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.

LILR 091 | N.T. Wright on Israel and Gaza, Romans 8, and Advice for Pastors Today

“Justice and love are two halves of the same coin.” Meet N.T. Wright, the former Bishop of Durham, theologian, author, and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Today, we are tackling current events in Israel and Gaza with a renewed perspective of lament. N.T. Wright brings a depth of wisdom that not only expands on our understanding of biblical text, but also informs us of how we are to operate today in the church.

LILR 090 | Dave Stone on How To Be a Great Former Lead Pastor and Church Growth Lessons from CCV & Southeast

“It’s a narcissistic leader who passes the baton and then hopes that the church diminishes or fails.” Meet Dave Stone, former lead pastor at Southeast Christian Church. Sharing from personal experiences, Dave gives us insight into healthy leadership transition, including how to be the biggest champion for your successor, how to carry an interim pastor role, and how to gauge the health of your leadership.

LILR 089 | Dan Reiland on Leadership Transitions and Measuring Success in Succession

“To go too long, to go too far…big mistake.” Meet Dan Reiland, former Executive Pastor at 12Stone® Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Dan’s example of transitioning as an outgoing pastor is one every pastor should take note of. With practical metrics on what successful transition looks like afterward, spiritual insights for staying in tune with God’s voice, and a heart for serving the next generation, today’s episode is a helpful one for what it looks like to transition healthily in the church.

LILR 088 | Jared Herd on Resiliency During Challenging Transitions, Co-Pastoring & More

“I have a radical ownership of everything I’m doing…By God’s grace, I’m waking up every day making a choice to lead God’s church.” Meet Jared Herd, Senior Pastor at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. Jared gives us a helpful look at his experience with a tough transition from a Co-Pastoring model. Listen in for practical wisdom on healthy Boards and the grit of leadership.

LILR 087 | Julian Lowe, LP at Oasis LA on Battling Pride and the Racial Divide

“If you do nothing, the devil braids the church’s success and the health of your soul together, and he makes you think it’s the same thing.” Meet Julian Lowe, Lead Pastor at Oasis LA. In today’s episode, we hear a vulnerable and insightful look at what succession in leadership looked like for Julian. With honesty and transparency, we hear about the challenges of humility, how gratitude can accompany obedience, and distinguishing your personal relationship with Jesus from the church you lead.

LILR 086 | Former Fuller Seminary President Mark Labberton on Power Dynamics and Big vs. Small Church

“If I have power, especially in ministry, it’s because it is a gift. And I’m accountable not in my audience, I’m accountable to the God of the universe who has laid down His life for the sake of the world.” Meet Mark Labberton, former Fuller Seminary President, author, and host of Fuller Studio’s Conversing podcast. Join us for an engaging conversation on what it means to lay down power. Mark gives insight on the concept of co-leadership and healthy power dynamics as he challenges us to pursue deeper discipleship above all else as the vision for church growth.

LILR 085 | Mark Clark on the Spirit of the Law in Pastoral Roles

“There is a sacrifice to ministry that scars you…that is part of the job.” Meet Mark Clark, one of the Senior Pastors at Bayside Church in Sacramento, California. In today’s episode, Mark shares his personal experience of entering a role as Senior Pastor after founding Village Church, a multi-site church with locations in multiple cities across Canada. You’ll get a glimpse into his perspective on the evolution of pastoral roles, the secret sauce to keeping good leaders, and the importance of humility and zeal as a pastor.

LILR 084 | Leadership Transitions with Ben Snyder of Cedar Creek Church

“Get clear on your calling.” Meet Ben Snyder, Lead Pastor at Cedar Creek Church in Ohio. Ben talks with us about his personal experience in a quick transition season. He gives helpful advice, now in hindsight, glimpses into the challenges he faced, and key reminders for leaders entering a season of new leadership styles.

LILR 083 | Steve & Dana Clifford on Combatting Authority and Ego in Succession

“God loves your church more than you do…Invite Him into the discussion.” Meet Steve and Dana Clifford, former pastors at Westgate Church in San Jose, California. Without underestimating the hard work and the time it takes to healthily transition from one pastor to another, Steve and Dana give insight into how their successful transition has contributed to healthy new seasons in their lives and their church.

LILR 082 | Thom and Sam Rainer on Leading Church Transitions and Renewing Evangelism

“Pastors tend to overestimate the value of vision and underestimate the value of strategy.” Meet Thom S. Rainer, and his son, Sam Rainer. With much experience in church consulting and transition, Thom and Sam are CEO and President (respectively) of Church Answers, an organization providing resources for pastors experiencing the ups and downs of ministry. Today’s podcast gives us a glimpse into practical roles an interim pastor should be filling as well as encouragement for all churches to revive their passion for evangelism and reach the lost. It’s as simple as Sam explains it, “Evangelism will never die in your church if you do it.”

LILR 081 | Sean Morgan on Overstaying Past your Prime - Biggest Succession Mistakes Elders and Outgoing Lead Pastors Make

“Do what is required to finish well.” Sean Morgan is sharing with us today the keys to a successful transition in ministry leadership. If we’re being honest, transition in ministry is not often the beautiful baton hand-off we desire it to be. There are challenges and intricacies that can prevent churches from experiencing the ideal "smooth transition." Today’s episode offers insight behind the “why” of common challenges as well as guardrails for a better path forward.

LILR 080 | Jud and Lori Wilhite on Dealing with Negativity, Laying Down the Idol of Effectiveness, & Prioritizing a Strong Marriage in Ministry

“One of the best gifts we can give our churches is a healthy relationship with God and a healthy marriage.” Meet Jud and Lori Wilhite. As leaders in ministry, this couple gives us a healthy look at what pursuing God looks like in the context of church ministry and marriage. In the midst of negativity, our own idols of effectiveness, and the dangers of comparison, Jud and Lori bring us back to the basics of our faith…the most effective practices we often neglect.

LILR 079: Darren Youngstrom on Setting Priorities in Transitions and Seeing 10X Growth from a Missional Focus

“The church is God’s vehicle to get the answer to people’s longings in their heart to them, and if people have been without a church long enough, then I know their spirit is going to be hungry.” Meet Darren Youngstrom, Lead Pastor at New Vintage Church in Santa Rosa. Today’s conversation brings an authentic glimpse into the transition role of a lead pastor. Darren is honest and vulnerable about his trials and hardships. But he also sheds light on the many ways God is clearly on the move in the midst of it all.

LILR 078: Rich Birch on Healthy Lead Pastor & Executive Pastor Relationships

“My advice to an executive pastor is: The output from your voice needs to be more questions than answers.” Meet Rich Birch, lead coach of the Church Growth Incubator, a community of churches actively working to grow through closely learning from the fastest-growing churches and applying those lessons to their churches. Today, we get to benefit from Rich’s stories, experience, and advice to Executive Pastors navigating the reality of their roles in relationship to Lead Pastors.

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.

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.