New Resource: Roman’s Preaching Guide (5/16/2018) - Hey Essential Church friends—   We’re really excited to share with you a resource we’ve developed.   Last fall our teaching team at New Life preached through the entire book of Romans. It was a thrilling and incredibly enriching experience that left both our congregation and our teaching team edified.   To guide us as a team on our journey, we created the Romans Preacher’s Guide; which we’re now making available to you on Amazon.   The guide includes: A short historical and theological overview of the book of Romans Big “preaching themes” to keep in mind Reflections and suggested Read More
Episode 033: Drawing the Best Out of Your Team (5/16/2018) - For this conversation, we were joined by Ted Egly from the Center for Creative Leadership to talk about what leaders can do to get the best out of the teams and organizations they lead.   The research says that a high-performing team has three things: they celebrate wins early, they slow down in order to power up, and they are willing to change…   In my experience, the celebrations that are most powerful are the ones that affirm or encourage those who are actually moving the mission forward…   This really means that pastors have to be mindful of what Read More
Episode 032: Prayer, Unity, and the Kingdom. A Conversation with Pete Greig (5/9/2018) - In this conversation, we were joined by Pete Greig to talk about the role and purpose of prayer in the local church and how we can contend for unity and revival within the Church. We were so encouraged by the stories of bridge-building that are unfolding through the 24-7 prayer movement and we hope that it blesses you.   Every transformational movement of the church through history has begun with a movement of prayer…   We’re experiencing around the world an unprecedented coming together of the Body of Christ in our lifetimes… we’re facing profound challenges and we need each Read More
Episode 031: Developing a Discipleship Culture (5/2/2018) - Before His ascension, Jesus gave a Great Commission: to go and make disciples. In this essential conversation, we talk about how discipleship happens and what it looks like for us to help people become disciples of Jesus. Join in as we discuss what the long journey of discipleship unfolds in the lives of the people around us.   To me, discipleship is becoming cruciform, becoming like the One who spread his arms out on a tree… you know you’re becoming a disciple when you’re learning to lay down your life in the journey to be like Jesus…   Discipleship happens Read More
Episode 030: The Life of the Preacher (4/25/2018) - Have you ever had a week where you feel like you should just pack up your study and give up preaching altogether? It was a week like that for Pastor Daniel Grothe that sparked this conversation about The Life of the Preacher. Listen in as we talk about what we find at the core of the calling to preach the Word of God. 10 Things I've Learned As A Preacher by Daniel Grothe_ Essential Church Podcast   Preaching is simultaneously the most joyful and maddening work I could ever do… we all have a little Jeremiah in our bones: “Who Read More
Episode 029: Doing Ministry in a Secular Age (4/18/2018) - When Jesus told his followers to make disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the ends of the earth, he meant that the gospel should be brought to people where they are and in their contexts. So how do we as pastors and leaders bring the gospel to our neighbors in today's secular age? We talk about it in this week's essential conversation. Episode 029 – SHOW NOTES – Doing Ministry in a Secular Age   One of my favorite metaphors is to think of the world as like an arena with a retractable roof, where the roof closes and Read More
Episode 028: Singing Our Hope (4/11/2018) - What happens when we worship? How do we select songs for congregational worship that instill hope? In this conversation, Dr. Glenn Packiam talks about what he learned as he researched the expression and experience of hope in our worship. SHOW NOTES – Episode 028 – Singing our Hope   The thing that was most surprising to me in my research was how little the songs dealt with the future… we don’t sing about the future (or the past) all that much… it concerned me that songs about hope had no future orientation…   It might be that the spirit of Read More
Episode 027: The Bible and the Church Pt 2 (4/4/2018) - In this conversation, we pick up where we left off talking about the Bible. What is it, and how should it inform our lives and ministries? Episode 027 – SHOW NOTES – The Bible and the Church Part 2 One of the mistakes we’ve made over the last several decades is that we’ve tried so hard to show how the Bible “relates” to people’s lives that we’ve eliminated what is unique, sacred, and divine about it…   If the Bible is just generalized life advice, we’ve actually domesticated the Scripture out of use… part of the job is to recover Read More
Episode 026: The Cross of Christ (3/28/2018) - A special episode just in time for Holy Week. In this conversation, we discuss the importance of the Cross of Jesus Christ. What exactly do we believe about Jesus' death and why does it matter? Listen in and enjoy this reflection as we move towards Good Friday.     Episode 026 – SHOW NOTES – The Cross of Christ   The cross is the crux of the whole story, the unexpected plot twist… who could have seen that God would rescue by becoming the afflicted one, by becoming the judged one…   Good Friday reminds us of the costliness, the Read More
Episode 025: The Bible and the Church Pt 1 (3/21/2018) - In this conversation, we ask a simple and slightly funny question. What is the Bible? Perhaps one of the most taken-for-granted elements of Christian faith, we wanted to dig down and talk about what the Bible is, and what it isn't. Episode 025 – SHOW NOTES – The Bible and the Church How we see this book [the Bible] determines how we approach it… everybody knows they are supposed to read the Bible but we don’t often stop to ask, “Just what is this thing?” I think the best way to get to an answer [to the question of why Read More