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Pastoring and Guiding People in Their Spiritual Journey with Justin Kendrick

Pastoring and Guiding People in Their Spiritual Journey with Justin Kendrick

by | Mar 21, 2022 | Q&A

As human beings, it’s natural for us to want to be happy and successful. We work hard to achieve our goals and dreams to give ourselves the life we always wanted. We strive to build good and loving relationships in order to feel comfort in the company of others. However, we must realize that genuine success and happiness can only be obtained from a definite source— God’s love for us.

In this episode, we are joined by Justin Kendrick, the lead pastor in Vox Church, to talk about the ups and downs of leading a ministry through a pandemic and everyday life. He also shares how practicing and prioritizing his faith has made him a better leader and person.  Justin also tells us about his new book, Bury Your Ordinary. The book talks about how we can turn acts of obligation into acts of love and encourage growth into our own spiritual journey. 

If you want to find out how your faith can make a difference in your capability and mindset as a leader, then this episode is for you.

About Justin

Justin Kendrick is the lead pastor for Vox Church. Vox Church is a ministry founded in 2011, in New England, Connecticut, and has since expanded to multiple states. The church’s core values include putting Jesus at the center, being intentional with growing a community, and sharing the gospel. 

If you’d like to reach out to Justin, you can contact him on Vox Church’s website, or through his social media accounts: Facebook l Instagram

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
  1. Learn how to connect to God amidst the noises of everyday life.
  2. Understand leadership from a spiritual perspective.
  3. Discover how an honest portrayal of self can change the way you lead.



Episode Highlights

[03:09] People’s First Impressions Of Justin

  • Growing up in a culturally Catholic area in New England, people didn’t know what becoming a pastor meant. Many are surprised upon finding out that Justin is married with children.
  • When he’s traveling outside of New England, Justin encounters unique conversations with people trying to prove their faith to him. 
  • Some people do not favor Justin being a pastor due to their previous experience with the church. 
  • It disarms some people when he agrees with them. 

[06:24] Difference between being a Pastor and a Shepherd

  • In the Bible, these two words are used interchangeably to describe a leader in the church in a governmental way. 
  • Shepherding or pastoring means guiding someone along their spiritual journey towards Jesus. 
  • Being a pastor means living out your convictions to people; from your flaws to your successes. 
  • As a pastor, Justin recognizes that living out his most honest version of himself disarms and helps people. The journey of God’s Grace is transformative. 

 [10:30] Vox Church and its Origin 

  • New England is historically known as the least churched region in the United States over the last 75 years. 
  • The Vox Church’s name comes from John 5:25. Despite our disconnection from God, we can hear His voice to our inner selves and we come alive.
  • The Vox Church’s prayer for the past 10 years is to transform New England into the most spiritually vibrant place on Earth. 
  • The community started small in New Haven, and then expanded to nine different locations across New England and Connecticut, Massachusetts. 
  • The intentional community paradigm is following Jesus’ mission — radically loving and living their most honest and imperfect life together. 

[15:22] Challenges of a Growing Church

  • Justin spent eight years in a traveling ministry before he planted the Vox church. 
  • One of the most critical things they did at the start is knowing who they were and what they stood for. The values they adhere to consist of: the centrality of Jesus in the Gospel, intentional community, and the healthy heart of their mission. 
  • They embodied and practiced these values, and the same culture replicated among their church. 

[20:53] What keeps Justin Grounded

  • There are two sides to the issue: the side of the heart and the side of the practical guardrails. 
  • One of the most important pieces of advice he got from a fellow pastor is that when the leader sees themselves as a celebrity, it is the beginning of the end.
  • Justin admits he doesn’t resolve the issue perfectly, but he resolves it by asking himself what he can pull apart from the false narrative of having  superiority over others.
  • We must always surround ourselves with people who will speak the truth. Having a board of directors to hold him accountable helps Justin grow in his leadership.
  • Justin talks about the importance of being intentional with the condition of our heart to help ourselves stay grounded. 

[30:24] Serving Amid a Pandemic

  • Justin considers the pandemic the great revealer — enabling everyone to see what was on the inside.
  • When the pandemic hit, the church had to go into a new mode of trying to serve people, but it was not without challenges. 
  • Despite their attendance falling apart due to the pandemic, they continued to serve. The church family in their hearts grew stronger because of it. 

[35:43] Tips of Encouragement For Struggling Leaders

  • The biggest gift you can give to your organization is a healthy soul.
  • Having centeredness in health internally reflects what you can do to help externally. 
  • Accepting our limitations can help us thrive within the sphere of influence and grace we have been given. 
  • Stop overextending beyond what you are given and being something you are not.

[39:17] Bury your Ordinary: Why and When It was Written

  • Comfort is an internal reality and then an external state. Bury Your Ordinary challenges its readers to define what comfort means to them.
  • The book was written over 20 years while answering the question of what true comfort is — which ultimately, is Jesus. 
  • The book’s premise is how you can develop habits that can point your heart to knowing Jesus more. 
  • Doing these habits out of love and not obligation leads to genuine happiness and fulfillment.

[42:50] The Writing Process

  • Justine considers himself a writer on a journey.
  • He has written books and songs in the past, and has noticed that since he now knows the voice of his book, his writing process has sped up. 
  • His book was the product of asking himself the question, “What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus?”
  • Writing a book doesn’t have to be painful. Justin shares that writing his book was grace and his next book, currently in the editing process, was easier.

[47:00] Quiet Time of Stillness and the Aspect of Sabbath

  • If you want to seek intentional direction, it’s necessary to take time and be still. The first habit is dedicating the first hour of your day to being alone and seeking God. 
  • Set a day for Sabbath: Pause your normal day to take time resting and worshiping God.
  • Justin practiced and prioritized his habits for 15 years before he became a pastor. 

[53:42] Justin’s Final Thoughts

  • Any problem you are facing can be traced back to an inaccurate view of God. An inaccurate view of God leads to an inaccurate view of self.
  • Accept your flaws and broken parts and realize that God cares for you and knows you.
  • God’s love is an anchor for your soul. Death and chaos will approach you, but with His love, you can withstand anything.

[59:03] Seek, Go, Create

  • Across America, we are in a seek moment. It is the moment to seek the Holy Spirit for His power and a moment to seek God and start our spiritual awakening.

5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

[12:20] The spiritually dead, every one of us that has an innate desire for God, but a disconnection from him, because of our brokenness, because of our sinfulness, now with God’s Grace can be reborn, we can hear His voice, we can experience that mystery of regeneration where God whispers to our inner man, and we come alive. And we live.

[18:50] And so for us organizationally, this is something we embodied, practiced, again not perfect, but even in our imperfection, we were exposed, we were honest with our leaders, and with our team, And that culture, because it had language, and it had representation, the culture replicated.

[23:57] The church doesn’t advance from success to success, the church advances from sacrifice to sacrifice. If you want to be part of this movement, it’s going to mean self-death, it’s going to mean coming low so that God can bring you high.

[34:41] I do think that in every great tragedy, there is a divine opportunity … God often uses these catalytic tragedies to draw people back to heaven.  

[56:45] You can stand perfect before God forever simply by trusting in Christ.

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