Mike Foster is the Founder of People of the Second Chance. He is an author, speaker and pastor to not-so-perfect people. Mike has appeared on Good Morning America, FOXNews and The Daily Show. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two children, and recently released a book called People of the Second Chance.
Tell us about the life-altering experience you had that caused you to struggle deeply with condemnation.
How did God begin to free your heart from self-condemnation?
How do pastors need to shift their metrics for healing?
Explain how you use the story of the prodigal son to encourage people who need to be celebrated.
“I wrote what I call new ‘condemn-ments‘ for my life—new commandments, basically, but they were condemning commandments.”
“God loves us in our worst moments. We aren’t defined by our worst moments; we’re actually defined by his radical love and who he says we are.”
“A lot of pastors’s…identity is rooted in what they do, how they perform, how awesome their message was on Sunday morning—or how un-awesome it was.”
“Whether it’s a good day, a bad day, a mediocre day—a win or a loss—inviting God’s love into the center of all of that is really the only way to live. And it’s the only sustainable way to live and joyful way to live.”
“The church and church leaders…[are] on the front lines of people’s pain. They deal with it every single day in some aspect.”
“Most pastors believe that they are responsible to fix the problem in somebody’s life…and this is really bad theology to think we have to fix people.”
“We are to respond with radical acceptance toward broken people…and place the ownership of responsibility on the individual.”
“The healing work that takes place in the people’s lives we are pastoring and shepherding it requires love and time. It’s always more love than you could have expected or imagined and it’s always more time than you could have imagined or expected.”
“Pastors are so exhausted and tired because they’re taking too much of the ownership of life transformation. We can invite people to life transformation. We can encourage life transformation, but we can’t do the work for them.”
“A party has the ability to break the chains of bondage and shame and the unworthiness that we feel, because it’s bringing together fellow prodigals who have all been in the same boat and saying ‘We love you. As you are today.’”
“I think so often pastors, leaders operate from a sense of scarcity in terms of knowing God’s love for them. I think they really get it that God loves others. ‘Yes, God loves my flock. God loves the people I’m ministering to. But me? Maybe. If I do well on Sundays or if the metrics look good.’”
“You truly understand grace as a leader when you have your worst Sunday and you can wake up Monday morning and know God’s still smiling and proud of you and beyond excited to be a part of what you’re doing in your town and in your city and in your life.”