Seven Questions with Shawn Beaty – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with Shawn Beaty

Shawn Beaty
Chairman of the Executive Board, CSBC
Shawn Beaty serves as the Lead Pastor at Clovis Hill Community Church, but these days he’s doing double duty by also serving as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the California Southern Baptist Convention. As he puts it, “I preside over the meetings, and I also lead the Executive Committee.” (The Executive Committee of the Executive Board is made up of the chair-people of all the board’s subcommittees). As a pastor, he jokes that his role is “Shepherd of 1000 cats.” Shawn is into all the outdoorsy shenanigans (hiking, climbing, snowboarding, motorcycle riding) ... In fact, Shawn just successfully climbed Mt. Whitney in one day (16 hours in total). He reports, “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m so sore and I have blisters all over, but it was an amazing accomplishment!” He and his wife Kellie are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary TODAY! (August 1, 2023) so feel empowered to send words of encouragement to the Beatys across all the platforms! Together they have 3 kids ages 20, 18 and 16.

Q: What book(s) are you currently reading?

Answer: I read a lot. I just finished reading “A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene Peterson,” by Winn Collier and it was so good. It made me tear up at certain points. Right now, I’m reading “15 New Testament Words of Life: A New Testament Theology for Real Life,” written by an awesome Indian theologian named Nijay K. Gupta, and I can already tell it’s going to be really good too.

Q: Toilet paper, under or over?

Answer: I think over is preferred. I don’t know if I’m enough of a ‘details person’ to really care but, if I go into a hotel, I want it over and folded into a nice triangle.

Q: What has been an evangelistic tactic that has worked best for you?

Answer: I would say asking the question: “What do you believe?” ... And then listening for a long time. In “Contagious Faith” I am a truth teller, but I’ve found people tend to want to hear what I have to say if they feel like I’ve listened to them. You know there’s that old adage, “People don’t care what you have to say until they know you care.” I think that’s true. I also don’t argue. Usually, they will ask the question back and that’s when I can get in a good discussion where I can say, “you know, I think a lot about God...”

Q: Do you have a favorite leadership/personality type assessment? (Ex. Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, etc…) If so, what do the results tell us about you?

Answer: You know, Enneagram has been super helpful in understanding myself better, for good and for bad and understanding my wife too. She’s a peacemaker. I also like Myers-Briggs. I’m an ENTP (extroverted, intuitive, thinking, perceiving). You can see it in my preaching. I’m constantly reading the room. I’m prepared of course, but my delivery is more about intuition...seeing how the crowd is riding with me.

Q: Tell us your best, ministry horror story?

Answer: This one time, I ended up giving a drunk homeless guy a bath. Honestly, it was pretty gross. We had an office building and this guy was covered, head to toe, in his own feces. So, we took him back and bought him new clothes. And we knew we couldn’t just put clean new clothes on him... on top of all the mess. I was angry at the man and grossed out that he’d gotten himself in this position. I’m thinking “what a wretched man this is,” and I remember the Spirit prompted me. “Yes. You are.” There’s that passage in Isaiah where he talks about our righteousness being like filthy rags and here I am, knowing this is literally what Christ does to me. I was feeling all good about myself. “Look at me, washing a homeless person...” and then I got freakishly convicted...

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Answer: “They come back every week, Shawn.”

Q: When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now, and why?

Answer: The Great I Am.... I have always been blown away by the passage in Exodus when Moses asked God what His name is and then Jesus comes back all throughout the Gospel of John with all of the I AM’s. In John 8 Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” The Pharisees knew right away what Jesus was saying. They pick up rocks to stone Him and He doesn’t even flinch. It was such a bold statement to say, “I am God.” It raises so many questions in my mind about God and His nature and the Trinity....The Great I Am. It’s so deep and so rich to me.

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