The Unfair Advantage

With Mike Hickerson
& Andy Wood

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The Unfair Advantage

Church planting is an extreme sport combining the best of entrepreneurship and church leadership. It calls for courage, tenacity, passion, and wisdom. When done right it’s one of the most rewarding endeavors on the planet. When done wrong it causes tremendous heartache and unnecessary pain. Church planters, we want to help you win early and finish strong. This podcast will help you avoid church planting land mines, grow as a leader, and discover practical tools to help you win in your local ministry context!

What Others Are Saying

No coincidence!
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I had the pleasure of sitting next to this brother on the plane as I was travelling back home from a deployment. We talked and he told me about his ministry. Instantly I was intrigued, so I look forward to listening to the podcasts!
So helpful!
Kurt Duggleby
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This is such a helpful resource for those in, coming up to, or coming out of leadership transition in ministry. Such a needed conversation. Feel like it's telling me my own story when I sit and listen, and it often talks me off a ledge and inspires me to keep moving forward.
Great Leadership
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Sean is an incredible leader and has ministry relationships that he shares here that are valuable to anyone looking for the behind-the-scenes of high-powered, high-capacity leaders.
Convo with Brady
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Great host and great content!

About the Host

Mike Hickerson is the Lead Pastor of Mission Church in Ventura, CA. Mike describes himself as a church planter, lucky husband, outnumbered dad of three daughters, Oklahoma Sooner fan, coffee addict, and a struggling surfer.

Your Host

Mike Hickerson

Unfair Advantage

About the Host

Andy Wood is the Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church. Andy and his wife Stacie are answering God’s call to serve at Saddleback after over a decade of church planting. The Wood’s started South Bay Church in 2009 with two other families. South Bay Church officially changed their name to Echo.Church in January of 2018. Echo.Church has become one of the fastest growing churches in the most unchurched area of the United States and is now reaching over 2,300 people in regular attendance in three locations across Silicon Valley.

Andy’s passion is to create environments that engage the unchurched people of the Bay Area. Along with leading the church, Andy enjoys investing time in helping church planters and church leaders think more innovatively and strategically to reach people in the most unreached areas of North America. Andy and Stacie have three kids, Caedmon, Sammy, and Karis.

Your Host

Andy Wood

Unfair Advantage

The Top 10 Keys to a
Fully-Resourced Church Plant

So glad you’re here. I’m passionate about church planters and feel God’s favor in the call to serve you in your ministry. We’d love to connect with you. Go ahead and leave us your name and email address here so we can send you a free copy of our latest church planters resource: The Top 10 Keys to a Fully Resourced Church Plant. We can’t wait to help you go further, faster!


Recent Episodes

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.

The "How" - Eight Steps for Raising Financial Support

“Sometimes we pray generic prayers and expect God to give specific answers, but there is a power in inviting God to show off in the process of planting a church.” Today’s church planting insights include eight steps toward raising financial support. Andy and Mike reflect on their own church plant experiences as they advise church planters on the financial side of the ministry launch. Be encouraged today by fellow church planters as you navigate your own planting journey!

Ben Pilgreen on The Nuances of Urban Church Plants

“If you don’t value team, and if you can’t build a team, it’s going to be lonely, and it’s going to be limiting.” Meet Ben Pilgreen, founder and lead pastor of Epic Church in San Francisco, CA. Today, we get to hear a unique perspective from Ben on his experience planting a church in the urban setting of San Francisco. Discover with us the core church planting elements that stay the same along with the nuances that come with a large, urban context.

The “Who” - The Top Characteristics I Should Look For In A Staff Team

“Whenever God does a ‘what,’ He first finds a ‘who.’” Today we are tackling what could be considered one of the most important aspects of church planting–the “who” of your staff team! Mike and Andy remind us there are few “lone rangers” in the Bible. But cultivating a team can be a daunting task when you want to launch a sustainable church plant.

Take Your Leadership to New Heights

The Ascent equips you to lean into your God-given leadership potential.

Cohorts offer you the chance to go deeper with a small circle of peers and professional mentors so you can elevate your expertise and grow your confidence as a leader.

Learn more about upcoming cohorts by clicking below.