In this final episode of the Small Town Big Church Podcast, I share my parting challenge to small town and rural church leaders. I remind you of your strategic and vital calling to serve in relatively small places. I challenge you to believe God for BIG things in small places. I implore you to embrace change and not resist it as the church heads into a new and exciting future. And finally, I sign off by thanking the many people who have had a part in this journey over the past eight years.
After years of being in and around pastoral ministry, after creating content for, connecting with, and coaching thousands of pastors around the country, I believe I have a really good pulse on the challenges facing pastors today. In this episode I’m going to list three of the biggest problems I see pastors needing to contend with and then offer up the ways I’m trying to be a part of the solution.
In this episode I share a few lessons on life and leadership that we can glean from the changing seasons of nature. I also share a huge announcement about the future of the Small Town Big Church podcast and my journey in life.
In this episode I interview Pastor Danny Davis about his newest book, In Him You Are. We talk about the importance of pastors having a clear understanding of their identity in Christ from which to do ministry. You can learn more about Danny’s book at davisinafrica.com
Pastor, how often do you preach? Or maybe a better question is how often do you get a break from preaching? Is it possible you’re preaching too often and too much? If you pastor a small or rural church, there’s a good chance the answer to that question is, “YES!” In this podcast episode I make a case for why it’s a good thing for you to get regular breaks from your preaching and offer up some ideas for getting those breaks.
Before I tell you why I think you should preach less, first let me address those pastors who are already pushing back and resisting the concept.
What are some reasons pastors preach too much?
Most pastors report feeling overwhelmed and stressed out much of the time. They often find themselves running from one meeting to the next or reacting to multiple interruptions and distractions most days rather than making progress on the work they really need to be doing. In this episode I share several practical resources for pastors who need to get a better handle on their schedules.
If there has ever been a time when leadership is needed in the rural church…it is NOW! We are living in transformational times and so much is changing right in front of us. Yet sadly, at the same time, the Church in rural America is facing a crisis of leadership. In this podcast I identify the source of this leadership crisis and offer a few practical solutions to it.
If you need help changing your bylaws or navigating some other change in your leadership journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here for you.
Do you feel like you are stuck in one or more areas of your life or ministry? In this episode I share what I believe might be one of the biggest things that is keeping you there.
In this episode I share an inspirational challenge as we begin a new year. Have you ever had a time when you encountered a message that came from multiple sources, but you were able to hear the voice of God speaking consistently through it? Well, recently that has been the case for me and I want to share this message with you in hopes that it might encourage you as well.
Psalm 1: Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
In this episode I have a conversation with Roy Yanke of PIR (Pastors in Residence) Ministries about the current status of pastoral health in the Church. We talk about the need for pastors to implement life giving rhythms into their daily schedules. We also talk about how a pastor can determine if they are simply in need of a break or need to transition out of pastoral ministry altogether.
In my coaching work with church leaders, I often see pastors struggling with narratives they aren’t even aware are taking place in their minds. These “voices” can come from internal and external, spoken and unspoken expectations. They can come from years of church tradition. They can come from a demanding parent or other voice from the past. In this episode, I want to challenge pastors with this powerful question, “Who said so?”
When we can identify where a voice is coming from, we have much more clarity and power to ascertain whether that voice is one we need to listen to or not.
Whose voice should I be leaning into?
In this show I’m going to label a few common areas in which churches place unbiblical and unrealistic expectations upon their pastors and I will share how you can overcome them.
Many churches think that because they have a “full-time” pastor it literally means they have a full-time pastor.
The pastor is expected to do pretty much everything in the church.
It’s not uncommon for churches to have an expectation of what a pastor should view as an acceptable standard of living.
It’s not just the pastor we have hired, but we also get access to their spouse and sometimes their kids as well.
The pastor needs to be careful about how they spend their time outside of their church role.
How do you overcome this?
Recently I have had a number of pastors reach out to me asking questions about church discipline. In this episode I share a few of my thoughts on the subject as well as a word of caution based on a painful experience of my own that came out of a church discipline situation.
5 Reasons to Consider Video Venue for Your Rural Church:
In this episode I interview Rick Magee of Kids Outdoor Zone. KOZ is a ministry that provides men of your church with training and curriculum to mentor boys using outdoor adventure.
I recently was involved in a training on the fire department in which we were cutting a large hole in the roof of a commercial building. We were discussing the need to have our crew and others keep an eye on our surroundings as the person running the saw can get too focused on their task that they can become unaware of a growing danger/threat to their safety.
The same is true in our lives. We can become so focused on the day-to-day details that we overlook growing issues that are more obvious to others.
This is why we need to be intentional about checking our blind spots.
When we come back from the break I’ll share angles from which we can check our blind spots.
In this episode I have a conversation with Dee Ann Schnautz about the vital role of that pastor’s wives play in the ministry and the need for them to pursue spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. Dee Ann has been a rural pastor’s wife for over 38 years and has a tremendous understanding of the joys and challenges of serving in that capacity.