How to Be at Your Best in 2020. #3: Conquer Your Insecurity

by Dan Zimbardi

We are continuing in our series on How to Be at Your Best in 2020. What is your one thing?

Number three: Insecurity

If you struggle with insecurity, then this needs to be the year that your insecurities submit to your identity in Christ.

Big idea: The antidote for insecurity is identity.

The antidote for your insecurities is a right and accurate understanding of your identity in Christ. Speaking from my insecurities, but also from working with so many people over the years—insecurity is crippling. It is a barrier to having a simple conversation. It’s a barrier to using your gifts. It’s a barrier to being all who God has made you to be.

The reality is that so often, God is trying to move through us, but it’s our
insecurities that stop the process.

God is doing things through us to impact the lives of other people and can’t because we think we are not good enough, smart enough, or righteous enough. “No one wants to hear from me.” This is the voice of the enemy continuing to drill into our heads that we are not enough.

I’m not suggesting that we need high self-esteem or high self-confidence. I actually think the path forward for all of us is no esteem, no confidence, and no self. It’s a right and sincere belief and understanding of my identity in Christ and Christ that is in me. When I do good things, it’s because of Christ, that is in me. When someone has a very firm and strong belief in what is good about themselves, it is because Jesus is in them, and they don’t tank when they blow it. They don’t tank when they underperform. They don’t tank when they don’t get picked. Because what matters in life is the fact that Jesus has them, and he is in them.

I want you to imagine for a second if we were able to take all the insecurity out of ourselves. Pick it up and pull it out and set it to the side to be gone forever. Just try to imagine for a moment what God would do to our church, our communities, our home, and our families if these insecurities went away and were replaced by who we are in Christ.

The question for you if you think insecurity is the thing that you’re going to work on all year long:

Question: What are my insecurities? Name your insecurities. Write it down, journal it, and pray over it. Talk about it. Call it by name.

Action: Memorized a verse from the Word of God. Begin rejecting the lies the enemy is telling you by stating the truth. And the truth comes from the Word of God. If you are a person who thinks, “If people knew what I’ve done, they wouldn’t love me. Or the lie that no one cares, or I’m just not good enough. I’m not ____________ enough.” Whatever that insecurity is, start rejecting it with the truth. That becomes how you reject this lie. Because there’s a voice that speaks to you. Many of you know that voice it’s not the voice of God. So, reject the lies of the enemy by stating the truth.


Next Post: How to Be at Your Best in 2020. #4: Grow up 

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Pastor Dan Zimbardi has been the Executive Pastor of Sandals Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, for the past eight years. Dan spent twenty-two years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive and has worked with some of the most dynamic brands in the world, including Google, Nike, and Burton Snowboards. Dan’s passion is to train and develop leaders both in ministry and the marketplace.

How to Be at Your Best in 2020. #2: Self Awareness

By Dan Zimbardi

What is your one thing?

We are continuing to talk about identifying what’s the one thing that we need to work on this year to be at our best at work and home. Number one was healing—for some of us, the one thing is deep personal healing. See that post here. 

Today we will talk about number two. Subscribe here, so you don’t miss any of the next four posts.

This is a big one. 

Number two: Self-Awareness. 

For some of us, we need to grow in self-awareness. A lot of that starts with awakening to how people experience you.

Here’s the big idea:

A self-aware person understands how people experience them.

There is a reality that some of you are genuinely asleep to yourself. You are not aware of how others experience you, how you present yourself consistently, how you relate to people, and how you interact with some folks. If you don’t have the influence you want at work, especially if you don’t feel like you have the influence that you deserve and if you say, “I’m just not being recognized,” there’s a chance you are struggling with self-awareness. Perhaps this is the thing that you need to work on this year.

 It starts by making adjustments to how you connect with people. A self-aware person understands how people experience them. A self-aware person is “relationally agile.” They understand how a group of people is experiencing them, and they make adjustments. They are able to recognize when they are running everyone over in a meeting or over-talking and realize they need to be quiet or just listen. They understand when they are too firm or too strong. Sometimes it is because they see the person they are addressing wince. Growth is recognizing the wince for what it is—a sign that they are too harsh. There is such a critical correlation to your self-awareness and the influence you have. It is not just at work; it’s in your life.

If you lack self-awareness, you likely have a diminished influence
at work, home, 
and in your community.  

If you think growing in self-awareness is the thing that you need to work on this year, here’s the question I want you to process: 

Question: Do I have the influence I want at work and in my relationships?

Action: Ask the people around you – How do you experience me? 

This is a tough question, and I want to encourage you if your plan to pursue this, ask the truth-tellers in your life. Maybe they can even speak to what they understand about how other people experience you. We all have blind spots by nature, and we can’t always see these things in our self. If you want to grow to be more of an influencer of people you have to grow in self-awareness.

Next Post: Number three – Insecurity.


Pastor Dan Zimbardi has been the Executive Pastor of Sandals Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, for the past eight years. Dan spent twenty-two years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive and has worked with some of the most dynamic brands in the world, including Google, Nike, and Burton Snowboards. Dan’s passion is to train and develop leaders both in ministry and the marketplace.

One Thing – How to Be at Your Best in 2020 by Dan Zimbardi

My Hope and prayer are that you and I would be at our best both at home and work in 2020. I want to share with you this idea about identifying the one thing that we need to work on this year to be at our best. 

This one thing idea came from Jim Cofield and Rich Plass from Crosspoint Ministries. They came out and visited with us a couple of years ago to train our team on the Enneagram. At one point in the session, Rich said that we should find one thing and work on it for the next two or three years. I thought to myself, “that is ridiculous.” By the end of the two-day session, I was convinced that these guys are onto something when it comes to the most profound challenges in our life. Working through these deep challenges takes time, and it’s a journey. 

They got me thinking about this “one thing” idea. 

I am certain there are more that I could have chosen, but I have six things I want you to process through. As you go through all six posts, take notes on what you think the one thing might be. You can be sure, or it can be an inkling. Either way, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what that one thing is. 

I believe God is going to do extraordinary things in our lives and our ministries this year.

Today we will talk about number one. Subscribe here so you don’t miss any of the next five posts.

#1: Healing

For some of us, the one thing is deep personal healing. 

Here’s the big idea: 

The greatest barrier to your greatest self is a lack of healing from your greatest wound.

I want to talk a little bit about the word sanctification. A simple way to describe this fancy Christian word is: becoming more like Jesus. Sanctification is becoming more like Jesus, and so often we think about becoming more like Jesus in terms of virtues, being more kind, more loving, more patient, more generous, more compassionate, etc. When we think about becoming more like Jesus, we think about growing in these virtues, and that’s true. What is often missing in our thoughts and even in our teaching is:

Becoming more like Jesus is also about finding healing. 

There are parts of us that struggle in everyday life because we have not healed from a very deep wound. As we go through the process of healing, we will become more virtuous. We will become less angry and, therefore, more kind. We will become less self-centered and, therefore, more compassionate and so on. So we must go through this process of healing. For many of us, our greatest wound happened before we were ten years old. There’s a reality that, for many of us, we are currently going through a challenging season because there’s a real deep wound that happened when we were children. 

I was away with my wife, Lori, a couple of weeks ago seeing a counselor, and he asked us that first day to share our story. And at some point, he asked this pointed question:

“What’s your wound?” 

For me, I knew right away. When I was about six years old, I walked into my parent’s bedroom in Plainview, New York, out in Long Island, and I remember seeing a cardboard box on the table. My dad was putting his folded socks into this cardboard box. That memory burned in my mind symbolizes his departure from my life. My dad left us, and for the rest of his life, he was absent from mine. There was a huge ripple effect that happened when he left. It was the 1970’s. My mom was young and didn’t have an education or a trade. She stayed home to raise my brother and me. She immediately went to work to support us working three jobs to make ends meet so we would have a roof over our heads. She was and still is an incredible woman. Because she was gone most of the time, my brother and I had to figure out how to take care of ourselves. We were often left alone. I can remember my mom being gone in the mornings when I would wake up. My brother went to a different school that started earlier than mine. So I would get myself ready and walk across the street to Mr. and Mrs. Huff’s house. The Huffs were a kind older couple. To this day I don’t know if my mom had made an arrangement with the Huffs, or if they just took me in each morning out of their goodness.  They would feed me breakfast before I would walk alone through the woods to school each day. Then I would walk home alone to an empty house. I learned to be independent and self-sufficient. 

But ultimately, through this discovery process, I learned that I was dealing with abandonment. That struck me because I would never have said, “Hey, you know I deal with abandonment issues.” The counselor went on to show me ways that the abandonment from 40 years ago manifests itself in my behaviors and bad thinking today. This has set me on this journey of healing. I need to go through it so that I can improve my thinking, some of my behaviors, and how I relate to people that are closest to me. I want you to think about where you need to focus on healing from a deep wound that is causing you to stumble or struggle or to have difficulties in your everyday life and your most important relationships.

For each of the six points, I am going to give a question and an action. These will help you process through what you are going to work on in 2020.

Question: What is my deepest wound?  

If, when reading this, you knew the answer immediately and it still hurts today, or the holy spirit is speaking to you now, maybe healing is the thing that you need to pursue.

Action: Start telling your story. 

I’m not suggesting you tell your story to everyone, but say it to the right people—mature people who love you and care for you. 


Next Post: One Thing – How to be Your Best in 2020: Number Two – Self Awareness


Pastor Dan Zimbardi has been the Executive Pastor of Sandals Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, for the past eight years. Dan spent twenty-two years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive and has worked with some of the most dynamic brands in the world; including Google, Nike, and Burton Snowboards. Dan’s passion is to train and develop leaders both in ministry and the marketplace.

The Doors Kept Opening: Meet Nancy Marthedal

In our final week of preparations to launch our Sandals Church Fresno campus, we want to introduce you to a few of the devoted members of New Life Community Church as we honor them and ask God to multiply their faithfulness.

Meet Nancy.

I have been at New Life Community Church since 1970 when I was a sophomore in high school. The last three years have been a little bit rough for us. We had several pastors come and go. Our last one left over a year and a half ago. We were asking God what was next four us as we were considering getting another pastor, but that didn’t seem like the best option. We started praying. We heard about some churches partnering with other churches and knew of a church in Fresno that had a satellite location and thought about talking to them. My daughter, Anna, had attended Sandals Church when she was in Southern California, so she emailed Ron McCoy from the ROGO Foundation. When started talking with Ron, it was pretty exciting.

I am one of those people who is pretty passionate. So the thought of moving forward in a direction where God was going to be here and move and we could be a beacon in our community was thrilling to my heart.

I have worked with the Washington Union Fellowship of Christian Athletes for quite some time. We have 160 kids coming to lunch every week, and most aren’t plugged in at a church. At New Life, we didn’t have something for them. We had a youth group, and they were awesome, but we needed more. Someone be able to connect with the kids, help them be more loved, be more discipled, learn more about Jesus, and help them develop their relationship with Christ.

From the beginning, I was very hopeful that merging with Sandals Church
would be what God’s plans were for us.

He put it in my head and heart before we had the last Pastor that maybe joining another church was a good option for us. The minute we started talking to Ron, it was like, “Okay, God, is this it?” Our little church Council leadership group had prayed that the doors would either be flown wide-open or slammed shut. We did have a couple of those slam shuts along the way, which was extremely difficult, but we knew God was leading us. The doors to Sandals Church kept being opened and opened, and so as it drew closer, we thought we were going to be a yes. We keep hanging on and moving forward as they kept asking more questions and wanting to know more about us, which to me, was wonderful. I thought, If they want to know more about us, then they are serious about us becoming a Sandals Church.

When it became apparent that it was going to happen, it was overwhelming to me, so I am so thrilled
that we could bring Christ in a real and authentic way to our community.


Sandals Church Fresno launches February 16th at 9:00 am with a second service at 10:30 am.

It All Started With an Email: Meet Anna Campbell

I was born and raised in Fresno, California. I moved to Southern California to attend Azusa Pacific University and after I graduated, I lived in Riverside and started attending Sandals Church. Sandals was relatively small at that time, and we met in the gym at Cal Baptist University. I loved attending Sandals Church. It was a big part of young adult life and made a real difference. I had a dear friend at Sandals Church named Scarlett, who I’ve continued in relationship with for these last 15 years or so.

“After I moved back home to Fresno, I said the two things that I missed about being in Southern California are Scarlett and Sandals Church.”

About two years ago, our pastor chose to move on. We tried to find a new one, but it was challenging to find somebody who was a jack of all trades. We wanted someone who’s a really good speaker, a really good lover of people, and a really great leader and good administrator, and so to find somebody good at all of those things was difficult. So we just have not had great luck. We were without a pastor, without any leadership and so our church council talked about where do we go from here? Scarlett mentioned that I should reach out to Ron from the Sandals Church ROGO Foundation. 

I sent Ron an email, and I wrote:

“I know this is probably crazy. I know that we’re far away but I’ve heard Pastor Matt talk about how God has given him this vision for 500 churches. I know you haven’t gone outside of the Inland Empire yet and although Fresno is far, it’s not actually that far in the grand scheme of things. So, is there any chance that this might be a possibility?” 

And I expected him to write back and be like, “Oh, that’s a cute idea, thanks but no thanks” But he wrote back and said, “I’d love to talk to you.” My heart skipped a beat. When I left Southern California, I just had this hole in my heart for Scarlett and Sandals Church. I just have wanted to share the vision of sandals Church of being real and bring it here. And so then when it was like, “Oh, that could be an option that really could happen!”

I think that the vision of being real could transform Easton, Fresno, the Central Valley. It is a diverse place. There’s a lot of tough stuff here. Life is difficult, not that it isn’t everywhere, but I think that sometimes people don’t feel free to be who they are. I believe that this vision of authenticity, hopefully, will allow people to do that and to be that into really allow God to infiltrate our lives here and make a change to bringing light to the darkness.

“I think there’s no limit to what God could do here and I can’t wait to see what he does.”


Last Post: Multiplying Their Faithfulness: Meet David Chavez

In A Church Merger Both Churches Bring Something to the Table 

In every church merger, there is a lead church and a joining church. Both churches are significant to the kingdom of God, regardless of size. They both bring something unique and valuable to the table to make the merger a long term success. 

The lead church brings vision, strategy, resources, and a proven ministry model. All of these things work together under the strong leadership of the lead church. Any one of these alone is not enough to make a church thrive. 

Both churches are significant to the Kingdom of God, regardless of size.

The joining church typically brings a core group of committed Christ-followers who understand and reflect the heartbeat of the local community. They bring an asset or a building that, with updating and repair, can serve that community well. 

Both churches bring key attributes to the table that combined created a thriving church that will impact their local community with the Gospel. And in a way that only God can, He uses the unique gifting of each person, and the resources available so that when the two churches successfully become one, God is glorified and people meet Jesus. It is a win for both churches and certainly a victory for the Kingdom of God.


Last post: Empathy is Key to Walking the Church Body Through Change