16 episodes

Discipleship for busy blokes

Elim MPower Elim MPower

    • Christianity
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

Discipleship for busy blokes

    Episode 16

    Episode 16

    In Episode 16 we are chatting with Elim’s national leader Chris Cartwright.  Chris introduces himself, his wife Annie and his three grown-up children and briefly outlines his journey in faith and ministry, up to his current role as the General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal movement worldwide.

    We ask the million-dollar question: how can really busy blokes manage all the different priorities they are confronted by?  We all get pushed into an extraordinary level of ‘busyness’, but we mustn’t beat ourselves up about that!

    Chris shares that he has been slowly working his way through the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, along with a couple of really helpful principles for really busy blokes:

    First is to try and avoid carrying things that can’t be dealt with today, but ask instead for wisdom, courage and energy at the time it is necessary to deal with those things.

    Second is to become familiar with those things that energise us – whether it be worship, exercise, or being around nature (for example).

    Lockdown has allowed some adjustments to the usual crazy pace, and an opportunity to re-evaluate some of our rhythms – and we mustn’t lose sight of what God has been saying to us in this time.

    We explore a concept from Stuart Keir of Audacious Church about the difference between a load (Isaac carrying sticks up the hill, and able to put it down) and a burden (Abraham carrying an instruction up the hill, and unable to put it down), and how Chris deals with the continual weight of leadership burden.

    He explains that he is making this more of a journey and a connection with God versus a set formula, by opening up to God honestly about concerns and issues, and asking for help and patience.  Many things that seem pressing can be allowed some time before they get tackled – and we can ask for God’s help with these.

    We sometimes give unwarranted attention to things that drain us – so by making our prayers really practical, it allows God to step in.  Chris also observes that the load can and does build up over time, too – and it can creep up on us in a subtle way.

    Chris talks about his love of Paul’s letters to Timothy, and the vulnerable honesty with which Paul shares his heart, mind and disappointments, especially in 2 Timothy 4.

    Christ also shares his love of reading, and at present is working his way through Scattered Servants by Alan Scott, We Need To Talk About Race by Ben Lindsay and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.   Gladwell attributes success not only to innate ability and hard work but also ‘outrageous opportunity’.

    Before closing in prayer for blokes listening, we play ‘Spin the Wheel’ and it turns up ‘car’ and also ‘journey’.  Chris reveals that he wouldn’t mind owning an Aston Martin (wouldn’t we all!) and he also shares a staggering testimony from a 2009 trip to the west coast of America and Hawaii.


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    • 28 min
    Episode 15

    Episode 15

    We’re in conversation with Maldwyn Jones, who has been an Elim minister for 54 years. Maldwyn is married to Ruth and they have three children and two grandchildren. He is proudly Welsh, and became a Christian when he was 14. He has been a pastor at several Elim churches including in Plymouth, Belfast and Birmingham.

    In this podcast episode, we discuss why men find it hard to face mental health problems. Maldwyn shares about a time when he himself suffered a mental breakdown at the age of 27, which took him several months’ recuperation to overcome.

    He points to several factors that helped him get better: his wife Ruth acknowledged the struggle without letting him slip into a morasse of depression; he had a daily routine supported by a mutual friend; he talked with the psychiatrist referred for him by his GP, and he spent a period of time doing physical work on a church building project, which helped him not just to feel useful but which also gave him better sleep at night.

    Maldwyn talks about struggling with self-confidence, and with battling his own self-esteem for much of his ministry. He credits the increased confidence of his later years both to Jesus and also to the strong love and support of his wife Ruth.

    He also describes the terrible issue of suicide particularly among younger men – and points to the love of God for us as men as the foundational starting point of who we are and for a strong sense of worth. He says that Philippians 3:10 (KJV) has been the biblical touchstone for his life and ministry: “That I may know him (Jesus), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death…”

    Maldwyn’s own father died when he himself was only 14 months old, and he was known in the village as ‘the little boy without a dad’ – and he does feels that he missed out because of this, particularly in his teenage years when lads need a man about the house to show them how to be.

    The fatherhood of God has been a vital factor in replenishing this loss – and also having older guys around him in his life and ministry who have really helped him in his life, mentoring and encouraging him.

    He gives some great advice for guys needing to connect a bit more – which is to give other men permission to be in your life, perhaps looking to those a bit older who can encourage. Alongside this older guys also have a big responsibility to look out for younger men, to meet with them, talk and be fatherly.

    Maldwyn closes for gents listening in prayer.


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    • 22 min
    Episode 14

    Episode 14

    We are in a lively and fun conversation with Elim’s head of evangelism, Mark Greenwood, recorded just before the coronavirus lockdown in late February.

    Mark opens by sharing the story of his family’s journey to faith in Christ, through a door-to-door evangelist called Brian Hardacre, who had only been a Christian himself for six days, amazingly!

    We ask whether the way in which people come to faith can be a shaping influence in their later ministry, and Mark suggests this might be the case, referring to Bill Hull’s book “Conversion and Discipleship – You Can’t Have One Without The Other”

    We also explore whether people can be effective in evangelism from very early on in their faith; and unpack how this works from one of Mark’s ‘life passages’, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. This woman didn’t have all the answers about Jesus, but was able to get across the essence of who He might be in the town – in contrast to the disciples.

    Jesus knew with the Great Commission that if He could the disciples could back out there quickly after the resurrection, ministering and talking about Him, this in itself would be best to restore their confidence in their ministry and effectiveness.

    We also look at the widening scope in the John 4 story of the awareness of just who Jesus is, leading to the realisation that He is the Saviour of the world.

    Mark notes the capacity of Jesus to continue reaching people, even though the story says that he was tired and thirsty; and also the counterintuitive way in which He asks the woman to do something for Him. As Christians we can sometimes think the onus is always on us to serve and be kind – but He asks for help from the woman as an ‘opener’ to a meaningful and impactful conversation.

    We talk about Mark’s new podcast, and look at the relationship between the ‘why’ and the ‘oomph’ i.e. once the purpose is worked through, that can often provide the necessary drive and momentum.

    Mark provides some great advice about this to blokes listening, referencing another ‘life passage’, the Parable of the Talents. Those given the talents were all given something of great value, and also according (and this is key) to their ability. As guys we have to keep remembering what our ability really is – and go for that. Find out what are you good at and what you enjoy doing, take a leap of faith with it and also invest in it, with a sense of personal ownership.

    Before Mark closes in prayer for listeners, we play ‘Spin The Wheel’, and talk about a car that Mark has always wanted: a Range Rover Evoque, and also getting it personalised plates to celebrate turning 50.

    The game also turned up ‘insight’ and Mark unpacks 2 Corinthians 5:20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Mark also draws the really important distinction between ‘having to’ and ‘getting to’ – and always wanting his ministry to be characterised by the privilege it is to ‘get to’.

    (Please note that the release of this episode was delayed because of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, so one or two references discussed are a little out of synch…)


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    • 29 min
    Episode 13

    Episode 13

    In this episode we are chatting with Will Neville, who is a member of Birmingham City Church. Will is a big West Bromwich Albion fan, enjoys rugby and golf and loves going out on his carbon-fibre road bike. Will plays drums on the worship team at BCC, he is married to Charlotte and they have a young son called Ben.

    Will is programme coordinator at the William Booth Centre, which is a ministry of the Salvation Army providing services to homeless people, in the heart of Birmingham in the UK.

    Following the divorce of his parents in 2005, Will frankly describes his early years in church as having two sides: one that he presented on a Sunday and another where he partied in the week.

    He goes on to talk about a really difficult season in his life as he turned 21 when he tried to start repairing a relational breakdown with his dad. Just as he decided to connect again, his dad suddenly and unexpectedly passed away before he had the chance to re-build things. Will admits that he felt very broken over the news, and he started to blame God about what had happened.

    He disconnected from the church, started drinking heavily and increased his party lifestyle, all the while trying to put up a front. He resorted to stealing in order to continue his way of life, but then he came into some inheritance money, and carried on partying.

    A friend then introduced him to casinos, and Will talks honestly and openly about what it’s like to fall into the grip of a full-blown addiction to gambling – sharing about both the thrill of the possibility in gambling,  but also the heavy financial losses involved. Will contrasts an addiction to drugs, which he sees as always searching for that first high, with an addiction to gambling, which is continually seeking the thrill of the win.

    Eventually Will wasn’t able to pay his rent, and he stayed with friends, but relational bridge after bridge kept being burnt as he begged, stole and borrowed to fund his habits, which now also included taking cocaine.

    Will identifies strongly with the younger son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and understands from his own experience what it is like to be in need in the far off land.

    A possibility of residential accommodation came up with a chance to complete his college placement, but he lost this chance as a result of a laptop theft – and suddenly Will found himself completely homeless, and being redirected to the Salvation Army in the centre of Birmingham.

    Will ended up staying with the Salvation Army for just over a year – but quite early on his stay there, he was walking through the town centre, and he stopped to listen to some Christian music that BCC happened to be playing as part of some street outreach.

    One of the team, Leon, gave him a hug and he just broke down. He then got invited to church that Sunday. Will decided to come along, Leon was waiting to greet him and then Pastor Mark Ryan had a word mid-sermon that happened to be for Will, about it not mattering how far we get from God, and that it only takes a step to come back to Him.

    Will asked Jesus back into his life that day, and his life started to turned around.

    Nowadays Will is a key leader in the Salvation Army centre that he originally stayed in as he was being helped back onto his feet, and even line manages the person who helped him when he first arrived!

    From a practical point of view, Will gives five great bits of counsel for anyone listening who might want to know how to help organisations doing work like the Salvation Army: keep a compassionate heart for the lost; develop our understanding of the needs involved; give time; donate finance; and pray for homeless outreach ministries – wherever you live.

    Before closing for us in prayer, Will also admits to an outrageous passion for coffee; and he also recalls with great fondness West Bromwich’s ‘great escape’ season when th

    • 36 min
    Episode 12

    Episode 12

    In this brief but entertaining episode, we are in coronavirus lockdown conversation with podcast host Pastor Nick Whittome’s own middle son Simon!

    Simon talks about what lockdown has meant for him with school closing in his GCSE year, and going forward on predicted grades rather than having to sit a whole lot of exams.

    He has started his own small farm in the garden, with Greek cress, spicy Arabic broccoli and radishes, which he reports has turned out to be easier than he was anticipating, surprisingly!

    Simon is taking Drama, Music and Maths, and he recounts some of the drama productions he has been in, and shares about some drama performances in the east end of London.

    He shares a great impression of his English teacher Mr Laverty, and reveals a talent for a scary deep voice.  Simon also plays us a bit of Scott Joplin on his keyboard.

    Simon’s favourite story from the bible is when Herod is eaten by worms; and also the transformation of Saul into Paul on the road to Damascus.

    He shares about making his A-level decisions on the basis that he both loves these subjects and he feels capable with these.

    He also tells listeners about the general superiority of the colour orange, which he chose for his room.

    Simon also shares about a family holiday in Pembrokeshire which was particularly memorable, as a result of severe storm – he subsequently wrote about this storm in an entrance exam for a school transfer.

    Simon closes in prayer for everyone listening.  Thank you Simon – it was fun!


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    • 14 min
    Episode 11

    Episode 11

    In this episode, which we recorded by iphone and Bluetooth speaker because of the coronavirus lockdown, we are in conversation with Gordon Allan, the lead pastor of Edinburgh Elim Church.

    Gordon opens briefly about his family, background and liking for rugby – and then we discuss the impact the coronavirus lockdown has had on life in the city and in his church and how it has affected the way in which they are ‘being church’ together.

    Social isolation has brought a steep learning curve with many challenges of different kinds, even for a ministry that was already ‘tech savvy’.

    This has included connecting with the congregation online and via social media and making sure that those on the periphery or who are vulnerable are being looked after.

    Pre-existing intentions at Edinburgh Elim to create an online congregation have been rapidly accelerated, in line with so many churches globally in this season.

    Technologies they are using include Facebook, WhatsApp, their own website, Zoom and the Life Church online church platform – and of course the phone.

    After initial anxieties, people in the church have responded by seeing the season as a time to sharpen their faith, take charge of their emotions and use some of the lockdown for some sanctuary.

    Gordon has found himself drawn to Psalm 20:7 ‘Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord...’ By drawing near to Jesus, who is in charge of everything, it brings great reassurance, and this gives us some great opportunities in this season to connect meaningfully with a world too used to living for the ‘here and now’ and without the wider perspective on life that faith can strengthen us with.

    Gordon also reminds us that every time the church scatters, the gospel does really well, and this has given him confidence that ultimately the church will be strengthened as a result of the virus in the long term, even as the virus causes so much difficulty and loss.

    Being put on furlough is not necessarily all negative for blokes. With furlough, we have a very unusual opportunity to take some time, spend some time in the Word, connect with a few other gents and stay linked – and perhaps some new purposes will emerge.

    Gordon suggests we take the opportunity to complete some jobs round the house that we’ve been putting off for years, and connect properly with the kids. It’s about embracing the situation and making the most of it, whilst managing our emotions well before the Lord.

    Sometimes being under lots of constraints but simultaneously having more time available, there are some great opportunities to skill up or brush up again on old long disused skills. Gordon talked about recently re-joining a pipe band with his bagpipes, and bringing some of his musical ability back. He stood and played ‘Scotland The Brave’ on his front drive to salute the great work being done for us by the NHS.

    ‘Spin The Wheel’ came up with ‘car’ – and Gordon confessed to wanting an Aston Martin, and also having lost his Honda Civic recently as a result of a theft, although this has been replaced since on insurance.

    It also came up with ‘decision’ and Gordon shared about a recent big decision to bless another charitable organisation with a large sum of money from church funds. This has kept this organisation operational and flourishing, and helped to keep fulfilling Edinburgh Elim church’s stated mission statement ‘Bringing The Kingdom Of God To The City And Beyond’.

    Gordon closed by praying for all the gents listening.


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    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

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2 Ratings

Theonlyneo ,

I thank God for these podcasts!

It’s a real blessing to hear other men talk about their challenges, and what their relationship is like with the Lord.

We are not alone, we are a band of brothers in Jesus.

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