Delayed Destiny – Interview with Jeffery Portmann
What’s in this Episode?
In this episode of the Church Tips Podcast, Jonathan sits down with Jeffery Portmann, director of CMN and author, to discuss his new book titled: Delayed Destiny.
Buy the Book: https://a.co/d/by4hL3V
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Read the Transcript
Jonathan Hardy 0:05
All right, friends, hey, I want to welcome you to the Church Tips Podcast. I am here with my friend Jeffery Portmann. And Jeffery is the director of the Church and Multiplication Network and the author of this brand new book called, Delayed Destiny. Jeffery, welcome to the podcast today.
Jeffery Portmann 0:21
Oh, thank you so much for having me on Pastor Jonathan.
Jonathan Hardy 0:24
Yeah. Well, I’m so excited for you and the launch of your new book. And of course, we were just dialoguing before this. We’re both kind of on this book journey together.
Jeffery Portmann 0:32
Jonathan Hardy 0:33
And that’s been fun.
Jeffery Portmann 0:34
Jonathan Hardy 0:35
Tell us a little bit about Delayed Destiny. How did it come about? Maybe, flesh out what this concept is?
Jeffery Portmann 0:41
Sure. Well, it started actually, like, almost 30 years ago. 28 years ago, I was a youth pastor and I wrote a series for, you know, the students in our ministry, the young adults, called Delayed Destiny. And it was helping them wrestle through, is all of the effort and the energy you’re putting out for that destiny, whatever that is, health, relationships, relationship with Jesus, finances, fitness, whatever. Is it worth, the effort? Is that delay that, you know, there’s not immediate results.
Jeffery Portmann 1:12
And so I felt even back then, God had put this in me as a book. And I, long story, you know, started my doctorate and we planted New Hope and it was like, it was never the right time. And last year, after the CMN conference, I took the first five days of vacation, in the morning, to finish it. I was already about 95% done. But the overarching idea is, I don’t know one pastor or leader or person that hasn’t navigated delays, personally.
Jeffery Portmann 1:40
And for every pastor, they’re leading their church through a delay of some sort of vision for, you know, different expressions of that. And so but there’s also this clear destiny God has for us. And the reminder is that God is the God of process and incremental. And essentially, slow motion is still motion and we need to hang on when we want to pull the plug.
Jonathan Hardy 2:03
Yeah, I noticed kind of throughout, you talked about that slow motion is still motion.
Jeffery Portmann 2:09
Jonathan Hardy 2:10
Flesh that out a little bit. What does that look like?
Jeffery Portmann 2:13
Yeah, so I one of the stories I tell in the book is, my wife and I, Joanne, we have two sons, Justice and Josiah. When Josiah was an elementary school kid, I hear him calling for mom. She’s not there, so I go in. And I sit on his bed and say, you know, What’s up, bud? And he says, my legs are killing me. Well, I knew what he didn’t and that was he was having growth pains. And those growth pains don’t stop, now physically they stop, but there’s always growth pains in every expression of life and ministry and leadership.
Jeffery Portmann 2:45
And, so slow motion is still motion, is this reminder that God’s working even when we can’t see it. That even a delay doesn’t indicate disinterest on God’s part. And instead of saying, well, I need to either scrap everything and start over, or I need to quit and do something different. Look for the little wins along the way. The incremental increases, the small breakthroughs, because slow motion truly is still motion, although we would always choose fast over slow.
Jonathan Hardy 3:17
Oh man, I know. We live in that society that just wants everything right now. Right?
Jeffery Portmann 3:23
We do. We expect immediacy because most of our life, we have easy access to things. And I think, and I’ve wrote about, that’s crept into our relationships, our health, and even how we view ministry and leadership.
Jonathan Hardy 3:38
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s really good. So you divided the book up into two parts, what hinders and then what helps. Flesh that out. And how does that how does that all intertwine with the concept of delayed destiny?
Jeffery Portmann 3:52
Yeah, on the workbook I wrote, I go back and forth between what hinders and helps hinders and helps but in the book, I laid out what are the things that can hijack or put us into a holding pattern, either God allowed it or we set that in motion. So I had distraction, detours, discontentment. discouragement, who hasn’t wrestled with that, and then defensiveness. So those are things that are potential. They’ll either cause a delay, or they’ll hinder our development or the fulfillment of, not only our dream for our ministry or our marriage, but it will also create these holding patterns.
Jeffery Portmann 4:30
But there’s good news in a holding pattern. It’s not safe to land yet, but you have enough fuel left in the tank to keep going. All these little principles. And then the second half was really, what are some of the things that we can take away from the delay that we’re navigating? And you can learn throughout all of it, but I hit these five things. Discernment. I think it’s that big principle that gets little play in culture right now. Discovery. Dependence. We think dependence is a weakness often, it’s really wisdom.
Jeffery Portmann 4:59
Jesus says, I’m the vine, you have the branches, right? So if we’re tethered, if we’re dependent, that’s a healthy place. And then the last two, determination. I think we live in a culture that quits too easy. And if we can develop depth and determination, we’ll navigate hard things and in the process, we’ll see this development, which is the last chapter.
Jonathan Hardy 5:19
Nice. One of the things I loved what you said was, you said, “What happens to you in your delay directly connects with what happens through you afterwards.” So obviously, most of those listening to this are pastors, their ministry leaders. And so how have you seen that play out, either in your ministry as you’ve been a pastor over the years, or as you’ve seen, because you’ve worked with a lot of pastors as well…
Jeffery Portmann 5:44
Jonathan Hardy 5:44
How do you see that play out in ministry?
Jeffery Portmann 5:47
Well, I think I lean to that principle. It’s hard to take people places we’ve never been. I will say, most of the time when we’re leading organizations, we’ve not been there, but we’re like, just ahead of our people, right? But what happens to us in our delay, we can either bail, we can become bitter. I talk about refusing the right to become resentful.
Jeffery Portmann 6:10
And sometimes in a delay, something happened or it didn’t happen. And we miss what God wants to do in us. So what God does in us and to us, he then will do through us later. And I think it’s the ripple effect of growing in our faith. It’s James 1, consider it pure joy when you face trials, delays, setbacks, right, of any kind? Because the testing of your faith, develops something. It develops that perseverance.
Jeffery Portmann 6:37
And so, I talk about appropriate vulnerability. And so often as pastors, we have this false idea, or maybe someone said it, that we can’t be in process or we can’t be wrestling through things. But appropriate vulnerability says, I’m in the midst of this same struggle and battle. But, here’s what God’s doing to me, so what can you do through me and us on the other side of that?
Jonathan Hardy 7:01
Yeah. No, that’s really powerful. Another thing I noticed, you said is the lie that we’re all susceptible to believing is that life is one big competition with everyone around us. And, you know, obviously, we work with pastors.
Jeffery Portmann 7:16
Jonathan Hardy 7:17
Know that, that hey, even as pastors, we’re still human. And it’s easy to compare yourself to the church down the road or society, now more than ever, those big time influencers online.
Jeffery Portmann 7:29
Jonathan Hardy 7:29
And we look at what’s happening over in that church and we say, Well, man, why is that not happening here?
Jeffery Portmann 7:36
Jonathan Hardy 7:36
How would you help a pastor who might be struggling with that based on what you, you know, wrote in the book, and just through your experience?
Jeffery Portmann 7:44
Yeah, so one of the things I wrote and I believe this in my life, insecurity always invites me to be someone I’m not. So when I look at someone else, and I begin to compare, and I feel like my scoreboard and their scoreboard are the same, I either think I’m thriving and feel like I kind of got this, which can lean towards that arrogance, which is gross. But the other side of it all is equally debilitating. And that is that insecurity of, man I don’t have anything to offer compared to.
Jeffery Portmann 8:11
But here’s the thing, what I talk about is God didn’t call you to run someone else’s race. So you’ll never even finish it because you couldn’t even start it, right? But you’re already running your own race. And so instead of comparing our marriage, or our kids, or our budget, or our church, or our discipleship, or the building, whatever, or you know, our budget.
Jonathan Hardy 8:30
Jeffery Portmann 8:30
What if we’re content with and find that fulfillment in God, you put this in my hand, so I’m going to steward it. And I think the overflow is that, again, that dependence. And you start to see a contentment in pastors, I believe this, Jesus said, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And I don’t always feel that, but I want to feel it more and more, not less less.
Jonathan Hardy 8:53
Jonathan Hardy 8:52
Yeah. I love what you said in the latter half of the book. You said that we’re all going somewhere on purpose or by accident. We’ve kind of already alluded to that a little bit, but is there anything else you might add as it relates to that statement?
Jeffery Portmann 9:07
Jeffery Portmann 9:07
Well, I think we overestimate the power of one moment or service or decision and underestimate the power of consistency. And it’s, I think it’s easy to ask, how did I get here? In a good way. And the other side of it is, how did I get here? And, right? I mean, because and the answer is you got put into a current and currents take us somewhere.
Jonathan Hardy 9:07
Jeffery Portmann 9:08
And I tell a couple stories about that in the book, and we’re all in a current of leadership, of prayer, of health, or disease that’s taken us, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we end up somewhere because we put ourselves in these currents. I love what the ministry, the organization you lead, because you create currents for pastors to grow to take their next best steps. And so then they get to the other side and go how did I get here? I got here because Jonathan was walking with me and resourcing me.
Jonathan Hardy 10:00
Yeah. Yeah. You know, that’s actually one of the things we talked about is, in tying to this is, you can’t just rely on the hope strategy. Like, let’s just hope that it’s going to work out or the we’ll see mentality and see what happens. I mean, you know, when you’re walking by faith, there is the element of hope, you know, that Hebrews talks about. But there’s also intentional things that we can do…
Jeffery Portmann 10:26
Jonathan Hardy 10:27
…to position ourselves to be where God wants us and to be led by the Lord and so, as I was reading that, that’s what immediately came to mind for me is like, oh the old hope strategy, you know? That’s how, you know, that’s how we talk about it. And um…
Jeffery Portmann 10:43
Right? I like that it’s both and, right? Because as Christians, we do have hope. We have this unwavering hope. Hebrews tells us, let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promises is faithful, right? And we got to do some stuff.
Jeffery Portmann 10:57
Yeah, we got to have a plan. We’ve got to have a strategy. I gotta get a coach and a mentor. And I say this all the time. Every pastor needs a pastor. Yeah. And with your book, and then you know, Lord willing with what I wrote, it’s a way for someone to be pastored with this tool, and then they can also process with other people and take their next steps.
Jonathan Hardy 11:15
Yeah, yeah. Well, and on that note, for for those who’ve been a part of the Leaders.Church family for a while, just want to make sure to mention, too, that if you are looking for something to help you grow, one of the free online masterclasses that Dick and I have put on is called the the 4 Secrets Pastors Can Use to Lead at the Next Level. So for those of you watching or listening, be sure to take a look at that you can just simply go to Leaders.Church/Secrets to get access to that and sign up for that.
Jeffery Portmann 11:42
Jonathan Hardy 11:43
But, maybe Jeffrey, just kind of as we wrap up here. One final little thought of what would you hope people take away after they read this book?
Jeffery Portmann 11:53
Well, I hope that people would be reminded that they have the capacity for greatness, because God’s working. That the, I said it this way, their current chapter is not their last chapter.
Jeffery Portmann 12:06
Yeah, it’s good.
Jeffery Portmann 12:07
Just their most recent. And we can invite God to put a period, turn the page, and start our next chapter. Because he’s always writing.
Jonathan Hardy 12:27
Jeffery Portmann 12:15
Right. He’s always working. We know the song, even when we can’t see it. In the story of Joseph is really a front row seat to the providence of God. And it’s not just for Joseph, it’s for you and it’s for me.
Jonathan Hardy 12:28
Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, friends, I want to tell you, you got to pick up a copy of this book. I’ve read the book, and it is an excellent book. And, frankly, not just for you, but for those of you who have resource centers, if you’ve got bookstores in your church, I would recommend buying some bulk copies so that way the people in your church can tap into this. So not only to benefit you, but also to benefit the people in your church. So Jeffrey, maybe tell us how can they get the book, either individually, or if they want to tap into the bulk opportunity?
Speaker 2 12:59
Yeah. So, you can go on Amazon, of course. And it’s Audible and Kindle version, and I read the book. And so that’s available, a lot of people are accessing it that way. But, I interact with pastors all over the nation all the time. And so I have bulk pricing for pastors over 10. And then there’s a break at 20. And, so you can email me at Nextlvl, so [email protected] So that’s next level leadership, there’s just no e’s in level. And my assistant and our team will then process with you. We also have a workbook that people and churches have used for small group curriculum. I’ve had men’s group walk through it, and it’s 10 weeks just like the 10 chapters. So yeah, thanks for considering that.
Jonathan Hardy 13:55
Yeah, man. Well, friends, you got to pick up a copy, get the workbook as well. This is gonna be a great resource to help people, because this is real world stuff. This is where people are living. Day in and day out. You know, the life of Joseph is a great example for all of us, where the detours in life weren’t the things we were expecting.
Jeffery Portmann 14:13
Jonathan Hardy 14:14
But we know that God uses it to not only develop us to position us where he wants us next. So don’t forget, grab your copy of Delayed Destiny. Jeffrey, thank you so much for joining us today here on the Church Tips Podcast.
Jonathan Hardy 14:30
Jeffery Portmann 14:30
Appreciate your leadership.
Jonathan Hardy 14:32
Yes. Hey, that’s great, man. Well, we’ll look forward to catching you next time Jeffrey, and for all you watching or listening, until next time, be blessed.
Jonathan Hardy 14:41
Hey, Jonathan here real quick before you go. Everything in your ministry rises and falls on your leadership. So investing in your leadership is essential to staying healthy and growing the ministry. And that’s why I want to invite you to join us inside the Leaders.Church membership. This online streaming service for pastors gives you access to more than 300 videos plus training material to level up your leader worship and improve your ministry skills. If you’d like to do that, I want to invite you to go to Leaders.Church/Boost. Again, that’s Leaders.Church/Boost. Well thanks again for joining us on the Church Tips Podcast. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.