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A weekly discussion for the established church about the challenges and issues church leaders face. Hosted by Sam Rainer (West Bradenton Baptist Church, Bradenton FL) and Josh King (2ND Baptist, Conway AR). The show is produced by Jay Allen (facebook.com/jayallenlive/) in Dallas TX.
 
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The opportunity in 2021 is bigger than the crisis of 2020. In this week's episode, Josh and Sam talk about how they are planning for the upcoming year. They share some personal goals and goals they are setting for their churches. Your ability to pivot is just as important as the quality of your planning. Episode Sponsors: Located in Fort Worth, Tex…
 
Everything is breaking news now, and it's hard to discern what is important. Not everything being reported is newsworthy, and most media outlets sensationalize their stories. Josh and Sam discuss the ways they discern when to change a sermon based on a national or global event. Two key questions help. First, is it a biblical issue? Second, is it a …
 
Every pastor and church leader needs to have an appreciation and understanding of race, ethnicity, and culture. Chip Luter of Idlewild at the Springs joins Sam and Josh on today's episode. Chip shares his experience in transitioning from a predominantly black church in New Orleans to a diverse church in Tampa. Don't be afraid to talk with people of…
 
Pastors often receive gifts from church members. Sometimes these gifts can be substantial. What should you do with cash gifts? What is your process for receiving gifts as a pastor? Chip Luter of Idlewild at the Springs joins Sam and Josh on today's episode. We share stories about some good gifts we have received and some odd gifts we have received.…
 
Both introverted and extroverted pastors can be encouragers. Matt Carter of Sagemont Church joins Josh and Sam on the show. They discuss how any pastor--no matter what their leadership style--can be intentional about encouraging others. Some churches are notorious for piling discouragement on pastors, and the cumulative effect of constant discourag…
 
What is a "normal" church? On this episode, Josh and Sam join Jimmy Scroggins of Family Church to discuss why every church is at least a little weird. All churches are messy! It's normal to be messy, but good shepherds will lead their people through the mess. The church you are in now is your "normal." It is not helpful to be obsessed with being li…
 
With rising COVID case counts, many churches are wondering what to do about the Christmas season. On this episode, Josh and Sam discuss some ideas for Christmas Eve services and other events. You should not cancel Christmas at your church, but you may have to get creative. Don't be reckless for the sake of tradition but think of ways to serve your …
 
Every pastor makes mistakes. On this episode, Josh and Sam discuss some of the more common mistakes younger pastors make. Do not underestimate the power of symbols like the remembrance table, pulpits, and altars. Misdirected ministry ambition can lead to bitterness and jealousy. A lack of accountability can take you to a dark place. You don't have …
 
Jesus used sermon props like coins and sheep. He also used illustrations like parables. Sermon props and illustrations can be useful, but there is a point at which too much can become a distraction. Don't start your sermon preparation with the prop or illustration; always start your sermon preparation with the text. Josh Teis of Idea Network and So…
 
Pastors and church leaders are preparing for a lot of uncertainty with the next year. You should expect 2021 to become the new baseline for your church. Almost all of your metrics will reset. The first step in preparing for 2021 is to accept reality and don't get caught in the comparison trap with other churches. Now is the time to implement needed…
 
The number one indicator of spiritual maturity is daily Bible reading. On this episode, we discuss how to get your congregation reading their Bibles and share our favorite Bible reading plans. Steve Bezner of Houston Northwest Church joins us. Accountability and encouragement are key with Bible reading plans. When people read the Bible together, th…
 
As pastor appreciation month closes out, Sam and Josh share some honest feelings about how we show appreciation to each other. Churches should honor the entire staff, not just lead pastors. And unfortunately, not enough pastors and staff are as appreciated as they should be. The best thing church members can do to encourage their pastors is to invi…
 
Mid-week services are making a comeback as churches reopen. In fact, some churches are experiencing faster growth on Wednesday nights than on Sunday mornings. In the past churches could count on people attending three timeslots a week: Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening. Today, the most you will get is two timeslots. Wednesday even…
 
Pastors are burning out at a record pace, but there is a way towards recovery. Karl Vaters joins Sam and Josh on this week's episode. The post-COVID recovery will take years, not months, in many small churches. Karl Vaters shares some key ways churches can begin the recovery process. Church unity is more important than church uniformity. Saving mon…
 
In the coming months, a larger-than-usual shuffling will take place. Many pastors will transition to new ministry positions as others transition out. William Vanderbloemen joins Josh and Sam to discuss how you can prepare for your next ministry position. He also shares the fascinating inside story of how he started his company and his new venture, …
 
There are real dangers with constant notifications on your phone. Pastors must manage how and when to connect with people. Social media can be especially toxic. Mark Satterfield, Senior Pastor of the Glade Church, joins us on the show. How do we keep the phone from keeping us? It takes work to break the confirmation bias of social media algorithms.…
 
Preaching and worship venues are getting smaller. The average size of a new worship space or new sanctuary is down significantly. Churches with large spaces are asking the question about downsizing. What does this mean for the future of the church? Michael Wood, the lead pastor of First West, joins Sam and Josh on this week's episode. While COVID-1…
 
Preaching has changed with COVID-19, but it's anything but dead. More pastors are in front of a camera than ever before. The preaching audience is broad digitally but also smaller in size in live venues. Clay Smith joins us on the show. He is the senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in the Atlanta area. We discuss what the next eighteen mo…
 
The church will worship only to the level of the lead pastor. If a lead pastor is not a worshiper, then the church will struggle to worship. First Baptist Concord Pastor, John Mark Harrison, joins us on the show. The relationship between worship pastor and lead pastor is critical for the health of the church. John Mark, Josh, and Sam share their pe…
 
Many pastors inherit broken churches. The prospect of shepherding there for the long-haul can be mentally draining. In this episode, Sam and Josh interview Clint Pressley, Senior Pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. Preparing for a long-term pastorate means maintaining the discipline of balance, especially at the beginning and …
 
We're all busy. Pastors especially have full calendars, but not every pastor has an assistant. How can you manage your schedule when you don't have an assistant? Josh and Sam share some everyday tools they use. As a pastor, you should be accessible to your congregation but always being available will crush you. In this episode, we share how to prio…
 
How do you measure church health in a pandemic? What do the numbers even mean right now? With church attendance at 25% to 50% for most churches, it's more difficult to get a feel for the room. Ronnie Parrott joins Sam and Josh on this episode to discuss how they are tracking church health. Focus on four key areas of church health: Stewardship, lead…
 
When pastors and deacons work together, the ministry of the church thrives. When they are at odds, ministry struggles. Deacons are called to be unifiers in the church. Pastors should treat deacons positively and with respect. When hostility exists between pastors and deacons, the church will drift away from the mission. Too often deacons are forced…
 
On this episode, we discuss our personality types and how they influence our leadership. We discuss different tests like the Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, and the DiSC. Your personality will play into how you lead, and portions of your personality will rise up depending on the situation. Are these kinds of tests helpful? Or are they a bunch of bunk? Per…
 
As a pastor, you are part of the body of Christ. Within the body, friendship is important, even for pastors. Pastors should have friends in the church and model friendship for the church. Friendship takes time, and the expectation of instant friendship in the church is not healthy. The lead pastor should be friendly with staff, but being a friend t…
 
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