LILR 101 | Sam Chand on Leadership Fitness and the Fallacy of Balance

“You will grow only to the threshold of your pain.” Meet Sam Chand, author and leadership consultant who serves leaders worldwide as they seek personal and organizational growth. Sam expands on the topic of leadership pain in today’s episode. He asks pastors two key questions when discerning their leadership health. And while there is no such thing as “balance” in ministry, listen to Sam’s wisdom in navigating health amid “ministry spurts.”

Dating Your City

In 2012, my wife and I were trying to figure out where God was calling us to plant a church. Through a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, we landed on a few things we were looking for in a city that we would move to, plant roots in and raise our family. We had this mentality that if we were going to love the people of our city, then we had to love our city. Meaning, if we hated things about our city, like the traffic, the growth, the lack of good restaurants, etc, then that would come out in our interaction with people. It would be very difficult to love the people of a city, if we hated the city.

LILR 100 | Guest Host Josh Surratt Asks Sean Anything

“Trust comes from relationships.” Today, you’ll be hearing a familiar voice from the podcast. We’re flipping the script on episode 100, and Sean Morgan is interviewed today by Josh Surratt, Lead Pastor at Seacoast Church. How can we learn intentional leadership development from the military? What makes it easier to follow a lead pastor and make space for high-level leaders on your team? Listen in for Sean’s perspective and wisdom for these questions.

Leading Your Plant from a Place of Health & Current Trends

“Jesus has already given us the mission, and He already tells us what heaven celebrates.” Today, Mike Hickerson leads the discussion about trends in church planting, plus key reminders to keep planters in a healthy place of leadership. Find out what planters should be obsessing over, why data is your friend, and why the “rise of ‘nones’” brings hopeful opportunity.

LILR 099 | Wayne Cordeiro on Resiliency and the Leadership Pivot

“Sometimes God says, ‘That was a nice idea, but it wasn’t a divine vision.’” Meet Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, founding pastor of the New Hope International Ministry. With inspiring insight into the nuances and necessities of pivoting as leaders, Pastor Wayne gives helpful cues to build resiliency in a way that healthily impacts your church.


Recently I’ve struggled to find the right approach to my time with the Lord each morning. It’s not been a matter of consistency, but rather impact on my walk vs. the routine of checking a box...

Read Less in '24

I read a whole lot of books in 2023. I won’t say how many because I don’t want to brag! A catchy slogan and goal for the new year might have been “Read MORE in ’24!” But an article in the Chicago Tribune by the Books Columnist John Warner challenged my thinking.

LILR 098 | Finding Your Team with Chris Fletcher of Manna Church

“Sometimes, you have the grace to receive a vision but not the grace to communicate it.” Meet Chris Fletcher, Lead Pastor of Manna Church in Fayetteville/Ft. Liberty. Today, we get to hear Chris’ insights on leadership transition. We’ll learn about the wisdom of ambiguity in the beginning, what changes with money and leaders as you transition, and the necessity of peer mentorship.

Parenting and Planting

“We overestimate how much energy we need to make an awesome church, and we underestimate how important it is to have a healthy marriage.” Today, we’re joined by hosts Mike Hickerson and David Hibiske in a church-planting conversation centered around the family side of a pastor. Often, in the hustle of church planting, pastors can fall into the trap of prioritizing work over family. This only ends up negatively affecting both the church and your family! Listen in for key takeaways and best practices to maintain strength in your family as you pursue ministry alongside them.

LILR 097 | Sean Morgan on Church Trends and Why They Matter

“There are more people open to the Gospel than ever before.” Meet Sean Morgan, host of the Leaders in Living Rooms Podcast and Founder of The Ascent Leader. Today’s episode offers eight church trends all pastors should be aware of as we enter 2024. Sean’s insight not only points to these specific trends but also to what they mean for your church and your leadership. How do we lead with courage as we see fertile soil trend upward?

Top 4 for 2024

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LILR 096 | Boardroom Health and Succession with Flatirons Elders

“If you don’t have a healthy elder board in a church, you might as well not have an elder board.” Meet Darryl, Justin, and Jonathan, three of the four Flatirons Elders. In a special group interview, today’s episode gives insight into what honesty and integrity look like when played out on a healthy board. Find out why a healthy team does not mean “smooth sailing.”

How to Lead with Humility and Courage in Different Seasons of Church Planting

“The thing I’m after is an exemplary life.” Meet Andy Wood, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church. In an open and honest interview, Andy encourages and challenges church planters to lead with humility and courage in the various seasons of church planting. With insights into leading alongside a spouse, filling big shoes, and the general identity challenges of pastoring, lean in today for wisdom in your church-planting leadership.

LILR 095 | Brady Boyd on the Importance of a Pastor's Pace of Sabbath Rest

“Our enemy hates that we’re taking days of rest.” Meet Brady Boyd, Senior Pastor of New Life Church. Today’s episode is a reminder of the crucial ways Sabbath rest refuels a pastor’s soul. On a weekly basis, pastors carry an emotional and often traumatic weight as they shepherd their congregations. Today, Pastor Brady encourages all leaders to incorporate healthy rhythms that will make space for pastors to be able to sustain a ministry for the long haul.

Thanksgiving Leavens Prayer…and Life

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David Hibiske on the Importance of Commitment and Capacity-Building in Church Planting

“There’s something about commitment that brings focus that unlocks growth.” Meet David Hibiske, Pastor of Strategic Ministry Initiatives at Saddleback Church. Today’s encouragement to church planters is to be ridiculously faithful with what God has given you. Whether you are planting a church, or in a season of growth and waiting, there is encouragement for you in today’s episode. David shares two big leaps in leadership that make all the difference in your capacity to allow for church growth.

LILR 094 | Stephen Foster of St Aldates, Oxford on the Difference Between Stuck Church and Revival

“The church goes upward in age and inward in focus naturally…It’s only intentionally that the church goes downward in age and outward in focus.” Meet Stephen Foster, leader of St Aldates Church in Oxford and advisor to Alpha. Stephen brings a refreshing reminder of the need for churches to embrace a vision that moves the demographic downward in age while outward in focus - all while embracing multiple generations in church culture. Listen for insights in today’s episode on how to best engage what Stephen describes as a pre-Christian context and why that is so exciting for the Church!

LILR 093 | Archie Coates on Building Congregational Trust in Transition with Competency and Healthy Disruptions

“You can’t lead people or take them anywhere until they trust you.” Meet Archie Coates, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton. In a conversation about transitioning into a lead pastor role, Archie gives personal insights from his recent transition at HTB. He brings a healthy mix of humility and disruption to a seasoned church. Learn about the difference between loving a church you “birthed” versus a church you “adopted” in today’s episode. Archie’s perspective and wisdom will give you practical concepts to aid either side of pastoral transitions.

LILR 092 | Nicky Gumbel on the 3 Things Every Church can Improve

“The only way to plant a church is through evangelism.” Meet Nicky Gumbel, pioneer of the Alpha course and former vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in London. Nicky’s enthusiasm for a better focus in church evangelism is life-giving and inspiring. He meets the challenges of today’s church with a sense of intentionality and strategy that will encourage you and motivate change.

Reflections From the NYC Cohort

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