Numerical church growth in mainline churches is often seen as problematic or even impossible. Pastor and author Tracy Barnowe joins the pod to talk about ethical and achievable action plans to help churches bring in more people. In our conversation, we talk about why church growth is often so frowned upon in mainline churches, what churches are doing that doesn't work, and 3 things churches can start doing immediately to grow their church!

Rev. Tracy Barnowe is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. She has served as a revitalization pastor in multiple churches and has studied and tested methods for effective church growth for the past twenty years. She has served as a Church Growth Consultant and led workshops on her evidence-based growth strategies for years. She served as the Minister for Church Vitality in the Hawai’i Conference of the United Church of Christ. Pastor Tracy is the author of Unstoppable Outreach and Grow Your Church. She holds an MDiv from Pacific School of Religion (2011) and an MA from the Graduate Theological Union (2012) in Biblical Studies with a focus on Old Testament Hermeneutics. Learn more at her website.

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

In this time of disruption and decline among mainline denominations, it's vital that efforts be made to start new churches and worshipping communities. Consultants Paul Nixon and Craig Gilbert join the pod to share practical, how-to steps for everything from initial advertising to building a volunteer team from their book Launching a New Worship Community

Paul Nixon is the author of multiple books on church development. His company, Epicenter Group, has coached hundreds of congregations and their leaders in North America and in Europe, helping many to discover breakthroughs in the growth and renewal of their ministries.  Nixon also serves as director of church multiplication for Discipleship Ministries. He was codeveloper of the Readiness 360 inventory for churches. 

Craig Gilbert is a worship consultant and founder of Purposed Heart Ministries. From Craig’s ministry start in a small congregation to his serving a church with eight distinctive worship communities involving more than 2,000 worshipers, Craig has planned and presented worship in a wide variety of styles at the “every Sunday” level, as well as designing and leading worship in large conference settings for thousands of people. 

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

For the last 2+ years, pastors and church leaders have wondered what church after Covid would look like. While there are some conclusions to be drawn, in many ways the results are still unclear. Pastor and Researcher Ann Mitchell Hall joins the pod to talk about cultivating change readiness, leading intentionally, and making meaning meaning out of transitions from her book Church After, a book written before Covid, yet incredibly applicable to these times. Listen in to learn more about the importance of story, why listening is so important, and why shared practice is everything.

Rev. Dr. Anna Hall is an ordained Baptist minister who has coordinated programs and conducted research in churches, nonprofits, and universities. In her work as Director of Research and Development for the Convergence, she draws on the latest research from across the fields of religious practice, organizational development, and adult learning to inform product development and implementation that supports the needs of pastors and churches. She holds a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, a Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, where her research focused on congregations experiencing a change in pastors.

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

From tiny houses to Marie Kondo, Minimalism has a strong counter-cultural following against the endless onslaught of consumerism. Author and educator Becca Ehrlich joins the pod to talk about minimalism, how it connects with the Christian faith, and why minimalism isn't just about getting rid of stuff, but choosing to live intentionally and purposefully. 

Becca Ehrlich AKA The Christian Minimalist, is striving to be a Christian minimalist in a consumer society. She is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); she also holds a doctorate in Christian spirituality. As a Christian minimalist in a consumeristic society, she got rid of 60 percent of her personal possessions in six months, took part in a year-long shopping fast, and moved into a small home. She currently lives in New York City with her husband Will. You can read more about her story and how her blog came to exist here.

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

We all have so many demands and distractions that it is hard to take time away for ourselves to spend with God. Rich Lewis joins the pod to talk about the importance of making time to spend in quiet contemplation. Rich talks about the practice of centering prayer and why it has been an important spiritual practice for him, allowing him to let go of stress, find rest, and be more present in everyday life.

Rich Lewis is an author, speaker and coach who focuses on centering prayer as a means of inner transformation. He teaches centering prayer in both his local and virtual community and offers one-on-one coaching. He publishes a weekly meditation, book reviews, and interviews on his site, Silence Teaches. He has published articles for a number of organizations, including Contemplative Light, Abbey of the Arts, Contemplative Outreach, EerdWord, In Search of a New Eden, the Ordinary Mystic at Patheos, and the Contemplative Writer. ​Rich has been a daily practitioner of centering prayer since June 2014. Centering prayer has been so life-giving and life-changing that he feels compelled to share his journey with others who wish to learn more. Rich resides with his family in Ambler, Pennsylvania. 

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

Terry Wildman joins the pod to talk about the First Nations Version, a new translation of the Sacred Scriptures by and for Native North Americans. In this conversation, we talk about what inspired the translation, their choice for the name of Jesus (Creator sets free), and how he hopes the translation will be a blessing to first nations people. 

Terry M. Wildman (Ojibwe and Yaqui) is the lead translator, general editor, and project manager of the First Nations Version. He serves as the director of spiritual growth and leadership development for Native InterVarsity. He is also the founder of Rain Ministries and has previously served as a pastor and worship leader. He and his wife, Darlene, live in Arizona.

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

Jeya and Daniel So join the pod to talk about what is a third culture leader, how to develop them, and the gifts they bring. Jeya and Daniel believe that changing our attitude toward post-Christendom will help us all, and why Christ does not erase our cultural or ethnic heritage, but rather redeems it.

Revs. Jeya and Daniel So are the co-founding and co-lead pastors of Anchor City Church, a third-culture community in San Diego,CA. They are contributing authors to the book, "Deconstructing Church Planting: Reconstructing a Post-Colonial and Post-industrial Pneumatology for the Next Generation of Churches" as well as other books.

Jeya also works as a coach, cohort leader, and in other capacities with church and industry leaders in several denominations and organizations, including the PC(USA)’s 1001 New Worshipping Communities, Cyclical Inc. and ISAAC (Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity).Daniel serves as director of Cyclical San Diego — a diverse grassroots network of faithful innovators and church starters.  

During the pandemic, Jeya has enjoyed exploring hidden places in San Diego that reveal new and wonderful things about the city that she loves. When its safe to do so, Daniel will be front and center in the moshpit at local hardcore shows."

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

American Christianity seemingly has built-in assumptions that God is only honored in victories. Writer and author Tanya May Avent joins the pod to talk about why it's a mistake to only understand God's abundance as being in external metrics, how our own demands for results can hurt the ones we love, and why she's redefined winning and worshipping God and loving her family.

Tonya is an engaging speaker, teacher, and award-winning author who has contributed to Chicken Soup for the Soul and has written for Guideposts and Stay Focused magazines. After a serious injury to her daughter while competing in Track and Field, Tonya started ministering the gospel through a sports lens at, offering personal stories relating to the intersection of her Faith, her Family, their athletic pursuits, and everyday life challenges. Tonya has been married to Kenny Avent for 19 years. They reside in New Jersey with their two daughters, Kennedi (17) and Kassadi (14), and are guardians to Anna (15).

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

"Dreamcrusher" and fellow Coloradan Jessie Cruickshank joins the pod to talk about about Neuro-ecclesiology. In this off-the-cuff conversation, we talk about why shame is never a tool of God, why people will never make it on information alone, and why the brain can't be trusted, or at least, our own understanding of the world. Jessie also talks about why the job description for pastors is one crafted in hell.

Jesse is an ordained Foursquare minister and nationally recognized expert in the fields of discipleship, neuroeducation, and experiential education. She has spent over a decade applying neuroeducation research to discipleship, ministry training, experiential education, and organization development. She is respected globally as a missiological thought-leader and serves the body of Christ as a neuro-ecclesiologist. Jessie is a church and denominational consultant and serves as the Director of Certification with the Future Church Company. She is the Co-Founder of 5QJessie holds a Master’s from Harvard in Mind, Brain, and Education. She is a published academic, author, and serves on multiple boards internationally.

You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @yourbrainbyjess

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

Love is perhaps, one of the most overused and misunderstood words in the English language, especially when it comes to God. Theologian Thomas Jay Oord, author of the new book, Pluriform Love, joins the show to talk about the confusion around live in the Bible, why the Augustinian idea of God's love isn't ideal, and why he believes there is not a distinction between human love and God's love.

Thomas Jay Oord, Ph.D., is a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. Oord directs the Center for Open and Relational Theology and doctoral students at Northwind Theological Seminary. He is an award-winning author and has written or edited more than twenty-five books. A gifted speaker, Oord lectures at universities, conferences, churches, and institutions. He is known for his contributions to research on love, science and religion, open and relational theology, the problem of suffering, and the implications of freedom for transformational relationships.

The Future Christian Podcast is a production of Torn Curtain Arts and Resonate Media.

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