A conversation with church leaders
Firing team members comes with the territory for leaders, even in a church setting. But firing, like anything else, needs to be done with compassion, clarity, empathy and generosity. In this episode of the Leadership Momentum podcast, host Chris Brown explains why firing incompetent or problematic team members is important to the health of any organization. The goal, he says, is not to have to fire anyone by hiring the right people for the job in the first place, and then leading those people well. But, more than likely, every leader will have to terminate a team member at least once. For those times, Chris shares tips for making the process as painless and positive as possible.
In more than 40 years of ministry and church leadership, Pastor Ronnie Floyd has experienced it all. He’s been senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas since 1986, is the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, serves or has served on many boards and committees, and has written more than 20 books. In this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, Pastor Floyd talks about navigating the different seasons of every leader’s journey, from the launch season to the late years. Ronnie gives practical advice for handling the professional and personal struggles that come with each season, plus how to lead in times of blessing.
Since 1996, Mark Batterson has pastored National Community Church in Washington, D.C. In that time, the church has gone from 25 attendees to thousands, and from investing $50 one month toward missions to giving millions of dollars a year to missions projects. And though God has played the primary role in that growth, Mark also credits the generosity of donors. On this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, host Chris Brown talks with Mark about nurturing relationships with those high-impact donors. They talk about what those relationships look like and what church leaders can do to make their churches the kind of place generous givers really want to bless with their money.
Pastor Steve Gaines has been leading Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, as its senior pastor for 12 years. But last June, he also became president of the Southern Baptist Convention. On this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, Steve talks with host Chris Brown about his first year as president of the denomination, his goals in that role, and how he’s balanced those responsibilities with his continuing role as senior pastor of a multisite local church.
After 20 years of hosting Passion Conferences for young people, Pastor Louie Giglio knows a thing or two about partnering with God to create a transformative and meaningful worship experience. In this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, Louie talks with host Chris Brown about the importance of a powerful worship experience and the influential role a senior pastor plays in that. Louie also shares his wisdom on reaching the millennial generation and talks about his latest projects, including his most recent book, Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants (Thomas Nelson, May 2017).
Lee Strobel might be the most famous atheist-turned-Christian in modern times. His autobiographical book, The Case for Christ, is a primer in apologetics, a valuable evangelistic tool, and a chance for Christians to understand the motivations of atheism from someone who wasn’t a believer for most of his life. In this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, Lee joins host Chris Brown to talk about The Case for Christ, a new film based on his book, coming to theaters April 7. He also gives practical tips for church leaders to engage atheists, suggesting they filter every response and encounter through two words: gentleness and respect.
As more churches go multisite, the role of the campus pastor is becoming increasingly common on church staffs. On this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, Tim Harlow and William Vanderbloemen explain what they look for in the perfect campus pastor. Harlow is senior pastor of Parkview Christian Church, a multisite church of 8,000 in the south suburbs of Chicago. Vanderbloemen leads Vanderbloemen Search Group, an organization that helps churches across the country find the right candidate for the job. Both men talk with host Chris Brown about some of the non-negotiables of this specialized church leader: likeability, authenticity and passion, among others. Listen in to hear more of what it takes to lead a multisite church campus.
As senior pastor of Life.Church, Craig Groeschel leads thousands of people across nearly 30 locations worldwide. But the success of Life.Church today didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t the result of a few huge decisions. It came about from the thousands of small, daily decisions of faithfulness and sacrifice that its leaders made over many years. From that experience, Craig has become an expert at making decisions—and knowing what to do if things don’t go quite as planned. In this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, host Chris Brown talks with Craig about the art and science of decision-making.
Few people are as busy as Max Lucado. But the pastor, speaker and author of more than 100 books has managed to create margin in his life over the years by being intentional about how he spends his time and what he allows onto his calendar. In this mini episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, he talks with host Chris Brown about his own tips for creating margin—and the turning point that took his life from overbooked and frenzied to prioritized and peaceful.
Dharius Daniels planted Kingdom Church in Ewing, New Jersey, in 2005 when he was just 26 years old and fresh out of seminary. On this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, Daniels—whose church now hovers around 4,000 people—talks with Chris Brown about the lessons he’s learned as a young leader. They discuss the importance of leading by example, the struggle to receive grace, handling diversity, keeping education in perspective, and leading millennials.
On this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, host Chris Brown welcomes Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, to talk about running a biblically based business in America—and what pastors and business leaders can learn from one another. Steve views his work as ministry, and he shares with pastors how they can encourage their congregations to view their own jobs—and their roles in the marketplace—as the mission field. Chris also talks with Donald Miller about Donald’s upcoming appearance at the Stewardship Conference. Donald explains how pastors can better communicate with their churches using the same formula for story that’s existed for 2,000 years.
Over the past several years, Nick Vujicic has become one of the most popular speakers in Christian circles, and this month he joins host Chris Brown on the Leadership Momentum Podcast. Nick, who was born without arms or legs, evangelizes to audiences worldwide by sharing his own story and inspiring people to live a limitless life through Christ, no matter their circumstances. He talks with Chris about some of the biggest leadership lessons he’s learned after working with churches and running his own ministry, Life Without Limbs. Chris also talks about eight signs of a financially dying church.
Good leaders share certain qualities. And on this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, host Chris Brown focuses on two: kindness and humility. First, researcher and author Shaunti Feldhahn joins Chris to talk about her latest research on kindness. She shares her surprising findings and encourages leaders and their congregations to join her upcoming “30 Day Kindness Challenge” to begin transforming relationships everywhere. Next, Chris welcomes former NFL quarterback (and now professional baseball prospect) Tim Tebow to talk about how Tim has maintained humility and overcome adversity in his life and career, all while staying true to Christ. That can be difficult with such a high-profile platform, but Tim shares his advice—and his struggles—in that area.
On this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, Donald Miller, the student—and now teacher—of story himself, talks with Chris Brown about the power of story in a church setting. Donald is a New York Times best-selling author of several books—including his most recent, “Scary Close”—and the creator of the StoryBrand Marketing Workshop. He shares with Chris how pastors can make their sermons and churches more effective by harnessing people’s innate wiring for story. He also explains how church leaders can apply some of the themes he covers in “Scary Close,” like vulnerability and authenticity, to their role in the pulpit. Plus, Chris treats listeners to a portion of his upcoming interview with singer-songwriter Hillary Scott on his radio show, Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.
There’s the science of leadership—and then there’s the art of it. Bob Goff has mastered the latter. Bob, a speaker, humanitarian, and best-selling author of Love Does, joins host Chris Brown on this month’s podcast to talk about the less systematic side of leadership. With a self-described “strategic whimsy,” he is intentional about leading in all areas of his life by maintaining a joyful love of people, a generous heart, a humble perception of himself, and a focus on the things that really matter in life. Chris also announces the winners of our Derwin Gray book giveaway and answers listener questions.
Kevin Gerald and Derwin Gray pastor large, influential churches on opposite sides of the country, but both are also seen as leaders of other church leaders nationwide. This month, Chris Brown features both men on the podcast. First, he talks to Kevin about understanding the nature of God’s favor—a concept Kevin explores in his latest book, Good Things. They discuss how choosing a favor-minded attitude can really impact a leader’s ministry. Next, Derwin, a former NFL player, joins Chris to talk about the biggest lessons he’s learned as both an athlete and a leader—including what sports gets right that the church still misses. Specifically, though, Derwin explains the theological value of intentionally cultivating a multiethnic church.
Michael Hyatt and Gene Appel reach different audiences. Michael speaks and writes on business topics and life success, while Gene, senior pastor of Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, California, is decidedly a church guy. But both of them know a thing or two about making church leaders more effective. In this episode, Chris Brown talks with Michael about his new book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Together, they unpack how unintentional drift—in vision, relationship or ministry—can affect church leaders, and how to avoid it. Chris then talks with Gene about the ups and downs of 30 years in church leadership. A master of change, Gene shares some key principles that have helped him successfully transform the churches he’s led from plateaued or declining to thriving.
This month, Chris Brown welcomes best-selling author, blogger and speaker Seth Godin to the podcast to talk about the inner workings of successful leaders. Godin shares big leadership ideas from one of his most popular books, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, and his latest, What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn). He believes that when individuals combine confidence with humility and emotion with initiative, they become successful leaders. Each of us has more power to do that than we often realize, and we have an obligation to do something worthwhile with that power.
Steven Furtick seems to be the picture of success. He’s a best-selling author and the lead pastor of Elevation Church, which welcomes 20,000 weekly attendees across 13 physical locations. But, Steven says, everyone from senior church leaders to volunteers to the moms in the pews—and even Steven himself—deals with feeling unqualified. In this episode of the Leadership Momentum Podcast, Steven talks with host Chris Brown about the tension between that sense of failure and the need to embrace acceptance instead. That’s the inspiration behind his newest book, (Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things. And when leaders remind themselves that God works through our weaknesses—and help their churches to understand that too—they’ve unlocked the potential for ministry transformation.
The Holy Spirit is on fire inside of Christine Caine. It’s that intense enthusiasm for God—that passion and compassion for the things Jesus is passionate and compassionate about—that make her an effective leader. As founder of the A21 Campaign and Propel Women, Christine is raising other women up around the world and leading the fight against human trafficking. This month, she talks with Chris Brown about the pitfalls that plague every leader—baggage, hurt, shame—and how to do the internal work necessary to overcome them. Dave Ramsey also stops by to share his heart behind the upcoming Stewardship Conference.
On this month’s podcast, Chris Brown talks with Larry Brey, a campus pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Larry pulls from his own experience to discuss the characteristics that help a campus pastor lead well. Next, Lysa TerKeurst, the New York Times best-selling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, joins Chris to give church leaders advice about prioritization and time management. Finally, Perry Noble, senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, stops by to talk about his upcoming appearance at the 2016 Stewardship Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
Host Chris Brown shakes things up in this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast. First, he welcomes researcher and best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn to discuss the real statistics on marriage and divorce—and they’re not what you think. Next, Chris talks to Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. As the son of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Jonathan talks about what his dad did right, and what he does now with his own children, to raise pastors’ kids who love ministry. Finally, Chris catches up with Brad Cooper, executive pastor of ministries at NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina. Brad, who oversees 10,000 youth and kids at the church, talks about the five most important elements in an effective youth ministry.
Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, is a church whose systems match its vision. In this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, Highlands Senior Pastor Chris Hodges shares with Chris Brown how his church uses systems to create a life-giving culture and the margin to respond when God calls. How does that play out at Highlands? It’s a careful balancing act of strategy and opportunity that considers all aspects of culture, finance, leadership and structure. After all, systems are more than just numbers and metrics. When done well, they can bring life just as much as anything else.
For years, the debate has raged about whether it’s harder to minister in the Bible Belt or outside the Bible Belt. In this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, Chris Brown talks with leaders who represent both sides of the conversation: Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and Jud Wilhite, pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together, they sort through the similarities and differences of each context and offer words of encouragement for pastors in every setting.
Max Lucado has been called “America’s pastor” as much for his simple wisdom as for his writing ministry and his tenure as lead pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. In this month’s Leadership Momentum Podcast, Pastor Max joins host, Chris Brown, to discuss some of the messy sticking points many church leaders are currently facing. Together, they talk about issues like prayer and contentment, as well as pitfalls like worry, fear of rejection and the consequences of mistakes.
You could say that Dr. Henry Cloud takes a cerebral approach to leadership. That’s because he understands the neuroscience—the brain research—behind why leaders do the things they do. In this conversation, he applies what he’s learned to specific leadership principles such as focusing on what really matters, pruning people and projects, and recognizing God as the true Source of all we do. His words may be challenging, but they also can help pastors and other church leaders become more effective in their ministries to others and to themselves.
Since 2000, NewSpring Church has grown from 15 people gathered in an Anderson, South Carolina, living room to 30,000 members meeting in campuses across the state. But Perry Noble, NewSpring’s founding pastor, will be the first to tell you that the church’s history has included plenty of mountains and plateaus. In this conversation, Noble provides a candid and personal look at life and leadership at NewSpring—and why he’s so passionate about finishing strong and making Sunday the best day of the week for the people he leads.
Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, welcomes more than 23,000 people every weekend. Despite steady growth across four campuses, it’s managed to maintain pastoral heart, healthy staff and volunteers, and a culture of authenticity and trust. Lead Pastor Dave Stone talks about the journey the church has taken to reach that place. From vulnerability and humility to making the right hires, from becoming debt-free to starting a stewardship ministry, every good thing at Southeast starts at the top.
If there's anyone who understands good organizational leadership, it’s Patrick Lencioni. In this episode, he highlights some of the principles outlined in his best-selling book The Advantage. He discusses a few things all church leaders need to hear, like why the desire to be nice is rooted in selfishness; how vulnerability leads to trust (and cohesive teams); why accountability is tough but necessary; and where clarity is lacking in church leadership (hint: it has to do with strategy).
How does a south Florida megachurch lead more than 10,000 people out of financial bondage and into a culture of generosity? Todd Mullins, lead pastor of Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens, shares how his church of more than 20,000 took on the challenge. Chris Brown talks with Pastor Mullins about how a combination of intentional leadership and a plan called Momentum helped the church mobilize so many people to a lifestyle of stewardship.
Gateway Church gets generosity! Pastored by Robert Morris in Dallas-Fort Worth area, Gateway has grown to more than 36,000 active members since it was founded in 2000. How do you create a generous culture with this many people? Chris Brown talks with Pastor Morris and unpacks Gateway's definition, philosophy and strategy behind cultivating a generous culture.
Craig Groeschel has a lot on his plate: Pastor of LifeChurch.tv (22 locations and more than 100 weekly worship services) New York Times best-selling author innovator of YouVersion devoted husband and father of six children. With all this responsibility how does he manage his time steward resources and protect the culture of his church? Craig shares some insights every leader needs to hear.
In this first episode, Chris Brown, Dave Ramsey and Ken Coleman set the stage for the Leadership Momentum Podcast to be an encouraging and informative resource featuring the greatest leaders of our time. Together they unpack what true stewardship really means and how leaders have a responsibility to steward their lives and leadership well.