Podcast Ep.47: Learning Resilience in Ministry (Phil Howard and Jeff Gangel)

Let me start with an analogy that will help lead us into this conversation about disorientation in ministry. As a a pilot, one of the things I had to learn early on in my training was how to recover from a situation in flying called Spatial Disorientation, define as the inability of a person to correctly determine his/her body position in space. Spacial disorientation happens when you are flying under certain conditions, whether it’s cloudy and you can’t distinguish the orientation of the airplane, or when you are flying over water and you can’t distinguish the sky from the water. This actually happened to me once when living in Wisconsin. I was flying over a portion of Lake Michigan. For a moment I panicked because I could not tell what was the lake and what was the sky. If you lose control as a pilot you enter into this frightening thing called spatial disorientation where it is actually possible to be flying upside down and think you are right side up, or you are flying at a rapid speed down, but you think you are maintaining a level altitude – Many have died from this… Here’s the point! The only way to recover, or just avoid having this happen to you is by locking your eyes and full attention on the instruments – The way to avoid spatial disorientation is to trust your instruments despite what all the externals indicators are telling you. I HAVE SEEN THIS NEED IN MINISTRY and I have seen with many, and came close to seeing it in my own life, where it is possible to lose orientation. You forget why you are doing what you doing, and everything looks off. Up is down, and down is UP and it can be frightening. And this is the time in ministry where we have to lock our eyes on our instruments and trust them. We fasten our eyes again on why Jesus called us, and on the Great Commission which drives everything we do and the gospel itself. This is when we rely on others to regain perspective. So to help us understanding this better I will be interviewing Dr Phil Howard who is professor of Ministry Leadership and Spiritual Formation and who also serves as the chair of ministry and leadership Distinguishing between up and down in ministry. Joining us is Pastor Jeff Gangel.