Church Planting Year One–the Mistakes and the Miracles

“A growing church is always led by a growing leader. And whenever a leader stops growing, the church starts dying.” Meet Ron Sylvia, founding pastor of Church @ The Springs. In today’s episode, Ron shares the realities of year one in church planting–especially as a pioneer church planter when there were not too many resources and advice at the time. Ron’s encouragement to new church planters is to listen to the voice of God and stay grounded in the vision and calling. As a church planter, you’re on the front lines of what will be your legendary days…

LILR 077 | Clay Scroggins on Life After Full-Time Ministry and Creating a Career Out of Influence

“God uses transition to connect us more deeply to the people around us.” Meet Clay Scroggins, author of the best-selling books How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, How to Lead in a World of Distraction, and The Aspiring Leader’s Guide to the Future. In today’s episode, Clay gives a deep, personal look at what transitioning from a lead pastor role to an entrepreneurial, self-employed role has looked like for him.

LILR 076 | Kyle Idleman on Sabbatical, Boundaries, and Avoiding Empty

“Connection is what brings production.” Meet Kyle Idleman, Lead Pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Kyle sits down with Sean Morgan to talk through his pastoral journey from a lonely church planter to now leading one of the largest churches in America. Through key voices in his life, welcoming him in, speaking wisdom into his role, and placing helpful boundaries around pastoral input and output, Kyle has great wisdom to share with us in regard to church leadership.

The “Why” - 7 Good Reasons To Plant A Church With Andy Wood & Mike Hickerson

“Church planting is not an easy sport, it’s an obedient sport.” There are good reasons and bad reasons to plan a church. The difference between the two is almost always tied to motivation. On today’s episode, Andy Wood and Mike Hickerson unpack the 7 good reasons to plant a church and share personal stories from their own experiences in church planting.

LILR 075 | NFL's Sam Acho Talks Life Transitions and Following Your Fire to Heal a Broken World

“My life has been a story of transition… I’m used to having to rely on the Lord and ask for His wisdom, guidance, and understanding.” Meet Sam Acho, a nine year NFL Veteran, ESPN Football Analyst, Humanitarian, and Author. Sam sits down with Sean to talk through each of the transitions in his life and what changed along the way. Through all of them, what remained the same was his commitment to Christ.

LILR 074 | William Vanderbloemen on The Top 3 Lessons from Coaching Churches Through Pastoral Transition

“Pastors moving into the Lead Pastor role need to ask, “What created this vacancy that God has called me to fill? People mistakenly assume that succession and retirement are synonyms. They’re not.”” Meet William Vanderbloemen, CEO & Founder of Vanderbloemen, an executive search firm. In this episode, William and Sean really lean in to combine their pre and post-transition experience, unpacking the top lessons from coaching churches through pastoral transition.

Mike Breaux and Gene Appel on Church Planting Before it Was Cool

“Back in that day, we didn’t have any church planting resources, any church planting organizations, books on church planting, nothing. So we just prayed.” On this episode we’re joined by Gene Appel, Senior Pastor of Eastside Christian Church, and Mike Breaux who serves on the teaching team of multiple churches throughout the country. Between them, these two ministry giants have over 60+ combined years of church planting wisdom, ministry experience, and encouragement for the next generation of leaders.

LILR 073 | Rich Villodas on Following Pete Scazzero at New Life Fellowship, Lessons in Pastoral Succession, and Leading Into the Future

“It wasn’t until maybe four years into me leading the church that I really felt like, ‘Okay, now I have a good sense as to what it means to lead the congregation from here to there from a vision perspective.’” Meet Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large multiracial church in Elmhurst, Queens.

LILR 072 | Carey Nieuwhof and Brad Lomenick on Vision Pivot and Finding Clarity on Reversing the Decline in the Church

“Every leader has to rethink vision for every new season. Mission is the north star, but vision can and should be something that changes over the course of your career.” In today’s episode, we bring in two of the great leadership voices in ministry to unpack the recent Carey Nieuwhof vision winnowing and inspire leaders on forging ahead in the New Year. Carey Nieuwhof and Brad Lomenick join Sean Morgan in a vulnerable conversation about Carey’s crisis of vision this past year and how church leaders can find encouragement if they too are unsure about the road ahead.

LILR 071 | Dustin Aagaard & John Hampton on Leadership Transition and Trusting God’s Timing for Succession

“God uses so many types of leaders that are way different from each other. So, it makes sense that there’s going to be all kinds of succession stories that God can bless equally.” Today, we’re joined by Dustin Aagaard and John Hampton, both pastors in the midst of a Lead Pastor transition at Journey Christian Church in Orlando. With specific insight into their current transition season, we’re hearing firsthand, from both sides, the nuances and wisdom that play into healthy leadership succession within a church.

Andy Wood on Defining a Successful Church Plant and Leading a Team By Examining Character, Passion, and Shaping

What defines a successful church plant? Am I wired to lead? Do I have the right team in the right roles? On today’s episode of The Unfair Advantage, Andy Wood and Sean Morgan unpack both the qualitative and quantitative elements of a “successful” church plant.

LILR 070 | Chris Brown on Why Online Church is Still Important and Building a Leadership Pipeline

“We haven’t just had a change in culture in the last couple of years, we’ve had a cultural shift. We’re in a different playing field.” Many of you know Chris Brown, Senior Pastor and Teaching Pastor at North Coast Church in San Diego, CA. In today’s episode, Sean Morgan leans in with Chris on exactly how North Coast is innovating around online church and why it’s so important.

LILR 069 | Dr. Richard Blackaby Talks Leadership Transitions and Growing Your Church

“Don’t be so busy trying to turn things around that you neglect the people you’re working with. Start tackling the small stuff to build up a resume and track record of success, then you can gradually start tackling bigger and bigger things that ultimately need to get changed as well.”

Being Good at Home and Leading Well in Ministry Together with Andy & Stacie Wood

“Ministry and family is not an either/or. It’s both/and. But there’s certainly a priority. And if you get to the place where the family is not your priority, eventually you might have to make a choice.”

Preaching to a Divided Nation with Paul A. Hoffman

The 2022 midterm elections, like most political events in our age, will undoubtedly spark new fires of division in our country一not only in the nation at large, but sadly, within the church. Enter Paul A. Hoffman, the lead pastor of Evangelical Friends Church in Newport, Rhode Island, and co-author of a new book: Preaching To A Divided Nation: A Seven-Step Model for Promoting Reconciliation and Unity.

How Every Preacher Must Fan The Flame with Jim Cymbala

In his new book, Fan the Flame: Let Jesus Renew Your Calling and Revive Your Church, Jim Cymbala distills the Spirit-fueled, Bible-saturated ethos of his 50+ years in ministry. As Steve Carter affectionately quips, Jim is like a firehose of passion and wisdom.

LILR 068 | The Currency of Trust and Transitions Leadership Principles with James Forsyth

“Love the church you have. Not the church you wish you had.” Meet James Forsyth, Senior Pastor of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN. James grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland where he met his bride and started his family. He came to the US to go to seminary and stayed stateside as God called him and his family through two leadership transitions. James is an expert on the topic of transition. On this episode he leans in with James specifically on the currency of trust and four key transition leadership principles.

LILR 067 | Keeping Short Accounts, Humility, and other Transitions Leadership with Daniel Im

“Humility must be the chief characteristic of the outgoing pastor. Their transition feels like death by a thousand cuts. This is what they’ve dedicated their ministry to, their lives to, and they are having to slowly let it go…”

Slowing Down To Plant Well With Mike Hickerson

“Why would you waste your life right now, in the prime of your ministry, to go teach a couple hundred people at a movie theater in California?” Meet Mike Hickerson, Lead Pastor & Planter of Mission Church in Ventura, CA. In this episode, Mike shares he and his wife Jodi’s personal story as church planters and unpacks some great advice for planters that he wishes he had ten years ago.

The Essential Preaching Frequencies with Erwin McManus

Erwin McManus has spent decades honing his skill as a communicator, at Mosaic (the church he founded in Hollywood, CA), at conferences around the world, and in living rooms filled with a handful of friends. Wherever he goes一even in places where he doesn’t speak the native language一he’s able to communicate in a profound way.