128 episodes

Ministry leadership is about more than just growing your church or organization. It’s about participating in God’s mission in the world. But how can leaders know God’s mission or their unique place in it? Faithful ministry leadership is rooted in a life of deep and abiding faithfulness to Jesus. In “Spiritual Life and Leadership,” Markus Watson and his guests explore what it means to be faithful leaders whose ministry flows from their ever-deepening relationship with God.

Spiritual Life and Leadership Markus Watson

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 27 Ratings

Ministry leadership is about more than just growing your church or organization. It’s about participating in God’s mission in the world. But how can leaders know God’s mission or their unique place in it? Faithful ministry leadership is rooted in a life of deep and abiding faithfulness to Jesus. In “Spiritual Life and Leadership,” Markus Watson and his guests explore what it means to be faithful leaders whose ministry flows from their ever-deepening relationship with God.

    128. Letting Go of the Solo-Heroic Leader in You, with Bryan Sims, author of Leading Together

    128. Letting Go of the Solo-Heroic Leader in You, with Bryan Sims, author of Leading Together

    Bryan Sims is the author of Leading Together: The Holy Possibility of Harmony and Synergy in the Face of Change.  He is also a coach with Spiritual Leadership Inc. and a professor at Asbury Theological Serminary.

    In this episode, Bryan Sims discusses the importance of shared leadership.  As we lead through these challenging times, leaders need to be able to bring people together—to draw on all our gifts and talents and knowledge.  We are called to lead healthy teams of people in order to fully participate in God’s mission in the world.  We cannot do it alone.


    THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
    Bryan Sims is the author of Leading Together: The Holy Possibility of Harmony and Synergy in the Face of Change and is a coach with Spiritual Leadership Inc. and a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary.Bryan Sims explains that healthy leadership requires working together and harmony among those that are working together, especially as we are living in times of disequilibrium.Disequilibrium creates a space of high possibility.Bryan Sims explains what he means by “technical challenges” and “adaptive challenges.”Covid has been a time of intense adaptive challenge.Overcoming adaptive challenges requires shared leadership.Shared leadership can involve staff, church members, and even people outside the church or organization.Kenosis is the Greek word that captures the self-emptying nature of Jesus.  Healthy church leadership, according to Bryan Sims, also kenotic in nature.  Controlling and manipulating is the opposite of kenosis.Bryan Sims demonstrates the early church exhibited kenotic shared leadership because they learned that kind of leadership from Jesus.Adaptive shared leadership is actually quite pastoral.Bryan Sims, in his work, asks a really important question:  How do we discern what God is doing and how do we join God in that?Bryan Sims suggests that every leader needs a coach, a spiritual director, and a counselor.For leaders wanting to engage in shared leadership, Bryan Sims suggests finding a person with whom they can process their leadership challenges.
    RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
    Bryan Sims:Website – www.bryandsims.comChurch Leadership Inc.:Website - www.spiritual-leadership.orgBooks mentioned:Leading Together, by Bryan SimsSurfing the Edge of Chaos, by Richard Pascale, Mark Milleman, and Linda GiojaCanoeing the Mountains, by Tod BolsingerCLICK HERE to sign up for the Church Leadership Institute newsletter.

    • 41 min
    127. From Sunday-centric to Mission-centric, with Jon Ritner, author of Positively Irritating

    127. From Sunday-centric to Mission-centric, with Jon Ritner, author of Positively Irritating

    Jon Ritner is the author of Positively Irritating: Embracing a Post-Christian World to Form a More Faithful and Innovative Church.  In this episode, we discuss what it means to be the church in a post-Christendom world.  How can the church be the kind of church that a Post-Christendom world actually needs—and the kind of church that God is calling the church to be?


    THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
    Jon Ritner is the author of Positively Irritating: Embracing a Post-Christian World to Form a More Faithful and Innovative Church and has served as lead at Ecclesia Hollywood for the last seven.After serving as an executive pastor of a megachurch, Jon Ritner eventually made his way to a microchurch network in Brussels, Belgium.  Later, Jon Ritner and his wife moved to Hollywood to help churches adapt and innovate in an increasingly post-Christendom world.The early church existed in a pluralistic pre-Christian culture.Jon Ritner uses the metaphor of an oyster to help us understand that challenges, when approached with a posture of learning and embrace, can lead to beauty.Thanks to Covid, we have just spent the last two years in a liminal space.The mission of God is not just the conversion of every individual soul.  It’s the redemption and restoration of all of creation.Jon Ritner argues that ministry should happen throughout the week in all the places where God’s people are.  Then they can come together to celebrate on Sundays.For many people today, going to church is almost a cross-cultural experience.Jon Ritner explains that many churches unconsciously create an insider-outsider divide when they announce that if someone wants to find belonging they have to come to the church.
    RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
    Jon Ritner:E-mail: jonritner@gmail.comWebsite:  www.jonritner.comBooks mentioned:Missional Church, edited by Darrell GuderPositively Irritating, by Jon RitnerThe Master Plan of Evangelism, by Robert E. ColemanChurch Leadership InstituteRelated Episodes:Ep 2: What is the Mission of God?, with Markus WatsonEp 12: God is a Woman in Labor, with Christiana RiceEp 24: Joining God’s Mission Through Neighborhood Exegesis, with Marcos MujicaEp 43: Introduction to “Beyond Thingification: Helping Your Church Engage in God’s Mission”Ep 67: How the Church Lost its Missionary IdentityEp 99: A Church That Shines, with Tara Beth LeachCLICK HERE to sign up for the Church Leadership Institute newsletter.

    • 46 min
    126. A Crisis of Adult Discipleship, with Brian Wallace, Executive Director of the Center for Spiritual Formation

    126. A Crisis of Adult Discipleship, with Brian Wallace, Executive Director of the Center for Spiritual Formation

    The church is experiencing what Brian Wallace calls a crisis of adult discipleship.  We have plenty of people going to church.  But that doesn’t necessarily translate into faithful, deep discipleship.

    In this episode Brian Wallace discusses how to address that challenge.  Brian is the Executive Director of Fuller Seminary’s Center for Spiritual Formation, and he helps us understand the critical components necessary for deep spiritual formation.


    THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
    Brian Wallace is the Executive Director of the Fuller Center for Spiritual Formation.As a pastor in a megachurch, Brian Wallace knew there was a crisis of adult discipleship.The vision of the Center for Spiritual Formation is to empower leaders everywhere to grow and send everyone.In Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard says we are always being formed.Spiritual formation is the determination to let Jesus be in charge of who we become.Brian Wallace says we are the representation of God’s goodness in the world.The reason we have a crisis of formation is because, according to Brian Wallace, we have placed information at the center of the formative process.No one has ever been invited to follow Jesus by themselves.We are formed spiritually when we are in a safe place—not safe from challenge and conviction, but safe from shame and guilt.According to Brian Wallace, relationships are critically important in our journey to becoming more like Jesus.How do we help our congregations be engage in deep spiritual formation when most of our church members only attend church once or twice a month?Fuller Formation Groups (part of the Center for Spiritual Formation) are designed to help churches lead their congregations into deep spiritual formation.The calculus of transformation is an informed practice in a reflective community over time.Brian Wallace says spiritual formation requires time.  Not many hours in a week, but many weeks over time.
    RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
    Books mentioned:In the Name of Jesus, by Henri NouwenThe Message of the Sermon on the Mount, by John StottThe Collective Works of C.S. LewisRenovation of the Heart, by Dallas WillardBrian Wallace:E-mail: spiritualformation@fuller.eduRelated episodes:Ep 44: Spiritual Formation and Lectio Divina, with Eric NevinsEp 112: The Beatitudes and Spiritual Leadership, with Mark ScandretteEp 119: Being Leaders of Grace in a Divided World, with Kirsten PowersEp 122: Burned Out and Broken, with Michael MacKenzieCLICK HERE to sign up for the Church Leadership Institute newsletter.

    • 36 min
    125. Fruitful Leadership, with Tom Nelson, author of The Flourishing Pastor

    125. Fruitful Leadership, with Tom Nelson, author of The Flourishing Pastor

    Tom Nelson is author of The Flourishing Pastor, as well as the senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Kansas City and the president of Made to Flourish.

    In this episode, Tom Nelson unpacks what it means to be a flourishing pastor--a pastor who lives and leads from a deep well of inner health and wholeness.


    THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
    Tom Nelson is author of The Flourishing Pastor.  He is also the senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Kansas City and the president of Made to Flourish.The Flourishing Pastor is based on Psalm 78:72:  “So David shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them with his skillful hands.”“A flourishing pastor is increasingly like Jesus as he or she is yoked in apprenticeship with him over a long time.”When we prioritize greater intimacy with God, our leadership will grow in fruitfulness.What we are doing and what we are accomplishing matters, but for a flourishing pastor it’s secondary.“To lead well we must be led well.”Leadership and followership go hand in hand.Failure often is our greatest teacher.Tom Nelson explains what he means by “an integral life,” which refers to a kind of seamlessness in life.  When we are in Christ, we experience life as fully unified and integral.  That’s what it means to be a flourishing pastor.We are moving toward a greater wholeness.A “black swan” experience, as Tom Nelson describes, is a completely unexpected experience.  It’s something you’ve never seen before (something like a global pandemic).There are four things a flourishing pastor can do when confronted with a “black swan” experience:Lean into wisdomRemain relationalBuild enduranceStay in mission
    RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
    Books mentioned:The Flourishing Pastor, by Tom NelsonMade to Flourish:www.madetoflourish.orgChurch Leadership Institute:Website – www.depree.org/churchAnvil Leadership Support NetworkRelated episodes:Ep 36: The Vulnerable Pastor, with Mandy SmithEp 53: Growing Hearts, Not Attendance, with Mike McClenahanEp 113: Flourishing Leadership, with Andy CrouchEp 116: Power, Vulnerability, Rest, with Tod BolsingerEp 120: Forming Leadership Resilience, with Tod BolsingerEp 122: Burned Out and Broken, with Michael MacKenzieCLICK HERE to sign up for the Church Leadership Institute newsletter.

    • 37 min
    124. Racial Justice, Sexual Wholeness, and the Way of Jesus, with Rich Villodas, author of The Deeply Formed Life

    124. Racial Justice, Sexual Wholeness, and the Way of Jesus, with Rich Villodas, author of The Deeply Formed Life

    Rich Villodas is the lead pastor at New Life Fellowship and the author of The Deeply Formed Life, in which he explores five values that help us live in union with Jesus.

    In this interview, Rich and I focus on two of those five values:  racial justice and reconciliation and sexual wholeness.  These are not values typically associated with spiritual formation, but they are incredibly important nonetheless to being formed in the way of Jesus.


    THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
    Rich Villodas is the lead pastor at New Life Fellowship in Queens, NY, and the author of The Deeply formed Life:  Five Transformative Values that Root us in the Way of Jesus.Rich shares the story of how he came to faith in Jesus and was called to be a pastor.The five values discussed in The Deeply Formed Life flow from the values of the church Rich Villodas pastors.These five values are:Contemplative rhythmsRacial justice and reconciliationInterior examinationSexual wholenessMissional presenceSpiritual formation is the process of being conformed to the image of Jesus for the sake of others.Rich Villodas explains why we need to think about racial justice formationally.Despite our many ethnicities, races, socio-economic backgrounds, and so forth, what unites all of us is that we have all been socialized in a racialized society.Rich Villodas unpacks what it means to be formed into sexual wholeness.Contemplative rhythms is about ordering our lives with God in such a way that we are living from a place of Communion, prayer, reflection.Rich Villodas explains why contemplative rhythms are so important for healthy spiritual leadership.
    RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
    Rich Villodaswww.richvillodas.comInstagram - @richvillodasTwitter - @richvillodasBooks mentioned:The Deeply Formed Life, by Rich VillodasGood and Beautiful and Kind, by Rich VillodasRelated episodes:Ep 123: Gentrification and Spiritual Leadership, with Mark StrongEp 112: The Beatitudes and Spiritual LeadershipEp 111: A Gospel for the Sinned-Against, with Phuc LuuEp 87: Racism and the Trials of Hercules, with Dr. Jerome ButlerEp 42: Speaking Out Against Injustice, with Kathy KhangEp 27: Developing a Framework for Intentional Spiritual Growth, with Markus WatsonCLICK HERE to sign up for the Church Leadership Institute newsletter.

    • 34 min
    123. Gentrification and Spiritual Leadership, with Mark Strong, author of Who Moved My Neighborhood

    123. Gentrification and Spiritual Leadership, with Mark Strong, author of Who Moved My Neighborhood

    Gentrification is a process by which a local group of residents are slowly pushed out by economic forces, making room for a new group of residents.  In his book, Who Moved My Neighborhood: Leading Congregations through Gentrification and Economic Change, Mark Strong helps local churches navigate that challenge of gentrification.  And in this episode, Mark unpacks, not only the effects of gentrification on local residents and churches, but also how to respond with resilience and grace in the face of such great change.


    THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
    Mark Strong is the senior pastor of Life Change Church in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Who Moved My Neighborhood: Leading Congregations through Gentrification and Economic Change.Mark Strong shares the story of how he came to faith in the church of which he is now the pastor.The change of Mark’s neighborhood started very subtly.  They didn’t even notice it was happening at first.Gentrification is a process in which one homogeneous group of people who live in a particular area are slowly pushed out of their community by economic forces to make room for new groups of people.The process of gentrification stirs up feelings of powerlessness, anger, and disorientation among local residents.Mark Strong outlines a process that can help pastors and churches navigate the challenges of gentrification.For local residents, gentrification can feel like an experience of exile.It is important for the local church to learn to love their new neighbors.Mark Strong emphasizes the importance of developing a new vision for churches in gentrified communities.Mark shares some of the ways he and his congregation have adapted to their community’s gentrification.Mark discusses some of the ways race played into the experience of gentrification and the challenges they faced because of race and racism.

    RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
    Books Mentioned:Who Moved My Neighborhood? by Mark StrongLeading on Empty, by Wayne CordeiroMark Strong:www.lifechangechurch.org www.drmarkestrong.orgRelated Episodes:Episode 10: Meeting God in the Darkest Places, Sermon on Jonah 2:1-10Episode 68: Public Policy, Stewardship, and the Kingdom of God, with Breon WellsEpisode 111: A Gospel for the Sinned-Against, with Phuc Luu, author of Jesus of the EastEpisode 120: Forming Leadership Resilience, with Tod Bolsinger, Executive Director of the Church Leadership InstituteEp 124: Racial Justice, Sexual Wholeness, and the Way of Jesus, with Rich VillodasCLICK HERE to sign up for the Church Leadership Institute newsletter.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

aolson27 ,

Relevant conversations

Marcus has a great interviewing style. The guests bring great content and relevant conversations for leaders and Christians today. Thanks, Marcus!

stevewrightinca ,

Great Partnership

So happy to hear about the new partnership with Church Leadership Institute. Looking forward to the road ahead.

Ap88keys ,

Thoughtful and needed

I really enjoyed episode 53, which hits home for many of us lifelong church workers who often measured our success by the 'numbers'' alone. Markus is a great interviewer and listener! A great podcast for anyone who wants to lead their life more authenticity as a believer.

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