Podcast Ep.51: Transforming Power of the Gospel in Tragedy (Todd Adams)

Today’s topic will be raw and very real. The title was given to me by the person I am interviewing, Todd Adams. The power of the gospel that transforms lives in tragedy. This is the story, the testimony of a man who’s trust in Christ has been deepened by the hardships of serving Jesus in the most remote part of the world, but also more deeply in a time of personal loss. Todd Adams and his wife Debbie have been international workers for over twenty years with the Christian and  missionary Alliance in Africa and in Indonesia. They have four children. Their second, Emily, died tragically in a car accident last October at the age of 21.

Natalie, Sully, Emily, Beau, Debbie, Jordan, Todd

Podcast Ep.50: You Can Counsel Too! (Dr. Harold Rhoades)

 For years as a pastor and even since, I have loved counseling because I love to see people change. I love fighting for marriages. I do everything I can to keep couples from divorcing. I rejoice when couples who’ve been fighting and angry at each other now embracing with a new love. I absolutely love it when I witness someone struggling with depression or addiction find the courage to fight through their struggles While I do have training in counseling, I am also convinced that the church can do more to help its own than what we often see. READ MORE

Podcast Ep.48: Pastor, Let’s Talk Beatitudes (Pastor John Fogal)

CLICK HERE OR ON THE BOOK COVER ON RIGHT TO ORDER BOOK

This will be a first for this podcast. But it will fit the vision of bringing courage and perspective when serving gets hard. I have the privilege today to discuss a portion of the Bible called the Beatitudes with an author who wrote a book about it. His name is Pastor John Fogal, and his book is called Living the Beatitudes. I loved this conversation we have together because we both agree that the Beatitudes offers us, offers the church a beautiful template for discipleship. John Fogal is a retired pastor with the CMA who also served as a district superintendent for 18 years. But he is really not retired as he spends a lot of his time writing and coaching other pastors. As you listen to this I know you will feel as though you are joining two men having coffee together discussing the Bible. Oh, and again this is a first and something I will problaby not do again, but it turned out the week I interviewed John for this podcast I also happened to complete a two week mini sermon series on the Beatitudes at Grace Presybererian Church in Franklin NC. 

Message One on the Beatitudes by Mitch A Schultz
Message Two on the Beatitudes by Mitch A Schultz

Podcast Ep.47: Learning Resilience in Ministry (Phil Howard and Jeff Gangel)

Let me start with an analogy that will help lead us into this conversation about disorientation in ministry. As a a pilot, one of the things I had to learn early on in my training was how to recover from a situation in flying called Spatial Disorientation, define as the inability of a person to correctly determine his/her body position in space. READ MORE

Podcast Ep:46 Why There is Conflict in the Church – Pastor Steve Kerhoulus

Have you ever wondered why there is so often conflict in the church? On the surface, you would think that those who come together for a common purpose of worship and serving Jesus would all get a long, but its often not that way. One reason is I think we underestimate the impact of people gathering together for that singular goal and expected to get along, but in reality often we gather with people who we might not necessarily interact with in any other setti READ MORE

Podcast Ep.45: Helping Your Pastor Be The Best Pastor -Christopher Ash

Christopher Ash

“You and I have it in our power to demotivate our pastors, so that they are gradually ground down into a slough of despond from which they will be utterly unable to do us any good at all. But we also have it in our power so to cheer them, so to put a spring in their stop, that they will gladly do for us all that we hope and pray.” So writes Christopher Ash who I will be interviewing for this podcast today. What a great topic. How should you, the one who loves your pastor, and loves the church support your pastor so he can be the best possible pastor for you? Exciting notion, isn’t it? Enjoy, and be sure to listen to the accompany blog here! 


Podcast Ep.44: Godly Character for a Godless World (Dr. Bob Myers president Toccoa Falls College)

In several ways this is a follow up to my last podcast, but perhaps broader. It’s been intriguing to me to observe so many changes in the past decade, and one thing in particular I am still trying to understand what to do with it. So much of the training of believers has been to prepare them to go out into the world to defend and present the gospel to lost communities. Yet, while this is still happening, I know, in our churches but also in Christian academic institutions what we are preparing our people for, particular the younger generation is far more complicated than in past decades. I know for example my own alma-mater, Toccoa Falls College, (TFC)  in my generation we placed high stress on preparing pastors and missionaries, but now, and I think this is good, there is a high commitment to train all believers with an equal passion and call to represent Christ in all vocations. This is certainly happening at TFC as well as other Christian Colleges and Universities. 

I had the privilege recently to sit down with Dr. Bob Myers, President of TFC, to discuss this topic along with other challenges this college and other colleges are facing as the world becomes increasingly secular and certainly less gospel friendly. I will not introduce Dr. Myers here, as during this podcast he does share a good bit of his own personal journey., but you will find an extensive bio on our BYQ website, www.beforeyouquit.us. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and join me as my guest as I talk to Dr. Bob Myers in his office on the campus of TFC. 

Dr. Robert M. Myers Bio

Dr. Myers has been a part of Christian higher education since 1993 and is completing his seventh year as President of Toccoa Falls College.  From 2006-2012, he served as the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, having responsibility for all academic areas of the university as well as enrollment, financial aid, Registrar’s office, academic assessment, the library and information technology.  

From 1999 – 2006 Dr. Myers served as Dean of the Rinker School of Business at Palm Beach Atlantic University and was responsible for all academic areas relating to the Business School on the main campus in West Palm Beach and all academic and business operations at its satellite campus in Orlando, Florida.  Prior to his administrative appointments Dr. Myers served as Professor of Management and was awarded the Daniel Goodman Award for teaching excellence.

Prior to entering Christian higher education, Dr. Myers also held positions outside of higher education, one of them being Manager of Information Systems for the Town of Palm Beach, Florida (1988 – 1993).  

Dr. Myers served as a police officer from 1976-1988 in Maryland where he held various assignments including patrol officer, field training officer, polygraph examiner, SCUBA team member, hostage negotiator and violent crimes detective. Over the years, he has spoken to many civic groups about workplace violence, leadership, and has conducted strategic planning seminars both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Myers is an accomplished author. He served as a manuscript reviewer for the Academy of Management (Management History Division). His publications are included in Informatica, Management Decision, The Journal of the Association of Marketing Educators, Florida Banker, as well as proceedings from many national and International conferences. He also served as a regular blogger for the Huffington Post.  Dr. Myers’ most recent book is titled, No Compromise: Thoughts from a Christian College President published by Lantern Hollow Press.

Dr. Myers has served on a number of professional boards including the Board of Directors for the Toccoa/Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Independent College Association, the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Cherokee Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America, and the Board of Directors for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast of Florida, Inc.  Dr. Myers also served as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Dr. Myers’ academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Information Systems Management, a Master of Business Administration from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a Doctorate of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.

He and his wife, Cheri, have two children, Joshua (22) and Joy (17).  

Podcast Ep.43: Sexual Identity and the Gospel Response

Gene Schrader

 This is a needed conversation,  especially as the church, as we believers find ourselves trying to figure out our response to the moral dilemma impacting our society. We are no longer just preparing our people on how to respond to the issues of our world, but now we are the ones struggling ourselves with these issues. Many of the issues the world now gives in to are the issues many in our churches are fighting against. It was amazing to me to watch a change take place in my last ten years of pastoring. I remember so well begging a young college girl who attended our church not to abort her baby. I even promised that our family would adopt the baby. She went through with her plans, and for the first time this was no longer a statistical crisis for me.

I remember too well the conversations I had with same sex couples who, while attended our church, struggled to find a way through and live obedient to the message of the gospel. Others who attended found it too difficult to live under the continuous invitation to embrace the gospel message.

I cannot count how many conversations I had with young men struggling with the ravages of pornography, many of them deeply addicted. I really don’t think we can have too many conversations about these many issues on what I am titling for this podcast; Sexual Identity and the Gospel Response. The big question we are going to wrestle through today is how can the church remain committed to the gospel and in a loving and caring way speak out against the ravages of sexual addiction while at the same time speaking for the person who is caught up in these issues. 

I had the privilege of meeting Gene Shroeder several years ago through a mutual friend and because of his expert training and experience in counseling people with sexual addictions I asked him to sit down with me for an honest and open conversation on exactly this; What is the gospel response to sexual addiction. 

Gene Schrader, founder and director of North Atlanta Counseling Services (NACS), is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (A.A.C.C.). He has been in private practice since 1977 with extensive experience in individual therapy, marriage and family therapy, teenage problems and sexuality. He brings God’s truth to those in conflict within their marriages, adjusting and grieving to losses in life, and depression.

A frequent speaker for church groups, he has conducted seminars on sexuality, bonding and true intimacy, parenting and fathering, overcoming affairs, and loyalty. Gene earned his masters degree in counseling from Georgia State University concurrently while attending Psychological Studies Institute (a Christian psychological institute). He has been in Christian related ministries since 1972.

Married since 1963, Gene and his wife, Eldeen, have two daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Podcast Ep.42: Navigating Social Media -Trace Embry

Some times I wonder how well I would do raising children even teenagers today. Maybe all parents feel blessed that they are not having to raise children during this generation. Even those raising them now will likely say the same thing when their children are all grow’d-up. One thing every parent who is seeking to raise godly children will say is, it is not easy to do so in a culture that is becoming increasingly godless and even now promoting things that are completely antithetical to the gospel. Perhaps one of our biggest challenges has to do with exposing or protecting our children to social media. I love watching my daughter and her husband navigate this challenge so beautifully with our three year old granddaughter. We share strict roles with them. No youtube. No TV till age of two because of how such a young brain views the images and interprets them differently than we think. Limited time watching TV. 

Some times I wonder how well I would do raising children, even teenagers, today. Maybe all parents feel blessed that they are not having to raise children during this generation. Even those raising them now will likely say the same thing when their children are all grow’d-up. One thing every parent who is seeking to raise godly children will say is, “it is not easy to do so in a culture that is becoming increasingly godless and even now promoting things that are completely antithetical to the gospel”. Perhaps one of our biggest challenges has to do with exposing or protecting our children to social media. I love watching my daughter and her husband navigate this challenge so beautifully with our three year old granddaughter. We share strict roles with them. As grandparents we have conversations about being all on the same page. No youtube. No TV till age of two because of how such a young brain views the images and interprets them differently than we think. Now that she is past 3 limited time watching TV and so many other value commit READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 41: Church Matters (Dr. Dwight Smith)

Lets talk Church! Do we need to resign oursleves to the notion that church as we know it is dead?

A recent FoxNews story wrote the following: “Now, about a decade ago, forward-thinking churches realized that people no longer engaged with organizations just physically, so they developed online platforms that streamed services parallel to the physical church.

This caused plenty of controversy at the time because people suddenly had the option to attend church OR stay home and watch online, rocking the old location-centric model. So, church leaders opted to keep the physical and digital services separate enough to make it work.

Then, when social media and YouTube entered the scene, those forward-thinking churches adjusted again, creating multi-channel strategies that allowed people to access some content physically, some online, and some on the church’s social media platforms.” (For Source of article click here)

I recently had the privilege of talking to Dr. Dwight Smith about how church has always mattered, and continues to matter. In fact, it is primarily through the church that God does what he is doing. The church IS The Body of Christ. God works through his church. Church does matter.

About Dwight. In addition to his responsibilities as the leader of Saturation Church Planting International, Dr. Smith carries a strong burden for the local churches of North America because it is his firm belief that the local church is God’s primary instrument for world evangelization Therefore, he makes himself available on weekends for conferences, teaching seminars and leadership workshops. as his schedule permits. In recent years, Dwight has worked with a growing number of church leaders and church planters in the US. The goal of those relationships is the reevangelization of the some 300 million people living in America by the planting, replanting and repurposing of 100,000 churches. 

Check out the Saturation Church Planting Website here

Podcast Ep.40: The Cost of the Gospel in Closed Countries

I am not sure we appreciate as well as we should what its like to serve the Lord Jesus and share the gospel with people in a society with little freedoms. Most of us are aware that many believers from the US and other nations are working undercover in a sense in what we call Creative Access countries.  In many cases if the government really knew what we were doing there, our workers would either be captured, or expelled. While this is hard, its not near as hard as it is for those in those countries who do not have the freedom to leave. They are left to live out their faith sometimes under severe opposition. Today I am going to be talking to Pierre and Chloe, but for their protection that is not their real name. They are going to tell the first hand account of what it was like to be caught preaching the gospel in a creative access country. WIth that story they will also share the amazing way that God reached them with the gospel and the eventual cost to them personally but also their family.

Podcast Ep.39: The Martyrdom of Phil Masters told by his Wife, Phyliss

I grew up in the jungles of Papua, Indonesia. Over 200 tribes with distinct languages spread across the landscape of this rugged island. It was only in the late 1950’s that many of these tribes heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember as a child hearing of the tragic death of two men, Phil Masters and Stan Dale who were martyred by a tribe they attempted to reach. Six months later, a small airplane crashed in the same location when one sole survivor, Paul Newman, was rescued by an old man belonging to the very tribe that had killed Phil and Stan. In only the way God can, these two events came together to provide the sovereign context for the gospel to be presented to these people. What a privilege I had to interview Phil’s wife, Phyliss, who shares about her role in helping the people who killed her husband to hear of the saving message of Jesus. 

Order Don Richardson’s book on this story titled Lord’s Of the Earth here

Podcast Ep. 38: How the Soul Grows Through Loss (Dr. Gerald Sittser)

Aside from the Bible, one other book served as my lifeline during the hardest period of my life; my wife’s brain surgery and subsequent struggle to recover her speech, reading/writing skills, and my son’s passing to cancer just months after. That book was A Grace Disguised by Dr. Gerald Sittser. I’ve read the book probably four times, and recommended it to many who needed a healthy dose of theological perspective. What a thrill to land an interview with the author of this book, Dr. Gerald Sittser.

Sittser serves as professor of theology and senior fellow at Whitworth University, He has written eight books, among them A Grace Disguised, A Grace Revealed, The Will of God as a Way of Life, and Water from a Deep Well.  He is currently writing a book on “The Third Way,” which will explore how the early Christian movement developed such a clear and unique identity in the ancient world and, against all odds, grew into a formidable force long before Christianity became a legally recognized religion.  It will be published by Baker.  He enjoys music, literature, gardening, hiking, woodworking, and he attends the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year with his family. Married to Patricia since 2010, he has three married children, two married step-children, and six grandchildren.


Order A Grace Disguised Here

Podcast Ep. 37: 11.6.77 – Surviving the Toccoa Falls Flood (Pastor Bob Harner)

Those who have any connection with Toccoa Falls College will know exactly what happened on November 6, 1977. The flood at Toccoa Falls College, pushing millions of gallons of water through a weakened earthen dam, took the lives of 39 people. Several lost their entire family. The story you’re going to hear in this podcast is Pastor Bob Harner’s account of remaining faithful to Jesus while trying to cope with the drowning of his wife and young son. This is truly a story that continues to bring glory to a faithful and sovereign God who shows his goodness to those who continue to trust him despite the pain that comes along the way.

Podcast Ep 36: The Elders; Guardians to the Pastor

One of my passions with the Before You Quit podcast is to reach not just pastors and ministry leaders, but also to relate to elders who serve these churches and pastors. One of my greatest joys with this ministry is when I see elders coming around their pastor, serving him, making him accountable to them, them to him,  and watching his back when he’s either criticized or even under attack. In a true sense, the elders are the Guardians to the past READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 35: Serve At Your Own Risk (A Pastor Discusses His Work in a Closed Muslim Country)

We’re going to talk today about what it is like to be serving in a closed country. When we say closed country, we mean a culture where sharing the gospel freely is not possible without likely recriminations. I will not be using the person’s real name that I am interviewing, but I will refer to him a few times as Peter.And for his protection we will not refer to the country where he serves. However I can tell you that God is moving. READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 34: Let’s Stop Calling it, “BIG CHURCH”. (Dr. Rich Griffith)

Several weeks I drove through the campus of Toccoa Falls College near where I live and watched hundred of students streaming toward the auditorium of the college for their chapel service. I looked at these young faces and remembered being where they are. That was a long time ago, actually 35 years ago and so much has happened since then, in my life but also in our culture. I also looked at them and thought about how they will one day be where I am now. Unless the Lord returns first, these young people will be looking back to their 35 years  no doubt living in a world so different than ours today. I find myself in these reflective mood wondering what the church will be like and how many of these young people I saw streaming toward their chapel service will be leading the church.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep.33: A Pastor Tells A Gripping Story of Losing His Only Child to AIDS

In the 1980’s AIDS was an unfamiliar disease leaving those with the diagnoses alone and often shunned. It was during this time that young Ian Puckett, was diagnosed with AIDS due to a blood transfusion following a serious accident he and his father, Henry, were in. Up to this time, Henry and his wife Donna were experiencing deep marital problems that led to a temporary separation.   READ MORE

Podcast Ep 32: When Your Church is Hurting (Rev. Mark Barnard)

It’s generally accepted that most people leave churches because of personal conflict, not because of theological differences. We hear too often of churches that are hurting because of conflict and sometimes this pain can last for years. Is it possible God is behind that pain more than we might think?  READ MORE

Podcast Ep 31: The Burden of Leadership (John Stumbo, President of the C&MA)

I think we would all agree that suffering produces the best leaders. I am amazed when I talk to people who consistently tell me that they are who they are because of how God shaped them during hard trials.  In other places I have share about my own personal trials. When I recount these stories I will state how it scares me who I would be today had God not taken me through those trials.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep 30: When Ministry Doesn’t Go the Way You planned (Pastor Jay Mosser)

Gerald Sittser in his book A Grace Disguised portrays us in respect to God’s sovereignty as actors on a stage who take part in the story that he tells. I love watching God work even when things do not go the way I expect they would, especially in the ministry context. If you would have asked me thirty years ago what I would be doing now, I would not describe who I am now, and what I am doing. Thankfully God does not show us the future, but he does promise to be in charge and he does assure us that he does what is best for his glory and ultimately for our good. It is also true that in those uncertain and unexpected times that we discover best how good and amazing he is. READ MORE

Podcast Ep 29: A Recipient of Grace in a Time of Failure (Jay Depoy)

We hear often of pastors who experience some kind of failure. They are statistics, far off stories, but rarely someone we know, or hear personally about. I’m talking to someone today who knows too well the depth of shame and loss that comes when the heart is not guarded from the all too common temptations that pastors face. His name is Jay Depoy and his story is riveting, but its a story that speaks more loudly of the grace and mercy of Jesus than of any scandal you will hear about from him.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep 28: A Pastor’s Wife Recovers Her Identity After Her Life is Shattered (A Tribute to Chris Gerlach)

In 2013 my wife and I moved to Augusta GA for what turned out to be one year ministry of helping replant a church that had just closed. Several months after our move a dynamic young couple, Chris and Carla Gerlach, moved near us to help us in this mission and to network with several other churches in the area.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep.27: Pastoring in a Post Christian Culture (Andy Jordan, Warrington UK)

A little over 18 years ago my wife Elaine and I and our family returned to the States practically ruined. My wife was just beginning her recovery from brain surgery, and two weeks after o

ur return our oldest son was diagnosed with, and ended up dying from brain cancer. We left England after having pastored a church in a north west town called Warrington. We absolutely loved our time there. We loved the culture. Loved the people and especially loved seeing God move in the hearts and lives of many who were being drawn to Jesus especially in a community and a society where there was not a strong Christlike presense. In all my years of ministry, I still look back over those years as my golden years. Because of our medical situation we were not able to go back. In the meantime, the church we’d pastored continue to navigate the normal challenges of new leadership, declining attendance, and redirecting their vision in a society not all that interested in spiritual things. READ MORE

Podcast Ep.26: Speaking Love to Those Who Grieve (Dennis Dodge)

Have you ever been in a situation where someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, and you just don’t know what to say? Sometimes you feel you’ve said the wrong thing, and other times you walk away having said nothing and you feel horrible about it. I really believe the ministry to grieving individuals and families can be one of the strongest and most impactful ministries the church can have, and it’s something that can be learned and practiced. READ MORE

Podcast Ep.25: Leaving A Godly Legacy! (John and Janine Schultz)

Oh, the great stuff we can gain from the previous generations. But how will we ever do that unless we pause long enough and listen to their stories.  When is the last time you sat down with an elderly saint in your church, or even sat down with your parents or grandparents and listened to their stories and the experiences that shaped them? READ MORE

Podcast Ep.24: When Conflict is Healthy (Part 2 with Ken Sande)

What is better than resolving conflict? Avoiding conflict! Or at least seeing conflict as healthy to the strength of your church. In our last podcast interview we talked to Ken Sande, of Peacemaker Ministry about the value and importance of bringing about resolution to conflict. In his 30 years in this ministry, Ken also discovered principles and lessons that he placed in his toolbox to start a new ministry, called Relational Wisdom 360.
READ MORE

Podcast Ep.23:  Can’t We All Just Get Along? A Case for Gospel Peacemaking with Ken Sande

Often when difficult people are confronted for bad behavior it’s easier for them to run somewhere else than stay and work it out. I love it when the circle of restoration that began with confronting sin, and then leads to repentance and confession is completed in reconciliation. Sadly, I’ve not seen it often. I remember in a church I pastored,  the leadership warned a divisive man to stop organization a secret petition against the elders and step down from teaching his popular Sunday school class. Remarkably, he did, and a year latter, in humility, he resumed his teaching and served many years as a model of what happens when peacemaking is allowed to run its course. That is where peacemaking really works.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep.22: Pastoring in Critical Times (Pastor Stuart Briscoe)

I remember years ago listening to well know pastors and often thinking, wow, it would be so cool to sit down with them and ask any questions I wanted.Well, I had such a privilege recently when I sat down with Pastor Stuart Briscoe to talk to him about pastoring in this critical age. READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 21: The Optional-Church Generation (An Interview with several students from Toccoa Falls College)

You probably have heard this statement before. I love Jesus, but I’m not a big fan of the church.  There is strong evidence today that our millennial generation, I know, they get picked on a lot don’t they, is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the church. This generation is what I would refer to as the “optional-church” generation. Studies show that this generation will get involved mainly if there is personal value. This becomes a crisis of sorts particularly if you are one, as I am, who strongly believes that what God is going to do in the world today he is going to do through the local church. READ MORE

Podcast Ep.20: It’s Never Too Late to be a Pastor; The Second Career Pastor (Rev. Dick Brown)

 “Why the trend towards ministry as a second career? Is this a positive trend? Is it a trend about which the church should be worried? Why are fewer younger women and men not pursuing ordained ministry upon graduation from college as was the case in the past? Do second career clergy bring greater maturity and experience to pastoral leadership than those who did not work for any significant length of time in another career? These are important questions.” (Jackson W. Carroll). READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 19: Holding On to The Truth In A Confused World (Steven Kozar)

What the pastor believes really matters, and what his congregation believes really matters. Spiritual discernment is vital in the pastor’s commitment to stand for the gospel, and to stand against false beliefs. How does he remain faithful to the gospel when compromise and accommodation are the norm? I’ve covered a lot of topics to this point on Before You Quit. Marriage difficulties! The pastor’s family! Dealing with conflict! Antagonists! Sense of failure! Loneliness in ministry! When is it time to make a change! Dealing with loss! Confessing sinREAD MORE

Podcast Ep. 18: The Pastor and Theological Anxiety (Dr. Brian Shelton)

We talk a lot in these podcasts about the sort of hard things pastor’s face; marriage challenges, hard people in the pastor’s life, the struggle with children and even facing loss. My goal has been pretty singular with all the interviews, and that is to encourage the pastor to keep his focus, to not be distracted and to realize also that with serving Jesus can come, and probably will come a lot of opposition and challenges. There is one thing we have not talked about in the sort of things pastors face and that is the pressure to bend his convictions to the many theological trends blowing across our landscape today.  The pressure for the pastor to bend to, to compromise his message is becoming an increasingly heavy load to carry. It’s getting harder and harder to just stick to the simple message of the gospel. Even with all the pastoral responsibilities he carries, it’s getting harder for him to take time in studying and preparing for his primary role, of preaching the Word of God.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep 17: Finding Your Sweet Spot in Ministry (Pastor Marshall Benbow)

I am sure you can identify with these following comments: I wish I was preaching more.  If only I could take on more responsibility, I would be happier. I wish the board would let me start that ministry program. Even if you are not a pastor or in ministry you have longed to do something that fits your gifts better, or to find what we are going to define today as your sweet spot.
READ MORE

Podcast Ep 16: The Pastor’s Survival Guide For When Sheep Attack (Dr. Dennis Maynard)

Antagonists go for the jugular. They have a singular goal. They want to hurt, humiliate and destroy the senior pastor. In the course of their attacks, they intentionally want to divide the congregation between those that agree with them and the supporters of the rector.” Dr. Dennis R. Maynard.

Pastors face a lot of challenges, but the hardest is when they’re attacked by an antagonist. Sure, there are some bad apples that fall from the clergy tree, but most are loving and compassionate. They really care about people and do long for those under their care to grow spiritually and thrive in their journey. Why is it then, that too often pastors are attacked? Is it possible that not all the sheep are, what one writer once referred to as, “well intentioned dragons”? Could it be that some are actually bent on causing harm to the pastor and to see his ministry fail? Dr. Dennis Maynard speaks candidly and boldly on the subject while urging the church to  become a safe place for the pastor to serve affectively without this all to real pressure. READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 15: Lessons From Ministry Longevity

With Dr. Bill Ronzheimer

What does it take to remain passionate and committed to the gospel that will take you the long haul in ministry? I read one stat how 80% of pastors will leave the ministry within their first five years. Some, I’m sure, leave for good reasons and are still serving Jesus faithfully. Others, however, no doubt faced disappointment of not having what it took to stick it out for the long haul. We are not interested necessarily in people having to stay in vocational ministry, but rather committed to serve Jesus wherever they are. Today’s podcast I know will encourage you to serve well, no matter where you are and what you are doing, or even how long you’ve been doing it. READ MORE

Podcast Ep.14: The Pastor’s Wife (with Shari Thomas)

Today we are going to talk about the pastor’s wife and it struck me as I was preparing for this that I have been married to a pastor’s wife for over 30 years. And while she’s been amazing, I know there were times where it was difficult. There is no defined role, but there are certainly definite expectations placed on the pastor’s wife. So much is on the pastor’s wife and she’s never been trained for it. The pastor gets the training, but the wife is expected to be everything for everyone else. She shares her husband with the entire church, and fights to know her place. She’s expected to serve the church, be a model wife and model mom, and in the meantime she’s asking the Lord Jesus “who am I, and what do you want from me?” READ MORE

Podcast Ep.13: When Ministry Gets in the Way of Marriage

What do you do when you’re great at pastoring but not that good at marriage. I ask the question often, can a pastor and his wife have a good ministry when the marriages is hanging by a thread?  I enter into a very delicate conversation with a young pastor and his wife who from the day they met, ministry was all they had in common. This almost caught up with them, but God intervened in only the way he can. READ MORE

Podcast Ep 11: Thriving Through Church Conflict – How to Grow When People Don’t Get Along!

Today we are going to talk about the preverbal elephant in the room, and that is what to do when there is conflict in the church, or even conflict in your own life. How do you respond when people in your church do not get along. Perhaps one of the saddest thing a pastor ever witnesses is when people are not getting along in his church. I’ve seen it and I know many others have to. Conflict in the church drives people away from the church and sadly, their perception of God is shaped by what they witnessed in a church. I remember someone coming to me once and his words broke my heart. He said, Pastor, I can no longer attend here with all this tension. It led me to pray for renewal and work hard for it. In this podcast interview we talk to Pastor Eric Anderson who is open

and very candid about how he managed through, and survived conflict. Eric even speaks about the nature of conflict, the value of conflict and even how it made him a better shepherd to a hurting group of people. Eric lives deep in the cold flat lands of MN and pastors LifeSpring Church, a reformed church belonging to the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. He is married to Miriam for over 11 years and both he and Mariam have eight children; five girls and three boys ranging from 19 years old to a 1 year old. You will be blessed listening to this wonderful story of how to thrive where there is conflict.

Here are some of the resources Eric referred to:

Antagonists In The Church click here! 

I also highly recommend Thriving Through Church Conflict click here!

 

Podcast Ep 10: Acting On Your Confession (Prof. Russell Huizing)

“Confessing sins to each other makes for a healthier more humble church.” – Prof. Russell Huizing

We hear the story too often. A well loved pastor, seemingly well put together, a model of righteousness, is outed as a sinner. He’s committed moral failure, or admitted to a sexual or alcohol addiction. And everyone is shocked. We discover that for years he has kept this secret to himself, and not even those close to him, his wife or elders knew of his pain. Imagine if early on, when the first moments of his struggle began and before they took over his life he had taken the opportunity to share with someone else, and confessed his sin to them and received forgiveness and encouragement. READ MORE

Podcast Ep 9: I Haven’t Got Time For The Pain – A Hard Look at Depression in Ministry

Are pastors allowed to struggle? It seems too often that those in ministry are expected to keep their struggles to themselves. Carly Simons’ well known song, Haven’t Got Time for The Pain could easily have been written for pastors who struggle to hide their pain behind the busyness of ministry and the expectations of others. READ MORE

Podcast Ep 8: When Storms Thrash The Pastor’s Home (with Brett Schultz)

Brett Schultz grew up in a pastor’s home and he’s actually a normal kid.

Pastors try as best they can to assure their children do not grow up with the common stigmas that come with being a PK (Pastor’s Kid). The pressure to represent the family well can be a heavy burden for any child of a ministry parent. While most pastors and missionaries do a great job protecting their children from these burdens, there are some things that are beyond their control. Brett is my son, and he’s often told me that we did well allowing him to be a normal kid, but there were somethings we could not protect him from. READ MORE

Podcast Ep 7: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

“When is it time to move on?” Is a question many pastors ask. Even if you are a not a pastor, it’s critical you know your pastor is probably asking this question. Your role is important to his health. Encouraging him and praying for him provides the life and fuel for an affective ministry. Letting him know he is appreciated makes him feel valued, but you can do more than that. Tell him what you like about his ministry. Share with him how God is using him in your life. Nothing is more vital than a pastor feeling loved and supported, but, there are times he’s going ask this question of God and certainly of himself, how long do I stay?  Should I Stay, or Should I Go, is a great title for a rock song, but for right now, it’s an important subject for us to cover in this podcast. Pastor Steve Kerhoulas readily admits that he stayed two years too long in a recent ministry. How does one reconcile that realization with a solid belief in the sovereignty of God and his management of our lives. Whether you are a pastor wondering if it’s time to move on, or asking that question about a business or a move to a new place, you will be challenged and refreshed as you listen to this conversation.