Pastor Jentezen Franklin | The Art of Storytelling, Consistently Praying with President Trump and How One Man Funded Temple University with Acres of Diamonds

Show Notes

Jentezen Franklin

The New York Times best-selling author, the Senior Pastor of Free Chapel and the man whom President Trump has asked to pray with him shares about his newest book Acres of Diamonds, what it’s like to pray with President Trump, and more

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing a New York Times best-selling author, a man who is a next-level saxophone player, keyboardist and jazz musician, a man that some Pastors refer to as the Prince of Pastors, and the senior Pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church with a global reach. Jentezen Franklin, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show, how are you sir?!
  2. God is really using you and your ministry to do big things right now, but what was your life like growing up and where did you grow up?
  3. When did you first figure out what you wanted to do professionally…and when did you decide to not become a professional jazz musician, alto/tenor saxophone player, and keyboardist?
  4. How did you start your ministry?
  5. Jentezen Franklin, When did you first feel like you were truly beginning to gain traction with your career?
  6. So you have written a new book called ACRES of DIAMONDS – Discovering God’s Best Right Where You Are…what first inspired you to write this book?
  7. Jentezen Franklin, in the advanced copy of your book that your team sent me, you write, “As I look back over thirty years in ministry, it seems as though every major challenge we faced, like launching a new campus or starting a new outreach, stretched us past our limitations. More often than not, God presented us with opportunities when we felt the least confident in our flesh.” I would love for you to share more about this with us?
  8. On page 36 of your new book ACRES of DIAMONDS you write, “What is tattered can be restored.” I would love for you to share about Steve Wynn and Picasso’s “The Dream” painting and how it relates to restoring what is tattered?
  9. Jentezen Franklin, On page 49 of your book, you quoted Albert Einstein who once famously said, “imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Why is this important for readers of ACRES of DIAMONDS to know?
  10. Jentezen two of our listeners and my clients are senior Pastors of churches with congregations of over 1,000 attendees and they had a few questions they wanted me to ask you:
  11. The Senior Pastor of HIS Church, Pastor Brian Gibson asks, “How has it been to be honored with getting to pray for the President of the United States on a consistent basis?” And how did you two first meet?
  12. The Senior Pastor of HIS Church, Pastor Brian Gibson asks – How do you balance your national platform and your local responsibilities?  
  13. Pastor Brian Gibson – I’ve noticed that your church has started to aggressively plant campuses.  What are some of the keys that you see in scaling an organization?  
  14. Pastor Brian Gibson – It seems like prayer and fasting is a life message for you. How did this become such a key part of your ministry? 
  15. The Senior Pastor of The Roads Church, Pastor Chad Everett asks, “What has helped you the most in sermon preparation? How has that changed for you years?  When do you have your sermons ready?…essentially what is your process for writing your sermons?”
  16. The Senior Pastor of The Roads Church, Pastor Chad Everett asks, “What do you feel like is the best way to develop the leadership in your church?
  17. The Senior Pastor of The Roads Church, Pastor Chad Everett asks, “What does your weekly schedule look like from day to day? What days are you off?

 

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Audio Transcription

Facebook Post Pastor Jentezen Franklin Thrivetime Show

Host:
On today’s show, the New York Times best selling author, the senior pastor of Free Chapel and the man whom President Trump has personally asked to pray with him on a consistent basis, joins us to share about the art of storytelling, praying with the president and how one man funded Temple University with acres of diamonds. Ladies and gentlemen, you are going to love today’s interview with Pastor Jentezen Franklin.

Jentezen Franklin:
… and the audience is there and you know you need to have content on top of that. It’s not just information in ministry it’s inspiration. And ultimately you’re working for transformation, you know, on a higher level that only God’s dimension can take it to. If you can just kind of tell things in a story form it has a way of pulling people in. And I guess the thing that touched me was that man who flung himself into that river in desperation, never even realized that everything he was looking for was right under his nose.

Jentezen Franklin:
He was living in acres of diamonds and didn’t know it. He has an eye disease, Steve Wynn. And so sometimes it affects his equilibrium and he stumbled and when he stumbled on this day, he lost his balance and his arm went through $139 billion painting and he ripped it. He tore the dream to pieces.

Host:
How did you and the president first meet?

Jentezen Franklin:
I was invited to Trump Tower when he was a candidate, he had not even won the Republican primaries. I was invited with 14 other faith leaders and I’ll speak for myself I had no intentions of supporting him. He was not my choice. Everything the President promised us he has done and more and it’s been an amazing journey to see.

Narrator:
Some shows don’t need a celebrity narrator to introduce a show, but this show does. Two men, eight kids, co-created by two different women, 13 multimillion dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, to the ThriveTime Show.

Host:
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Thrive Nation on today’s show, we are interviewing a New York Times best selling author and a man who is a next level saxophone player, keyboardist and jazz musician. A man that some pastors now refer to as the Prince of pastors and the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a multi-campus church with a global reach. Jentezen Franklin, welcome onto the ThriveTime Show. How are you sir?

Jentezen Franklin:
Hey, I’m doing great. Thank you. Good to be here.

Host:
Man, I am so excited to have you on the show because I actually have coached a lot of pastors over the years to help them grow their campuses and their churches and many of them are big fans of yours, my friend. It’s just awesome to have you right here on the ThriveTime Show. Thank you so much for having your team reach out and schedule this interview.

Jentezen Franklin:
Wow, thank you. That’s quite an honor.

Host:
Well, I got to ask, you’ve done big things now obviously, but tell me, didn’t you start off as a jazz musician, wasn’t that your full time goal at one point to be a professional jazz musician?

Jentezen Franklin:
That’s correct. You know, actually I had a full ride scholarship to play the sax and I was in my second year and my dream in life was to be a musician. I wanted to play my sax for a living. I still play now a lot and it is a part of what I do, but God had a different plan and kind of took me into the other side of ministry. It’s funny how life goes that way. But yeah, it’s always been a passion. I love music and love jazz particularly.

Host:
When did you first decide that you wanted to branch out and to hop into ministry?

Jentezen Franklin:
Well, I don’t feel like I decided it. I felt like there was unseen hand kind of guiding my life. But I was in the second year of college and I just knew that I knew that I knew that God was wanting me to preach and I felt so intimidated by it. I was terrified at the thought of public speaking. I was basically shy. I was bold with a horn in my hand, I felt like I could own that stage with that, but to get up and try to speak, it was the most intimidating thing and a fear just gripped me. I really had to overcome that. God had to really build my confidence, my self esteem. And it’s been an interesting journey for sure.

Host:
When did you look up and realize that, Hey, I’m kind of getting good at this? Or when did you feel like you were first starting to gain traction?

Jentezen Franklin:
It’s really something, public speaking. You do get more confident about it, but it will bring out every insecurity in you, especially when you’re preaching to thousands of people, and the audience is there and you need to have content on top of that. It’s not just the information and in ministry, it’s inspiration. And ultimately you’re working for transformation, you know, on a higher level that only God’s dimension can take it to. And so there’s a lot of dynamics to that.

Jentezen Franklin:
But communication, I think for me, my greatest gift is I’m a storyteller. I love stories. I love illustration. I’m always… I see life that way. When I read a book or I read the Bible, I hear it as a story. And that’s really one of the greatest ways, I have to keep it kind of simple, but if you can just kind of tell things in a story form, it has a way of pulling people in.

Host:
You are a very skilled writer. You’ve worked at your craft for years and recently you’ve written a new book called Acres of Diamonds, Discovering God’s Best Right Where You Are. And what first inspired you to write this book?

Jentezen Franklin:
Well, it’s an incredible story. I mean, this is one of my favorite stories. I got a hold of it maybe 15 years ago and it changed, you know, the best books come out of not just something that you’re writing, but when you’ve lived it and you’ve experienced it. And this story that was written by a man by the name of Russell Conwell, he lived in the 1800’s. He went to the Middle East, he was touring. He had an air guide who at night at the campfire, would tell stories, and he told this true story and he took this story, put it in a booklet. It’s not a Christian story or religious story, it’s just a story. He put it in a booklet and it sold 7 million copies in the 1800’s.

Host:
Wow.

Jentezen Franklin:
He gave the speech about it 6,000 times and he took the resources from the book and the speeches, and he founded Temple University in Pennsylvania, in Philly, and there’s 40,000 students there. It all came from this story. I can tell it in two or three minutes, but here’s the bottom line on it. I’m going to really summit up, but there was a man in South Africa by the name of Ali Hafed. He was a farmer. He had an ox, a plow, and some acreage and a cabin and a little family, and one day he got discontent. He decided to sell the farm because he had heard that they were discovering diamonds in India and he hugged his little wife goodbye and said, when I come back, we’ll be fabulously wealthy. I’m going to find those diamonds. He went to India, never found them, ended up in Europe, never found them, spent all of his money, jumped into a raging river in Spain and took his own life and he wrote a note to his wife saying, there are no diamonds anywhere.

Jentezen Franklin:
Now here’s where it gets amazing. The man who bought the farm took the same plow, the same ox, the same fields, and as he was plowing, he kept digging up these black rocks. They were everywhere. He would throw them to the side and there where piles and piles, and sure enough, he had them checked out and they were diamonds in the rough.

Host:
Wow.

Jentezen Franklin:
The discovery of the world’s largest diamond mine in the history of the world, the famous Golconda diamond mines, where the Queen of England gets all of her diamonds and all of the royalty of Europe. And I guess the thing that touched me was that man who flung himself into that river in desperation never even realized that everything he was looking for was right under his nose. He was living in acres of diamonds and didn’t know it.

Jentezen Franklin:
And I guess the thing that touched me was that man who flung himself into that river in desperation never even realized that everything he was looking for was right under his nose. He was living in acres of diamonds and didn’t know it.

Jentezen Franklin:
And I think that’s so true with our own lives, that we look and we say, if I had that marriage or if I had that job. In the Instagram society we see the perfect picture of some people’s lives and we say, if I had that instead of what I’ve got and we fail to appreciate where we are right now and the potential of the job and the place and the opportunity that God gives you where you are.

Host:
Loving your book, on page 36 you tell the story of Steve Wynn, the famous Las Vegas commercial real estate investor. And you talk about his purchase of the Picasso painting. Can you share that story briefly, because I love your… Your book is so applicable even for non-believers because in your book you reference Einstein and Steve Wynn and a lot of, you know, Picasso. Tell the listeners the story about Steve Wynn and that Picasso painting.

Jentezen Franklin:
He’d be in all the beautiful hotels in Vegas and he had a love for art. And so he bought that Picasso painting called Le Reve, which means The Dream in French. And he hung it in the lobby of his beautiful hotel. And one day after he’d had it… He bought it for 50 million dollars, five years later an investment banker offered him 139 million, that’s a pretty good profit from 50 million to 139 million dollars. So he decided to sell it. He was going to have a big party, he invited all of the big wheels and the wealthy of the wealthiest in to say goodbye to The Dream because he had emotional attachment. He tells how it represented his life, that all he had was a dream when he started. And so, he’s really emotionally attached to it.

Jentezen Franklin:
He was going to say goodbye. He had the painting brought out on an easel and he has an eye disease, Steve Wynn, sometimes it affects his equilibrium and he stumbled and when he stumbled on this day, he lost his balance and his arm went through the 139 million dollar painting and he ripped it. He tore The Dream to pieces and of course the investor said, I’m not paying 139 billion dollars for that. It’s trash. It’s no good. I withdraw my offer. But Steve Wynn found an artist that could repair it. He flew him over on his private jet. It took him one year of living in Vegas to restore it. And the amazing thing is after that one year, it was so perfectly restored that the same man who said that is trash and it’s worthless, offered him 155 million dollars. Now it’s worth 18 million dollars more than it was before it, The Dream, was torn and destroyed.

Jentezen Franklin:
And sometimes we think the stuff that we go through, the tearing of our lives, the [inaudible 00:12:14], just the devastating, tough seasons of life are going to destroy us. But really if we put them in God’s hands and even if we submit and not give up, we actually become more valuable, not less. I think that’s an amazing story, never give up on your dream.

Jentezen Franklin:
The amazing thing about diamonds is all a diamond is carbon and it’s atoms and that bond that caused it to become a diamond. And the reason they bond is because they have to be under intense heat and pressure. And sometimes we’d run from job to job, from relationship to relationship, opportunity to opportunity because when it gets heated and the pressure’s on, we want an easier life.

Host:
You know, when I think about somebody who’s pushed through immense pressure in route to building something great, I think about Pastor Brian Gibson, the founding pastor of HIS Church, he was once a drug addict and yet now he’s the pastor of a church that’s expanding and growing. The HIS Church is his church that he and his wife Jessi run together. And he’s the one who actually first introduced me to you. I wasn’t familiar with your teaching and your preaching before Pastor Brian Gibson first told me of you. And he is a big fan of yours, reads your books and he wanted me to ask you, what’s it like to physically pray with the… To be in the physical presence of the President of the United States and to pray with him on a regular basis?

Jentezen Franklin:
It’s a very, very humbling thing. And it’s also something that I feel like God has required that of me and this season and I’m very honored to do it. One thing I appreciate about the President is he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not. He does believe in Christ. And every time that we meet with him, the last thing he’ll do is say, would you pray for me? I need your prayers. And there’s something refreshing about that and powerful. I’ve seen God do things through this president. You know a lot of people, I know our nasion is divided. Some people hate him, some people love him, but God loves him. And I think that we all should pray for him. And God’s using a lot of people that seem unusual. I think of what God’s doing with Kanye.

Host:
You are absolutely right. The music he’s putting out right now is game changing. And for those of you out there who have yet to hear Kanye West’s new music, Oh, let me, let me just play an excerpt for you from the Sunday Service, Kanye West’s choir that he’s organized and directed. It is game changing.

Jentezen Franklin:
You know, you just can’t put God in a box. You can’t say he only uses people like this. [inaudible 00:15:50] used to do some pretty amazing things in this nation.

Host:
How did you and the president first meet?

Jentezen Franklin:
I was invited to Trump Tower when he was a candidate. He had not even won the Republican primaries and I was invited with 14 other faith leaders.

Host:
Wow.

Jentezen Franklin:
Major leaders, people of a lot of influence, some Baptist, some other denominations, but we’ve never come together for anything and President Trump, he saw the need of pulling us together and he got us all together. And I’ll speak for myself, I had no intention of supporting him. He was not my choice. But after that meeting, we walked out of there and we all knew he was going to be president. It was so evident. He stood up and he said, I don’t get you people. He said, you evangelicals are the largest voting block in the nation, but you don’t get together for nothing.

Jentezen Franklin:
And we just kind of looked at each other across the table realizing we never get together for nothing. And in that moment, after we heard his heart and he said, I won’t let you down, I’ll be pro life. I’ll fight for our border to be secure and compassion for the dreamers. And I’ll do what I can do to make this nation great. And make God great in America again. We all walked out of there stunned and that was the beginning. And one thing led to another and everything the president promised us he has done and more. And it’s been an amazing journey to see.

Host:
You are such a… If anybody takes the time to look you up on YouTube and watch one of your sermons, you’re so well prepared. And one of our listeners, Pastor Chad Everett at The Roads Church, he has a church of over a thousand people and he wanted me to ask you, what helps you most in the sermon preparation process? Like what does your process look like for preparing to deliver a sermon?

Jentezen Franklin:
Well, I try to get ahead I don’t like to have like, for example, Sunday’s always coming for me it’s like an oral exam every six day. So I try to get at least three sermons ahead. Three talks ahead. If you don’t prepare, I don’t think you just get up and wing it on a wing and a prayer. But God uses people who’ll prepare and amazing things happen when you’re prepared and opportunity comes along.

Host:
So you stay ahead, three or four sermons ahead, and you actually take the time to type out the sermon word for word and then read through it three times?

Jentezen Franklin:
I do. I actually hand write it. I’m old school. I’ve never had a pad fail me.

Host:
Really?

Jentezen Franklin:
So I still write them out and then my secretary will put them on the computer and stuff. But I write them out because for me, if I write it, I’ve got it. Everybody has to find your little niche and stuff. But in communication I have to write it down. You and I could talk and if I really wanted to get some things from you, we could talk. But I know me, I get busy and I’ll miss a lot of that. But if I write it down, I’ve got it. I’ll remember it. Something about me writing-

Host:
Love that.

Jentezen Franklin:
… that helps me to retain.

Host:
I love the fact that you write it out and you go over it three times out loud. That is just so, that speaks to the level of preparation you put in.

Jentezen Franklin:
From beginning to end. So sometimes I’m walking through the woods and I’m preaching to pine cones and I’m preaching to squirrels and I’m preaching to trees.

Host:
Nice.

Jentezen Franklin:
But one thing about it when I get up… And then you have to set yourself free. Once you’ve studied, once you’ve done everything you know to do, you’ve prayed… For me, preparation includes spiritual and getting my mind right because he head talks to head, but heart talks to heart. And that’s what communicators have to realize, make it personal at some point. Not meaning you got to tell personal stories, but what you have lived and what you have experienced. That’s the part you’ll communicate. You may speak above what you know, but you only communicate what you’ve lived.

Host:
That’s good. That’s good. I have two final questions and I’ll let you get back to doing great things. You’re a very proactive person and so I’m curious, how do you start the first hour of your day? How do you start your day? What does your morning routine look like during that first hour of each day?

Jentezen Franklin:
Well, I mean that’s an interesting question. So the mornings I block off because I believe in body, soul, and spirit. So I’m a runner. I love to run. I usually run four miles a day and that’s my time. I have to have it. It’s my… I listen to music sometimes and I’ll go run. I have a place where I go to run and that is my place where I just, I don’t know, it just distresses me. It feels wonderful when I’m done with it. It keeps me going.

Host:
Well I appreciate your time so much. I know you’re a busy guy with so much going on and I do appreciate you praying for our president. I don’t care what side of the aisle people are on. I think it’s awesome to pray for our leaders and I just again, thank you so much for taking the time and for also investing the time and writing your new book, Acres of Diamonds. I hope you have a great rest of your day, sir.

Jentezen Franklin:
Thank you.

Host:
That guy is just such a source of wisdom. I wish I could have interviewed him for hours and hours and hours. That’s Jentezen Franklin right there an unbelievable pastor and the guy that President Trump has asked to personally come to the White House and pray for him. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for Pastor Jentezen Franklin. If you have yet to purchase a copy of his new book, Acres of Diamonds, pick up the book today wherever books are sold. Go to Amazon right now and pick up the book Acres of Diamonds. Pick up the book. In fact, I’m going to buy a copy of the book right now and then I’m going to have a DayQuil because my allergies are absolutely getting me today and now without any further ado, let’s end this thing with a boom. Three, two, one, boom.

Speaker 3:
There have always been people who don’t believe. They don’t believe in hard work. They don’t believe in responsibility. Ultimately, they don’t believe in themselves. They believe in shortcuts. In luck. They believe that outside circumstances control who succeeds and who doesn’t. It’s just the luck of the draw. But you, you are not one of these people. You believe that no matter what your circumstances tell you, success is still possible. And you accept this responsibility because you want to achieve something great and you’re hungry for it. You chase it from the moment your eyes open in the early morning. You chase it into all hours of the night when others have given up, when others have said that it couldn’t be done. You’ve kept pushing because you believe that success is not a game of chance. Success is a choice, a choice that you make every single day. That’s what you believe.

Speaker 4:
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