I want to introduce you to my friend, boss, and Executive Pastor: Jack Monroe.
Here’s a brief bio:
I came to Christ as a freshmen in High School and felt called by the Lord to serve him in ministry as a career when I started college. Biola University and Talbot Seminary are my alma maters. I met my wonderful wife, Arlonne, in high school. We both attended college together and married in our Junior year. After graduating, I was a youth pastor for 16 years. Later, I became the senior pastor of a church in Iowa. Then we came back to California to work as an Executive Pastor for the last 20 plus years. I love serving in Ventura, for over 12 years now, with an incredible team of associates.
As an Elder, Executive Pastor, non-profit board member, husband, dad, and granddad, you are leaned on for a lot of decisions. You once described to me a process you use to make “regret-free” decisions. Can you describe that?
I have certainly made decisions that I regret. But I have made important decisions where the outcome was not what I expected or hoped. Yet, I do not regret them. The key for me is having full assurance that I’m understanding and following God’s direction for me. To get to that place I ask myself several key questions.
- Are any of the options in the decision illegal, immoral, or unethical? Would I have a clear conscience? The conscience has sure been ignored by many people as a decision making guide.
- Do my trusted friends and family support the decision?
- Do the authorities God has given me, namely my Pastor (direct supervisor) and Board support the decision? (I find that many people want to skip this aspect of the quest to know God’s will.)
- Do I find myself with inner peace, produced by the Holy Spirit as I consider the options?
If I do not get alignment in these key aspects of decision making, I try to delay it and seek more information or perspective. Often God wants me to wait on Him and His timing before He brings all these aspects into alignment. It builds my character. But if the decision must be made on a deadline, then I simply ask my wife what to do and do it.
You helped me personally by walking with me through the successful reconciliation of a broken relationship. What are some insights you’d give someone who wanted to reconcile a broken relationship?
Do what you did!
- Ask someone you trust to walk the journey with you by providing objective feedback about your approach and planned steps of communication, before you actually talk to the other person.
- Enter the process having already forgiven them in your heart for their offenses. If you’re still wanting an apology, you are not ready to reconcile.
- Begin the journey seeking to understand their perspective. When you can paraphrase their thoughts back to them, to their satisfaction, you know you are understanding them.
- Share your perspective of what happened without any accusations or finger pointing. Remember, you don’t need an apology from them.
- Where it is possible, after you understand their point-of-view, express some sense of regret for your behaviors and choices. Even though you may have been reacting to their offensive behavior, ultimately, you chose how you reacted.
If you have made it this far in the process, it’s likely they will also be letting the past go. If not, then I think you have fulfilled the scriptures that say, “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men.” If you do find the spirit of forgiveness and peace between you, it’s then appropriate to start the relationship anew with all the history left behind. It’s a wonderful thing to experience and to witness. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey!
You always have a smile. You laugh easily. You enjoy life. I know you haven’t had a trouble-free life. How do you maintain your joy?
I’m still working on it. I think it’s a life-long quest. I’m trying to keep growing in my understanding that God is happy. He is always filled with joy. And when the Holy Spirit is bearing his fruit in me, it includes joy. Certainly, circumstances affect my heart with pain, sorrow, and disappointment. But there is also an inner choice to focus back on the joy of the Lord no matter the circumstances. That is for me the core of worship. When His constant joy lifts me up.
If I were to describe you in three words it would be: Encouraging, empowering, and integrity. I’ve touched on your encouragement and empowerment. I’ve watched you display consistent integrity even when something less would have been easy and even “understandable” to many. What helps you live out a life with such consistent integrity?
I’m driven to this because hypocritical parenting (do what I say, not what I do) produces children without convictions or a clear moral compass. So the primary motivation for me to be as consistent as possible is my kids. My kids are now grown, sincerely following the Lord, with kids of their own. And I know as a leader, providing a work environment that includes consistency, honesty and care in decision making results in a team that is confident, secure, and united.
You’re a self-identified “foodie”. I love that. Describe a perfect meal.
No such thing. As soon as you think you’ve had it, you are off on the quest for the next even better meal. It’s all about the journey!