My exclusive interview with Greg Paul, Author of The Twenty-Piece Shuffle, Founder of Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto.
Here’s a section from my new book, Lead with AND.
Greg Paul is a pastor and member of Sanctuary in Toronto, a ministry where the wealthy and poor share their experiences and resources daily to care for the most excluded people in the city, including addicts, prostitutes, homeless people, and street-involved Indigenous and LGTBQA2+ folks. A father of four and husband to Maggie, he is also the author of Queer Prophets, Close Enough to Hear God Breathe, The Twenty-Piece Shuffle, and God in the Alley.
Greg exemplifies the blend of curiosity, connection, and courage better than anyone I know. I was fortunate enough to interview him for my new book, Lead with AND, and learn about how he lives out these values. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.
Share your thoughts around the need to stay curious.
Curiosity is so critical. It’s not, “I changed my mind, and now this is true.” Instead, it’s a continual process of letting go of your assumptions and refining your thinking. Being truly curious allows you to free yourself from the traps of your own ego and accept that you’re not in control. This doesn’t mean you’re throwing out your belief system; it simply means you’re opening your hands with your ideas, knowing some may leave and some may stay. And if some stay, then they might even be truer than you thought.
Share your thoughts around the need to seek connection.
Language is a powerful thing. It’s important to recognize that the more you learn to hold things in tension, the more your language will shift as well. However, the language of the people you came from and who still provide a significant portion of your resources and influence will probably not change.
This means that if you want to maintain connection with your tribe and influence them in a positive way, you need to think about how you communicate with that group. There’s a place for shock and pushing the boundaries, but ultimately, your goal is to communicate effectively. You’ll find that you can express what you mean without shocking or terrifying people because of divisive language.
Share your thoughts around the need to show courage.
It’s terrifying to hit a point when the assumptions on which you’ve built your life begin to erode. It takes courage to ask yourself the question, “Do I want to stay in an environment where my ideas don’t work and are polarizing people?” It’s even scarier when you realize that it’s not as easy as letting go of one thing and grabbing onto something else; it’s letting go and not knowing where you’re going next. That’s a frightening moment!
But once you discover the fortress you built to protect yourself has actually become a prison that is keeping you from growing, you’ll see the value of leaving it behind. Breaking free is an act of faith, regardless of your belief in God.