LEAD Pods are the official USMB podcast devoted to leadership development and spiritual growth for Mennonite Brethren churches. This is MBs sharing ideas with other MBs, and hopefully beyond. ‘It’s the best of us to the rest of us.’

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify or click the blue icon to the left of each episode.

Video versions of some podcasts are available on our YouTube channel.

EP. 103 – Passing the Baton & Looking Ahead (Don Morris)

MAY 09, 2024

Don Morris has served in MB leadership for decades, most recently as USMB national director. As he prepares for retirement, this week we look back on Don's career as he reflects on the joys and challenges facing our denomination. Much has changed in church leadership and in American culture, but our MB family of churches has also grown and expanded so much with guidance from Don's leadership.

In this episode, Don shares some encouragement for those of us leading congregations today, thoughts on how to transition out of leadership well, and what excites him most as we look forward to the future of USMB.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 102 – Compiling, Writing, and Sharing Your Generational Story (Elaine McAllister)

APR 25, 2024

You likely know the names and some details about your grandparents, but can you list all eight of your great-grandparents? Most Americans can't, and although we may not have had very close relationships to them, there is a lot of value in "generational storytelling" where we can learn from our family history and be proud of where we came from.

On this episode, we talk with author Elaine McAllister. She is an accomplished author of seven published books, and she is passionate about helping others record their family histories through writing, photos, and preserving heirlooms and documents. Today Elaine shares how (and why) we can research our ancestors, what "sentimental trash" we should hang on to, and how to pass on meaningful stories to future generations.

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EP. 101 – Why YOU Should Attend Convention This Summer (Kelsey Ensz & Daniel Rodriguez)

APR 11, 2024

As we inch closer to summertime, we're also preparing for our biennial USMB pastors' conference and national convention coming to Omaha this July. On this episode we're joined by Kelsey Ensz and Daniel Rodriguez who both serve on the planning committee for the convention. They both share stories of how past conventions have been helpful to their ministries and provide some details of why YOU should consider joining us this year.

To learn more or sign up, visit usmb.org/usmb-gathering-2024.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 100 – Looking Back & Looking Ahead! (USMB Staff)

MAR 28, 2024

We made it to 100 episodes! Wahoo! Thank you for listening over the past four years.

Today Matt talks with the entire USMB staff as we look back and reflect on our favorite episodes, go through some fun trivia, and share details about a $100 prize giveaway for the listeners. The USMB staff also shares a bit about their hearts behind the ministry, and we look ahead to what the next 100 episodes may look like for the podcast.

Thanks for listening with us, and be sure to follow us on social media.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 099 – The How, Why, and "What's Next" of USMB Church Planting (Scott Thomas)

MAR 14, 2024

This week Matt talks with Scott Thomas, the new interim USMB Church Planting Mobilizer. Scott shares his extensive experience in church planting, having been involved with literally hundreds of church plants across the U.S. during his time with Acts 29 and serving as a lead pastor for 17 years. Scott passionately discusses the importance of continually planting new churches and why it's a crucial strategy for both spreading the gospel AND revitalizing existing churches.

Scott emphasizes that every USMB church, no matter its size or resources, can get involved in church planting efforts through prayer, finances, sending out members to plant, and more. With his decades of experience and wisdom, Scott casts a vision for the USMB conference to multiply disciple-making churches.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 098 – God Is Your Provider (Brian Kluth)

FEB 29, 2024

We all work hard for our paychecks, and sometimes it can feel like our income falls short of our financial needs--maybe especially for those of us employed by a local church. That may be true, but today our guest Brian Kluth has an important reminder to share.

God, not our day job, is our primary provider. Our salary is one way God provides, but it's not the only one. There are many ways God chooses to bless those who say yes to His calling on their lives, and it's up to us to trust Him to ultimately bring provisions.

Brian is far from a prosperity gospel teacher. Instead, his years of experience as a pastor, financial expert, and missionary provide story after story of how God has surpassed each of his needs. His teaching has helpful reminders for all of us, both for practical financial day-to-day decisions, as well as a God-centered mindset that reminds us where to place our trust.

Brian will be one of the featured speakers at our convention this summer, so get to know Brian now, and sign up to join us this July in Omaha!

MB Foundation is pleased to bring Brian to USMB Gathering 2024. Brian and MB Foundation will also provide an optional lunch event for pastors and spouses July 25.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 097 – Building Generosity Through Accountability (Gary Hoag)

FEB 15, 2024

Like it or not, most ministries require a budget. And even if they don't, Jesus was clear that His followers needed to have an appropriate and God-honoring view of money. As church leaders, how can we realistically encourage and grow our generosity? What steps can we take to earn our congregation's (and our community's) trust so they can be confident their offerings are used appropriately? How can we model generosity to our churches, and just how transparent do we need to be?

This week we're joined by the self-proclaimed "Generosity Monk," Dr. Gary Hoag. Gary is one of our featured speakers at our upcoming convention in July, and he has devoted his career to increasing generosity and teaching healthy giving practices to church leaders around the world. Today he shares practical advice and insightful wisdom that we would be wise to consider in our local churches.

MB Foundation has had a long relationship with Gary and is pleased to bring him to the USMB Pastors’ Gathering!

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 096 – Faithfully Different (Natasha Crain)

FEB 1, 2024

According to recent research, the number of Americans with a biblical worldview continues to decline. In our world where secular culture boosts the ideas of self-authority and subjective truth, how can believers stay anchored to Jesus and the Bible? How can we help our kids navigate this new world, and how can we guard ourselves against competing worldviews?

Natasha Crain is this week's guest, and her popular books, blogs, and podcasts are all about this topic. How can we wrestle with truth without losing our faith, and does Christianity really stand up to academic scrutiny? Natasha shares the latest stats and trends, and also encourages us to hold on to prayer and trust in God's supernatural work to lead and guide us in today's culture.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 095 – Marriage Matters (Nathan Ensz)

JAN 18, 2024

Many people would agree that our relationship with our spouse is among the most important things in life, likely second only to our relationship with Jesus. If the Church believes that, why aren't there more resources for marriage ministry in our local churches? What are some of the biggest issues facing couples today, and how can church leaders help build strong marriages that last?

Nathan Ensz is the lead pastor of Kingwood Bible Church in Salem, Oregon, and he has created a marriage retreat with sessions designed to strengthen and encourage the modern marriage relationship. In this episode, Nathan shares details about his teaching, but also has insight on how we as church leaders can talk about relationships in a way that doesn't exclude the singles in our churches.

Listen on Apple, Android, or Spotify

EP. 094 – FPU's Bridge to Ministry & Equipping Young Leaders (Quentin Kinnison & Darren Duerksen)

JAN 04, 2024

As we launch into a new year, we're continuing our theme from December of what our denomination can do to better prepare a new generation of leaders in our MB churches. This week, Dr. Quentin Kinnison and Dr. Darren Duerksen from Fresno Pacific University share details about their Bridge to Ministry Pathway that makes it easier for students to earn a master's degree in ministry.

Plus, Quentin and Darren share their desire to equip Gen Z and Millennials to lead and use their talents to serve the local church. Since they work with college students every day, they also share insight into Gen Z's motivations and goals and how church leaders may be able to utilize young leaders for a new season of ministry.

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