Ep 70: Crisis at the Capitol, Crisis in the Church

The events in Washington D.C. last Wednesday were troubling and tragic. The political, economic, and societal turmoil in the United States continue to find new expressions in 2021. While we all have high hopes for the new year, the reality of Wednesday’s shocking display of utter disregard for the democrat process makes us wonder if the church can speak into our culture. Join us as we reflect on that day and attempt to chart a path forward for American evangelicalism. We’ll also introduce the preliminary results of an International Perception Survey to try to help us see how those outside of the United States look at American evangelicals.

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Ep 69: Good Riddance 2020!

It’s a new year and many optimistically look to a 2021 that will be markedly different from what we experienced in 2020. The reality is, the change of the calendar does not necessarily mean that all is better. In this episode of the Ephesiology Podcast, Matt shares some insights into what he expects in 2021. Before he gets into this, Michael challenges us to bring the lessons that we learned in 2020 forward to the new year. Andrew, as always, keeps us on our toes and takes us to the practical. Join us for our first episode of 2021.

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Ep 68: The Non-Hierarchical Leadership of the New Testament Church

Contemporary church leadership tends to model itself after various social structures of leadership whether in business or politics. The DNA of the New Testament church looked altogether different as Jesus instituted a leadership style that was counter-cultural and unique for His church. Join Matt, Andrew, and Michael as they continue to discuss the non-hierarchical leadership in the New Testament. They tackle issues of authority and submission in Hebrews 13 as well as the APEST typology in Ephesians 4.

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Discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world in Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement.

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Ep 67: Happy Covid Christmas

For all of us, 2020 has been a challenging year. In spite of the reality of the global pandemic, a contentious election cycle, and intense racial outcries, we can still genuinely celebrate the hope of Jesus who brought good news that is for all people. In this episode of the Ephesiology Podcast, join Matt, Andrew, and Michael as they turn our focus to the true story of Jesus and attempt to cut through the myths that cloud the real meaning of the birth of the Savior of the world.

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In our post-truth culture, many myths threaten the story of Jesus’ birth. Rediscover the true meaning of the Nativity in Unwrapping the First Christmas.

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Ep 66: The Dark Side of Hierarchical Leadership

Leadership is one of the most important issues confronting the church today. In this podcast, Andrew, Matt, and Michael address the distinction between hierarchical and flat leadership. A discussion originating with a recent blog on the topic, Michael focuses attention on how the Trinity is a model for the body of Christ and how Jesus demonstrated leadership. This is the first of multiple part series on New Testament leadership.

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Ep 65: Kingdom-Minded Church Planting

On this week’s Ephesiology Podcast, Michael talks with Jeff Christopherson about his upcoming course on Church Planting. Jeff brings years of experience and wisdom from his career as a serial church planter. The course, based on his book Kingdom Matrix, focuses on equipping church planters in fundamentals based upon Kingdom concepts. Jeff explains that church planters will either build the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Darkness.

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Discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world in Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement.

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Ep 64: What is Social Justice?

On this week’s Ephesiology Podcast, Michael talks with Kathryn Richards Bhatia, assistant professor of social justice in our Master of Arts Missiology of Movement degree, about ministry to the exploited and marginalized. As one of the three markers of the early church, social justice is a vital ministry that emulates the life of first century believers and Jesus Himself. Join us for an introduction to one of the most important topics about ministry in our day. Prof. Bhatia teaches social justice out of a deep passion and a wealth of experience in addressing the exploitation of women in the Middle East.

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Discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world in Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement.

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Ep 63: Christianity and the Government

This week’s podcast dials in on Christianity’s relationship to governments as Andrew and Michael explore a subject appropriate for Christians around the world. Based on a lecture from an Ephesiology Master Class, The Church in Times of Crisis, Michael unpacks four areas in the New Testament where we learn about this important topic: Jesus, Acts of the Apostles, 1 Timothy 2, and Romans 13. The challenge for Christians today is what does it look like to believe God is sovereign in the countries where we live?

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Discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world in Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement.

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Ep 62: Catching Up with Brad Watson

Today on the Ephesiology Podcast, Andrew and Michael catch up with Brad Watson from Soma. In June, Andrew, Michael, and Brad talked about the impact of the pandemic on Soma’s work in LA County. The extreme lockdown had produced positive results as they reached their community with the gospel. It’s been four months and we hear more from Brad on topics of racial as well as church and state tensions in one of the most diverse counties in the country. Brad encourages us to be gracious and kind, and to not lose focus on God’s mission.

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Discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world in Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement.

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Ep 61: QAnon and Conspiracies

Next on the Ephesiology Podcast, Andrew and Michael are talking with John W. Morehead about QAnon. The right-wing conspiracy theorist(s) has found his way into the mainstream and sadly many evangelicals are listening. John, Andrew, and Michael discuss why evangelicals are susceptible to conspiracy theories and how we might be able to constructively engage those who believe these theories.

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Read John W. Morehead’s foreword about QAnon in When Evangelicals Sneeze

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Ep 60: The Christian and Politics

It was only four years ago when many declared the election in 2016 to be the most important in our lifetime. Well, here we are in 2020 and undoubtedly this is the most important election in our lifetime. Join Andrew and Michael with special guest Nate Gass for an exhilarating conversation about how Christians should engage in politics. They’ll even look at Revelation 13 and the warning for Christians aligning with a political ideology.

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Learn More about how Christians might think about politics in When Evangelicals Sneeze

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Ep 59: The State of Theology

Over the past four years, Ligonier and Lifeway Research have published the State of Theology surveys as a resource for understanding what Americans think about important religious statements. Join Matt, Andrew, and Michael as they take a detailed look at several statements on the 2020 survey and offer insights in what they communicate about evangelicalism in the United States. Access the survey to follow along: https://thestateoftheology.com

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Ep 58: Ephesiology’s New Season

A new season of the Ephesiology Podcast begins with Andrew, Matt, and Michael sharing about the exciting work of how Ephesiology engages in equipping the saints for works of ministry. Join our podcasters as they look to this next season and the continuation of applying the principles of the first century Christian movement in Ephesus to the 21st century. Michael shares, “We are 0% interested in training volunteers, so if you’re looking to be a better volunteer, this is not where you want to go. But if you are really looking to understand culture, understand how to engage it with the gospel, then absolutely, 100% you want to go to these master classes.” Learn more at https://masterclasses.ephesiology.com

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Ep 57: When Evangelicals Sneeze

Are you struggling with American evangelicalism? It’s gotten to the point where it is difficult to recognize a theological tradition that has been around for nearly 500 years. In his recent book, Dr. Cooper shares his concerns for loosing the American evangelical identity.

Michael shares:

You’ll read about how the majority of evangelicals live outside of the US yet evangelicalism is largely identified with the church in America. The uniquely American conflation of faith and politics is actually hurting the witness of Christians around the world. I wrestle with questions like has God given up on the American church? Is this the end of American evangelicalism? Or can it be saved? Ultimately, I look to three scholars from England, Ghana, and America to help us define evangelicalism.

Then I put forward this idea for you to consider. These three areas of ministry – defense of the faith, social justice, gospel proclamation – mark the identity of the evangelical church. Her defense of the faith marks her beliefs in the one true God and Savior of all humanity. Her engagement in social justice marks a behavior with the conviction that when she does these things she does them to Christ Himself. Finally, her declaration of God’s glory to the nations marks her unity with all evangelicals in a common mission so compelling that it brings others into the community of Christ followers.

We hope you’ll pick up this book and join us in restoring American evangelicalism.

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Ep 56: Summer Break

It is that time of year, but a different year for sure. As best as we can in the time of COVID-19, we’re going to take a few weeks of rest. We are very grateful for our listeners and excited to return the first week of September. In the meantime, we’ll be reposting some of our favorite podcasts over the past six months.

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Ep 55: Ephesiology with Brad Watson

Join our discussion with Brad Watson as we hear about his book on Ephesians as well as what he and Soma are doing in Los Angeles. While COVID-19 continues to present its challenges, Brad and Soma are seeing some neat things as they reach their community with Christ. And, if you haven’t heard about our Ephesiology Master Classes, check them out at ephesiology.com/master-classes/.

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Ep 54: Movements and Business

So often, the church looks at business people as those who will pray and pay for the ministry. In this episode of the Ephesiology Podcast, we talk business with Mike Sharrow, president and CEO of C12 Group. You’ll no doubt be encouraged to learn about how business people are engaging their employees with the gospel in ways that the professional minister cannot. And, if you haven’t heard about our Ephesiology Master Classes, check them out at ephesiology.com/master-classes/.

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Resources from This Episode

Link for eBook on Eternal Impact in Business: http://visit.c12group.com/eternalimpact

Article on 5 Case Studies: https://www.christianitytoday.com/partners/c12/5-companies-radically-shaped-by-faith-of-their-owners.html

Slides: https://www.dropbox.com/s/41mhgd976l425qz/Missional%20Business%20Diagrams.pdf?dl=0

Work and Global Missions

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Ep 53: race relations, the president, and current crises in the United States

These are interesting days. COVID-19, George Floyd, President Trump and his Trumpgelicals. We address all of these in a spontaneous podcast that is challenging us to think about our allegiance. Join Matt, Michael, and Brian – an unsuspecting guest to the podcast cast – as they discuss race relations, the president, and current crises in the United States. Be sure to join us next month for our next Ephesiology Live podcast. Register here. And, if you haven’t heard about our Ephesiology Master Classes, check them out at ephesiology.com.

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Ep 52: The State of Education and Ephesiology Master Classes

COVID-19 has provided many opportunities for us to rethink how we equip people for ministry and we have some big news! We’re excited to announce the launch of Ephesiology Master Classes! We’ve been thinking about what it will take to get to movement in the US and how we can support movements around the world and our master class idea was born. With all the changes we anticipate due to COVID-19, it became apparent that biblical, theological, and missiological training in an accessible, dynamic, and responsive platform will be a key part of the equipping all the saints for works of ministry (Eph 4:12). Join us on this podcast as we unpack an exciting initiative to help us stay on mission. And check out Ephesiology Master Classes.

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Ep 51: Getting to Movement During the Plague

We’re excited to welcome a first time guest, Kyle Pierson. Kyle focuses on helping people think about movement in the context of the United States with East West Ministries International. This will be an encouraging podcast as we hear about how people are catching a vision for multiplying disciples in the church.

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Ep 50: Fatigue or Burnout?

Zoom fatigue, plague fatigue. How are you feeling? We’re discussing where we are emotionally and spiritually as we continue to evaluate the long-term effect of the novel coronavirus. Join our podcasters as they reflect on the impact of the virus, news, and evil on our society. Also, take advantage of our free book offer when you sign up for our mailing list: COVID-19 and the Church: Lessons from History.

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Ep 49: A Monthly Monday Movement Moment

Our podcasters go live on Zoom and Facebook for the first time in our new month segment. You have heard us say many times that we love doing theology in community and a live discussion about Ephesiology is a great way to collaborate on the significance of the first century church’s relevance for today. You’ll enjoy this inaugural, monthly special live edition of the Ephesiology Podcast. Be sure to join us next month. Register here.

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Ep 42: Initial Reaction to COVID-19

We jumped on to record a podcast regarding a new reality due to COVID-19. Join Matt and Andrew as they begin to initially wrestle with how the church might respond to the pandemic.

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Ep 41: Spring Break

While one of our Ephesiologists is galavanting around the world, we are taking a brief hiatus and invite you to continue engaging with Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement and catching up on missed episodes of the Ephesiology Podcast. Do not forget about the Ephesiology Blog where you’ll find interesting posts as we think about engaging our culture with the gospel.

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Ep 40: The Interview

With the release of his new book, Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement, Andrew sits down with Michael to learn more about the author, his motivations, and hopes for what the Lord might do with the book. You’ll want to hear the interesting backstory to what has been described as a, “theologically strong foundation that is both corrective and directive to disciple making movements.”

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Ep 39: Sustaining a Movement

How did the New Testament church sustain such fantastic growth? Join our podcasters as they look at the seven letters Jesus wrote to the churches of Asia Minor. The book of Revelation is often thought to be a book about the end times. We’ll discuss why it might be more appropriate to think of it as a book about the completion of God’s mission and Jesus’s call for the churches to stay on course.

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Ep 38: Restoration Church

On this week’s podcast, hear what Matt Till is doing at Restoration Church. It isn’t perfect, but they are seeing a community committed to prayer, Scripture, fellowship, worship, and missions. Join our podcasters to learn more about Restoration Church.

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Ep 37: The Anatomy of a Movement

In our continuing study of a New Testament movement, we ask the question, “What did the movement look like?” Join our podcasters as they explore the anatomy of the movement in Ephesus and its impact on the Roman province of Asia. Interested in more? Check out the Movement Maturity Matrix.

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Ep 36: Maturing Disciples of a movement, Part 2

Defining “disciple” and “discipleship” presents interesting issues in contemporary Christianity. Join our podcasters as they look at the New Testament understanding of what it means to be a disciple in the second of a two part discussion. Their study of the early Christian movements highlights several key characteristics for what it means to be a follower of Christ.

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Ep 35: Interview with Alan Hirsch

“We are perfectly designed to achieve what we are seeing.” Join us as we explore this profound statement in our interview with Alan Hirsch. Alan is one of the leading movement thinkers who believes that our movement rhetoric is beginning to see fruit. Among our topics: rediscovering the apostle, prophet, and evangelist; paradigm shifts; identifying anomalies, and more.

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Ep 34: Interview with Jeff Christopherson

What kind of leader will it take to see more churches start in the United States? Join our podcasters as we talk with Jeff Christopherson, a self-identified serial church planter. He and Ed Stetzer started the Send Institute with a focus on the future of church planting in North America. Jeff helps us unpack 10 competencies necessary for today’s church planters.

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Ep 33: Happy New Year

Ephesiology Podcast is back with season 2. Join our podcasters as they reflect on last year, look forward to the release of the book Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement on Leap Day, and dream about 2020.

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Ep 32: The End of Evangelicalism

The reaction to Mark Galli’s editorial in Christianity Today reveals how polarized the current political climate is in the United States. Some question his motives and others wonder what has taken so long. There are as many loud evangelical voices of dissent as there are of support for Galli’s call for President Trump’s removal from office. The United States is a divided country on every level of society: religious, cultural, racial, economic, and political. Sadly, there is no greater division than what we are seeing occur among those who identify as “evangelicals.”

We are entering the next four days of the Christmas season as an evangelicalism that has lost its compass.

In recent years, the term “evangelical” has undergone a dramatic shift in meaning. Rooted in the Greek word euaggelion, it originally meant a political declaration that was passed from rulers to citizens. During the New Testament period, it took on a specific meaning of the good news proclaimed to all nations that Christ came so that whoever believed He was God would have the right to become His children and receive eternal life (John 1:12, 3:16; Rom 10:9-10). This good news continues to be declared around the world in a global announcement that God is uniting all things in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:9-10). Evangelicals, then, are those who declare this good news to others as a responsibility to join with God on His mission to ensure that every people group on the planet has the opportunity to hear about what He has done to reconcile us to Himself (2 Cor 5:16-20).

In the early to mid 20th century, a new generation of evangelicals attempted to separate the movement from fundamentalist Christianity. Making the gospel message relevant to the culture through intellectual engagement and positive messaging, this new movement became known as “neo-evangelicalism” emphasizing gospel proclamation and setting the stage for prominent pastors, teachers, and evangelists like Billy Graham and John Stott. It was in this period of time that neo-evangelicalism became the most widely accepted and predominant voice of the conservative Christian movement broadly known as “evangelicalism.”

Perhaps beginning with the Reagan presidency, the term began to take on an additional meaning. Rooted in the neo-evangelical ethos, Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority rose as a prominent “evangelical” political voice in the United States. Since that time, the term applied as much to a theological system as a political one. Unfortunately, the media and American culture grasped ahold of the now politically defined “evangelical” and turned it into something it was never intended to be, a sort of pseudo-evangelical. This pseudo-evangelicalism is a socially conservative voting block of people who are mostly white and lean to the right on the political spectrum. They identify as pro-life, pro-guns, and pro-Republican.

This shift in meaning has caused some, ourselves included, to question the value of the term “evangelical” as a moniker for those of us who are passionate for the proclamation of the gospel around the world (Matt 24:14). Furthermore, as the American culture at large and the media continue to propagate their definition of a pseudo-evangelical, the unintended consequence has increased divisions among Christians not only in the United States, but around the world as more people identify as evangelical outside of our country than inside it. The negative impact of pseudo-evangelicalism was recently highlighted at a meeting of evangelical, Coptic, and Orthodox Christians in Egypt as a Palestinian evangelical shared about the persecution she is suffering due to America’s pseudo-evangelicals.

If God is most glorified when more people are worshipping Him (Rev 5:9), how does our political divisiveness help?

We believe there is a first order issue that stands as an elephant in the room, yet it is not being addressed. Perhaps it is a frightening proposition to consider. It certainly will make many Christians uncomfortable no matter if they are evangelical, neo-evangelical, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, or Coptic. In our view, that first order issue is this: Is God being glorified through the events transpiring among Christians in the United States? If God is most glorified when more people are worshipping Him (Rev 5:9), how does our political divisiveness help? We all need to ask ourselves this question on a personal level. In the midst of the division and the vitriolic attacks on brothers and sisters who claim belief in Jesus Christ, how are we glorifying God in our political statements? After all, glorifying God is the chief end of humanity.

We are entering the next four days of the Christmas season as an evangelicalism that has lost its compass. Perhaps it is the end of evangelicalism as we know it. Instead of the angelic proclamation that was first heard by the shepherds in the field, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11), we have become content in declaring an euaggelion of political preference; something foreign to Jesus and the angelic announcement. Shame on us.

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Ep. 29: The State of the Church in America, Part 2

The People of a Movement

The Good News of a Movement

Learn More about Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement

Ep. 31: Unwrapping the First Christmas

Have you ever wondered about the origins of Christmas and the traditions celebrated in Western cultures? Join our podcasters as they talk about the new book, Unwrapping the First Christmas, and begin to peel back the layers of traditions that have come to define the Western celebrations of Christmas.

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Ep. 30: Jesus is King

Kanye West’s release of his latest album, Jesus is King, has grabbed the attention of Christians and critics. Join our podcasters with special guest Arman Sheffey as they discuss the album and the Sunday Service.


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Ep 29: The State of the Church in America – Part 2

Are buildings, butts in seats, and bucks the measure of success for the church today? What about transformation of lives resulting in cultural impact? Join us as we continue our conversation on the state of the church in America. Keelan Cook joins our podcast to help us think through the shift needed for gospel impact.


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Ep 28: Maturing Disciples in a Movement, Part 1

Defining “disciple” and “discipleship” presents interesting issues in contemporary Christianity. Join our podcasters as they look at the New Testament understanding of what it means to be a disciple. Their study of the early Christian movements highlights several key characteristics for what it means to be a follower of Christ.


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Ep 27: Leading a Movement, Part 2

The growth of the church will rise and fall on leadership and having the right team will position the church for continued growth. Join us in the riveting episode when our podcasters unpack the roles of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherd-teachers. Leadership in the church in Ephesus adopted forms from the culture that contributed to the ongoing growth of the church throughout Asia Minor.


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Ep 26: Leading a Movement, Part 1

Join us for our next episode where we introduce the first of a multi-part series on leadership. Our podcasters are wrestling with the type of leadership that propelled the church on God’s mission of more people following Jesus. In this episode, we begin to look at Paul’s leadership. Was he a strategist? A lone ranger? Super spiritual charismatic leader? Be sure to join us.

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Ep 25: The State of the Church in America

What is the state of the church in America? Join our podcasters as they reflect on their participation at a recent Church Planting think tank held at Wheaton College with the Send Institute. In spite of the decline of the church in the US, there is hope for a future movement of multiplying disciples.

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Ep 24: More on CPM

We so thoroughly enjoyed our interview with Dave in our last episode that we had to continue talking about issues he is helping us wrestle through. Join us for a continued discussion on strategies, Paul, and church planting movements.

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Ep 23: Interview with Dave

We are excited to have Dave as our guest on this week’s podcast. As a cross-cultural worker in Chad, Dave brings some perspective that will help the Western church think about what it means to sacrifice in the midst of challenging ministry situations.

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Ep 22: Is CPM a Strategy?

For decades, church planting has been touted as one of the most effective strategies to reach the lost. However, our podcasters are asking, “Is CPM a strategy or a result?” Join us as we search for the biblical command to church plant and re-orient our focus on Jesus as the head of the church.


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Ep 21: The Movement and Ethnic Diversity, Part 2

The early Christian movement was uniquely diverse, but not without its problems. Join our podcasters and special guest Pastor Devlin Scott as they unpack Ephesians 2 and its implication for ministry today.

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Ep 20: The Movement and Ethnic Diversity

The early Christian movement was uniquely diverse, but not without its problems. Join our podcasters and special guest Pastor Devlin Scott as they unpack Ephesians 2 and its implication for ministry today.

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Ep 19: God’s Will

What is God’s will? In this episode, our podcasters attempt to tackle one of the most important questions in the Christian life. Join them as they look at Ephesians chapter 1 and discuss this essential question.

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Ep 14: Summer Break

It is hard to believe that we have recorded 13 episodes. We trust that you have enjoyed our banter as we study the New Testament movement in Ephesus. As we head into the summer, our podcasters are going to take a much needed break. So, this is a great time to catch up on earlier podcasts you have missed. We look forward to being back in front of the mics in August.

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Ep 13: Missiological Theism

Who is God? Join our podcasters as they discuss God’s missionary nature and how He relentlessly pursues a relationship with people. This compelling view of God, a view that is theocentric as it understands that God is glorified most when more people worship him, is what our podcasters are calling “missiological theism.”

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