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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: Page 2
Jun 8, 2023

“The tongues of Pentecost declare the wonders of God,” writes Dr. Frank Macchia. “Theology as speech about God speaks about such mysteries and their roots in the divine self-giving to us in Christ and the Spirit.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Dr. Macchia about key themes in his new systematic theology, Tongues of Fire. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Frank Macchia is professor of systematic theology at Vanguard University of Southern California and associate director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University in Wales. He is author of Tongues of Fire: A Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, published by Cascade Books, and of Introduction to Theology: Declaring the Wonders of God, published by Baker 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 is a unique VBS that makes it easy to reach new families, engage new volunteers, and reach unchurched kids in your community. This year kids at your MEGA Sports Camp VBS will discover they can have a positive influence on others because their confidence comes from God.

For more information about MEGA Sports Camp VBS, visit MEGASportsCamp.com.

Jun 1, 2023

“It is possible for a Christian spirituality to be theistic — to have room for God in it — but only in a philosophical, conceptual sense,” writes Dr. Gary Tyra.

In Introduction to Spirituality, he makes the case for an alternative approach: “a fully trinitarian understanding of God that is not only theistic but also theologically real.” According to a theologically real spirituality, “it is possible for God’s human image-bearers … to really know and experience their Creator in some real, phenomenal, life-story-shaping ways.”

I’m talking to Dr. Tyra about the convictions, commitments, and customs of a theologically real Christian spirituality in this episode of the Influence Podcast. 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, he has served as senior pastor of three churches, but now devotes his time to teaching, writing, and speaking. He is author of Introduction to Spirituality, 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.

A subscription to Bible Engagement Project equips you with kids curriculum for elementary and preschoolers and small group resources for youth and adults. The curriculum library will give your church a deeper understanding of the Bible and help every age grow in their faith. The resources are available in English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

May 25, 2023

Those of us who grew up in church are familiar with the children’s song about Zacchaeus. “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.” What we often forget is that Zacchaeus’ encounter with the Lord ended with Jesus clearly stating his mission on earth: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Founded in 2022, Seek and Save is an Assemblies of God ministry that organizes “collaborative outreach events to bring hope to communities in America.” It partners with other AG churches and ministries, as well as nongovernmental charities, to offer spiritual hope and material help to under-resourced neighborhoods.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Choco De Jesús about Seek and Save. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Choco De Jesús is general treasurer of the Assemblies of God. For many years, he pastored New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois, and has authored several books, including Love Them Anyway. De Jesús founded and provides leadership to Seek and Save.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

May 18, 2023

A well-known evangelical pastor recently announced that he will not speak at conferences that include women speakers. “There’s a line at which you can’t cross because someone is blatantly disobedient to Scripture,” he said. “ A conference that platforms men and women is “a total violation of Scripture,” he explained.

But does Scripture actually prohibit women speaking to conferences or leading Christian ministries?

Dr. Nijay Gupta doesn’t think so. In Tell Her Story, published in March by IVP Academic, he argues that the Bible shows women as co-laborers with men in all aspects of ministry. “Where men have sometimes said, ‘Women can’t,’ the Old and New Testaments testify: they did.” he writes.

I’ll be talking to Dr. Gupta about his book in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Dr. Nijay Gupta is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois. A specialist on Paul’s letters and theology, he has published commentaries on Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1–2 Thessalonians, and is co-editor of the second edition of Dictionary of Paul and His Letters.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

May 11, 2023

For the past 12 years, Dr. Greg Mundis has served as executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions. AGWM is the missions arm of the U.S. Assemblies of God and fields 2,640 missionaries serving 252 countries, territories and provinces.

Mundis has announced his retirement, effective September 30, 2023. In a statement announcing his retirement, Mundis and his wife Sandie wrote this to AGWM personnel: “Our hearts are filled with gratitude as we reflect on your faithfulness and prayers for us over these past 12 years. It is truly humbling, and we have the deepest respect for you.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Mundis about his personal experiences as a missionary, as well as his take on the past, present, and future of the AG’s global church-planting mission.

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

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

May 4, 2023

“Words create worlds,” writes Mark Batterson in Please, Sorry, Thanks. If so, what kinds of worlds are we creating? Do our words give life or deal death (Proverbs 18:21)?

Batterson is pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC. More than any other city in America, our capital is a place where people eat the fruit of their words, turning the nation’s stomach sour. And what happens in DC doesn’t stay in DC. It radiates out to every nook and cranny of America. Our public discourse is poisoned.

Please, Sorry, Thanks offers a different way — a loving way — of speaking. It is a short, simple book with a timely message. If sin is “culpable disturbance of shalom,” as Cornelius Plantinga puts it, then, as Batterson writes, “please, sorry, and thanks are the way shalom is restored.”

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

A subscription to Bible Engagement Project equips you with kids curriculum for elementary and preschoolers and small group resources for youth and adults. The curriculum library will give your church a deeper understanding of the Bible and help every age grow in their faith. The resources are available in English and Spanish.

Visit BibleEngagementProject.com to download sample lessons.

Apr 27, 2023

The Assemblies of God is comprised of 12,830 congregations in the United States. Between 2013 and 2022, the AG chartered 2,985 churches. During that same time, though, it closed 2,958 churches.

In other words, just to remain the same size, the AG had to plant nearly one-quarter of its churches over the last ten years. That’s certainly a statistical argument for church planting. But what if we had been able to strengthen the other churches so that they didn’t have to close?

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Jeffery Portmann about how church-planting principles can contribute to revitalizing the local church.

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

Jeffery Portmann is director of the Church Multiplication Network, the AG’s church-planting agency, an ordained minister,  and author of Delayed Destiny: Embracing Slow Motion Growth in a Fast Paced World. (We talked about that book in Episode 292.)

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, the distributors of Created for Purpose: An Esther Study Journal.

These days, women increasingly struggle to find their identity amidst the chaos of living. In Created for Purpose, Esther’s story shows you how to navigate the uncertainty of everyday life by reminding you that your identity is found in Jesus, not in the world. In this 4-week study, your group will see how the story of Esther models how to activate your trust, embrace your assignment, find your voice, and walk in victory.

For more information, visit MyHealthyChurch.com/Fashioned.

Apr 13, 2023

In Episode 310 of the Influence Podcast, I talked with Dr. Allen Tennison about the New Apostolic Reformation. We focused on describing the four distinctive theological doctrines and practices of that movement.

In this episode, we are going to take a more critical look at those doctrines and practices.

The central claim of the New Apostolic Reformation is that the contemporary church needs to be led by apostles and prophets. Other doctrines and practices are associated with the movement, but that seems to be what really drives the movement.

As classical Pentecostals, Dr. Tennison and I have a perspective on these NAR claims, which we want to share with you.

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

Dr. Allen Tennison is dean of the College of Church Leadership and professor of theology at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An Assemblies of God minister, he also chairs the AG’s Commission on Doctrines and Practices.

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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 is a unique VBS that makes it easy to reach new families, engage new volunteers, and reach unchurched kids in your community. This year kids at your MEGA Sports Camp VBS will discover they can have a positive influence on others because their confidence comes from God.

For more information about MEGA Sports Camp VBS, visit MEGASportsCamp.com.
Apr 6, 2023

Must the contemporary church be led by apostles and prophets?

Advocates of the so-called New Apostolic Reformation answer that question with a hearty yes. Others, including classical Pentecostals, aren’t so sure.

The idea that churches must be led by apostles and prophets isn’t the only controversial teaching associated with the New Apostolic Reformation. Others include strategic-level spiritual warfare, ordinary believers as a miracle-workers, and Christian dominion in society.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with Dr. Allen Tennison about what the New Apostolic Reformation is and how classical Pentecostals should assess it.

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

Dr. Allen Tennison is dean of the College of Church Leadership and professor of theology at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An Assemblies of God minister, he also chairs the AG’s Commission on Doctrines and Practices.

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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 is a unique VBS that makes it easy to reach new families, engage new volunteers, and reach unchurched kids in your community. This year kids at your MEGA Sports Camp VBS will discover they can have a positive influence on others because their confidence comes from God.

For more information about MEGA Sports Camp VBS, visit MEGASportsCamp.com.
Mar 30, 2023

Philip Graham, the Washington Post’s legendary publisher, once said, “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” If that’s the case, then with approximately 2,000 stories to his credit, John Kennedy has been writing the first draft of Assemblies of God history for nearly a quarter of a century.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk with him about what led him into journalism, his favorite stories, and what pastors can learn from journalists about more effective communication.

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

John Kennedy is a friend, colleague, and editor of AG News, the official news source for the Assemblies of God. He retires at the end of April.

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This podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, the distributors of Created for Purpose: An Esther Study Journal.

These days, women increasingly struggle to find their identity amidst the chaos of living. In Created for Purpose, Esther’s story shows you how to navigate the uncertainty of everyday life by reminding you that your identity is found in Jesus, not in the world. In this 4-week study, your group will see how the story of Esther models how to activate your trust, embrace your assignment, find your voice, and walk in victory.

For more information, visit MyHealthyChurch.com/Fashioned.

Mar 2, 2023

“The average pastor’s job is harder than average,” Lyle Schaller once quipped. That’s especially true of the majority of American pastors who lead their churches alone. They face a variety of unique challenges that make their jobs especially difficult.

How to lead church effectively when you’re the only staff member is the subject of Dr. Gary McIntosh’s new book, The Solo Pastor. In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to him about how to overcome the unique challenges of pastoring alone.

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

Dr. Gary McIntosh is president of Church Growth Network and distinguished affiliate professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. His most recent book is The Solo Pastor, published by Baker Books.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Feb 16, 2023

Christianity is the world’s largest religion. In 1900, approximately 558 million people around the globe identified as Christian. By 2020, that number had grown to approximately 2.5 billion.

Despite that numerical growth, Christianity shrank as a percentage of the world’s population, from 34% in 1900 to 32% in 2020. Atheism and agnosticism grew from 0.2% to 12% of the global population during the same time period, and Islam doubled from 12% to 24%. Demographers estimate that by 2050, Christians will constitute 35% of the world population and Muslims 29%.

What should Christians do with these statistics?

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

Dr. Zurlo is codirector of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and a research fellow at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. She is author of Global Christianity: A Guide to the World’s Largest Religion from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, published by Zondervan Academic.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Jan 19, 2023

The words of the Great Commission are well known: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Christians often interpret the Great Commission as their mandate for evangelism. According to Jesus, though, it’s about holistic discipleship. What does it mean to follow Jesus in every dimension of life?

That’s the question I ask Charlie Self, Johan Mostert, and Jamé Bolds in this episode of the Influence Podcast. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Self, Mostert, and Bolds are ordained Assemblies of God ministers and authors of Life in 5D: A New Vision of Discipleship.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Jan 12, 2023

On average, American adults read 12.6 books a year, according to a January 2022 Gallup survey. That’s about a book a month. Reliable data on pastor-readers is harder to come by, but a 2013 Barna study found that pastors bought 3.8 books a month. If pastors read what they buy, they read about a book a week.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking with pastor-reader Heather Weber about why pastors should read, as well as how often and what they should read. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Heather Weber is a writer, certified leadership coach, and ordained Assemblies of God minister. She serves as sectional presbyter for the Iowa Ministry Network and director of the Network of Women Ministers in Iowa and the North Central Region of the AG.

She also hosts Your Pastor Reads Books, a podcast devoted to “conversations about the books pastors are reading that are helping to shape them into whole-hearted followers of Jesus and healthier givers of spiritual care to others.” It’s available on Apple and Spotify.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Jan 5, 2023

On behalf of the staff of Influence magazine, I’d like to wish all our readers — especially those who listen to the Influence Podcast — a very happy new year!

In this episode of the podcast, the first of many to come in 2023, I talk to Doug Clay about the state of the Assemblies of God. What is going well in our Fellowship? What is challenging? And what is forthcoming? We’ll talk about those questions and more.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host. Doug Clay is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Dec 21, 2022

Prayer is a hallmark of Pentecostal spirituality, both in the New Testament and today. Acts 2:42 says of the first generation of believers, “They devoted themselves … to prayer.” According to the Assemblies of God Constitution, “the priority reason for being of the Assemblies of God is to be … a corporate body in which man may worship God.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Rick DuBose about why and how believers should pray in 2023, as well about prayer initiatives that the AG is sponsoring throughout the year. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Rick DuBose is assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. In that position, he provides leadership and direction to General Council-sponsored prayer initiatives.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

Dec 15, 2022

When the Christmas season begins, you can always count on at least one major media company to publish a story debunking the myths of Christmas. The effect, if not the intent, of such stories is to question the historical value of the New Testament. From a Christian perspective, that’s not a good thing.

But the reality is that there are Christmas myths that need to be debunked. Some of those are popular myths that conflate details of birth stories in the Gospels. Other popular myths are based on holiday traditions.

There are scholarly myths that need to be debunked too, however, such as the belief that the Gospel birth stories are contradictory or historically unreliable.

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Amy Flattery about the facts and the fictions of Jesus’ birth. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Amy Flattery is co-founder and director of the Assemblies of God Center for Holy Lands Studies and an ordained Assemblies of God minister. She has taught at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium, and led scores of tours to the Holy Lands.

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This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by The General Council of the Assemblies of God.

General Council is the AG’s premier conference. It occurs every two years the first week in August and incorporates spiritual inspiration, practical leadership training, and denominational business. The theme of the 2023 General Council is “Our Church, Our Family.” The conference will take place July 31–August 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit GeneralCouncil.AG.org for more information and to register.

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.

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