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