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Category Archives for "Podcast Episodes"

Episode 18: Identify Implementation Steps (and Do Them)

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Ryan, his wife Shannon, and their three children live Indianapolis where Ryan serves as the Discipleship Pastor of Northview Church. A pastor for over 20 years, Ryan has been especially passionate about discipleship since attending Fuller Seminary, which is where he met Mike Johnson and was introduced to Ascending Leaders. Ryan has returned to Fuller where he is working on a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies degree and is conducting his research on the role that adult learning and the learning context play in forming disciples. 

Listeners are welcome to reach out to Ryan if they have any questions about the Growth Plan (his church's discipleship process). Email him at ryan.poe@northviewchurch.us 

Recommended resources:

Episode 17: Revise and Revise Again

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During my fifteen years as a staff member of Chapelwood, my focus has been to help people grow a deeper relationship with God and our faith community. As Director of Connect Ministry, “connecting” new members to Chapelwood and “reconnecting” those stepping into a new stage of life is our mission. These connections come from helping people find meaningful worship, small groups, and learning and serving opportunities to strengthen their partnership with Jesus. For the past two years, I have been an active participant in Ascending Leaders workshops and AscendingOn cohort.

I am a lifelong Christian who has worshiped and been a member of Methodist churches most of my life. I was strongly influenced by my grandmother to love Jesus and love Scripture. My entire family worshiped together regularly. I considered ministry as a career after college, but instead worked in a variety of newspaper reporting, editing, public relations, and advertising positions with my Journalism degree from the University of Texas. All the while, I was attending Bible studies, being discipled by older Christians, serving in church, and intentionally growing in my faith. After 13 years as a stay-at-home mom, I re-entered the workplace in church communications -- a perfect fit for my interests and training. I joined Chapelwood’s staff in 2001 as associate director of communications. This is my home church. In 2008, I was asked to take the role director of Learning Ministry (the forerunner of what is now Grow Ministries). Thankfully, Chapelwood supported me in attending professional certification classes in Christian Education at Perkins School of Theology. I was certified in 2014 and now serve as the director of that program, helping others obtain vital training for their leadership positions in churches nationwide. I also serve on the Texas Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry as chair of professional certification. I have attended Ascending Leaders Disciple Forward workshops and participated in two seasons of Disciple On co-horts. I’m thankful for the renewed focus on proven pathways that Ascending Leaders keeps in front of me. It is so easy in a large church to plan wide-ranging programs that satisfy lots of areas of interest, but don’t primarily make mature disciples.

Recommended resources:

Episode 16: Assess Your Current Ministries

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Pastor Darrell Delaney has over 15 years of youth ministry experience, and has been pastoring at Madison Church for over 4 years. During that role, he has been working with Dr. Mike Johnson and Ken Schripsema on the importance of defining the church's own "discipleship pathway" for the congregation to go deeper in their walk with Christ.

Ken Schripsema serves as Executive Director of Ministry at a church in Grand Rapids, MI. He became an Ascending Leaders Discipleship Coach and can serve other churches with our workshops and training (including the faith stories workshop). 

Recommended resources:

Episode 15: Church, Know Yourself

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Cally Parkinson is the director for REVEAL, an initiative that utilizes research tools and discoveries to help churches better understand spiritual growth in their congregations.  To date REVEAL has served over 2000 churches and surveyed 500,000 congregants. Cally is the author of Rise: Bold Strategies to Transform Your Church, which covers REVEAL’s latest findings about eight church archetypes. Cally has also co-authored four books with Willow Creek’s former Executive Pastor, Greg Hawkins, describing insights from REVEAL.

Cally previously served as the director of communications at Willow Creek Community Church, a role she took on following a twenty-five-year career at Allstate Insurance Company. At Allstate, she held a number of different director- and officer-level positions in strategic planning, research, finance and communications.  She has a BA in languages from Depauw University and a master’s degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Cally and her husband, Rich, live in the Chicago suburbs and have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Nancy Scammacca Lewis joined the REVEAL team as lead statistician in 2008. Since then, she has mined the depths of the REVEAL dataset for insights that can help churches get their congregants moving and become more vibrant in fulfilling their mission. She was a contributing author for Rise: Bold Strategies to Transform Your Church.

In addition to her work with REVEAL, Nancy conducts research projects in education and the social sciences. Her work has been published in several major education research journals. She holds a PhD in quantitative methods from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree from Wheaton College, and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. Nancy also is an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church in North America and served on the pastoral staff of two churches for more than 10 years. Nancy and her husband, Randy, live in the Chicago suburbs.

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Episode 14: Personally Own It

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David Hsu is the Senior Pastor at West Houston Chinese Church (WHCC) and has been serving there for 24 years. He immigrated to the US from Taiwan when he was 14, and grew up in Boston, MA.  He studied engineering at Tufts University and was a computer chip designer before going to Dallas Theological Seminary for his ThM in pastoral leadership. David joined WHCC as the English minister, working mostly with youth while WHCC was a new church plant in 1993.  David, fluent in both Mandarin and English, became the Senior Pastor in 2001 and has led the church to plant multiple churches, including three in the Houston area (Katy and the Woodlands) and one in East Asia. David and his church are actively involved in global missions, and he has a heart for Asian-American issues between the generations, and for spiritual formation of those in the ministry. He is a graduate of the Spiritual Direction Institute with the Cenacle sisters, and have went through personal coaching with Dr. Mike Johnson. His church has been part of Ascending Leaders’ DiscipleOn cohort as they seek to develop a discipleship culture. 

David’s wife Cheryl is a teacher and a graduate from DTS with a MA in Christian Education. David met Cheryl on a short-term missions trip to the Philippines with Campus Crusade, and they have two children: Nathan, a senior at UT Austin, and Hannah, a freshman at Trinity University. For leisure David enjoys reading, running, fishing, and following Boston area sports teams.

Recommended resources:

Episode 13: Preach It

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Clay Warren is the Senior Pastor of Tacoma Christian Reformed Community Church. He grew up in Northeastern Colorado and graduated from Denver Seminary in 1989. He has lived in Washington since 1991 and has had the privilege of serving youth in three different churches for over 30 years, the last 16 of those years as the pastor of student ministries at TCRCC. He was called to be the Senior Pastor in June 2013. He and his wife, Naomi, have two adult children, Danielle and Chad, who are both married and actively serving the Lord. He also serves on  the Board of Directors for the El Sauzal Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that supports the El Sauzal Orphanage in San Antonio de las Minas, Mexico.

Recommended resources:

Episode 12: Persevering Eradicates Inoculation

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Bob has been the executive pastor of discipleship at Chapelwood United Methodist in the Memorial area of Houston since 2003. He will retire from that position this year in order to focus more on coaching churches in discipleship through Ascending Leaders. Bob has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering which he used for 12 years working for DuPont. Bob has been in full-time ministry since 1987. He and his wife, Susan, have three children, all married and three grand children. Bob has been working with the staff at Chapelwood to build a strong Discipleship Pathway there.

Recommended resources:

Episode 11: Naming the Faith Stages

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Ken was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mi. He has been married to Kinita for 23 years, and they have been blessed with four children. Ken enjoys spending time with family, making home improvements, landscaping, and biking. He graduated from Reformed Bible College (now Kuyper College) in Grand Rapids with a Bachelor of Religious Education. Since 2011 he has been the Executive Director of Ministry at Madison Church - Square Campus in Grand Rapids, MI. Ken has worked with Mike for the past four years to increase to grow disciples at Madison Church.

Read any of the books/resources that were recommended in the episode: 

Episode 10: Ten Steps Toward a Clear DisciplePath Overview

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Mike Johnson is about the intentional formation of people. Over the last fifteen years he has focused on the formation of people through innovating, creating, writing, coaching and teaching. Ten years ago he planted the ministry Ascending Leaders. 

In 2004 Mike received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary. Prior to this Mike worked as a CR church planter and pastor in Missouri City, Texas. Mike and his wife make their home in Sugar Land, Texas. Their two children are married and live in the area. They are all employed in the field of education.

Read any of the books/resources that were recommended in the episode: 

Episode 09: Why Care?

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Bob has served as the executive pastor at Chapelwood United Methodist Church for 14 years, where he has led lay and staff teams related to discipleship. He shifted focus to bring more attention to the church's discipleship-related strategic goals. He has recently joined Ascending Leaders as an adjunct consultant/coach.Bob is working on a book (unpublished) entitled: "The Genesis Project: The WHY of Discipleship."

Attention Texas churches and nonprofit organizations: If you are exempt from sales tax, send us a copy of your tax exemption letter and we will refund the sales tax collected on your purchase. Contact us at info@ascendingleaders.org for more information. Dismiss