Leaders of Leaders Podcast

Immersing your Relationship in Christ with Jon Fugler an Leaders of Leaders podcast with Aaron Guyett

October 31, 2022 Aaron Guyett with Jon Fugler Season 1 Episode 9
Immersing your Relationship in Christ with Jon Fugler an Leaders of Leaders podcast with Aaron Guyett
Leaders of Leaders Podcast
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Leaders of Leaders Podcast
Immersing your Relationship in Christ with Jon Fugler an Leaders of Leaders podcast with Aaron Guyett
Oct 31, 2022 Season 1 Episode 9
Aaron Guyett with Jon Fugler

Jon Edward Fugler, Director of FRESH FAITH 24/7, has been writing for Christian audiences for over four decades, sharing simple truths that have had a profound impact on the lives of believers.

https://www.freshfaith247.com/

He has a long career in Christian broadcasting, publishing and missions and has a passion to take the gospel to the least reached and unengaged around the world. 

Jon is the author of nine books, including the "Your Life With God" devotional series, inspiring readers to immerse themselves in their relationship with Christ. 

His passion is to help 1 million believers know the Christ of the cross, echoing the Apostle Paul: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8) 

Jon founded FRESH FAITH 24/7 to guide believers in their journey to know Jesus on the deepest level possible.

Jon serves as Chief Content Officer with TWR (Trans World Radio), taking the Good News to the world. He and his wife, Noonie, have three children and eight grandchildren and live in North Carolina.

Many of your listeners are trapped in the cycle of performance Christianity. They know they are saved by grace, but they don’t live that way. 

Every day, they try to earn God’s favor, leaving them cold and distant from their Savior. Intimacy with God is elusive. Defeated, they wrestle even harder. The cycle continues. Their joy disappears.

Author, speaker and longtime Christian radio leader Jon Edward Fugler addresses this crippling issue. As a former athlete, the need to perform bled into other areas of his life, including the spiritual side. For decades, he appeared to have it all together serving Christ in full-time ministry, but he was frustrated.  

Then God released Jon from the trap of performance Christianity, restoring his joy. How did he move from spiritual imprisonment to spiritual freedom? Engage with Jon in a revealing conversation on your podcast. 

He’ll share his story and provide truths your audience needs to hear so they can experience joy in their walk with Christ. 

Support Brian Sauvé here: https://www.briansauve.com/even-dragons-shall-him-praise

Check Out Brian Sauvé
LeadersofLeaders.com
DiscipledinChrist.org
DiscipledinChrist.com

Support the Show.

Help Support Our Podcast and Projects Here

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Show Notes Transcript

Jon Edward Fugler, Director of FRESH FAITH 24/7, has been writing for Christian audiences for over four decades, sharing simple truths that have had a profound impact on the lives of believers.

https://www.freshfaith247.com/

He has a long career in Christian broadcasting, publishing and missions and has a passion to take the gospel to the least reached and unengaged around the world. 

Jon is the author of nine books, including the "Your Life With God" devotional series, inspiring readers to immerse themselves in their relationship with Christ. 

His passion is to help 1 million believers know the Christ of the cross, echoing the Apostle Paul: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8) 

Jon founded FRESH FAITH 24/7 to guide believers in their journey to know Jesus on the deepest level possible.

Jon serves as Chief Content Officer with TWR (Trans World Radio), taking the Good News to the world. He and his wife, Noonie, have three children and eight grandchildren and live in North Carolina.

Many of your listeners are trapped in the cycle of performance Christianity. They know they are saved by grace, but they don’t live that way. 

Every day, they try to earn God’s favor, leaving them cold and distant from their Savior. Intimacy with God is elusive. Defeated, they wrestle even harder. The cycle continues. Their joy disappears.

Author, speaker and longtime Christian radio leader Jon Edward Fugler addresses this crippling issue. As a former athlete, the need to perform bled into other areas of his life, including the spiritual side. For decades, he appeared to have it all together serving Christ in full-time ministry, but he was frustrated.  

Then God released Jon from the trap of performance Christianity, restoring his joy. How did he move from spiritual imprisonment to spiritual freedom? Engage with Jon in a revealing conversation on your podcast. 

He’ll share his story and provide truths your audience needs to hear so they can experience joy in their walk with Christ. 

Support Brian Sauvé here: https://www.briansauve.com/even-dragons-shall-him-praise

Check Out Brian Sauvé
LeadersofLeaders.com
DiscipledinChrist.org
DiscipledinChrist.com

Support the Show.

Help Support Our Podcast and Projects Here

00:00.49
leadersofleaders
Hey guys what's going on welcome to another episode of the leaders of leaders podcast and we got an incredible leader and speaker and author John fugler. He's the director of fresh faith Twenty four seven and he's been writing for christian audiences for over 4 decades sharing simple truths that have had a profound impact on the lives of believers. He has a long career in Christian broadcasting publishing and missions and has a passion to take the gospel to the least reached. And unengaged around the world. John is the author of 9 books including your life with god devotional series, inspiring readers to immerse themselves in their relationship with. Christ and we will definitely get into that his passion is to help 1000000 believers know the christ of the cross echoing the Apostle Paul what is more I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3 8 John founded fresh faith Twenty four seven to guide believers in their journey to know Jesus on the deepest level possible John serves as chief content officer with twrtransworldradio taking the good news to the world. He and his wife nuni.

01:31.29
leadersofleaders
Have 3 children 8 grandchildren and they live in beautiful North Carolina yeah so North Carolina the other side of the nation but also a place where great marines have have come out of so who love that place.

01:46.68
Jon Fugler
Indeed not too far down the road from where I am.

01:49.78
leadersofleaders
Right? That's cool, very cool. Well John thanks so much for having on the show.

01:54.90
Jon Fugler
Well, good to be here with you Aaron I'm just been looking forward to this excited to talk about this whole thing of intimacy with Christ. We hear all about that. But hopefully I'm simple enough that I can. Relate in a simple way to our listeners and viewers.

02:13.97
leadersofleaders
Yeah, absolutely um, well so I just want to jump in I titled it immersing your relationship in Christ and I can think of no more important thing that we can do than. Immerse our relationship. Our relationships really? Um, in Christ Jesus in Jesus Christ um what what was unique about your conversion to Christ specifically.

02:47.12
Jon Fugler
Well I have to go back to ah many years ago I was ah a junior in high school I grew up playing sports as a football player baseball some basketball and it was um. I was in the back row of a small country church in Upstate New York on ah on a cold January night and I went there to hear a college football so coach speak and I thought he's going to talk about football because my football coach invited me to go but instead he talked about John 3 about nicodemus and how to be born again.

03:19.52
leadersofleaders
Wow.

03:19.66
Jon Fugler
First time I ever heard that message I'd been to church before been with my family and I heard that message and I just I felt drawn to it. The lord is drawing me to himself and I was the kid who was sitting in the back row an introvert and I went forward from the back row and he invited people to give their lives to christ to be.

03:38.28
leadersofleaders
My.

03:38.52
Jon Fugler
To be born again and so I got up and I went forward and um, that that was the the life changing first life changing moment in my my life and then they took me into the back room. You know how that is you know you. Come to Christ so they go do a little follow-up with you and they hand me a bible and they said if you don't do anything else. Spend 5 minutes a day reading this and so as a good athlete I I did that um and you know it's the best thing you could tell somebody to spend time in the word but for me at the time it was the worst thing because. I said okay here's how I do it I'm a good athlete I do what they tell me to do and so I took that and it it launched me into my relationship with Jesus in really more of an academic time and you say well it's the word of god yeah, it's the word of god and I believe that because I did spend 5 minutes a day and there because I went and did that. Followd those directions. It kept me in the game but at the same time I developed the foundation of really performing as opposed to diving into that relationship with Jesus. So just an ask you to your question that was the uniqueness of my conversion to christ.

04:51.68
leadersofleaders
Yeah that's I mean that that's a perfect lead in to sort of the next aspect. It's it's the sour taste in my mouth. Um it I think it it seems to me that we have taken. Christ out of the church to try to get followers to come to church. It's like hey let me entertain you let me create this incredible performance. Let me wow you? Um, but we've forgotten that the whole purpose and the whole reason why there is a church big c. And small see local churches is because of Jesus Christ and that relationship and so when you're you talk about 2 things you know talking talking about immersing yourself in a relationship and and being in a relationship with Christ which I want to unpack that. But before I impact that um, what do you mean by performance right? or performance christianity or or I mean it makes sense from an athlete standpoint like okay I'm going to do these things and then get this. But what do you mean.

05:58.33
Jon Fugler
Um, yep.

06:02.96
Jon Fugler
Well, you know for me. Um I just lay the foundation here that I equated my performance for god to my relationship with him so that that was my my problem there as I was believing a lie that if I'm serving Jesus? Well then I have a good relationship with him. So doing the right things um like reading our bible praying living obediently um, serving at church ah serving in ministry just plain doing all the right things for god and we're going. Well how can that be wrong.

06:36.23
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

06:38.27
Jon Fugler
Well, it's not wrong, but my heart was wrong and what I did is I had that I had that performance ahead of the relationship and so in my mind though I equated performance and how well I was performing. To the health of my relationship with my savior and it went on year after year a decade after decade and it was detrimental to my relationship with Christ the right way to do. It is Jesus first doing second but I was doing first.

07:11.16
leadersofleaders
Hang on.

07:14.81
Jon Fugler
And Jesus second I even I even had ah my theme verse for my life was with James 23 be doers of the word, not hearers only and I might be stepping on some toes here, but you know if we based our life on that then hey we're going to look good on the outside might even feel good. But.

07:22.86
leadersofleaders
A.

07:34.14
Jon Fugler
That's not what the Christian life is all about um that is not what the Christian life was all about and I went through some ups and downs Spiritually um I struggle with Anger um I was always doing doing I was always always just.

07:51.43
Jon Fugler
I had I had a to do list I kept following it. There was there was an emptiness in me and I was confused even feeling guilty when I failed I was doing things for god but I was empty on the inside and when I was up. Um, you know I saw myself serving Christ. And I was serving him and those rewarding experiences lifted me up and then I'd be a downer afterwards now I don't want to say that there wasn't times of of great relationship with the lord that don't don't get me wrong. It wasn't like.

08:21.44
leadersofleaders
Um, yeah.

08:23.76
Jon Fugler
Oh wow he had a really bad Christian life. No I had some seasons of great intimacy and relationship with god but I knew something was missing and like I said I went on for decades. In fact, it went on for over 30 years as a christian.

08:36.58
leadersofleaders
Hanging.

08:37.25
Jon Fugler
So I kept feeding this and feeding this and feeding this it just it grew that mentality.

08:42.49
leadersofleaders
Yeah, so I mean one I see myself in that story and I'm I'm certain if people are listening to leaders of leaders podcast I'm certain there are some Alpha types some some.

08:54.27
Jon Fugler
Oh yeah.

09:01.33
leadersofleaders
Some doer types that might be feeling. You know the same angst. Maybe that I that I'm I'm feeling here in this. Um and I you know, ah like like you I've had some great intimacy ah with Christ and I've also felt like a sham I felt like. I'm just doing stuff and there's not really any palpable, um connection with the creator sustainer and redeemer of my my life and the entire universe.

09:36.66
Jon Fugler
Well well Aaron and all that is in the more we serve and the more we do things for the lord it just kind of feeds on itself and if we're leaders then those whom we're leading put us up there.

09:38.73
leadersofleaders
Um.

09:46.96
leadersofleaders
A course.

09:55.13
leadersofleaders
A a.

09:55.18
Jon Fugler
And they admire that in us, you know, successful leadership and that and yet and we live up to that And meanwhile we're dying its side. You said you were kind of a sham you felt like it was a sham. It's like that I agree with that. You know we can like look great in public then we get in private and we.

10:03.90
leadersofleaders
A air. Um, yeah.

10:13.27
Jon Fugler
You know it goes in a fit of anger at least that's why it was for me and so it's like oh gosh what is going on here and I get up and I confess it to the Lord and I get right with God and I go at it again and I just keep um doing what was really bad in my relationship. So I.

10:16.93
leadersofleaders
Um, yeah, yeah.

10:32.54
Jon Fugler
I get that and as leaders I think we do struggle with that.

10:35.99
leadersofleaders
Well and and I don't want to I don't want to completely and I think you've already said this but I don't want to completely I think paint a ah horrible image there you know obviously there I'm sure have been souls that were saved. Um. You know people that have come to know the lord because of some of the doing that you've done I would have to imagine you know and it's not like you didn't learn about who Jesus Christ was and and that.

10:58.44
Jon Fugler
Yes.

11:12.50
leadersofleaders
That can also help in your relationship with Christ but there is it's the it's like you said it's the wiring of performance right? You're you're striving to hit a metric as opposed to be connected and in relationship with.

11:28.93
Jon Fugler
I Like that word you use wiring you know you're right? It's like we're wired and we keep we keep doing it. The wiring gets even better. So it's like a stronger wiring need to cut the wire. But yeah, you're right? It is like that and the more.

11:31.50
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah.

11:38.61
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, exactly and unfortunate, but true. Yes, yeah.

11:48.11
Jon Fugler
The longer we live that way the the harder it is to to get out of that. But wow I look at the Apostle Paul and man the guy was a doer right? He was like the Apostle Paul wasn't a slouch when it came to serving Christ he went to the mat.

11:51.16
leadersofleaders
Yeah, so yeah, oh yeah.

12:04.35
leadersofleaders
A.

12:06.68
Jon Fugler
Ah time after time and and yeah and you quoted this verse which is now the verse I live by in in flippians three Eight what is more I consider everything a loss because of their surpassing worth of knowing Christ jesus my lords that was Paul's goal in life is to know Christ and know more. And I'll tell you if that's Paul's if that's Paul's goal then that's my goal because this guy was a doer and yet he had it right? He had this the relationship right? It was first That's why when he was in prison he could write those letters and joyfully.

12:38.33
leadersofleaders
And.

12:40.90
Jon Fugler
When he was shipwrecked when he was beaten. He keeps coming back and just ah says so you know I'm content and the guy had something going with god you know he had a relationship that was just so deep that he could say that the knowing Christ was it.

12:46.00
leadersofleaders
Right? So and.

12:58.25
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

12:59.42
Jon Fugler
And 2 verses later in flippians three 10 he emphasized says I want to know Christ I want to know Christ simply and like and like I said he was a servant he was a server but he had it right? he had had it in the right order.

13:04.35
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

13:10.80
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, I run a men's group and and I talk about that all you know or we talk about that in our men's group all the time is knowing god knowing Christ and not knowing him in the intellectual yes I know about him but truly knowing. In the intimate sense like you would know your spouse or you would know your child or your grandchildren and I don't have many grandchildren but I could only imagine um so I love that you use the word bondage um to talk about your.

13:35.87
Jon Fugler
So.

13:45.57
leadersofleaders
Sort of Christian performance or performance christianity. Um now. Obviously we are we are to be bond servants of Christ ah slaves to christ so that we're not slaves to sin. But if we are slaves to performance then. We're essentially so slaves to that sin the sin of performative. Ah intimacy if you will like if I do this then you will give me that kind of a thing which is a really bad wiring. It is a wiring for sure, but it is ah it is a faulty wire and that will shortcircuit and.

14:17.37
Jon Fugler
Yes, yes.

14:24.41
leadersofleaders
And create. Ah a lot of problems at the very epicenter of ah the root of of who who it is that we are the imago day and saved by Christ ah to be the imago day. The image bearers of god um, so how did you escape. Your bondage.

14:44.19
Jon Fugler
You know it's interesting because a lot of times we don't know we're in bondage or maybe we know we're in bondage but we don't know to what? Ah when I went through those ups and downs and you know spiritual dryness and then backup you know to Victory and I didn't.

14:46.23
leadersofleaders
Plan.

14:59.95
Jon Fugler
Quite get it I didn't know it was going on and the lord used a book in my life called with reimagining the way you relate to god written by Sky Jatani and this was ah several years ago a friend gave me this book said John I think you liked this book. He didn't know I was struggling with this. He was also in full time christian ministry like I was. So he gave it to me and um and I read it and it's like wow this is this is life changing for me. This is really life changing and um sky jadani in the book talks about ways that we relate to god 4 wrong ways 1 right way. And he says we relate to god um, over god or relate to god under god he says we relate to god ah from god and then for god and that was my relationship. It was for god lord I'm serving you I'm doing all this for you and that's my relationship and. I won't go into detail about all the others but that one hit me I was like wow. Yeah I am this is where my relationship with god it's a for god relationship I'm doing these things for you lord then he says the right way to relate relate to god is with god and just saying that.

15:59.43
leadersofleaders
A.

16:10.34
leadersofleaders
Okay.

16:14.37
Jon Fugler
Is like exhaling relating to god a relationship with god okay, okay, that is that makes sense to me and so my whole mindset shifted from this performance to relationship with god. And since then over time understanding what it means to know Christ because that's part of the with relationship and you know it took all the goal setting out of my relationship with Christ. You know as ah as a performer I would set goals. And now I'm into this with Christ and into knowing Christ and so it's as a tendency to say okay, what's my goal in knowing Christ well that no no, no, that's not the goal that is that's it. That's there. That's that's just it. You know Christ and you know him deeper and you know him deeper and and so yeah, guy.

17:05.40
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah.

17:12.58
Jon Fugler
Get that mindset out. This isn't something I'm totally ah flushed out of my life. But I'm moving in the right direction and to me that was ah that was life changing I really felt joy I felt ah peace I felt rest. And I wasn't earning God's approval anymore or maybe I I wasn't earning my own approval. That's probably more more of it I didn't envision I'm trying to earn God's approval but I wanted to feel better about my relationship with God So I Guess I was trying to earn my own approval.

17:34.59
leadersofleaders
A.

17:39.93
leadersofleaders
A.

17:50.96
Jon Fugler
By serving so faithfully does that make any sense.

17:52.95
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah I Wonder do you is was that the household or the and and then was that kind of how you did sports and stuff too. It's like you know you I think really good athletes or um. Or even you know you you find out later that you've taken this sort of performance Lifestyle from your parents who you know they set standards or certain expectations and so then you sort of inevitably and and unbeknownst to yourself are setting these expectations for yourself and then oh I'm not. Hitting the mark and I know for me that's often where my frustration you know comes in is communicated expectations with myself or communicated expectations with somebody else and then they don't They don't do the expectation or I don't do the expectation. It's like.

18:37.50
Jon Fugler
You.

18:48.78
leadersofleaders
Dang it. You know what?? what's wrong with you. You know these conversations in your head. Um, and so I could see how maybe that might be ah how how you would paint that picture for yourself in your own relationship with God where it's like okay yeah, maybe God didn't. This metric that I needed to hit upon me and and in what I'm reading I'm not reading that I have you know this metric that I need to hit Obviously you know I'm not supposed to be sinning I'm not supposed to be doing. Okay I'm maybe I'm not doing those things I'm supposed to be reading the word. Okay I'm so sweet. But then all of a sudden you start to hit. Create this this Ah New Metric These new expectations that you've communicated or not communicated to yourself. Um I don't know I I don't want to speak for you I don't want to say that that is the reality of what what you were living but I could really see that that would yeah.

19:42.28
Jon Fugler
I'm glad you asked that because when I think back I was as you were asking that and and sharing your heart on that I was thinking back to when I was in grade school and high school. My parents come out to all my games and they would watch cheer me on and everything.

19:45.20
leadersofleaders
If.

19:59.88
Jon Fugler
And I can't remember any time that my mom or dad criticized me is like they were like the ideal fans. Um, when I did poorly they didn't get on me. They didn't yell at me and anything like that and I was a baseball pitcher so you can imagine opportunities to to fail or out there but they would come alongside me and.

20:02.68
leadersofleaders
Hey.

20:13.94
leadersofleaders
No yeah.

20:19.56
Jon Fugler
I Guess I was the one who was my own worst enemy in that so where I got that from I don't know I guess just competition and sports highly competitive and so that's I was putting this into my own head even though I had.

20:22.69
leadersofleaders
Yeah, a.

20:39.14
Jon Fugler
Support of my parents. Um, and I wow that's and I think that's what the way it has been in my christian life where I set these goals and you know disappointed in myself and beat myself up and all of that until I was able to really come to terms with what it really meant to. Relate to Christ and to know Christ and and turn things upside down.

21:03.88
leadersofleaders
So So what is that not to try to create a ah metric or or any sort of measurement or whatever. But what does that look like or what does that feel like or what is what is that like ah for you Now. What's the.. What's the biggest difference. Do you do you feel or are you able to articulate is it 1 of those things. That's that's hard to maybe articulate but articulate because it's intimacy I don't know it's when I feel connected with my wife. Yeah.

21:36.10
Jon Fugler
Yeah, well I think the word that comes to mind for me is freedom Freedom You know we talk about bondage and this this is freedom. Ah, it's like okay um I'm free I'm free now I have to convince myself I'm free I don't want.

21:39.27
leadersofleaders
Love that? Yeah yeah, yeah.

21:52.40
Jon Fugler
I don't want to go back into that prison and lock the door on myself like I said um ah my own worst enemy. Ah so freedom is is what comes to mind which then allows me to experience Christ like I should um I have a saying I wrote this out.

21:53.20
leadersofleaders
Um, yeah.

22:12.19
Jon Fugler
About four or five years ago and I call it my statement of faith and I guess it's my it's not a theological thing but it's 5 or 6 statements about my relationship with god and with others and the first statement is is this my relationship with god.

22:18.73
leadersofleaders
And.

22:31.55
Jon Fugler
Is the most important thing in my life and Aaron I that's that's a simple statement. But for me, it's foundational and when I open my journal in the morning and I oftentimes go right to the beginning of that so I can read that statement again. It's again, it's like exhaling. It's like okay.

22:32.31
leadersofleaders
A.

22:38.76
leadersofleaders
A.

22:51.60
Jon Fugler
Everything else cascades down from that relationship. Nothing else is important as important doesn't mean things aren't important. No, but if I don't start there I can run around in circles again trying to keep all these other parts of my life together. But instead.

22:51.57
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

23:08.82
Jon Fugler
I am looking at this relationship with with god as the most important thing and that's that's great and ah the verse you you shall? love the lord your god with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength and to me that's like okay, that's it just throw everything to god and in that relationship with him. And you know he's already loved me. He already showed. He still loves me of course but he he went first and he gave his life for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and god love me I love him. This is two way. It's a relationship and now it's this is a whole different foundation.

23:37.77
leadersofleaders
A.

23:48.37
Jon Fugler
And when I forget about it I go back and read that same statement again and the Lord just cleanses me gives me freedom and I think we need those things I think we need those stakes in the ground those foundational statements and verses of truth to come back to. Because we aren't we're we're sinful. So We're not ever totally cured of our behaviors. Our sinful behaviors and we need help.

24:11.43
leadersofleaders
Yeah, Absolutely absolutely.? Yeah yeah I mean you said a couple of things. Um, you know because I bet and with the whole leaders of leaders I'm like you can't really lead if you don't have a belief system. And if your belief system is you know, constantly changing then essentially it's like you know it's trying to move forward, but you're in outer space without gravity without the ground. Um whereas if you have the gravity in the and the ground you can now take steps in in the right direction. But.

24:33.71
Jon Fugler
O.

24:43.18
leadersofleaders
You won't be taking steps in the right direction if you don't have your beliefs in ah in alignment and a lot of people talk about you know oh life should be about balance and I I typically I you know and I don't try to like Pop. Anybody's happy balloon or whatever but I typically. Pop the happy balloon and I'm like well I you know I think balance is kind of bull crap. Ah really,. It's like you said it's Cascading. So It's priorities. So if my if my priority is my relationship with God then that will make my relationship with my wife better that will make my relationship to.

25:17.43
Jon Fugler
Yes.

25:20.40
leadersofleaders
With my kids better my relationship to my coworkers better. Um, if I have first things first right? The right thing and the right in the right place. Um, and man I I think that that cascading visual is is such a ah crucial visual and like you said that. God is the most important relationship there Jesus Christ is the most important relationship. Um, because from that world view. Everything changes literally everything changes. Um, we understand that we are not god that we are human god is god.

25:41.65
Jon Fugler
Um, yep.

25:57.50
leadersofleaders
That's a huge I mean that's a big old step you know because oftentimes I think we confuse ourselves in thinking that we can somehow control god or that we are these little gods or you know, whatever the you know unspeakables that maybe we're not. Having an articulated conversation or or journaling about it and really understanding that that's where our worldview is but our actions are much greater depictors of what our worldview actually is what we actually believe. So I yeah I think that that's I think that that's really important to to. Think about to talk about and to be about where where does our belief system start right? What what is that and how does that then adjust you know everything from it and and so I would ask you? what is what are some of the signs that maybe I'm missing. Um, something in my relationship with Christ is there a is there.

26:56.74
Jon Fugler
I think it it would be feeling distant from god that's an obvious one and as performers we don't ever want to. We don't ever want to ah to say that as leaders these are things leaders. Don't want to believe or or speak we can feel them but we do not want to verbalize these because we don't want to think that we know these are true um being spiritually dry um inconsistent in our walk with Christ. You know these things can be.

27:30.31
Jon Fugler
Signs that we're we're missing something in our relationship with God and maybe it's performance. Maybe it's something else. But as leaders we go through a lot of stuff. Um, we're all kind of head cases. Sometimes it's like okay, ah but.

27:35.51
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

27:45.69
Jon Fugler
And I know that the leaders who are listening to this understand that you yeah yeah I know I know it's like it's the real me. Um, but you know these things are are signs of something is wrong and we need to do something about that again. It's not about performance. We need to take action on on dealing.

27:49.48
leadersofleaders
Um, yeah, we have.

28:04.69
Jon Fugler
Dealing with that.

28:06.84
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, so you're you're writing you're writing a new book and so first of all, all these other 9 books ah were was it out of this. Performance christianity where there moments where you are feeling intimacy and connected. Ah I can't imagine that you know any of this doing if if even if you're you know because you're doing it for the lord. Ah. You're doing it in Jesus Christ name there's got to be some prophet some some fruitfulness that is coming from these other books. Um, so let's talk about maybe those 9.

28:52.81
Jon Fugler
Yeah I I wrote the book. Yeah I wrote the books. Ah, ah, 1 of them is a series of 7 books thirty day devotionals that are taken from a different angle than most devotionals a lot of devotion as you read them.

29:01.32
leadersofleaders
A.

29:08.60
Jon Fugler
And then at the end there's something you need to do you know, go do this and by the you know after a few days like I can't do all these things like I just can't um and you're back into the doing mentality and performance and that type of thing. So I've taken a all in the devotional is there 30 day devotionalions every day comes back to Jesus. It's about.

29:08.95
leadersofleaders
A.

29:25.55
leadersofleaders
A.

29:28.54
Jon Fugler
Real life. It's ah I've got thirty days of joy thirty days of faith thirty days of courage thirty days of encouragement thirty days of rest and um, there's 2 more in there thirty days of prayer incredible prayer. So they're topical and I feel like if you if experience these.

29:42.49
leadersofleaders
A.

29:48.17
Jon Fugler
These subjects for thirty days it begins to be ingrained in your life talk about real stories about real people my experiences but I come back to scripture I come back to relationship with god I think everything ends in our relationship with god a relationship with Christ is is where the center of it is and i. Take these these areas of the christian life and then center them on Christ I guess that's the best way to put that and I have really enjoyed writing those I felt writing for me as a cleansing experience and I just.

30:21.69
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

30:25.78
Jon Fugler
I Love I Love writing don't like editing I Love writing much better, but these books ah and the response I'm getting back from people is well I can really relate to that you write Conversationally, It's not heady. It's very real and and that's that's what I'm trying to do relate faith to real life relate. Um.

30:27.29
leadersofleaders
Say.

30:43.33
Jon Fugler
Encouragement to real life courage to real life. So that's that's kind of how how these go and um and then I got another book coming out in January now that I've said it I guess I'm accountable for it and it is all about this knowing Christ and going deeper and our relationship.

30:55.40
leadersofleaders
Right.

31:02.22
Jon Fugler
With Jesus you know what does it mean to know what does it mean to know Christ I mean what does that really mean what are some of the obstacles to knowing Christ um, and how can we grow in that depth of relationship with him. So.

31:04.83
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah.

31:18.81
Jon Fugler
And then there are some exercises that readers can go through to experience Christ more deeply in getting into the word um and asking certain questions about the passages that get us deeper into that relationship with Christ. So that's where I'm I'm going. With that because I really believe that knowing Christ is a secret to life I honestly believe that and that's why I want to help a million believers know the christ of the cross and when I think about knowing the christ of the cross as opposed to knowing Christ on the cross There's a difference. You know the the cross is the.

31:39.00
leadersofleaders
Okay.

31:56.11
leadersofleaders
There.

31:56.13
Jon Fugler
Turning point in history and but Jesus if we just know Jesus on the cross really knowing Jesus and that moment in history but knowing Jesus of the cross is knowing Jesus of eternity no beginning and no end and to me that is an adventure to know this Jesus.

32:08.90
leadersofleaders
And.

32:15.20
Jon Fugler
Of the cross who spans all of eternity and I get a chance to get to know him for the rest of my life and into eternity. So for me that is that is my desire to bring a million other people along to experience that and know the christ.

32:20.48
leadersofleaders
A.

32:33.40
Jon Fugler
Of the cross.

32:34.88
leadersofleaders
And and so are you doing it through um through book sales ah is it also the the fresh faith Twenty four seven what's what's the way in which um.

32:50.95
leadersofleaders
These 1000000 I mean and obviously god's gonna do whatever he's gonna do but ah but what's kind of how you envision that is it through through these books or through um just these conversations.

32:56.66
Jon Fugler
Um, and he.

33:07.27
Jon Fugler
Yeah, through the conversations we're having here and other podcasts that I'm on I have a podcast myself called fresh faith in real life that we really dig into this more deeply. Um. I've got the membership of fresh faith Twenty four seven it's a ministry that I started a couple years ago and really ah ramped it up a year ago which is a place for ah people to go who really want to get through this. Ah this obstacle of performance christianity where we we dig in and I take ah, there's a number of videos in there a training series called um, the freedom path training where it's ah 4 modules 28 sessions to walk. Ah, the viewer through this and to go through exercises on gaining victory over performance christianity. There's even ah, a freedom path playbook that you go through I do um twice a week. Ah, first thing in the morning I do about a 7 minute live devotional that again. Back to knowing Christ in the in in the rhythms of life. We've got a community resource library I do 1 on one coaching in there as well and another thing that ah people really love is um, an assessment a spiritual assessment.

34:33.47
Jon Fugler
That you can take not just once but you know several times over the course of a year or 2 where you really assess your relationship with Christ and the health of that relationship and that kind of it's it's not a way to score yourself, but there's some patterns in there that you can see how you're doing and then. Ah, through fresh faith Twenty four seven we work with you and other believers and we help each other out in becoming more of an intimate related to Jesus.

35:05.31
leadersofleaders
Yeah, and so hey you've talked about the this freedom this idea of freedom I just actually finished Galatians where Paul I think does an incredible job of talking about freedom and freedom in Christ. Um, so.

35:12.50
Jon Fugler
No.

35:23.16
leadersofleaders
Do you do you see? any connection is is the freedom in Christ the same thing that you know maybe would be the colloquial term freedom that is talked about with our nation or is it something different. Ah, expound on the on the this idea of of freedom for a minute if you would if you could be I think super helpful.

35:49.33
Jon Fugler
Sure sure you mentioned with with Galatians and and Paul of course talking um a lot about you know the following the law and you know talk about performance based.

36:04.76
leadersofleaders
M.

36:06.80
Jon Fugler
You know following the law and trying to really show these new believers and even mature believers about what it means to to walk not according to the law but according to Grace. We've already been freed. We've been freed from the bondage of satan we've been freed from. Um, eviction to hell we've been freed from all these things that ah Rob us of a relationship with god that was done when Jesus went to the cross and he canceled sin and yet we ah have a hard time living by Grace you know we were and saved. Ah, by Grace you know faith by Grace and this grace we know we start with Grace and then we go we slip back into performance and back into our our sinful ways but to be free from that is to experience what. What Christ has done for us in reality and walking in that freedom and not letting ourselves walk back into the law and allowing that to control our life at the same time we need to walk in obedience. It's not like we're just. Say yeah, we don't have to obey christ anymore. But the more we know Christ the more we'll obey him the more we obey Christ doesn't mean the more we'll know him so it comes back to the heart. It really comes back to the heart and and loving our Lord. So when I think of freedom I think of um of that where we live in.

37:18.67
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah.

37:27.58
leadersofleaders
How I.

37:37.80
Jon Fugler
That truth and that life that Jesus has promised and he went to the cross for and we don't need to go back into slavery to the law.

37:50.84
leadersofleaders
Yeah Victor Frankl talks about um the statue of liberty being balanced by a statue of responsibility on the west coast and this this kind of more ideological concept. Um, and I and I think that you nailed it though. It was. You're free in Christ and in that freedom. You won't be able to help but be obedient because you're enjoying the grace that comes from your faith in Christ and so it would be an intrinsic outpouring of. Who you are as the now redeemed margo day that was intended on humanity in the beginning. Um, so you're going to just naturally walk that out, but there is no way to try to make it happen the other way right? You can.

38:43.49
Jon Fugler
Moho.

38:45.27
leadersofleaders
You can try to put it together as best you can by obeying and and yeah I think ah absolutely, you're right? You know he he Juxta Paul juxtaposes this condemnation of the law and and trying to live by the law but it's like no no, no, no, no live by faith. Through Christ in Christ with Christ that will inevitably create proper obedience proper relationship proper connection man it's ah ah, it's so it's it's such a rad. Um, it's such a rad meditation just that.

39:04.26
Jon Fugler
Who.

39:23.56
leadersofleaders
Kind of process that a little bit. Yeah.

39:25.70
Jon Fugler
I know it's mind-boggling isn't it really? um and one of the things I believe we need. We've got to do is we've got to spend extended time with Jesus we got to retreat with Jesus um, and I I do that each month take a half day with the lord and just.

39:32.32
leadersofleaders
Angry.

39:40.82
Jon Fugler
Enjoy my time with him I pray I read ah listen to worship music. There's no rules to it. It's just time with Jesus to cast the world out of my mind out of my life I carved out 4 hours and it's just you and me time Jesus it's a reset for me really I think that's more than anything else.

39:54.75
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

39:59.80
Jon Fugler
Or day after day you know we get wrapped up in what we do and to me that's you know I need that reset and that's that's so important for me to retreat retreat with the lord do some journaling walk around. Um, sit there get on my knees. Sometimes it just. Spend that relationship time with Jesus Practice relationship you know one thing Aaron that somebody really brought up to me which just recently that um, really hit me and it's a kind of part of the part of this that I had left out is the power of the holy spirit and the role holy spirit.

40:33.34
leadersofleaders
And.

40:37.46
Jon Fugler
Because we can say I want to know Christ and we just keep pursuing it and we make that effort to know Christ and and before long this whole thing of knowing Christ again falls into that self effort and that performance. Well the holy spirit reveals Christ to us the holy spirit changes our life a holy spirit changes our heart.

40:46.92
leadersofleaders
A a.

40:53.94
leadersofleaders
Um, yeah.

40:55.95
Jon Fugler
We submit to the lord the holy spirit does does great things and we we can't say proudly I know Christ we can't recite philippians 3 8 and say I consider everything a loss because of their surpassing worth of knowing Christ jesus my lord. We proudly say that. That's the opposite of what the intention of that was and we need to submit to the lord and remember it's the holy spirit that softens our heart. It's the holy spirit that reveals Jesus to us. It's the holy spirit that changes us and this is ah a friendship a partnership a love relationship.

41:20.00
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

41:26.35
leadersofleaders
And. Um, yeah.

41:32.90
Jon Fugler
And it's not this is not a human relationship. It's a spiritual relationship and we can't take out the holy spirit in you know in this relationship and say yeah just I'll just do this and i. In return I'll get a relationship with Jesus. It's as that's a dangerous road to go down.

41:52.18
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, absolutely yeah, what are some? Um, what are some ways that you've seen this change. You know again, like you said it's a spiritual relationship. Not a human relationship. But what are some of the ways that now this new founded. Um, new experience of this relationship with Christ guided by the holy spirit. Um, how has that changed your relationship then with the humans that you find yourself interacting with your your wife your your kids your grandkids. Ah. Maybe business partners ah coworkers how how has how have you seen that create some new insider or or new ways of interacting.

42:41.64
Jon Fugler
I Think you know my wife hopefully would say that that I'm different and she has said that so I guess I can say that and um, you know I really struggle with anger for a long time I think I was just this whole thing really made me angry as being an angry person and and so I've.

42:47.92
leadersofleaders
Have ah.

42:58.50
Jon Fugler
Ah, been able to back off from that the Lord's really changed me. It's not something that I did but he has over over time changed me so that has really improved relationships. Um, yeah, there is yes exactly. And um I think the lord has really taught me a lot about rhythm and pace. You know you mentioned balance and the.

43:07.12
leadersofleaders
So you're saying there's hope. Ah.

43:17.83
leadersofleaders
Let it.

43:18.29
Jon Fugler
Thing for me is rhythm and pace is having ah slowing down my pace is important and I really believe that this whole idea of knowing Christ and understanding that and and living in relationship with him has has slowed my pace down. Um and then ah. You know, establishing a rhythm that we we know we have daily rhythms weekly rhythms monthly rulers annual rhythms that we live and I think that um has has changed for me too so rhythm and pace has then affected relationships with others I've I've had.

43:43.17
leadersofleaders
A.

43:55.49
Jon Fugler
Over over my life I've had good relationships with people that's been that's been something. That's that's been good I Think the Lord has teach me more about being more giving in relationship not being a selfish and that has come from knowing him more that has been.

43:57.00
leadersofleaders
A.

44:08.10
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

44:14.41
Jon Fugler
Allow me to see what in my life I need to let the lord work on you or I can be more deliberate so giving more in relationships not being so self-centered with my time with my attention. Um, and so that's those things have been a couple things that have been.

44:25.18
leadersofleaders
A.

44:34.10
Jon Fugler
Been real helpful. It's also I think give me a healthier view towards life and in my service for the lord and um, you know my my time with others in making in my priorities. Simplifying things a little bit too. We get so wrapped up if we're leaders and Performers. We tend to stack things up and fill our time with things to do and challenges to meet and all of that and the lord has helped me back away from that and have a greater quality of life quality over quantity.

44:57.80
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah.

45:04.76
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

45:08.79
Jon Fugler
Of accomplishment. So yeah, that kind of thing.

45:12.30
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, that's awesome I I don't know if if you've listened to any of the leaders of leaders podcast podcast. But yeah, so the the guy Steve Starry and and I um were right now we're building an an app called discipled in Christ and the 1 thing that.

45:16.63
Jon Fugler
I have I've been sampling it.

45:29.67
leadersofleaders
Both him and I inevitably have been plagued with is um, he calls it the curse of competence I love that? Um, but it's we're just these consummate doers and we've been entrepreneurs and and so we've just. Always kind of been have been executors and people that have just gotten things done and just go and do and do and do and the the breath of fresh air that we have both experienced in this new venture that we've been you know pursuing together with leaders of leaders. For me the leaders of leaders podcast and and you know some of the rite of passage stuff that I'm doing and then for him and I this disciple in Christ is that we're going at the pace of god and oftentimes you know we were. We're beside ourselves in like trying to keep ourselves from doing. Next thing because we're like no god hasn't opened this door. So guess what we're in a holding pattern and we just we we must be okay with that and the but I'll tell you the more the more we've pursued that the just the more at peace we are with this. Hey we're gonna go at god's timing and if god doesn't want this to happen right now then it's not going to happen if god wants it to happen then it's gonna happen you know and and we just there's there's this like surety and peace and and knowing that that comes from that and.

46:57.78
leadersofleaders
I obviously am very new to it. Um, and so it's very interesting for me, but it sounds to me like that's something that you're experiencing as well and um, man that isn't that is incredible and you know I have to I have to ask this before. Before we hop off I don't know if your if you currently share any of these devotionals or these books or or this information beyond the fresh faith Twenty four seven or if it's only found there but man we would love to. Host some of that content for you to maybe get it in front of another couple 5000000 people to help you on your journey to 1000000 just it just what you're saying rings so clear to me and it speaks.

47:36.51
Jon Fugler
Um, sure Well thank you.

47:53.35
leadersofleaders
So much to you know my own struggles as well. So yeah, really incredible. Can't.

47:56.64
Jon Fugler
Well thank you Aaron yeah yeah, one of the things I I do is send out a ah 3 times a week Tuesday thursdays and Saturdays a sixty second devotional that people can read it in 60 seconds and so ah I call it fresh bread.

48:08.38
leadersofleaders
A.

48:13.49
Jon Fugler
For fresh faith and um your audience can sign up for it at fresh faith Twenty four seven dot com and I just ah put that out there. It's very very simple. Um, it's not that long because none of us want to read long emails but it's a short thought.

48:20.59
leadersofleaders
Yeah.

48:29.30
leadersofleaders
Right? yeah.

48:32.72
Jon Fugler
Scripturally based and there's another thing I do in my devotional I Always go back to the word. It's not my opinion but it's always going back to the word. Um, so yeah and I'd love if you link to that and link to ah the other resources and ah the devotionals that I have out there. That's really gracious of you.

48:37.87
leadersofleaders
Yep, yeah.

48:51.72
Jon Fugler
Thank you.

48:52.41
leadersofleaders
Yeah, yeah, absolutely I mean um I don't even know if if there's a if there's a place to obviously we we would easily you know link it over to fresh faith Twenty four seven um but this this discipled in Christ app. It's it's ah it's basically. It's an app. There's a bible built into it and then there's a bunch of hosted courses essentially content if you will um and so and one of the courses is 100 in his strength. It's a course that the holy spirit led me to write a shoot almost two years ago now.

49:13.91
Jon Fugler
Um, moon.

49:26.98
Jon Fugler
Um, what's a call again. Okay.

49:28.69
leadersofleaders
Ah, 100 in his strength and ah and so I was in the fitness industry before and I understood how powerful habits were and so I was like well if we could not put the habit first but but create a habit that is. You know, coming to our daily bread right coming to Christ daily to disciple in Christ and be led by Christ. Um, you know oftentimes most christians it's it's not a daily habit. It's a weekly bread right? and and we we go to church and we think oh and then I'm good. You know and that's.

50:04.68
Jon Fugler
Weekly Brett I love that. Ah.

50:06.51
leadersofleaders
Right? And that's it. It's like well yeah, but you would starve you know if you only had bread once a week and I don't think that's how Christ envisioned disippleship. That's not how he did discippleship with his disciples. It's not how his disciples discipled other disciples. Um, and so.

50:19.10
Jon Fugler
Um.

50:24.82
leadersofleaders
Yeah, so my thought is in asking that is you know? well obviously on this podcast I'll link to all of your stuff for sure Even on our our site we would love to link over to your stuff but I don't know if you would be interested and you don't have to answer now I'm not I'm not on purpose trying to put you on the spot.

50:43.71
Jon Fugler
Ah, we've got witnesses here.

50:44.59
leadersofleaders
Ah, but but man Yeah, exactly right? but the content is just so incredible on like I you know if if we could get Yeah, we'll figure something out. Yeah.

50:52.00
Jon Fugler
Yeah I'd love to let's see how we can work that out and how that might fit in with your app I Yeah, that'd be. That's a great, a great opportunity. Great offer I appreciate that. So however, technically we can make that happen. Um.

51:07.70
Jon Fugler
You've got a technical guy I'm a content guy so we'll see how we can make this work right.

51:10.50
leadersofleaders
Yeah, exactly exactly exactly well man John ah fugler. It was such an honor to have you on the leaders of leaders podcast. Um the leader of leaders is obviously Jesus Christ

51:17.34
Jon Fugler
A.

51:27.33
Jon Fugler
Ah, more.

51:27.37
leadersofleaders
Um, from from which we disciple under to try to um, maybe even just have the holy spirit move us just this much um into ah the realm in which Jesus Christ obviously changed the entirety of ah of human history. So. Yeah I just I can't thank you enough. Everything that you said said from the heart. Um, and man I I was convicted moved and I'm you know I'm looking well and it's it's nothing that I wasn't aware of right? Um, but it's.

51:54.76
Jon Fugler
I Think oh yeah.

52:04.92
leadersofleaders
But to be more aware of it. Ah and to to hear shoot. There's somebody else that has the same you know dryness or the same some of the same issues has gone through some of that same problem. You know performance christianity. Um you you know Ah you go to any any church in America right now. Ah, probably around the world. You're going to find people that are doing this performance christianity and and obviously that's not what Christ called this to so um, it said.

52:30.51
Jon Fugler
Well I'm I'm glad that you're doing something that I find I've been involved in discipleship before but that's your passion I mean things happen on a one on one and small group basis that don't happen in in mass media which I'm I'm involved in we need both.

52:44.59
leadersofleaders
Yeah, hundred percent

52:46.34
Jon Fugler
And you're committed to this and now you're developing an app for it. You got you know teaching got the podcast here and you're really, um, you're really committed to meeting with men and meeting with leaders to make sure that they're they're walking with Christ on a more intimate level and that.

53:01.60
leadersofleaders
And yeah, hundred percent yeah well thanks for thanks for sharing your incredible message and again super honored to have you on the show.

53:05.70
Jon Fugler
That's what's needed is that personal contact that you're that you're all about So thanks for being a discipleler.

53:19.66
Jon Fugler
Okay, goodbye.

53:20.10
leadersofleaders
Thank you so much. John.