Kyle Idleman

Sabbatical, Boundaries, and Avoiding Empty

About The Episode


“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. Join us for an episode full of vulnerability, real stories from his experiences, and even a sneak peek at Kyle’s latest book!

Welcome to Episode 076 of the Leaders in Living Rooms Podcast with Sean Morgan. 

Insights From Kyle Idleman

Support Without Experience

  • Even when you have abundant support for a church plant, the role can quickly turn lonely and overwhelming when there is a lack of experience or coaching to guide you.
  • The role of a coach can offer
    • Follow-up
    • Encouragement
    • Practical advice
  • Kyle studied entrepreneurship as he navigated church planting. Alongside a healthy understanding that the church is not a business, the pastor is not a CEO, and the Bible is not a product, there are helpful principles to be learned from studying entrepreneurship in church planting.

Who is pushing the “desk”?

  • During a season when Kyle stressed over no one showing up for the church plant, he had a dream about God laughing at him. While not amusing at the time, this led to a key lesson for Kyle about strength…
  • Kyle shares a story of laughing at his 4-year-old son who was confident in his own ability to push a heavy desk to the moving truck. And yet it was actually the strength of his father (Kyle) pushing. Likewise, in church planting, it’s the strength of God the Father whose strength “pushes the desk.”
  • God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.

Input Versus Output

  • There is a difference between knowing the right disciplines and consistently practicing them. 
  • When you force all areas of your life to contribute to some sort of productive “output,” you’ll miss the needed refreshment of simply allowing an “input” to take place and fill you up spiritually. (John 15:5)
  • Output might not feel like a burden, but you need to create boundaries around allowing for input. 
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of connecting with God before you expect to produce fruit.

Whose voices do you allow to speak into your life?

  • Trusted friends (recognizing what you might need)
  • Executive Coach (and counselor)
  • Elder board (spiritual authority before you crash)

Receiving Executive Coaching

  • Kyle’s Exec. Coach helped him to decipher the difference between “frustration” and “sadness” and be willing to pinpoint when those emotions were present.
  • Kyle also noticed his tendency toward viewing all conversations in a positive lens. This can be a strength, but can also be a blinder. Invite voices in to bring perspective.

Episode Links

Kyle’s newest book, When Your Way Isn’t Working, releases this June!

To learn more about the dynamic between an Integrator and a Visionary, read Rocket Fuel, by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters.

If you’re a leader approaching a succession or transition. Or maybe you’re a few years in and beginning to see how complex transitions leadership is… go to The Art of Pastoral Succession and checkout my brand new course in partnership with Carey Nieuwhof. 

Are you in Transition or have one on the horizon? Check out our 2023 cohorts and get connected with us at: 

Who Is Kyle Idleman?

Kyle Idleman is a bestselling author and the senior pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, one of the largest churches in America. He’s most widely known for his award-winning book, not a fan., which has sold more than 1.3 million copies and has sparked a movement among believers.

Kyle has authored several other books including: When Your Way Isn’t Working, One at a Time, gods at war, and End of Me, 

Kyle and his wife DesiRae have four children and live on a farm where he does no farming.

Sponsors & Partners

Thanks to our sponsor: Food For The Hungry. Combine your church’s heart for the poor and Food for the Hungry’s global experience at

Quotes From Episode

“It’s ok to delight in our weaknesses.”

“Connection is what brings production.”

Listen to Recent Episodes

About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

Sean Morgan

Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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