Tim DeTellis

Go make a difference.

Favorite One Liners

Pastor Johnny Hunt will celebrate 30 years at First Baptist Church Woodstock this Sunday, and 40 years of preaching ministry! I thank God for Pastor Johnny's influence and encouragement in my life. To honor Pastor Johnny, I sat down to interview him on the stories behind some of his favorite one liners. Listen: http://johnnyhunt.timandfriends.com

Full Transcript:

It's great to be here this morning at a café with Dr. Johnny Hunt. You may hear that espresso maker going in the background. Good morning, Pastor.

Johnny:
Good morning, Tim. It is good to be in a place with a coffee maker.

Tim:
Today, we're answering a question that you frequently use in your preaching, which I'm honored to ask you, which is what do you mean by that? In essence, to find out the story behind the statement. Today, I wanted to sit down with you and talk about some of your one-liners. I've been able to follow you around the country, and as you train and mentor pastors, you have some great one-liners. Let's kick it off with one of my favorites. You don't have to be rich to be generous. You have to be generous to be generous. Tell us about that.

Johnny:
Giving is an attitude. It has really nothing to do with how much resource you have. To illustrate that, we turn to the eternal truths of the Bible and realize that when Jesus would choose a person to display and demonstrate generosity, He talked about the widow's might, and He talked about her giving her all. That's generous. When He wanted to find the church and move to the corporate example, He picked the church in Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 8, first 5 verses, and He talked about a church in deep, deep poverty, yet they gave not according to their ability, but really according to their attitude and that is we're going to trust Christ and God did so much with them. Generosity is not predicated on how wealthy you are, but it's an attitude of what you desire to do. In Luke 10, really Luke 16:10 magnifies the reality that if you learn to give when you don't have much, you'll know how to give when you have a lot. A lot of wealthy people don't know how to give because they never gave before the wealth came. The truth is, generosity has nothing to do with wealth. It has everything to do with your heart.

Tim:
That's powerful. Thank you. Another one of my favorites is let it die because of lack of support. You're leading a large church, actually one of the largest churches in America, but also a lot of other ministries within your church. Tell us the story behind let lit die because of lack of support.

Johnny:
I may get an email that stands right by itself and someone being very critical. I do weigh who wrote the email. It could be someone that's not supportive financially, not supportive in service at Woodstock, and I think I'm not sure they've earned the right to be so critical, so I let it die for lack of support. Rumor mill. Instead of thinking that I've got to go and protect myself and answer every accusation or every assumption that a person has concerning my life and my ministry, most of it will just die if you leave it alone. Some people are trying to stir it up, and if you respond, it stays alive. Let it die for lack of support.

Tim:
You are a very driven person, very passionate person, so this next one-liner is one of my favorites. I don't want to be better than you. I want to be the best me possible. Talk about that.

Johnny:
I would say probably 30 years ago, I just deep in my heart thought I'm not driven by my denomination, not driven by my church. I wanted to be driven by a passion and zeal for Christ, and really just begin to think and pray and even write messages at time on reaching my own personal God given potential, predicated on the Henry [Valerie 00:04:05] challenge that was overheard by DL Moody when he said, "The world is yet to see what God could do with a man totally committed to Christ," and DL Moody responded and said, "By the grace of God, I will become that man." He wanted to reach his own personal God given potential. The Lord's not called us to be better than others, to compare ourselves or our churches with others, but am I the best me and am I leading Woodstock the best I can for it to be the best body locally that it can be? Seek to be the best you can be. With that in mind, that brings on all sorts of disciplines in my life, personal reading requirements or accountability in my own life, and the development of my own heart, but as well as challenging those around me to join me in the journey.

Tim:
Wonderful. Here's another great one-liner by you. Hard decisions every time should be hard, but hard decisions should not harden your heart.

Johnny:
It should be in our life that it never gets easy to make a hard decision. The only way it could get easy to make a hard decision is for me to become hard. Every single time, it should be as difficult as it was the last time. Don't ever get comfortable with making hard calls, and then don't run away from making hard calls because it'll make you and even the people you have to deal with better. Remember, the rebuke of a friend is better than the kisses of an enemy. There's sometimes we need to have those meetings and really, as I call it, unload the clip, and I don't mean killing someone, but getting everything out that we've observed that we think needs to be said in order to have a healthy, fresh, new start to move forward. Learn to make difficult decisions, but know this. They should always be difficult.

Tim:
We're going to continue with more one-liners in a moment, but I want to bring up a quote and a statement you made recently with some pastors that is really resonating with me and that is this. "A cord of three, me, Janet, and Jesus." Tell us about the two loves of your lives. Jesus and Janet.

Johnny:
I love certainly the wisdom literature. When you get into Ecclesiastes and great truths in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, in particular, to my heart, a 3-fold cord is not easily broken. Proverbs 18:1 says, "When a man isolates himself that he's not wise." I don't need to do life alone, so God gave me a help me. My help me happens to be a prophet. She's very discerning. She can tell when things are troubling me or even if I'm headed down a wrong path. She's served as a great resource, along with being a great wife, but when temptation comes, we cannot do it alone, so inside I have Jesus. At my side, I have Janet. It is Jesus, Janet, and me, and it's hard to break a 3-fold cord. Take a single strand of string, you can probably break it. Add a second, it's more difficult. Three, it becomes impossible. Make sure you always nurture a relationship with Christ, which is a great way to begin your day, and with your wife, it's a great way to end the day.

Tim:
Amazing. Well said. You have started some amazing ministries. I like to look at you as really a cause entrepreneur for the kingdom, and we could spend days talking about what you started, but here's a one-liner that you have mentioned. Everything that you initiate automatically is added to your maintenance list.

Johnny:
You have to be careful. I've found that ministry sometime becomes more productive not by new ministries I begin, but what I need to relinquish. If you're not careful, you're generating a new ministry, but you're forgetting that it's going to have to be your energy to maintain that ministry, and that leads to quick burnout. The next time you're thinking about what you can do to see things change in your church, ask the question, "What are you doing that seems to be getting the greatest results?" You may need to be doing more of that instead of anything new, and then often times, we need to look at our ministry and there's something that worked wonderful yesterday that maybe needs to be relinquished today. Be careful. Sometimes it costs us greatly to remove a ministry, but also realize you don't necessarily have to remove the fence, just stop maintaining it and, again, it has a way of just laying dormant and not taking your energy.

Tim:
I was first introduced to you because of your representation of missions, and I was at a church that they adopted your vision, which was the sun would never set on the ministry of First Baptist Woodstock. Here's a one-liner. Be faithful in the neighborhood and to the nations. Talk about that.

Johnny:
We're always seemingly debating the Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and uttermost parts of the Earth, and it's really all inclusive. It's not like you begin somewhere before you can move somewhere else. You really move as you find out where Christ is moving and you join Him, but I really do believe that our church, Woodstock, should resemble our neighborhood. We should go to our neighbors. It only stands to reason that I should have passion for the people I live among if I really claim to have passion for people I've never met. That takes a passport and an expensive plane ticket and days, if not weeks, away from my field of service in order to minister to. I think it's both, and even when we work overseas, if there's a people group we love, we should seek to engage that same people group that has moved into the melting pot of our own neighborhood and own nation. That's one thing we've attempted to do. We adopted the Curds a dozen years ago at Woodstock, had many partners, but we also helped establish a church outside of Nashville for the Curds, which happened to be one of the largest groups of gathering of the Curds. We want to do it among our neighbors and our nation, so love loud where you are and then take that same message everywhere you can go.

Tim:
Resilience is the ability to press through or bounce back.

Johnny:
When you think about resilience, all of us will need it because there will be some things that will knock our breath out, be other things that knock us down, like what Paul says. He's been knocked down, but not been knocked out, but if we don't have resilience, we finally get to the point that we're like the flea in the jar. He will jump out every time, but if you'll put the lid on, he continues to hit his head, and after a while, he's tired of the cost of trying to count, so you can remove the lid now and he will spend the rest of his life in a jar that he could vacate any time. It's resilience that causes you, regardless of how many times you fail, the good man just gets up again for the power of the spirit and continues to move forward.

Tim:
I've been inspired by your life legacy and how you have such a vision beyond your lifetime. Here's a one-liner of yours that speaks to me often. What will you be glad for then that you did now? Live today in light of eternity.

Johnny:
That should not only really motivate us in the way we live, but it should motivate us in what we do with our life, how we invest it, and even how we give. Sometimes you're thinking about giving a gift and it seems overwhelming and you think about maybe what you may have to sacrifice or give up to give that gift, but if you can begin to meditate and reflect on eternity, you really begin to think, "I want to do now what I'll be glad I did then," because I think at the judgement seat of Christ, no one will regret how devoted they desired and were to kingdom work, whether it be their finances, the sacrifice of extensive travel, difficult travel to get to people that needed to know the message that God had placed in our heart. Pray that the Lord give you a mindset for eternity. It'll help you to number your days more effectively while you're here.

Tim:
I know you have some priorities for your life, so I'm going to just sidebar for a moment. There's a liner that you say often. Monkey see, monkey do. Tell us about what influence you have when you're role modeling.

Johnny:
The bottom line is most of us have a platform in leadership that we exhort. Mine's spiritual gift exhortation, but I'm speaking in the sense of a platform where we get to speak. Sometimes we think we've said this over and over again and the people still have not gotten it. I've found that the more powerful ministry is emulation over exhortation. Yes, I do say it and the Lord says it and I preach it, but when you model it, what a difference it makes. The truth is God has given us His word not just to teach us, but to show us through the power of the spirit what we are enabled by Him to become, so He's not teaching that I simply know. He's teaching that I may become. When you become and you model that life, it really is monkey see, monkey do. People are able to see that as an easier [own rant 00:14:47] when they see it in your life and so you don't just know the way, you don't just go the way, but you show the way.

Tim:
That's a keeper. A seed in a basket will not reap a harvest.

Johnny:
I wrote that statement almost 40 years ago, and the message on Psalms 126, living in a farming community. There's seed that is ready to be planted so there can be another harvest, but the seed in the basket will not produce the harvest. Often times, we in our churches, we have our baskets full of seed, but they're seed for sowing, they're seed for going, and what we've done is left the seed in the basket. Save a seed fall into the ground and die, it abides alone, but if it's planted, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. That principle of John 12:24 needs to become a reality in our lives and in our churches. We've got to get outside the walls, outside our huddle, and begin to plant, and then believe God for a great harvest.

Tim:
Amen. Have one more one-liner, and then I'm going to ask you if you have a favorite one that we've not discussed that you would like to add, but here's one I want to close with. If I can help you, I can help everybody you help.

Johnny:
It's really the overwhelming, one of the key words of my life. Stewardship. That is when I speak into a pastor's life. If he ministers to 200 people on Sunday, and I've been used of the Lord to encourage him and to help him, he's going to be able to help 200 people Sunday, but it's greater than that. He's in his 20s. How many people will he touch, will he minister, in his spirit of influence between now and when the Lord calls him home? Always think not only of the person you're helping. When you're helping a dad, remember, you're helping his children, the generations to come, his spouse, and the area of influence God's assigned to him. I think we feel that we wasted our time lots of times when we're ministering to one person because we don't understand the ramifications of stewardship and who all that individual will influence.

Tim:
Do you have a one-liner you would like to add?

Johnny:
I'll give Homer Lindsay that's in Heaven now credit, but he said, "If you know what you've got and you like it, be reluctant to leave it." A lot of times we look and focus on where we could be instead of where we are. We need to really understand the opportunities of where we are. It may be far greater than the distant places.

Tim:
Thank you, Pastor Johnny, for your friendship. Thank you for spending this time with us today. I greatly appreciate it.

Johnny:
Nothing but pure joy.