Category: Personal Vision

2_11: Jay Cull: Disciples are made through personal calling not church programming.

2_11: Jay Cull: Disciples are made through personal calling not church programming.

Breakthrough ideas with Jay: 

  • What does it look like to move from being a “church for the unchurched” to being a “church among the unchurched?”
  • How do we activate and motivate people where they live, work, and study and play to carry their faith beyond the church into neighborhoods and workplaces?
  • What does a shift from attractional to incarnational ministry look like?
  • We’ve been trying to answer the question in our services for a long time, “Is God relevant?” Now, we’re saying, “How can we help folks encounter God in our midst and carry that everywhere we go?”
  • So we’re not asking the question, “Is God relevant?” We’re asking the question, “Is God here?”
  • How can we encounter God in that space in our public gathering?”
  • To encounter God, those that lead and prepare all week or all month for that service have encounters with God, so it becomes an overflow expression.
  • “Hey, what if we relied on prayer first?” It was the tip of the mission.
  • But 30 minutes before service, we’ll gather and ask, “What do we sense God saying? What are the micro shifts for the day?”
  • If you are not well-prepared, you would not be able to receive the last minute micro-shifts from God.
  • When it comes to planning, if you don’t have something to deviate from, then everything’s a deviation and exhausting.
  • What happens when God’s presence is very tangible, palpable, and folks are finding freedom?
  • We realized that we are not used to experiencing the presence of God in such a tangible way in our services.
  • We’re doing the work to encounter God personally, and it’s spilling over into our services.
  • We’re trying to build this relational connection, not just with each other, but with the God that we’re serving.
  • We’ve been hardwired to be good at this connecting with God and people and doing it all simultaneously.
  • Praying is leadership. What if we prayed as if it’s our only resource?
  • We’re a well-resourced church in an upper class– we’ve got plenty of ideas. But let’s pray as if it’s our only resource
  • What we’ve tried to do is not just talk about it, but from the platform, help folks engage in a prayer practice.
  • We’ve begun to use the stage as a place of equipping.
  • When I’m talking to God, where can I go in my imagination? I mean, what does it look like?
  • We are deploying people from the room on Sunday to go and live their faith the other six days of the week in the different venues God has placed them.
  • We’ve elevated the stage to place people in spectator mode with their faith.
  • How do we change the stage from a place to watch, into a place of encounter? We facilitate a meeting that they can carry with them.
  • It has been amazing to help everyone get personal clarity.
  • The church is here to help accomplish what God wants to do in your life.
  • In the Younique process, we are helping the individual say, “Hey, how do I be a disciple that makes disciples different than the person next to me?”
  • How do we have a person who knows how to help many folks reproduce so we can have an exponential movement?
  • I want to activate healthy, Spirit-led reproductive leaders that lead communities that change communities. That’s what I want to get after.
  • Are we deploying people into their calling through this Younique process by helping them find their two words and attributing all the rest of the clarity to that?
  • We’ve taught people how to coach and disciple others. Younique happens to be a great process, a context to help folks become trainers.
  • In 30 seconds, what if I could get to the heart of what’s going on with my neighbor? And not because they have the same language, but because I understand how to get to their core.
  • Be a person of the Scriptures. Don’t just master them, let them master you.
  • Be a person of prayer. Learn how to have a conversation with God until just it’s normal.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

Heartland Community Church

Fathered by God by John Eldredge

Younique: Designing the Life that God Dreamed for You by Will Mancini

Jay Cull leads as Pastor of NextGen/Missions at Heartland Community Church just outside of Kansas City, Kansas. His life calling is coaching leaders in toward breakthrough clarity to lead communities that change communities. Jay’s a former church planter, businessman turned pastor, coach and consultant.  He enjoys the outdoors, especially biking, hiking, and skiing, with his family – wife of 24 years and three adventurous children.

2_09: Bob Adams – A masterclass on reading for a new decade of church leadership

2_09: Bob Adams – A masterclass on reading for a new decade of church leadership

Breakthrough ideas with Bob: 

  • Reading becomes caught more than taught, a practice handed down generation to generation.
  • Reading will help you learn critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are an essential part of leadership.
  • Then a seminary professor, Al Mohler, always talked about critical thinking and reading in leadership terms.
  • Leadership, at its very core it about critical thinking… reading, whether it’s from books or magazines, even online browsing, it is going to be the foundation of critical thinking.
  • Why reading is so essential in the life of a church leader
  • An expert on reading books and helping others read books well.
  • Pastors have big libraries. But I would venture to say their libraries are full of books they haven’t read or haven’t read cover to cover.
  • The original idea of SUMS was to produce a book summary that was a summary. We do author-based permission about 2,000, 2,500 words.
  • Book reading happens in one of four ways: elementary, inspectional, analytical, or syntopical.
  • Elementary reading is reading for what the book says. You’re not getting very deep into it. It is what it is.
  • Elementary reading forms the fundamental level of reading.
  • Inspectional reading is reading by answering the question, “What is the book about?”
  • Inspectional reading seeks to understand more about what’s behind the whole theme or concept.
  • Analytical reading is reading by answering the question, “What does the book mean?”
  • Analytical reading always involves asking questions and taking notes.
  • In analytical reading, you’re having a conversation with the author.
  • Analytical reading usually happens in the kind of books that you come back to again and again over the years.
  • Syntopical reading is reading that examines how a particular book compares with other books about the same topic?
  • Everyone must make time to read.
  • Reading is a deliberate practice.
  • If you want to learn to read, you’ve got to stop doing something else.
  • You have to make a deliberate practice of reading every day, preferably on your calendar.
  • Make a deliberate practice to stop doing something so you can start reading.
  • If you’re doing things to increase your leadership capacity, you’re probably going to be doing analytical reading.
  • Michael Hyatt created a reading journal for individual books where he takes a one or two page summary of the book.
  • Leaders should read fiction books because they allow exploration of other worlds one would ordinarily go.
  • There are books, there are good books, and there are great books.
  • The benefit of reading #1 – Reading builds a connection between your brain synapses.
  • The benefit of reading #2 – Reading reduces stress by being a mental pressure relief valve.
  • The benefit of reading #3 – Reading increases knowledge at all levels.
  • The benefit of reading #4 – Reading expands your vocabulary.
  • The benefit of reading #5 – Reading makes you a better writer.
  • The benefit of reading #6 – Reading supports the skills to be an analytical thinker.
  • The benefit of reading #7 – Reading builds focus.
  • Some studies indicate that reading 10 to 30 minutes in the morning before you begin your regular workday brings better focus.
  • The benefit of reading #8 – Reading makes you a better speaker
  • The benefit of reading #9 – Reading stimulates your mind.
  • The benefit of reading #10 – Reading doesn’t have to cost you anything.
  • The goal a reader seeks, be it information, entertainment, or understanding, determines the way he reads.
  • A good book is one thing, but a great book begs engagement again and again.
  • The people that you’re working with are more important than any process or project or whatever you think you’re trying to do.
  • You can borrow the book, but you get to keep the ideas.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler

Bob’s writing at

Bob’s writing at

SUMS Remix by Auxano 

Sums Remix Bookshelves

Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church by Reggie McNeal

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Guest Experience Boot Camp

Michael Hyatt’s Book InSIGHTS reading journal

Bob is passionate about helping church leaders understand the importance of the guest experience in their church. For over 36 years, he has served the church in various capacities, working with hundreds of churches in developing a guest experience ministry. Bob has a unique ability to translate the corporate world of customer service to an amazing guest experience for the church. Bob facilitates a network of Connection Pastors and Guest Experience Directors from churches across the country.

Bob also serves as Auxano’s Vision Room Curator and Digital Engagement Leader. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University, a Master of Religious Education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and post-graduate work in Church Business Administration from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Bob lives in Huntersville, NC, with his wife, Anita. Their immediate family includes four adult children, three daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and four grandchildren.

2_07: Cory Hartman – Stop wasting words convincing people to show up

2_07: Cory Hartman – Stop wasting words convincing people to show up

Breakthrough ideas with Cory:

  • How can you use the written word to extend your reach?
  • Is there a way to leverage your weekly content to make disciples?
  • What are the best possible ways to shape and leverage your content for disciple-making outside of your Sunday service?
  • The church is a content factory every week, creating a ton of content, yet we’re not taking advantage of it outside of the sermonic moment.
  • Are you maximizing the channels to communicate the gospel?
  • The one who works longest is the one who is most devoted to the ministry of the word, right? Maybe not.
  • How do we give gospel-shaped answers to the questions that people are actually asking?
  • There seems to be a divide in the philosophy of preaching with felt need, seeker-sensitive on the one side, and expositional verse-by-verse gospel-centered on the other side. I don’t see why those are two sides.
  • The questions that people are asking, they have deeper questions in life. We’re all walking around with the more profound questions in life.
  • What does it mean to have a gospel-centered, gospel-shaped Biblical answer to the question is my boyfriend cheating on me, and how do I know?
  • When we can speak to a surface-level tension, there’s an avenue to this more significant, kind of gospel-centered question.
  • When you look at the messages that you send: your bulletin or worship guide, look at your website, look at your social media feed, and look at all the different ways that you’re communicating to other people. The call to action is to show up.
  • Show up to Sunday morning worship, show up to the small group, show up to vision night, show up to community outreach, show up to youth group, show up to whatever.
  • Did Jesus tell us, “Go ye into all the world and tell people to show up?”
  • Jesus did not say: “Guys, whatever you do, as the father has sent me, so I am sending you to get people to show up, you have to get people to show up.”
  • When the vast bulk of our content is telling people to show up, what are we communicating there?
  • Is our primary message akin to what the Lord told us that our central message was supposed to be?
  • How are we sending a “grow up” message to people in their personal and spiritual growth according to the Good News that the Lord has given us?
  • Communicate opportunities to grow up into something as much as you communicate opportunities to show up for something.
  • You don’t have to wait for Sunday or wait for the right Sunday. You don’t have to wait for that to try out the Christian life. Just try it.
  • We can talk to the skeptical person; we can speak to the secular person, we can talk to the person who’s disaffected from church and say, “Before you even come to church, try this Jesus thing. Just take this one teaching of his and put it into practice in your life this week and see what happens.”
  • People are showing up to church less, but they still maintain the same level of perceived connectedness.
  • They still call it “my church” even though versus ten years ago, attendance rates are down. And in some cases, giving is remaining the same, which is fogging the lens on what’s happening.
  • It is more biblical to say a disciple is someone who shows up. So rather than put the attendance ahead of discipleship, we need to put discipleship forward of presence.
  • How is the church going to make disciples in the networks of people’s relationships beyond the four walls?
  • Social media is one of those networks, one of those networks that our people are in, apart from the four walls of the church, that sharing the gospel should take place.
  • If we’re diligent about posting helpful enough content, maybe we are equipping our people to share with the people around them that are hurting and struggling and have questions.
  • Facebook could be the new Monday night visitation.
  • Well-designed, well-curated content shared appropriately could be that next Monday night visitation or Chick Tract with the four spiritual laws.
  • Evangelism, even if it was a little bit of a scary word, was a word in the lexicon of our church ten years ago. Not any more.
  • Not being equipped makes it difficult for people to share the gospel.
  • There’s so much baggage with the word evangelical. It’s a political party now, not a posture of believers in kind of an overflow of their life.
  • Instead of talking about how social media channels weaken our faith and weaken the connection between people and are a stumbling block, what if this could be a strength in this new evangelical age?
  • Does anybody read blog posts anymore? I think the answer is yes.
  • We’ve been sitting with the internet for a generation, still trying to figure out how to best tailor the content as the Church.
  • One of the things that the church has missed along the way is the relationship between what happens online and what happens offline.
  • The written word is valuable in part because it is so snackable and so skimmable.
  • Your first few years in ministry are primarily about growing you into the kind of branch that will produce fruit someday.
  • In God’s plan, the next long season of your life is not mainly about how he’s going to use you to help people become like Christ, but mostly about how he’s going to use people to help you become like Christ.
  • Try to relax, and don’t be afraid to relax a little that if you relax a little, you’re going to relax too much, because you’re not capable of relaxing too much.
  • Your church would be happy to keep you forever, but they deserve better than a pastor who is continually thinking about the next thing.
  • The choice that we make at that moment, whether to leap or not leap, itself has no bearing whatsoever on whether God loves us or not.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

Fulcrum Content

From Show Up to Grow Up by Cory Hartman

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer

Younique: Designing the Life God Dreamed for You by Will Mancini

Cory Hartman is the founder and principal writer at Fulcrum Content, the company he launched to equip churches for disciple-making and help leaders extend their reach with the written word. At Fulcrum, Cory serves as a collaborative author for thought-leaders, provides editing and self-publishing assistance, writes original online pieces, adapts audio and video content into engaging articles, writes marketing copy, and crafts custom-built discipleship material. Cory served as a pastor for 13 years in churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He earned a doctor of ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a thesis on 19th-century educator, revivalist, publisher, and abolitionist Mansfield French. Cory previously earned an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell in urban ministry and a BA from Taylor University in biblical literature. Cory’s letters have appeared in such publications as the Boston Globe and the Newark Star-Ledger, the latter winning the paper’s Silver Pen Award. He is the author of From “Show Up to Grow Up”: How to Make Top Content That Makes Real Disciples and On Freedom and Destiny: How God’s Will and Yours Intersect. A native of central New York State, Cory’s family roots are in central Pennsylvania, where he now lives with his wife Kelly and their four children.

2_04: Todd Wilson – Church Multiplication & Your Sweet Spot Calling

2_04: Todd Wilson – Church Multiplication & Your Sweet Spot Calling

Breakthrough ideas with Todd: 

  • What’s the difference between a church plant and a church that’s planted to be a church-planting church?
  • Imagine if somebody offered you a job where you’re 100% in your sweet spot
  • What does it mean to work 100% of my time in your sweet spot?
  • God made the world with sweet spots. They’re everywhere. You can’t go anywhere without them. What would it even mean to be in the sweet spot of calling?
  • What are the common elements of all sweet spots?
  • Every sweet spot God created has three common things. There is a design, there’s a purpose, and there’s a position.
  • Who am I created to be? That’s a design question.
  • What am I made to do? That’s a purpose question.
  • Where am I supposed to do it? That’s a position question.
  • If you can answer the position, design and purpose questions in an integrated way, you’ve found your sweet spot of calling.
  • You’ve got a ministry job, but do you have a vocational calling?
  • Over 90% of people in vocational ministry don’t know what their calling is.
  • We start conditioning our kids from the time they’re born, to focus on doing. Not on being. We skip the being.
  • People have spent their whole life on the doing and the going part, and not focused on the being part. And all of a sudden, they’re realizing, “I don’t really know who I am.”
  • And we have to treat ourselves kind of in a mystery. We’ve got to be the investigator. Our life is the laboratory that we’re investigating.
  • What we’ve got to do is go back to looking more at the ingredients that God has built into our DNA. Rather than just assuming the way that our family, our culture, our journey, our school, our church has put those ingredients together for us and kind of mandated the packaging,
  • The question is, are we going to look at it in a fresh way and discover what is there and how the integration of those things bring us to life?
  • What would you need to be doing that you’d want to spend the rest of your life doing it?
  • Does your church even want to multiply what you’re producing?
  • We are all called to be disciples who make disciples wherever we are.
  • If you feel called to go half-way around the world to dig water wells somewhere you still have to not lose sight of the primary reason you’re there is to be a disciple who makes disciples.
  • The core purpose of the church is disciple-making.
  • The truth in the American church at this point is we have embraced a programmatic approach to accumulating cultural Christians.
  • We are ignoring the primary calling in our churches of biblical disciple-making Jesus’ way opting instead for a programmatic accumulation that relies on our secondary callings.
  • Jesus gave us a model for three years with 12 leaders. The way He’s changing the world is through one on one disciple-making or small group disciple-making relationally.
  • Right now the average nominal operating system in the US church how do we add disciples? We add them programmatically.
  • We can’t get where we need to be on our mission to see church multiplication happening if the church doesn’t get back the Jesus-style or relational disciple-making as the core thing in the church.
  • Jesus could have chosen for three years to go and do big stadium revival events and drawn the most people in the world to do preaching and He could have added people that way. But he didn’t.
  • But what Jesus did was give us a model of reproduction. A disciple who makes a disciple who makes a disciple who makes a disciple.
  • What program in the history of the world has ever reproduced itself on its own? Programs do not reproduce.
  • When you have a programmatic form of addition you will always hit the next plateau.
  • Programs will always hit a plateau and you’ve got to figure out a programmatic strategy to break the programmatic barrier.
  • Multiplication is not something you do immediately. It is the outcome of reproduction four generations in the future.
  • 93% of US churches are not reproducing. Only 7% are.
  • What would the impact to the human population be if 93% of adults didn’t have kids? Because we only have 7% of churches reproducing right now.
  • 75% of the church plants that are being planted are not turning around and planting more churches.
  • Only one in four church plants is planting churches.
  • We have a double problem right now that’s keeping us from multiplication We don’t have enough churches that are reproducing and the kids that we are reproducing are cutting off the reproduction the first generation.
  • Churches have to wrestle through their paradigm of success. We have embedded so deeply in the operating system of the church a formula for success which is rooted in the wrong kind of addition
  • This journey of calling, I think it is so important for leaders of all ages to see themselves as the mystery investigator with a mystery to be untapped.
  • Your calling is something that’s a life-long discernment, you don’t all of a sudden arrive and have it perfectly, but every day, you got to
  • Who doesn’t want to live 100% of the time in their sweet spot, so what is your sweet spot?

Breakthrough resources in this episode:


The Church Multiplication Challenge

More by Todd Wilson

Outreach Magazine’s Reproducing 100 List

The Five Most Important Questions an Organization Will Ever Ask by Peter Drucker

Todd Wilson is the founder and CEO of Exponential (, a national non-profit ministry whose core focus is distributing thought leadership through conferences, books, podcasts, software, and small group learning communities. Todd is also the co-founder of, Passion for Planting (, Made for More, and the Multipliers Project.

Todd received his B.S. in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree equivalent from the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. He spent 15 years serving in the Division of Naval Reactors on nuclear submarine design, operation, maintenance, and overhaul. After a two-year wrestling match with God, Todd entered full‐time vocational ministry as the Executive Pastor at New Life Christian Church where he played a visionary and strategic role for several years as New Life grew and implemented key initiatives such as multisite, externally focused, and church planting.

Todd’s passion for starting healthy new churches continues to increase, and he now spends most of his energy engaged in a wide range of leading edge and pioneering initiatives aimed at helping catalyze movements of healthy, reproducing churches.

Todd lives in Manassas, Virginia, with his wife Anna. They have two grown boys, Ben and Chris, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws, Therese and Mariah.

2_03: Daniel Im – Should You Stay or Should You Go?

2_03: Daniel Im – Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Breakthrough ideas with Daniel: 

  • What does it look like to live your life with our hands wide open saying, “Lord, here we are?”
  • Every leader, every pastor, goes through those seasons where restlessness clouds every conversation. What do you do?
  • A lot of leaders that come to those seasons of the restlessness, but how do we know if it’s really time to take the next step?
  • Does unsettledness come as a result of prayer and scripture? Or should unsettledness drive you to deeper times of prayer and time in the Word?
  • It is less critical where your feet are and more important as to where your heart is.
  • It doesn’t matter if we stay, and it doesn’t matter if we go, because we know that we are in God’s hands and that He is a good Father.
  • What would it look like to submit to the Lord rather than trying to lead our lives on our own?
  • Bigger and better opportunities aren’t necessarily always from God.
  • Sometimes God calls us to minister in obscurity for however long He wants, and sometimes He brings us out of that obscurity
  • Regardless of the attendance barrier that you want to grow or breakthrough, you need to move from doing to equipping.
  • You need to move from being a learner to a leader to a multiplier regardless of what barrier you want to breakthrough
  • The tendency that we have in the West is to copy and to model our ministries off of others rather than looking in the mirror and saying, “Okay. Who do we have here?”
  • Every church is unique. So what does it look like to look at yourself in the mirror, to look at your church in the mirror?
  • Church culture is simply the result of consistent decision-making around shared convictions.
  • It’s one thing for the pastor to have values. It’s another thing for those values to be shared within the organization and for us to make consistent decisions around them.
  • Discipleship is not “Here’s another program,” or, “Here is another study.”
  • How are you moving your entire church toward making disciples that make disciples that make disciples?
  • There are a lot of books written that call churches to mimic “Here’s what we do at our church. Just do this.”
  • What are the micro-shifts that will lead to a macro-change?
  • Close to 40% of America is a part of the gig economy, changing the way that we look at work, life, and love.
  • “You are what you experience” is a lie that’s risen to the surface because of Instagram and because of our culture.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

The Pastor by Eugene Peterson

No Silver Bullets by Daniel Im  

You Are What You Do by Daniel Im  

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton

Daniel Im is the Senior Associate Pastor of Beulah Alliance Church. His latest book is You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies about Work, Life, and Love. He is also the author of No Silver Bullets and co-author of Planting Missional Churches. He co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, as well as the IMbetween Podcast. Daniel and his wife, Christina, live in Edmonton, Alberta with their three children. For more information, visit and follow him on social media @danielsangi.

13: Kelly Kannwischer – Younique

13: Kelly Kannwischer – Younique

Breakthrough ideas with Kelly:

  • Building a strong leadership culture brings out the best in all of your leaders.
  • Churches are generally great at helping people live out their general calling, but it takes high intentionally to grow people within their special calling.
  • What is God’s calling for you, in this life stage, at your location, with your circumstances and your specific gifts and talents?
  • There are only two questions a church should ask: What is our process for making disciples? Is it working?
  • How does your church help every member understand and live out their unique identity?
  • There is a distinction between a person’s calling and their vocation.
  • The church can unintentionally place volunteers into roles that affect the joy of living in their calling
  • Churches have an opportunity to shift the leadership culture from “What do we want from people?” to identifying and releasing people to live into their call.
  • How can the church be viewed as a place where strength, skill, and expertise help it become a disciple-making training ground for everyday life?
  • The church can and should be the training ground for gospel-centered life design.
  • What if your church had the reputation of developing called people to such a degree that marketplace leaders look there first for new employers?
  • What is gospel-centered life design? What does that look like in the church?
  • If we are going to ask questions about our identity, we must ask them in the context of our creator and His unique design for us.
  • Our calling is revealed over a lifetime when we see God’s shaping of our life as discipleship.
  • Learning how to listen as leaders is often more important than learning how to speak.
  • You can make better decisions by asking questions out of security and peace.
  • Questions from your other leaders are not necessarily those people questioning you.
  • Strength and vulnerability are twin ideas, not opposites.
  • Productivity looks different in different seasons of life. Sometimes just getting the chores done is the highest form of accomplishment.
  • Success should be measured less in how much money you make and more in how you live out your unique life call.
  • When people get an insight into the power of their call and begin to live in it, they have an even greater idea into the calling of the church.
  • How can personal clarity within your congregation engage the organizational clarity of your church?
  • When the people receive the gift of calling, it makes it easier to obtain and engage the leadership pipeline of the church.
  • Take the long view, there should be a sense of urgency in your work, but urgency shouldn’t lead to panic in the system.
  • God wants you to be a whole healthy person, as much as He wants you to be a productive, intentional leader.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

Peachtree Church Atlanta

Vanguard University


Link to Younique Preview

Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner

Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

Kelly Kannwischer has spent her vocational life as a not-for-profit executive, consultant, and development professional. Before becoming the CEO of Younique, Kelly founded OptUp Consulting, served THINK Together as the Chief Engagement Officer, and led Vanguard University as a Vice President and President of the Vanguard University Foundation. Kelly graduated from the University of Virginia and earned her Masters degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is married to Rev. Dr. Richard Kannwischer and is the proud mother of two teenage girls.