On Monday, April 23, 2018, the Assemblies of God announced that Rev. Donna Barrett would succeed Dr. Jim Bradford in the office of general secretary. Her term beings June 1, 2018. This was an historic announcement, given that Barrett is the first woman in the denomination’s history to serve on the Executive Leadership Team. In today’s podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Barrett about her life and ministry and how God has led her to this point in time.
In this episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Brian Stiller about five drivers behind Christianity’s explosive growth worldwide.
Stiller is a global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, an ordained minister in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and author of From Jerusalem to Timbuktu: A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity, recently published by IVP Books.
To learn more about Brian Stiller, visit BrianStiller.com.
The vast majority of churches in America are small. In the Assemblies of God, for example, 75 percent of all churches report fewer than 200 people in weekly attendance. Nearly 60 percent report fewer than 100. And nearly one-third report fewer than 50.
Unfortunately, there are few books about how to lead a small church. Karl Vaters’ new book, Small Church Essentials is one of the best, and it’s both hopeful and helpful. (See our review here.)
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Vaters about the unique challenges and opportunities facing small-church pastors. Vaters is teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California, and an Assemblies of God minister. He blogs regularly about small-church leadership at NewSmallChurch.com.
Episode 135 Notes
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, senior editor John Davidson talks to Mike Santiago about the whys and hows of giving feedback — both positive and negative — to the leadership team at your church.
Santiago is pastor of Focus Church as well as a member of the Church Multiplication Network’s Field-Based Team, coordinating training for church planters in the Assemblies of God (USA). You can connect with him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. His handle is @CheckTheMike.
Episode 134 Notes
Easter is a few days away. Around the world, Christians will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event, so pivotal to Christian faith, is a reminder that Christianity is an inherently supernatural religion. Unfortunately, in the modern era, many disbelieve in miracles, their skepticism fueled by appeals to science. So, the question naturally arises, do miracles really happen?
To answer that question, Influence magazine senior editor George P. Wood interviewed Lee Strobel about his new book, The Case for Miracles. Strobel began his career as the award-winning legal editor for The Chicago Tribune. After his conversion from atheism to Christianity, however, he turned his attention to apologetics and evangelism and has written bestsellers like The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. He currently serves as professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University as well as teaching pastor at Woodlands Church.
If you’d like a video of Lee Strobel making the case for Jesus’ resurrection, which you can download and use in your church, go here.
Episode 133 Notes
In 2012, Mike Santiago planted Focus Church with his wife Ashton in metropolitan Raleigh, North Carolina. The church met in rented school facilities for several years until being told their rental agreement would expire in two weeks. Providentially, Focus was able to merge with an older, existing church whose facilities had been built in the 1980s.
People expect different things from church facilities in 2018 than they did in the 1980s, however, so renovations were needed. Plus, there were items of deferred maintenance that needed to be addressed. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine senior editor John Davidson interviews Mike Santiago about how to update an older church building on a limited budget.
Santiago is pastor of Focus Church as well as a member of the Church Multiplication Network’s Field-Based Team, coordinating training for church planters in the Assemblies of God (USA). You can connect with Santiago on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. His handle is @CheckTheMike.
Episode 132 Notes
Josh Wellborn is the newly appointed director of National Youth Ministries for the Assemblies of God (AG). He comes to that position after two decades of ministry as a youth pastor and District Youth Director in the Michigan District of the Assemblies of God. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Josh talks to Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood about what churches can do to reach and retain young people. His vision can be summarized in two words: relationship and discipleship.
Episode 131 Notes
Everyone wants to be a hero. Yet only a few understand the power in being a hero maker. Those that do become leaders who multiply leaders.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Dave Ferguson about how to multiply leaders in your church. Their conversation draws on insights from Dave’s new book, Hero Maker, coauthored with Warren Bird and published by Zondervan.
Dave is pastor of Community Christian Church, a multisite congregation with 11 locations in Chicago and its suburbs. He’s also the visionary for New Thing, an international church-planting movement, and president of the Exponential Conference. You can follow Dave on Twitter; his handle is @DaveFerguson. And check out his website, DaveFerguson.org.
Episode 130 Notes
Pastors and other church leaders often turn to secular leadership books for insights about how they should lead their congregations. Those books can be helpful, so their advice shouldn't necessarily be discounted.
By the same token, however, the Bible itself is a leadership book, which sets out the distinctive tone and posture of authentically Christian leadership. So, it should be the primary source of guidance for how Christians lead.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Ryan Lokkesmoe about leadership lessons we can learn from the New Testament church. Lokkesmoe is lead pastor of Real Hope Community Church in Houston, Texas. He has a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Denver, and he is author, most recently, of Paul and His Team, published in 2017 by Moody.
Episode 128 Notes
You can't lead anything without a vision of your preferred future. This includes leadership in the local church. But that vision must come out of discerning what God is saying to you as you lead.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine senior editor John Davidson talks to Jeff Leake about the difference between vision and faith, as well as how they work together.
Leake is pastor of Allison Park Church in Allison Park, Pennsylvania. He also provides leadership to Reach Northeast, a church-planting initiative in the northeast U.S., as well asa lead team member of the Church Multiplication Network.
Episode 128 Notes
Management consultant Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That’s true in the business world, but it’s also true in the life of the local church.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine senior editor John Davidson talks to Greg Ford about how to make your church’s culture healthy. Ford is lead pastor of One Church in Gahanna, Ohio, a church he and his wife Shailyn planted seven years ago. He is also a member of the Lead Team of the Church Multiplication Network, the church planting arm of the Assemblies of God.
Episode 127 Notes
Generation Z is the name of the demographic cohort born between 1999 and 2015. It is a large, diverse generation, whose ideas, experiences and values present both challenges and opportunities for Christian ministry.
In this podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to David Kinnaman about the new Barna Group report, Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation.
Kinnaman is president of Barna Group and coauthor of numerous books about how the next generation views Christianity, including unChristian, You Lost Me, and Good Faith.
Episode 126 Notes
America is becoming an increasingly diverse nation, and so are American churches. How should pastors and other church leaders preach and minister in this new cultural context? That’s the question Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood explores with Matthew D. Kim in this episode of the Influence Podcast.
Dr. Kim is associate professor of preaching and ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and author of the book, Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear our Sermons (Baker Academic). Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Episode 125 Notes
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine senior editor John Davidson interviews John Van Pay about what the faith heroes of Hebrews 11 can teach us regarding spiritual endurance.
John Van Pay is pastor of Gateway Fellowship Church in San Antonio, Texas, which Outreach magazine named the fastest growing church in America in 2016. He is also author of Marathon Faith: Motivation from the Greatest Endurance Runners of the Bible. For more information about the book or to download book-related leadership resources, visit marathonfaith.org.
Episode 124 Notes:
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In honor of Dr. King’s Christian vision of the “beloved community” and his Civil Rights activism, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks with Pastor Walter Harvey about what Pentecostals can do to promote racial justice and reconciliation in America today.
Harvey is pastor of Parklawn Assembly of God in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as vice president of the National Black Fellowship of the Assemblies of God. He also has the lead article in the January-February 2018 issue of Influence magazine, titled, “A Place Called Sherman Park: Eight ministry lessons that can help bring renewal to communities in chaos.”
In this episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Dr. Jim Bradford about the personal, pastoral and congregational dimensions of prayer.
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