Damon Horton: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Damon Horton

Damon Horton: Find Your Calling PodcastDamon Horton joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. As a pastor, author, and former Christian rapper, Damon shares some of his backstory that ultimately led him to his current role as a church planter in Long Beach, California.

Damon Horton’s mother heard the Gospel and made a profession of faith at a Billy Graham crusade in Kansas City. This shaped the rhythm of his early life.  He met his future wife in the inner city of Kansas City while doing evangelistic outreach with his parents.  Damon was a natural evangelist utilizing Christian rap to reach youth.  He became a youth pastor and eventually went to seminary.  He pastored several different churches before assuming the role of Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries.

Convicted by his calling and with the financial responsibilities of a young family, Damon and his wife left the comfort and security of their current role to become church planting residents at the Summit Church in Raleigh Durham.  From there they felts God’s strong and clear call to move across the country to Long Beach, California to plant a church.

Damon Horton describes personal calling as the intersection of talents, burdens and giftings, and of open doors and closed doors as led by God.  Damon sees his calling as challenging and communicating scriptures, via the local church, in ways people can understand.  His core essence if creative communication of Biblical truths.

Damon describes the clues embedded in his life and childhood pointing to his calling, and his personal journey of seeking to follow God’s leading in his life.  Damon’s story demonstrates the power of looking hard at the “I remember when” events in our life.  God’s fingerprints were clear in Damon’s life as they are in ours.

D.A. Horton serves as Pastor of Reach Fellowship a church plant in North Long Beach, CA & as Chief Evangelist for the Urban Youth Workers Institute (UYWI). Prior to his current roles he served as an urban church planter/pastor in Kansas City, MO, a National Coordinator of Urban Student Ministries at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the Executive Director at ReachLife Ministries, the non-profit ministry of Reach Records.  He has authored three books; G.O.S.P.E.L., DNA: Foundations of the Faith (published through Moody Publishers) and Bound to Be Free: Escaping Performance to be Captured by Grace, (published through NavPress). He and his wife of 13 years Elicia are co-authoring a book on marriage. D.A. and Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr. (aka Duce).

Damon Horton - Find Your Calling Podcast

Alan Hirsch: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Alan Hirsch

Alan Hirsch: Find Your Calling PodcastAlan Hirsch joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. As a pastor, author, and leading missional voice for the church, Alan shares some of his backstory that ultimately led him to the United States as a missionary.  Alan says he’s always been a bit of a rebellious dreamer.  When God got a hold of him and redeemed his calling, a prophetic, “holy rebel” emerged.

Alan grew up under the Apartheid system of racial segregation in South Africa.  The unfair system shaped his values and thinking from an early age.  He often found himself in fights because he spoke up for the underdogs.  He describes himself as a “scrapper.”  Alan says, “I now have great respect and love for the edges and fringe in society because that’s where I was.”

During his time in the South African army, Alan and his buddies often withdrew to smoke marijuana.  The leader of this rebellious group found Jesus and introduced Alan to him.  As Alan says, “my friend Murray never left the rest of us after he experienced the life-changing power of Jesus.  Murray’s example left a lasting impression on me for how we need to remain in the culture to reach those far from God.”

In this edition of the Find Your Calling Podcast, Alan explains his journey to gaining clarity on his personal calling.  Alan says, “At the heart of calling is getting in touch with the unique purposes God has for you as a unique individual that no one else can fulfill.  It’s a sense of your particular destiny.”  His calling emerged after he became a Christian and moved from South Africa to Australia with his family.  As Alan notes, “When we moved to Australia I had a defining encounter with God.  The idea of being commissioned and sent was embedded in the experience.  This solidified and grounded my calling.”  Alan describes his unique calling as, “I’m called to help the church get into the ‘sent’ equation. That is to help the church become a movement again.  I feel a prophetic call to challenge the current system and bring it into account.”  Join Alan as he explains his journey.

Alan Hirsch is the founding director of Forge Mission Training Network and 100 Movements. Currently he co-leads Future Travelers, an innovative learning program helping megachurches become missional movements. Known for his innovative approach to mission, Alan is considered to be a thought-leader and key mission strategist for churches across the Western world. Hirsch is the author of The Forgotten Ways and The Forgotten Ways Handbook; co-author of The Shaping of Things to Come, ReJesus and The Faith of Leap (with Michael Frost); Untamed (with Debra Hirsch); Right Here, Right Now (with Lance Ford): On the Verge (with Dave Ferguson); and The Permanent Revolution (with Tim Catchim).  His experience includes leading a local church movement among the marginalized, developing training systems for innovative missional leaders, and heading up the mission and revitalization work of his denomination.

Alan Hirsch - Find Your Calling Podcast

Brandon Cox: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox - Find Your Calling PodcastBrandon Cox joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. As a pastor and friend to other pastors, Brandon shares some of his backstory that ultimately led him to full-time vocational ministry.  Most recently, his calling brought him to Bentonville, Arkansas where he and his wife, Angie, planted Grace Hills Church.

Brandon has pursued his calling from an early age.  At age 17, equipped by several generations of family involved in business, Brandon dreamed of his future making money.  While riding on a bus to a Future Business Leaders of America gathering, Brandon felt God nudging him toward ministry.  After reading Jeremiah 1, Brandon wrote down in his Bible the sense he was feeling:  “called to ministry”.



In this edition of the Find Your Calling Podcast, Brandon shares his journey of following that nudge on the bus.  After his first few ministry assignments, he was feeling drained and never wanting to be a senior pastor.   However, that wasn’t God’s plans.   Brandon led his next church through the 40 Days of Purpose study and gained  fresh perspective on ministry.  Eventually a passion for creative communication and social media emerged.  Brandon was hand picked by Rick Warren’s Saddleback team to oversee the Pastors.com online community.  After being on staff with Rick, a passion was ignited for planting a church.  Rick explained that some people are “called to Saddleback” while other are “called through Saddleback.”  Join Brandon as he explains his journey.

Brandon Cox became a pastor at age nineteen and has served in that role in small churches, as well at Saddleback Church, one of America’s largest and most influential churches. He’s now planting Grace Hills Church in northwest Arkansas. Brandon also serves as editor, mentor, and community facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren’s Pastor’s Toolbox, one of the world’s largest online communities of church leaders. He’s an avid, top 100 blogger (according to Kent Shaffer’s semiannual list) and lives in Bentonville, Arkansas with his wife, Angie, and their three awesome kids.

Brandon Cox - Find Your Calling Podcast

Mark Batterson: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson - Find Your Calling PodcastMark Batterson joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. An author, pastor and personal friend, Mark shares some of his backstory that ultimately led him to preach and write, including what he calls his “summer of seeking” and the moment that brought him to Washington, D.C., where he and his wife, Lora, would eventually plant National Community Church.

Mark has pursued his entrepreneurial calling in diverse ways, including church planting and writing. A New York Times best-selling author, he has influenced thousands of people worldwide, and in the podcast excerpt below, Mark tells us how people have influenced his calling—those who spoke into his life at a certain point and in hindsight were there in the right place at the right time.



“I remember my grandfather when I was five years old (he died when I was six) kneeling next to his bed, taking out his hearing aid, and praying for me by name. He couldn’t hear himself but everyone in the house could. That’ll shape you. I remember a Bible study minister I never met. When I was a sophomore in high school, I gave a speech that was really more like a salvation sermon. My mom sent a copy of the speech to my grandma who sent it to her Bible study teacher who asked the question, ‘Has Mark ever thought about ministry?’ I remember my father-in-law who passed 18 years ago, but I wouldn’t be in ministry if it weren’t for him. I try to preach the way he preached and lead the way he led. And then I’ve had the privilege of having a spiritual father or mentor for 20 years who has really taken me under his wing. A former pastor and former college president, he and his wife were two of the 19 people our first week at National Community. Without the influence [of these people] in my life, I know I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today.”

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.  One church with 20 locations, NCC focuses on reaching emerging generations and meets in movie theaters throughout the D.C. metro area. Mark is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including The Circle Maker, If, The Grave Robber and many others. He and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children, Parker, Summer, and Josiah.

Mark Batterson - Find Your Calling Podcast

Jim Putman: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Jim Putman

Jim Putman - Find Your Calling Podcast

Jim Putman joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. In this thoughtful interview, Jim shares his personal story of finding God and the Church (after years of bitterness and resentment toward both), as well as how he found his unique calling as a “coach of unique coaches.”

A former All-American wrestler, high school teacher and coach, and now leader of the Relational Discipleship Network, Jim urges churches to think relationally about discipleship. In the podcast excerpt below, Jim identifies what he believes is one of the greatest culprits of Christians forsaking their calling and how helping others find and follow their calling is essential to discipleship.


“One of the problems I think most Christians have is that they don’t understand calling. They think they’re going to get some sort of personal call from God.  They’ve never gotten that, so they think they must not be called. But we all are a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Part of disciple making is to help people understand how to see their calling, how you, as a leader, got your calling—so they don’t just assume you got yours from on high. You share with them how people played a part in helping you find your calling, and how you want to play a part in theirs.”

“So it’s not just introducing people to Jesus, giving them a Bible and sending them on their way. Discipleship is about helping people understand what a relationship with Jesus and other people looks like; helping them understand that God has saved them for a purpose; and then helping them figure out their calling, the gifts they’ve been given, and how those gifts fit into the mission of God.”

Jim Putman is the founder and senior pastor of 17-year-old Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho, and the founding leader of the Relational Discipleship Network, committed to equipping church leaders to follow the model of discipleship Jesus practiced. He is also the author of Church Is a Team SportReal Life Discipleship, and DiscipleShift (with Bobby Harrington and Robert Coleman). He, his wife and three sons live in scenic northern Idaho.

Jim Putman - Find Your Calling Podcast

William Vanderbloemen: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with William Vanderbloemen

William Vanderbloemen - Find Your Calling PodcastWilliam Vanderbloemen joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. In it, William offers suggestions for finding and following our personal calling, such as why unlocking our past offers us clues into our calling, as well as discovering what does—and what doesn’t—evoke in us a white-hot passion.

Since age six, William has been connecting dots of opportunities—exactly what he does now as the founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group, one of the largest leadership search firms for churches. He articulates his personal calling clearly and succinctly: “I serve the Kingdom by creating connections.” In the podcast excerpt below, William talks about the first time he really understood what it felt like to not be working in his sweet spot.


“After pastoring three churches for a total of 15 years, I went to work in human resources in a large company. It was the first day in my life that I ever understood what people were talking about when they said, ‘It’s hump day’ [the week’s almost over!]. It was also the first time I ever maxed out my vacation. When that misfit starts to happen, we have to just start asking ourselves the question, ‘Why is this such an energy drain for me?’ Can you identify the things that are not fitting so that you know what would fit?

My son is a senior in college. Just in talking to him, I came up with four questions to ask yourself when you’re looking for or considering a job.

Can you find something that:

  1. you’re good at?
  2. the world needs?
  3. improves the world before you—leaving the world better than you found it?
  4. something you enjoy giving your energy to?

If these four things align, you’ll be well on your way to moving into a job that will be part of your call.  Just keep going back to those four questions.”

Check out William Vanderbloemen’s web site www.vanderbloemen.com/blog.

Combining 15 years of ministry experience as a senior pastor with the best practices of leadership search and recruitment, William Vanderbloemen serves as president and CEO of The Vanderbloemen Search Group. In that role, he speaks across the United States in both churches and at leadership conferences. He is also the author of Next: Pastoral Succession That Works (Baker Books). Besides helping connect churches with key staff and preaching, William spends a whole lot of time with family and connecting with people. He, his wife Adrienne, their seven children and their poodle Moses live in Houston.

William Vanderbloemen - Find Your Calling Podcast

Rick Warren: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Rick Warren

Rick Warren - Find Your Calling PodcastRick Warren joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. In this insightful conversation, he shares his story of discovering his calling and the many factors that contributed to finding specific clarity.

As the best-selling author of numerous books, including The Purpose Driven Life, and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, Rick has equipped the worldwide Church and its leaders to pursue both faithfulness and fruitfulness. He has also been a personal friend for a number of years. In the podcast excerpt below, Rick talks about the essential importance of community in finding and following your unique calling, as well as our responsibility to point out calling in others.


“Your calling is connected to other people. You’re never just called in a vacuum. The Bible says that we’re one body, we’re the same spirit, and we’ve all been called to the same glorious hope. Scripture talks about how we’re holy partners in a heavenly calling. Many verses talk about the fact that we’re better together. We actually discover our calling in community. If you really want to discover your unique calling, I have two very practical suggestions: 1) Get in a small group where people can actually get to know you because they will notice things that you don’t notice in yourself; 2) Just start serving in a ministry.

“A lot of people are just sitting waiting for God to send a banner in the sky to tell them what they’re supposed to do with their life, and it’s not going to happen. God won’t steer a parked car. You’ve got to be moving. Stop looking for a vision, and just start looking for a verse in the Bible. Then just start serving, and try something. When you do what you’re called to do, other people will notice often before you. A lot of times when you’re shaped to serve God in a certain way, you’re so good at it that you don’t even realize how good you are. You think everybody else is good at it, too. They’re not. For example, if you’re a natural organizer, you think everybody’s organized. They’re not.

“So often, other people will notice your calling before you do, which I would say, by the way, is one of the most powerful things you can do. God will use you to point out giftedness and calling in other people who may not see it. Some of the most powerful words you can say to a young man or a young woman is, “Hey, you know what you’re good at? When you talk, people listen, or when you write that, people read it.” Affirming others makes a difference and gives people permission to go after their calling to advance the Kingdom of God. “

Check out Rick Warren’s web site www.rickwarren.com.

Rick Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., in 1980 with one family. Today, it is an evangelical congregation averaging 30,000 weekly attendees, and has more than 300 community ministries to groups such as prisoners, CEOs, addicts, single parents, and those with HIV/AIDS. He also leads the Purpose Driven Network of churches, a global coalition of congregations in 162 countries. He is the author of multiple books for the Church, including The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold more than 32 million copies, and The Purpose Driven Church, listed in “100 Christian Books That Changed the 20th Century.” He and his wife, Kay, live in Lake Forest, California.

Rick Warren - Find Your Calling Podcast

Pete Richardson: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Pete Richardson

Pete Richardson - Find Your Calling PodcastPete Richardson joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast.  In this conversation, Pete shares how discovering and following his true calling of “map maker” has led to true clarity for his life.

For eight years years, Pete served on the leadership team for the national movement Promise Keepers, helping steer the organization until 2000. It was there that Pete met Tom Paterson from the Paterson Center who introduced him to what would become his future path of life planning—helping individuals and organizations figure out where they are, where God wants them to go and then creating maps for moving them in that direction. Since 1993, Richardson has done 800+ LifePlans. Today, he is a partner and lead trainer at the Paterson Center. In the podcast excerpt below, Pete talks about the importance of understanding and grasping our core identity—the “be” part of the personal calling framework I write about in my book, More.


“I call the ‘be’ component the Intel chip. The desire from God for us as human beings, as His creations, is that our Intel chip would be defined by how He thinks and feels about us. In life planning, we call that our core identity—if how I really think and feel about myself is aligned with how God thinks and feels about me. I find with Christians, we may mentally know the biblical answers to the question [How does God think and feel about me?], but we haven’t really let that truth seep deep into the soul. Are we operating out of a core identity that really believes and impacts how we think, live, and relate in our lives? And is that identity aligned with God’s? So if there’s a big gap between how God feels and thinks about me and how I feel and think about me, we’ve got to start there. Out of that Intel chip comes everything—how you relate to people, how you navigate life, how you make decisions, how you respond to fear, how you take risks, how you follow your calling.”

Check out Pete Richardson’s web site www.convergenceplanning.com.

Pete Richardson is a partner and lead trainer at the Paterson Center and a facilitator of both StratOps and LifePlans. He has taken hundreds of individuals and organizations through the StrapOp process, most notably Otterbox. Pete was the fifth employee hired at Promise Keepers and stayed with the company until 2000, serving as vice president of communications and creative services. He then worked with a law firm and literary agency, where he worked with top-selling authors to develop their content and publishing plans. Pete has been married to his best friend, Janet, since 1985 and they have two children, Jordan and Pearce. The Richardsons live in Louisville, Colorado.

Pete Richardson - Find Your Calling Podcast

Carey Nieuwhof: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof - Find Your Calling PodcastCarey Nieuwhof joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. Carey shares how he fell backwards into his ministry calling, going from law school graduate poised to work in a top firm, to a student pastor among three area churches, one of which had 16 people.

Since age 12, Carey has been passionate about reaching unchurched people. He always dreamed about starting a church his unchurched friends would like. As founder and teaching pastor of Connexus Church near Toronto, Canada, Carey has seen that dream become reality. Over the last several years, he has become known for his insights and focus on serving leaders, regularly writing and speaking to Christian leaders. In the podcast excerpt below, Cary talks about the impact of pursuing our calling even when we don’t have full clarity on it.


“A lot of people get paralyzed by calling. The one thing I think is true over these last 30-plus years is that even when I was confused, I never stopped. I think if you take what you believe in faith is the next right step, God’s a pretty good chess player and He will out move you. If you’re going in the wrong direction, He’ll counter you. He’ll check you and bring you back to the right path. There is a beautiful sovereignty of God thing in calling.”

Check out Carey Nieuwhof’s web site www.careynieuwhof.com.

Carey Nieuwhof is the founding and teaching pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada. As part of his passion to come alongside leaders, he regularly writes one of today’s most widely read Christian leadership blogs, hosts a leadership podcast, and is the author of several best-selling books, including Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow (rethink Group, Inc.). Carey is husband to Toni, and dad to two sons and a daughter-in-law.

Carey Nieuwhof - Find Your Calling Podcast

Brad Lomenick: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Brad Lomenick

Brad Lomenick - Find Your Calling PodcastBrad Lomenick joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. Brad shares his journey and storyline that have revealed his unique calling as an influencer of influencers.

For 10 years, Brad led the four-day Catalyst conference, working with leaders from all walks of life to encourage, empower and challenge young leaders nationwide. Today, he serves a variety of organizations as a freelance consultant and leadership strategist. In the podcast excerpt below, Brad talks about why knowing who we were uniquely created to be (our unique calling) can help us navigate uncharted waters—even when we don’t have full clarity on what the next season will look like.


“The thing I have always seen in each of my seasons or assignments is that I was never ready for the next one. I never stepped off the diving board and thought, I’ve practiced this dive so many times that I’m going to nail it. So many times, I stepped off wondering if there was water below. When it comes to calling, the best place to be is where you’re looking at the next season, saying to yourself, This scares me to death. I’ve felt that at every season. But I think that’s a good place to be as long as you’re in your lane, and you’re building on the bedrock of your calling. If you’re not in your lane, you end up being schizophrenic, jumping from thing to thing looking for that place where you start to feel like there’s a connection point. I may be scared about the next season, but I know it lines up with where I’ve been so far.

“I didn’t have clarity when I was leaving Catalyst. I had clarity it was time to move out of that seat. But I didn’t know what seat I would be moving into. That part was the hardest and the riskiest—the ‘what’s next?’ I had always thought that you didn’t move away from a season until you knew what the next season would look like. But for this decision, I wasn’t sure what the next season would look like. I just knew that season was done and that I needed to hand off the baton and be able to say, ‘You guys run with it!’”

Check out Brad Lomenick’s web site www.bradlomenick.com.

Brad Lomenick is a leadership consultant, speaker, founder of BLINC and author of The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker (Thomas Nelson) and his latest book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle (Thomas Nelson). He writes regularly about numerous leadership topics, including the next generation, creativity, innovation, social media, teamwork and personal growth.

Brad Lomenick - Find Your Calling Podcast