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Spiritual Life and Leadership

Author: Markus Watson

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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.
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Jay Bakker, the son of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, was 11 years old when his parents’ ministry started to fall apart and only 13 when his dad began his prison term.  It's hard to imagine what that experience must have been like for him.In this episode, Jay Bakker and I talk about what it was like for him.  And we talk about how his experience shaped him spiritually—especially in regard to his understanding of judgment and grace.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Jay Bakker is the pastor of Revolution Church and the son Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.Elton John is currently working on a musical about Jay’s mom and a movie about Jay’s parents, titled The Eyes of Tammy Faye, is coming out in 2021 or 2022.Jay Bakker shares what it was like for him as a kid when his family’s life and ministry fell apart.Jerry Falwell turned on Jim Bakker.For a while, Jay thought that God must be a mean, angry God.Jay Bakker started Revolution Church when his dad was released from prison.Jay shares how he discovered the idea of grace, which, he says is still evolving in his life.Jay learned what love for others looks like by watching his parents.Jim Bakker helped Jay learn to forgive Jerry Falwell.Jay talks about Tammy Faye’s witness when she was on The Surreal Life.So often we return bad for bad, judgment for judgment.  But we need to stop judging each other.You can find out more about Jay Bakker at revolutionchurch.com.  You can also listen to the Revolution podcast and follow Revolution Church on Facebook.  You can also connect with Jay on Twitter at @jaybakker and on Instagram at @jaybakker.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Books mentioned:Son of a Preacher Man, by Jay BakkerJay BakkerTwitterIntstagramRevolution ChurchWebsiteFacebook6 Practices of a Flourishing ChurchInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Centering prayer is a form of silent, wordless prayer and a wonderful practice for spiritual formation.  Rich Lewis, author of Sitting with God: A Journey to Your True Self Through Centering Prayer, has been practicing centering for a long time.  He has writes about centering prayer, trains individuals and groups how to practice centering prayer, and in this episode teaches us how to engage in centering prayer. THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Rich Lewis is the author of Sitting With God: A Journey to Your True Self Through Centering Prayer. Though he has always enjoyed times of silence, Rich Lewis discovered the practice of centering prayer in 2013 through a book titled Healing the Divide by Amos Smith.Centering prayer is a form of silent, wordless prayer.Centering prayer was developed by three Trappist monks in the 1970’s.You can learn a lot about centering prayer at the Contemplative Outreach website.Centering prayer involves these steps:Sit quietly.Select a sacred word (e.g., Jesus, love, ocean).Introduce the word in your interior.When your mind gets distracted, come back to the center with your sacred word.Sit quietly until your time of centering prayer is done.The sacred word doesn’t have to be a word.  It could be an image.  Rich uses an icon of Jesus as his centering anchor.In centering prayer, it’s almost like God prays in us.Centering prayer can lead to deep inner healing.We are able to connect with our true self in centering prayer.Rich Lewis offers a free e-book on centering prayer at his website, silenceteaches.com.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Books:Sitting with God, by Rich LewisThe Heart of Centering Prayer, by Cynthia BourgeaultCentering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia BourgeaultHealing the Divide, by Amos SmithWebsiteswww.silenceteaches.comwww.contemplativeoutreach.orgSpiritual Life and Leadership Facebook GroupEpisode 44: Spiritual Formation and Lectio Divina, with Eric Nevins, Host of Halfway There— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Is American unity possible?  Americans have wrestled with this question for years.  After a violent insurrection and a new administration now in place, the question seems more important than ever.Clearly, the United States is a divided nation.  So divided, in fact, that many believe unity is not possible.  How can staunch Trump supporters unite with the Democratic party?  How can staunch Biden supporters unite with the Republican party?  It seems beyond the realm of possibility.And, yet, I believe we can rebuild unity.  In this episode, I share my thoughts on how to do that--not by getting everyone to agree on everything, but by taking small steps toward civility, kindness, and respect toward one another.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:America is terribly polarized. Is American unity possible?I think American unity is possible.  What seems impossible for human beings is possible with God.Unity is not uniformity.  We don't all have to be the same or agree on everything.The Trinity is an example of unity in diversity.  The church is also an example of unity in diversity.How can we begin to rebuild American unity?Start with civility.Start with your friends and family.Give each other the benefit of the doubt.Listen, really listen, to each other.Pray for each other.Is American unity possible?  If we take these small steps, I believe it is.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:"Political Polarization in the American Public"Episode 91: Prayer for a President in PainInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer have written a powerful book that addresses abuse of power in churches.  The book is titled, A Church Called Tov, and the purpose is to help churches nurture cultures of goodness (the meaning of the Hebrew word tov).In this episode, we discuss why some churches develop toxic cultures of abuse and how to work against that by nurturing cultures of goodness.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Laura Barringer is a second grade teacher and this is her second book co-authored with her father, Scot McKnight.Scot McKnight is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary.  He is also a prolific author and an ordained Anglican deacon.Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer were attending Willow Creek Community Church when allegations against Bill Hybels began to emerge.Scot and Laura were led to write about the need for a goodness culture in churches.  This is why they wrote A Church Called Tov.Willow Creek was misusing Scripture as it defended itself.Scot McKnight explains why they felt it was important to name the pastors who abused women in their churches when writing A Church Called Tov.In the Bible, people’s stories are told “warts and all.”Tov is the Hebrew word for “good.”  Tov describes the fullness of total moral behavior.A tov church/pastor/elder/person does not abuse power, women, or children.Scot McKnight is not comfortable with “leadership culture” in churches.  The word “leader” is not a significant word in the New Testament.Pastors should not be promoted as superstars.We won’t develop a culture of tov if we are only counting how many people show up on Sundays.Scot McKnight is interested in seminaries becoming institutes of tov formation.You can reach Scot and Laura on Twitter at @scotmcknight and @laurambarringer.You can follow Scot McKnight's work at his Jesus Creed blog.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Books mentioned:A Church Called Tov, by Scot McKnight and Laura BarringerThe Blue Parakeet, by Scot McKnightA Fellowship of Differents, by Scot McKnightJunia is Not Alone, by Scot McKnightTwitter:Scot Mcknight, @scotmcknightLaura Barringer, @laurabarringerScot McKnight's Blog:Jesus Creed blogOnline course:Leading Your Church Through Change— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
The events of this past week, and especially January 6, 2021, have been astonishing.  Never did I imagine that American citizens would attack and infiltrate the United States Capitol building.  But it happened.And at the center of this is Donald Trump, the President of the United States.  As problematic as Donald Trump's presidency has been, he is a beloved child of God who is in deep pain right now.  And I feel compelled to pray for him with compassion.In this episode, I share some of my thoughts on the events of January 6, Donald Trump's character, and the pain he must be feeling right now.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:The insurrection and storming of the U.S. Capitol was an unbelievable and horrifying event.Donald Trump's character and leadership led to this insurrection because Donald Trump established an  "us vs. them" mentality.Donald Trump's presidency has proven to be a failure in these final weeks.Now, Donald Trump is in considerable pain.We need to pray with compassion for Donald Trump.Markus prays for Donald Trump.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Pray as You GoEpisode 79: The Loss of Evangelical Identity, with Michael CooperInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Kevin White, author of Audacious Generosity, shares his story of being terminated from the church he had planted just a few years earlier.  That experience could have crushed him.  But gave him deeper clarity about what really matters—and it led to a whole new ministry that blesses hundred of people every month.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Kevin White is the Executive Director of Global Hope India and author of Audacious Generosity.Kevin White shares how his organization, Global Hope India, had to pivot during the pandemic.Kevin’s primary purpose in life is to pursue God’s presence.The church that Kevin had planted voted to let him go after several years.  This was an incredibly painful moment in Kevin’s life.  It was this experience that showed him that God’s presence is the most important thing.This led to a time of extreme financial insecurity.Because of the financial insecurity, Kevin White and his family started a ministry that provided food both for his family and eventually for five hundred families every month.The experience of loss and suffering makes us more compassionate.Kevin White’s experience of loss and suffering led him to start his organization, Global Hope India.God’s plan has always been audacious generosity.Audacious generosity is a means toward the end of experiencing God’s presence.When people experience suffering and loss they can become cynical and bitter or they can become healthy and compassionate.  Kevin White says that it was the practice of forgiveness that helped him become healthy and compassionate.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Kevin White:Website – kevinwhite.usInstagram - @kevinwhiteusFacebook - @kevinwhite.usaTwitter - @kevinwhiteusLinkedIn - @kevinwhiteusE-mail – kevin@kevinwhite.usBooks mentioned:Audacious Generosity, by Kevin WhiteBeyond Thingification, by Markus WatsonOther Resources:Beyond Thingification Study GuideInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
God is a God who sets things right.  And that's what we see in Mary's Song--The Magnificat--in Luke 1:46-55.As we approach the end of 2020, for many of us it is clearer than ever just how broken our world is.  Disease.  Racism.  Poverty and lost financial security.  Violence.  Division.  Injustice.  These are the kinds of headlines that dominated the news this past year.But as broken as our world clearly is, it’s actually not more broken than the world into which Jesus was born.  Jesus’ world, too, was filled with disease, racism, poverty, violence, division, and injustice.   And in Mary's Song, in Luke 1:46-55, Mary praises the God who is sending his Son to set these things right.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:In January 2020, Oxfam International reported that the 2153 billionaires in the world have more wealth than the 4.6 billion poorest people who make up 60% of the world’s population.The combined wealth of the 26 richest people in the world is the same as the combined wealth of the world's poorest 3.8 billion people.Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 addresses God’s perspective on such inequity.Mary’s song is divided into four parts:Mary’s blessingTransitionThe Great ReversalGod’s faithfulness to IsraelWhy is God interested in bringing low the powerful and raising up the weak and poor?  Because God is a God of justice.We can see God’s desire to set things right throughout the Old Testament.Jesus came to set things right.Jesus' first ministry words in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 4:16-21) address Jesus’ desire to set things right.We’re invited to join Jesus in setting things right.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Scriptures:Luke 1:46-55Luke 4:16-21Six Practices of a Flourishing Church (downloadable PDF)Oxfam International statisticsInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
The Border Church is a beautiful and prophetic expression of border resistance as followers of Jesus in San Diego, California, join together at the border with Jesus-followers in Tijuana, Mexico--even sharing Communion through the border fence.In this episode, I’m speaking with Seth Clark, Director of the Pastoral Team forThe Border Church.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Seth Clark is the Lead Pastor at First Baptist Church of National City (in San Diego) and Director of the Pastoral Team on the U.S. side of The Border Church.Seth shares his faith journey.  He grew up in the Plymouth Brethren tradition.Numerous experiences helped Seth recognize that his view of the world was shaped by his particular lens.Seth has been involved in The Border Church for about three years.Friendship Park was instituted at the San Diego/Tijuana border by Pat Nixon (Richard Nixon’s wife).Friendship Park was meant to be a place of connection.  But over the years, it has become more and more difficult to connect.Seth Clark describes what it’s like to worship at The Border Church, which meets at Friendship Park.Seth Clark did his doctoral dissertation on The Border Church.  The title of his dissertation is Open Wound, Open Table.Seth shares how he has been formed spiritually since getting involved at The Border Church.To find out more about The Border Church, visit www.borderchurch.org.  You can also connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/borderchurch.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:The Border ChurchWebsite:  www.borderchurch.orgFacebook:  www.facebook.com/borderchurchSpiritual Life and Leadership Facebook Groupwww.markuswatson.com/sllgroupInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Dr. Jerome Butler, host of the Moments of Grace podcast and author of numerous books, shares about his experiences with racism and likens the African American experience to the trials of Hercules in Greek mythology—a fascinating comparison!THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Dr. Jerome Butler is the host of the Moments of Grace podcast.  Books he has authored include Managing the Miracle, Power of Your Destiny, and Transformation of the Mind.Dr. Butler’s daughter wrote a children’s book titled The Krystal Kingdom, which is a parable about foster care.The first time Dr. Butler really became aware of racism was when the Central Park Five were falsely accused.For nine years, Dr. Butler was a Muslim while in the military.  He shares how came back to faith in Jesus.Dr. Jerome Butler began to experience racism personally in his places of work.Dr. Butler compares the African American experience to the trials of Hercules in Greek mythology.  Every time he met the demands of the gods, the gods would move the goal posts.“We have done everything that has been asked of us….  When do we get an opportunity to enjoy ‘Olympus’ with the rest of society?”Is there such a thing as systemic racism?  Dr. Butler explains why there is.Find out more about Dr. Jerome Butler at www.drajrbutler.com.  You can also e-mail Dr. Butler at ajrbutler@gmail.com. You can even call Dr. Butler, if you’d like, at 864-324-4886.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Dr. Jerome ButlerWebsite:  www.drajrbutler.comE-mail:  ajrbutler@gmail.comPhone:  864-324-4886Podcast:  Moments of GraceBooks mentioned:Managing the Miracle, by Dr. Jerome ButlerPower of Your Destiny, by Dr. Jerome ButlerTransformation of the Mind, by Dr. Jerome ButlerThe Krystal Kingdom, by Audreuna ButlerThe Color of Compromise, by Jemar TisbySupport the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Leading like Jesus means healthy leadership. Ken Blanchard has been writing and teaching about healthy leadership for a long time.  In this interview, Ken shares about his youth, how he came to faith, what it was like when The One-Minute Manager became a massive success (including how it impacted his faith journey), and what it means to lead like Jesus.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Ken Blanchard is the Co-founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of the Ken Banchard Companies, as well as the author of Lead Like Jesus, Leading at a Higher Level, and The One-Minute Manager.“Great leaders are great because people trust and respect them, not because they have power.” Ken Blanchard wrote Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources with Paul Hersey.Ken Blanchard wrote The One Minute Manager as a parable with Spencer Johnson, who had written children’s books.Ken Blanchard’s mission statement is: “To be a loving teacher and an example of simple truths that help myself and others to awaken to the presence of God in their lives, and to help us realize we’re here to serve, not to be served.”Ken shares how he came to faith in Jesus.Ken Blanchard explains the concept of situational leadership (SL2) and how it relates to leading like Jesus.If you use only one leadership style all the time, it will be effective sometimes and very ineffective most of the time. Leading like Jesus requires us to vary our leadership style.Our ego can get in the way of healthy leadership and in the way of leading like Jesus.Ken defines EGO as “Edging God Out.” When we surrender to God we can turn our EGO into “Exalting God Only.”To find out more about Ken Blanchard, go to www.kenblanchard.com and www.leadlikejesus.com.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Ken Blanchard:www.kenblanchard.comwww.leadlikejesus.comBooks mentioned:Lead Like Jesus, by Ken BlanchardLeading at a Higher Level, by Ken BlanchardThe One-Minute Manager, by Ken BlanchardManagement of Organizational Behavior, by Ken BlanchardEpisodes mentioned:Episode 65: Why Don't People Go to Church Anymore?Episode 66: The Improbably Growth of the Early ChurchEpisode 67:  How the Church Lost Its Missionary Identity— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Pledge and consent are crucial in the experience of knowing.  In this episode, Esther Lightcap Meek and I talk about chapter 2 of her book, A Little Manual for Knowing.  In that chapter—and in this episode—Esther shows us that if we are to truly know someone or something, then we need to pledge ourselves to that which is yet-to-be-known.  We need to pledge ourselves to the “knowing venture” and we need to pledge to be open to—to consent to—the reality of that which we are coming to know.THIS  EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Esther Lightcap Meek is the Professor of Philosophy at Geneva College and the author of A Little Manual for Knowing.To truly know something or someone, one must “pledge” oneself to that thing or person.  Pledge to live life on the terms of the yet-to-be-known.  Pledge to do what it takes to know it.  Pledge to be ok with it once it reveals itself.In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard describes what it takes to stalk a muskrat.  One must hold still, give up one’s dignity, and wait.  Esther says this is covenantal language.Knowing something or someone requires consent.  We have to say yes to what or who it truly is. Knowing requires pledge and consent.“All of reality is the consent of God.  Everywhere your eye lands, your eye is landing on God’s ‘Yes!’”The opposite of pledge and consent is acedia, commonly known at sloth.Dallas Willard says that if we’re going to love God, we have to consent and say “yes” to ourselves.  Saying “yes” to who you are as you are.In the movie, Avatar, one of the characters says to the other, “I see you.” It was an act of ultimate consent.Markus refers to a poem by Madeleine L’Engle, cited in Visions of Vocation by Steve Garber.  The poem shows that in marriage we must pledge and consent to who our spouse truly is if we are to truly know them.Esther discusses confirmation bias.In the story of the Road to Emmaus, the disciples were able to let go of a preconception that allowed them then to know Jesus.“Reality, by definition, is God and His stuff.”“All knowing is transformative.”Esther connects the knowing venture to the experience of worship.Esther is beginning a book series called Doorways, in which each volume will connect the knowing venture to a different discipline.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Books:A Little Manual for Knowing, by Esther Lightcap MeekPilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie DillardVisions of Vocation, by Steve GarberThe Hobbit, by J.R.R. TolkienThe Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Lesslie NewbiginThe Fabric of Faithfulness, by Steve GarberRelated episodes:Episode 46: Inviting the Real, with Esther Lightcap MeekEpisode 58: Communion with Reality, with Esther Lightcap MeekSupport the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Aaron Schafer has written an excellent book titled, The Politically Homeless Christian, in which he explores the current state of politics and how we as followers of Jesus are called to engage politically.And that's what we talk about in this episode.  If you, too, find yourself politically homeless, you will find this conversation incredibly valuable.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Aaron Schafer is a blogger, podcaster, and author of The Politically Homeless Christian, as well as the Director of Sales for a company called Self-Publishing School.Aaron feels a deep sadness around the divisiveness in the United States.“The earth is not our home—and a political party certainly shouldn’t be.”In Episode 79, Markus spoke with Michael Cooper about the “the loss of evangelical identity,” and how hard it is to talk about Jesus in other parts of the world because Jesus has come to be identified with certain political positions, rather than with the good news of God’s love.Neither political party has a monopoly on good ideas.Grace-filled politics begins by embracing humility.“I wonder how much of what I believe politically I believe simply because I’ve always believed it.”Facebook feeds us content that merely confirms our worldview.Aaron Schafer shares his thoughts on the Second Amendment.We often listen in order to win an argument more than we listen to understand.Aaron shares his thoughts on the effectiveness of stimulus checks during the 2020 pandemic.It’s important for us to be able to change our minds when we get new information.“I hope as Christians we would err on the side of generosity.”You can find The Politically Homeless Christian on Amazon.  The e-book will be available for .99 until Nov. 3, 2020 (election day).Aaron Schafer’s blog is www.aaronschaferblog.com.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Aaron Schafer:Website: www.aaronschaferblog.comBooks:The Politically Homeless Christian, by Aaron SchaferRelated episodes:Episode 79: The Loss of Evangelical Identity, with Michael CooperEpisode 55:  Healing Our Polarized World, with Dan White, Jr.Instructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Tod Bolsinger, author of Leadership for a Time of Pandemic, knows about leadership in times of disorientation.  And 2020 is certainly a time of disorientation!  A global pandemic.  A worldwide economic recession.  Social unrest and an outcry for racial justice.But it’s not the first time we’ve experienced disorientation.  Perhaps what makes 2020 unique is the global nature of what is happening and the fact that the challenges won’t seem to go away.In this episode, Tod Bolsinger helps us explore what is required of spiritual leaders in times of disorientation.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Tod Bolsinger is the author of Leadership for a Time of Pandemic.Tod explains what it means to not “waste a crisis.”There are two stages in a crisis:  the acute stage and the adaptive stage.Vulnerable self-reflection is needed to develop the strength to be a resilient leader.“The vulnerability of leadership needs the security of many relationships.” According to Tod Bolsinger, the hardest thing in times of adaptive change is the internal resistance of one’s own people.In this time of pandemic, we need resilient leadership.People don’t resist change.  They resist loss.Rationalization is about coming up with reasons for avoiding necessary pain.“You need an identity that is grounded in something other than your success as a leader.”Text “uncharted” to 66866 to find out more about Tod Bolsinger and his work.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Tod Bolsinger:Text “uncharted” to 66866Books mentioned:Leadership for a Time of Pandemic, by Tod BolsingerCanoeing the Mountains, by Tod BolsingerTempered Resilience, by Tod BolsingerRelated episodes:Episode 16: Canoeing the Mountains, with Tod BolsingerSpiritual Life and Leadership Facebook Group:www.markuswatson.com/sllgroupInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Chuck DeGroat has written a fantastic book titled, When Narcissism Comes to Church, which he unpacks for us in this episode.Most of us who are in positions of spiritual leadership have some tendencies toward narcissism.  Many of us want to be loved and respected--and sometimes we think of ourselves as pretty awesome.But then there are those who are truly narcissistic, who are so unhealthy that they leave a wake of misery and destruction in their ministries.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Chuck DeGroat is Professor of Pastoral Care at Western Theological Seminary and author of When Narcissism Comes to Church.As a young pastor, Chuck started to notice the way narcissistic pastors were preferred.Chuck DeGroat discusses why the church is a breeding ground for narcissism.The church has a strange love affair with power, despite the fact that our faith is based on the crucified One.Chuck DeGroat explains what he means by “healthy narcissism.”  Children, for instance, need to believe they are the center of their parents’ world.  A certain narcissism is developmentally appropriate for children at that age.Richard Rohr uses the language of “first half of life” and “second half of life” to refer to healthy narcissism.Chuck DeGroat describes how narcissism manifests itself in the church.Serving in a church led by a narcissist can be a traumatic experience.Pastors need to be “wounded healers,” as Henri Nouwen said.Markus shares how he has grown to care for people more than he used to.If you are serving under a narcissistic leader, it’s helpful to get therapy for yourself to unpack what is going on.Chuck DeGroat shares his own experience of spiritual growth as he has studied narcissism.You can find out more about Chuck DeGroat at chuckdegroat.net.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Chuck DeGroatWebsite – www.chuckdegroat.netBooks mentioned:Narcissism in the Church, by Chuck DeGroatBeyond Thingification, by Markus WatsonFalling Upward, by Richard RohrThe Critical Journey, by Janet Hagberg and Robert GuelichThe Wounded Healer, by Henri NouwenInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Chuck Whitley knows that if you’re a leader, you have experienced anger.  Well, if you’re a human being, you’ve experienced anger.The truth is, anger is a normal, natural human emotion.  The question is, as leaders, how should we navigate our anger in a way that is ultimately productive and that leads to greater health for our organization and greater shalom for those we lead?Chuck Whitley, helps us better understand what’s going on when we experience anger and how to navigate it in a way that brings flourishing to us and to the world.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Chuck Whitley does executive coaching and is the Executive Director of 4C Business.  Chuck coaches from a biblical worldview.Chuck Whitley came to faith as he was about to commit suicide.As a pastor, Chuck Whitley would pray with business people in his church.Chuck’s work now is very much like spiritual direction for business leaders.Anger is essentially the way we enact the fight or flight response to stressful situations.People must first be able to identify that they are experiencing anger. Then they must identify the system they are angry about, rather than the person they are angry at.Chuck Whitley explains the anger-blame cycle.Pastors generally have a theology of forgiveness, but they don’t always have a practice of forgiveness.In order to walk others through the process of dealing with anger, Chuck Whitley has to go through the process himself first.You can reach Chuck Whitley at www.4cbusiness.com.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:4C BusinessInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
James Choung, the author of True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, outlines a way of talking about Jesus that addresses, not only our need for eternal life, but also God’s desire to bring restoration to the world today and our invitation to participate with God in that work of restoration.This is a fantastic interview about sharing a Gospel that is truly good news, not only for the afterlife, but also—and perhaps even more importantly—for the here and now.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:James Choung is Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for InterVarsity and author of True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, Real Life: A Christianity Worth Living Out, and Longing For Revival: From Holy Discontent to Breakthrough Faith.James encountered Jesus in college through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.James Choung began to ask if the way we present the Gospel is creating selfish Christians.Dallas Willard, who was teaching a Doctor of Ministry class that James was taking, asked, “What is the Gospel Jesus preached?” That was a turning point for James.The Gospel Jesus preached was, “The Kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news.”The Kingdom of God is not just about what happens when we die, but also about what happens now in this life.You can view videos of James Choung's Gospel diagram HERE.  You can also download a PDF explanation HERE.The four components of the Gospel are that we have been:Designed for goodDamaged by evilRestored for betterSent together to healIs a gospel that has no social impact actually good news?Understanding the Gospel in this way made the Gospel once again feel like good news to James.James Choung’s most recent book is titled, Longing for Revival.To connect with James Choung visit jameschoung.net.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:James Choung:Website – www.jameschoung.netGospel Presentation videosGospel Presentation PDFBooks Mentioned:True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, by James ChoungReal Life: A Christianity Worth Living Out, by James ChoungLonging For Revival: From Holy Discontent to Breakthrough Faith, by James ChoungOther links:Bridge of the Faithful podcastStrongbad E-mail, "How to Draw a Dragon"— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Evangelical identity has changed. The word “evangelical” carries a lot of baggage these days.  There was a time when it primarily denoted a theological conviction that included a recognition of the Scriptures as God’s word, an understanding of our need for salvation through Jesus, and a commitment to caring for the “least of these.”Unfortunately, that’s no longer what most non-Christians think of when they hear the word “evangelical.”  Today, evangelical identity has become--for a lot of people--synonymous with American, right wing, conservative politics.In his book, delightfully titled, When Evangelicals Sneeze, Michael Cooper explores the historic meaning of evangelicalism and how evangelical identity has changed in recent years.  And in this interview, we dive into those same topics.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Michael Cooper shares the story of a young Evangelical Palestinian woman who has experienced persecution because people in her community associate Evangelicalism with Donald Trump.Feeling as though he had lost his evangelical identity, Michael “resigned” from Evangelicalism in a conversation with Doug Birdsall, former Executive Director for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.There are three marks of historic Evangelicalism:The Great Commandment:  The defense of the faith.The Great Compassion:  Our engagement in social justice.The Great Commission:  The declaration of God’s glory to the nations.Michael Cooper discusses the connection between Evangelicalism and conservative politics.Michael explains what he means by the term, “Trumpgelical.” It seems this has in some ways become the new evangelical identity.There are various kinds of evangelicals, including Trumpgelicals, Deconstructionists, Post-modernists, and Fundamentalists.There is a difference between a Trumpgelical and an Evangelical person who voted for Trump.The title of Michael Cooper’s book, When Evangelicals Sneeze, is a reference to the impact that American Evangelicalism has on global Evangelicalism.When Evangelicals Sneeze is available on Amazon.  You can find out more about Michael Cooper and his work at www.ephesiology.com.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Michael CooperEphesiology WebsiteBooks mentioned:When Evangelicals Sneeze, by Michael CooperEphesiology: A Study of the Ephesian Movement, by Michael CooperInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Tim Winders had it all.  A beautiful home, three companies each valued in the millions.  He was, by all accounts, very successful.Then the 2008 recession hit and he and his family began the slow descent of financial collapse that culminated with the loss of their home and essentially becoming homeless.In this episode, you’ll hear how Tim’s life was transformed through this experience and how his experience of suffering and loss drew him into a much deeper relationship with God than he could have ever imagined.  THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Tim Winders is a business coach and host of the Seek Go Create podcast.  He also just finished writing a novel which will be released soon.In the early 2000’s, Tim owned real estate, coaching, and lead generation business valued in the millions of dollars.Tim tells the story of how he lost his home when the economy collapsed in 2008.  He and his wife became nomads living in an RV and have continued to live that way since then.In his younger years, Tim's mind was set on experiencing as much financial success as possible.After coming to faith, Tim Winders found himself believing aspects of the prosperity gospel.As the economy fell apart in the years after 2008, Tim and his family had no choice but to seek the Lord.Tim learned that he is a steward—not an owner—of everything he has.Tim embarked on an eighteen-month study of the Kingdom of God.  Tim defines the Kingdom of God as anywhere God is allowed to reign and rule.Tim Winders describes how he defines success today.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Tim Winders and Seek Go CreatePodcastWebsiteTwitterMarkus Watson Patreon pageInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Steven Garber has spent his life helping people get a clearer understanding of vocation in general, but also helping them get clear on their own unique vocations.  In this interview, he will do the same for you.  Near the end of the episode, Steve tells three brief stories to help us understand why pastors and churches need to have a robust understanding of vocation, so be sure you listen to the end.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Steven Garber is author of Visions of Vocation and Professor of Marketplace Theology at Regent College.Steve shares his story and what led him to focus his work on matters of vocation.“Who keeps on keeping on?” became the question of Steve’s life.“Vocation” is a big word and a big concept.  It is much more than a job or occupation.The first question we ask must be, “Who am I?”  The second must be, “Why am I?”  From these two questions follows a third:  “What should I do with my life?”In his book, Steven Garber writes, “To know the world and still love it. There is not a more difficult task that human beings face.”  Steve unpacks this statement.Steve and Markus discuss marriage as a vocation, citing a series of poems by Madeleine L’Engle called To a Long-Loved Love.Visions of Vocation focuses on the question, “Knowing what you know about yourself and the world, what are you going to do?”Steve explains how he would help a person begin to understand their vocation.Steven Garber shares three stories that demonstrate why it’s so important for ministry leaders to have a robust understanding of vocation.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Books mentioned:Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, by Steven GarberThe Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle, by Madeleine L'EngleWork Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work, by Tom NelsonFlourish San DiegoSix Practices of a Flourishing Church, free resource by Markus WatsonInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
Jason Elam, host of the Messy Spirituality podcast, has an amazing story.  As a pastor, Jason had all the answers, but he didn't have a lot of love.  Then something happened.  Today, Jason Elam is no longer a pastor and he doesn't have all the answers.  But he has discovered the love of God in a way he could never have imagined before.THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:Jason Elam is a former pastor and host of the Messy Spirituality podcast.Jason is currently writing a book with the working title, From Ashes We Rise: Rebuilding Your Faith When Your Life Burns Down.Jason was constantly afraid of God when he was a child.Jason was often a guest speaker in churches who got people “back into line.”It was by losing his church and losing his marriage that Jason hit “that bottom place.” This is where Jason began to learn that he was loved unconditionally by God.Jason Elam had a near death experience as a child in which he experienced the unconditional acceptance of God.  That acceptance always pulled him away from the legalism of his tradition.During the final year of Jason Elam’s ministry, Jason’s church stopped holding worship service. Instead, they held an indoor farmer’s market with food for anyone who needed it.We can only truly know God when we truly know ourselves.Certainty makes preaching easier but living with yourself harder.RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:Jason Elam:Website:  www.messyspirituality.orgBooks mentioned:Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, by Richard RohrThe Gift of Being Yourself, by David BennerSurrender to Love, by David BennerLife of the Beloved, by Henri NouwenInstructions to leave a review of Spiritual Life and Leadership:Click HERE.Click on the link that says, "Listen on Apple Podcasts."In the window that opens, click the button that says, "Open Link."  This will open iTunes.To the right of the Spiritual Life and Leadership logo, click "Ratings and Reviews."Under the heading, "Customer Reviews," click on the button that says, "Write a Review."Select the number of stars and write your review.Click submit.I'd be so grateful if you did this.  Thank you!— Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!Support the show (http://patreon.com/markuswatson)
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