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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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Nov 19, 2020

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils,” wrote C. S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters. “One is to disbelieve their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

With Lewis’s insight on the need for a balanced view in mind, in this episode, I’m talking with Gary Tyra about what the Bible teaches Christians about why and how to deal with the devil.

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

Gary Tyra is professor of Biblical and Practical Theology at Vanguard University of Southern California, an ordained Assemblies of God minister, and author of The Dark Side of Discipleship, recently published by Cascade Books.

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Nov 13, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.”

King said this about race in 1963, but it is still largely true today. According to sociologist Michael O. Emerson, a multiracial or multiethnic church is one in which at least 20% of attendees do not belong to the majority race or ethnicity. In 2019, just 23% of churches crossed that threshold.

And there is evidence of a growing class divide in church attendance, with working class Americans less likely to attend church than middle class Americans, at least among whites.

The questions pastors and other church leaders need to ask themselves is this: Does this concern me? And what can I do about it? Those are two questions, among others, that I am asking David Docusen in this episode of the Influence Podcast.

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

David Docusen is author of Neighborliness: Finding the Beauty of God Across Dividing Lines. A credentialed Assemblies of God minister, he has 20 years of ministry experience as a pastor, church planter, and community developer.

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Nov 3, 2020

After a D. L. Moody revival meeting, a woman approached the 19th-century evangelist and said, “I don’t like the way you do evangelism.”

Moody responded, “Well, ma’am, let me ask you, how do you do it?”

She said, “I don’t.”

To which Moody replied, “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!”

Moody’s answer is the right one, and it also points to the variety of ways Christians can do evangelism. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Priscilla Pope-Levison about eight models of evangelism that have stood the test of time.

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

Priscilla Pope-Levison is associate dean for external programs and professor of ministerial studies at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. She is author of Models of Evangelism, recently 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.

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Oct 29, 2020

This podcast begins with a paradox: On the one hand, the Assemblies of God recognizes the credentialed ministry of women at whatever level God has called and empowered them. On the other hand, AG women often face barriers to ministry leadership simply because they are women.

In this podcast, I’m talking with Beth Grant and Crystal Martin about how to resolve this paradox, that is, about how to move the ministry of women from something we affirm theologically to something we practice routinely.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Beth Grant is co-founder and executive director of Project Rescue, an international ministry to survivors of sex trafficking; an executive presbyter of the Assemblies of God; and author of Courageous Compassion: Confronting Social Injustice God’s Way. Crystal Martin is director of the Assemblies of God’s Network of Women Ministers, director of Cross-Cultural Missions for Chi Alphacampus ministry, and associate pastor of Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri. Both women are ordained Assemblies of God ministers.

My conversation with them is coming up after a brief word from our sponsor.

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Oct 23, 2020

Preaching is one of a pastor’s most important duties. It’s also one of the most difficult. Every week, pastors stand before their congregations and proclaim the Word of God. And often, they leave the pulpit feeling that they have failed.

So, how can preachers get better at their craft? That’s the question I’m talking about with Chris Colvin and Dick Hardy in this episode of the Influence Podcast.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Chris Colvin is a sermon consultant, author, and regular contributor to Influence, both print and online. He teaches The Preaching Track at ChurchUniversity.com. Dick Hardy is is cofounder of ChurchUniversity.com, which provides “online resources to unlock your church’s growth.”

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Oct 6, 2020

“God calls people to pioneer,” says Jeffery Portmann, “and simultaneously He calls others to become settlers.” Portmann isn’t talking about the settlement of new frontiers, however. He’s talking about ministry through the local church.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Portmann about why the Church needs both pioneers and settlers, as well as how best to be one or the other.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Jeffery Portmann is executive director of the Church Multiplication Network, the church planting arm of the Assemblies of God (USA). He authored “Developing Leaders from Within” in the July/August 2020 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.

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Sep 29, 2020

While the divisiveness of our current moment in the United States may be regrettable and fatiguing, it also represents an incredible opportunity for Christians,” writes Don Everts in the current issue of Influence magazine. He goes on to say, “As church leaders, our job is not only to help Christians recognize the temptations we’re facing, but also to highlight another way: a way of neighborly love that can cut through all the yelling and point others to the beauty of the gospel.”

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Everts about how Christians can be good neighbors in a divided culture. This conversation arises from his Influence cover story, “Neighboring for the Common Good,” which is based on his forthcoming book, The Hopeful Neighborhood, published by InterVarsity Press.

Don Everts is a writer for Lutheran Hour Ministries and associate pastor at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Sep 15, 2020

“With the massive disruptions we’re facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 and beyond, the problems could not be more disruptive or obvious,” writes Karl Vaters. “From the lockdowns, to the unspeakable pain of the illness and death of loved ones, to the colossal financial upheavals, it is likely that we’ve never faced such a long-term disruption in our lifetimes, possibly even surpassing those that resulted from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Karl Vaters about what churches—especially smaller churches—can do to recover from the massive disruptions of the COVID pandemic. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Karl Vaters is teaching pastor at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California; a small-church leadership guru; and author of The Church Recovery Guide, published by Moody. (He’s also a longtime friend and fellow Assemblies of God minister.) He blogs regularly at KarlVaters.com.

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Sep 3, 2020

Small groups are a vital component of a church’s ministry. They extend the span of pastoral care, deepen group members’ spiritual formation, and provide a motivated cadre of volunteers for a church’s various ministries. At least that’s what they’re supposed to do. Too often, however, small groups get stuck in a rut, frustrating leaders and group members alike.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Jason Sniff about how to take your small group to the next level. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Jason Sniff is small groups pastor at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois, and a licensed professional counselor with more than 15 years of experience developing healthy groups in private and public sectors. He is coauthor with Ryan Hartwig and Courtney Davis of Leading Small Groups That Thrive, recently published by Zondervan.

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help people of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Jul 28, 2020

In late 2014, Slate magazine published a series of articles under the title, “The Year of Outrage.”

If anything, the outrage in America has only worsened since then. Even Christians have jumped onto the outrage train. The results haven’t been pretty, for either society generally or churches specifically.

What would Jesus do? And how should Christians follow His example? Scott Sauls thinks gentleness is the answer to both questions: “Jesus has been gentle toward us,” he writes, “so we have good reason to become gentle toward others, including those who treat us like enemies.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Pastor Sauls about how Jesus’ gentleness is the antithesis of outrage culture. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Scott Sauls is senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and author of A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in an Age of Us Against Them, published in June by Thomas Nelson.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Tru Fire Curriculum:

Kidmin leaders often feel worn down by curriculum that doesn’t give them what they need to be effective. Tru Fireprovides leaders with engaging lessons and empowers them to connect kids to the Holy Spirit so that they can feel confident their kids are developing lifetime faith through experiences with God they’ll never forget.

To download free sample lessons, visit TruFireCurriculum.com.

Jul 21, 2020

In 1 Peter 3:15, the apostle wrote: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” The Greek word the NIV translates as “answer” is apología, from which we get the word apologetics. Apologetics is that branch of Christian theology which offers reasonable answers to skeptical questions about the faith.

Apologetics is a necessary component of evangelism and discipleship, especially in an America that is becoming increasingly post-Christian. But apologetics is not always done well. Too often, it is perceived as a logic-chopping exercise  in answering abstract questions no one is asking by faith-defenders who are more concerned with winning arguments than people.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m exploring a better way of doing apologetics with Joshua Chatraw. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Chatraw is executive director of the Center for Public Christianity at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and author of numerous books on apologetics, including Apologetics at the Cross, The History of Apologetics, and most recently, Telling a Better Story. All these books are published by Zondervan.

My conversation with Dr. Chatraw is coming up after a brief word from our sponsor.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Now What? for Youth

Written in a style that connects with young people, Now What? for Youth booklets walk students through common questions about discipleship. The Salvation edition and Baptism in the Holy Spirit edition can help curious teens unpack the spiritual journey that follows. Help them connect to God now, and for a lifetime to come.

For more information about Now What? for Youth, visit MyHealthyChurch.com/NowWhat.

Jul 10, 2020

On June 15th of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibition of sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act extends to sexual orientation and gender identity as well. LGBT rights groups hailed the decision as a major victory, but churches and other faith-based organizations worried that it would impinge on their religious freedom.

In three cases since Bostock, however, the Supreme Court has vindicated religious freedom. Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue struck down that state’s (and by extension every other state’s) “Blaine Amendment.” Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania upheld an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate based on religious or moral reasons. And Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrisey-Berru (in which the Assemblies of God was joined a friend-of-the-court brief) expanded the scope of the “ministerial exception.”

Given the divergent outcomes of these four cases—Bostock pulling one way, the three other cases pulling the other—many people are asking: Where is the Supreme Court heading with religious freedom?

That’s the question Eric Kniffin and I will discuss in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Eric Kniffin is a partner in the law firm of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, where he works in the Religious Institutions Practice Group. Before joining the firm, he worked as a trial attorney for the United States Department of ‎Justice, practicing in the Civil Rights Division. He also served as legal counsel for Becket Law, a leading religious freedom litigator.

Jun 16, 2020

The death of George Floyd has sparked a nationwide conversation about racism. As our fellow citizens talk about how to reform public policy, it’s also important for the Church to look inward and see how we can better embody the truth of Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Mark DeYmaz about how the multiethnic church offers a solution to the problem of racism. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

One of the architects of the contemporary multiethnic church movement, Mark DeYmaz is the cofounder, CEO, and president of Mosaix, “a relational network of pastors and planters, denominational and network leaders, educators, authors, and researchers alike, that exists to establish healthy multiethnic and economically diverse churches for the sake of the gospel throughout North America and beyond.” This October, Fortress Press will release a new version of his classic book, Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Radiant Life Sunday School curriculum. 

As a leader, it can be frustrating when you don't have the tools your teachers need to engage students in the Bible. Radiant Life Sunday School curriculum is designed to be engaging and easy to use for any teacher, so that leaders can create a thriving ministry that changes lives. Radiant Life is also available in Spanish.

Visit RadiantLifeCurriculum.com to learn more.

Jun 9, 2020

In a 2019 article for InfluenceMagazine.com, Mark Entzminger wrote: “[A] poorly designed or implemented safety plan can not only damage the church’s reputation in the community but, more importantly, it can also damage the heart and spirit of a child for a lifetime.”

He was talking about emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, but what he said also applies to the spiritual life of a child. There is such a thing as spiritual abuse, and it’s the job of church leaders to keep their kids spiritually safe.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Mark Entzminger about why churches must put the spiritual safety of their kids first and how they can do so. Entzminger is national director of Children’s Ministries for the Assemblies of God (USA).

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

Jun 2, 2020

The events of the past week have set America on fire.

It began on Monday, March 25th, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the death of George Floyd, a black man. Video of the event showed the white arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, despite cries from both Floyd and onlookers to relent. “I can’t breathe,” Floyd said. Floyd died soon after, and Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

As the video of Floyd’s death went viral, protestors in Minneapolis and other cities across the nation gathered to protest racism and police brutality. Some of those protests were marred by violence, looting, and arson. But the obvious injustice of George Floyd’s death is forcing Americans to ask, Where do we go from here? And the question the Church needs to ask is this: What does racial reconciliation require?

Those are the questions I ask Alex Bryant in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Alex Bryant is an ordained Assemblies of God minister, campus pastor at AG Theological Seminary, and an evangelist. Bryant, who is black, and his wife Angela, who is white, are authors of Let’s Start Again: A Biracial Couple’s on Race, Racial Ignorance, and Racial Insensitivity.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Tru Fire Curriculum:

Kidmin leaders often feel worn down by curriculum that doesn’t give them what they need to be effective. Tru Fireprovides leaders with engaging lessons and empowers them to connect kids to the Holy Spirit so that they can feel confident their kids are developing lifetime faith through experiences with God they’ll never forget.

To download free sample lessons, visit TruFireCurriculum.com.

May 28, 2020

One of the hallmarks of classical Pentecostalism is its emphasis on baptism in the Holy Spirit, both theologically and experientially. This is certainly true in the Assemblies of God, which includes two articles on the doctrine—Articles 7 and 8—in our Statement of Fundamental Truths. Why we emphasize this doctrine, and how to make sure it moves from mere doctrine to vibrant experience, is the topic of my Influence Podcast with Tim Enloe.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Tim Enloe is an evangelist ordained by the Assemblies of God. He and his wife Rochelle lead Holy Spirit Conferences throughout the nation and internationally, helping people to experience healing and Spirit baptism. He’s also author of several books, including—and I love this title—Goodbye, Chicken! Hello, Dove!

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

Most people have access to the Bible, but few regularly engage with it. Bible Engagement Project equips churches with digital Bible study resources to help of all ages read and understand Scripture so they can become more like Jesus and live radically changed lives. Bible Engagement Project is available in both English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to learn more.

May 19, 2020

After weeks of being closed by state and local public health orders, many churches are beginning to reopen their doors for ministry to their communities. Rather than merely reopen, however, the present moment offers churches an opportunity to relaunch. We’ll explore what relaunching your church might look like in this episode of the Influence Podcast.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. My guest today is Dr. John Davidson. He is director of Leadership and Development for the Church Multiplication Network of the Assemblies of God. In that capacity, he oversees CMNLead.com , a website providing free resources for pastors.

Over the past few weeks, CMNLead.com has published—and will continue to publish—resources to help local churches respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Spanish-language resources are available at CMNLead.com/Spanish. One resource you’ll want to look at particularly is the Church Relaunch Kit, which we’ll talk about in this conversation.

May 12, 2020

“While it seems as if the church should be the last place narcissism shows up,” writes Chuck DeGroat, “it does indeed—in ordinary laypeople, in clergy across all theological spectrums, and in systems that protect narcissistic people and foster abuse.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking with DeGroat about what narcissism is, how it deforms both individuals and systems, and how churches can heal from the emotional and spiritual abuse that come in narcissism’s wake. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Chuck DeGroat is professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He’s also author of When Narcissism Comes to Church, published earlier this year by InterVarsity Press.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by the Assemblies of God, publisher of the Church Relaunch Kit.

For more than a month, public health orders have closed church doors throughout the United States in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. When those order are lifted, don’t just re-open your church, relaunch it! The Church Relaunch Kit offers church leaders valuable insights about relaunching your church’s ministries to the community.

To download this free resource, as well as other related resources for your church, go to COVID19.AG.org.

May 5, 2020

Over the past few weeks, churches have creatively responded to public health orders that closed their doors by going digital, offering worship experiences and small group meetings online. Is this use of digital technology a “new normal”? Or is it merely a temporary expedient to for extraordinary circumstances?

Those are some of the questions I talk with Jay Kim about in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Jay Kim is pastor of teaching and leadership at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and author of Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Things in the Digital Age, published by InterVarsity Press.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by the Assemblies of God, publisher of the Church Relaunch Kit.For more than a month, public health orders have closed church doors throughout the United States in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. When those order are lifted, don’t just re-open your church, relaunch it! The Church Relaunch Kit offers church leaders valuable insights about relaunching your church’s ministries to the community.

To download this free resource, as well as other related resources for your church, go to COVID19.AG.org.

Apr 28, 2020

“While God can (and does) interact with individuals in a vacuum,” writes Don Everts, “he often uses the household as a reliable laboratory for discipleship.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Everts about three characteristics of spiritually vibrant homes. This conversation arises from his book, The Spiritually Vibrant Home, published earlier this year by InterVarsity Press.

Don Everts is a writer for Lutheran Hour Ministries and associate pastor at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by the Assemblies of God, publisher of the Church Relaunch Kit.

For more than a month, public health orders have closed church doors through the United States in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. When those order are lifted, don’t just re-open your church, relaunch it! The Church Relaunch Kit offers church leaders valuable insights about relaunching your church’s ministries to the community.

To download this free resource, as well as other related resources for your church, go to COVID19.AG.org.

Mar 31, 2020

“How do you make big decisions?” asks Dr. Alan Ehler. “Making a bad decision can cost a lot. Making no decision can cost even more.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Ehler about the topic of how to make big decisions wisely, which also happens to be the title of his new book, published by Zondervan. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influencemagazine and your host.

Dr. Alan Ehler is a professor and dean of Barnett College of Ministry and Theology at Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida. A former pastor and ordained Assemblies of God minister, he is a lifelong student of the art and science of decision-making.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of MEGA Sports Camp, a unique VBS that makes it easy to reach new families.

Children’s ministry leaders often feel frustrated and disappointed that their summer outreach program doesn’t bring in new kids. MEGA Sports Camp gives leaders a fun, unique summer outreach program so that they can welcome new families, engage new volunteers, and impact the community.

To find out more, visit MegaSportsCamp.com.

Mar 19, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is temporarily changing the way Americans live, work, and use their free time. The federal government has asked citizens voluntarily to “[a]void social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people,” but many state and local governments are imposing bans on such gatherings. This negatively affects the ability of local churches to gather for worship, most immediately, but it also may have other longer term effects.

How should—how can—pastors lead their congregations when their churches are closed?

That’s the question I’m asking Dr. John Davidson in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Davidson is director of Leadership and Development for the Church Multiplication Network of the Assemblies of God. In that capacity, he oversees CMNLead.com, a website providing free resources for pastors. Over the next few weeks, CMNLead.com will publish resources to help local churches respond innovatively during the coronavirus pandemic. Spanish-language resources are available at CMNLead.com/Spanish.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Balanced Budget, Balanced Life:

People don't plan on having money troubles, which is exactly the problem: they don’t plan! Rollie Dimos shows you how to make a Biblically sound financial plan and stick to it. Get back the time and resources you need to stop stressing out about money, and start enjoying the balance of a truly abundant life. Balanced Budget, Balanced Life is also available in Spanish.

For more information visit BalancedBudgetBalancedLife.com

Mar 17, 2020

“AI is changing everything about our world and society. And we aren’t prepared.”

So writes Jason Thacker in The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to him about his book, focusing on how Christians should evaluate and use AI technology.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Jason Thacker is the creative director and an associate research fellow at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. In addition to writing The Age of AI, he helped write the ERLC’s “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles.”

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Including Children with Disabilitiespart of the Momentum Training Series.

Whether you already have children in your church with disabilities or just want to be prepared for all students, this resource will show you how to share the love of Jesus with everyone who enters your class. Including Children with Disabilities is also available in Spanish.

For more information, visit MomentumTrainingSeries.com

Mar 11, 2020

According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who say homosexuality should be approved by society grew from 46% in 1994 to 70% in 2017. Over the same period, the share who say it should be discouraged declined from 49% to 24%. Public attitudes toward same-sex marriage have followed a similar trajectory. Pew reports that in 2004, 60% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while 31% favored it. By 2019, those numbers had reversed, with 61% favoring it and 31% opposing it.

These data points create tensions for Christians who want to uphold the biblical view of sexual morality: fidelity within marriage, defined as the lifelong union of a man and a woman, and chastity outside of it. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking with Joe Dallas about the most poignant tension: what to do when someone you love is gay.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Joe Dallas is a Christian counselor and author of numerous books about a Christian view of sexuality, including When Homosexuality Hits Home: What to Do When a Loved One Says, “I’m Gay.” He serves on the Board of Directors for ReStory Ministries, whose mission is “resourcing local [Assemblies of God] churches to address homosexuality and gender identity.”

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Tru Fire Curriculum:

Children’s leaders often feel worn down by curriculum that doesn’t give them what they need to be effective. Tru Fire provides leaders with engaging lessons and empowers them to connect kids to the Holy Spirit so that they can feel confident their kids are developing lifetime faith through experiences with God they’ll never forget.

Mar 3, 2020

“Life is complicated, and it’s easy to lose clarity in the face of daily, pressing needs,” writes Dr. Brandon Crowe. “To cut through the complexity and begin to make progress, you need a plan of attack.” In Every Day Matters, Dr. Crowe offers sound advice for how to “think biblically about how to get things done,” as well as how to maximize “your time and energy toward the most important things in everyday life.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Dr. Crowe about this biblical approach to productivity. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Brandon Crowe is associate professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, book review editor for the Westminster Theological Journal, and author of Every Day Matters: A Biblical Approach to Productivity, one of three leadership book recommendations in the March/April 2020 issue of Influence magazine.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, the distributors of Trustworthy, a Bible study on the life and character of Daniel.

As someone who walks the same path you do, author Kay Burnett shows how lessons from Daniel’s life connect to the struggles you face daily. Embark on this 7-week study and answer God’s call to be faithful and trustworthy, becoming the woman of integrity God designed you to be. Trustworthy is also available in Spanish.

For more information, visit TrustworthyBook.com.

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