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Influence Podcast

The Influence Podcast is a collection of inspiring and challenging conversations, aimed at empowering the entire spectrum of church leadership, from lead pastor to lead volunteer. It is a chance for you to hear from the premier voices in church leadership…voices who are redefining what church leadership looks like. It's the audio companion to Influence Magazine, a resource full of practical tools, informative news and powerful biblical principles. Visit us online at InfluenceMagazine.com
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Now displaying: 2023
May 4, 2023

“Words create worlds,” writes Mark Batterson in Please, Sorry, Thanks. If so, what kinds of worlds are we creating? Do our words give life or deal death (Proverbs 18:21)?

Batterson is pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC. More than any other city in America, our capital is a place where people eat the fruit of their words, turning the nation’s stomach sour. And what happens in DC doesn’t stay in DC. It radiates out to every nook and cranny of America. Our public discourse is poisoned.

Please, Sorry, Thanks offers a different way — a loving way — of speaking. It is a short, simple book with a timely message. If sin is “culpable disturbance of shalom,” as Cornelius Plantinga puts it, then, as Batterson writes, “please, sorry, and thanks are the way shalom is restored.”

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Bible Engagement Project.

A subscription to Bible Engagement Project equips you with kids curriculum for elementary and preschoolers and small group resources for youth and adults. The curriculum library will give your church a deeper understanding of the Bible and help every age grow in their faith. The resources are available in English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Apr 27, 2023

The Assemblies of God is comprised of 12,830 congregations in the United States. Between 2013 and 2022, the AG chartered 2,985 churches. During that same time, though, it closed 2,958 churches.

In other words, just to remain the same size, the AG had to plant nearly one-quarter of its churches over the last ten years. That’s certainly a statistical argument for church planting. But what if we had been able to strengthen the other churches so that they didn’t have to close?

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Jeffery Portmann about how church-planting principles can contribute to revitalizing the local church.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Jeffery Portmann is director of the Church Multiplication Network, the AG’s church-planting agency, an ordained minister,  and author of Delayed Destiny: Embracing Slow Motion Growth in a Fast Paced World. (We talked about that book in Episode 292.)

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, the distributors of Created for Purpose: An Esther Study Journal.

These days, women increasingly struggle to find their identity amidst the chaos of living. In Created for Purpose, Esther’s story shows you how to navigate the uncertainty of everyday life by reminding you that your identity is found in Jesus, not in the world. In this 4-week study, your group will see how the story of Esther models how to activate your trust, embrace your assignment, find your voice, and walk in victory.

For more information, visit MyHealthyChurch.com/Fashioned.

Apr 13, 2023

In Episode 310 of the Influence Podcast, I talked with Dr. Allen Tennison about the New Apostolic Reformation. We focused on describing the four distinctive theological doctrines and practices of that movement.

In this episode, we are going to take a more critical look at those doctrines and practices.

The central claim of the New Apostolic Reformation is that the contemporary church needs to be led by apostles and prophets. Other doctrines and practices are associated with the movement, but that seems to be what really drives the movement.

As classical Pentecostals, Dr. Tennison and I have a perspective on these NAR claims, which we want to share with you.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Allen Tennison is dean of the College of Church Leadership and professor of theology at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An Assemblies of God minister, he also chairs the AG’s Commission on Doctrines and Practices.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of MEGA Sports Camp.

MEGA Sports Camp is a unique VBS that makes it easy to reach new families, engage new volunteers, and reach unchurched kids in your community. This year kids at your MEGA Sports Camp VBS will discover they can have a positive influence on others because their confidence comes from God.

For more information about MEGA Sports Camp VBS, visit MEGASportsCamp.com.
Apr 6, 2023

Must the contemporary church be led by apostles and prophets?

Advocates of the so-called New Apostolic Reformation answer that question with a hearty yes. Others, including classical Pentecostals, aren’t so sure.

The idea that churches must be led by apostles and prophets isn’t the only controversial teaching associated with the New Apostolic Reformation. Others include strategic-level spiritual warfare, ordinary believers as a miracle-workers, and Christian dominion in society.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Dr. Allen Tennison about what the New Apostolic Reformation is and how classical Pentecostals should assess it.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Allen Tennison is dean of the College of Church Leadership and professor of theology at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An Assemblies of God minister, he also chairs the AG’s Commission on Doctrines and Practices.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of MEGA Sports Camp.

MEGA Sports Camp is a unique VBS that makes it easy to reach new families, engage new volunteers, and reach unchurched kids in your community. This year kids at your MEGA Sports Camp VBS will discover they can have a positive influence on others because their confidence comes from God.

For more information about MEGA Sports Camp VBS, visit MEGASportsCamp.com.
Mar 30, 2023

Philip Graham, the Washington Post’s legendary publisher, once said, “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” If that’s the case, then with approximately 2,000 stories to his credit, John Kennedy has been writing the first draft of Assemblies of God history for nearly a quarter of a century.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with him about what led him into journalism, his favorite stories, and what pastors can learn from journalists about more effective communication.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

John Kennedy is a friend, colleague, and editor of AG News, the official news source for the Assemblies of God. He retires at the end of April.

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This podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, the distributors of Created for Purpose: An Esther Study Journal.

These days, women increasingly struggle to find their identity amidst the chaos of living. In Created for Purpose, Esther’s story shows you how to navigate the uncertainty of everyday life by reminding you that your identity is found in Jesus, not in the world. In this 4-week study, your group will see how the story of Esther models how to activate your trust, embrace your assignment, find your voice, and walk in victory.

For more information, visit MyHealthyChurch.com/Fashioned.

Mar 2, 2023

“The average pastor’s job is harder than average,” Lyle Schaller once quipped. That’s especially true of the majority of American pastors who lead their churches alone. They face a variety of unique challenges that make their jobs especially difficult.

How to lead church effectively when you’re the only staff member is the subject of Dr. Gary McIntosh’s new book, The Solo Pastor. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to him about how to overcome the unique challenges of pastoring alone.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Gary McIntosh is president of Church Growth Network and distinguished affiliate professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. His most recent book is The Solo Pastor, published by Baker Books.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Feb 16, 2023

Christianity is the world’s largest religion. In 1900, approximately 558 million people around the globe identified as Christian. By 2020, that number had grown to approximately 2.5 billion.

Despite that numerical growth, Christianity shrank as a percentage of the world’s population, from 34% in 1900 to 32% in 2020. Atheism and agnosticism grew from 0.2% to 12% of the global population during the same time period, and Islam doubled from 12% to 24%. Demographers estimate that by 2050, Christians will constitute 35% of the world population and Muslims 29%.

What should Christians do with these statistics?

That’s the question I ask Dr. Gina Zurlo in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Zurlo is codirector of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and a research fellow at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. She is author of Global Christianity: A Guide to the World’s Largest Religion from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, published by Zondervan Academic.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Jan 19, 2023

The words of the Great Commission are well known: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Christians often interpret the Great Commission as their mandate for evangelism. According to Jesus, though, it’s about holistic discipleship. What does it mean to follow Jesus in every dimension of life?

That’s the question I ask Charlie Self, Johan Mostert, and Jamé Bolds in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Self, Mostert, and Bolds are ordained Assemblies of God ministers and authors of Life in 5D: A New Vision of Discipleship.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Jan 12, 2023

On average, American adults read 12.6 books a year, according to a January 2022 Gallup survey. That’s about a book a month. Reliable data on pastor-readers is harder to come by, but a 2013 Barna study found that pastors bought 3.8 books a month. If pastors read what they buy, they read about a book a week.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking with pastor-reader Heather Weber about why pastors should read, as well as how often and what they should read. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Heather Weber is a writer, certified leadership coach, and ordained Assemblies of God minister. She serves as sectional presbyter for the Iowa Ministry Network and director of the Network of Women Ministers in Iowa and the North Central Region of the AG.

She also hosts Your Pastor Reads Books, a podcast devoted to “conversations about the books pastors are reading that are helping to shape them into whole-hearted followers of Jesus and healthier givers of spiritual care to others.” It’s available on Apple and Spotify.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Jan 5, 2023

On behalf of the staff of Influence magazine, I’d like to wish all our readers — especially those who listen to the Influence Podcast — a very happy new year!

In this episode of the podcast, the first of many to come in 2023, I talk to Doug Clay about the state of the Assemblies of God. What is going well in our Fellowship? What is challenging? And what is forthcoming? We’ll talk about those questions and more.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Doug Clay is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

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