This Week on Advent Next join us as we continue discussion with Dr.Carlton Byrd, Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church on the the journey of ministry and learning to listen to how God affirms the call to ministry.
FULL TRANSCRIPT Dr. Carlton Byrd:
[00:00:00] Carlton Byrd: That’s our caring about these people. So we started running evangelistic campaigns. They’re excited. They’re bringing the people to church. We’re baptizing people. So I mean, this thing is changing my life. Okay? So the call is being affirmed. Not that God wasn’t with me in Mississippi when we baptize those three people, but I’m seeing God show himself. Yeah. In a mighty way.
Kendra Arsenault: Welcome back to advent next, a theological podcast, curated for curious faith discussions. We are back today with dr Carlton Byrd, the senior pastor at Oakwood university in Huntsville, Alabama. Today is part two of our discussion. Where we address how do identify whether or not God has called you to ministry and what confirmations of his calling look like along the way. This episode was sponsored by the Adventist learning community, a platform that offers free online courses and resources relevant to you.
If you’d like to listen to some of our previous episodes related to faith and [00:01:00] theology or catch some behind the scenes, follow us on Instagram or Facebook at Advent Next. My cohost today is once again, Michelle Odinma. You can follow her at the handle Michelle Odinma Music. As always, I’m your host Kendra Arsenault, and this is AdventNext.
Michelle Odinma: So we’ve talked about evangelism and you know, doing the mission you put on the programs, you do all this. And then what about retention? Because that’s been a big issue for a lot of people from North American division pastors. How do you maintain or keep all of those people who stood up and came forward to make commitment?
Carlton Byrd: I think the same emphasis that we have on recruitment, we must have on retention. So the same level of intent, intentionality with resources, money, people and the level of engagement. We have to do that with retention. And that [00:02:00] requires work. That requires with evangelists and the Bible workers and the team are gone, that the church has to engage in that same level of, of commitment that was given to recruitment with retention.
So with that, that means visitation has to continue. Programming has to continue and it has to continue with the level of excellence that proceeded it. Okay. It has to, so the same way we were intentional about children’s ministries during the public evangelistic campaign. We have to be intentional about that post the campaign.
The visitation, as I said, the music, as I said, the technology, right? We can’t be afraid to resource these things.
Kendra Arsenault: Right. What were those three things that you mentioned that we need to have like a, this, you know, people need to want to come.
Carlton Byrd: Okay. [00:03:00] So I was reading a book and, um, if worship, you know, we talked about post the campaign. Sure. If worship is to contribute to the growth of your church, three things must be true. Number one, members have to want to attend. If members don’t want to be there, why would anyone else, and for me, the litmus test for me has always been my family. If my wife, if our kids, if they don’t want to be there, then probably, yeah.
The members don’t want to be, you follow what I’m saying? I mean, we can do technology. We can do all different things. We can pass out handbills what we used to do years ago, or flyers about our church and whatnot, but, but if your people don’t want to be there, why would anyone else. Number two, your members have to be proud to invite guests. Okay. So members have and the members have to want to invite others to what’s in a, so word of mouth. You know, [00:04:00] when we moved to a city, yeah. We can go online and we will look at the area. We can look at school districts, we can look at houses, you know, with, with real estate books or online catalogs or whatever you want to call it.
But the greatest impact on where we live, when we moved to a city is a word of mouth testimony. If we know someone in that city and they tell us, this is a good area, this is a good house, we’re gonna weigh that more heavily. So the same is true with church. If members are proud to invite their friends, then you got to come to my church.
You’ve got to hear my pastor, hear our music, see our ministry offerings. That is going to weigh more heavily. Yeah. Then if someone just reads about it. So number one, members have to want to attend. Number two, they have to be proud to invite guests. And so often in our churches, yeah, but don’t come this week, this one speaking, don’t come this week, tis one singer, Oh, I don’t want you to come.
No. Every time the doors [00:05:00] open, it has to be assessed. So to the original question, how do we retain people the same way we were intentional about recruiting people. We have to have that with retention of people. Okay. And then thirdly, whoever attends is eager to return. Yeah. Okay. So those three things I think are critical, and that’s in my book.
Yeah. Those two things are critical in terms of the retention of people. So after the same way, we were like, you’ve got to come, members are excited about coming to the public evangelistic campaign. Then, that same way they’re excited about coming to church the same way they were willing to invite people to come to the campaign.
They’re willing to invite people to come to church, and then whoever comes is eager to return. And so the attainments in snouty that was placed earlier has to be placed post.
Michelle Odinma: And I think that if that doesn’t happen, it’s almost like false advertising. Exactly. It’s like, Oh yeah, and then they start attending and it’s like, what happened to all the [00:06:00] energy?
Carlton Byrd: We sang in the public campaign, all these great praise courses and songs, and then we get in church. Well, we don’t do anymore. That was for that. No. Yeah. This is who we are. Yes. You know, any business model will tell you. What got you growth is what you need to continue doing. Exactly.
Kendra Arsenault: So tell me a little bit about yourself. Okay. And tell me a little bit about like your personal journey with Christ.
Carlton Byrd: So as I share with you, I’m fifth generation seventh day adventist. Paternally and maternally. So I know the church, you know, I grew up in the church and that’s not a bad thing. So I don’t have a testimony that I was out there and. You know?
Then I came back. Right. I’ve never drunk in my life. I’ve never smoked in my life. Yeah. I’ve never done drugs in my life. I got married. Then I had kids. Um, it’s some, you know, and some people say, well, you’re, you’re just a white collar Adventist. Well, [00:07:00] I thank God for my journey. In the same way, i am appreciative of someone else’s testimony that may not be my testimony or their journey’s different.
I praise God. You know, if God spoke to somebody who had been involved in certain things and then they felt the voice of God, I celebrate that. And by the same token, you know, being reciprocal here. Yeah. I want someone to celebrate the journey that I had God fearing parents. They brought me up the way they did, and, and I, praise God, I’m here.
Okay. But, but I still had my experience, my encounter with the Lord Jesus, but I grew up PK. My father’s a pastor, my mother, a church school educator. I’d never forget a pastor, not my father, but a pastor said to me, if you want to go in ministry, run as far away from it as you can, and if the Lord calls you back to it, you’ll know that it was the Lord, right? So I double majored [00:08:00] in theology, bachelor of arts and theology, and I have a bachelor of science in business management with an emphasis in accounting. Uh, one summer made great money. I worked for the ITT, uh, life insurance company, uh, Hartford, Connecticut, where all the insurance companies are, make great money.
Uh, but. It wasn’t what God had called me to do. Ministry and dealing with people was what the Lord had called me to do. And so I was,
Kendra Arsenault: How did you come to that? Like what did that look like internally? Because how did God speak to you saying, this is not for you, this is not what you were built to do?
Carlton Byrd: Because I was happy, but I was not as happy, not fulfilled. Yeah. You know, but not as happy. You know, I was happy, but not as I was born to do what I’m doing. Okay. So, um, when I got back my senior year at Oakwood, you know, and that was my journey to go this way. I was like, [00:09:00] I’m doing ministry. I’m gonna do ministry.
Now. I thought that I was gonna take the financial or treasury track. Okay. Now, before I finished Oakwood, I had offers, uh, the, I never forget, the Ohio state university offered me a full, uh, fellowship. Get my MBA, they were gonna pay me a stipend, pay my education. You know, I had people telling me, Oh, you need to do that.
Get that done. You’ll be fine. You know? But I didn’t feel that’s what the Lord was calling me to, but I thought I was going to go the financial way specifically. I thought I was going to be, ah, work in conference treasury. And I thought that my contribution, because I had a love for evangelism, and that’s what I knew growing up.
I felt we needed more people. On the financial side of church ministry. Sure. Treasurers that understood treasury, but also understood treasury exists to support the ministry, the ministry, and the, and the pursuit of [00:10:00] mission. So I felt I could pastor a little while. But I would eventually go through the treasury route and I would be of support.
And that’s how I felt I was going to go.
Kendra Arsenault: How did that change?
Carlton Byrd: That change. Okay. And with that. Okay, so went to Mississippi. I shared that story. So that evangelism started getting in my bones that I pastored the place. Tuscaloosa, Alabama ran a tent crusade, uh, renovated the church, and I was like, man, this is getting my bones.
And the Lord was blessing with a measure of success and we deemed success as numeric success. Okay. Um, then I got to Nashville, Tennessee, and in Nashville, Tennessee. Still thinking in my mind, I’m on this business track. I enrolled at Tennessee state university to get my MBA. Okay. So I enrolled. I’m going to get my MBA because my track is going, I’m going to get pat, I’m a pastor, get ordained, and then I’m going this [00:11:00] direction in Nashville.
My life changed. Okay. I’m in Nashville. I was asked to pastor a church there that was founded as a result of a evangelistic series. So I was the actual first pastor. Hey, so you talked about retention and whatnot, just kind of how that ties in. So at the time, the conference evangelists. And the team of the conference evangelism team, they came, ran a meeting.
I had a series of campaigns and baptized like 150 people. Okay. Um, so the conference president says to me, we’re going to move you from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Nashville, Tennessee, to be the first pastor here. He knew my work ethic and whatnot, and so he was like, w we need you to come. So I was like, okay, I’ll never forget when I got there, he handed me the roster of the church and he was like, don’t lose these people. Ok. Right now. I’m young, now I’m under 30 don’t lose these people. [00:12:00] So, when the evangelists left, the entire team left. It was just me. So I have this roster, don’t lose these people, and at the time, I’m not ordained yet. So I’m thinking that a part of whether or not I get ordained and that track is going to be based on how well I do here.
So I’m like, man, I can’t lose these people. There was no church building. We’re work cause this is a new congregation. So we’re worshiping in a school. Okay. And school auditorium is not the best looking cause you know, we have to, you know, go where we can afford and you need to understand now, not only the human resources gone, but the economic resources for this church are gone.
Okay. So he gives me the roster. So I’m like, look, I got to go visit these people and I visit these [00:13:00] people weekly in order to keep these people cause they don’t know me, so I have to keep these people. So I started visiting them. So I have the roster and I’m looking at the roster, and the roster says one 25 main street, one 27 main street, one 29 main street.
Okay. So I’m thinking these are all single dwelling places, homes, or whatnot. Little did I know that these were all apartment units in public housing complexes. Okay. So these all public housing complexes in, in, in city project areas. So most of the people there are from very, very humble backgrounds. So many of the persons don’t have cars.
And they don’t have the means. You know, they, they’ve heard this message, they’re excited. Many of them are still smoking. Many of them still drinking because all this is very, very new to them. But to the best, they knew how they [00:14:00] had joined this church, accepted Christ, and here I am, white collar Adventist visiting all these people.
And God changed my life and he changed my life and helped me understand that the same blood of Jesus that was flowing in my veins is the same blood of Jesus that was flowing in these individuals veins. And though their background may not have been mine, they still were children of the most high God.
God changed my life and I went from being a bougie Adventist, you know, a white collar Adventist. I went from religion to a relationship. Amen. And I started falling in love with those people. And I was married at the time. My wife, we love the people, you know, we had to keep the people, we would visit them, take them to doctor’s appointments, take them groceries. I mean, it just, we fell in love. I’m talking about how God will change you and change your mindset. So all of a sudden now I’m still in MBA school while I’m pastoring, [00:15:00] but I’m loving on these people and God is moving. And so I started conducting evangelistic series and I’m looking up, God is blessing and God starts blessing, but we’re running three campaigns a year and we’re baptizing by God’s grace, over 100 people annually.
Wow. The Lord, he’s doing some mighty things here and he’s changing me in this process. While I’m not looking at people, I’m not looking at the organization, let’s say, cause I care about these people. You know, and I’m not mad at the organization because people who are in leadership, they are who they are.
I’m not mad at them, they’re who they are. But I start caring about these people. So we started running evangelists campaigns. They’re excited. They’re bringing people to church. We’re baptizing people. We begin a building program, and God blesses us to build from the ground up. A brand spanking new church building.
That’s fantastic. Right? So I mean, this thing is changing my life. Okay, so the call. [00:16:00] It’s being affirmed. Yes. Okay. Now, not that God wasn’t with me in Mississippi when we baptize those three people, right? Not that God wasn’t with us when we were in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and renovated the church and were baptizing people, but I’m seeing God show himself in a mighty way.
All right, so we’re there. The Lord is blessed in the four years that we’re there, 300 people get baptized. We build a church. I get an invitation under 30 years old to pastor in Houston, Texas at the mother church there. So I’m going there, you know, building is not what it should be. Uh, the attendance, you know, mother church is not what it should be.
Um, like I’ll go. Big city. I’m looking at potential. Mother church. So I get there and I’m like, we’re gonna change up on the music. We’re going to become more secret sensitive. I remember taking the church board, we said, we’re going to have a church board meeting [00:17:00] at, at Evangel evangelical church. That is not necessarily within our faith.
And you all probably know the church is the Lakewood church with Joel Olsteen and I said, we’re not going for doctrine, but I wants to have board meeting there because we’re going to figure out how is it that he, this, this church has 25,000 people coming on a weekly basis. We don’t know what they’re preaching till we get in there, but the fact is 25,000 people are coming.
Okay. In the seventh day Adventist church. We don’t have those kinds of numbers except the general conference in session. You got what I’m saying? We need to ask ourselves what are they doing that is, I say, so I’m not being a heretic. We’re going to find out what they’re doing because if we match our message with some of their methods, I just believe the Lord is going to bless the mighty way. We went and the church was, because sometimes you can show people better than you can tell them, and so we went.
Everyone went from the time we drove on the [00:18:00] parking lot to the time we went to the service, you could see a centrality, a focus. So when we’re walking in, even the Houston police department, they’re helping us park. You know, it’s almost like, welcome to Lakewood. We’re glad you’re here. It’s not park here and don’t move your car there and get. No. Welcome, we’re glad here, Pastor Joel is happy that you’re here. I’m like, okay, okay. It’s pretty nice. All right. We get to the doors, the greeters there. We’re glad you’re here and you know it’s genuine. It’s authentic. You know, Pastor Joel is happy that you’re here.
You’re in for a powerful experience today. We walk in the church doors. The ushers are there. Come out to your seat and whatever they’re singing for praise and worship. The ushers are singing it as they’re inviting you to a seat. So it’s not like I wish those people would hurry up and sit down. It’s too loud.
It’s too long. Everybody is a part of this worship experience. We sit there, I’m looking at the technology, I’m looking at the music, the message, very simplistic, very practical, and we leave. So after church is over, we have dinner at our [00:19:00] church. And then we say, let’s discuss this. And so we just start discussing some things that we can begin to implement.
Fast forward, God blesses four and a half years, three years, I’m sorry, three years after pastoring there. 500 people are baptized. Wow, man. After that, again, God is affirming. Sure. The calling.
Kendra Arsenault: That’s so important because there’s people who are listening right now who are thinking, am I called to ministry and how do I know if God is calling me? And you’re basically saying, look for the signs of God affirming you in your life, yeah.
Carlton Byrd: So remember now, the affirmation was received when I had those two people and three people were baptized. Then you go from there. You go from to Tuscaloosa, then you go to Nashville and you see what God is doing. I mean, we built a church where our population was primarily from humble backgrounds.
Okay. Then we go to Houston in three years, 500 people baptize. Then from there. I get the call to go to Atlanta, Berean.
Michelle Odinma: Okay. Can I have a question real [00:20:00] quick? So you’re making a number of church transitions and I think one of my questions is how do you deal with like member, um, pushback cause did any of that happen? Cause a lot of people will go to a church and…
Carlton Byrd: Particularly though, I praise God for his favor and favor is not fair, but I praise God for favor. Okay? And um you have pushback, but no one is going to argue when people give their lives to Christ. Okay. Okay. No, no one. And I’m very passionate about evangelism and Adventist education.
So those older members that are sitting there like, this guy’s bringing the music, but, but he’s doing, doing some things that he’s doing. What the Adventist are, and they’re seeing results. Okay. And there are some unconventional things. I mean, I’m [00:21:00] inviting non Adventist musical artists in the church, you know, but they’re seeing, Oh, this, this is working.
Okay. So from there, from Houston. I get the call to become the senior pastor of the Atlanta Berean church. Now, the Atlanta berean church for North America is our largest seventh day Adventist church that is not connected to an institution. So there’s no college, no hospital, no boarding Academy, it’s just a standalone church.
At the time, I had just turned 34 years old, so there was a lot of. You know, he’s going, you know, you know, he’s young and so you’ve got to deal with that. The challenge that some of my colleagues were Halla having. Why him? Not me. Okay. And so I went in there. And, and I did what got me there. We gonna win souls for Christ.
Amen. And, uh, the Lord [00:22:00] blessed, um, the Lord blessed. I mean, in the five and a half years I was there, 1800 people got baptized.
Kendra Arsenault: Wow. 1800,
Carlton Byrd: 1800. Now the church was already large. Yeah. But 1800 people got baptized. We went from one service to multiple services and that second service, it was almost like we shut down.
God was awesome and is awesome. The city, you couldn’t get through there. We had to hire Atlanta police officers to do do parking and the Lord blessed us. We got a 5.2 million grant from the United States department of housing, urban development to build us 50 apartments, senior citizen complex. We had someone donate to us.
They saw what we were doing. They had someone, someone donated in apartment complex unit, eight units to us. We turned into a women’s shelter. Our old church that sat across the street, we were able to buy back. We turned that into a community center where we opened a barber shop, a beauty salon, a [00:23:00] clothes closet, and food pantry.
I mean, he was doing some all God’s doing some awesome things. Again, affirming the call. And so when, when people are seeing, to your question about did you have opposition? Yeah, you have opposition, but stay focused. The Lord was moving. Um, then the brethren from North America laid hands on and said, we want to try something different where the media ministry breadth of life, which is akin to it is written faith for today, voice of prophecy whatnot. We want you to do that in addition `to pastoring the church. So I said, okay,
Kendra Arsenault: You try it out.
Carlton Byrd: So our, our television ministry breadth of light, that arm came aboard. And so we were able to broadcast from a local church and then the call came to go to Oakwood. And I felt that in going to Oakwood, you know what the Lord had blessed us with in ministry. We can model at Oakwood and young people will be able to experience and be a part of it, and then they will be [00:24:00] able to go out and model it when they left. The Lord has blessed. Uh,
Michelle Odinma: Can I ask, um, so you know, all of these things that happened, the shelter and these. I think my question is how did you make sure that this would continue after you left, right? That you weren’t the, the vehicle driving everything so that you disappeared and then everything falls on its face.
Carlton Byrd: Well, the reality is you try to put things and infrastructure in place. Okay. But as you know, in this church, it’s a movement. So the reality is, you know, you don’t want to be accused of meddling and whatnot when you leave.
You have to leave. Yeah. When you leave. No, it, you know, God bless. Good successor. So the building that was across the street, that is still there, the senior citizens apartment complex, you know, that’s there. Uh, you know, the church is still there, you know, so I praise God for that. Yeah. Okay. Um. Got to Oakwood.
Uh, Lord has blessed in the eight years I’ve been there, over [00:25:00] 500 people have been baptized in an institutional church setting. Uh, we are finishing up. We, God blessed us to build, uh, Arcade eight. Refurbish our elementary school, build the middle school with a new gym, cafeteria, middle school classrooms, and in the spring of 2020 the new nine through 12 high school building will be done.
God blessed us to build a new family life center with gym. And there we have a barbershop, we have a health food store, we have a medical clinic. Just got the contract for all the veterans of North Alabama where their annual physicals take place in our clinic. And these are residual. Income, revenue generating entities that help fund ministry, uh, clothing, ministry, food ministry.
Yeah. I praise God for being a part of what he’s doing because reality is he could use somebody else, you know, he could use somebody else. And [00:26:00] so I’m excited. So all of these things have contributed. To that call, and I’m so grateful to be a part.
Kendra Arsenault: Yeah. What would you say, so you had a huge influx, you know, in Atlanta, the 1800 and then that added, you know, so what, what would you recommend as far as churches who are looking to grow? Should they, when their facilities are no longer able to house? Maybe the growth that they’re having, should they invest that in creating a new church plant in the community, maybe targeting a new demographic, or should they focus maybe on expanding that, that same church?
Carlton Byrd: Good question. So in different times of my career, I would answer that question in a different way. Okay. So there was a part of me that used to say, you know, start a new church because the DNA of that church can be, you know, a certain thing and there’s still merit in that. The flip side of that is you have to have the resources to support that. I think the day is over where a new church plant [00:27:00] that people are going to be within this society, North American society, that we’re going to be in a storefront, if you will, and there’s not a defined period of time you’re going to be in there.
You know, I, I think, you know, if we’re going to start a new fellowship, a new church, a new ministry, I think the resources have to be in place to support that. I think gone are the days we say we’re just gonna start a church. We’re gonna have an evangelist come in, we’re going to plant a church I’m going to start everyone, all the resources leave human and economic, and then you’re not there to keep that going.
When you talk about a church planting, you talk about planting it right. There must be a commitment beyond the initial evangelistic initiative to keep that thing going. If we’re going to do it right, if not, it’s going to continue to be a struggle. So now I’m at the point, well, let’s, let’s, let’s go to multiple.
Let’s go to multiple worship experiences, you know, or let’s try the campus approach where, where you still want church, but you may have different [00:28:00] campuses because someone has to own that new group. Yeah. With people and finances. So either, you know, I’m now, let’s look at the multiple service approach, or let’s look at the campus approach, but somebody has to own those new members.
It can’t be a mindset, Oh, we just baptized 50 people. They’re out on their own now. No. You got to still own that group
Kendra Arsenault: Has to be a discipleship process right through it. Right. And I think sometimes too, maybe we have a too big of an idea of what church is like how do we scale down for, for the resources, is there a place for like say there are 50 new members and the church is growing and maybe the facilities aren’t housing and we do want to see if we can plant a new church. Is there merit? And maybe not, uh, be more simple, having more of a, a simple church rather than something that was more traditional.
Carlton Byrd: Yeah, I think there’s merit for that, yes. I also think, and I’ll be honest, Kendra, you know, so I’m going to be [00:29:00] honest, transparent. I think we have to have a restructuring of our resources.
I’m not saying this at a conference level or a union level or division level or a general conference level. I’m not saying it’s not important, but this over here may be more important. Yeah. If you have strong churches, you gonna have a strong conference. If you have strong conferences, you have a strong union.
If you have strong unions, you will have a strong division. If you have a strong divisions, you have a strong general conference, but it starts,
Kendra Arsenault: At the church level.
Carlton Byrd: That’s the most important level of this denomination. The local church.
Michelle Odinma: How do you, so for ministers coming up, they may see what’s going on and they were like, Oh, I want to be a part of that. How do you encourage them to take what they’ve seen, take what they’ve learned and heard and go do it on their own instead of joining. What’s already happening?
Carlton Byrd: Go make it instead of be a part of it.
Michelle Odinma: Exactly.
Carlton Byrd: You got to encourage them [00:30:00] and you got, you have to encourage them. You have to let them know, yes, you can. You can do this. Uh, but that’s becoming hard today because a lot of pastors are like, look, I, I want to be a part.
Michelle Odinma: Right, right. Yeah. I mean, I’m hearing it. I’m like, well, let me go to…
Carlton Byrd: Yeah. Yeah, you’ve got to encourage them. But I think we have to, we have to identify ways and identify resources where people won’t fail and where they want to be a part of it.
And that takes vision, not just seeing what is, but what can be. And I think we have to identify just the same way we use them, the local church with our members, spiritual gifts. I think with our employees, we have to understand spiritual gifts, and I think we have to be transparent with our employees to help them understand this is your giftedness, this is your giftedness, and we want to do our best to get everyone to operate [00:31:00] in their giftedness. Just because this is your gift and this is other person’s gift, does not mean this gift is way is heavily weighted more than this gift. And it’s okay if we identify certain employees with certain gifts to do certain things that is not just credit, right? That’s not a discredit to you.
And I think we need to be more transparent. Yeah.
Michelle Odinma: Or realistic and humble.
Carlton Byrd: We do. We do. And, and, and, and with personnel placement from administrative levels to local church levels, we need people just like in the local church to operate in their giftedness.
Kendra Arsenault: It sounds like you’ve been have the pioneer spirit, you know, that you’re ready to take on something where that looks like it’s nothing, but God has given you a vision to see what it could be rather than what it is. What would you give advice to other [00:32:00] pioneers? Um, cause I see like this has been a very long journey to getting to where you’re at. So people who have that visionary spirit who are willing to, to start in humble beginnings, what are some of the challenges and what’s some of the advice that you would recommend giving them?
Carlton Byrd: Yeah, first of all, you got to keep, keep pressing. You gotta keep plowing, you know, the expression, nothing good comes easy, you know? Cause some people think, Oh, Carlton Bryd’s the Golden child. What? They have no clue. Yeah. What a day for me entails. You know? And I’m like, that almost like a duck. I know that’s bad, but you see now, but those feet are paddling under that water.
So like now, you know, we’re here, we’re talking, we’re doing this podcast, but I’m planning for December of 2020. I’m looking ahead. To December of 2021, you know what I’m saying? There, there are some [00:33:00] things that are in an incubator, if you will, and they hatch later on, but they got to get in the incubator. So, you know it’s a process, but you gotta keep paddling underneath.
Kendra Arsenault: For, before we go, one last question is what has been the biggest challenge? You know, I think everyone has kind of a, a Jacob’s thigh, you know, that part of them that’s been crippled and that they now lean upon God that much more heavily. What has been the biggest challenge in your life and your career that you, it keeps you leaning upon the Lord?
Carlton Byrd: Being misunderstood, because a lot of times people project what they think on to you thinking that’s how you think. It’s like, no,
Michelle Odinma: So far,
Carlton Byrd: It’s, it’s, it’s, um, all I want to do is build a kingdom, but a lot of times it’s misunderstood, [00:34:00] but you gotta keep pressing on. You know, I tell myself all the time, the higher the level, the higher the devil. Okay. But, being misunderstood and so I can’t get muddy in that. I got to keep pressing on.
Kendra Arsenault: Thanks so much for listening in. We hope you are inspired with the message. Stay tuned for next week, where we talk with Dr. Nicholas Miller, who has a background in law and a PhD in religion as we discuss how to navigate the sticky world of faith and politics.
If you have suggestions for future episodes, please leave us a comment below. Once again, we’d like to thank our guest, Dr. Carlton Byrd and the Adventist learning community for making this program possible. If you want to keep up to date with our latest thoughts and episodes, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube at the handle Advent Next. See you next week.