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LEAD Pods are the official USMB podcast devoted to leadership development and spiritual growth for Mennonite Brethren churches.
22 Episodes
Singles often get overlooked in today's churches. Sometimes churches inadvertently do or say hurtful things to single (no pun intended) them out, and we would all be wise to do a little check-up to ensure we're ministering to and meeting the needs of this important demographic in our churches.Main takeaway: Singles aren't weird or broken or misfits, and they need to be included and welcomed in our churches.Lisa Anderson is the Director of Young Adults at Focus on the Family, and she's also the host of the Boundless Show, their prolific podcast with nearly 700 (!) episodes. Lisa is a ton of fun and a wealth of knowledge on this important topic. Enjoy this final episode of 2020 and we'll see you next year! 
Gavin and Micah are leaders on staff at Axiom Church in Peoria, Arizona. Their church plant has seen a lot of success in recent years because of their desire to remain authentic and reach out to people who may otherwise feel left out of the traditional church. Gavin and Micah are artists, and that artistic soul reveals itself in the culture at Axiom. Your church may not look or sound like theirs, but we can all learn from their desire to lead from their true selves. Our communities sense that authenticity, and leading from that space will be an appealing way to display the love of Jesus.Be encouraged and inspired!
Church plants often lead to powerful spiritual growth and revival. Plus, Jesus called us to go out into the world and make more and more disciples. As successful and rewarding as church planting can be, actually starting a new church in the real world comes with a unique set of challenges. In today's episode we talk with two young MB pastors who have completed the church plant process and are now working on launching second campuses. Join us as we hear from Christian Kohs in Minnesota and Phil Wiebe in Utah to hear more about their church planting journeys, their vision for their new campuses, and how we can all work together to most effectively share the good news of Jesus. 
2020 has been quite the year. The combination of COVID and politics and race issues and natural disasters has been hard on all of us, and most of us could probably do a better job of taking care of ourselves. Today we're joined by two MB therapists with tips on how to manage our mental health, care for each other, and even find ways to thrive--and not just survive--the messy world we find ourselves in. Thanks to Cheryl Dueck Smith and Carlin Buhrman for sharing their insight and advice with us!
The world of politics seems to just get messier and messier. This is a big week in America as we prepare for the upcoming election. The issues represented by our votes are big and important, and most of us feel compelled to share our thoughts and our convictions in various forms online. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, you've probably seen Christian friends post things that maybe they shouldn't have, or maybe you've found YOURSELF in a heated Facebook debate you didn't intend to be in.It's messy, and it's hard to know how Jesus would want us to act online--especially in divisive seasons like this one. Luckily, we chat with an expert today, and Sam Hoover has some excellent tips and advice we would all be wise to follow as we aim to be "good Christians" online--especially this week! 
The Mennonite Brethren family is much larger than just those of us living in the U.S. We have thousands of MB brothers and sisters around the world, and we all need each other to be most effective.In this episode, Rudi Plett (the director of ICOMB) and Ed Boschman (USMB representative) share how God has been at work in these world conferences and how we can best work together to help spread the good news of Jesus and develop our church leaders around the world. 
The story of Jesus and the woman at the well is a well-known and favorite story from the Gospels, but how should that interaction affect our lives and our ministries today? Copper Hills Church in Peoria, Arizona used that story as a model of how they wanted to serve their community. After years of dreaming and hard work, they now oversee the Copper Hills Center for the Arts, which is an awesome and powerful outreach to their community.Today we talk with Cathy Beachy, the director of the Center for the Arts. She shares not only details of how this works in their community, but she also shares ideas of how all of us in all of our churches can shift our mindset on "outreach" and how we can benefit our community, meeting common needs just like Jesus did for the woman at the well. This is a fun and inspiring episode. Thanks for joining us!
Your age and the culture you were raised in play a huge role in how you see God and how you view the church. On this week's episode we dive into a study on all current generations, with a special highlight on the emerging generations of Millennials and Gen Z. What characteristics define them, how are they different from those who came before them, and what should the church be doing to reach them more effectively?Kyle Goings is an experienced youth pastor who has studied this topic more than just about anyone. And (shhh!) don't tell anyone: He actually is a millennial. This is a fast-paced episode that will greatly benefit your ministry, especially if you find yourself lacking in representation from these emerging young adults. 
Who exactly are the Mennonite Brethren? Where did we come from, and what makes us unique from the hundreds of other Christian denominations? Don't miss this episode! Peggy Goertzen is the Director and Archivist of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, and Wendell Loewen has been an MB pastor and professor for many years. Hear them blitz through our MB history and share practical handles you can use to explain this faith story to those who may be unfamiliar. 
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) does important work around the world in the areas of relief, development, and peace in the name of Christ. In today's ever-changing culture, one way they do that is by providing resources, training, and intentional effort to support and build diversity. Dina Gonzalez-Pina specializes in the areas of gender and ethnic diversity, and she shares practical insight in today's episode for church leaders.
Wherever you land theologically about women in church leadership, your church likely has room for improvement in how you develop female leaders. In today's episode, author Kadi Cole encourages us to "be as effective as possible in the theology we believe," while also capitalizing on the leadership potential in women that often goes unnoticed. This is a crucial topic for today's church. Take advantage of the practical leadership and insight we can all learn from in today's LEAD Pod episode! 
The "capital C" Church is alive and well in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and you'll see why when you hear from USMB leader Nzuzi Mukawa. Nzuzi has a passion for evangelism, whether he finds himself in a church, in the marketplace, or taking advantage of the "diaspora" as the world becomes a smaller and more global community.Be encouraged and be challenged as you listen to this episode. The U.S. has a lot to learn from global leaders like Nzuzi!
How healthy is your soul? Do you have baggage you've been carrying that you need to deal with? Most of us have knowledge of Scripture and the promises of God, but do we have integration in our day-to-day lives? Dr. Reimer was scheduled to be one of our speakers at the USMB 2020 Convention. Today we dive into his book Soul Care and share ways church leaders can better care for their own souls so they can effectively lead and shepherd those around us. 
The issues of labor and sex trafficking in the U.S. and around the world are heart-breaking. We believe all men and women are created in the image of God, and we all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. These issues are big and systemic, so what can we do in our individual families and churches to help make a difference? Today's guest Christa Wiens shares important info about the problems, but also offers practical solutions we can all implement to chip away at this big and important problem. 
Not a day goes by with new headlines about racial injustice, and the topic of legal immigration will likely be an issue we'll face for years to come. Pastor Aaron Hernandez has a unique perspective as he leads a church literally on the border to Mexico. In this episode, Aaron explains what life is like for Hispanic church leaders today, and he shares several important messages for white Christian leaders. 
The Bible is pretty clear that all Christ-followers are called to evangelize, but sharing our faith can be scary. On top of that, a lot of us have experienced ineffective (and maybe even hurtful) evangelism, and we don't want to associate ourselves with that. Beyond the threat of hell and cheesy Christian tracts, how can we build relationships in a way that leads others to Christ?Luckily, we have two experts to dissect this with us on this episode. Ed and Jameson have great tips, personal examples, and practical encouragement for all of us to build--and share--our faith with those around us. 
Every leader leads meetings. We've all been in great meetings, and we've all been in bad meetings. We want to help YOU lead them well, and this week we have great insight from Paul Robie of South Mountain Community Church in Draper, Utah. Grab a pen and get ready for some practical tools for you and your team!
When you are fluent in a language, you're able to live and communicate clearly without an abundance of effort. With that definition in mind, what does it mean to be fluent in the Gospel? How would our lives be different if we had an understanding and an awareness of the Gospel that was as deep as our understanding of our native language? Special guest Ben Connelly describes what a Gospel-fluent life looks like and steps we can take to grow in this area. Here's a hint: The Gospel isn't just something that happened 2,000 years ago. The good news of Jesus is as relevant and important today as it ever has been, and that should affect how we live our lives. 
All of us are still navigating life in this Coronavirus season. Maybe you're working from home, maybe you're the only one in the office, or maybe now you're having to homeschool your kids. All of us have been effected somehow, and it can be hard to know if we're being successful and effective in our leadership when nothing feels normal. How can we lead well when no one can see us? How should we be using this extra time we've been given to invest in our families? Do you have a tendency to over-work or under-work? This week we get tips on all this and much more from our guest, Ben Connelly. 
(Hopefully) all churches pray, and (hopefully) we all spend time in prayer in our personal faith journeys. However, there's a big difference between being a church who prays and becoming a "house of prayer." What are the differences, and how can we get there?Esther Leonard is passionate about prayer and has powerful tips to help take your prayer life and your prayer meetings to the next level.
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