Category Archives: Interviews
My reading pile always has a leadership book or two. If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed that after you read a dozen or so of the most popular and respected books on leadership development, you start to see similar patterns and arguments. Many of the books sound alike. So whenever I pick up a book on leadership that says something unique, I stop skimming and start reading.
My copy of Jenni Catron’s book Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence (Thomas Nelson, 2014) is all marked up with sentences I’ve underlined and notes I’ve made in the margins. Jenni spent years in the Christian music business, she served alongside Pete Wilson at an influential Nashville church – Cross Point, and she is now on the leadership team at Menlo Park, where John Ortberg is pastor. Today, she joins me on the blog for a conversation about stewarding our gifts and influence for the good of God’s people.
Trevin Wax: You define “clout” as “the influence that God has given to you and to no one else.” Leadership impact is determined by how you manage this clout. Why is it important to know the particular ways God has gifted and called you?
Jenni Catron: I believe that God has designed each of us to impact the world in a way that no one else can. You have a specific purpose – a calling – that only you are qualified to fulfill. The unique combination of your gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities equips you to lead and influence those around you unlike anyone else.
I like …
Since 1997, Selah has been a mainstay in Christian music. The original trio was comprised of brother and sister Todd and Nicol Smith, and their friend Allan Hall. Nicol married and left the group in 2004, and Amy Perry joined a few years later.
The trio has sold more than 4 million albums and singles, and garnered seven Dove Awards. Despite their previous accomplishments, their most recent album, You Amaze Us, has achieved unprecedented success.
Recently, I sat down with Todd, Allan and Amy to ask them about their history, their songs, and why theology is such an important aspect of music.
Trevin: You’ve been together 17 years. What is the secret to longevity in the Christian music industry?
Allan: Every artist has a different story. For us, it comes back to our common heart and a common passion.
Amy: We get asked by other groups, “Do you guys fight a lot? Do you have trouble picking who sings what lead?” and we always say, “No.” In fact, we are so conscious of that kind of thing that we’ll say things like, “I feel like I’ve been singing a lot of leads lately, do you have enough?”
There’s still a brother-sister feel to this group, even though Nicol isn’t with the band anymore and I’m not actually the sister. We still have a unified heart as worshipers.
We know why we are called to do this. It’s ministry. We didn’t pick “You Amaze Us” because we thought it would be a number one hit. We picked it because it resonated with us and …
How the gospel helps us deal with parental abandonment and its aftermath.
Moody’s ministry and ecumenical partnerships laid the groundwork for the neo-evangelical movement led by Carl Henry, Billy Graham, and Harold Ockenga.
Many evangelicals probably think of Moody primarily as an evangelist. Kevin Belmonte shows how he was also an innovative educator.
Not all the pastors in Germany saluted Hitler. Here are the preachers who used their pulpits to challenge the reigning ideology of their day.
Spiritual disciplines are a lot like physical exercise. You know it’s important, but it’s not always easy to get excited about leg lifts and pushups. Watch someone who seems naturally drawn to various disciplines, and you can quickly get discouraged, as the subtle strain of legalism infects and paralyzes your efforts toward spiritual growth. It’s no wonder some throw up their hands and give up trying.
I hesitate to recommend a book on spiritual disciplines, simply because I know too many people who will consult a book like this and think that if they aren’t fervently and thoroughly practicing everything recommended here, they are behind the curve spiritually. I also harbor concerns that spiritual disciplines can turn us inward, make us become too introspective, and lead to a privatized piety that harms our mission.
But they don’t have to. That’s why, when I consider my own spiritual life, I can’t help but think about certain practices and disciplines that the Lord has used to shaped me over the years. It’s with that heart and mind that I approach this topic.
Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently revised his respected work - Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. I asked Dr. Whitney to respond to a few questions about his book and the formative power of spiritual disciplines. His website is BiblicalSpirituality.org.
Trevin: You write of spiritual disciplines as “the means to godliness” and point to biblical evidence and historical examples to make this case. Are you …
“From the beginning I knew that in terms of doing a bio-picture, I wanted to flip the model on it’s head, and make God the hero of story.”
A conversation about Barnabas Piper and the challenges pastors’ kids face.
While I love the South, I love it with eyes wide open.