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Mitch Tidwell:

Well, howdy friends and welcome to The Roundup Podcast. I’m your host, Mitch Tidwell. Thank you for joining us today. We are super excited to have… This is our Ask Yoda session, and so for this session we have invited on Brian Frye, who is the former National Collegiate Strategist for the North American Mission Board who’s been a good friend to many of you, and certainly many churches and college ministries across North America. He is a friend and a mentor of mine who I greatly appreciate. And about a year and a half ago, he decided to jump out of denominational life and ministry. And to jump into a local church, and serve faithfully there at Resonate Church in Pullman, Washington. But also get a normal, regular job, a nine-to-five job, working for a company where he helps onboard and do leader development in that company.

Mitch Tidwell:

This is an Ask Yoda session, and normally what we do is we pull questions off of Facebook. But since we haven’t heard from Brian in a while, I just want to do a quick update on him, where he’s at. What he’s learning doing college ministry, and working full-time in the marketplace. And then just really his general thoughts on where college ministry is heading, and what he’s learned from being out of the thick of this broad ministry over all of North America, to just being centrally located in one place. And so it’s a really great listen, stick around. Brian has some really helpful things to say, I think, if you’re a college leader to help you relate to the person in your ministry that has a lot on their plate, that has a lot on their schedule. And then also how to help develop the team that you’re currently leading. I think he’s got some really valuable things to say in there as well. So super excited to have Brian on.

Mitch Tidwell:

But before we get there, I do want to talk a little bit about Texas Roundup, or actually we’re transitioning this year, it’s just called Roundup. It’s an event we have May 12th through the 14th. We’re going to have it in Dallas-Fort Worth here in Texas. And what it is, is it’s a collaborative learning environment that champions church-based collegiate multipliers. What we’re seeking to do is create a community of folks in churches who are doing college ministries, develop this community. And really foster this environment of community, and learning. And really just setting a vision for disciple-making and multiplication. It’s a great three days. We have an awesome lineup. We’ve got J.D. Greear coming, who’s a current SBC president, and lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, Durham. They reach a ton of college students there.

Mitch Tidwell:

We have Daniel Yang who is the director of the Send Institute. And what Daniel is going to help us do is think about the church in the future. What do we need to know as college ministers, is we’re walking into the future and especially a crazy future in light of COVID. And all the social issues that we’ve been faced with over the past year. And then we have Dusty Thompson, who is the lead pastor of Redeemer Church in Lubbock, who is just a great guy, and has invested in college students for a long time as a lead pastor. And so we’ll hear from him as well, but we have a ton of different breakouts. We have two tracks, we have a pastor college minister track, that’s for the adults that are helping lead your ministry.

Mitch Tidwell:

And then we have a student leader track for your student leaders that come, we have a track just for them too. So come, do not come alone. If you have to, go ahead, but try not to come alone, bring some people with you. Because there’s going to be times for you to learn. There’s going to be times for you to network, time for you to collaborate with other churches. And then we’ll even help you. By the end of the event, we’re going to actually help you put together a plan too. That way, before you leave, you actually have a plan of action, and you don’t have to wait two weeks and then think, “Okay, what did we learn. What do we need to do.” That kind of thing. We’ll have all of that mapped out for you.

Mitch Tidwell:

Roundup, it’s going to be May 12th through the 14th and the registration is completely free, all you have to do is get there. You can register at sbtexas.com/roundup. Again, sbtexas.com/roundup. Follow us on social media, @sbtccollegiate. You can find some more information there. Don’t miss that. All right, friends. Well, let’s get to it, with my conversation with Brian Frye.

Announcer:

You’re listening to The Roundup Podcast, a podcast on reaching the college campus, developing leaders and sending out kingdom multipliers. This podcast is created by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and provided through Cooperative Program giving.

Mitch Tidwell:

Hi, Brian. How you doing, man?

Brian Frye:

Doing well, Mitch, how are you doing today?

Mitch Tidwell:

I’m good. It’s good to see you. I know it’s been a minute since we’ve gotten to chat. So it’s really…

Brian Frye:

Yeah it has.

Mitch Tidwell:

… A lot of fun. And just want to let you know that the legend of Brian Frye just continues across the nation. And so I am really excited…

Brian Frye:

Whether that is famous or infamous, that is yet to be determined.

Mitch Tidwell:

That’s right. Yeah. We’ll see. Hey, a year later it’s looking pretty good, we’ll see what happens a few years down the road.

Brian Frye:

We will.

Mitch Tidwell:

But no, man. We’re super excited to have you on. And really, I know that… Just a brief history for the folks that are listening. My very first day on the job as collegiate associate for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, I was in a tear sheet session with Brian Frye. I think we were at Southwestern Seminary. And I don’t know if you knew that, but that was my first day on the job.

Brian Frye:

That’s pretty crazy.

Mitch Tidwell:

And so we got to know each other. I think we had actually met previously through Lance Krall, who was here, which by the way I told him we were meaning today. He said to tell you, hello.

Brian Frye:

Please pass a greeting onto him as well, that’s a good man there.

Mitch Tidwell:

I will. He is a great dude. Yeah, so we met there and man, you just became a great friend and a mentor. And really helped change the way I thought about resourcing churches, adding value to churches, and calling churches to something more than… I don’t know, probably don’t have a nice way to put it. But just calling churches, descending to see their church as not just a place where we just gathering in circles, but we’re sending people, and making disciples, and multiplication. So just want to thank you for that and the influence you’ve had on me, and so many other churches around the nation. But I know probably, I guess, a year and a half ago you left NAM, right?

Brian Frye:

We did. Yeah. Left a role at NAM, and a stake [inaudible 00:06:05] of Madison, Ohio. Transitioned out to Washington.

Mitch Tidwell:

Gotcha. All right. So for y’all that don’t know. Brian was the national collegiate strategists at the North American Mission Board. For how long was that?

Brian Frye:

Man, so it was probably six years.

Mitch Tidwell:

Six years.

Brian Frye:

In that slot, yeah.

Mitch Tidwell:

Okay. I don’t know why I thought it was longer than that.

Brian Frye:

I had served in state convention of Madison, Ohio staff.

Mitch Tidwell:

Yeah.

Brian Frye:

Yeah. For a few years before that. So ended up being an integrated role. So we get to direct stuff in Ohio, and then work on the national level as well.

Mitch Tidwell:

Nice. Awesome. Well, one of the things Brian did is, Brian helped create these communities of churches and leaders all across the nation, to help plant churches in college town. To reach students and to plant more churches. And it’s the legacy that he’s lived behind, but now you’ve transitioned a bit, you’re a part of Resonate Church, which was a big part of your work with NAM. But you’re also working a nine-to-five, or I don’t know if you consider it that, but you’re doing both.

Brian Frye:

Yeah. Working full time in corporate worlds. Work at a local company here in Pullman, Washington. And do leader development, and then lead the onboarding team for our company as well.

Mitch Tidwell:

Awesome. So leader development, onboarding. So you’re… Just new employees, and then just helping just other departments, just [crosstalk 00:07:24] expertise.

Brian Frye:

So for those who’ve hung around the CIN network stuff, or who worked in state convention life, it’s likely that you’ve talked about or heard about leadership pipelines. So in our world, basically working on leadership pipeline stuff, those who move from an individual contributor to a first time supervisor. And then as you continue to work your way up in an organization, you want to keep improving your skills. So we’ll do coaching, and courses and that type of thing. So that’s on the leader development side.

Brian Frye:

On the onboarding side that is just moving an individual from outside of the company, inside a company or into that job. And basically you’re looking at the first year. So from the moment that… In Twitter language, from yes to desk, is the pre-boarding process. The first two or three weeks in the company, it’s really high value time to ensure that they understand culture, and they feel fittedness, and that type of thing. And then over the course of the rest of the year, you’re working with folks to help them understand and embrace the culture, and then live out that culture. So, If that sounds anything like engaging freshmen during the first 10 days on campus, there are some commonalities in that. Yeah. It’s a lot of fun. So get to do both of those two things together.

Mitch Tidwell:

That’s awesome. I know as you’re thinking about that, I’m going to ask you a question here in just a minute. Because I’d like to go back to that, but you’re also heavily involved in Resonate Church. What’s your role look like there?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. So one of our founding guys here at Resonate headed down to Texas to help plan a church, The Rim, down in the Austin area. And that left a vacancy because I knew Resonate, Keith Weezer and I, and the other leaders there, we’ve been connecting since 2009. So basically we have a decade worth of relationships, and trips, and coaching involved with them. They ask, “Hey, Brian. Would you be willing to step into this role here?” And Heidi and I prayed about it. We had moved out from Ohio to Washington to be a part of Resinate, did not know the role, the position.

Brian Frye:

But when Keith made the ask and said, “Hey, would you be willing to do this?” Yeah. We prayed it through, we talked it through our community. We talked with our community about that and felt, like, “Okay, this is what we’re supposed to do.” So working my nine-to-five, and then working 10 to 20 hours a week leading the Pullman site staff team outside of business hours. So a lot of evenings, a lot of lunch times. And then the weekends. We’ve been doing it for two months. So I am not a pro at this yet. Very much a novice. Very much learning how, but it’s an unpaid, leverage your life for the gospel role.

Mitch Tidwell:

Man, love that. So, Brian, as I look back on your influence on, I feel like North America, and churches, and specifically churches who wanted to leverage for college students. I know you were at NAM making a big impact. And then the switch to say, “Hey, I’m going to go work and I’m going to be in the marketplace. But I also want to give myself fully to my church.” What led to this transition of you wanting to do that? What was the conviction behind that?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. I think on one level it’s part of my wiring. I love new things. I love novel things. Anything that’s going to make a big impact. I love to study those things. So I did my PhD dissertation on the multi-site church movement, the history and the development of it, was fascinating. Did a lot of papers when I was in seminary, on Bill Bright and his leadership of Campus Crusade for Christ. So Cru’s development was very much a novel innovation when it came along, the interest in collegiate church planting in a similar way. So when we began, I think there were two things that were going on. One is in collegiate church planting, we were facing the problem of, we know how to lead people to Christ, help them develop and cultivate, become disciples who make disciples during the college years.

Brian Frye:

But once they leave the college setting, that’s a tough transition. Meg Jay’s book. The Defining Decade talks about that transition, not religious at all. But just acknowledges that it’s a paralysis of analysis stage, where people are like, “Hey, what do I do next?” So what we realized is there’s this stop gap moment, that we’ve got to figure out how to have college students transition from the university setting into what comes next. So into their defining decade and figure out how to get jobs. And how to do what they make disciples, wherever they land, whether it’s in government, or education, or marketplace, wherever it is. So we were seeing people leave. And we were seeing churches planted. But frankly, when you plant churches with college students, at first, it’s pretty high cost. And college students or recent graduates really don’t have a lot of money right out the gate.

Brian Frye:

So we were thinking, how do we capture the momentum of churches that are being planted by college students. And yet stabilize that when they move out into their community and engage there. So what we realized is, we’ve got to solve for this generating resources, income monies from inside, and then being able to cultivate a base, a scaffolding of people to go out and plant. So much of our church planning focus is really aimed at the church planter, his wife, the team that goes around, the startup funds. For those who don’t feel called to be a church planter, or who don’t feel called to be on staff, we don’t have a lot of systems and processes for them. So I think on an individual level, I want to explore this new area, figure out how to make it go forward.

Brian Frye:

And then at the same time, feeling a calling inside of me, a tension inside of me, I think sometimes those can be a simultaneous thing. But that my family was not leveraged towards planting churches in the college context. So our kids are hearing us talk about it, tell these stories of great things happening. But they’re not able to see, touch, taste it firsthand. So our move down here was in response to what we sensed God calling us to do. We looked at all kinds of different collegiate church planning hubs to move into, but sensed God was saying here. So the move here was really generated by, somebody has got to figure out how to go help plant churches, but focus on the marketplace side, the co-vo side, so that we have scripts for people to see, this is what it looks like when somebody is loving Jesus and following Jesus. But not on a staff in a full-time way. So that’s really the driver behind it.

Mitch Tidwell:

Man that’s so good. What are some of the… I know it hadn’t been that long for you. You moved your family out. Y’all got settled down, but in terms of… Are there any insights you’d give on that you’ve learned so far about that piece, of being that marketplace leader that’s a part of a plant.

Brian Frye:

Yeah. Well, this is not going to be fun for any pastoral leader who’s listening to what I’m about to say. So just buckle up, and just take a moment to hear it out. What happens is we all get theological training. We go to ministry places, we go to spaces. And in general, we’re pretty isolated in our thinking. Most of what we think about is from the ministry perspective. Moving into this role now, I knew that. I came from that. I was very adept and in tune to what it feels like in denominational and church world life. But to now be in a marketplace role, it’s just a very different perspective. I’ve got to perform at my job. I’ve got to go to that job five days a week. I’ve got responsibilities that I have to do in order to live, feed my family, do all those things.

Brian Frye:

And then I’ve got church world involved in that. So I think for a long time, I focus so much on what we were trying to get people to do, and what we wanted them to do. And them growing as disciples, and them doing their quiet times, and them doing it. And I just had very little perspective, very little appreciation of how little time, that folks really have if they’re in roles, or if they’re in jobs that are high demand. So the key thing I would try to embed in everybody’s thinking is, when you’re first thinking about engaging a person in your congregation, or you’re thinking about your body as it is, I would use the five hour rule. I would think in my head, I need to ask no more than five hours of time from all of our people here, until they get to a point where they want to own and generate something on their own.

Brian Frye:

So I know that may sound a little bit controversial because we follow Jesus with our whole lives as a holistic thing. But what happens is, oftentimes our programming eclipses that five hour slot. And so they’re not walking with Jesus for only five hours. They’re doing our program for 5 hours, or 10 hours for 20 hours. So the thing that I’d say is, for those of you who are planting, or you are starting out. And you’re trying to bring people into the orbit of your congregation, think how can we limit the ask at least initially when it comes to programming, to five hours. Because time is just far more limited for husband and wife who were working full-time jobs than I think I understood or appreciated. And of course it’s not just about those jobs, right? It’s about their kids, and get them to school, and make them dinner every night, and running them all to their sports and activities.

Brian Frye:

So I think as church leaders, if we would think about limiting our programmatic asks, whether it’s small groups on campus or off campus, or it’s in homes or whatever. I’d say that’s a key thing. Think five hours first, when it comes to programming. Another thing I’d say is, I think it’s increasingly, especially during COVID season, to invite people to come into a congregational setting. To invite people into church. First, it’s a larger space. And I know we have different views of it from where we live, and different places. Washington’s, I think a little bit more stringent than most others. But asking people to come into a congregational setting is probably not the best first ask.

Brian Frye:

The best first ask is probably into your home. We’ve been here a year and a half. And even with COVID, we probably had 150 people through our home that are not connected with church world. So that’s an easy ask, for people to come over to dinner. To ask their stories, to share yours. So those would be the two things, limit your programmatic ask for people in your congregation to five hours a week. And then get as many people as you can through your homes, or teach those things. I think those are big takeaways from our long history of a year and a half into this.

Mitch Tidwell:

Yeah. Man, so what do you, on the whole… So you said you had about 150 people come through your house. How has that… So I feel like, when it comes to people who are believers, that seems to be pretty normal. Have you found that to be strange with folks that, maybe don’t have that… Has that been a weird thing for you? Like, “You want me to come to your home to eat?”

Brian Frye:

Yeah. No. Actually, I think people in general are starving for community. They want community. Now this may be… Because another benefit of being in the space that I’m at. I’m meeting increasing numbers of people in my workplace. Partially by the nature of my job, partially by my excitement to network with people, and to influence them with the gospel. So I am meeting people, connecting with people on a regular basis. Because I’m in that marketplace, it’s very normal stuff. When I go to a kid’s sporting event, or a play, or a performance of some kind, I’m meeting parents and interacting with parents in that way. So when you’re in a ministry slot, or you’re in a denominational slot, oftentimes you just don’t have those relationships chains. There’s not a reason to connect with people, unless you are being intentional about saying this is going to be my mission field of engagement, or you’re being invited into something.

Brian Frye:

In my slot now, I’m meeting with all kinds of people. People who follow Jesus, people who don’t follow Jesus all the time. And to say, “Hey man, I know you’re new to the community.” Or “Hey, I would love for you to meet my family. I’d love to meet your family.” Those normal things. We’re new into the community now. So I say, “Hey, we’re trying to get to know folks. Would you guys be willing to come over? We’ll cook.” And, honestly, I think I’ve had one person. One, of all the people that I’ve met. I’ve had one person say no. And there was a reason, some special needs with family members that wouldn’t permit it at the time. And that would have been pre COVID. Now during COVID we’ve limited that back a little bit, but we’re chomping at the bit to turn that right back up.

Mitch Tidwell:

Got you. Man, that’s cool. Well, what would you… you mentioned earlier about the onboarding with where you’re at now, versus some of the church. Is there any similarities in that, of what you’re doing in the marketplace versus the church. Or what, maybe have you learned in the marketplace that can translate in the the church?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. Well, a couple of things. We have talked about leadership development, competencies, competency development, a lot. I know our friend, Mac Lake, guys like Rick Duncan, Charles Campbell, some of those folks in the North American Mission Board or orbit. Guys like Luke Francis, we were talking about earlier. These folks talked about competencies. I don’t think I fully appreciated how valuable that leadership… A deck, a set of leadership competencies to work from, how valuable it was. So at my company, we use a content from Korn Ferry. You can Google that up and take a look at it. The FYI sets. So they have 38 leadership competencies that they use. So we use those, and implement those within the company. If you get that FYI book, it’s 100 bucks. But all you need to do is take that book, and wed it to how Jesus lived his life. And you have a disciple-making tool and process that is just really remarkable.

Brian Frye:

So I think I have a much deeper appreciation for leadership competencies, that are clearly defined and laid out. You don’t have to create those on your own. You can use Korn Ferry and there are other companies that do it. Just Korn Ferry is the best one that we’ve seen. It’s clear, tight and compact. A second thing is the place where I work, we use feedback regularly. It is short feedback loop. So you do things well, you get feedback on it. You do things poorly, you get feedback on it. It’s very depersonalized. It’s not meant to be harmful. It’s meant to help our company continuously improve. So we want to see a group of people become the best individuals they can be, whether they’re an individual contributor or they’re a supervisor.

Brian Frye:

So I have naturally, I think in my personhood, have wanted to give and receive feedback regularly. I always want to know where I stand with folks. I want to tell them what I think about what they’re doing. That has been remarkable. And I’m using that as a mindset with our team, it’s been very helpful. And then the last thing our team has worked… Or, excuse me, our organization has a set of principles that we go by. So a set of values that we go by. And a lot of companies will have those. A lot of churches will have those. And our organizational space, we live those values. We talk about them all the time. We cite them in annual review, feedback time. As I lead the onboarding team, every team meeting that we do, we spend 10 to 15 minutes working through those principles at the very beginning of our time.

Brian Frye:

So again, I’ve heard about organizations, companies having a set of values, and principles that they talk about. But I’ve never been a part of an organization where we live and abide by that value set. It’s not a spiritual organization that we’re part of, it’s an engineering company. But man, living by those principles, it is our set of beliefs. And we abide by, and talk about them, and live them out. So those would be the three things, go look at that FYI competency stuff. Think about how you incorporate feedback within the leaders that you’re working on, the people that you’re discipling. And then the last piece is generate, utilize a set of principles and talk about it, process it, lay it out. And these principles, they’re not necessarily scientifically based. They’re from good sources, and they’re good. But they’re not magical formula words. They’re not crafted extremely tightly. They’re pretty… Man, they’re just pretty smart. That’s what they are. They’re clean, and simple and smart. So those would be three things.

Mitch Tidwell:

Did you say FYI competencies?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. So if you look at Korn Ferry, K-O-R-N, and then Ferry, F-E-R-R-Y. There’s a book called FYI, it’s For Your Improvement. And I’m telling you, if you’re in leader development, you need to buy this book. And you need to put on your shelf. And when you’re struggling with somebody who… they don’t build teams well, or they don’t instill trust. You go to this book and there’s about 15 pages of, just in time ideas and how to… It’s just really, really potent.

Mitch Tidwell:

Wow. That’s cool. I’ll check that out. FYI Korn Ferry. All right. That’s good stuff. Hey, Brian, I want to jump into, you said something a minute ago about the quick feedback. I know that, that’s something that I struggle with. I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. It’s usually if someone is not, maybe performing well in a ministry. There’s always that weird tension of how do I approach this, do I just give grace and just let them… But what have you seen from that quick feedback? How do you do that, and what have you seen as the benefit of, just that quick turnaround feedback, feedback loop on stuff?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. We’re all evaluating each other’s contributions and impacts all the time. And if you say, “Well, I’m not really…” You’re taking notes on how people are doing things and functioning. We all observe behaviors or tendencies in other people that are good, and that are bad. When people are doing things that are good, we want to affirm that quickly, let them hear about it. And if they know behaviorally, this is a good pattern, this is a good activity. You affirm it. Then people tend to do that more, especially if you’re discipling somebody, you have an intern, that’s working with you. In a similar way, when people are doing behaviors that are bad. If we don’t address them in the moment, then they continue on that bad pattern, in that loop. So it’s either you pay the relational tax in a short, smaller way.

Brian Frye:

So you’re paying pennies and nickels, or you don’t deal with it. You don’t talk about it. You wait, you let it aggregate. You let it build together. And then you’re paying for it in 50 and 100 dollar bills later on down the road. So if you want to see people around you get better, become more equipped, become more efficient, become more self-aware. You got to do short feedback loop with them quickly, and around what they’re doing in small ways, and not let it stack. So the tool that I would encourage everybody to look at, there’s an organization called Center for Creative Leadership or CCL. They have a model that they use called the SBI model. So what it does is, it teaches you how to, very and very concisely, bring up feedback with another individual, with somebody you work with. So you give the situation, you give the behavior, and you give the impact.

Brian Frye:

So you think SBI, SBI, SBI, anytime you get an emotional state where you’re like, “Oh, I recognize they did something well. I’m going to give them an SBI.” So situation, behavior, impact. “Oh, they just did this thing. It didn’t go well.” I’m going to give them a situation, behavior impact. So somebody on your team sends an email. The email is grammatically… It’s all over the place. Not clear, I would say. You give them say, “Hey, when we’re sending out emails, when you send it from our organization, you represent us. So I want to encourage you, make sure you take a little bit of time to proof that email over a little bit more.” Or “Because if you don’t how do people look at our organization? Well they look at it like we don’t care about it.”

Brian Frye:

Or “Hey, somebody sent you an email. It’s been two weeks. You haven’t responded to them at all. So the situation is, “Hey, you sent this email. Behavior is, you didn’t respond to it. And now what’s the impact. Well, our customer or the person who’s working with us, how do you think they’re feeling in this moment? What do you perceive that their view is of our organization when we’re not responding to them in an appropriate way?” So that SBI process, again from Center for Creative Leadership is super, super helpful. I’m giving feedback to folks, on average, probably three or four times a day. And not to one individual, but different folks.

Brian Frye:

But I encourage them also, “Hey, if you see me doing something that is helpful, let me know, give me feedback.” “Hey, if you see something I’m doing that’s causing you tension, that is making you feel not good about something. Let me know.” So we’re doing that all the time. And now, at our organization, we have a culture of feedback, and we get it all the time. So let me give you a quick example of using that within Resonate. We’ve got a team that’s about to go out and plant. They’re about to leave our congregation. The leader of that team, he’s in that group. He is in the process of buying a home. And that means that he’ll be leaving.

Brian Frye:

When you buy a home and you’re at one place you’re moving to another, there’s a tendency for you to just go ahead and start checking out. So with the group, I said, “Hey, I know that several of you are going to be leaving our staff. And it’s going to be coming up soon. So that’s the situation. Sometimes when you get ready to leave, you begin to check out mentally. Now you can do that too quickly. Or you could do that too fast. I want you to pace yourself on that. So behavior, pace yourself on the departure. Don’t go hot on us. And say, “Hey, I’m going to work, work, work until I leave. Or don’t go cold on us. And they jump out. Impact is, “Hey, if you guys don’t honor us in a graduated departure, it’s going to set our team up for failure.” So again, it’s using that tool in that way. That was more of a group setting than an individual.

Mitch Tidwell:

Man. That’s good. Brian, what are some thoughts, you use the term covocational. If you don’t know what that is, think bi-vocational, but think of, I don’t know exactly how… Wasn’t it. Oh, who’s the guy.

Brian Frye:

It’s Brad Briscoe.

Mitch Tidwell:

Brad Briscoe. Yeah.

Brian Frye:

Yeah. And he has a book called Covocational Church Planting, and then just following Brad on Twitter and look at it him. A great, great thinking… Yeah. I strongly encourage folks to go look him up.

Mitch Tidwell:

He’s a good follow, but now that you’re in the middle of that, are there any… Was there any misconceptions, that you thought about that lifestyle, and of a working marketplace, being fully invested in your church. Is there any misconceptions you had out there that you see that people have. And also, is there any opportunities that you see in that, that maybe churches aren’t, I don’t know, leveraging?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. I’m so early into it, right? I’m two months into the role. So I think anything that I say would be a little bit premature. I think basic observation is, as we’ve come into the role, Keith Evans and I, so he’s in a co-pastor role with me. We have been doing one hour interviews asking a set of five questions to our owners, our members of the church, learning about their story, what they think we’re doing well, what they think we’re not doing well, what they’d like to do within the congregation. So we’re doing all of our members, were going through that process. Here’s what I hear, I think more than anything else, is the big takeaway, people in our congregations want to be involved in what we’re doing. They don’t want to be necessarily told what to do.

Brian Frye:

Like, “Hey, we are the clergy, you are the laity. We listen to God, and we tell you what to do.” That economy doesn’t work great. It gets a little wonky really fast. But for us as ministry leaders to say to our congregation, “What do you feel like God’s leading you to do? Where’s God active in your life? How can we equip and mobilize you to do…” They really need community connectivity, and then they need clarity on how they can be a part of what’s taking place and what’s going on. So the thing that I feel like I’ve understood about co-vo is I feel like I’m closer to, and I can understand our congregation better. I’m only two months in, but understand their perspectives. And so now I’m asking the question, not how can we make our church, this thing that we built bigger and better, and make it for us. I’m really asking the question, how can we make this thing so that we can impact people around us? How do we motivate, set up people for success, so they can utilize their gifts to impact the community around them?

Mitch Tidwell:

Yeah. That’s good, man. Well, Brian, now that you are away from the depth of denominational life, and being a part of so many different ministries across North America. And now being just centrally located, you’re in Pullman, Spokane, Washington, you’re working there, you’re doing church share any advice or thoughts that you’d like to share on just… your scope was so wide to now being zoomed in here. I don’t know, any thoughts or any last things that you’d want to share with folks about any of that?

Brian Frye:

I think I was speaking to my denominational friends who spend a lot of time on the road, who travel and invest a lot of different places. Man, your work is valuable and it is beneficial. If you are struggling with that idea of “Man, I’m working on all this cool stuff. I’m getting to touch everything. And it would feel really limiting to only focus on one place.” I had those fears, that anxiety. So I moved from a role where we’re doing stuff all over North America, Canada, and then some places globally. And now I live in a community of about 35,000 folks, when the college students are here. About 10, 15 when they’re not. And I was petrified that I was going to feel like I was just insulated in this one little pocket, and that I would be stuck, and couldn’t get out. And so there was fear, anxiety around that.

Brian Frye:

My fear has been completely assuaged. I’m able to interact with, and network with people all across our organization, and then in our community as well. So that wanderlust, maybe, I don’t know if that’s the best term, but that desire to be a global impactor. I am. We’re in a college town, so people that you work with, they impact the world. And then in a company that is… we’re a global company, so I get to work with people all over the world.

Brian Frye:

So if you’re struggling with that, and you’re like, “I don’t know if I want to put all my eggs in one basket, or focus on one place.” Just think about Jesus, his ministry. He really just invested in a dozen or so guys, and a pretty small area. And I know it was a long time ago, and it was a different set of circumstances, but he did just focus on a few. And man, his impact has been radical. So I would encourage you if you’re struggling with feeling like your impacts are all over the place. And you’re just scared to go into that one location. It ain’t that bad. In fact, it is pretty stinking good.

Mitch Tidwell:

Yeah. And it’s good man. Brian, any other thoughts you have on just so ingrained in again, North America Collegiate Movement, where it’s going. Any thoughts on its future, or where people need to place, maybe emphasis or focus, anything like that you’d add?

Brian Frye:

Yeah. Anybody listening in to Roundup Podcast world. They’re already leveraged towards college students. I continue to believe that the college campus, most strategic mission field in the world. Win a freshmen today, you win the world tomorrow. That the first 10 days are the most important of a person’s life, on a lot of different levels. But it’s still only the top 1 to 2% globally that ever make it onto a college campus. So I would say, “Hey, let’s double down in the university environment.” And even further than that, I’m saying that everything in the community is on a lag from what’s happening, real-time on the college campus. So you’re dealing downstream, when we’re working on what’s taking place in most of our community churches. If you want to move into the tip of the spear, and you want to figure out, “Hey, how are we going to be able to do ministry 10 to 20 years down the road?”

Brian Frye:

It’s like a double down, or a triple down, or a quad down into the campus. So it is only going to become more strategic. And it is only going to become more consequential as we move forward into the future. So if you’ve been having doubts on whether we engage campus, don’t. Just do it. If you’re like, “Hey, those college students, they cost a lot of time, and energy, and resources. But man, they don’t yield much. Well that’s right now, because the future of your church is been built on that college campus. And if you don’t engage it, you’re going to miss out on a great experience.

Mitch Tidwell:

Man, that’s good work. Well, Brian, thanks so much for jumping on with this, giving us an update on where you’re at, what you’re doing. And obviously you can still tell you have a great love for college students, obviously invested in Resonate Church, but also in the marketplace. And we’d love to have you on again. I’d love to continue the conversation to hear how helping people in the marketplace, man, just being leased in God’s mission. And how to help church leaders navigate that, and get themselves out of their own little bubble. Because I know I’ve been there. I know I am there. I’ve got a Christian wife, and I go to a Christian Church. I work in a Christian institution, and we can insulate ourselves there. And so, excited to see what you’re going to uncover, and would love to just continue to learn from you, man.

Brian Frye:

Thanks so much, man. If the listeners will pray for us in what we’re doing, and please just pray for wisdom that we’ll make good decisions. Yeah. We feel the weight of wanting to do everything well, and wanting to honor our King.

Mitch Tidwell:

Yeah, that’s good. Well, we will. We’ll be praying for you, Brian, and man, just appreciate your time and joining us, man.

Brian Frye:

Thanks so much.

Mitch Tidwell:

Well friends, thanks for joining the conversation I had with Brian Frye. Sorry about some of those audio issues. We had a little technical difficulty, so we had to record it on Zoom. So my apologies for that, but thanks for sticking around. It’s a joy to talk to Brian. I thought he gave us some great tips and thoughts on college ministry, but how to develop teams. And even some of that, “Hey, what do we do with the folks that, maybe aren’t “called in the ministry”? How do we help develop them in our local churches?” So really good stuff. Well, y’all don’t forget Roundup, May 12th through the 14th. It’s going to be in DFW. Don’t forget to register at sbtexas.com/roundup. And get involved in our Facebook group, The Roundup Network. We have tons of leaders in there that ideas share, collaborate, share resources, ton of fun. Follow us on social media at @sbtccollegiate on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And don’t forget to like and subscribe to our podcast. Leave a review. We’d love to hear from you. Well friends, thanks for sticking around. And we will see you next time.