The Call to Mastery with Jordan Raynor

Mark Batterson (Lead Pastor at National Community Church)

Episode Summary

“Win the Day” in 2021

Episode Notes

Jordan Raynor sits down with Mark Batterson, Author of Win The Day and Lead Pastor, National Community Church, to talk about the 5 levels of highlighting Mark uses when reading thousands of books, what the “law of requisite variety” means for us and our need to switch up routines, and how your uniqueness is a testament to God’s creativity—not your value.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Transcription

[0:00:05.3] JR: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Call to Mastery. I’m Jordan Raynor. This is a podcast for Christians who want to do their most exceptional work, for the glory of God and the good of others. Every week, I host a conversation with a Christian, who is pursuing world-class mastery of their craft. We talk about their path to mastery. We talk about their daily habits and routines and how their faith influences their work.


 

This is a great episode to end 2020. Today’s guest is Mark Batterson, who really needs no introduction. If you don't know who he is, he’s the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. You probably know him from his New York Times best-selling book. He’s published almost 20 books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and his newest book, Win the Day.


 

Mark and I recently sat down. We talked about the 5 levels of highlighting that Mark uses when he has read more than 3,000, 4,000 books now, however many books he’s up to. We talked about what the law of requisite variety means for us and our need to switch up routines; a topic that's very relevant as we round out this very routine-driven 2020. Mark and I also talked about why our uniqueness is a testament not to our value, but to God's great creativity and what his creativity means for our work.


 

You guys are going to love this conversation with Mark Batterson.


 

[INTERVIEW]


 

[00:01:47] JR: Mark Batterson. Thanks for being here, my friend.


 

[00:01:49] MB: Hey, great to be with you, Jordan.


 

[00:01:52] JR: I have one memory of National Community Church and I want to see if you can remember it. If you do, I'm going to be really, really impressed, because this memory 14-years-old. It’s 2006, I'm interning in the White House and I worked pretty much every weekend. Every Saturday and Sunday, I was asked to come to the office, except for this one Sunday. I went the NCC campus at the movie theater at Union Station.


 

No offense, Mark. I don't remember your message at all. What I do remember is there was a string quartet playing Gnarls Barkley's number one hit at the time, Crazy. I remember thinking, “This is the greatest church in the world.” They’re playing Gnarls Barkley. Do you remember this at all?


 

[00:02:38] MB: I do remember. Now, the funny thing is I can hardly remember last week, let alone last year. Man, we used to do this fun series called God at the Billboards.


 

[00:02:52] JR: Yeah, that’s right. I’m remembering this now.


 

[00:02:54] MB: Now Joran, I'm hearing that song in my head in falsetto.


 

[00:03:00] JR: That's amazing. I got to track down a recording. I'm sure you don't have one of 2006. But that was great. That's my one member of NCC. It’s a good memory.


 

[00:03:08] MB: I love it. Pretty fun.


 

[00:03:10] JR: Mark, I’ve been reading your stuff for long time. Loved this new book, Win the Day. I learned something new about you when I was reading it. You read 3,000 books before you wrote your first one. Was that hyperbole? Is that for real for real?


 

[00:03:25] MB: It’s for real. I don't know if it's a problem that I have a book addiction. It’s funny, Jordan, because the working theory of the book is almost anybody can do almost everything if they work at it long enough, hard enough and smart enough. I think for me, writing Is my exhibit A, because it really is not a natural gifting for me. Back when I was in grad school, I took one of those assessments that showed a low aptitude for writing. In other words, whatever you do, do not write books. I knew that I would have to go old-school. Actually, I didn't just read 3,000 books. I reverse-engineered them. I figured out what I like in the way people wrote and then I found my own voice. Three thousand books later, finally wrote one.


 

[00:04:22] JR: It shows humility and respect for the medium, right? Humility is such a critical key to mastery. Go back to reverse-engineering books, because one of the things I love about your writing is how story-driven your books are. It's clear, you read a ton of biographies. I'm curious how you keep track of all the stories. As a writer, I'm just selfishly curious. Talk us through the nitty-gritty of your system. Are you using the slip box method? What does your knowledge management system look like?


 

[00:04:51] MB: Well, it's not too complicated. One, I don't know who said it, but the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory.


 

[00:05:00] JR: Amen.


 

[00:05:00] MB: I never read a book if I don't have a writing utensil. What's the point? Because when I read a book, I always underline, second level is an asterisk. Third level is I circle something. Fourth level is I leaf the top of the page. Fifth level, if I want to be able to get back to it and it really impacted me, I bottom-leaf the page.


 

I don't have good recall in terms of being able to verbatim, tell a story, or an illustration from a book. It's the weirdest thing, Jordan. I can almost always remember what book I read it in, even if it was 20 years ago. I can almost picture where it is on the page. It's really strange. My knowledge retention system is good old-fashioned, underline –


 

[00:05:58] JR: Dog-earring pages.


 

[00:05:59] MB: Dog-earring pages. You got it.


 

[00:06:01] JR: I love it. I don't think I could do it. Have you read this book, How to Take Smart Note?


 

[00:06:06] MB: No.


 

[00:06:07] JR: A book recommendation for you. It’s short. It’s fascinating. It’s written by this academic, but it’s written for anyone who writes non-fiction, non-fiction writers, academics. It’s been all the rage for the last couple years. I finally got around to reading it. It’s a fascinating way to think about writing as you read. I think you’re the prime subject for it, since you already read with a pen in your hand. I love it.


 

Mark, your writing pace is off the charts. You certainly earned credibility to talk about time management in this book. You talk through seven habits in this book, Win the Day. Which one has the most significant for you personally? In your work as a writer, as a teaching pastor, which of the seven habits has been the most important in your life?


 

[00:06:51] MB: Wow. I think it’s probably, eat the frog. I think it probably is this idea of you aren't going to find time. You have to make time. I would say that it's me trying to start my day in the right way and it takes a lot of discipline. Jordan, you’ve probably gotten this question like I have. People will say, “Well, how do you write a book?”


 

My first answer never has anything to do with writing. The first thing I always say is you're going to have to set your alarm clock really early in the morning, which by the way, means you're going to need to get to sleep earlier the night before, because sleep deprivation is not going to help your creativity. A lot of it just has to do with that discipline.


 

I love the way Tim Ferriss says it. That he writes two crappy pages a day, which has a perfectionist, that takes a little bit of the pressure off, but it’s this idea that you got to get up and do what you do every single day. I better backup, Jordan, because I think a lot of people here eat the frog and they're wondering, what in the world are you talking about?


 

I think it was Mark Twain who said, “If you ever have to eat a live frog, do it early in the morning, because then you know the hardest thing is behind you.” It’s this idea of getting up, hitting the ground and doing the hard work, day in and day out. That really is the only way you can write a book, run a marathon, fill in the blank, get a graduate degree, get out of debt, you name it. You got to eat the frog every day.


 

[00:08:43] JR: I found that that true for my writing. First thing in the morning, writing the most difficult thing first. Also, in my experience as an entrepreneur, it's also true. Previously, I ran this well-funded tech startup, and it's very tempting to get to your desk first thing in the morning and do the fun thing, do the easy thing. First thing in the morning, that's when your energy is highest. That's when your ability to cultivate depth is at its best. That’s the time to draft the proposal, or the e-mail, or prep for the meeting that you don't really want to, because once it's done, you can move on to the more exciting things that don't require as much willpower, right?


 

[00:09:21] MB: Yeah. Absolutely spot-on. You're a creativity guru. Try this on for size, because I wonder if you’ve talked with other people that would be the same way. Again, a lot of these depends on whether you're a lark, or an owl, a night person or a morning person. I swear that 90% of my creativity happens before noon. Anything I write, or do creatively after that, isn’t worth reading.


 

Now, there is one little trick of the trade that I would share. In fact, it’s one of my all-time favorite studies. It's a NASA study that found that a 26-minute nap increases productivity 34%. I am a big believer in a quick reset power nap, because then I found, it gives me a second window of creativity. Have you talked with other people? Or is that how you're wired?


 

[00:10:22] JR: Yeah, totally. I don't nap, but I do subscribe to this idea of this bi-hourly breaks in between blocks of deep work. God has designed us with these ultradian cycles. We are energy oscillates every 90 minutes or so. Scientists have proven this over and over and over again. If you're doing a block of deep work, whether that's writing, or drafting a sales proposal, whatever it is, your energy is spent at the end of 90 minutes and you have to fight for renewal. That could be a nap. It could be a run. If you're working with your mind, probably going to mean resting with your hands, like Churchill did; laying 2,000 bricks a day, or 200 bricks a day. There's a lot of wisdom there.


 

We’re already going here with routines. What's the tick-tock of your day? From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, what does a typical day for you look like, Mark?


 

[00:11:13] MB: Well, if I'm in a writing season, we’ll use that as an example. I leverage my birthday, which is in early November. I write until Super Bowl Sunday, which is the first Sunday in February. I usually have about three months to research, write and get that first draft out. In that season, my routine usually would start pretty close to 5:00 in the morning.


 

[00:11:40] JR: Yeah. That's when I start. Yeah.


 

[00:11:42] MB: I know there are people who take a cold shower and maybe that makes them a lot cooler than me, pun intended. I like a hot shower. It wakes me up. My office is right above our coffee house. I'm usually after a shower, I'm in the office, I get my small latte two shots and I have it stacked with my bible reading plan and that's how my day starts.


 

It will sometimes then rabbit trail. Often, then I’ll get into some of my creative work upfront. It's really hard not to check e-mail, but I try to resist that temptation. I get into my writing groove, if you will. Now there are a couple of things that I do that I don't even know if I recommend them, but it's how I approach it the way I'm wired. For me, Tuesday is a meeting day. Part of it is that I meet with our staff. We have our weekend planning meeting. It's a Tuesday. I know I'm going to have meetings from wall to wall, but it buys me back Wednesday, which is a study day.


 

If I'm speaking, then it's a day where I'm prepping a message or a talk. In a writing season, that's a day that I may write from 6:00 to 6:00 with a nap in between, just to reset my brain. I'll often get about 12 hours in. I squeeze in lunch. I will sometimes take a run if I need that reset, as opposed to a nap. I'm home by 6:00. I try to check out, grab dinner with my wife, with my family. Then I try to get a decent night's sleep. I'm a bigger and bigger believer in the importance of getting 8, 9 hours of sleep, if I can pull it off, because I went many years, Jordan, where I was getting six or seven hours. I think I paid a little bit of a price.


 

[00:13:40] JR: Have you read Matthew Walker's book, Why We Sleep?


 

[00:13:42] MB: I have. Yup.


 

[00:13:44] JR: It’s terrific. One of the things that really surprised me, because I always thought, “Oh, 7 to 8 is fine.” For you, it’s 7 hours of sleep. If you go 10 days in a row of 7 hours of sleep, it's the equivalent of not sleeping for 24 hours. That blew my mind. I fight really hard for what Walker calls an 8 to 9 hours sleep opportunity, time of bed, because time of bed does not equate to sleep.


 

You’re a routine-driven guy. You're getting good sleep. One thing you talked about in Win the Day that I've never heard of before was this law of requisite variety. You mentioned it and then went past it, and so I want you to go back to it and dive deeper. Explain to us the law of requisite variety and how it applies to routines.


 

[00:14:30] MB: Yeah, that's a fun question. I'll answer it this way. The key to spiritual growth is routine. We would generally call them spiritual disciplines. This is true physically. It's going to the gym and exercising. Once a routine becomes routine, it can actually become counterproductive. In other words, your body begins to adapt to that work out. That's why a trainer might change the incline on the bench press, for example, just to tweak your muscles a little bit, to confuse your muscles so that they actually have to adapt to it.


 

The way I would liken it is to a pitcher. I don't care how good your fastball is. Eventually, hitters will catch up to it. You need a curveball. I feel like, Jordan, my job as a leader is to confuse people. What I mean by that is this; read the gospels and Jesus did not do an orientation with his disciples. He did a disorientation. He said, “Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Bless those who curse you. Turn the other cheek. Go the extra mile.” None of those things are intuitive. All of them are counterintuitive.


 

The law of requisite variety, if I were to put it into a formula, it would be change-of-pace, plus change of place equals change in perspective. I think it's so critical when it comes to our own personal creativity, as well as in a way that we lead other people.


 

[00:16:10] JR: Yeah. It’s also true in spiritual disciplines too. I'm pretty disciplined about spending time in the word at the same time every day, but I find that if I'm in the same zip code of scripture for too long, it just becomes frankly, rote. I got to change things up. I got to go to the Old Testament and I got to go back to the New Testament. That makes sense.


 

By the way, this is also vocationally. It's a means of putting more weight on the bar for you, whatever your vocation is. If you’re a founder. If you’re a nurse. If you're a writer. I think for you, after book 10, 15, 20, whatever you're on now, I got to imagine, there's some level of temptation to coast. Stop honing your craft. Other than a routines, what are you doing right now to put more weight on the bar as a writer? As a communicator?


 

[00:17:01] MB: Man, Jordan, I don't know if it's the way that I'm wired. I will say, I'm a type 3 on the Enneagram. I’m a performer.


 

[00:17:08] JR: You and me and both.


 

[00:17:10] MB: It’s a blessing and a curse, in that you're only as good as your last talk. You're only as good as your last book. You're only as good as your time on a 5K yesterday. I am always pushing myself. Part of it is that I played competitive sports through college, but I don't even care if I'm driving somewhere. I still want to set a land speed record. I'm just wired in this way that okay, let me go way back to those 3,000 books that read, the one that catalyzed my intense love of reading with an 800-page biography of Albert Einstein.


 

[00:17:53] JR: Oh, my gosh.


 

[00:17:54] MB: I found it absolutely fascinating. There's one thing that I underlined in that book that I've never forgotten. It's one of my mantras. It said, “Never lose a holy curiosity.” I don't know. I think I have that. It's just, I am interested in everything. Then, I always feel like I can do better. Every time I speak, I go back and watch it, often multiple times, to figure out, how could I have said that better or different? Which there's an entire chapter in Win the Day on this idea of Kaizen, which was maybe made famous by the auto-industry and Toyota in particular. It’s this idea of continued improvement.


 

I think it is the way that we’re wired, and I think if we aren’t improving – I think, part of us feels like we get frustrated. In fact, potential is God's gift to us. What we do with it as our gift back to him. I always want to be tapping that potential. I think there's still a lot left in all of us.


 

[00:19:04] JR: Yeah. The Einstein biography. That was the one that s flipped the switch for you. You’re like, “I want to read. I want to write.” Didn’t Walter Isaac write a biography on Einstein? Am I making that up? Who wrote that biography?


 

[00:19:16] MB: No, he did, but this was by someone else. Wow, I’m pulling this out of thin air, but I think it was someone named Ronald Clark, if I remember right.


 

[00:19:26] JR: I’m going to be impressed. We’re going to look it up. We’ll find it. We’ll put it in the show notes. I was talking to Tim Keller a few months ago and I asked him this question. I’m going to ask you the same one. I’m really curious to hear what you say. I don’t think you could point to any of your books as being a commercial failure. I’m curious if there’s one that stands out in your mind. You’re like, “Man. I don’t know. I really thought that was going to do better than it did. I thought that was a better book than the market received it as.” Is there one that comes to mind as I ask you that question?


 

[00:19:53] MB: Yeah. There’s more than one, Jordan.


 

[00:19:57] JR: Please share. Please share.


 

[00:20:00] MB: The first one that I thought was going to be a huge hit, because my first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, really surprised me and I am no doubt, surprised my publisher. It’s a book that did phenomenal and it’s crazy. It still sells like crazy. The third book, I think it’s one of the best books I’ve written. I tapped into a little bit more of my left-brain logic, not just the right brain creativity. I think I chose the wrong title. I titled it Primal. Let's be honest, after the fact, if you search Primal, you're going to see a lot of shall we say, romantic fantasy novels pop up.


 

[00:20:46] JR: It's not the best search results page on Amazon.


 

[00:20:49] MB: It is not. In fact, I wouldn't even Google it. I'm really proud of the book, but it's just a book that did not sell, I think in part, because the title just wasn't quite right. There's a few books like that that it I feel they didn’t make quite as much noise as I wish they would have. Then of course, there's a couple of books that probably made a lot more noise than I ever anticipated.


 

[00:21:15] JR: Oh, yeah. Of course. Yeah. Sure. That’s funny. We're going back, I don't know, four years now. You were very kind to endorse my first book, Called to Create. You said in the endorsement, “Creativity is the natural byproduct of a spirit-filled life.” Thankful for Jordan Raynor, this book challenged the church to embrace creativity and entrepreneurship as a means of glorifying God and loving others.


 

I know the answer to this question, but I want my audience to hear it from the perspective of a pastor like you. How can our work as entrepreneurs, as leaders, as writers, as creatives glorify God? What does that look like, Mark?


 

[00:21:56] MB: Yeah. Well, it is a reflection of his character, because the first way that God reveals himself is as this infinite creator. In fact, those four words, “Let there be light,” are still creating galaxies at the outer edge of the universe, according to the Doppler effect. That's amazing. God loves infinite variety. You have a unique fingerprint, and I might add, a unique soul print. That is one of the other books that didn't do quite as well. I don’t know.


 

It’s this idea that there never has been, never will be anyone like you. That isn't a testament to you. It's a testament to the God who created you. The significance of that is this. No one can do what you do like you do it. There is no one on the bench waiting to take your place. There is only one you. Whatever it is that we do, we've got to bring or creativity to bear. Jordan, I might add one thing if it's okay.


 

[00:22:55] JR: Please.


 

[00:22:56] MB: I like having a little bit of fun with this idea of creativity. I just don't let anybody off the hook, because I know that there are people who say, I'm just not creative. Listen, all of us are incredibly creative when it comes to making excuses. Do not tell me you're not creative. What we have to do is channel that creativity towards productivity, as opposed to some of those excuses that we made. If we do that, I think we might even surprise ourselves.


 

[00:23:28] JR: Yeah. Amen. Well-said. We can’t get off the hook of being creative, because we're created in the image of a creative God. It’s the first thing he showed us in scripture. That’s mind-boggling. I want to see the church talking about this more frequently. I'm so glad that you have spent time talking about this in the past.


 

Mark, this book, Win the Day, is really about productivity. It’s really about time management in a way. This could be a tricky subject for Christians, I think, because yes, we should be productive. Jesus talked about finishing the work the father gave him to do. We also recognize that because of Christ, there is no need for us to be productive. The gospel is the double-edged sword of this ultimate source of both ambition and rest. How do you think about that? How do you manage that tension of preaching to yourself that, “Hey, I don't need to be productive. Because I don't need to be productive, I want to be productive. What does that look like for you?


 

[00:24:25] MB: Yeah. When you ask that question, the first thing that comes to mind for me is occasionally, when I'm talking to leaders, I’ll stand on one foot, Jordan, and I'll ask them, “Am I balanced?” About half of the room will say, “Yeah, you’re balance.” I'm not falling over. Then the other half will say, “You're not balanced,” because they can see me moving back and forth a little bit. Then I'll tell them that they're both right.


 

Life is this process where you are constantly rebalancing, that if you stand on one foot, the muscles in your ankle are going to twitch non-stop. To me, it's the same way when it comes to life and leadership. You're always doing this balancing act. Right now, I'm afraid I'm a culprit of my own creativity, because I literally had that picture popped in my mind and totally forgot your question.


 

[00:25:28] JR: No, it’s good. The question is, how can we think practically about this tension between not needing to be productive, but desiring to be productive for God's purposes in the world?


 

[00:25:41] MB: Yes. Thank you for bringing me back to the question. I brought up the balancing piece, because let's use athletes for example. World-class athletes, they are going to work out. I just heard, had a conversation with someone that everybody would recognize. They work out four hours a day. They have to to be at the peak of their profession. You know what else they do? They rest and recover with the same intensity that they exercise. In the same way, I would say, you got to – you cannot violate this rhythm that God has created us with called the Sabbath.


 

To me, the Sabbath is a reminder that I don't keep the planets in orbit. It's really critical that I learn to get that pause button to get the rest that I need, which is hard for me, because as a performer, it's hard for me to get hit off switch, but I've learned to hit it and I've learned that when I do find that balance and learn to rest, either with creativity when I get my brain a break, then when I come back, it's almost like I can hit another gear. This is the law of diminishing return.


 

[00:27:01] JR: It’s something I've been learning over the last few years that Sabbath, sleep breaks throughout my day. God designed rhythms of arrest are counterintuitively productive towards my goals, but it’s also productive for my soul. It is a way of reminding myself that I'm not God and that's okay.


 

It reminds me of Cecil DeMille who wrote The Ten Commandments, way back in the 1950s. He has some quote and I may be butchering it, but something along the lines of, we can’t break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law. Now, I disagree with the the first half of that. Of course, we can break the law. That's called sin. But his point that we’re breaking ourselves against the law of Sabbath, I think God’s commands I think stands.


 

Mark, last question before we hit our three rapid-fire questions at the end. Part of good time management is getting good at saying no. I think as Christ-followers, we should have a different perspective on this two-letter word than the rest of the world. In Essentialism, Greg McEwen mentions this, hell yeah, or no mindset. The idea being that if we can’t say we're super-excited about doing something, we should say no to it. Well, that’s not really the example of Christ.


 

Yes, he said no a lot, but he also said yes when he probably wasn't excited too. What advice do you have for those of us looking for a more Jesus-like approach to what we say yes to and what we say no to, in order to protect our time?


 

[00:28:27] MB: The key insight for me, it started with something Andy Stanley said. He said, saying yes to one thing is saying no to something else. I had a point several years ago, Jordan, where your write a book, people think you know more than you. You start getting these invitations to speak and every opportunity is an amazing opportunity. I'm a people pleaser. It's hard for me to say no. The next thing I know, I'm going in a thousand directions. I'm writing about a book in a half a year. I'm pastoring a church with seven campuses, and I'm traveling all over tarnation and trying to be a husband and a father.


 

You can't do all of those things. It was basically when my wife said, “This isn't what I signed up for,” that it was a reality check for me. I decided to put some boundaries in place that I would not do more than 12 overnight speaking trips a year. Then I dialed it back to seven overnight speaking trips. It's about, I think, putting boundaries in place to save you from yourself. No one knows your tendencies like you do. No one knows your weaknesses like you do. I don't want to pretend that I have this all figured out.


 

I mean, literally in the last year, I'm sitting down with my counselor and I hear something come out of my mouth and it was this. I don't want to disappoint anyone ever. My counselor looks at me and says, “Mark, that is an awfully big burden to bear.” Then he adds this, “By the way, seems like Jesus disappointed everybody.” I am still working my way through.


 

I will say one other thing. You got to define success. For me, success is when those who know me best respect me most. That's my wife and my kids. I have this little mantra that I want to be famous in my home. You're not going to be famous in your home if you're never home. Some of those key decisions saying no years ago, really, I think save me on a lot of different levels.


 

[00:30:51] JR: That's really good. Mark, three questions we ask every guest to wrap-up each of these conversations. Number one, which books these days are you recommending or gifting most frequently to others? Can't be your own books. Doesn't count. Primal can't be the answer.


 

[00:31:09] MB: Because I read so much, you know that’s a hard question for me.


 

[00:31:12] JR: Oh, yeah. I know.


 

[00:31:14] MB: It’s funny. You just brought it up. When I was on a sabbatical a couple of years ago, I did a three-month sabbatical, read 77 books during that sabbatical and my top pick was Essentialism, a book that you just referenced. Because I felt I needed to go through a process of – it's like minimalism, but it really is determining those key priorities. You got to get the big rocks in the jar first, to quote Stephen Covey.


 

I think Essentialism is a book that over the last couple years, I have recommended a lot. Man, I love Dan and Chip Heath. Just read Upstream, but listen, made to stick, whatever they write is a great read. Right now, anything having to do with adaptive leadership. All of us are getting an honorary doctorate in Christ’s management. I'm reading a lot of things related to adaptive leadership. I think it's Canoeing the Mountains if I remember right, is the title. That's another one that I'm recommending quite a bit.


 

[00:32:23] JR: I love it. Who would you most like to hear on this podcast? Let’s go with somebody who’s not in “full-time ministry,” my most hated term. Vocational ministry. Somebody who’s just a masterful CO, or athlete, or doctor, or lawyer, whatever. Loves Jesus. They're great at what they do. Who would you like to hear talk about these topics on the show?


 

[00:32:45] MB: You know what? A couple of years ago, I went up and did a training camp talk for the Baltimore Ravens and Coach John Harbaugh. Uber impressed with John. I mean, you can't coach at that level. Of course, he's a super bowl-winning coach. You can't coach at that level without having some serious leadership jobs. Then you're dealing with athletes and you're also dealing with egos and the pressure of a win-loss record. Then how do you manage family and faith in the middle of that. It's funny. For some reason, maybe it's because football season, but John Harbaugh's someone that have tremendous respect for and love the way that he leads, both on the football field and off.


 

[00:33:38] JR: Yeah, it’s a good answer. All right, last question. One piece of advice to leave this audience with? This is an audience of Christ-followers, across a bunch of different vocations. What they share is a deep desire to do exceptional work, not for their own fame and fortune, but for God's glory and the good of others. What do you want to lead them with?


 

[00:33:56] MB: Yeah. I'll leave them with three things. One, recent survey found that 18% of leaders feel qualified to lead and I'm wondering who those 18% are. All of us are pastor pay grade. All of us are out of our depth. None of us have this figured out. Don't feel too bad if you feel you are in the deep end just trying to keep your head above water, because I think all of us are spending quite a bit of time in that deep end.


 

I think the second thing I would say is the blessings of God will complicate your life. What I mean by that is this. When I got married, it complicated my life. Praise God. I can't imagine my life without those complications. Oh, and then God gave us three complications, named Parker, Summer and Josiah. 7 campuses is a lot more complicated than one campus. I have learned that sin will complicate your life in a way that it should not be complicated. But the blessings of God will complicate your life in a way that it should be complicated.


 

It's not going to get easier. It's not going to get simpler, but you're going to get better with God's help. And then I think the final thing, Jordan, is I love Joshua 3. It says, “Consecrate yourselves today. For tomorrow, God will do amazing things among you.” We want to do amazing things for God, but that's not our job. God is the one who does amazing things for us. Our job is to consecrate ourselves. In fact, I would say to win the day. If we win today, God is going to take care of tomorrow. We overestimate what we can do in a day or two, underestimate what God can do in 10, or 20 with long obedience in the same direction. Be encouraged.


 

[00:35:41] JR: That's really good. Hey, Mark. I just want to commend you for the exceptional work you do in distilling wisdom from scripture, for all of us. Thank you for serving us, your readers, your publisher, your agent, everybody, through the ministry of excellence and your family, first and foremost.


 

Hey guys. The book is Win the Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less & Accomplish More, published with my same publisher. Actually, I think we got the same publicist on our books. Pick up that book wherever books are sold. Mark, thanks again for joining me.


 

[00:36:11] MB: Hey, Jordan. Absolute joy and privilege. God bless.


 

[END OF INTERVIEW]


 

[00:36:16] JR: Man, I love Mark. That was a lot of fun. I could have asked 15 follow-up questions about his knowledge management system, but I didn't. You're welcome. Hey, I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. If you did, make sure you subscribe to The Call to Mastery, so you never miss an episode in the future. If you're already subscribed, do me a favor, it’s the end of 2020, go to Apple Podcasts, leave a review so more people can't find this content and this wisdom from our guest, like Mark Batterson.


 

Hey, thank you guys so much for listening. I’ll tell you what, I can't tell you how much my team and I love making this podcast for you. I hope you guys have enjoyed all this great content in 2020. I'll see you next year.


 

[END]