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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: Category: Religion
Nov 18, 2022

“There have always been people with mental and relational health problems in the church,” writes Dr. Jared Pingleton. “Unfortunately, we just haven’t done a very good job helping pastors to know how to recognize and minister effectively to these pronounced and realistic needs.”

How can churches improve their ministries in this critical area? And why should they?

Those are the questions I ask Dr. Pingleton in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Pingleton is a licensed clinical psychologist and an ordained Assemblies of God minister. In addition to his private practice and preaching ministry, he serves as director of Mental Health Care and Ministry for The American Association of Christian Counselors. His new book is Mental Health Ministry: The Struggle Is Real, published by Trilogy Christian Publishing.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.
Nov 10, 2022

“Many transition specialists, denominational leaders, and local churches are starting to question whether the traditional method of pastoral selection is effective,” writes Gene Roncone in Mentored Succession. “The model of bringing in outsiders with no understanding of the church culture, community, and congregation seems to be creating a continual cycle of short-term pastorates.”

Is there a better way for churches to plan for pastoral succession?

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

Gene Roncone is district superintendent of the Rocky Mountain Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, a position he has held since 2019. An ordained AG minister with decades of pastoral experience, he has authored two resources on pastoral succession: Mentored Succession: A Smarter Way for Pastoral Transition and Rise Up: A Practical and Comprehensive Reference for Pastoral Successions and Transitions. Both resources can be downloaded free from GeneRoncone.org/AGSPE.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Nov 3, 2022

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction,” wrote the atheist Richard Dawkins. He went on to describe God as “jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Dawkins, who is frequently wrong but never in doubt, isn’t the only person to perceive problems with God in the Old Testament. The second-century heretic Marcion was so struck by the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament that he believed they taught about different gods altogether. He went on to delete the Old Testament from the biblical canon, along with any New Testament book he perceived as being too friendly with the Old Testament.

So, how do we reconcile the portrayals of God in the two testaments of Christian Scripture? That’s the question I pose to Paul Copan in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Paul Copan is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is the author of numerous books dealing with questions in philosophy, ethics, and apologetics. His most recent book is, Is God a Vindictive Bully? published by Baker Academic.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Oct 27, 2022

“Opportunity awaits every single day, and God wants you to tap into each opportunity,” writes Jonathan Hardy. “When you remain faithful to God’s purposes, you’ll see how you can easily step into opportunities and give a wholehearted effort toward achieving His will every day.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Hardy about how to lead a church with an opportunity mentality. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Jonathan Hardy is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and cofounder of Leaders.Church and Church University. These online platforms help pastors develop their ministry and leadership skills. Hardy is author of Arrow Striker: Live with Purpose and Leave an Eternal Impact Every Single Day.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Oct 6, 2022

“I am convinced that if you want to see an increase in hope, understanding, and unity amid the engulfing mercilessness of today — indeed, if you want to communicate anything approaching grace — you must begin with a low anthropology.”

So writes David Zahl in his new book, Low Anthropology, published by Brazos Press. Zahl considers such a view of humanity “the unlikely key to a gracious view of others (and yourself),” as the book’s subtitle puts it.

I talk with Zahl about what low anthropology is and how it makes room for grace in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

David Zahl is the founder and director of Mockingbird Ministries, editor-in-chief of the popular Mockingbird website (www.mbird.com), and cohost of The Mockingcast. He and his family live in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Sep 29, 2022

“Countless pastors, preachers, teachers, and ministry leaders are dismayed at the dysfunction engulfing the church and the wider culture,” write Matt Kim and Paul Hoffman.

“Every day, headlines reveal a world divided across ethnic, class, sex, and political lines. We are simultaneous a nation and a church with comparable cavernous disagreements. Make no mistake: these chasms are expanding and feel increasingly insurmountable.”

Even so, Kim and Hoffman go to write, “We are convinced that all gospel heralds now have a greater opportunity to intentionally and winsomely use their platforms to proclaim the Holy Scriptures in a way that promotes reconciliation and unity.”

I talk with Hoffman about how to do that in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Paul Hoffman is senior pastor of Evangelical Friends Church of Newport, Rhode Island, and coauthor with Matt Kim of Preaching to a Divided Nation, published by Baker Academic. They also coauthored the topically related cover story of the summer 2022 issue of Influence magazine.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Sep 23, 2022

“When the enemy takes a run at your church, he won’t do it through those who attend it; he will do it through those who lead it,” writes Chris Sonksen. “One of his most effective plans against the local church can be summed up in one word: Leaderdrift.”

I talk with Sonksen about what leaderdrift is and how to stop it in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Chris Sonksen is an ordained Assemblies of God minister with extensive ministry experience as a senior pastor and church consultant. He is founder and CEO of Church BOOM, a coaching agency for churches and leaders, and author of Saving Your Church From Itself: Six Subtle  Behaviors That Tear Teams Apart and How to Stop Them, published recently by Baker Books.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Sep 15, 2022

Many Gospels circulated in early Christianity. Everyone knows about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but what about the Gospel of Peter or the Gospel of Thomas? Why were some Gospels included in the New Testament but not others?

Scholars such as Bart Ehrman reduce the debate to politics: “one of the competing groups in Christianity succeeded in overwhelming all the others,” he writes.

“This group became ‘orthodox,’ and once it had sealed its victory over all of its opponents, it rewrote the history of the engagement — claiming that it had always been the majority opinion of Christianity, that its views had always been the views of the apostolic Churches and of the apostles, that its creeds were rooted directly in in the teachings of Jesus. The books that it accepted as Scripture proved the point, for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all tell the story as the proto-orthodox had grown accustomed to hearing it.”

But is politics the real explanation for why those four Gospels were canonized? Or is there a deeper reason?

That’s what I’m discussing with Prof. Simon Gathercole in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Simon Gathercole is professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Cambridge, editor of New Testament Studies, and coeditor of Early Christianity. His new book is The Gospel and the Gospels: Christian Proclamation and Early Jesus Books, recently published by Eerdmans.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Sep 8, 2022

“Ordinary people are the primary way God has worked in and through the world over the centuries,” writes Katelyn Beaty. “More and more, though, it seems that a lot of us aren’t content to be ordinary Christians.” Instead, we want to be celebrities.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Beaty about how the desire to become a celebrity, or the need to follow one, hurts the Church. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Katelyn Beaty is a writer, journalist, editor, and keen observer of trends in the American church. Her new book is Celebrities for Jesus, published in August by Brazos Press.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Jul 15, 2022

Phillips Brooks, the nineteenth-century minister who wrote “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” defined preaching as “the communication of Truth through Personality.”

Truth is “the most authoritative statement of God’s will,” he said. Personality refers to a preacher’s “character, his affections, his whole intellectual and moral being.” (As Pentecostals, we would add “or her” to Brooks’ statement.)

Absent genuine character, a preacher is merely a “printing machine” or a “trumpet,” not “a real messenger of God.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Bob Eby about the relationship of preaching to the character or virtues of the preacher. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Bob Eby is director of the Cordas C. Burnett Preaching Center and associate professor of Biblical Exposition and Preaching at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. He is author of Virtue Hermeneutics: New Horizons in Textual Understanding, published by Pickwick Publications.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Jun 23, 2022

“In today’s culture, it’s not popular to be against something unless it’s blatantly immoral or illegal,” writes Roger Olson. However, he adds: “If Christianity is to mean something, it has to have some shape, if not boundaries” (emphasis in original).

The thesis of his new book, Against Liberal Theology, is that “liberal Christianity cuts the cord of continuity between itself and biblical, historical, classical, orthodox Christianity so thoroughly that it ought to call itself something other than Christian.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Olson about that thesis — what liberal theology is, why it’s not authentically Christian, and why progressive Christians especially need to know these things. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Roger Olson is emeritus professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University, and author of Against Liberal Theology: Putting the Brakes on Progressive Christianity, published by Zondervan Reflective.

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

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

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