Top Leading Ideas Talks Podcast Episodes of 2019


Leading Ideas Talks provides cutting-edge leadership strategies from some of today’s most relevant thought leaders. These episodes, hosted by Lewis Center Director Doug Powe and Associate Director Ann Michel, are the most popular of the year.

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How can you get outside the doors of your church, learn about your community, and meet people where they are? In this episode we speak with Laura Heikes, pastor of Bee Creek United Methodist Church in Spicewood, Texas, about strategies for bringing a missionary mindset to your own neighborhood. Listen now or read transcript.

"Becoming a Rapidly Growing Church" featuring Matt Miofsky

“Becoming a Rapidly Growing Church” featuring Matt Miofsky

Why do some congregations grow more quickly than others? In this episode we speak with Matt Miofsky, founding and lead pastor of The Gathering in St. Louis, about the book he wrote with Jason Byassee, 8 Virtues of Rapidly Growing ChurchesListen now or read transcript.

"Leaving Well and Starting Strong: Planning for an Effective Pastoral Transition" featuring Lovett H. Weems, Jr.

“Leaving Well and Starting Strong: Planning for an Effective Pastoral Transition” featuring Lovett H. Weems, Jr.

How can a pastor avoid common pitfalls and make the most of opportunities when moving from one congregation to the next? In this episode we speak with Lovett H. Weems, Jr., about how to plan for a pastoral transition, leave well, and get off to a strong start in a new church. Listen now or read transcript.

Felt letter board pointing the way to the sanctuary, art studio, gallery, and office

“It’s All about the Building” featuring Bob Jaeger

How can congregations imaginatively use their space? In this episode we speak with Bob Jaeger, president of Partners for Sacred Places, about re-imagining the space in your church building. Listen now or read transcript.

Person sitting at computer with images of church icons in cogs surrounding

“Doing Innovative Ministry” featuring Kenda Creasy Dean

Their How can leaders think outside of the box? In this episode we discuss innovation, entrepreneurial ministry, and leadership with Kenda Creasy Dean, the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. Listen now or read transcript.

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Diagram on ways people give to the church“What’s Happening with Money and Congregations?” featuring David King

What are the latest trends in how churches receive, manage, and use funds? And what do they mean for your congregation? In this episode we speak with David King, director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, about new research on the economic practices of churches. Listen now or read transcript.

Biblical women“Learning about Leadership from Women in the Bible” featuring Carla Works

What can we learn from the example of women leaders in the Bible? In this episode we speak with Carla Works, associate professor in New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary, about leadership lessons from biblical women. Listen now or read transcript.

Young adults enjoying Sunday worship

“Young Adult Ministry: Moving from Aspirational to Instructional” featuring Emily Peck-McClain

How can you better engage young adults today? In this episode we speak with Emily Peck-McClain, Visiting Professor of Christian Formation and Young Adult Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary, about ways congregations can connect with young adults more effectively.  Listen now or read transcript.

Group photo of a youth group mission trip to Mexico

“Resurrecting Youth Ministry” featuring Jen Bradbury

Are you longing to connect with youth in relevant and faithful ways? In this episode we speak with Jen Bradbury about fresh approaches to youth ministry and how to conduct youth mission trips with integrity and purpose. Listen now or read transcript.

Leading Ideas Talks — Episode 45: "Holiness and American Culture" featuring Cheryl Sanders

“Holiness and American Culture” featuring Cheryl Sanders

How have the holiness and Pentecostal movements influenced American culture? In this episode we speak with Cheryl Sanders about why these movements grew so rapidly, how they influenced our culture, and the challenges they face in our modern world. Listen now or read transcript.

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Five hands with fingers outstretched to form a star shape

“Toward a Culture of Joyful Generosity” featuring Cesie Delve Scheuermann

Has stewardship become a dirty word in your congregation? Stewardship consultant Cesie Delve Scheuermann speaks with Lewis Center Associate Director Ann Michel about cultivating generosity through simple practices of gratitude and sharing the good that money can do in the church and the world. Listen now.

Abstract graphic of church building and wavy lines

“The Contours of the Church of the Future” featuring Paul Nixon

How can the church be more receptive and open as neighborhoods become more complex and culture more multi-faceted? In this episode we speak with consultant Paul Nixon who works to help churches meet the demands of a rapidly changing age. Listen now or read transcript.

Beautiful modern suspension bridge

“Don’t Be Shy when Building Bridges” featuring Ron Slaughter

How can your congregation bridge tradition with new ideas for ministry? In this episode we speak with Ronald Slaughter, pastor of St. James AME church, who shares how he maintains important traditions while still innovating. Listen now or read transcript.


Small fish together in a big group

“Think Big” featuring Joe Daniels

How can a congregation make an impact no matter its size? In this episode we speak with Joe Daniels, the pastor of Emory Fellowship in Washington, DC, and co-author of the new book Connecting for a Change: How to Engage People, Churches, and Partners to Inspire Hope in Your CommunityListen now or read transcript.

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The Lewis Center staff has assembled and edited this material.