81: Pushing Without Being Pushy

In this episode Gregg and John discuss John’s mission statement and how it relates to the podcast. Gregg begins by reading John’s mission statement: “John brings order to chaos and clarity to a confusion so that owners can effectively communicate their truth and thrive.”

John explains that “owners” are people who not only take charge of but take responsibility for their own lives. John contrasts his focuses on owners with having worked in past with people whom he describes as “victims” of their lives. These people seem to focus on all the reason why something would fail or why attempting to fix a broken / non-functional situation just wouldn’t work. Trying to encourage or help these people takes a tremendous amount of energy and typically shows very minimal results.

John’s focus on dealing with chaos and confusion is because these are the typical obstacles that owners face, and he finds that bringing order and clarification in such situations is extremely gratifying. John also links this to the genesis of our podcast, where his confusion while reading of Not a Fan prompted him to seek Gregg’s help to clarify matters.

Gregg wonders about John’s success criteria in the podcast, to which John answers that good back-and-forth conversation and even disagreement between he and Gregg is important, but the key elements are offering clarity and encouragement to others. John also notes that by consciously removing himself from a church environment he also has much less personal angst about “figuring it all out” according to a certain time line.

John also explains that his overall expectations for how the podcast will impact listeners are very low and that his own goal is to oppose bogus ideas (and so focus on finding and promoting authentic ideas and understandings concerning Christianity). John is particularly encouraged by finding that there is more than one perspective, more than one way of approaching or thinking about a certain situation, and that matters often turn out to be more complicated than his upbringing had led him to believe.

When Gregg questions this John notes that authenticity and freedom—freedom to see matters differently and act according to one’s own perspective and understandings—are key values for him. So John notes that he values both the process of coming to authentic, better positions and the conclusions themselves. So his aim is to find solutions and understanding about Christianity that work.

Gregg asks how authenticity and freedom integrate—when you are authentic in your actions and allowing yourself sufficient freedom, what happens? John sees these two combining to allow for integrity. Gregg then queries the relationship between authenticity, freedom, and integrity when it comes to John’s overall hopes for the podcast?

John explains that he hopes that listeners will perceive us as having integrity (by facing issues directly), and that listeners themselves will be able to be honest with themselves and that our conversations will help listeners think and believe more soundly. Gregg sees this as immensely important: how John’s story and trajectory has led him to try to be honest with himself and have integrity in order to be someone who is making better choices and understanding himself and his beliefs (or the beliefs that he is considering) more truly.

So Gregg sees this as a way of legitimately pushing people without being “pushy,” without looking down on them or presenting simplistic formulas, and doing this as one who is “in the thick of it:” being both a participant and an observer.  So Gregg sees John as someone who deeply values people, to which John agrees.

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  1. Pingback: 83: Owning Everything | Untangling Christianity

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