Spiritual Life and Leadership

Markus Watson

Ministry leadership is about more than just growing your church or organization. It’s about participating in God’s mission in the world. But how can leaders know God’s mission or their unique place in it? Faithful ministry leadership is rooted in a life of deep and abiding faithfulness to Jesus. In “Spiritual Life and Leadership,” Markus Watson and his guests explore what it means to be faithful leaders whose ministry flows from their ever-deepening relationship with God. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

225. God's Work in the In-Between, a Quick Conversation withTod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
5d ago
225. God's Work in the In-Between, a Quick Conversation withTod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss the importance of transitions in both individual and organizational life, as highlighted by a quote from Terry Walling. They explore the concept of the "in between," likening it to the liminal space where significant transformation occurs. Bolsinger emphasizes that these periods of uncertainty are essential for faith and growth, encouraging leaders to embrace learning and personal journey as they guide their communities through times of change. The episode explores the challenges of these transitions and provides insights on how leaders can navigate them effectively.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from Terry Walling in Ep 212, Unlearning Old Paradigms for Kingdom Leadership:“Transitions are the most important moments in an individual’s life and in an organization’s life because God does some of his greatest work in the in-between.”THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Leaders must embrace the journey of learning to move forward effectively.Churches need to let go of immediate stability to experience transformational growth.Leaders should engage in their own continuous spiritual journey to inspire others.Congregations often resist the discomfort of transitional periods but must persevere.Effective interim leadership requires guiding churches through the unknown with faith.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
224. Leadership Through the Lens of Hebrews, with Amy Peeler, author of Hebrews: Commentaries for Christian Formation
Jul 9 2024
224. Leadership Through the Lens of Hebrews, with Amy Peeler, author of Hebrews: Commentaries for Christian Formation
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Amy Peeler, author of Hebrews: Commentaries for Christian Formation, shares her insights on leadership through the lens of the book of Hebrews, drawing parallels between Jesus’ steadfast priesthood and the role of modern pastors and leaders. Her reflections on enduring hope, resilience, and the practicalities of leading a post-COVID church are valuable for all who are in ministry leadership.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Amy Peeler explains the concept of loss and how it impacts the community when leaders pass away.Churches feel the impact of the loss of beloved mentors and leaders of faith.Amy Peeler emphasizes the comfort that Jesus Christ offers as an unwavering and stable leader.Amy Peeler emphasizes the need to navigate through confusion, exhaustion, and resistance in the wilderness, offering advice for leaders leading through change.The famous faith chapter, Hebrews 11, emphasizes enduring hope in God and faith as the foundation of good leadership.Amy Peeler highlights the imagery of holding on to Jesus as a boat is tethered to its anchor from Hebrews 6, emphasizing resting in Jesus' strength when things are difficult in our leadership.Humility and service are so important in leadership, even when being a pastor feels costly.Amy Peeler explores the importance of helping congregations navigate loss and resistance.Amy Peeler examines the practical instructions for leaders and the principles for leadership found throughout the letter of Hebrews.Hebrews' message includes the call for leaders to keep trusting in God, especially during persecution.Pastors and priests, according to Amy Peeler, are mediators, similar to Jesus' role as High Priest.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Amy Peeler:www.amypeeler.comWheaton CollegeBooks mentioned:Hebrews: Commentaries for Christian Formation, by Amy PeelerWomen and the Gender of God, by Amy PeelerRelated episodes:Power, Vulnerability, Rest, with Tod BolsingerLeading Like Jesus, with Ken BlanchardDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
223. Discovering Where God is Already at Work, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Jul 2 2024
223. Discovering Where God is Already at Work, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Markus Watson and Tod Bolsinger engage in a discerning conversation about the leadership and mission implications of the idea that God is already pesent in every culture. They consider the respect and humility required when entering new cultures and relationships, especially with the understanding that God's presence and work precede us. Through personal stories and theological insights, they explore the posture of listening and joining in what God is already doing, rather than imposing our preconceptions.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from Justin Bailey in Episode 173, The Art of Interpreting Culture:“You never go to another culture where God is not already present and at work.”THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:God actively engages in all cultures even before we arrive, as highlighted by Justin Bailey's insight that one never enters a culture where God isn't already present and working.Leaders enhance their missions by respectfully listening first, acknowledging God's presence in every context, as emphasized by Tod Bolsinger's agreement with Justin Bailey.Christian engagement with others thrives when it begins with humility and recognition of God's preexisting activity, instead of approaching with a colonial mindset of bringing God to an empty space.Spiritual encounters flourish when the approach is invitational and inclusive, as demonstrated by Markus Watson's open communion table welcoming all individuals to participate.Adaptive leadership calls for joining in what God is already doing within a community, rather than imposing a preconceived agenda, thus resonating with an organic and responsive mode of spiritual leadership.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
222. Building a Multi-Inclusive Church, with Efrem Smith and Dan Kreiss, authors of Church for Everyone
Jun 25 2024
222. Building a Multi-Inclusive Church, with Efrem Smith and Dan Kreiss, authors of Church for Everyone
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Efrem Smith and Dan Kreiss, the authors of Church For Everyone: Building a Multi-Inclusive Community, explore the importance of multi-inclusivity in church leadership, the need to empower young people in decision-making, and the steps required to break down socio-economic and cultural barriers within our faith communities.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Creating spaces and processes for the emerging generation to have voice and participate in decision-making within multi-inclusive churches is crucial.In the Evangelical Covenant Church, the 6-fold test for multi-ethnic ministry includes population, participation, and power as key aspects to consider.Efforts to create spaces for feedback and participation are a key step in promoting inclusion and diversity in churches.Efrem Smith emphasizes the need to intentionally hire diverse staff and involve the emerging generation in shaping the church's narrative.Dan Kreiss points out that long-standing churches with deep traditions face greater challenges and need intentional discomfort and leadership formation to create a multi-inclusive community.According to Efrem Smith and Dan Kreiss, the diverse and multi-ethnic nature of the younger generation is not reflected in many church contexts on Sunday mornings.Dan Kreiss points out that building relationships with those outside his predominantly Caucasian church is essential to foster inclusion and understanding.Efrem Smith underscores the need to eliminate excuses for young people to dismiss the church and to create a multi-inclusive community that reflects the diversity found in other aspects of their lives.God can use individuals of different generations to advance his kingdom, as demonstrated by the biblical stories of David, Esther, Abraham, and Josiah.The letters of Paul emphasize the importance of a multi-inclusive, Christ-centered community, reflecting the multicultural and intergenerational nature of the church.According to Dan Kreiss, starting the journey towards a multi-inclusive church involves intentional efforts to build relationships with diverse communities.Dan Kreiss encourages pastors to surround themselves with others in the community for support and accountability.Efrem Smith says the move from stigmatizing the younger generation to becoming friends and missionaries to them is essential.Navigating the tensions between different generations is part of maintaining an intergenerational and diverse church environment.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Efrem Smith:Mid-town ChurchInfluential Global MinistriesInstagram - @efrem.smithDan Kreiss:Roswell Presbyterian ChurchInstagram - @dan_kreissBooks mentioned:Church for Everyone, by Efrem Smith and Dan KreissRelated episodes:Called to Each Other, with Claude AlexanderMinistry Leadership in a Racialized Society, with David SwansonIdentity, Belonging, and Purpose, with Kara PowellDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
221. Miroslav Volf's Take on Moving Forward, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Jun 18 2024
221. Miroslav Volf's Take on Moving Forward, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Tod Bolsinger brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this conversation, challenging us to resist nostalgia and the allure of a past era—like the 1960s, when the church thrived in a very different context. Reflecting on a quote from Miroslav Volf, Bolsinger, together with Markus Watson, contemplates the dangers of yearning for what no longer exists and the pressing need to adapt to a future we can't fully see yet.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from MIroslav Volf in Episode 169, TThe Materiality of God’s Mission:“We can’t orient ourselves around the old world; it would be dumb for us to do that.  And we don’t know how to orient ourselves with a world that hasn’t yet been born.” THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Many of our churches represent an "old world" paradigm, one led by experienced elders rather reminiscent of past church glories.Clinging to past success impedes churches from effectively engaging with and inhabiting the emerging world.Tod Bolsinger underscores the futility of solving new challenges with outdated solutions, advocating for a learning-oriented approach to leadership.Markus Watson acknowledges that navigating without a clear map of the future requires faith and adaptability.Bolsinger insists that the mission isn't to preserve the church but to pass the faith forward, adapting to the world's evolving needs.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
220. Leading Through Tragedy, Adversity, and Crisis, with Gayle Beebe, author of The Crucibles that Shape Us
Jun 11 2024
220. Leading Through Tragedy, Adversity, and Crisis, with Gayle Beebe, author of The Crucibles that Shape Us
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!In ministry leadership, how we respond to crises significantly impacts not just our journey, but also the communities we serve. Painful experiences like this can be crucibles that mold our character, highlight the importance of emotional presence, and underscore the need for institutional stamina—how do we get through this together?Gayle Beebe is the president of Westmont College and author of The Crucibles That Shape Us.  In this conversation, and he shares some of the ways he has had to lead through tragedy and crisis.  He unpacks concepts like competing commitments which are exposed in times of crisis.  He talks about the importance of having processing partners in our leadership. And he shares some of the profound lessons he learned from both the personal and institutional tragedies that he has had to lead through. This episode's highlights include:The seven crucibles from Gayle Beebe’s book are:The Crucible of Missed MeaningThe Crucible of Enduring ChallengeThe Crucible of Human TreacheryThe Crucible of Awakened Moral ConscienceThe Crucible of Social ConflictThe Crucible of Human SufferingThe Crucible of Personal ChoiceGayle Beebe discusses how individuals experience competing commitments in both personal and social contexts and the significant consequences individuals face when failing to balance competing commitments effectively.Personal losses and tragedies can shape leaders, developing their empathy and perspectives.Gayle Beebe reflects on how challenging experiences have deepened his understanding of God and reshaped his meaning in life.Leaders feel great pressure to maintain composure; thus the need for having a processing partner.Gayle Beebe reflects on Westmont College's response to the events of 2020, including the murder of George Floyd.Westmont College leaned into its existing commitments to justice, reconciliation, and diversity, focusing on building partnerships with those already engaged in work related to justice and diversity.Westmont College sought out and hired diverse faculty and staff to promote inclusivity, engaging in comprehensive training for the board, executive team, faculty, staff, and students.The discussion highlights key strategies like treating everyone with integrity, care, and respect.Westmont College identified bridge builders from minority populations to enhance community relationships.Gayle Beebe talks about handling emotionally devastating events, such as natural disasters, with spiritual strength and he discusses the learnings and resilience he developed from facing institutional crises, including the wildfires that impacted Westmont's campus.Relevant Resources and Links:Gayle BeebeEmail - president@westmont.eduWestmont CollegeBooks mentioned:The Crucibles that Shape Us, by Gayle BeebePensées, by Blaise PascalThinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel KahnemanRelated episodes:Embracing Limitations as a Ministry Resource, with Tod BolsingerADid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
218. Trust, Teams, and Transformational Leadership, with Mike Bonem, author of The Art of Leading Change
May 24 2024
218. Trust, Teams, and Transformational Leadership, with Mike Bonem, author of The Art of Leading Change
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Strong sermons, pastoral care and counseling, leading Bible studies.  These are all really important for effective ministry leadership.  But leading a church or organization is more than just that, isn’t it?In this episode, Mike Bonem--consultant, coach, and author of The Art of Leading Change--offers invaluable insights into how trust, effective team-building, and adept communication can transform your leadership and help you navigate the complexities of ministry.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Mike Bonem highlights the importance of trust in leadership, emphasizing that people are unlikely to give 110% if they don't trust their leader.Markus Watson notes that trust has different dimensions and can erode gradually through unfulfilled commitments and unmet expectations.Trust is built through follow-through on commitments and investing in relational components.When there is trust within a congregation, people are more likely to give the benefit of the doubt, get involved in initiatives, and commit to change.Trust is about being trustworthy as a person, not just doing things to gain trust.Manipulation by leaders is easily detected, underscoring the necessity of integrity.Mike Bonem discusses the importance of building strong teams to handle heavy loads and accomplish needed tasks.Building a strong team involves intentionally enlisting different perspectives and gifts.It is important to include people who bring different perspectives in the planning stages.Mike Bonem elaborates on the value of getting different perspectives and gifts in the room for effective team building.Markus Watson reflects on his own experience of leading change in a church amid the pandemic, highlighting how difficult it was.Mike Bonem emphasizes the importance of incorporating business practices into pastoral work to improve leadership in congregations.Mike Bonem and Markus Watson discuss key principles for leading change, including leading with trust, recognizing the importance of strong teams, and understanding that resistors are not the enemy.Mike Bonem’s Fuller Equip online course "The Business of Ministry" provides fundamental training for pastors in areas such as finance, HR, and church business.The first module of Mike Bonem’s course addresses the debate on whether the church should adopt business practices to ensure good stewardship of resources.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Mike Bonem:Website – mikebonem.comBusiness of Ministry online courseBooks mentioned:The Art of Leading Change, by Mike BonemLeading from the Second Chair, by Mike BonemStrengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, by Ruth Haley BartonSacred Rhythms, by Ruth Haley BartonGood to Great, by Jim CollinsRelated episodes:How Did God Intend Us to Experience SaDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
217. Holding on or Venturing Forth, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
May 21 2024
217. Holding on or Venturing Forth, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Markus Watson and Tod Bolsinger reflect on their passion for exploration as an essential element of leadership, discussing the current crisis where the church often resists change and clings to the past rather than venturing into the unknown. Together, they explore the challenges in embracing exploration within the church, examine the role faith plays in embarking on new journeys, and contemplate how our structures often dissuade us from the very essence of adventure that following Jesus entails.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from Dwight Gibson in Episode 25, Organizational Change and the Way of Exploration:“As people of faith I would like to believe we have a greater capacity for exploration because we do recognize there is something beyond ourselves.” THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Faith calls believers to embrace exploration and take on the risks that come with following Jesus.Current church culture often resists change and exploration, preferring to maintain the status quo.The Church Leadership Institute aims to equip individuals with the skills needed to navigate uncharted territories.Believers must learn to let go of the past, embodying humility and accepting potential losses, to move forward.God's presence provides reassurance and support for the faithful as they embark upon new, explorative journeys.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
216. Overcoming 'Puny' Spirituality, with Warren Brown and Brad Strawn, authors of Enhancing Christian Life
May 14 2024
216. Overcoming 'Puny' Spirituality, with Warren Brown and Brad Strawn, authors of Enhancing Christian Life
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!In this episode, Warren Brown and Brad Strawn, authors of Enhancing Christian Life, explain how contemporary Christian practices can often lead to what they call a 'puny' experience of Christianity that elevates personal feelings of closeness to God over outward expressions of faith. They argue for a robust, 'supersized' form of Christian life, where followers of Jesus are deeply connected with their church community, contributing to and drawing from a shared life that reflects the teachings of Jesus in tangible and embodied ways.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Warren Brown and Brad Strawn discuss the premise of their book addressing the problem of individualism in Christian life.They elaborate on how this individualism leads to a disembodied Christian life, where the body is given lower status compared to the soul.The concept of "supersizing" Christian life is introduced, suggesting that a communal approach to faith and acknowledging the physical nature of human existence can enhance one’s spiritual experience.Warren Brown stresses that humans are not separate entities of bodies and souls, but fundamentally bodies, which challenges traditional dualistic views.Brad Strawn emphasizes the importance of community and visible actions as markers of a genuine Christian life.The problem of Christian life being treated as a private, individualistic experience is critiqued, promoting a more communal and outward-focused practice.Both guests discuss the transformative power of living out Christian faith in communal and practical ways, such as through church congregations actively engaging in charitable acts.The conversation shifts towards the errors of mind-body dualism, reinforcing the idea that spiritual experiences should not be isolated from physical and communal contexts.Brad Strawn argues that even solitary spiritual practices like meditation are enriched and informed by communal and historical church practices.The dialogue covers how internal spiritual states (often considered private) should ideally reflect and be influenced by one's external actions and community engagements.The discussion concludes by considering the broader implications of their ideas on church practices, emphasizing an active, outward-looking approach to faith that integrates personal reflection with communal action.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Books mentioned:Enhancing Christian Life, by Warren Brown and Brad StrawnThe Physical Nature of Christian Life, by Warren BrownDid My Neurons Make Me Do It? by Warren Brown and Nancy MurphyThe Extended Mind, by Annie Murphy-PaulFuller Studio - Brad Strawn lecturesRelated episodes:A Crisis of Adult Discipleship, with Brian WallaceSpiritual Leadership in the Digital Space, with Laura MurrayeDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
215. The Contagion of Anxiety in Spiritual Leadership, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
May 7 2024
215. The Contagion of Anxiety in Spiritual Leadership, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!This episode unpacks the concept of differentiation—how it allows us to recognize when someone else's anxiety affects us and vice versa, and the significance of maintaining our personal identity while staying connected in relationships. With vivid examples and relatable scenarios, we'll explore strategies to navigate crises and anxiety within our congregations and leadership teams without succumbing to the contagious nature of anxiety.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from Steve Cuss in Episode 47, Leadership, Anxiety, and Family Systems:“[Differentiation] is your ability to notice when you’re getting infected by someone else’s anxiety, and how to stop your anxiety from infecting someone else.”THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Contagious anxiety impairs rational thinking and flexibility within communities.A strong identity enables individuals to engage with others without being overwhelmed by external crises.Differentiation involves maintaining a clear sense of self while staying connected in relationships without enmeshment or detachment. Self-aware leaders discern when to shoulder others' problems and when to maintain boundaries for personal well-being.Recognizing and managing one’s anxiety prevents it from spilling over and impacting the wider community.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
214. Leading with Purpose and Authenticity, with Tommy Nixon, CEO of Urban Youth Workers Initiative
Apr 30 2024
214. Leading with Purpose and Authenticity, with Tommy Nixon, CEO of Urban Youth Workers Initiative
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Healthy leadership is about paying attention to what God is up to in the people we’re leading.  Our job, then, is not to force people to be something they’re not so they can support our own initiatives.  Our job is to take note of how our people are wired and then help them live that out for the sake of God’s mission.This is true, by the way, not only for the people we lead; it's true for the leader, too.  In this episode, Tommy Nixon, the CEO of Urban Youth Workers Initiative, does an amazing job unpacking that reality.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Tommy Nixon is CEO of Urban Youth Workers Institute.Tommy Nixon reflects on the importance of embracing individual gifts and the problems of emulating other prominent leaders.Tommy Nixon and Markus Watson reflect on their shared experience of walking the Camino de Santiago.The pressures leaders receive from external stakeholders, such as donors and board members, can be profound.  That’s why it is important to develop a deliberate growth strategy.Investing in others is critical, as is the role of conflict and tension in contributing to growth within a team.Tommy Nixon narrates his challenges with wearing multiple hats in leadership roles and calls into question whether individuals are truly multifaceted or should concentrate on their strengths.He advises leaders to have candid conversations with their teams about their abilities and to possibly reconceptualize leadership and teaching methods.Markus Watson shares his insights on the difficulties of transitioning from conventional leadership expectations to a model that involves spiritual formation and surrender.Tommy Nixon speaks on the need for leaders to engage in self-exploration and the advantages it brings, mentioning the use of introspection to seek divine direction and share vulnerabilities to promote a mutual understanding.Nixon shares his own journey of inner healing and self-acceptance through God's love that he has been on since high school.Tommy Nixon has come to embrace a significant truth over two decades, which has revolutionized his approach to leadership and handling disappointments.Markus Watson opens up about being triggered by a comment from a parishioner and the value of introspection and apologizing for his response.The conversation shifts to the idea of leading by allowing people to be themselves and trusting God to work in their midst.Nixon underscores the concept that understanding and joining God's plan is crucial, even when faced with leading a smaller church in the post-pandemic era.Tommy Nixon concludes by advocating for a paradigm shift in Christian leadership, encouraging a more people-centered approach and institutional change within the church and related nonprofits.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Tommy NixonUrban Youth Workers InstituteThe Radical Middle Podcast The Future is Here PodcastRelated episodes:The Beatitudes and Spiritual Leadership, with Mark ScandretteYou Can’t Be Found if You’re Never Lost, with Steve CarterDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
212. Unlearning Old Paradigms for Kingdom Leadership, with Terry Walling, author of Unlikely Nomads
Apr 16 2024
212. Unlearning Old Paradigms for Kingdom Leadership, with Terry Walling, author of Unlikely Nomads
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Terry Walling is Founder and President of Leader Breakthru and the author of Unlikely Nomads. In this episode, Terry Walling shares about people he calls “nomads.”  They love Jesus, but they don’t love the more traditional expressions of the church.  They want to be part of the church, but the way most of our churches are structured isn’t life-giving for them.Terry and I reflect together on what a “nomad” is, what “nomads” are longing for, and how churches like yours and mine can love and bless “nomads” as they seek to live out their love for Jesus.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Terry Walling expresses his passion for mentoring leaders who are willing to take risks within the kingdom.He reflects on his own transformation from pastor to leadership development expert during a significant transition period.Walling shares humorous anecdotes from his pastoring days, particularly while presiding over the church his parents attended.Terry Walling discusses the shift from traditional programmatic church models to environments that foster safe and meaningful community connections.Terry Walling believes that church expressions are changing, with "Unlikely Nomads" capturing this evolutionary process.Walling advises the church to unlearn old paradigms and embrace new ones to stay relevant and effective.He emphasizes the importance of creating safe spaces for community interaction over adherence to traditional programmatic structures.The concept of a "bridging church" is presented as a means to help individuals reintegrate into their local communities.Terry Walling speaks about "unlikely nomads" within the church who seek a more profound journey with God and authenticity in their faith.He discusses the challenge of transforming church structures and the need to focus on personal renewal before organizational change.Terry Walling proposes that a shift towards personal discipleship can lead the way for structural transformations within the church.Markus Watson and Terry Walling hosts highlight the gradual, faithful process required for becoming more genuine followers of Jesus.They discuss the relevance of learning from those who have left the church to gain a broader understanding of faith and community.Walling and Watson emphasize the importance of not forcing individuals to conform to existing church expressions, but to have open conversations.The conversation delves into the difficulties church leaders face when adapting to evolving congregational expectations and societal shifts.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINK:Terry Walling:Leader BreakthruPodcast - The Nomad ChroniclesBooks mentioned:Unlikely Nomads, by Terry WallingStuck, by Terry WallingDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
211. Fire and Suffering, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Apr 9 2024
211. Fire and Suffering, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!In this episode, Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson unpack a powerful quote from Steve Carter, "You only learn resilience through the fire and through the suffering." This quote emerged from Steve Carter's experience of letting go of everything he had known and worked towards when he offered his resignation from a church leadership position in the wake of abuse allegations against the senior pastor, Bill Hybels. From this, the conversation explores the concept of resilience and how leaders are formed in the crucible of change and suffering. Tod Bolsinger draws from his work in Tempered Resilience to discuss the importance of reflection, relationships, and spiritual practices in developing resilience in the face of suffering.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from Markus Watson in Episode 163, You Can't Be Found if You're Never Lost :“You only learn resilience through the fire and through the suffering.”THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Leaders develop resilience through facing the crucible of change and suffering.Reflecting, nurturing relationships, and spiritual practices are essential in developing resilience.Steve Carter's quote emphasizes the importance of willingly engaging with suffering to learn resilience.Formative leadership happens when individuals courageously face challenges, seeking growth amidst suffering.Resilience isn't just about enduring hardship, it's about embracing reflective practices and nurturing supportive relationships.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
210. Cultivating Cultural Competence, with Daniel Lee, author of Doing Asian American Theology
Apr 2 2024
210. Cultivating Cultural Competence, with Daniel Lee, author of Doing Asian American Theology
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!Daniel Lee is the academic dean for the Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Doing Asian American Theology.Daniel Lee discusses the fact that each of us does theology from a particular persepective.  Recognizing our own "particularities" makes us far better leaders.  Why?  Because the more we are aware of our own cultural particularities, the more we become competent as leaders in regard to one another's cultural particularities.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Daniel Lee discusses the idea of God transcending divisive issues and the theological basis for God's perception of people.Daniel Lee initially saw his Korean heritage as baggage and tried to shed his cultural identity for a more generic evangelical perspective, but later realized the importance of embracing his Asian American identity in relation to his faith and theology.Initially resistant to being an Asian American theologian, Daniel Lee eventually embraced the need to articulate and address the significance of his cultural identity in his theological work.Daniel Lee points out that everyone has their own perspective and that when some perspectives become normalized, others are seen as abnormal. This issue exists in society and churches.Lee highlights the absence of modern-day race in the Bible and emphasizes the interaction between God and individuals, suggesting God's unique interaction with each person.Daniel Lee compares Asian American theology to the witness of God found in the gospels, emphasizing that theology is contextual and filtered through human perspective.It is important to recognize theology from an Asian American perspective and to witness to the one God collectively, while acknowledging that different perspectives yield a robust understanding of God.Ministry leaders need to move beyond crude stereotypes depicted in pop culture and gain a deeper understanding of colonial history and community-specific challenges.It is so important to gain more vocabulary and knowledge about different communities.  We also need humility and adaptiveness when interacting with individuals and communities.Both Daniel Lee and Markus Watson talk about the importance of discerning and joining in with what God is doing within communities.It is important to understand particularity in theology, as well as apply ministry in specific and precise ways rather than using a generic approach.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Daniel Lee:Center for Asian American Theology and MinistryBooks mentioned:Doing Asian American Theology, by Daniel LeeDoing Local Theology, by Clemens SedmakChurch Leadership InstituteRelated Episodes:Episode 173: The Art of Interpreting Culture, with Justin BaileyEpisode 167: Called to Each Other, with Claude AlexanderEpisode 149: Ministry Leadership in a Racialized Society, with David SwansonEpisode 143: How the Church Can Respond to ImmiDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
208. Letting Go in Leadership to Move Forward in Life, with Adam McHugh, author of Blood From a Stone
Mar 19 2024
208. Letting Go in Leadership to Move Forward in Life, with Adam McHugh, author of Blood From a Stone
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!In this conversation, Adam McHugh, the author of Blood From a Stone, opens up about his transition from ministry as a hospice chaplain to the world of wine, becoming a wine tour guide and sommelier.  Adam shares about the emotional rollercoaster that goes along with redefining one's identity and faith outside of traditionally established ministry roles.For pastors and ministry leaders struggling with letting go of their church-centered identities, or struggling with transitioning in the way they are called to lead in a constantly changing world, this conversation will encourage you to lean into the patience and the inner transformation needed to live and lead in new ways.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Adam McHugh shares his journey from ministry to a new career path, reflecting on the difficulty and fear associated with such a transition.Markus Watson and Adam McHugh explore the prevalence of compassion fatigue among pastors and chaplains, acknowledging the personal toll it takes.The conversation touches on the struggle to redefine personal identity and faith when moving beyond traditional pastoral roles.Adam McHugh recounts his impactful experiences as a hospice chaplain and how they shaped his sense of self and faith.Adam and Markus delve into the "dark night of the soul," discussing the profound search for authenticity amidst life's challenges.Adam McHugh describes his transition from being a pastor and chaplain to a sommelier and wine tour guide, revealing a new chapter of his life.Adam McHugh articulates the struggle of identity and the transformation he underwent from Reverend to sommelier, framing it as an evolution of his humanity.Adam McHugh and Markus Watson emphasize the necessity of acknowledging the end of one life phase before embracing a new one, underscoring the importance of the internal transition process.Markus Watson adds insight into the stress associated with pastoral duties and the importance of embracing one's humanity over a clerical role.Adam McHugh advises pastors grappling with identity transitions to be patient and considerate of the internal processes involved.The discussion reveals Adam McHugh's tumultuous shift from a pastoral identity to embracing a new community and profession.Markus Watson speaks to the ongoing journey of transformation, underscoring the significance of patience and being shaped by God's hand.Adam McHugh advises embracing patience during the difficult process of identity transition, recognizing that it is a part of the continual path of transformation.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Adam McHugh:Email – adammchugh@gmail.comInstagram - @adammchughwineInterVarsity Press bioBooks mentioned:Blood From a Stone, by Adam McHughPowers and Thrones, by Dan JonesManaging Transitions, by William BridgesRelated Episodes:Ep. 142: Navigating the 7 Stages of Transition, with D. Michael LindsayEp. 194: Saudade, Leadership, and Nurturing the Inner Life, with Jeff CrosbyDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
207. The Vital Role of Vocation, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Mar 12 2024
207. The Vital Role of Vocation, a Quick Conversation with Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!In this episode, Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson explore the transformative power of vocation as they discuss a poignant quote by Steven Garber. Join them as they unpack how each person's calling is  woven into the very meaning of God's work in the world. They shed light on the profound implications of vocation for spiritual formation, the vitality of the church, and the overarching mission of God. With engaging anecdotes and thought-provoking insights, this discussion promises to spark a deeper understanding of vocation's profound impact on individual lives and the collective mission of the church.Tod Bolsinger and Markus Watson discuss this quote from Scott Thumma in Episode 157: Seamless Leadership:“Vocation is integral—not incidental—to the missio dei, to the very meaning of God’s work in the world.”  THIS EPISODES' HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Every Christian has a calling to participate in God's mission to bring renewal to the world.Our sense of calling is not just about our career or job but is integral to our identity.Every person's vocation, whether paid or unpaid, is sacred and important in the eyes of God.God chooses to use us in His work to restore and renew the world.Vocation involves developing the capacity to hear God's voice and discern our unique calling in life.Did you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!
206. The Healing Power of Pilgrimage, with Jon Huckins, Director of Journey Home
Mar 5 2024
206. The Healing Power of Pilgrimage, with Jon Huckins, Director of Journey Home
Send me a text! I’d love to know what you're thinking!When I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2022, it was something I had been longing to do for years.  After a fairly traumatic experience at a church I'd been serving, the thought of just walking with Jesus for an extended time felt like exactly what I needed.I walked the Camino together with Jon Huckins, the founder and Director of Journey Home.  In this episode, Jon unpacks why pilgrimmage is so meaningful and how it can help those of us in leadership to be our best selves for the sake of those we're leading, for the world, and for ourselves.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Jon Huckins is founder and Director of Journey Home and is adjunct professor of New Testament at Point Loma Nazarene University.Jon Huckins describes the transition to the second half of life as a shift from doing to being and embracing one's identity as deeply loved by God.The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage is presented as a crucial tool for self-reflection, challenging external expectations, and engaging spiritual awakening.The transition from leading Global Immersion to starting Journey Home reflects Huckins' focus on facilitating societal and individual healing.Jon Huckins shares the profound influence the Camino pilgrimage has had on his ministry and his dedication to the work of peacemaking.The Camino serves as a means for intentional dislocation to face oneself and the authentic realitiies of life.Huckins comments on the distinct challenges faced by pastors and ministry leaders in an era where their conventional roles are questioned.Pilgrimage, according to Jon Huckins, is linked to the process of acknowledging and grieving loss, while also confronting the resistance to change in our ministries.Becoming second-half-of-life individuals allows for more resilience and a generous, open-hearted approach to leadership.Jon Huckins emphasizes the significance of spaces like the Camino for transformation, focusing on experiencing rather than decision-making.Jon Huckins highlights the transformative power of being fully present and releasing control, as experienced on the Camino.The mission of Journey Home aims to facilitate pilgrimages that act as vehicles for healing and development for leaders.Jon Huckins stresses the importance of pilgrimages like the Camino in aiding Christian leaders through their spiritual and emotional development.The challenges of ministry require spaces and practices that support healing and rejuvenation.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:JourneyHome:Website – Journeyhome.infoInstagram - @journey_home_pilgrimagesBooks mentioned:Falling Upward, by Richard RohrLeadership on the Line, by Ronald HeifetzRelated episodes:Ep 163: You Can’t Be Found if You’re Never Lost, with Steve CarterEp 112: The Beatitudes and Spiritual Leadership, with Mark ScandretteChurch lDid you know Spiritual Life and Leadership has been named the #1 Spiritual Leadership Podcast by the Feedspot Podcasters Database? Check it out HERE!