In this episode, I talk 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.
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 my review here.)
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk 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.
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, I 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.
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Josh Wellborn about what churches can do to reach and retain young people. His vision can be summarized in two words: relationship and discipleship. Take a listen!
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Dave Ferguson about how to multiply leaders in your church. The conversation draws on insights from Dave’s new book, Hero Maker, coauthored with Warren Bird and published by Zondervan. (See my review below.)
“Am I trying to be the hero, or am I trying to make heroes out of others?” Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird believe church leaders should ask this question daily if they want to develop a culture of multiplication in their congregations. To help leaders do this, the authors outline five essential practices of hero making: multiplication thinking, permission giving, disciple multiplying, gift activating and kingdom building. Hero Maker is a helpful book for any church leader who wants to do the “greater things” Jesus promised His disciples in John 14:14.
Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird, Hero Maker: Five Essential Practices for Leaders to Multiply Leaders (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018).
In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk 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.
Ryan Lokkesmoe is the lead pastor of Real Hope Community Church in Houston, and has a Ph.D. in New Testament studies. In Paul and His Team:What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Leadership and Influence, he brings his pastoral and academic experiences into fruitful dialogue about what the apostle Paul teaches concerning influencing others for the sake of the gospel.
“Many leadership books address the mechanics of leadership and primarily focus on what and how questions,” Lokkesmoe writes. “This book will be more concerned with who and why questions. Who are we as influencers, and why do we lead the way we do?”
Among the leadership traits of Paul and his team that stand out most are these: (1) “Their singular focus was Christ.” (2) “They treated others as equals.” (3) “They were agents of reconciliation.”
Paul and His Team is a good reminder that “our leadership within the church should always have that distinctive tone and posture when compared to any other leadership context.”
Over at InfluenceMagazine.com, I interview David Kinnaman of Barna Group about its new report, Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation. In my opinion, this is an excellent report for pastors–especially youth and KidMin pastors–and parents who want to understand the water in which their Gen Z kids swim.
You can follow Barna Group on Facebook and Twitter. I always find its research to be thought-provoking and helpful.
Episode 125 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