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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: 2018
May 1, 2018

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.

Episode 137 Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:47 Trending Up sponsor ad
  • 01:24 Introduction of Donna Barrett
  • 01:53 Life, conversion and call to ministry
  • 03:01 Why we need to create environments where youth can sense God’s calling
  • 06:01 History of ministry and leadership positions
  • 08:28 What the general secretary does, and what Barrett brings to the office
  • 11:54 Experiences as a woman church planter
  • 16:06 Why it’s important for Pentecostals to make a biblical case for women in leadership, as well as for women to be “at the table” of leadership
  • 20:16 Shifts in thinking from local church to national office, and advice for pastors going through transitions
  • 24:36 Conclusion
Apr 16, 2018

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.

Episode Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast
  • 00:45 TruFire Sunday school curriculum sponsor ad
  • 01:08 Introduction of Brian Stiller
  • 01:18 What From Jerusalem to Timbuktu is about
  • 03:30 Evangelicalism's explosive growth over the last century
  • 05:46 An overview of the five drivers behind this growth
  • 07:28 Driver #1: The Holy Spirit
  • 11:57 Drivers #2 and 3: Bible translation and indigeneity
  • 19:19 Drivers #4 and 5: Engaging the public square and holistic ministry
  • 24:29 Hopeful or fearful about Christianity's future?
  • 27:39 How to follow Brian Stiller or the World Evangelical Alliance online
  • 28:20 Conclusion
Apr 9, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:39 Voyage: Trusting Jesus in Untrusted Waters sponsor ad
  • 01:17 Introduction of Karl Vaters
  • 01:55 Why “church growth” talk is so frustrating to small-church pastors
  • 06:47 Why a “Now what?” attitude is so important
  • 10:08 Why small churches require different leadership structures than big churches
  • 13:28 Why we need a broader definition of “church growth”
  • 18:06 How small churches cast vision
  • 23:37 How small churches disciple people
  • 29:16 How small churches utilize facilities
  • 34:00 How to follow Karl Vaters online
  • 34:47 Conclusion
Apr 2, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:29 Mega Sports Camp sponsor ad
  • 01:07 Introduction of Mike Santiago
  • 01:43 Why is it important to give quality feedback to your team?
  • 02:42 Why are annual and quarterly employee reviews insufficient feedback?
  • 04:10 When is the right time (or wrong time) to offer feedback?
  • 06:45 How often should you deliver feedback to your team?
  • 08:33 What’s the best method for delivering feedback, especially difficult feedback?
  • 10:30 How does critical feedback help the person receiving it?
  • 14:00 How should pastors receive feedback?
  • 16:56 Conclusion
Mar 26, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:17 Power for Life sponsor ad
  • 01:55 Introduction of Lee Strobel
  • 02:28 Why did you start The Case for Miracles by interviewing Michael Shermer, the well-known skeptic? And what’s his case against miracles?
  • 05:50 Further problems with David Hume’s argument against miracles
  • 06:50 You next interviewed Craig Kenner, author of a two-volume study, Miracles. What is Craig Keener’s case for miracles?
  • 10:47 Did Hume ignore evidence for miracles from among his contemporaries?
  • 13:38 Does worldview drive the skeptical argument against miracles?
  • 14:31 Is there a well-documented contemporary miracle story you could share?
  • 21:20 What’s the historical case for Jesus’ resurrection? You can view the video Strobel talks about here.)
  • 30:10 How can pastors best use Easter Sunday to help people make an informed decision to follow Jesus Christ?
  • 32:14 Conclusion
Mar 20, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:29 Strong Enough to Last sponsor ad
  • 01:13 Introduction of Mike Santiago
  • 01:53 The facilities journey of a church planter
  • 04:14 How have people’s expectations about church buildings changed over the past three decades?
  • 07:17 What are the top 3 or 4 spaces in a church building that need to be addressed first?
  • 08:49 Where does renovation of a church’s exterior fall on a pastor’s list of priorities?
  • 10:43 What big-impact changes can you make on a limited budget?
  • 11:46 What about signage?
  • 13:18 How can you take an older space or a sterile space (like a school) more appealing?
  • 16:12 How do you lead people through the process of renovation?
  • 20:07 How to connect with Mike Santiago online
  • 21:10 Conclusion
Mar 12, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:55 Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling sponsor ad
  • 01:32 Josh Wellborn introduces himself and explains why he feels passionately about youth ministry
  • 06:12 Statistically speaking, the AG is a young movement, with 31 percent of adherents under 18 years of age. How well are we resourcing that generation?
  • 13:14 Can churches do more? And if so, what does more mean?
  • 18:29 After Parkland, are we missing an opportunity to empower and deploy youth in leadership positions?
  • 22:17 Three themes to emphasize in youth ministry: (1) better together, (2) missions and (3) leadership development
  • 30:15 Conclusion
Mar 5, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:54 Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling sponsor ad
  • 01:33 “Everyone wants to be a hero. Yet only a few understand the power in being a hero maker.”
  • 04:02 Give essential practices of Hero Making
  • 05:39 (1) Multiplication Thinking
  • 09:24 (2) Permission Giving
  • 11:40 (3) Disciple Multiplying
  • 15:53 (4) Gift Activation
  • 18:22 (5) Kingdom Building
  • 20:54 Encouragement and challenge for church planters, especially at CMN Conference in Dallas, Texas
  • 24:26 Conclusion
Feb 26, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:39 Senior Adult Ministries sponsor ad
  • 01:19 How Paul and His Team counters secular and individualistic tendencies in church leadership
  • 05:21 Secular models of leadership and the radical leadership posture of Jesus
  • 08:19 First bedrock value of the leadership of Paul and his team:  singular focus on Christ
  • 13:43 How do contemporary Christian leaders unwittingly take the focus off Christ?
  • 16:15 Second bedrock value: treating others as equals
  • 19:17 Why a team approach to leadership requires treating people as equals
  • 21:26 Third bedrock value: being agents of reconciliation
  • 27:23 How to follow Ryan Lokkesmoe on social media
  • 28:14 Conclusion
Feb 19, 2018

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.

You can follow Jeff Leake on Facebook and Twitter.

Episode 128 Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:26 Sponsor ad: Voyage by Kay Burnett
  • 01:01 Welcome to Jeff Leake
  • 01:30 The epiphany that vision and faith are different
  • 03:32 What role does vision play in spiritual leadership?
  • 05:17 Vision is based on imagination. Faith is based on hearing God's Word.
  • 07:27 How do you know when what you're thinking is faith or vision?
  • 10:37 What does faith do that vision cannot?
  • 12:54 Does faith take us beyond what our vision can imagine?
  • 16:22 How does the church-planting journey of Allison Park Church illustrate the interplay of faith and vision?
  • 18:06 How do we know that vision is God's plan for a leader rather than a copycat phenomenon?
  • 20:54 How vision and faith work together to accomplish God's plan?
  • 21:45 Preview of CMN Conference, March 5-7, 2018 in Dallas, Texas
  • 23:25 Conclusion
Feb 12, 2018

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.

You can follow Greg Ford on Facebook and Twitter.

Episode 127 Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:26 Trending Up sponsor ad
  • 01:15 Welcome to Greg Ford
  • 01:46 Defining culture
  • 04:49 One Church’s cultural behaviors: (1) Selfless generosity
  • 06:35 (2) Genuine affirmation
  • 09:06 (3) Honest evaluation
  • 10:40 (4) Missional commitment
  • 11:55 Who’s ultimately responsible for church culture?
  • 16:44 How to make an unhealthy church culture healthy
  • 20:39 How to manage culture when change is constant
  • 24:48 Why listeners should come to the CMN Conference
  • 28:03 Conclusion
Feb 5, 2018

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.

You can follow Barna Group on Facebook and Twitter.

Episode 126 Notes

  • 00:00 Introduction of podcast topic
  • 00:32 MEGA Sports Camp ad copy
  • 01:10 Welcome to David Kinnaman
  • 01:47 Why pastors and other church leaders should pay attention to generational research
  • 04:00 Demographics of Generation Z
  • 07:18 Big themes of Barna’s Gen Z report
  • 12:10 Nominal Christianity vs. biblical worldview
  • 15:51 Diversity of race/ethnicity and gender/sexuality
  • 21:22 Materialistic values
  • 25:04 Best practices for ministry to Generation Z
  • 27:55 Gen Z and Barna Trends 2018
  • 29:04 Conclusion
Jan 29, 2018

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

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:40 Sponsor ad
  • 01:20 Conversation begins
  • 01:58 Cultural intelligence defined
  • 04:03 The need for culturally intelligent preaching/ministry
  • 05:17 Racial and ethnic diversity
  • 10:29 Other forms of diversity: denomination, gender, location, religion
  • 19:07 The homiletical template
  • 21:55 Follow your HABIT
  • 25:02 Build the BRIDGE
  • 27:59 Speak their dialect DIALECT
  • 29:02 The homiletical template as instinct, not methodlogy
  • 30:50 Cultural intelligence as growth in empathy
  • 32:44 Conclusion
Jan 22, 2018

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:

  • 00:00 Welcome
  • 00:26 Sponsor Ad: Mega Sports Camp
  • 01:23 Introduction of John Van Pay
  • 02:27 Why JVP wrote Marathon Faith
  • 05:53 How often ministry leaders hit the wall, and why
  • 08:24 Why JVP calls faith a "marathon"
  • 11:36 How Hebrews 11 illustrates marathon faith
  • 17:08 The importance of keeping life's problems in perspective
  • 19:41 Ways that spiritual life is like an endurance sport
  • 23:09 Check out marathonfaith.org and mygateway.tv
  • 24:52 Conclusion

 

Jan 15, 2018

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.”

Jan 9, 2018

In this episode, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood talks to Dr. Jim Bradford about the personal, pastoral and congregational dimensions of prayer.

Dr. Bradford is general secretary of the Assemblies of God (USA) and pastor of Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri. You can listen to his weekly sermons here.

Learn more about Influence and subscribe to the magazine: InfluenceMagazine.com.

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Send us your feedback: podcast@influencemagazine.com

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