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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: 2022
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.

Sep 1, 2022

“Ever been in a season of life that seemed to lack forward momentum?” asks Jeffery Portmann “You’re doing everything you can to experience growth, maybe even repeating what’s worked before. But then there’s a moment … where what you expected, hoped, and prayed for just isn’t happening.”

Portmann calls this experience “delayed destiny.” In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to him about delayed destiny using the biblical example of Joseph. We talk about what hinders and what helps in such moments, and we also talk about how God uses those seasons for our benefit. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Jeffery Portmann is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and director of the Church Multiplication Network, the AG’s church-planting agency. He is author of Delayed Destiny: Embracing Slow-Motion Growth in a Fast-Paced World.

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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 21, 2022

In contemporary culture, people who identify as LGBT have a clear narrative. Their lives became better after they “came out” as lesbian, gay, or transgender. Society should celebrate with them. Individuals who don’t are “homophobic” and “transphobic.”

ReStory Ministries believes that the coming-out narrative is not the only story. They believe people find true life when they give their hearts to Jesus Christ and live out sexuality according to biblical norms.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Linda Seiler and Joe Dallas about this second story. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Linda Seiler, Ph.D., is executive director of ReStory Ministries, which helps Assemblies of God churches more effectively minister to LGBT persons and their families. Joe Dallas is a board member of ReStory, a Christian counselor, and author of numerous books on LGBT topics.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you the ReStoried 2022 Conference. This year’s theme is “Beyond LGBT — Stories of Redemption, Tools of Ministry.”

ReStoried 2022 is a one-day conference about effective ministry to LGBT people. It meets on Saturday, September 24, at Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri.

Visit ReStoryministries.org/ReStoried22 for more information and to register.

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.

Jul 7, 2022

When it comes to planting and revitalizing churches, rural America is a forgotten field. It faces a variety of demographic and economic challenges, and the rural pastorate often means bivocational ministry in small congregations. In consequence, rural ministry is not an option for many would-be pastors.

Gerad Strong thinks it should be. I’ll be talking to him about effective ministry in small rural churches in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Gerad Strong served as lead pastor of Bethel Church in Rapid City, South Dakota, before becoming director of Discovery and Development for the Church Multiplication Network in Springfield, Missouri. He pioneered Bethel’s use of multisite models to serve rural churches in his region, and is author of The Forgotten Field: Using Multisite Models to Reach and Revive Rural Communities with the Gospel, published by Baxter 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.

Jun 30, 2022

Independence Day commemorates the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The Declaration is a legal brief, making a case that “these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.”

The Declaration also makes theological claims, however. It begins with reference to “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle [the colonists].” It ends with the signers appealing to “the Supreme Judge of the world” and expressing “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”

But its most important theological statement is this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Prof. Thomas S. Kidd about religion and the American Founding. Specifically, I’m talking to him about the faith of Thomas Jefferson — the Founding Father who drafted the Declaration of Independence. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Thomas S. Kidd is Research Professor of Church History at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and a Senior Research Scholar at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh, published this year by Yale University 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.
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.

Jun 16, 2022

“Our culture has become highly skilled in pointing out the problems [of masculinity], but, beyond public service campaigns and news headlines, we haven’t developed the same expertise in helping men solve those problems,” writes Chase Replogle. “We have lost the wisdom by which men become better, by which they mature into a better manhood.”

In this podcast, I talk to Replogle about how to find that wisdom again. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Chase Replogle is pastor of Bent Oak Church in Springfield, Missouri and author of The 5 Masculine Instincts, published by Moody.

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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 9, 2022

On May 2, 2022, Politico made headlines when it leaked the draft of a Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

That draft overturns Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision, which together with Doe v. Boltoneffectively legalized abortion throughout a woman’s pregnancy. And it returns regulation of abortion to state legislatures, rather than federal courts, which is where the matter lay prior to 1973.

A decision overturning Roe would be a momentous legal event, but would it change the way Christians minister to women who are considering abortion?

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

Cindi Boston is vice president of Heartbeat International. Founded in 1971 to provide alternatives to abortion, Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers in the U.S. and the largest such network in the world.

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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 2, 2022

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central claim of Christian theology. As the apostle Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” But is belief in Christ’s resurrection a matter of faith only, or can it also be demonstrated historically?

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

Dr. Gary Habermas is Distinguished Research Professor and chair of the department of philosophy at Liberty University. He is the author or coauthor of more than 30 books, most recently, Risen Indeed: A Historical Investigation into the Resurrection of Jesus, published in 2021 by Lexham Academic. Habermas is widely considered the nation’s foremost apologist on the historicity of Christ’s resurrection.

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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.

May 5, 2022
“Life is like walking downhill over the rocks,” writes Chris Maxwell. “The slopes and sharp rocks remind us of danger.” Consequently, he goes on to say, “Healthy equilibrium isn’t staying away from the downhill slants or the harsh drops; it is gaining a better perspective on obtaining and maintaining stability there.” In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Maxwell about how pastors — and the churches they lead — can get and keep spiritual and emotional equilibrium. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Chris Maxwell is director of Spiritual Life and campus pastor at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, and an ordained minister with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. He is author of Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life’s Uneven Surfaces, published by True Potential.

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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 outreaches create connection between your church and community and introduce kids to a life-changing relationship with Jesus. This year, choose from two great sports-based themes for your next VBS outreach.

Visit MEGASportsCamp.com for more information.

Apr 28, 2022
On January 6, 2002, reporters for the The Boston Globe began publishing a series of stories about clergy sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Their revelations went on to garner a Pulitzer Prize and shine a spotlight on similar scandals in other dioceses. Evangelical churches weren’t immune from criticism either, and not just on the topic of clergy sexual abuse. The past few years have revealed scandals among some of America’s best-known and largest ministries, ranging from sexual abuse to financial fraud to spiritual abuse.

In Faith-Based Fraud, Warren Cole Smith writes, “The problems I recount in this book are not organizational problems that can be solved with new regulations and procedures. The problems are spiritual and theological ones that merely manifest themselves as organizational problems.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Smith about what churches should learn from religious scandals. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Warren Cole Smith is president of MinistryWatch, whose purpose is to be “an advocate for transparency, accountability, and the renewed credibility of Christian ministries.” He is author of Faith-Based Fraud: Learning from the Great Religious Scandals of Our Time, published by WildBlue Press.

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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 outreaches create connection between your church and community and introduce kids to a life-changing relationship with Jesus. This year, choose from two great sports-based themes for your next VBS outreach.

Visit MEGASportsCamp.com for more information.

Apr 22, 2022
The American Muslim population is growing. According to Pew Research Center, there were 2.35 million Muslims in the U.S. in 2007 and 3.85 million in 2020. Pew estimates that by 2050, there will be 8.1 million Muslims in the U.S.

“This represents a significant mission field,” writes Christina Quick in her profile of Lynda Hausfeld in the spring 2022 issue of Influence. “Yet many Christians are hesitant to reach out to their Muslim neighbors.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Mark and Lynda Hausfeld about how to share the gospel with Muslim neighbors. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Mark Hausfeld is vice president for Institutional Innovation and director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School in Ellendale, North Dakota. Lynda Hausfeld is founder and director of Say Hello: Serving Muslim Women, a ministry of Assemblies of God World Missions. Both are ordained AG ministers.

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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.

Apr 14, 2022

Leading change is one of a pastor’s most important jobs.

The changes pastors lead are spiritual, moral, and missional in nature. In other words, they help people come to Christ (spiritual), become like Christ (moral), and go out as witnesses to Christ (missional).

The changes pastors lead are also organizational. In other words, pastors help congregations change their methods and structures to make sure that the means of ministry actually accomplish its spiritual, moral, and missional ends.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Mike Clarensau about how pastors can lead congregational change in collaboration with church members. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Mike Clarensau is an ordained Assemblies of God minister, church consultant, and author of several books. His new book is Subject to Change: What People Want Their Pastor to Know Before Asking Them to Change, published by Arrows & Stones.

My conversation with him 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.

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.

Apr 7, 2022
“Imagine a steep and deadly cliff,” write Shayne Moore, Sandra Morgan, and Kimberly McOwen Yim.

“Today, most churches and nonprofit organizations working in anti-human-trafficking efforts are focused solely on the victims who have already fallen or been thrown off the cliff of modern slavery.”

Unfortunately, the authors continue, “we will never end human trafficking and modern slavery with this as our only strategy. Together, we must erect an impervious fence so that women, men, and children never fall off the cliff in the first place.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Sandra Morgan about how the church can help do this. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Sandra Morgan is director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. An ordained Assemblies of God minister, she serves as co-chair of the World Assemblies of God Commission on Sexual Exploitation, Slavery and Trafficking. She is co-author of Ending Human Trafficking, published by IVP Academic.

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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 outreaches create connection between your church and community and introduce kids to a life-changing relationship with Jesus. This year, choose from two great sports-based themes for your next VBS outreach.

Visit MEGASportsCamp.com for more information.

Mar 10, 2022

The Israelite destruction of the Canaanites, found in biblical passages such as Deuteronomy 7:1–2, presents a conundrum to Christians. Here’s what that passage says:

"When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations — the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you — and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy."

Here’s the conundrum: On the one hand, the Bible is inspired and inerrant, and the God it presents is morally perfect. On the other hand, the commandment to destroy the Canaanites seems genocidal. How can a morally perfect God issue such commands?

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

Prof. Trimm is author of The Destruction of the Canaanites: God, Genocide, and Biblical Interpretation, which comes out March 15 from Eerdmans Publishing Company. He is associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Talbott School of Theology in La Mirada, California.

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This episode of the Influence podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Reclaim His Promises: A Nehemiah Study Journal.

Many women feel they don’t have enough time or knowledge to study the Bible effectively. Reclaim His Promises is designed to make it simple for everyone to engage with God’s Word. It helps you unpack and apply the life-impacting truths found in the story of Nehemiah through engaging Scripture readings and guided journaling.

Visit MyHealthyChurch.com/Reclaim for a free chapter.

Mar 3, 2022
“Recent studies of Pentecostal origins have demonstrated that eschatology and pneumatology were inexorably connected in the historical development of Pentecostal theology,” writes Prof. Daniel Isgrigg. Why? Early Pentecostals “believed that the Holy Spirit was being poured out because they were in the last days” [emphasis added]. Spirit baptism, then, was a sign of the end times.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Prof. Daniel Isgrigg about what the Assemblies of God teaches about the end times. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. (The AG is publishers of both the magazine and the podcast.)

Daniel Isgrigg is an ordained AG minister; assistant professor and director of the Holy Spirit Research Center and Archives at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and author of Imagining the Future: The Origin, Development, and Future of Assemblies of God Eschatology.

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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 outreaches create connection between your church and community and introduce kids to a life-changing relationship with Jesus. This year, choose from two great sports-based themes for your next VBS outreach.

Visit MEGASportsCamp.com for more information.

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