073: Go Therefore and Make Disciples with Dr Gary Comer

Dr Gary Comer is a professor, author, and founder of Soul Whisperer Ministry. After reading his latest book, ReMISSION: Rethinking How Church Leaders Create Movement, I reached out to Dr Gary to find out more about his thoughts on The Great Commission, evangelizing in our communities, and where he thinks the church may be falling short.

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During this episode we discuss:

  • Growing up unchurched and skeptical [03:16]
  • Whose job is it to evangelize? [04:53]
  • Why Dr Gary has a heart for evangelism [09:51]
  • Dr Gary’s conversion from skeptic to believer [13:46]
  • Problems with the attractional model of church [19:55]
  • The lie of renewal by way of church attendance and participation in church activities [22:06]
  • Mission-minded skills for reaching those outside the faith [24:46]
  • Building relationships and sharing life together [29:40]
  • Dr Gary’s personal story of confrontation [34:17]

For A Complete Transcript of this Episode - Click Here

Dr. Gary (00:00):

How do we, if pastors and leaders have really built their, kind of their model around, “Hey, bring them, we’re going to be an attractive place for them. We’re going to have these different services for them and we’re going to be a warm, welcoming place.” All of that is good. What about this increasing number of young people? How do we go about reaching them?

Jake (00:22):

Man, I know I sure want to know. Stay tuned for episode number 76 “Go Therefore and Make Disciples, with Dr. Gary Comer”.

Jake (00:35):

Good morning, afternoon, or evening! Whatever this may be to you. I sure hope and pray that you’d be found well in spirit, my friend. Hey, my name is Jake Enriquez and it is a joy, honor and a privilege to be your host today. So please let me welcome you to Press and Reach – a podcast where we’re simply walking out our faith and encouraging others along the way to do the same.

Jake (01:12):

Hey, welcome back to Press and Reach, man. I hope all is well for you in this beautiful, wonderful morning and in this morning we just so happen to have a guest on the show today. It’s a Dr Gary Comer. Dr Comer is an author. He’s a speaker, he’s a pastor, man. He’s a teacher, you name it. He, he’s working extremely hard out there in the vineyard. And I’ve asked him today just to come on and be a guest and talk a little bit about one of his latest books called ReMISSION. So let’s just go ahead and welcome Dr Gary Comer. So welcome to the show, Dr. Gary . How are you doing this morning, sir?

Dr. Gary (01:47):

I’m doing great. I got my coffee. I’m doing good, Jake.

Jake (01:50):

All right, awesome. Well man, Hey, I just want to tell you, first off, thank you so much for just coming, hanging out with us, spending some time with us this morning, man. You know, uh, I know you’re a teacher, so I’m just going to be a little bit selfish. We want to learn some things if that’s okay. So I’m just gonna ask you to share some things with us and, uh, kinda guide us and lead us in some of these things that, uh, that are on my mind when I read your book, ReMISSION. Again, thank you for coming, but before we get started, I’m just gonna ask you, can you just introduce yourself, who you are, where you’re from and, currently where do you live now?

Dr. Gary (02:24):

Yes, I live in Southern California, but yeah, I have a beautiful wife and two boys who are in their twenties. They’re young adults. And so, we live here in Southern California.

New Speaker (02:38):

Southern California. Okay. So let me ask you this, uh, because I know that, you know, we’re always, uh, you know, we say we, we’re products of our environment. Uh, where did you grow up? Was it in Southern California?

Dr. Gary (02:50):

Yes, my family’s a military family. So my father was in the Marines and we were stationed at Camp Pendleton, uh, which is in Southern California. And then, actually we moved to a rural town called Fallbrook, so that’s where I grew up.

Jake (03:09):

Okay. All right. And, uh, just, just a little bit more, man. I, I’m not trying to pry too much, but I am. What was it like for you as a kiddo?

Dr. Gary (03:16):

Well, I grew up in a secular family, so that’s the first thing that I would say about myself and growing up in a secular family. Uh, my, my father really in a way you, you know, just rejected a church and my mom had some roots in that direction, but that just got snuffed out. And so, you know, I grew up as a, you know, a kid who was searching and really experimented with a whole bunch of, just about everything, uh, in those, in those early stages of my life. Uh, and so secular, sinner. And then I would say skeptic too. I mean, I certainly had some of those big questions, so I, I, in some ways I can kind of really identify with people along all those lines. And certainly God has used that, I think, for what I do.

Jake (04:15):

But you know, somewhere along the line for you, Dr Gary, you, uh, I’m going to say evangelism became something very, very big in your life, a big part of your life. You know, as I read, uh, not only this book, but you’ve had, you’ve had some other books as well. But before I ask, before I talk about really that I’m going to ask you this, what is evangelism?

Dr. Gary (04:34):

Yeah. You know, I have my own definition and this, this is, was laid out in Soul Whisperer, um, but it’s important, uh, I define it as partnering with God in the process of shaping the mind and heart to believe and follow.

Jake (04:53):

Sure. So that leads up to my, uh, next question. You know, because as you explain evangelism, I’ve got to know, and I’ve got to ask this question because I know oftentimes we think it’s some, the job of somebody else, but whose job is it to evangelize?

Dr. Gary (05:10):

It is the wonderful calling and privilege of every Christian Christian. Oh my gosh. And, and it is really stunning to think that, um, God has given each of us a unique sphere of people that we could reach. And, and though that responsibility does land on our shoulders, certainly the Lord is the one who saves by his spirit. He’s the one who has to draw them. But evangelism is a human agent activity. It’s a, it is a partnership with God in reaching toward people.

Jake (05:50):

And so all of this I’m taking, it is coming from, uh, the great commission, right?

Dr. Gary (05:56):

I mean, all us need to take to heart that the time that we’re in, we are in, uh, the Bible says the last days that a period of time before the Lord returns, when anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. And so this initial prophecy of Joel, which is really brought out by Peter, uh, in the beginning is very telling as far as really where we are. And we need to understand where we are. We’re here for a purpose. We have a particular calling to do the work of the Lord, uh, to fulfill, really to fulfill what Jesus started in building his church before he returns. And so every one of us is called, we’ve have a little phrase that we use and we take this from John 14:12, and where Jesus says, you know, whoever believes in me will do the works that I’m doing. We have this phrase, followers are fulfillers. Followers are fulfillers. You see, if we are truly following Christ, then he, he was the most on-mission person who ever walked this planet. Yeah, absolutely. So if we, if we are following him, then we too are stepping into that mission mantle that has, was given to Jesus and then Jesus gives it to us through the great commission.

Jake (07:29):

I think that oftentimes we do get it confused. We get it. Um, you know, your everyday Christian, you know, I can be a Christian, but I’m going to go to work, uh, do my work, do this, do that, and then I’ll go to church on Sunday and yes, I’m believing. Yes, I’m, I’m, um, uh, believing on the Lord. But you know, it may stop there. It’s not really my job to go in, uh, preach the gospel, uh, to people at work or, or maybe they look at it like that. Maybe they look like, well, I’m gonna, I don’t want to be preachy. I don’t want to, uh, approach someone and, uh, and, and just start giving them the Bible or be considered a Bible Thumper or what I say, uh, you know, so those things can be uncomfortable for people. And that to me is where we get that notion of, you know, that that’s not really my job.

Jake (08:20):

You know, I can get them to church, invite them to church and let the pastor do it. Let the preacher do it. You know? And even at Paul, you know, he told a young Timothy, he said, man, you know, and during the hardship, he said, do the work of an evangelist and fulfill your ministry. So when we look at that, we look at it as somebody else’s job. And what you were talking about, it’s the call of each and every one of us, but now you get into more of the long lines of how to, and I believe that that’s really the reason why we don’t do more of it as Christians out here is because, well, we don’t know the how to, how do I go about it? But also, I believe it was in second or first Thessalonians chapter two, verse eight, I think is, you know, Paul says that not only did we impart the gospel of God with you, but we, we shared our lives with you because you’d become so dear to us.

Jake (09:08):

You’d become so dear to us. In other words, that’s that relational that you’re talking about. We step into relationships with people. So why I gotta ask you this, why, if evangelism is so important and it is, and why did it mean so much to you in the ministry? Because you started in ministry. I’m sure you, you became 21 years old, you said, and then when you came into the ministry, uh, you saw different things that were working and not working. Of course we all have questions. Why not more of this? Why so much of that? But why did this part right here teaching others how to walk into the lives of one another becomes so important to you though?

Dr. Gary (09:51):

Yeah. You know, God had given me a heart and a passion from, for evangelism from, from the beginning when I came, became a Christian. Mine was a very, um, very strong conversion. You know, I was living in darkness and God brought me into his light and I knew I was born again. I was, I was a believer, uh, and, uh, the Lord was working in my life. And so I had that just natural passion to want to, uh, help others to see what the Lord had done for them. And so, uh, I did a lot of that on the, on the college campus and getting out there and talking to people, cold Turkey, you know, just going up and approaching people and, and there some fruit. And, uh, we saw certainly some fruit and in that time, but, but as the world’s continued to change, which it has an and it really a big way, in a great way, we have a much more distant and also a much more diverse culture and America is going to continue to go in that direction.

Dr. Gary (10:57):

We’re not going back. Uh, it’s where we are. Um, and so people are farther away. And God, God gave me the opportunity to meet with two skeptics, um, you know, some years back and, and, uh, you know, it’s in a way, it was just providential that, um, I was meeting with two of them at once. One was an atheist and the other was I would call a theistic skeptic, that means, um, this person believed in God, but didn’t, uh, believe the Christian faith was true. Uh, but the other person was an atheist and, you know, over, I started meeting with them and I didn’t really know where this was going to go. I, you know, I, I, I, I just, it was kind of a little more intuitive at the time. I had never really done anything like that before. But I, you know, I, I kinda said, Hey, how’d you like to meet?

Dr. Gary (11:48):

And we can talk about these things. And you know, with my atheist friend – hey, I’d just love to learn a bit more about your views, your beliefs and where you’re at, and love to share a little bit more of my faith with you as well. Well, nine months later with the atheist, he came into the faith and I was like, Oh my gosh. I mean, there was a time in the early stages, I never thought I was going to reach this guy. He was so entrenched. But in the process of the engagement, the Lord was showing me things and, and we kind of just found our way into trying to really kind of build a base, a platform for him to kind of stand on so he could believe. And then the Lord broke through, as He does, you know, and that in a way, uh, and I, and I learned some skills that I teach in my books, uh, along those lines. But the other skeptic the theistic skeptic, um, and that person came to Christ as well. And so, so we had, um, I had this experience of journeying with people and, and it really changed the way I viewed evangelism. It just doesn’t happen by somebody just watching our lives either. The only way, the only way that happens is if somebody is very close to you. Right. You know, where they’re able to really see your life in a very intimate way. And that’s rare. Usually that’s not the case.

Jake (13:26):

You’re bringing this into the framing part. But before we moved there, I gotta ask you this because I heard you say it a while ago. You were living a life of darkness and the way that you were approached. Tell me about that man. Tell me about, uh, how, how did, how were you approached, how did someone come and share the gospel with you and tell them about that experience for you?

Dr. Gary (13:46):

Well, yeah. I was reached by a gal who reached out to me in my college years. And so when we were kind of dating there a little bit, so that was happening, but she was, um, she was a Christian and she asked me some pointed questions, um, about where I was and, you know, I kinda kinda in a way, you know, identified myself and in that general direction, you know, kinda like I basically believed in God and I basically believed in the Bible, but she had asked me more pointed questions, you know, well, have you ever really, you know, accepted Christ responded to Christ if you, you know, and, you know, of course I hadn’t. And so it just began, uh, just this whole, um, kind of, you know, journey of exploration with her and doing some Bible study and, you know, attending a church and doing some things. So it, but it was a process. It was a process for me, so I was reached that way.

Jake (14:49):

Okay. And you went from there, you were saying that, you know, you had those conversations, like on campus, and you started kind of going out there a little bit. So I take it, it gave you a confidence at the time to go and share.

Dr. Gary (15:03):

Yeah, it did. It did. And there was, um, there was someone who kind of took, took me under their wing and, and did some basic kind of training. Uh, but what, what really happened as, as time progressed and as I had some of these other experiences and, and I gotta tell you, just going back to reaching the two skeptic friends who both came to Christ and they’re both walking with the Lord today. But, um, you know, God showed me something that happened in both of their lives and I call these faith progressions, but I was able to watch how they journeyed through these different stages. But I kind of stumbled into that myself. I backed into that. Um, I went through, you know, a time of loss and a time of rejection in my life. And when I went through that, uh, and it was through my own failure, my own sin. Um, but when that happened, um, I also was, I was in this relationship and I, and I shared, I shared what it was that Christ was to me in that moment with someone else who was also going through something similar in their life. It’s very personal and honest and authentic, but I’ve found enormous power in our ability to use some skills about opening up our lives so that others can see really what Christ means to us.

Jake (16:42):

You know, you’re talking about sharing life together and you’re talking about opening up and uh, man, I want to touch on that, but just one moment, we’re going to take a quick break and then we’re going to be right back.

Jake (16:52):

Hey guys, it’s Jake and Hey, I just want to take a brief moment to ask you if in fact you liked the podcast to come and subscribe, rate and review. Just take a brief moment to do that. But not only that, we ask that you come and visit us on pressandreach.com where we’re all about faith, family, and community. Listen, if you have a story about how your faith in the Lord has seen you through, we certainly want to hear from you, whether it’s been in your business life, your personal life, which could be your marriage or dealing with your family, whatever it may be. We know that faith is a daily walk, so come join us as together we build our communities back up and give God all the glory.

Jake (17:35):

Welcome back to Press and Reach. We’re talking with Dr Gary Comer. Uh, we’re kind of discussing right now. We’re, we’re stepping into the book ReMISSION, some of the things that he’s discussing. But Dr Gary, I want to ask you this, you know, because earlier you were talking about, you know, sharing life together and openness and how people have to be willing to be open to that, to receive that they have to want it. Right. What would you say is the mission of the church as a whole?

Dr. Gary (17:59):

The mission is to fulfill what Christ has begun is to make disciples of all nations, of all people groups. It is the ultimate, uh, preeminent call of God. It’s the thing that we can’t miss, you know, we have to be going about. Now there are many other good things that are a part of Kingdom life and that, uh, I would say that are important, but they’re not preeminent. They’re not the ultimate thing, you know, we see in the Bible, uh, in first Corinthians 13 where, um, faith, hope and love and, but the greatest of these is love, right? Love. And, and so in a way, um, what I try to help people to see is that why is mission, why is the mission of God so important?

Dr. Gary (18:52):

Well, it has to do with love. It is God’s love pouring through us to the world. If they do not get the message, they’re never truly going to receive the love of God, the resources of God. And ultimately too, every time we’re reaching someone, discipling someone, building up someone in mission is integral to your spiritual formation. It’s not that add-on thing at the end. This is all about you. And then, Oh, well, guess what? We’re kind of like we want to do something for others out here. No, it’s really meant to be at the core, the center part.

Jake (19:40):

It is our very being. And you’re exactly right. And I want to talk about some of the mission skills, but before I do that, uh, let’s talk about some of the challenges that we might face right now in the church today. What do you think some of those challenges might be?

Dr. Gary (19:55):

First off, anyone who’s, um, picked up ReMISSION, which is ReMISSION, you know, “rethinking how church leaders create movements” is the subtitle. But if, if they pick it up they’re going to get right in that opening chapter. They’re going gonna get really, um, some development along the lines of your question, what, what are some of the challenges that we face? Obviously some of what’s happening in the culture has made church development and church growth more difficult. And there’s an awful lot of different, um, forces that are at work in our world, uh, we have a more distant culture to reach. And so one of the biggest challenges that the church faces is that it is built around an attractional vision. Most churches, um, not all, but most churches are really kind of built around, uh, some of the attractional principles that Rick Warren and Bill Hybels introduced back in the 70s.

Dr. Gary (21:09):

And there’s a lot of good and a lot of great, um, correctives and improvements that happened through what took place there. But here’s my thing that I say in ReMISSION is “the attraction is limited and increasingly so every day.” And so what I mean is that there are more and more people outside the joining circle of the church and there are more and more people in the culture who are not coming to our door. And so, how do we – if pastors and leaders have really built their kind of their model around, “Hey, bring them, um, you know, uh, we’re going to be an attractive place for them. We’re going to have these, uh, different services for them and we’re gonna be a warm, welcoming place.” All of that is good. What about this increasing number of young people? How do we go about reaching them?

Dr. Gary (22:06):

And so I would say one is that attractional issue is limited, but I want to add another. Okay, and then you can get into this back. I also want to say, I also say in the book that renewal is a lie. And so what do I mean by renewal? Well, renewal is, Hey, if you, if you just kind of come in and you’re just come into our church service and um, you hear the pastors teaching from the stage and you get into a Bible study, and a small group and you do all this well, well what’s going to happen is that this great renewal thing, it’s going to happen in your life and it’s going to pour you out or spit you out and spin you out into the world. And you’re going to be this missionally dynamic person who’s going to be reaching others and have a heart for others. And what we’ve see in churches is not, that’s not happening.

Jake (22:56):

And, and you know, I think about that, you know, think about how do we, because some of the things that you were describing, if, you know, we, we think it’s about renewal and we think about, Hey, I’m going to go to this Bible study now. Now I’m connecting these guys and, and, and everything’s great. Really, we just found another place to come hide out. And, uh, just, you know, I mean, I’m not saying that that the Bible study is bad. Bible studies are great, but if I’m not going to put it into motion, I’m not gonna put it into work, then really I don’t really understand maybe what has been benefiting me. And what I mean by that is I, I like to ask the questions and, and, um, how does it look for you at home? How does it look for you, I mean, if you’re married, how does that, uh, gospel message look for you with your wife? And, uh, how about your kiddos even when your kiddos are doing some crazy things?

Jake (23:45):

But anyway, how do those things look, because if I’m gonna walk this thing out, if I’m going to allow God just to really, really, uh, Lord over my life and he should the Lord Jesus to the Lord over my life, then I should be submitting to these things. I should be really walking them out, even when it hurts. So how do you engage guys? You know, cause I think about, you know, those mission skills. Okay. I think about those mission skills that you wrote and you were talking about, uh, discovering the gospel key and you, you’re also talking about framing it up earlier, drawing it out. But those are, those to me, Dr. Gary, those are practicals. Those are, how do I go out there and live this gospel message? How do I go out there and share it, you know, in the lives of others, in relationships. I want to talk about that for just a moment. We talk about those, uh, mission keys, right? Talk about, uh, the gospel key, cause you mentioned it earlier. What does it mean when you say discovering the gospel key?

Dr. Gary (24:46):

Yeah. You know, the gospel key is really, um, the skill that I saw happening with Jesus is in his interactions with people. And so the Samaritan woman’s probably the easiest, uh, example. And though he practices this with just about everyone, it’s, it really involves, um, how he sees the person who they are and reads the deep need in their life. And so that with the Samaritan woman, what does he, what does he see here? She’s there for water, right? And he gives her a picture of what it is that he can offer her. And really it’s, it’s, it’s really a picture of her deep need. She’s there, she’s there for water, but he draws out this, this, uh, conversation about all these relationships with these men that she’s had. She’s, you know, she’s now she’s living with another, it’s her sixth man. Isn’t the well very symbolic of really this deep thing that’s happening inside her.

Dr. Gary (25:48):

And what does He do? He communicates He is the man who can provide her with living water. And when she heard it, I mean, she’s just like her mouth dropped. I mean, you can almost just imagine, in fact, the text of that passage is so fascinating in that she leaves the water jar, her water container there, and she runs off after this conversation to go tell the whole town about this encounter. And they all come out. And so just amazing thing happens. But this picture, living water, living water, you see that became the thing for her. And, and so what, what is it, you know, um, the word I use for what we’re doing with the gospel key is description. We are interpreting for somebody, interpreting what the gospel will do, what it will mean for their life. And so one of, one of the techniques that I teach is for you, when you’re in a relationship with a non-believing person and you’re committed to that relationship, you frame that up and you’re getting together with them on a regular basis. And we kind of teach people how to do that. But if you’re doing that, then you know, you kind of come to the place of, you know, really wanting, um, you know, to reach them. But a lot of it is learning to listen and to discover and to really make an interpretation.

Jake (27:23):

So you’re, you’re, you know, you just touched on the gospel key and by the way, these mission skills that I’m going over right now for the listeners can be found in the back of Dr. Gary’s book ReMISSION. And it’s the, it’s the Addendum B. It says the top 10 mission skills. So actually Dr Gary, you covered, it’s funny you, you’re already covered the gospel key, establishing safety – that’s in that relationship, giving them place that they can be feel safe, framing up, and the drawing out, which is what you were just talking about at the well, you know, those questions that get a little bit deeper and what about these progression steps, this number six progression step, the skill of working through that process. So it’s a little bit more, you know, openness and ability. So talk about that real quick.

Dr. Gary (28:09):

Well, yeah, well the progressions are, are really just a way to kind of look at where someone’s at and what they, what they need if they’re, if they are going to come into the faith. And I did mention that, uh, already I did a little bit of communication on that because that is, that came out of reaching the journey that God gave me with my two skeptic friends. And so when, when I actually watched both of them go through each one of these stages, they had to be open to explore with me. They had to be open to take a look and to talk about what they believe and also the Christian faith, you see. And so that’s why that step can be longer than other steps sometimes. And each person that I’m journeying with, I’m looking for the deeper motivational part that “want to” part as well. I’m trying to help them to get to a place where they could believe, but I’m also wanting to zero in on, on really what it will do for their life, what it would mean for their life and how to communicate that in a way that they can really hear it and see it. And that is, that is influence. When you get there with somebody, that’s when people come to faith because you know, they thought about it and they’ve seen it and they’re like, Oh, I want this. I want this.

Jake (29:40):

Absolutely. And that, you know what, at some point in time, you know, no matter what we do out here at some point in time, uh, we could want something a lot more than, uh, we should. In other words, it’s great to be, uh, in the life of somebody else. It’s great to, to, uh, to have those friendships, relationships, and build on those. But if I’m doing it just because I want somebody to understand it just for me, you know, I’m going to try to change this person’s mind, then I’m already setting off in the wrong way. If it’s coming from the heart that I want to show him Jesus and I want to show them what the Lord has for them but in time and I’m going to take my time. And I believe that when I look at those mission skills, that’s kinda like what it’s pointing to.

Jake (30:30):

You know, the steps to taking your time, really building those relationships, not building a relationship just for your own agenda, but really to share this life together as you continue on. And that’s that circling back that you were talking about as one of the steps is going back to them, circling back, uh, and being brought back into someone and checking out how they’re doing in the faith. So, I mean along the line, you know, as you’ve gone and you just kind of talked about it earlier about your two friends, but how important is that for us to go back and continue, uh, to look at each other and see how we’re doing, touch base with one another.

Dr. Gary (31:06):

The circling back, um, principle was something that I saw in the life of Jesus in John five and nine. Uh, there are two different healings that Jesus performs.

Dr. Gary (31:20):

And then we see in the scripture this interesting phrase, you know, then “Jesus found him”. He found the blind man. Um, he found the death and mute man. You know, so what, what you have is, um, Jesus circling back with these people and why is he circling back? Because the miracle, uh, the healing itself was not the ultimate aim. In fact, you know, what we see is the, the blind man didn’t understand who did it, what happened. It was Jesus coming back to him. That brings him into the place of faith and belief. Also just discipling people, right? And so, and you’re, you’re mentioning certainly back with, you know, friends or connections or people you’ve journeyed with and before, I mean, obviously that’s going to be appreciated and often needed. That’s that, you know, we, we want to make disciples, right? It’s not decision, it’s about disciples. And that means there’s investment there in people’s lives. And so, um, anyone who comes into the faith, it’s not over. It’s just begun, right? It’s just begun.

Jake (32:40):

You know, I’m hearing what you’re saying and I still think about how we can get caught up in it sometimes. You know, how we can get caught up in doing our own thing. You know, Hey, I want to go do this. I want to do that. But you know, is it what God calls us to do? And God does, by the way, call us by the way, just to, to move out. And that great commission just to go out and make disciples of nations. And here’s the thing though, if I’m doing it for me, it’s one thing. What if I’m doing it for the Lord? It’s the only thing. And I want to, I want you to share this story real quick and uh, and we’re gonna close it out, but she to share this story because I’m believing that anybody and everybody who is listening can go out and make disciples of nations, really can.

Jake (33:26):

And so here’s the thing. You talked about a time, I think it was in eighth grade maybe? When you played basketball, when you were a kiddo. And you, you guys got dropped off in the middle of the inner city, y’all were playing basketball and somebody kind of picked a fight with you guys. And you know, it made me laugh ’cause I was thinking about picking a fight with Jesus. So, uh, he made you come to a realization, he asked you a question, Dr. Gary. So was it about you or is it about him? This dream? We know ’cause people want to move in this thing and do the very best that they can. But the very core of it must be for the right reason and being about Jesus Christ. So kinda share that story with us if you would. And what you came to and how God approached you about that.

Dr. Gary (34:17):

Yeah. And it’s, it’s towards the back of the book and it really gets very personal there because, you know, Jake, you’re, you’re onto it. There’s no question. Um, I’m a writer, but I’m a Christian man. And, uh, and at the deepest level, um, I, I want to see transformation happen in the lives of people and, and for leaders to really be transformed ultimately by this deep alignment with Jesus and, uh, and our personal encounter with Him. So yeah, it was, uh, took place, I remember it was eighth grade basketball team show up, uh, there at, uh, Lincoln junior high school and they had ninth graders there at the school. And so one of the ninth graders, um, comes over to us. We got dropped off without any chaperone. And, uh, and so we’re in our uniforms and we were just like bait, you know, arriving on that campus and one of the young ninth graders – and man, I’m telling ya, looking back and remembering that that guy had a lot of thuggery to him and he just came over and yeah, he, um, he ended up singling out our African American leader, Lucius Green.

Dr. Gary (35:46):

He ripped off a piece of his shirt! He threw it in Lucius’s face and, you know, basically picking a fight with Lucius right there. And, um, and you know, fortunately a chaperone, or one of the adults showed up right then and we went in and played basketball and, and we had the best team in San Diego County – I just gotta say that. We just destroyed them on the court, uh, won the championship that year, and Lucius was our leader. But he was there after the game for the fight. And so, but anyways, uh, I just remember, um, I just remember that moment and, and I thought, you know, would there ever be a time when God would pick a fight with me? And there was a time, and I was at my prayer tree, a place where I go and I intercede and I was crying out to God over my obscurity really and over, you know, just feeling like just a failure and like, you know, why couldn’t I, you know, break through in bigger ways with what God had given to me. And you know, and it was just one of those moments where like, the heavens opened and the Lord came down, you know? And it was really, truthfully a confrontation. Gary, what is this all about? Is this about you, or is this about Me?

Dr. Gary (37:24):

And you know, I mean, it was like one of those moments – fall to your knees. And I had to say, you know, Lord, you know what? There’s a lot of things I do in my life and my writing and the things that I try to, I’m trying to do the best I can, but I have to really get to that core issue of, really that core motivation. Lord, is this for You? Or am I just protecting me? Or do I want this for me? Do I want this, you know, a pastor – Do I want this so I have a great church? Or do I really want to do what it is that You’ve called me to do to equip my people and empower my people so that we can really fulfill and so they can experience what it means to fulfill the work of God in the world? These are just deep, you know, deep lines that are there. And so, you know, that portion of the book is a challenge for us all really to come before Him and have that Holy moment, that moment, you know, where you know, are we really, are we really laid bare before him so that He can do that deeper, greater in us and work in, work through us in this bigger way for the furtherance of His gospel in this time.

Jake (38:42):

Amen. Amen. For it is, it is the Lord our God who works in us both to will and to do for His own good pleasure. And uh, yeah, you just, you just hit the nail on the head, man. If we’re going to do this thing, do it in the Lord, you know, let the Lord lead. Let the Lord guide. Let the Lord have His way.

Dr. Gary (39:00):

Deep alignment, deep alignment with Him, deep, you know. And some laser surgery on us, right? I’ve had those moments where God just had to do some surgery on my heart and my soul to get me right. Praise God, He does it! Yeah.

Jake (39:18):

Hey, praise God. Well, Dr. Gary, thank you so much for spending this morning with us and talking about this. We’re greatly appreciative of you just coming to hang out with us. And how can the listeners, if they want to catch up with you, how could they, what would it be the best way for them to connect with you?

Dr. Gary (39:34):

Well, they can connect with me on the social media platforms. I’m certainly there. Facebook under just “Gary Comer”. And then also “Soul Whisperer Ministry”. And you can like that page and get things. We’ve got our website, it’s soulwhispererministry.com and the books, I mean, I’ve written six but, there’s two books that I think are kind of my main books. The first one’s “Soul Whisperer”. Okay. And then the second one, ReMISSION. And they’re on Amazon. But you can also get them on just about all the other, um, all the other outlets as well.

Jake (40:17):

Awesome. Again, thank you so much and for you guys. Uh, the ReMISSION book was a great book, a great read for me. You know, I enjoyed it, thoroughly enjoyed it. That’s why, by the way, it’s why Dr. Gary’s on this show. I wanted to hang out with him and spend some time with him and get to learn from him a little bit. And I sure hope each and every one picked up something and uh, learned a little something today and just a reminder. Now if you’re going out in this thing, remember now let the Lord lead you and guide you. And Dr. Gary said it a while ago, a deep alignment with God, deep alignment and what He has for us. And we can, as a matter of fact, we can move in unity and move to advance the kingdom of God, the overall goal, you know, as we walk forward. So Dr. Gary, thank you once again, man. We love you. We thank God for you, greatly appreciate you coming out today. Okay.

Dr. Gary (41:06):

Thank you Jake. Thank you for having me. God bless you.

Jake (41:09):

God bless you, man. Thank you

Jake (41:11):

Once again, it’s been a joy hanging out with you. So please keep pressing, and reaching, and remember that you are not walking out your faith alone out here. For He has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Have a blessed and wonderful day.


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Check out these Books:

Soul Whisperer by Gary S. Comer

ReMission, Rethinking How Church Leaders Create Movement by Gary Comer

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