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The Struggling Pastor Podcast
45 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Are you DISSATISFIED with the Church?
Dissatisfied ChristiansAre you a Christian who is frustrated with the Church? If you are, you're not alone. More and more Christians are frustrated with the Church than ever.I recently had a conversation with a passionate follower of Jesus, evidenced by his many Christian tattoos. He even had some in biblical Hebrew, but I couldn't read it. I took Hebrew in Seminary, but that was a long time ago and I got a C.I asked him if he was a Christian and what church he went to. He didn't know I was a pastor, so that permitted him to be honest with me.He averted his eyes and shook his head and said, "Man, I'm done with the Church."I felt his frustration and his disappointment. He didn't have to say anything else. I knew what he was feeling.An uncomfortable prolonged beat of silence stretched out between us as searched for something encouraging to say. I'm usually not at a loss for words, but nothing wise and pithy came to me. When he finally reestablished eye contact with me, all I could do is nod my head in agreement and say, "Man, I know what you mean."I used to think that dissatisfaction with the Church was a sign of an individual's spiritual immaturity or religious consumerism. But not anymore. I'm realizing that the angsty dissatisfaction and frustration that many Christians (especially among Gen Y and Gen Z) feel about the Church is becoming normative.But we have to ask, "Is this a good thing?"Is it okay for a Christian to be dissatisfied and frustrated with the Church?Yes, of course, it's okay.Do you know how I know it's okay to be frustrated with the Church? The Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ himself gets frustrated with the Church.In Revelations 2-3, Jesus speaks to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor. For 6 out of 7 of those churches, Jesus has harsh words of rebuke and correction for them. In essence, he says, "I'm not happy with you. If you don't change your ways, I'm going to shut you down."Currently today, I believe that the level of our dissatisfaction with the state of the Church is a huge problem. But the problem isn't that we are too dissatisfied with the Church. I believe that the real problem is that we are not dissatisfied enough.We have become comfortable with how things are. We are happy and content with the mess that the Church is in. Most Christians are just fine with the way things are in the Church even though we have drifted away from God's plan and purpose for us.If you're not disappointed with the Church, just look at what we've become known for. Ask anyone outside the Church what they think of us. What will they say?They will say that we are political, selfish, unloving, and care only about ourselves. They will say we are tribal, judgmental, hypocritical, power-hungry, and driven by greed. They will say we are people who are angry, combative, defensive, and who react out of fear. That we are known more for our passionate fight for our politics and culture war issues, and not the Gospel.This is not how it's supposed to be. We used to be known for our love, unity, and generosity. Reaching out to our neighbors. Caring for the needy. Advocating for the powerless. Welcoming the stranger. Loving our enemies, enduring persecution, and praying for those who persecute us.We were bold proclaimers of the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus. We were once salt and light. A city on a hill to guide the way for a lost and dying world. But now our salt has lost its saltiness.It saddens me that the Church today has become more associated with politics and conspiracy theories than the Gospel of Jesus. It's no wonder that we are becoming less and less relevant to the world God has called us to reach.Jesus asked, "If salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?"More Dissatisfaction, Not LessHow are we going to fix the mess we're in? You may not like my answer.I believe that, if we're going to dig ourselves out of this mess, we need faithful Christians to become more dissatisfied with the Church, not less.I want you to be bothered at how far we've fallen. I want you to be frustrated and grieve and how things are. I want you to get mad at what the Church has become.I see far too many Christians focusing on what's wrong with the world. They get mad and complain about the world, but they ignore what's wrong with us. I want us to take that passion and energy as we look at ourselves and how we need to change.I believe that no biblical, faithful Christian should be satisfied with the state of the Church today. I want to encourage you to be more dissatisfied with the Church, not less. But I want to make sure that your dissatisfaction is productive and not destruction.Two Kinds of DissatisfactionThere are two kinds of dissatisfaction. They may look the same at first glance, but that can't be more different. Sometimes it's hard to tell them apart, but one is good and healthy and the other is bad and destructive.The first type of dissatisfaction is "Productive Dissatisfaction." This is when you say, "Wow, this place is a mess. Let's tear it down so we can fix it and make it better."Imagine the Church is like an old house that you inherit from your grandparents. It's old and smells funny. It has a different ugly mismatched wallpaper in every room. There's termite damage, mold in the walls, faulty electrical wiring, and poisonous lead paint. But at least the asbestos glue is keeping the linoleum in place.Even so, the house has good bones with great potential. You've watched Chip and Joanna Gaines do more with less. So you say, "We got to tear out all that stuff so we can fix it and make it better." That's productive dissatisfaction.The second type of dissatisfaction is "Destructive Dissatisfaction." This is when you see the mess and say, "Let's tear it down and light it on fire!"Which type of dissatisfaction do you have? Productive or destructive? What do you have in your hands? Do you have a broom or a molotov cocktail?Signs of Productive DissatisfactionTo make things better, we need more Christians who are filled with healthy productive dissatisfaction. There's a lot of work to do. If you're ready to put down that molotov cocktail and pick up a broom, I have three suggestions for you.1) Make sure your expectations for the Church are biblical and healthy.Disappoint comes from having unmet expectations. You need to make sure that the expectations you have for the Church come from the Bible. Make sure that your expectations are not selfish, immature, or politically motivated. This isn't a matter of personal preference or opinion. You should expect the Church to be what the Bible says it should be.In Acts 2:40-42, the Bible describes the beautiful beginnings of the Church. It describes a loving community of people from diverse backgrounds who were radically changed by God. They were united by their love for each other and commitment to God's mission.They formed a unique community of trust, vulnerability, love, and support. Former enemies and political rivals became brothers and sisters in God's adopted family. They met together daily in the public square and welcomed each other into their homes. As my father-in-law would say, they gave each other "refrigerator rights."They gathered to study the teachings of Jesus. They ate and shared the bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus' death. They worshiped and praised God together. They joyfully sacrificed for each other. The Bible said they sold their possessions and gave the proceeds to anyone who had a need.And God blessed them. He presence with them in a mighty way. God was at work and they enjoyed favor with all the people. God used this newly formed adopted spiritual family to radically transform their community, and eventually the entire world.We today, the Church, are the direct spiritual descendants of that original family of faith. The bad news is that we have fallen so far from that description that it's hard to believe we have any connection with them at all.If you read the Bible and are frustrated with how short we have fallen from God's plan and design for us, then you're in good company. I share your frustration. I also believe that how things are in the Church today is not how Jesus intended it to be.The first step in reforming the Church is to make sure your expectations are biblical and healthy.2) Make sure your dissatisfaction is motivated by love and concern for the Church.Don't be a hater or a troll. Don't just stand outside and be a critic. Critics don't love what they are criticizing.I'm not saying that you can't say anything critical or challenging about the Church. Just make sure it's coming from a place of love and concern, and not from a critical heart.One of the New Testament Church's biggest critics was the Apostle Paul himself. He was hugely frustrated with the Church at different times. Many of his epistles were written out of frustration at how the Church was missing the mark.The most scathing letter Paul ever wrote was his first epistle to the Church in the city of Corinth. We call it 1 Corinthians. The Church in Corinth had lost its way. It fell into moral compromise and fell into false doctrine. Paul doesn't pull any punches and speaks to them very harshly. But it worked. They receive Paul's instructions and start to turn the church around.A little while later, Paul writes a follow-up letter (we call it 2 Corinthians). In this second letter, Paul softens his tone and apologizes for being so harsh with them earlier.He writes:For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you. (2 Corinthians 2:4)Paul was frustrated and dissatisfied with the Church at Corinth. He let his frustrations be known loudly and publicly. But, please notice, that his dissatisfaction was motivation out of his love, care, and concern for the Church. He said those harsh words out of "great distress and anguish of heart." Paul cried "many tears" as an expression of the depth of his love for them.The source of Paul's frustration is an example to us. His frustration was motivated by love.When you see the Church going astray, it's okay to be frustrated. As long as it's motivated from a place of love, care, and concern, go ahead and let your frustrations show. Just don't be a hater, a troll, or a critic. Critics don't what they are criticizing.Saint Augustine is a good example of this. During the 4th Century, during a time when the Church was going astray by merging power and identity with the Roman Empire, Saint Augustine valiantly lead a faithful remnant.Faithful Christians were appalled at the level of compromise and corruption in the Church in that era. They were justifiably dissatisfied and frustrated. Many thought that the Church was irredeemable.They complained, "The Church has become a whore! She has become a whore to the Roman Empire!"They wanted to tear down the whole thing and set it on fire. But not Saint Augustine. While he couldn't deny that the Church was becoming more and more corrupted with power and association with the political might of the Roman Empire, he argued for a more productive way forward.Saint Augustine is said to have replied, "The Church may be a whore, but she is my mother."Augustine couldn't deny that the Church was unhealthy and becoming more and more corrupt. But he loved the Church. He couldn't turn his back on her. He couldn't just tear it down and light it on fire.In essence, he said, "I know the Church is a mess, but I love her dearly. Let's figure out how we can fix it, not blow it up."The second step to reforming the Church is to make sure we are motivated by genuine love, care, and concern for the Church.3) Turn your dissatisfaction into a catalyst for change.If you're dissatisfied and frustrated with the Church, don't just complain. Don't just be a critic. Critics never change anything. Instead, allow your dissatisfaction to grow in your soul to become a catalyst for change.One of the ingredients necessary for any change is dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is the beginning of change. No change can happen unless you are sick and tired of how things are.As I stated earlier, I believe our problem is that we are not dissatisfied enough. Many of us are dissatisfied enough to complain, or maybe even get up and leave. But I see few Christians dissatisfied enough to make changes.This is how revolutions and reformations are born. They are birthed in the hearts of dissatisfied people who have had enough of the way things are that they finally decide to do something about it.This is how the Civil Rights Movement started. Rosa Parks was sick and tired of being treated as a second-class citizen, so she refused to go to the back of the bus. This is how the Protestant Reformation got started. Martin Luther was sick and tired of all the ways that the Church was becoming unfaithful and corrupt. He wrote a manifesto and detail 95 changes that the Church needed to make and he nailed his lengthy document to the front door of the largest church in town. That manifesto is known as the 95 Thesis became the spark that lit the fire that became the Protestant Reformation.Don't just be a complainer. Become a reformer. Allow your dissatisfaction to become a catalyst for change. Don't just talk about it. Be about it.This reminds me of the story of Nehemiah. He's one of my favorite people in the Bible. Nehemiah was the royal servant to the most powerful man in the world, the King of Babylon. He had a cushy job in the royal palace.Everything was great for Nehemiah. That is until he got a report about the dilapidated conditions of Jerusalem, God's Holy City. When he found out that Jerusalem was in ruins, its walls broken down and gates burned with fire, the Bible said he broke down and wept for days.This lead to a period of fasting, mourning, and prayer. Eventually, his dissatisfaction grew to the point that it was unbearable for him to do nothing about it. That's when he started making a plan to restore Jerusalem.From hundreds of miles away, Nehemiah architected a detailed plan on how he would rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He calculated how much it would cost, how much lumber and supplies he would need. He thought through the process of getting permits. He decided that he needed security and a line of credit. Included in his plan was an estimate of how long this building project would take.When Nehemiah had the opportunity, he asked the King of Babylon for permission to leave his cushy job in the palace to go and rebuild Jerusalem. When the king asked him what this rebuilding project entailed, Nehemiah, show him the detailed plan he was working on.Nehemiah said, "King, this is how much this project is going to cost. Here is the materials list. This is how many men I'll need to take with me. And this is how long it's going to take. Can I go?"Impressed with Nehemiah's thorough plan, the king blessed Nehemiah's plan and even paid for the whole rebuilding project. When Nehemiah finally arrived in Jerusalem, he gathered up all the people living in the ruined city.He said to them:"You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." (Nehemiah 2:17)How did the people respond?They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.The restoration of Jerusalem started as a seed of sadness and dissatisfaction in Nehemiah's heart. It grew to become a catalyst to change. When the people saw Nehemiah's passion for change, it rubbed off on them. And they go to work.Three OptionsThings are bad right now for the Church. There's no denying it.What are we going to do about it?I think there are three options:Ignore it.Complain about it.Or try to fix it.If we're going to fix this mess, we first need passionate, committed Jesus-followers who are filled with dissatisfaction. But we need to make sure that our dissatisfaction is productive, and not destructive. We need a dissatisfaction that comes from biblical and healthy expectations for the Church. We need to make sure that our dissatisfaction is motivated by love and concern for the Church. And we need people who are committed enough to do more than complain but will roll up their sleeves and get to work.Things may be bad right now. You may be dissatisfied with how things are. The Church is a mess right now, so let's pick up a broom and get to work. We need you.
61 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Dr. Chuck DeGroat on Narcissism in the Church
This is an interview with Dr. Chuck DeGroat about his newest book, "When Narcissism Comes to Church." We talk about the signs of narcissism, how it hurts the church, and the process of healing.Chuck is a Professor at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. You can connect with Chuck by going to his website - www.chuckdegroat.net.Chuck's book, "When Narcissism Comes to Church"10 Signs of Narcissism - Centering all decision-making on themselves- Impatience or an inability to listen to others- Delegating without giving proper authority or with too many limits- Feelings of entitlement- Feeling threatened or intimidated by other talented staff- Needing to be the best and brightest in the room- Inconsistency and impulsiveness- Praising and withdrawing- Intimidating others- Fauxnerability (a faux or fake vulnerability)QUOTES from the book:[narcissists are] “mirror-hungry,” using their audiences and followers as a mirror to reflect back praise and admiration. The narcissistic leader’s hidden shame and pervasive sense of emptiness is alleviated, perhaps only for a little while, by the applause of an adoring crowd or the affection of a devoted follower."I've never seen systemic health emerge apart from the leader (or leaders) going on their own transformational journey."“I am convinced that the missional fervor and rise in church planting we’ve witnessed since the 1980s can be correlated with a growing prevalence of narcissism. Nowhere have I seen the narcissism-shame dynamic more pronounced than among church planters, some of whom have become megachurch pastors. Some church planting assessments I’ve seen practically invite narcissistic leadership. My work in this area as a therapist, pastor, consultant, psychological assessor, and professor over many years persuades me that the narcissism in many young men in particular is baptized as spiritual giftedness in a way that does great disservice to them and ignores deep wells of shame and fragility lurking within” (p. 8).DeGroat says, “When I started doing psychological assessments for pastors and church planters, I saw that narcissistic traits were often presented as strengths. Narcissism can be interpreted as confidence, strong leadership, clear vision, a thick skin… A colleague of mine often says that ministry is a magnet for a narcissistic personality – who else would want to speak on behalf of God every week” (p. 19)DeGroat writes, “In my own work, which includes fifteen years of psychological testing on pastors, the vast majority of ministerial candidates test on the spectrum of cluster B DSM-V personality disorders, which feature narcissistic traits most prominently... The rates are even higher among church planters” (p. 19).DeGroat observes, “Narcissistic pastors are anxious and insecure shepherds who do not lead the sheep to still waters but into hurricane winds. I’ve attended and spoken at dozens of pastor’s conferences and I see this anxiety abuzz in the comparison and competition, the showmanship and dress, the addiction to substances and fitness and social media and approval” (p. 20).He writes, “The Exodus story allows us to see ourselves, and our congregations, as pilgrims on a healing journey. It invites us to see the enslavement that keeps us from thriving. It invites us to be brave enough to cry out to God. It invites to the risky journey, fleeing what is familiar for an unpredictable path ahead. It invites us to have patience in the face of a long and winding wilderness road. It invites us to lament in the face of continued pain. It invites us to resolve to enter a new land, a hope-filled place of flourishing. Indeed, all stories of transformation necessarily take us on a cruciform (cross-shaped) journey imitating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as we become participants in his suffering in order to experience his resurrection” (p. 133).DeGroat observes, “Many of us find ourselves too busy, too habituated to the demands of modern life, too out of touch with deeper emotions to take our stories seriously and to embark on a healing journey... Healing requires radical honesty with ourselves and the courage to follow through on the wilderness path [to healing]. Perhaps the two most important components of healing trauma are awareness and intentionality. Because trauma thrives in the shadows, awareness and intentionality are often neglected for self-promotion, disconnection, and self-sabotage” (p. 141).OTHER BOOKS MENTIONED:"Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places," by Chuck DeGroat"In the Name of Jesus," by Henri Nouwen"On the Mischiefs of Self-Ignorance and the Benefits of Self-Acquaintance," by Richard Baxter"A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing," by Scot McKnight
65 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Dr. Buddy Mendez on Ministry Burnout & Managing Stress
Podcast Episode 06
71 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
Pastor Mark Lee on Panic Attacks & Healthy Rhythms
Thien interviews Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point Church, a fast-growing church in Los Angeles, about having a panic attack, contracting COVID-19, and the need for healthy rhythms and friendships.You can learn more about Mark and his church here:http://vantagepointchurch.org/
39 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
WHEN PASTORS LOSE THEIR passion for God
In this episode of the Struggling Pastors Podcast, Thien gives us some encouraging thoughts and insights about renewal and restoring our love and passion for God.2 Corinthians 11:27-2827in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.Revelations 2:1-7 ESV1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.LESSONS & INSIGHTS:1. Pastor, Jesus is talking to you, not the congregation.2. Pastor, Jesus sees all the good that you are doing...3. Pastor, Jesus cares more about your heart than your ministry.Q - How do we restore our passion for God?1. REMEMBER from where you have fallen.2. REPENT - commit to making changes3. REDO - v.5 - "do the works you did at first"And remember..."And us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal. 6:9 NIV)Until next time, God bless.First, pastor, I want to tell you
40 minutes | Feb 14, 2021
Signs of Burnout (& what to do about it)
In this episode of the Struggling Pastors Podcast, Thien discusses the causes and signs of burnout and gives advice on how to heal from it.Burnout - What causes it?Emotional exhaustionDepersonalizationLack of accomplishmentBurnout - 10 Diagnostic Questions1. Has your motivation has faded?2. Do you feel more and more numb?3. Are you increasingly avoiding people?4. Do little things make you disproportionately angry?5. Are you becoming more and more cynical?6. Do you feel unproductive?7. Are you self-medicating?8. Have you lost your sense of humor?9. Are you always tired?10. Do you feel used and unappreciated?How to HEAL your weary soul:H = HonestyE = EmpathyA = AbidingL = Leaning on others
67 minutes | Feb 7, 2021
Pastor Mike Larsen on The Mystery of Suffering
On this episode of the Struggling Pastor Podcast, I talk with Pastor Mike Larsen about the difficulty of leading a church during COVID. We talk about suffering, depression, suicide, and caring for people who are suffering. Mike talks about having a panic attack while preaching and writing a book on suffering.
35 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
How to HEAL your weary soul?
In this re-start of the Struggling Pastors Podcast, Pastor Thien teaches us how to HEAL our weary souls.The word HEAL is part of a 4-step process:HonestyEmpathyAbidingLooking DeeplyThis is taken from lessons learned from Isaiah 40.
18 minutes | Aug 17, 2018
Episode 020 - The Marques Ogden Story
Learn some life lessons from the amazing story of Marques Ogden. Marques was an NFL player and multi-millionaire business owner who lost it all. He lost his business and became a janitor making $8.25 per hour. See how he turned his life around and became an author and successful motivational speaker.
3 minutes | Aug 17, 2018
Episode 019 - Introducing the "Intentional Life Coach" Podcast
After a long break, I'm relaunching this podcast with a new name and focus. It's called the "Intentional Life Coach" Podcast. Stay tuned for more information.
49 minutes | Apr 2, 2018
Episode 018 - Chase Replogle on being a Pastor-Writer.
Chase Replogle is a bi-vocational pastor, web designer, and writer. He currently hosts the Pastor Writer Podcast at pastorwriter.com. The show takes a contemplative look at the writing process for pastors and church leaders pursuing their call to write. Chase has just finished a book-length manuscript based on the life of Moses. It's title, Discontented: How Your Heart's Desires Betray You. Discontented takes an honest look at our universal journey of identity formation: adventure and commitment, competition and attraction, idolatry and faith.In this interview, we talk about the dealing with the dreaded “Imposter Syndrome” and other things new writers face.Check out Chase’s podcast - www.pastorwriter.com
61 minutes | Mar 27, 2018
Episode 017 - Rachel Larkin on dealing with fear and doubt as a new writer.
Our guest today is just getting started on this writing journey. Rachel Larkin is blogger and has written a couple of books. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and their three young adult sons.She is also a practising Chartered Accountant, home school mom for fourteen years, Bible study leader, and speaker. She writes about growing in faith and developing your potential on her website at- https://rachellarkin.com.In this interview, we talk about getting started and dealing with the fear and doubts as a new writer.Rachel has several free resources available:Link to my first book - Simple Prayer: The Guide for Ordinary People Seeking the ExtraordinaryLink to free book - 21 Prayers of Thanksgiving: Transform your Prayer Life by Giving ThanksLink to another free book -The Untold Story: 7 Steps to Seeing God in the Midst of your Real Messy Life
65 minutes | Feb 5, 2018
Episode 016 - Peyton Jones on finding your voice and getting an agent
Peyton Jones is a pastor and church planter. He trains and coaches church planters all over the world. He is a prolific content creator. He writes books, blogs, and magazine articles. He speaks at conferences, runs a magazine, and two podcasts. He is known as the “Church Planting Ninja.”Today, Peyton and I discuss…- How he got into writing books,- How to get an agent- And practical advice for new writersHere’s how to connect with Peyton:Peytonjones.ninjaNewbreednetwork.orgchurchplantermagazine.com
32 minutes | Jan 28, 2018
Episode 015 - 7 Reasons Why Pastors Should Self-publish
In this short episode, I talk give pastors 7 reasons why they should self-publish. If you’re a pastor, I hope this would encourage you to self-publish. If you’re not, please pass this recording onto your pastor.7 Reasons Pastors Why Should Self-publish:1) You can change the world with your words.2) Reach thousands of people you’ve never met.3) Makes you a better pastor and preacher.4) Rescues and redeems your half-baked sermons5) It’s great practice6) It sets you apart7) It’s not that hard
34 minutes | Jan 22, 2018
Episode 014 - Pastor Joshua Best on helping indie authors publish
This was an unplanned interview with pastor Josh Best. He is an author and runs a small publishing company called “Unprecedented Press.” Unprecedented Press helps indie authors self-publish and launch their books. Here’s how their website describes what they do:“Traditional publishers rarely bet on new authors, and vanity presses gouge them for services instead of investing in their success. This often leads a writer to self-publish, but the endeavor can be extremely difficult to do alone. [Unprecedented Press] exists to help our author-partners feel more confident in the process than they would on their own, produce a higher quality product than they could on their own, and have access to more people than they would on their own. Like a business partner, we’re here to share the load.”On this interview, we talk about the differences between Traditional Publishing, Self Publishing, and Vanity Presses.Find out more about Unprecedented Press at unprecedentedpress.com.Note: I cannot officially endorse Unprecedented Press. This interview was an impromptu conversation that I decided to record. But Josh seems like a great guy and some of my friends go to his church.
54 minutes | Jan 15, 2018
Episode 013 - Jean Wise on becoming a writer after retirement
Jean Wise is a hybrid author with 9 books traditionally and self-published. He is a retired nurse and picked up writing in her 50s. She has written devotional books for women and other Christian resources.She has a unique perspective on writing. We talked about writing Christian devotionals for women, blogging, and the importance of building a platform. We also discuss dealing with rejection, overcoming hurdles, and finding yourself after retirement.Best quote: “You never retire. You just find a new ministry.”You can learn more about Jean’s blog at healthyspirituality.org.Check out Jean's at “100 Day Platform Power-Up Challenge at healthyspirituality.org/platform.
45 minutes | Jan 8, 2018
Episode 012 - Shelley Hitz gives coaching advice for Christian writers
Today, I have the privilege of interviewing Shelley Hitz. Shelly has written over 40 books. She is a busy woman. She also a professional speaker, artist, author coach, podcaster, YouTuber, and blogger. Her website was voted one of the best 100 websites for writers in 2017.She is the owner and creator of the Author Audience Academy. Her goal is to “help you reach more people with your message and let your light shine.”On this episode we discuss the challenges that most new authors deal with. We also talk about the importance of being a part of a writing community. I guarantee that you’ll be encouraged by Shelley on this episode. You can find out about Shelley on her website: www.shelleyhitz.com
80 minutes | Jan 1, 2018
Episode 011 - Dr. Gary Neal Hansen on writing, publishing, and winning awards
Gary Neal Hansen is a writer, speaker, and online teacher who is passionate about mining the best of Christian history to make wise disciples today. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. After earning his Ph.D. in Church History/History of Christian Doctrine at Princeton Theological Seminary, he spent seventeen years as a professor of Church History at the University of Dubuque Theological seminary in Dubuque Iowa. He's also an ordained Presbyterian minister, and pastored a small church in New Jersey for five years. He is best known as the author of the award-winning book Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History's Best Teachers (InterVarsity, 2012). His self-published books include Love Your Bible: Finding Your Way to the Presence of God with a 12th-Century Monk, which is an introduction to the ancient Christian spiritual discipline of "lectio divina" or "divine reading," and a Christmas Play for churches using the biblical text of the stories of the coming of Jesus from Matthew, Luke, and John. He has other non-fiction books in the works, but is currently most passionate about self-publishing fiction. You can connect with Gary online at his website GaryNealHansen.com, where he blogs and offers courses -- and if you subscribe to his newsletter he'll send you a free copy of his book Love Your Bible.
65 minutes | Dec 25, 2017
Episode 010 - Real Time Author Coaching
Listen in as I receive real-time coaching on publishing my 3rd book. Most indie authors don’t have a team of agents, editors, art directors or marketing specialists to help our books succeed.On this episode, David Ramos plays the role of my writing and publishing coach. He forces me to answer eight vital questions to help me think through the message, audience, and promotion of my new book.Below are some of the questions we discuss:1. Summarize your book in 1 sentence.2. Who is the market for your book?a. Demographics: age, gender, education, geography, etc.b. Theology3. Why should people read your book?a. What does it accomplish that is not already available on the market?4. How will it help people?5. What books are you competing against?a. And what other authors are comparable?6. What else can this book become?a. Audio, course, play, etc.7. How do you plan to reach potential readers?8. How does this book fit into your bigger goals as an author?If you want a PDF or Word.doc download of these questions, you can download it on my resource page HERE.
55 minutes | Dec 18, 2017
Episode 009 - Lori Ramsey on writing 50 Romance novels!
Lori Ramsey is a prolific Christian author who writes in 3 different genres under 3 different pen names. She writes non-fiction Christian inspiration and Bible Study, western historical romance, Christian romance, and even SciFi Fantasy. She has over 50 books published under her three pen names and has also ghost written many more books. We talk about her journey and life lessons of being an indie writer and the commitment it takes. Here’s some helpful writing wisdom from our conversation: 1) It’s your job! You need to carve out time and create a daily habit. 2) If you love writing, you have to be committed. It’s your job!3) Be patient. You will get better.4) Be open to criticism and learn from it. Connect with Lori at her website: AnnLaurel.comLori’s new Christian Romance series: http://a.co/aTLoMHNLori’s Etsy store for illustrations and book covers: Etsy Store
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