We've all heard it before, said one way or another, but it's always worth considering again: you have to lead yourself before you can lead your church. We wish it wasn't true. We wish that we could just walk into the office or the sanctuary and be ON at the drop of a hat--but reality doesn't work like that. If you're not emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually growing and thriving, your effectiveness as a leader will always be limited.
On today's episode Jonny hangs out with friend-of-the-show Scott Dalen to talk about what self-leadership looks like and why it's important for your small church. Scott and Jonny pull on some themes from other recent episodes as they dive into the importance of continuing to grow and be self-aware in our ministry lives.
If you enjoy today's episode, check out episode 172 and episode 188 which BOTH feature our buddy Scott and where you can find a whole bunch more encouragement to get you through the small church pastor life.
Episode 243 is our conversation with the founder of www.studentsofjesus.com, Ray Hollenbach. Ray is a pastor's coach, a college theology prof, a church planter, and a church consultant. Ray talks with Jeff and Jonny about the pain of and struggle of the fear and loss, that results from change.
This is an episode that piggybacks off the last one, episode 242, with Tod Bolsinger. If you are struggling as a pastor with keeping up with the rapid change in our society, this episode will give you hope! Paul the Apostle dealt with what we are going through, 10X! Ray refers to him and makes a great point in the process.
This episode will encourage and inspire you as a small church pastor, a 200church pastor! Enjoy!
Until next week...
Jonny's senior pastor, Suzanne Vogel, read a great book... and you know what we do... we will often contact authors of great books, and they are usually kind enough to join us as a guest on the podcast! This book is a couple years old - the book tour is over. But the author was very gracious to talk to Jonny and Suzanne about leadership... when where your leading takes you off the map, and into uncharted territory!
The book is Canoeing The Mountains - Christian Leadership In Uncharted Territory. The author is Tod Bolsinger. Tod is the VP for Vocation and Formation at Fuller Seminary where he also teaches practical theology. He has pastored in Presbyterian churches in San Clemente and Hollywood, CA.
Jonny and Suzanne spoke with Tod from Jonny's office in Des Moines IA. Jeff was no where to be seen. Jonny once again decided to go rogue and create his own episode. When Jeff does it, he's taking responsibility and working hard. When Jonny does it, he's going rogue and deserves criticism and insult. Such is the relationship between Jeff and Jonny.
But enter one Rev. Suzanne Vogel, the senior pastor of Meredith Drive Reformed Church in Des Moines and Jonny's boss. She is a class act and gets introduced on this episode. She is the one who led us to Tod, and who cohosted this episode with Jonny. THANK YOU Suzanne! You've done a superb job, even besting Jonny in Jeff's estimation. (Jeff just might be writing this post...)
Check out Tod's short video below where he talks some about his book, and Lewis & Clark. You can order Tod's book here - it's challenging and timely.
You are going to be informed and encouraged by episode 242 with Jonny, Suzanne, and Tod Bolsinger! Enjoy!
You won't want to miss out on this episode with David Housholder as he gives some practical advice on how to be content with small church ministry without getting complacent!
David is a pastor at Robinwood Church in Orange County, California and has been serving in small church ministry there for 11 years. Even though he has served in churches and ministries of all sizes, David prefers the small church life and opens up about why that is in today's episode.
Joining David on this episode is his wife Wendy who shares a bit about how adding Sabbath rest to their rhythm changed their life and David's ministry. That's also a topic David covered in episode 214 when he joined us before!
We guarantee you'll be encouraged and challenged by this episode.
This is a super classic 200churches episode! We talk with David MacDonald, the pastor of Faith Community Church in Red Oak, Iowa. David has served in Red Oak for 21 years, teaching and pastoring now into the third generation of church members.
Previously, on Episode 141, we had a great conversation with Melissa MacDonald, David's daughter, who is the National Director of Children's Ministries for the Christian & Missionary Alliance in the United States.
Jeff and David were at a denominational meeting together and took advantage of the time, recording this after dinner one evening in Jeff's hotel room. This is the mobile studio at its best! David talked about all things pastoral ministry - this will be encouraging and inspiring to pastors of all ages! Please enjoy it! And, if you didn't listen to it almost two years ago - DO NOT miss Melissa's energetic, gigantically inspiring episode!
Episode 239 - What Authors and Small Church Pastors Dream Of - A Story Of Radical Life Change with Steve Mason
Steve and Pam Mason are members of Jeff & Jonny's church in Orange City IA. But they weren't just five years ago! They claim they were hiding out on their acreage, Steve spending an inordinate amount of time in the basement, with no relationships, suffering from depression and anxiety. The picture was bleak.
But one day, "a guy" in our church decided to step out of his comfort zone, move toward Steve, and just be a friend. That movement toward Steve would ultimately change both Steve and Pam's lives. In this episode, Jeff talks with Steve, asking him to tell his story. It's really the story of small church ministry, and the story of small church pastors.
Steve is a great friend and encouragement to us both, and we are excited to share his story with you - and hopefully inspire and encourage you through it. This same journey of life change is happening every day, in small churches all around the world!
We talk quite a bit about a book titled The Cure - What if God isn't who you think He is, and neither are you. If you have never read this book, you really should. :-)
Check out John Lynch's message, that changed Steve's life - below - in a shortened form, and then the full message. You'll love it!
When God takes something you love to do, and mixes it with a no confidence vote from your church - and produces something awesome and wonderful!
This was a very fun episode to record with a fun, fantastic couple who are long time listeners to the 200churches Podcast - long time small church pastor/wife, and recent entrepreneurs in a small business startup that serves the needs of small churches - Tim and Ginger Hohm!
Tim and Ginger asked if they could help sponsor the podcast, and we said no, simply because we have not yet ventured into the sponsorship world with our podcast - BUT - we invited them to come as guests on the podcast, talk about small church ministry, life, and their new startup - MojoVideo.TV.
This is a gem of an episode that we think will encourage thousands of pastors and wives/husbands all around the world. Pastors who are managing the stresses and challenges of small church ministry will understand the lingo that Tim and Ginger use as they describe their ministry experiences.
Finally: Go to www.mojovideo.tv and see if your church shouldn't give them a test drive for one month - as they produce awesome weekly announcement videos for churches of all sizes, but are priced so that a smaller church can afford them.
There were three full time staff at Jeff & Jonny's church in Orange City, IA as of the middle of May, but by the end of August, all three will have moved on to other ministries. That's right - Jeff and Jonny have broken up!
Well, at least in terms of local church ministry - but NOT with 200churches! We have carried on as normal for the past nine months or so while all around us the ministry transitional winds were blowing. We've been able to weather the storms of change and podcasting at the same time, and until episode 237, you haven't known.
To be clear, our transitions are all very positive. Dover Church is a wonderful church, and we've been blessed to be a part of it for many years. God has been leading us, one at a time, and independently of each other, to other places. Jonny is already in Des Moines, IA as a campus pastor at The Bridge location of Meredith Drive Reformed Church. Lois, our admin assistant and Director of Worship Ministries, is on her way to a company in Minneapolis MN in about 3 weeks. And Jeff will be serving at Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton, IA as of September 1, 2017.
It's a scary but exciting time for our Orange City church as they seek new leadership and new staff. Dover is 73 years young and will be just fine. The people at Dover are faith-filled and God will continue to build his Kingdom through their ministry, we hope until Jesus comes!
Jonny and I are both going to be in churches slightly bigger than "200churches". Both are over 500. (Jonny will claim to still be in a "200church" by our old definition, but both campuses are over 500, so don't believe him!) Many people have surprised us by asking if we will still be qualified to host the "200churches Podcast"! Honestly, this has surprised us! We live and breath the opportunities to encourage and build up small church pastors - and that will not change!
All along, for almost five years now, we have not criticized large churches or mega churches. But instead our goal has been to CHAMPION SMALL CHURCHES and, champion small church pastors! We will continue to do that, because we will believe, until things change, that way too many leaders and pastors of "normal" and "ordinary" sized churches don't get the credit or encouragement they deserve - and we will continue to move both their way!
God moved us, both... and Lois too! But our mission with 200churches will continue to grow and strengthen - as it has now for 237 Wednesdays in a row.
So, here's our story...
Dave Jacobs from SmallChurchPastor.com joins Jeff on this episode to talk about a little discussed topic in the church today - GOSSIP! It's destructive and divisive and happens every day - and the guys give very practical suggestions for how to lead your leaders and your people in a God-honoring direction, away from this troublesome practice.
We've recently had a couple "Seminary Series" episodes, and this one is very applicable to small church life everyday struggles! We hope you benefit from it!
If you are looking for a "pastor coach" or some leadership or personal develop coaching, from a seasoned pastor and THE Small Church Pastor Coach - look no further! Contact Dave Jacobs at Dave@smallchurchpastor.com. He's your guy!
Follow Dave on Twitter @thinkmonk, and catch Dave's blog at www.davejacobs.net.
So yes, Walter Brueggemann indeed does bring the heat of his understanding of what the Bible says about money. possessions, the economy, the poor, and the billionaire class - hotly to episode 235 of The 200churches Podcast!
Jeff and Jonny talked with Dr. B from his Cincinnati home and he pulled no punches as he shared what he thinks is very important for small church pastors to know about speaking up for the poor, the disadvantaged, and those mired in poverty and without a voice.
In his most recent book, Money and Possessions, Brueggemann encourages a holy and loving neighborliness as the proper approach for God's people in today's economy. In the Amazon promotion of the book, it says:
Brueggemann advises us to reassess the ways in which our society engages—or does not engage—questions of money and possessions as carriers of social possibility. He invites the church to move toward an alternative neighborly economy that is more consistent with the gospel we confess.
In this episode, he talks to pastors of small churches about ways that they and their churches can make a difference in the real, lived lives of people today. We even got Dr. B to laugh out loud! He, however, got us to laugh more. This is a great episode, right on the heels of episode 234 with Dr. Stanley Hauerwas! Enjoy!
Also, Walter Brueggemann recently appeared on the Homebrewed Christianity podcast, and discussed very similar material - it is also a great episode to listen to if you want more Brueggemann!! CLICK HERE!
Welcome to the 200churches blog! We have hundreds of posts covering every issue imaginable. So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, and stay awhile.
Subscribe today and get Our 7 Favorite Ministry Resources FREE!