As I reflected on the top 5 most downloaded episodes of The Unstuck Church Podcast this year, I wasn’t entirely surprised by which ones made the list. As we began to settle into the “new normal” in 2021, church leaders needed to shift their focus to both re-engagement and outreach. In these episodes, I notice themes of reaching outwards, focusing back on the mission, and breaking down any barriers to people hearing the Good News—and I’m encouraged by that. I hope that churches will continue to lean into that even further in 2022.
So, before we push forward into the new year, here are our top 5 most downloaded episodes from 2021:
We know the Church is called to unity, but it feels like we’re more divided than ever. Church leaders are caught in the middle as political and cultural issues fracture congregations, families, and relationships. In this episode, I sat down with Andy Stanley to discuss the unique challenges churches are facing today and how as church leaders can begin to bridge the gap of disunity:
- What is unique about this cultural moment
- When our people choose politics over the mission
- How we can experience unity when there’s so much division in our world
- How churches can begin to break through the noise of social media and news
People were coming back to worship services, but they weren’t coming back to serving. In this episode, Amy and I interviewed lead pastor John Kenney and executive pastor Sarah McDonald from Quest Church near Augusta, GA. They shared their church’s story about trying to re-engage people in serving, and Amy and I unpack some best practices you can apply in your ministry context:
- What worked (and didn’t) for Quest Church to get people plugged into serving roles
- The approach they took that led to their highest-ever response rate for new kids ministry volunteers
- Some best practices you can take away from their experience
- One next step EVERY church should consider
People went “church shopping.” Staff turnover got out of control. Children’s and student ministry lost all momentum. In this episode, I sat down with church leaders from across the U.S. and Canada to discuss the successes and challenges their churches experienced as they began to reopen and re-engage in 2021:
- Re-gaining momentum around your weekend services
- Engaging your people in small groups and serving
- Navigating political and cultural division
- Protecting the health of your soul in this season
How do you mobilize your church to develop meaningful relationships with people outside the church and outside the faith? In this episode, I interviewed Dave Ferguson to talk through practical strategies for blessing and reaching our neighbors:
- 5 practical ways to bless your neighbors and reach people outside the faith
- The why behind B.L.E.S.S. and how it can change your church culture
- How to lead well and mobilize your church to practice B.L.E.S.S.
Most churches start with the same mission: reach new people for Jesus. But as “new people” become “church people,” the voices on the inside of the church become louder. In this episode, I sat down with Michael Moore, Executive Pastor at Faith Chapel, to discuss the ways his church has fought to overcome this internal-focus tendency, and how other church leaders can do the same:
- The 5 common core issues stuck churches face
- Faith Chapel’s method for encouraging outreach
- The importance of “double-barrel” preaching
- 4 key takeaways for maintaining an external-focus
We’re excited to continue into the new year with brand new podcast content to help church leaders like you get unstuck. And if there are specific topics you’d like us to cover on our podcast, let us know!
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