CNLP 316: John Mark Comer on Secular Salvation, Post-Christian America and How to Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry from Your Life

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John Mark Comer has become one of America’s foremost voices on post-Christian culture. In this interview, we talk about how the culture is changing, what salvation looks like when you remove religion and faith, and how leading a large church caused John Mark to embark on a radical re-orientation of his life, centered on the ruthless elimination of hurry.

Welcome to Episode 316 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Ministry Grid

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This Cultural Moment podcast

Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

3 Insights from John Mark

1. Eventually, the pendulum will swing away from progressivism (and it might come with Gen Z)

The cultural swing of progressivism in places like Portland, California, and Toronto has been so intense that John Mark thinks that culture will swing back against some of the politically-correct ideologies that are being pushed forward by progressives. There are some obvious flaws in their belief systems, and John Mark thinks a reaction is coming.

John Mark thinks we might be seeing the beginning of that swing with Gen Z. He relates the progressive message to the “old church lady” of today. If you step out of line in any way, you will be “shushed” by her and punished. This hyper politically-correct narrative has done the same thing to young people, and early studies are finding that many Gen Z members are beginning to swing the opposite direction.

2. Living by “the 4 B’s” is a dangerous way to live

Before taking a sabbatical and changing the ways that John Mark measured his own personal success, he measured his leadership by “the 4 B’s.” He based his success on butts, budgets, buildings, and buzz. When he did this, he was never satisfied, because there was always someone doing better.

Now, he lives by measures of success that are much healthier, but harder to track. He tries to look at the work his church and his team are doing, and see if the fruits of the Spirit are growing in their people. This might be more difficult to measure, but it has led to a much more sustainable pace for him and his team.

3. Hurry is the enemy of longevity

The title of John Mark’s most recent book, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” is based on a story from John Ortberg. John was in an intense and fast-paced season of leadership that he knew wasn’t sustainable, so he called his mentor, Dallas Willard, and asked what he should do. Dallas’ only response was this, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

When hurry is eliminated from our lives, we live more like Jesus, we understand what we are actually called to do, and end up living for Christ, not our own ego. If you want to lead for a long time, you have to eliminate hurry and learn to live a slower, more meaningful life.

Quotes from Episode 316

It's a fool's errand attempting to achieve inner fulfillment through external success. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet I'm constantly doing things that are draining me and killing me that God has not asked me to do. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet The rise of depression grows in tandem with the rise of achievement culture. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Once you put the pronoun 'your' in front of the noun 'truth,' you're no longer using the Webster's Dictionary. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet Everything we believe produces fruit, positive or negative. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet Dogs are the new children. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet Portland in many ways defines itself against America. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet People want to blame the megachurch for everything because it's an easy target. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet It doesn't matter what structure you have or what accountability you have in place, how good your board or elders are, if you have people that don't have Christ-like character, it will implode at some point. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet The problem, at least in America, is that we don't celebrate a wide enough bandwidth of types of churches and types of leaders. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet The only way you will actually heal from burnout and wounding and the sense of failure is by doing the same thing you used to do differently and in a healthy way with healthy people. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet People assume that leaders are way more confident and secure than they actually are. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 316

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Jefferson Bethke

YouTube launched Jefferson Bethke to fame in 2012 when a video he posted got millions of views. Since then, he’s spent his entire life online, pivoting through all the changes in algorithm, platforms and audience. Jeff and Carey reflect on what it’s like to be the first generation to be able to do that with your life, why having a fluid strategy matters, and how to stay sane in the midst of it all as a young leader while raising a family.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 317.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.