Pause Points (How to Listen to Podcasts)

imgres-1Listening to podcasts has become a norm for those who live and lead beyond the norm. And HOW you listen is almost as important as who you listen to. I will recommend a few to you, however,  this post will focus on how to get the most from your podcast listening.

I would submit that “The 3rd time’s the charm.” Now, you may be one of those rare people who can gather, process and apply information in one sitting. I can’t wait for your next podcast on how to accomplish this! For the rest of us, it takes repetition to really get into our DNA. Here’s what I suggest…

1 – Listen first just to gather. Don’t take notes. Don’t stop and rewind. Just take it in and gather the big picture. Trust your “gut” with what you really need to know.

2 –  Listen again to process. Hit the “pause” and take that note and the time to process the point that intrigued you the first time. I call these “pause points.” Call a trusted friend or team member and spend a little time discussing the pro’s and con’s and whether or not it could or should be an influence in your life.

3 – Listen one more time to apply. How will you apply those “pause points” to your life? Are you trying to apply too many? Did you miss something vital to making these practical? List 2 or 3 specific ways you can apply these points to your life. Again, process with a trusted friend or coach… someone who will keep you honest and hold you accountable for application.

Listening to podcasts is a must for the leader that wants to stay stretched and focused on living and leading healthy people and organizations. Don’t have time to listen to the same podcast three times? Consider that it might be more productive to listen to one three times than three separate with little life absorption let alone application. In other words, listen for depth, not for distance.

We are reminded in Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance…” So, here’s a short-list of challenging and inspiring podcasts I am listening to this month… (Michael Hyatt) (Various leader interviews)  (Andy Stanley) (Dan Miller) (Various expert presentations)

and blogs like (Ron Edmondson)

Listen well!

Break the Stalemate

images-7I recently met for our church’s Breakthrough Prayer Meeting. I was honored to share this time with Tom and Jan Cockerham. These two servant leaders have led faithfully in both pastoral and missions ministry for over 50 years. You can be sure of this… they are still leading.

Our focus was on 2 Corinthians 2:4, “For the weapons or our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds…”

We shared that this spiritual arsenal included God’s Word, prayer, praise, the Name of Jesus, etc. And all the above made more powerful when wielded in unity. However, what was so profound, even prophetic for me was Pastor Tom’s answer to the closing question, “What are the strongholds in the church today?”

His answer, “Traditions and cultural framework.” My response. I simply said, “Wow.” We spent a few minutes talking about just how many things we do in church that are mere traditions. To me this was made all the more telling because it came not from some young, trendy twenty or thirty-something upstart, but from a seasoned veteran of life and ministry. They are both well-versed in the traditions of the church but possess a passion for something more. Jan affirmed and brought application to our theology (as only a spirit-filled woman can) saying simply, “We need more of the Holy Spirit.” Again, “Wow… yes!” was about all I could come up with in the moment.

We began to pray together and in Pastor Tom’s prayer he shot a volley right to the heart of our cultural traditions in worship and ministry…. “Oh, Holy Spirit, break the stalemate in our churches that have come because of tradition. Teach us that there are new ways of doing things that may just be better than the old…” He went on to pray passionately for a church that was struggling and yes, even dying under the weight of over 100 years of tradition.

True, there is much that can be said about the pitfalls of trend. However, as we agreed in those moments, most of our churches are in no danger of being too “cutting edge” in reaching our culture, let alone getting ahead of the Holy Spirit.

Are you part of the stalemate that exists between tradition and the move of the Holy Spirit in today’s church? How can we purpose to break this stronghold and walk in step with the Spirit as we seek to reach our culture in the 21st century?

It’s your move.




imagesWe serve an eternally innovative God. His creativity knows no bounds and we are (by grace!) his highest form of creation. How is it that for far too many leaders and their organizations/ministries, innovation isn’t exactly a “household word?”

While there is certainly something to be said for having strong foundations and simple processes in key areas of leadership or ministry, how we go about them and the environments in which they are practiced could likely use some inspired change. Besides, young, old or somewhere in between… most people don’t want to live life bored and innately gravitate towards passionate creative people and experiences.

Check out the following organizations and ministries. While you may/may not agree with them in all ways, that misses the point. These ministries aren’t afraid to put the “new wine” into “new wineskins” when it comes to methodology and, whether they know it or not, are reflecting the infinite innovation of our great God…

Disney Institute Blog

Elevation Church


NewSpring Church

Life Church

Do you know of some innovative organizations and ministries? Let us know in a reply and share the wealth of creativity!