Ron Edmondson: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson - Find Your Calling PodcastRon Edmondson joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. Ron shares what he has learned about finding clarity in his calling as he made the decision to move from the business world into full-time ministry where he has spent the last 15 years leading churches.

Ron is passionate about both planting churches and helping established churches thrive. In addition to his role as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, he coaches and consults with church and ministry leaders. In the podcast excerpt below, Ron talks about some of his observations working with church leaders and why he believes calling is so critical to thriving (and avoiding burnout) in ministry.

 

“In my work with pastors, I see many of them failing to think about or honestly answer the question, ‘Who am I created to be?’ A lot of the time, I see pastors trying to be everything to everyone, and so they try to invent themselves into something they’re not. But that’s not who God has called them to be. I always tell young leaders I’m coaching, ‘If you’re not careful in knowing who God has created you to be, ministry will eat your lunch.’ It’s a recipe for disaster. You’ll burn out. You’ll be overwhelmed with the demands of ministry rather than delegating and raising up new leaders and letting the body be the body.

“I counsel leaders to ask themselves these questions and evaluate which answer is more like their current situation: ‘Do you have to work to get excited about the vision, or is it consuming you? Do you get up in the morning and have to make yourself go to the office, or can you not wait to get there? When you think of work, do you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or angry, or do you get excited about the potential?’ Asking ourselves questions like these allows God to speak into where we are with our temperament, disposition, heart and spirit. I’ve seen so many pastors that are totally ineffective because they should’ve left years ago and instead hung on out of a false sense of loyalty or fear of what’s next, or waiting for retirement or the paycheck. That’s not fair to them, the church they serve, or the Kingdom.”

Check out Ron Edmondson’s web site www.ronedmondson.com.

Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and previously successfully planted two churches. Specializing in organizational leadership, he thrives on helping pastors and ministry leaders think through leadership, strategy and life. His non-profit ministry, Mustard See Ministry, provides devotional resources and conducts family and church leadership seminars. He also regularly writes on leadership, church and family at his blog. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two adult sons, Jeremy and Nate.

Ron Edmondson - Find Your Calling Podcast

Thom Rainer: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer: Find Your Calling PodcastThom Rainer joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast. Thom shares his journey of discovering his unique identify and specific markers that led him from banking to vocational ministry.

Thom has spent the last 30 years resourcing leaders. As president/CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and the author of multiple leadership books, as well as church leadership blogs, he serves thousands of churches worldwide. But that wasn’t his initial path. As a fifth-generation banker, Thom was groomed for the finance industry, graduated with a finance degree and went into banking—ultimately becoming the youngest vice president in the history of the bank. In the podcast excerpt below, Thom talks about the experience that would ultimately lead him into ministry and the role of his wife, Nellie Joe, in discerning that call.

“Anytime I’ve done something in terms of a call, there has always been a push and pull—a push away from where I am and a pull to something else. So there was not only the push to leave banking but the pull toward vocational ministry. One of the most profound markers in that transition was the death of a good friend’s 5-year-old child. I was in the hospital room as Brian died, with his parents falling on my shoulders. That was one of the most profound times of just feeling a clear sense of God’s presence. I certainly sensed God saying to me, This is what you’re to do with your life’s work—you’re to minister to My people.

“I went home, and Nellie Joe had already heard about Brian’s death. I said, ‘Nellie Jo, let’s sit down. I want to tell you something.’ She said, ‘Okay, you’re about to tell me that you’re called to ministry, we’re going to leave banking, sell everything and go to seminary.’ I asked her, ‘How did you know?’ and she said, ‘You dummy, how can I not have a call if you have a call? God’s working in both of our lives. I’ve seen it in you. I want you to know I put the house on the market a week ago. I was waiting to put up the sign until you articulated your call.’ I could not have followed any of these paths without my wife’s support and enthusiasm. When one person has a calling, the spouse has that same calling.”

Check out Thom Rainer’s web site www.thomrainer.com.

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for 12 years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Thom led a church and denominational consulting firm from 1990 to 2005, providing church health insights to more than 500 churches and other organizations. He is the author of numerous books, including Breakout Churches, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Simple Church, his most recent I Will and more. He and Nellie Jo have three grown sons, Sam, Art and Jess, who are all serving in a ministry capacity.

Thom Rainer - Find Your Calling Podcast

Jenni Catron: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Jenni Catron

Jenni Catron: Find Your Calling PodcastJenni Catron joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast.  Jenni shares her journey of gaining clarity on her personal calling.

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. Her passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently in the different spheres of influence God has granted them. Additionally, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.com and contributes to a number of other online publications as well. Outreach Magazine has recognized her as one of the thirty emerging influencers reshaping church leadership

A leader who loves “putting feet to vision,” Jenni has served on the executive leadership teams of Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California, and Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to ministry leadership, she worked as an Artist Development Director in the Christian music industry.

Jenni Catron - Find Your Calling Podcast

Os Guinness: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Os Guinness

Os Guinness: Find Your Calling PodcastOs Guinness joins us for the next episode of the Find Your Calling Podcast.  His book The Call provides a solid theological foundation and basis for understanding calling.  When I started writing my new book MORE: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure, Os provided valuable coaching that shaped my approach.  Os asked me, “are you going to simply write another self-help book?”

Os has little patience for fads and trends that are not rooted in Biblical truth and critical thinking. Os is bold in speaking truth, even when its not politically correct.  As a student of history and culture who loves Jesus and the church, Os describes himself as a social critic.  His insights on personal calling are rooted in his value for Biblical truth.

In this episode of the podcast, Os shares principles from his book and valuable insights into understanding personal calling.

Os Guinness is a best-selling author, social critic, and deep critical thinker on issues of our time. Os has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Call, Time for Truth, Long Journey Home, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide, The Global Public Square, and Renaissance. His latest book is Fool’s Talk – The Recovery of Christian Persuasion, which was published by InterVarsity Press in June, 2015.  Click here to learn more about Os Guinness.

My Podcast - Find Your Calling Podcast

Francis Chan: Find Your Calling Podcast

Interview with Francis Chan

Francis Chan: Find Your Calling PodcastFrancis Chan joins us for the debut of the Find Your Calling Podcast. This episode is Francis’ first interview after a 30 day “technology” fast from phones, texts, and emails. Francis shares insights from his personal journey and how he understands calling. He gives us an update on his church planting work in San Francisco. As we’ve come to expect from Francis, he shares transparently from the heart and puts Jesus squarely at the center of the conversation.

Francis discusses how he continually pursues God’s voice and leading in his life.

Francis is a best-selling author, sought after speaker, pastor, and devoted husband and father. He is the founding pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, the founder of Eternity Bible College, and sits on the board of directors of several Christian ministries. Francis is married to his wife, Lisa, and has seven children.

Visit Francis’ web site at www.francischan.org

Press Release: Find Your Calling Podcast

Press Release Find Your Calling Podcast Launches April 5th

Todd Wilson, Director of Exponential and Author of MORE,

Hosts New Podcast on Personal Calling

 

Press Release Find Your Calling PodcastWashington DC – Press Release Find Your Calling – The “Find Your Calling” podcast will launch April 5 via iTunes with host Todd Wilson, Founder and Director of Exponential and author of More: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure (available April 2016 from Zondervan. “Find Your Calling” will publish new podcast episodes every two weeks beginning April 5, with plans to step up to weekly episodes in the fall.  Author and pastor Francis Chan joins Todd Wilson for the first episode on April 5. Confirmed podcast guests for early 2016 include Os Guinness, Thom Rainer, Carey Nieuwhof, Brad Lomenick and more.

“Find Your Calling” listeners will discover a biblical perspective on calling and find more clarity on their unique personal calling, as Todd Wilson interviews nationally-recognized Christian leaders on the topic of personal calling.  Guests will share truths which have guided their journey and reflect on how they have discovered and pursued their own personal calling.

“I am passionate about the topic of personal calling,” explains Todd Wilson. “My hope is that listeners feel encouraged and challenged to thoughtfully discover their calling and live out their faith. This podcast can support churches as they seek to carry the fullness of Jesus into every crack and cranny of society. The mission will be accomplished as individual Christians discover and activate their unique personal calling.”

Click here to learn more about the Find Your Calling Podcast.

Todd Wilson Find Your Calling PodcastAbout the Host: Todd Wilson is the founder of Exponential (www.exponential.org), a national non-profit ministry whose mission is to support the starting of healthy, reproducing churches.  He is passionate about seeing people discover and deploy their unique personal calling. As a certified Life Planner, Todd strategically invests in the lives of several leaders each year. Todd’s first trade book, entitled More: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure, launches this month alongside the “Find Your Calling” podcast and a new online resource platform: www.PersonalCalling.org.

Todd’s degree and marketplace experience are in nuclear engineering.  He spent 15 years serving in the Division of Naval Reactors on nuclear submarine design, operation, maintenance, and overhaul before entering full‐time vocational ministry.  Todd enjoys starting new things focused on Kingdom impact and multiplication, as well as helping others create an image of future possibilities and the strategy to implement them. He lives in Manassas, Virginia, with his wife Anna. They have two grown boys, Ben and Chris.

 

For Immediate Release:  April 1, 2016

Contact: Pamela McClure, pamela@mmpublicrelations.com

# # #

“Find Your Calling” launches April 5th, 2016

Follow the podcast at www.toddwilson.org or

via iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/find-your-calling/id1097418160

Email: todd@exponential.org

Mailing address: 14550 Lee Rd, Chantilly, VA 20151

A Micro Manifesto

A Micro ManifestoI wrote the following article (Micro Manifesto) in 2010 to describe the trend in church growth paradigms from from mega to multi, with an eye toward an additional transition to micro.  The micro refers to new expressions of faith communities empowered and equipped by the prevailing mega and multi church models.

At the core of micro expressions of church is the mobilization of the priesthood of all Believers to carry the fullness of Jesus into every crack and cranny of society.  This transition to micro requires the church to shift its focus from “catch and accumulate” to “release and send” and to take an active role in helping people discover and engage their unique personal calling.

Within a year of writing this article, I began a five-year journey of writing the book MORE:  Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure.  In part, MORE seeks to provide a simple framework and language for individuals and churches to see personal calling and to help fan the flame of the micro.  The book is available through Amazon in Kindle, print and audio formats.  Click here to learn more.

The following article gives some background perspective on the context from which I wrote this new book.

 

A Micro Manifesto

 The following is a reprint of the 2010 article Micro Manifesto

 

“I planted my church.  God blessed and grew it into a mega-church. We’ve done externally focused, church planting and multisite. We believe in these things and will keep doing them. However, there are not enough years left in my life to simply keep growing this thing bigger. I’m interested in something more viral.  I’m interested in changing the conversation from ‘where is our next site’ to ‘how do we release 250 of our members to reach Detroit?’”

Steve Andrews, Senior Pastor of Kensington Community Church

 

Introduction

Throughout history the next great movement has consistently emerged from the convergence of the perfect storm of factors brought together and preordained by God in his unique plan.  What if the next great movement, possibly an awakening of historic proportions, stands knocking at our door?  What if we are being called to serve as catalysts and stewards of this next movement of God?  What if that faint knocking coincides with the growing discontent of a growing number of our leading prevailing church leaders?   A discontent that has been difficult to even verbalize.

I’m just a fly-on-the-wall, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s coming next in the western church.  It has taken 30 years to move from less than 100 mega-churches to over 7,000 and 10 years to move from less than 100 multi-site churches to more than 2,000 (now over 5,000 in 2016).  Although God’s fingerprints are all over the numerical growth of these movements, neither the MEGA nor the MULTI appear to be His destination.  Instead, they appear to be the means to an end.  Increasingly, we can connect the dots and see that they are part of a bigger, ongoing journey to an even better place; from MEGA to MULTI to MICRO.

What if God has uniquely positioned the prevailing MEGA / MULTI church as the distribution system for the MICRO?  Contrary to what many would like to see, the deconstruction or bashing of the prevailing MEGA / MULTI is like shooting the goose laying the golden eggs.  Instead, what if we were to celebrate and catalyze its incredible capacity to propel the MICRO forward in a more viral way than we’ve ever seen in North America.

Why am I so excited?  I believe we are on the leading edge of a catalytic, viral movement via the MICRO that is enabled by the prevailing MEGA / MULTI.  As a fly-on-the-wall, I can see the dots connecting and forming an exciting pathway in to the future.

The View from 100,000 Feet

From a high level, there is reason for optimism. In recent years a growing schism has emerged between those calling themselves A Micro Manifesto 1incarnational leaders and those leading prevailing church models. The conversation has focused on what Good to Great author Jim Collins calls the “Tyranny of the OR” rather than the “Genius of the AND.”  However, a growing number of leaders are seeing the possibilities that exist in the “AND,” specifically, the potential impact of applying incarnational AND prevailing church models.   The schism is narrowing.

A perfect storm of factors are coming together to propel the MICRO via the MEGA / MULTI.

Consider the following trends:

  • Frustration and cynicism with the Church is high among believers. Millenials to Boomers are increasingly becoming “burned out” on church / religion and wanting more of Jesus. The pain of staying the same appears to be exceeding the pain of changing–a prerequisite for catalyzing real change.
  • The Church is Jesus’ plan A for reaching the world. There is no plan B. Giving up on the Church is not an option.  It’s our burden and responsibility to look at what God is up to and cooperate.
  • The MEGA is the only group of churches categorically growing in Dave Olson’s research (Crisis in the American Church) for the past 30 years. This growth gives the MEGA the platform, microphone and resources to scale the MICRO in a way that Incarnational leaders dream of.
  • The MEGA / MULTI knows how to scale.  That’s part of its DNA.
  • The MEGA / MULTI cannot do it alone. I left the marketplace years ago for full-time ministry, largely to help our local church figure out multi-site before there were any books, seminars or conferences on the topic. I’m a proponent of the MULTI and have seen its value from the trenches. However if the average results from the top 10 multi-site churches in America could instantly be superimposed on all multi-site churches, we would still lose ground.   Several years ago, a prominent MEGA church in the D.C. area announced plans for 10 sites in 10 years, which was seemingly big news in the press and the church world.  But MULTI represents addition at its best, and even that is yet to be proven.  If the story ends with MULTI, we may have won a battle and lost the war.
  • The MICRO is where discipleship happens best, not through programs but through life-on-life in the context of Jesus and mission. It also has the potential to scale and go viral (although we’ve yet to really see that happen in America). Similar to the MULTI experience, the MICRO launched purely from the Incarnational platform (or lack of platform) is not getting us where we need to be. Increasingly, the young and the old are becoming attracted to what the MICRO has to offer.
  • Increasingly, the world is becoming GLOBAL (MACRO) and LOCAL (MICRO). The trend to MICRO extends far beyond the Church. If the global trend is already toward the MICRO in most other areas, and the world is our mission field, it seems logical that God would position the Church for influence at this moment in history via the MICRO.
  • There is explosive, viral potential within the Church when the MEGA / MULTI meets the MICRO.  It appears neither can reach its full potential without the other.
  • The MICRO is the next logical progression of the MEGA / MULTI.  For many years, the MEGA focused on growing its walls via larger auditoriums and more programs. The MULTI then focused on extending those walls to more places. As the MEGA leaders “conquer” the MULTI, what is the next natural, logical hill to conquer?
  • The scorecard is changing for an increasing number of MEGA / MULTI leaders. A growing number of our mega-church and multi-site church leaders are experiencing what Bill Hybels calls a “holy discontent.” Some would say a mid-life or Halftime crisis.  A large percentage of our prevailing churches are led by founding pastors at the mid-career point. After growing large churches, starting campuses, planting churches and doing the externally focused thing, a growing number of leaders appear to be experiencing a discontent rooted in the urgency that there must be a more leveraged impact than simply growing bigger.Bob Buford’s book, Halftime, captured the hearts of millions of marketplace leaders who have struggled with the journey from a life of success to significance. These leaders are most often mid-career (in their 40s / 50s) leaders who’ve conquered the hill of “success” and yet are feeling somewhat empty.  Literally thousands of our MEGA / MULTI leaders are now experiencing a Kingdom version of “Halftime.”  Steve Andrews’ quote at the beginning is classic halftime language for pastors. “Been there, done that, what’s next.”How will the growing number of MEGA / MULTI leaders faced with this same question respond? Probably the same way Steve did: MICRO is the next hill.
  • There is a new scorecard for the younger emerging leaders. Just a decade ago when I first started serving church planters, the majority was measuring “success” by how quickly they became financially sufficient and could purchase land and / or a building. “How do we build this thing bigger?” was the motto. Today, its hard to find planters who want to purchase land  or build. The scorecard is changing from a “catching” capacity to a “sending capacity.” We are in the middle of a transition from “bigger” to “more viral.”
  • The prevailing Church is strong at “catching” and converting. Holy discontent also includes a dimension that says we need to become better at “releasing.” Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.” This holy discontent causes us to wrestle with this command to be more than catchers of men but also to be senders. Unlike Boomers who generally are comfortable contributing to ministry, young emerging leaders seek to be ministry; to live missional lifestyles. This next generation of leaders is ideally suited for passionately leading the MEGA / MULTI to maneuver the MICRO.
  • We have a “sleeping giant” in today’s Church. The unrealized sending capacity of God’s family is PROFOUND. Imagine releasing this capacity–even a small percentage of it. Consider the impact of each believer reproducing themselves and becoming “go” leaders. Think about the impact of every healthy church reproducing itself. Imagine the impact of our churches changing their scorecards from “catching” to “sending.”

 

Awaken the Sleeping Giant

Find Your Personal Calling

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Introduction: Find Your Calling Podcast

Find Your Calling Podcast

Find Your Calling PodcastThe first edition of the Find Your Calling Podcast is now live!  Each episode includes an interview with a different leader on the topic of calling. My goals are simple.  First, to help listeners understand the Biblical perspective on calling.  Second, to see how others have discerned their calling.  Third, to help listeners gain more clarity on their unique personal calling.

I use the BE-DO-GO framework from my book MORE.  Who am I created to BE?  What am I made to DO?  Where am I to GO?  MORE was written to give people a simple framework and vocabulary for pursuing their calling.  The BE-DO-GO framework can be used throughout a person’s lifetime. Each person I interview will give us a glimpse into the truths of calling.  They will also share insights from their unique journey of gaining clarity on their personal calling.

In this first episode, you’ll learn more about me, my calling, and my passion on the topic of personal calling.  My friend Bobby Harrington, founding pastor of Harpeth Christian Church and discipleship.org, facilitates the interview.