have it today. You’re not letting anybody down. If you say, Hey, I’m not 100% today. And so, I would say that was one of the first things hit me, him and I worked on is just making sure that my identity was now rooted in Christ. The other thing too, is he got me back to getting in touch with how I feel. Now that that may sound very simple. But again, I was so used to, you know, doing that I was not feeling and so I could have my task, my task list and just do it, you know, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and so sometimes Sean would ask me, he said, Well, how do you feel about that? In our pause, because it was like, How do I feel about it? Never. I was in like this robotic mode of doing it. That I never stopped and asked myself, How do I feel about it? And sometimes, as pastors, I think it’s easy to get there. You know, you got to show up to the meeting. You gotta the check the finances, you gotta catch, on and on and on, that you never stop and say, Where am I?
And I think that if highlights kind of the uniqueness of what we’re talking about when we talk about coaching, and PIR, some of our listeners might be listening thinking, well, that’s not coaching. That’s counseling. That’s pastoral care. Well, yes, that’s right. But if you’re going to help someone to walk, sometimes you have to, like you said, get your feet back underneath you, and just going through that, but I think the key is, and you both said, this, is that sense of partnership, that you’re journeying together in this, that you know, as a coach, Sean, you’re a thinking partner, asking the questions that maybe Cedrick your situation or your context, or just where you’re at, you’re just not able to think of those questions. But then for you to, to own that, and to take responsibility that say, Well, how do I feel, okay? Sean’s not gonna tell me how I feel, he’s not gonna, you know, give you the feeling wheel and you can pick something from there. But it’s, you need to come out of that,
In this space to, especially coaching a pastor through a level of burnout, one of the things that happens in burnout is that we lose our sense of self, which includes knowing and identifying our feelings. Usually pastors who are in deep burnout, who’ve been stuffing their feelings for so long, they can’t feel anything anymore. And so my job was to reintroduce Cedrick to himself. And that was part of the process. One of the things I’m most proud of Cedrick did was was working on his rhythms of work and rest. Cedrick, would you mention, talk about that a little bit? What was that like for you?
That was a game changer for me, because what I began to put into practice, I don’t get it right all the time. But I’m getting there still. Just being honest, that I would take a 24 hour period during the week where I just pull away and just rest and do something that I enjoy doing. So normally, I would do it like Friday, at 3pm to Saturday at three 3pm. And that was kind of my time to just get away from the noise. Go to the beach, go watch a good movie. Relax. And that was a really changer for me. Because what it did is it made me start to reidentify with the things I like to do. And it made me I guess it almost refueled me. You know, where you’re pouring out constantly. Sometimes you need a chance to just be refueled. So that was helpful. Also, getting back to your times of kind of prayer, meditation. quietness. Getting back to that. So yeah, that was that was so helpful. Something I told Sean, I told Sean in was one session, I was like, “Sean, I’m tired of crying in your sessions.” Because what was so helpful though, is whenever you had those like rhythms, for some reason you became more in touch with your soul, like what was going on inside of you. And then I could come back and say, Hey, Sean, this is what’s going on this, how I’m feeling. And it was just a really game changer for me.
That’s just beautiful to hear, too. I love that story of restoration of God at work. As yeah, as you get back into those rhythms. And I know your work with Sean and and the coaching actually started with your Pro D. As part of that, what was that like for you? How was the Pro D helpful in kind of being a part of everything that was going on?
Well, it was terrifying at first. I really was terrified because I was like, I’m just Oh god, I wonder what this is going to be like. And to be honest, to be honest, I felt like this is probably going to tell me I’m doing a terrible job as a pastor and I need to go do something else. Yeah. And because I’m a perfectionist, it’s like it’s going to tell me everything I’m doing wrong. But when I finally got the courage to do it, it was one of the best tools ever. And I reference it, I’ll reference it often. Because what it does, it tells you the things that you’re good at. And it tells you the areas that maybe you need to partner with somebody else in. And so it really gave me a greater Look at me, so that now I can kind of lean in to the things I do well, and partner with the things that maybe I don’t do so well. And that is okay. That has been a great change for the church. Because now I know, I am great at this. So when it comes to planning and forecasting and organizing, being empathetic, helping people come along the journey of change. I’m great at that. And then everything else, I’m not so great. I got a team, I got a wife who is amazing. And they do those things well. I let them run with that. So, really what it did is it saved me time. It saved me time and energy. And I don’t beat myself up so much now. So, it’s been wonderful.
Sounds like it just Yeah, provided some clarification in your context. I mean, it didn’t answer all the questions, but at least begin to get things in, in focus. I was thinking like a camera lens, you know, everything looks blurry. And then Oh, wow. As we work on this, it begins to come into focus more clearly. Sean, I’m curious, what what’s it like for you to coach a bivocational pastor? What are the, what are the challenges, and
Oh, boy, one of my favorite moments was when we started talking about the importance of practicing Sabbath. And I introduced that to Cedrick as a 24 hour period, and he thought I was crazy. He was like, you’re nuts, there’s no way this can happen. So we started in little bits and pieces, you know, got him to find a few hours each day, so that we had 24 hours in aggregate through the week. And pretty quickly, he found out that wasn’t enough, he really wanted that full 24 hour period. And I give him total credit on this, he found a way to make it work. And so for me, coaching bivocational pastor, one, I have to ask a lot of questions, because that isn’t my background. And so I’m dependent on Cedrick to tell me, you know, what his life is like, and what will work and won’t work. But it also gives me a chance to push back and really challenge him too, to think about the reality that none of us can work two full time jobs continually all our lives. There’s going to come a point where we have to decide what’s most important and how much time and energy we have to give to these things. And so Cedrick taught me as much or more than I taught him in those first few months, because I was really getting to know the life of a bivocational minister. And there’s also the you know, the reality that I’m coaching a black pastor too. And so there’s some racial differences between the churches that we grew up in some cultural differences. And I had to be really honest, that he has to, he has to correct me when I say something stupid, or when I really don’t understand the culture that he’s coming from. And so there was there was a lot, a big learning curve, for me in coaching centric to boy, I am so thankful for it.
I will never forget Sean mentioned something. And Sean, you probably know it better. But he said, I think every five to seven years, a pastor should take like three to four weeks (months) off. And I never forget, just look at a Sean like are you serious? But you know it now it makes so much sense. Because you need that time to really reconnect with God and reconnect with you. And so I think those kind of targets Sean gives you have been very helpful to the point where I’ve kind of even shared that with my church. You know, these are some of the sabbatical targets we should have. And I can honestly say they have been working towards that. And it’s been awesome. Yeah, it’s been awesome.
And knowing Sean, I think you may have misquoted him. I think he probably said every five to seven years, you need three to four months off.
Yes. Yeah, months, that’s right. It’s knowing, Sean. Yeah. And that’s why I looked at him crazy. Because in, let me give you some context, because the church context I come from in the black church, a pastor being gone three to four months, you don’t have a church where you come back. That’s not, That’s not a practice that I grew up seeing. Right. So, when he said that, I automatically thought, well, that’s not even possible, because you wouldn’t have a church when you come back. But now, I see that if you have a healthy church, you will even have a much better church, when you come back.
Wow. So, this dynamic of coaching has really impacted your church. I mean, it’s impacted your life, obviously, but impacted your church. What are some other ways that you’ve seen that dynamic as you’ve been involved in coaching? That, that you’ve seen this healthy church grow? And attitudes may be changing? In other words, how are you starting to coach your church?
Well, I think one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen, especially from some of the people who have been with us for a long time, before when they would come to me and wanted to talk, they could tell I wasn’t fully present. Like I was there in front of them, but my eyes were racing somewhere else, they could tell my mind was thinking about something else. So now they tell me that pastor, you are so present now. That meaning that when I come and I talk to you, I feel like I get you. And so that’s, that’s something that I’ve really been able to share with my team as well, that whenever people come in talk, make sure that you’re present, where they are. I will say the other thing, too, is I have made it okay. Not to be okay, you know that you don’t have to just do it because it’s on your list. And you’re supposed to, then if you’re having some mental or kind of emotional challenge, it is okay to say, hey, I need a break. I constantly share with my church, the importance of like, rest, and taking care of you. There are some times we’ll cut back on the events we have so that people can have quality time. So those are some of the little changes, you know, we have made, and now our churches a lot healthier, happier. We really enjoy each other. We’ve learned how to have healthy disagreements, you know where now because we feed our souls, a person can come to you and say, Hey, I don’t really like that or have a question about this. And you’re not on edge. You’re not angry, you’re not attackful. And so those are just some of the changes that have been wonderful.
Have you have you gotten direct feedback? I mean, have you have you had members of your church say, you know, Cedrick use something different about you than two and a half years ago,
I have I would say the greatest feedback, again, comes from my wife and my kids. I’m not gonna cry today. And the reason I say that is because I never forget one Christmas. After Sean and I had been coaching for about a year. We were in the family room opening up a gifts. And my kids were just talking and they were saying, Daddy, you are really different now. You are really present here for us. And we really feel like we got you; that finally we’re really getting to know you. And that was such a big moment for me. Because when I began pastoring see my kids were 15,12, and 8. And so, at first I missed a lot of their lives, because I was always running and doing and running to a church member’s birthday party or graduation. And my kids really didn’t get a present father. And then whenever I was home, I was thinking about, oh, I gotta preach on Sunday. And oh, this member said this, and oh, this members upset about this. And so they really didn’t get a present father. And so when they said that with the kids and the wife were just like, you know, honey, you’re just more present, you seem happier now. That meant everything to me. And so
You’re gonna get me cryin’.
You just don’t know how big I mean, I mean really, that was so big for me. That finally because I never wanted my kids to grow up and hate ministry, or be upset with God, because they felt like God took their father. And I’ve been very honest with them, that you know, your that wasn’t God, that was unhealthy patterns, daddy had unhealthy things I’ve learned. So for them to finally say, Hey, Daddy, you’re president. And we talk, we talk more as a family, we laugh more as a family, we go out more as a family. And yeah,
And the work still getting done, and the work that still needs to be done is getting done.
And I’ve learned how to trust my team more. For a long time, I didn’t trust them at all. You know, I would take on a lot and try to do a whole lot. And so to be honest, I really didn’t make room for them. Because I had to, I felt like I had to do everything myself. And so now, I’ve seen the church grow. I’ve seen them evolve. And they are a phenomenal team. Phenomenal.
So Sean, I’m hearing a couple of things. Tried to be alliterative in this. So I’m hearing trust is just key to be able to get to those levels of, you know, work that often needs to be done. I’m hearing time as well. I’ll stop with those two, just say a little bit about that, you know, as you approach coaching and recognizing that oftentimes pastors are, okay, give me my three points, so I can go and do them and I’ll be done.
Yeah, I think one of the keys to all of this is just how much work Cedrick did between coaching sessions. Honestly, that’s where the change really happens. It’s my job as a coach to help him figure out at least one thing he can do between now and the next coaching session. And make sure it’s the right thing, not just some busy work, but work that’s going to have deep, meaningful impact. And with Cedrick, we coached twice a month for the first three months, and saw some pretty incredible change over those three months. I think at the end of three months, he went from being from saying, I don’t know how much longer I can do this to I’m excited about ministry again. And that was really exciting for me to see, because he was doing the work. So, yeah, it was my job to earn his trust. And then to help him decide what, what would have the most impact for Him, and his life, his ministry, his health in the next few weeks, but it was really up to him to own that in to do the work.
So Cedrick is as you think about coaching, if you were talking to one of your pastoral colleagues, what would you advise them about coaching? What what are the qualities that you’d want to see in a coach or that they should look for in a coach?
Qualities to look for in a coach? Empathy. Compassion. I think one of the reason Sean is such an effective coach is because he’s pastored before. So, he kind of knows what it’s like. And someone that you can tell, really cares, and they’re very concerned about you. Someone who can listen well, because a lot of our sessions is me, just kind of pouring out and talking. And someone who can really listen, and I will also say someone, and I don’t know how you do this, maybe it’s just Sean’s gift or something, but someone who can hear what you say, but also what you don’t say. I don’t know if it’s just a skill that you learn but sometimes, he was able to hear some things that I didn’t say, and he can help guide me along the right path. So those are just some of the key things I will say, because it this has been a great partnership that I think has turned into a friendship by you know. And so, like Sean said that he has, there’s this trusted bond we have, so I can come to him with the good, the bad, the ugly, and I know that it is safe with him. I know that he prays for me. At the end of our sessions, you know, he’ll take a time and he’d say, How can I pray for you? And you don’t know how much that means that you know, you got somebody who cares enough that they’re going to ask you, how can I pray for you? And that has just been so helpful, and it has healed so many areas in me.
So, Cedrick, you have this background in finance, you’re the chief financial officer at the YMCA. And you’re passionate about financial health for pastors. In our last coaching session, you talked about some of that passion. Oh, yeah. What financial mistakes do you see pastors and churches making? And what should they do about that?
I would say one of the challenges I see is not having your books in proper order, like your financials, your balance sheets, P&Ls, cash, cash flow statements, that haven’t had that back office stuff in place, it broke my heart whenever COVID happened. And a lot of the pastors that I know, were not able to get government funding that was available, because they didn’t have their back office things in a proper order. So, I would say definitely, you know, having your 501 C three, having a good bookkeeping system. Also being able to manage your cash flow, meaning knowing exactly what your revenue/ expenses are, knowing what your net is, being able to have a proper forecast or pro forma, being able to, you know, project what the next you know, six months, 12 months, 24 months looks like not having enough in like reserves, sometimes with churches, you see that their payroll line is 60 to 70%, of what they would they take and so just knowing the proper kind of metrics, to kind of look for that really makes a church healthy.
Yeah, and you’re passionate about helping other pastors, you know, figure this stuff out, right?
Yeah, I am. You know, one of the things that we’ve talked about Sean, now that I have become more, much more healthy. I’ve been thinking about putting together like some, I don’t know if it’s like a financial workshop, or financial teachings or something that just kind of help churches, with their back office books, you know, teaching them how to make sure they’re sound and healthy. So still exploring that, that’s something that I’ve been kind of doing by the ones right now. But I think that could be a ministry that’s brewing. That could really bless a lot of churches, and especially some sometimes whenever we try to get funding from the banks, it’s difficult, because we don’t have the proper back office stuff. And I was working with my banker, about a year ago, and he says, he says, these are some of the best financials I’ve seen. Church, and I was like, thank you. So yeah, that’s just so I would say, Yeah, I think that’s where I think that’s where I’m going. I do, just being honest.
It almost sounds like financial coaching. Aas as a pastor to be able to get that kind of coaching because you know, how many, how many pastors are just gifted highly in administration? And that’s usually what pastor says, you know, God’s called me to ministry not to administration, and yet, you know, having someone to help coach you through what back office stuff looks like what those financials Good, not that they have to learn how to do it, right. But getting that team, like you were saying, Sorry, all this stuff is like coming to my mind. That’s exactly what you’re saying.
I think you’re right on time and no one what to look for. Sometimes pastors just don’t know what to look for, like, Is this good or bad? Is this this? Or, or how to spot danger, that’s like pending, looking for trends over 90 days and six, months. So yeah, Tom, I think that’s where we’re heading.
So what are you gonna do about that Cedrick?
Sean, we need to coach about this! So, let me tell you how good this is though. Because now before I make any, like major moves, I call, Sean. I do. I call Sean and say, Hey, Sean, because you because you know, know me? Am I taking on too much right now? Am I doing too much? Right now? Do I need to scale back? Is this you know, and so him and I kind of talk about that. Because what I didn’t mention is also in 2020. I went and got a master’s from Duke in Christian, a practice. And so I was in this rigorous academic program, while pastoring, while working full time . . .
Why not? Right?
I know, right? And so that’s how pivotal, Sean was, because I was on the ledge quite often. Sean had a talk me off the ledge. And so, but yeah, just finished, just finished up July of 2022. So yeah, just finished up. And it’s been amazing. I’m excited.
But there’s this whole concept of having, I’m going to use the term thinking partner, of having a coach of having someone that you trust that you have a relationship with, that you can go to and bounce ideas off of. And know that they’re not simply going to say, Oh, hey, whatever you want to do, or hey, yeah, that sounds good. You know, they’re gonna ask the hard questions. And say, so how will is be different than April 2020? If you make this decision right now? Is that is that a relationship every pastor should have?
Sorry, that’s a bad question. That was so loaded.
I mean, in my opinion, yes. You know, I’ve known what it’s done for me and my church and my family. So, to me, that’s, that’s a yes. Like I told Sean, even though I’m doing better, we coach at least once a month, because I don’t want to revert back to bad habits. And so, I want to be accountable. And so oftentimes, Sean is always asking me, how’s your rhythms going? How’s your rhythms with work and rest? And because he knows me, he can probably tell when I’m getting off. And he’ll help, you know, gingerly pointing me back in the right direction. And it’s been great. Thank you, Sean.
Cedrick, I want you to just talk a little bit about your desire to help millennials. And what you’re doing in helping Millennials with mental health.
I did tell you about that, didn’t I. Well, you know, because this, because I’ve learned so much about self care. Because again, I see it about 80% of my church fall in that millennial age, age range. I’ve noticed that they to wrestle with mental health challenges. So, what I did is, I guess we could say it was God through prayer, just through you know, different avenues. I came up with this program called Healthy Me. And it’s we target the five F, A principles which is faith, family, fitness, finance, and fun. So, what we do is now we’re teaching them kind of healthy principles in each of those five areas. And I, and I wrote a grant for it. And lo and behold, I got the grant. Wow. Well, I know, right? I know, I’m just like, because, you know, I just did it. Like, you know, I’m, I’m gonna give this a try. Yeah, it happens. And I got the grant. And it’s through partnerships with Duke University, and Columbia University. And so partnering with them. So that’ll be launching in January. So yeah, I just, I’ve just noticed that if we could teach them principles in those five areas, that it could keep them from getting to the point where I was. And then they can kind of manage their health better. And, and I also noticed that after COVID, it seems like the issue was worse, because of the kind of isolation they had. So yeah, I’m very excited. I’m very excited. And so that’s why we you said, financial coaching, I’m like, I think all this ties in. But I don’t think any of this, any of this would have happened. If I didn’t learn this first. I think I was probably the first participant in this Healthy Me program. And I really, and I just kind of taken the things that I’ve learned and just kind of package it. And now we’re gonna see where this goes.
That’s exciting. Thanks. Exciting.
Thank you so much.
Well, Cedrick, we just have loved having you on here. We invite our guests to share a little bit from their heart with our listeners, what words of hope would you like to offer pastors and their families?
I would say, I know ministry leading. I know it can be tough. But I can also say that there’s help. Wherever you are, whether you’re healthy or unhealthy, wrestling with different things. I would say be humble enough to find help. There is great resources there. And you don’t have to do this by yourself, that if you’re open, God will lead you to the, to the right person. I would also say that there’s your call and your purpose is too great, not to focus on you, and to do the self-work. Because even though we’re gifted, and we’re called, you are more important. And so yes, I would just encourage them to find the help they need. And trust God in this. He’s going to lead you.
Well, Cedrick and Sean, thank you both for letting us take a peek inside your coaching relationship, your friendship, and just seeing what God is doing. Cedrick, thanks so much for joining.
Thank you. Thank you. This has been fun. Thank you. And thank you, Tom. Tom. Sean, thank you guys so much for everything.
Yeah. And Cedrick, we’re really happy that you came on the show. Thanks. Thanks again. And we want to thank our listeners too for listening to Hope Renewed today, you can find more content and contact us at hoperenewedpodcast.com It’s our prayer that you find hope in Christ for healthy life and ministry.
Thank you for joining us on Hope Renewed. 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 podcast. 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 train 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 PIR visit pirministries.org