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Lead Stories Podcast

Tales of Leadership and Life with Jo Saxton and Steph Williams
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Now displaying: 2016

Stories of leadership and life with Jo Saxton and Steph O'Brien

Dec 29, 2016

Steph's Favorite episode: Episode 36 - The Biggest Lies of Life on Mission

God is doing things all around us and is inviting us to be on mission with Him on a daily basis in our everyday lives. There are, however, many lies we believe which hold us back from joining Him.   Jo and Steph discuss 10 lies about life on mission: 1. It is going to take a lot of extra time (which I don’t have!) 2. A life on mission is somewhere else, preferably abroad. 3. You have to be a professional missionary to be sent on mission 4. You have to have a certain personality type - one that is fearless and chatty! 5. You have to have professional training to do mission - until then I can’t do mission. 6. Assumption that real mission will be the exact opposite of anywhere you want to go and anything you want to do. 7. It’s all about what you say. 8. It’s all about what you do. You don’t need to say anything. 9. You have to go it alone! 10. You have to do it for God.   Discussion questions:   1) Read John 5:19.  Where is God already working in the lives of people around you? In which contexts is God inviting you to be on mission with Him in your every day life? 2) Are you an introvert or extrovert? How can you do mission within your personality type? Where are the challenge to embrace? 3) Who are your team? Who is praying with you about your mission opportunities?

Dec 26, 2016

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com



Dec 19, 2016

In this episode Jo and Steph review Lead Stories season 1.

You may or may not hear them singing Mariah Carey as well as find out their favourite Christmas movies, favorite Lead Stories episodes this year and some ideas for Season 2.

Also if you haven’t joined the mailing list yet to get your free ‘hello - goodbye’ workbook, and to be one of the first to find out about the forthcoming Lead Stories community, then go quickly to www.leadstoriesmedia.com to sign up and check out the new website!

Discussion questions:

1. What was your favorite Lead Stories episode this year?

2. In what ways has Lead Stories helped you in your leadership this year?

3. What self-care ideas are you going to embrace over the holiday season?

Let Jo and Steph know the answers to those questions as well as any things you would like them to discuss next year or questions for them.  They are waiting to hear from you!

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Dec 12, 2016

The holidays are coming and that means we often have lots of opportunities to navigate conflict in testing times!

Jo and Steph share several practical ideas to empower us to manage tension, and to pursue healthy relationships with our loved ones.

 

In this episode they will discuss:

 

1) The importance of the preparation of prayer

2) Learning to listen well

3) How to ask good questions

4) Clarifying what you think you heard someone say

5) Taking a moment to pause before jumping into conversation

6) Managing areas where opinions are different in a positive way.

 

Discussion questions:

1) Which relationships do you particularly need to prepare for in prayer this season?

 

2) Where do you need to grieve and lament injustices and difficulties in your family relationships? Maybe take some time to write a lament that leads to praise.  Check out the Psalms to find some examples of laments.  

 

3) Are you more likely to avoid conflict or be hot-headed? Discuss what elements make up a healthy conversation where conflict, misunderstandings or disagreements are present. Take some time to pray for courage to communicate in healthy ways.

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Dec 5, 2016

Jo and Steph are answering questions from a live audience on leadership and life.

Questions include:

- What key questions or conversations should I have when I start working with a new boss?

- What tips do you have on finishing well?

- Is there a common thread in the lives of those leaders you look up to?

- How do you motivate or move on people you are leading who are not doing a role well?

- How do you deal with toxic people as a leader?

- What would be your utensil of choice to eat ice cream if a spoon was not available?

- What does self-leadership look like for you right now?

Resource mentioned:

Edwin H. Friedman - A Failure of Nerve

Jo and Steph would love to hear any questions you have about leadership to help them plan future podcasts. See their social media contacts below to get in touch!

Discussion questions:

1) Think of three people who have influenced or directly led you in different ways and discuss what you admired about them. (Keep it positive!)

2) What goodbye rituals do you have already in place in your life for seasons of transition? Discuss some different ideas which could be used for future transitions.

3) How honest are you with ‘toxic’ people you are leading? How can you have honest but loving conversations? Share ideas.

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Nov 28, 2016

This week Jo and Steph are live from The Sheridan Story warehouse in Minneapolis, interviewing Rob Williams, the Executive director.

After a call for help from a local school which had discovered children hoarding food on Fridays because of food insecurity over the weekends, The Sheridan Story began to provide Friday food packages to children in need.

Working with local faith communities, The Sheridan Story enables them to partner with local schools providing the logistic know-how.  They are now helping over 120 schools and 15,000 children in the Minneapolis area.

 

In this inspiring interview find out:

- Why providing children with these food packages makes such a difference to their future and the future of society

- How The Sheridan Story began

- How The Sheridan Story gives ‘dignified’ food packages and why that is important

- How Rob’s previous experience and jobs he struggled with helped prepare him to develop and lead The Sheridan Story.

- Steph’s childhood nickname!

 

It costs a cup of coffee to support one child with a food package each weekend.  Find out how you can donate and get involved at www.thesheridanstory.com

 

Also check out: www.millcitychurch.com

 

Discussion questions:

1) What do you think about churches offering services without expecting anything in return? What do you think about churches providing services whilst expecting something in return? (Attendance, access to relationships, formal opportunities to give a Gospel message…) At what point does it become ’prostitution’ rather than love from the church?

 

2) How often do you / your church offer services to others rather than asking them what they really need and doing that instead? Why could meeting people where they are at be an effective way of building relationships with those outside the church? Can you think of any occasions where Jesus or the disciples responded to needs rather than offered services?

 

3) Where could you / your church support a local school? Who has connections with a local school that you know where you could find out what services your local school needs?

 

4) ’All kids are our kids.  All children are from God and bear God’s image.’  How should this impact the way you and your church view children in the wider community?

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Nov 21, 2016

Working with survivors of trafficking, addiction and prostitution, Becca Stevens developed Thistlefarms social enterprise as a way to meet the economic needs of those women.  The project began with a residential community of just 5 women and is now the largest national enterprise run by survivors.   Jo chats with Becca about her dream to create a sanctuary for women survivors, her journey to ordination and some of the key ingredients in helping her to survive and thrive in leadership. Jo and Becca also share how their recent trip to Haiti has impacted them.   Listen in to find out what Becca is currently excited about, and what she means by saying she is ‘more interested in bold leadership than servant leadership’.   Check out:  Thistlefarms products in Wholefoods stores and online: www.thistlefarms.org   Books:  Check out Becca’s books at: http://www.beccastevens.org/books/ Look out for Love heals when it is released!   Also check out this article on Thistlefarms and Becca on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/02/us/cnn-hero-becca-stevens/index.html   Discussion questions:  1) Dream time! What dreams are in your heart? Take some time to share.   2) God told David ‘not you, not now’ when he dreamed of building a temple, so obviously now is not the time for every dream to be realized.  However, where are you too busy to invest in the dreams that God is calling you to work with now? What are you going to do about it?   3) Would you describe yourself as a bold leader? Why or why not? What do you think it means to be bold in Christ? Where is the Holy Spirit encouraging you to be bold in your leadership right now?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Nov 14, 2016

Meet Amy Boucher-Pye, an American writer and leader who lives in London, England.

This week Jo chats with Amy about what leadership looks like for her and why she has found it hard to see herself as a leader at times.  Amy shares about how God helped her to forgive a person who betrayed her, what she has learned about what forgiveness looked like in the Old and New Testament and some of the costs of leadership.

 

Amy also shares some of the practical exercises she uses on retreats to help people forgive and express grief (see discussion questions and exercises below).

 

Check out Amy’s website: http://www.amyboucherpye.com

 

Amy’s books:

 

Finding myself in Britain

The Living Cross

 

Discussion questions and exercises Amy shares:

 

1) Amy says: ‘We have to learn to forgive or it hurts us.’ Share a time when God helped you forgive someone who had hurt you.  What were some of the things that helped the forgiveness process?

 

2) Spend some time praying and asking God to show you if there is any one you need to forgive.  Take or make a cross and when you are ready place the name of that person on the cross.  Remembering that the cross was a place of exchange, so take some time to stay at the cross to receive what God wants to give to you.

 

3) Take some time to write down a lament - a grief or something you cannot change.  Be specific and then find a space (ideally a wall, but be creative!) where you can deposit your lament prayer as a way of releasing it.

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Nov 7, 2016

Whether they are intentional or not, we all have routines and rituals in our lives.  Positively or negatively, they shape our leadership, relationships and productivity.

 

This week Jo and Steph discuss the rituals and routines they have found helpful to be intentional about in their lives, from prayer practices, retreat days, physical health, review and mentoring.

 

Jo and Steph discuss questions such as:

- How can we embrace helpful rituals without becoming legalistic?

- What practices can help us be more aware of what God is doing?

- What if my rituals don’t make me feel good - are they still worth continuing?

- Why is looking after our bodies so important to leadership?

- What difference do morning and night routines make to our lives?

 

Discussion questions:

1) What are your prayer and retreat rituals? Are you happy with them? Is there anything you would like to change?

 

2) Rate how well you look after your body from 1 to 10.  What are the rituals connected with eating and exercise which are supporting your life and leadership and which ones are holding you back?

 

3) What are your morning and evening routines and rituals? Are you being intentional about them? Is there anything you would like to change to make sure those spaces are life-giving (spiritually, emotionally, physically) and fuel the rest of your day?

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Oct 31, 2016

When you meet a leader who is positive and patient you are meeting someone who has learned to be self-aware and manage their frustrations in a healthy way. This doesn’t happen automatically for most people - it is part of the work that goes on behind the scenes for a leader.

 

This week Jo and Steph talk emotional intelligence and the importance of self awareness and social awareness in order to lead effectively without those negative emotions getting in the way of our relationships.

 

1) Self-awareness is being aware of what you’re feeling and why.  It takes time to identify and name what we are really feeling underneath.

 

2) Self-management is making a plan to intentionally renew your mind by creating holy habits.

 

3) Social-awareness is growing in sympathy towards others, learning social clues and intentionally making time to observe and find out what people are really feeling.

 

4) Relationship management is being able to move a group into something which is best for everybody without ignoring the underlying emotions of a group.

 

Check out:

Primal leadership by Daniel Goleman.

 

Download Emotional intelligence framework:

Emotional Intelligence handout

 

Discussion questions:

1) Identify a time recently when unexpected negative emotions surfaced.  Take some time to process the root of those emotions.  Remember the emotion you felt is probably the surface emotion for another deeper issue. Remember journalling can be a great tool for processing as well as talking with others, praying etc.

 

2) Read Romans 12:1-2.  Steph shared that she prayed for patience in times of frustrations with housemates until patience became a habit and Jo mentioned meditating on a scripture from James to help her remain calm in a difficult meeting. Both were ways that God used to renewed their minds and grow their character.  After you have identified a root emotion, what intentional small step do you wish to put in place as your plan of action for the next time this emotion begins to surface?

 

3) Do you find yourself naturally being empathetic with others or not? Discuss different social cues which can help you be more aware of others’ emotions.

 

4) How can you make steps to intentionally assess the emotional atmosphere in your areas of influence and take it into consideration whilst still leading in obedience to the direction God is leading your group in?

      Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Oct 25, 2016

In this episode Jo talks leadership behind the scenes with Vivian Mabuni, an Asian-American leader. They discuss cultural clashes in life and leadership, the differences between western and eastern styles of leadership, struggling against ‘phantom’ leaders, and the behind-the-scenes things that God has used to develop character in Vivian’s life - from motherhood to cancer. Find out how Vivian finds spaces to process cultural differences in leadership; how cancer helped her embrace community and what she believes we can and must do to raise up leaders from diverse backgrounds. Check out Vivian's website at http://vivianmabuni.com/ Discussion questions: 1) Jo and Vivian discussed the differences between western and eastern styles of leadership.  What did you learn from that discussion which could impact your own leadership style? How do you encourage participation from all personality types? 2) Do you feel frustrated with your life now because it doesn’t seem to fit with the calling you feel God is doing? How could He be using the current circumstances to build your character? 3) Who are the people you are trying to reach and raise up as leaders? How can you encourage a greater diversity in leadership and decision making so there are people who can influence and be imitated from the backgrounds you are called to reach? Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Oct 17, 2016

When a photographer takes a photo there is a whole lot which is not included in that one snapshot.  Leadership is just like that - what is seen by others is just one angle of that person’s life.

 

This week it is Jo’s turn to answer the questions about her life behind the scenes in leadership.

 

Jo shares about the loneliness and cost of leadership, how relationships have been affected by leadership and how she avoids competing with others.  Find out the key questions Jo finds herself asking as she leads; how she endeavors to make wise decisions about what opportunities to embrace and how she handles vulnerability and confidentiality, especially with her family life.

 

Discussion questions:

 

1. Have you ever experienced a shift in your life situation (new relationship, position, a move) which has changed the dynamics of your relationships with close friends? How did you respond to those changes?

 

2. Do you ever find yourself competing with others? How do you handle that? Jo shared that she intentionally befriends people because it is difficult to compete with those people you like. What are some ways you can celebrate those people you are tempted to compete with?

 

3. Do you feel confident that you are doing what God wants you to do in this season? Did you spend time preparing with God for the season you are in? Do you need to go back and review what God was talking to you about this season?

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Oct 10, 2016

Life as a leader is like an I-phone running lots of different apps: many things are going on but only one thing is seen at a time. Unfortunately (or sometimes fortunately?!) most people around us only get to see one or two of the things we have going on and fail to see the greater perspective of our lives.   This episode is a chance to find out more of life behind the scenes for Steph as she is in the hot seat this week being grilled by Jo.   Steph shares about feeling misunderstood, how her personality can make people assume things about her, how she manages friendships at work and outside; and the unspoken grief that comes with leading and letting go. Listen in to find out how she copes behind the scenes with disappointing others, as well as being personally disappointed with others as a leader. She also shares some of her journey into leadership and the choices she made which helped build her character before stepping into ministry.   Discussion questions: 1. Do you ever feel you need to compensate for your personality as a leader? In what ways?   2. How do you handle saying ‘no’ to others? Are you prioritizing time for self-care?   3. Does the fear of others saying ‘no’ hold you back from asking for investment in your leadership? Can you give others grace to say ‘no’ and trust that God will still provide for you?   4. What are your biggest struggles behind the scenes as a leader?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Oct 3, 2016

In this episode Steph talks leadership with Raymond Blackledge, a YMCA youth support program director, serving youth in the juvenile justice system.   Talking from his experience working with leaders and vulnerable young people, Raymond shares the things which have helped him lead successfully, as well as his failures and top tips for leading others.   Which people have most influenced Raymond’s life? How does he handle leading people from different cultural backgrounds? How does he handle disappointment and frustration in leadership? How does he intentionally pursue growth in his own leadership and encourage others to grow too?   Listen in to find out!   Discussion questions:  (Remembering leadership is defined as someone who is intentional with their influence):   1. Raymond talks about being a servant leader.  In what ways do you intentionally serve others in your leadership?   2. Raymond compares sports coaching to leadership. Do you encourage others to coach you and give you feedback in your leadership? Why or why not? How can you give constructive criticism (coach) those who you are leading?   3. How do you handle disappointments in leadership? Do you take enough time for self-care?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com 

Sep 26, 2016

Leadership that is seen is just the tip of the iceberg of a leader’s life.  To be people who thrive we need healthy foundations and we need other people to walk alongside us.   Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego’s are a powerful picture of leaders in relationship encouraging one another as they faced difficult situations.   Jo and Steph share their own practices in finding and maintaining relationships with their people, which include:   1) clearly defining the relationship 2) having a communication plan 3) communicating boundaries 4) taking advantage of technology to connect 5) being proactive in new friendships in your field and beyond 6) finding contexts where your people can challenge as well as encourage you 7) using Matthew 18 in response to conflict 8) pursing restoration and healing in context of relationship with others   SWOT analysis (great to do every 6 months):   Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats   Or in other words:   Breakthroughs Battles Frustrations Failures   Discussion questions: 1) Who are your people? If you aren’t sure, ask God to show you relationships you can pursue intentionality with. 2) When did you last connect with your people? Are you making the most of the resources you have to connect with them? Are you intentionally prioritizing those relationships? 3) Are you struggling with one or more of your people right now? Do you need to go and talk to them / forgive them? 4) Are you vulnerable with your people? When can you find time to do a SWOT analysis of your lives together?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Sep 19, 2016

When God’s people were dragged to Babylon as exiles, God told them to accept the new normal and prosper within it. (Jeremiah 29).  ‘New normals’ mean that something has changed, whether good or bad, big or small.  New normals are not always new ideals, but God still desires us to accept them and prosper within them.

 

In this episode, Jo and Steph discuss how to fully step into the new normal.  Steph shares a testimony about an unexpected new season in her life and how she adjusted to it.

 

3 tips for navigating the new normal:

 

1) Recognize and embrace grief and the things left behind.

 

2) Be patient with yourself, give yourself space and ask people to be patient with you too.

 

3) Find a way to physically represent stepping into a new space.

 

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) Do you feel like you are stepping into a new normal or being dragged into it?

 

2) Are there sacrifices that you need to make going into this new season? What is God saying to you about this new season and what are you going to do about it?

 

3) Is there a creative way you can represent this new season?  (drawing line in sand to walk over, write a manifesto, toast the new season…be creative!)

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Sep 5, 2016

Love it or hate it, transition happens to all of us - sometimes we are ready and waiting and at other times we struggle to embrace it.       In this episode Jo and Steph look at the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42 and discuss how Mary put aside the cultural expectations on her to embrace her calling. Martha embraced the oughts whereas Mary embraced what was needed. Jo shares her testimony of a two-year-long embrace of a calling into a new season she was resistant to.       Discussion questions:   1) Can you think of a time when you laid down your/others oughts and shoulds and embraced what God was telling you that you needed to do? Share your story.   2) What is God calling you into right now? What are the oughts and shoulds which threaten to get in the way? What is God saying you need to do?   3) When can you create some space this week to spend some time praying and seeking God’s heart for you where you have doubts?   Read more:     Influential / More than Enchanting by Jo Saxton (same book, different titles depending on your location)     Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Sep 5, 2016

It’s September and the physical seasons are changing and so it is a great opportunity to look at how we can prepare for and embrace new seasons well.

 

 

In this podcast Jo and Steph discuss the 4 Rs of stepping into a new season:

 

 

1) Review

 

2) Release

 

3) Receive Revelation

 

4) Respond

 

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) Review: Do you have regular planned times to review the different areas of your life? Can you plan in some time this week and in the coming months to review?

 

 

2) Release: What things do you need to release from the last season? Which of those things are painful to release and which are celebrations? Are there any helpful rituals (journalling, photos, stone throwing etc.) that can help you engage with releasing those things?

 

 

3) Receive Revelation: How can you create some space in your life this week to spend some time thinking with God? When can you plan in a walk or some time with a journal, bible and pen or a whiteboard this week to think through the next season? Who can you discuss and be accountable with about the ideas you have?

 

 

4) Respond: What needs rearranging in your life right now to enable you to embrace the new things of this season well? What new things are on the horizon since the beginning of the year which mean you need adjustments in your plan?

    Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Aug 29, 2016

In this episode Jo interrogates Steph and her new fiancé, JD, on your behalf, to find out all the things you want to know about their relationship and engagement! Tune in to find out LeadStories exclusives such as:  

  • Which online dating site helped them get together?
  • What about Steph made the first impression on JD?
  • Who is JD?
  • Were there any deal-breakers in their relationship?
  • How did they know that they had found the right marriage fit?
  • How did JD plan his marriage proposal to Steph?
  • How did they each individually decide they were ready for marriage?
  • Why are they getting married?!

  Check out JD’s work at: http://www.thousandpie.com/   Check out JD’s film ‘Out in the Cold’ here: http://www.outinthecoldfilm.com/   Discussion questions: 1) What do you think are the most important reasons to get married? If you are married, do you feel that those priorities are being worked out in your relationship right now?   2) If you are dating someone right now, is this person helping you be a better follower of Christ than if you were not together?   3) If you are single: are you able to enjoy the season you are in right now? Why or why not? Steph mentioned that she felt a call to pursue dating at a certain stage of her life. What season do you feel God is calling you to be in right now?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Aug 22, 2016

We all have a contribution to make to society and to the kingdom of God - let’s use that as our definition of ‘work’ as we explore what Mission looks like in our everyday work.   In Genesis 1:26-31 we see that God made the world and put us in it to take care of with Him.  That was the first work, God said it was good and it was before the fall.  God desires us to bring His kingdom into our work spaces as part of His plan for redemption. How can we do that?   4 frameworks for what mission looks like at work:  1)  Looking for People of Peace at work (Check out more about People of Peace in Ep. 37)   2) Being a person of Godly ethics in the workplace   3) Spiritual formation opportunities for you through your work (E.g. David in Psalm 78:70-72; Joseph)   4) What is the inherent kingdom value of the work you are doing?   Resources: Kingdom calling - Amy Sherman Visions of Vocation - Steve Garber Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work - Tom Nelson Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work - Timothy Keller Ordinary Mum, Extraordinary Mission — Anna France-Williams and Joy French (note the British spelling of Mum here!) Check out http://www.faithandwork.com/   Discussion questions:   1) Read Genesis 1:26-31 - how does it change your attitude to your work knowing that work was part of our original design for life with God?   2) Who are the People of Peace in your workplace? Are there people who aren’t but who you would like to be? Spend some time praying together for your work relationships.   3) What are the difficulties in your work right now? What might God be forming in you and preparing you for through them?   4) What is the inherent kingdom value of the work you are doing right now?       Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:  Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Aug 15, 2016

Often the way the Good News is presented to others does not sound like good news! In this Episode Jo and Steph discuss how we can be and bring true Good News to others.     In the Scripture (Isaiah 61) that Jesus quotes in Luke 4 we can identify 5 ways He was Good News to others:   1) Provision 2) Freedom 3) Healing 4) Justice 5) Undeserved favor   We can be and bring Good News to others as we identify and embrace those areas in our own lives and the lives of others which are in need of some good news.   Discussion questions:   1) Read Luke 4:14-21 together and discuss which of the five ways above was good news for you as you came to faith. Which of those five drew you to Christ? What made the Good News good to you?   2) In which of the five areas is your neighborhood in need of Good News right now?   3) Think about your current People of Peace - what would be Good News to them right now? (Check out Ep. 37 for more on People of Peace)   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Aug 8, 2016

God is pursuing the people around us and He invites us to join Him.  Using Jesus’ practical instructions in Luke 10:1-9 we can discover who our ‘people of peace’ are and how we should respond to them, pronouncing His wholeness and freedom into their lives.   What does it look like to go into our everyday lives with intention? How do we identify where God’s Spirit is already working amongst those we meet and have relationship with? Who are ‘People of Peace’ and how do we identify them? How does the Bible say we should we respond to them?   In this episode Jo and Steph discuss Luke 10:1-9 and the three spaces where ‘people of peace’ can be found: 1) passing relationships, 2) current, present relationships and 3) permanent relationships. Together they share encouraging testimonies and practical tips to help you intentionally bring Jesus to those different spaces.   Discussion questions:   - Read Luke 10:1-9 together and discuss how you can apply Jesus’ instructions to your life. How do you feel about talking to strangers about Jesus / your faith journey? Share your struggles with one another and pray for opportunities and boldness to respond to them this week.   - Who are the people who are present in your life right now who are open to you, welcome you and serve you? How can you be more intentional in your relationship with them? Who else in your faith community could you introduce to them?   - Who are the permanent relationships who still need to know Jesus? Pray together about what it looks like to surround them with Jesus in this season.  Are they ripe and need more intentional discipleship or is this the season to sow prayers? What practical steps can you take to either intentionally disciple and / or remember to pray for them?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Aug 1, 2016

God is doing things all around us and is inviting us to be on mission with Him on a daily basis in our everyday lives. There are, however, many lies we believe which hold us back from joining Him.   Jo and Steph discuss 10 lies about life on mission: 1. It is going to take a lot of extra time (which I don’t have!) 2. A life on mission is somewhere else, preferably abroad. 3. You have to be a professional missionary to be sent on mission 4. You have to have a certain personality type - one that is fearless and chatty! 5. You have to have professional training to do mission - until then I can’t do mission. 6. Assumption that real mission will be the exact opposite of anywhere you want to go and anything you want to do. 7. It’s all about what you say. 8. It’s all about what you do. You don’t need to say anything. 9. You have to go it alone! 10. You have to do it for God.   Discussion questions:   1) Read John 5:19.  Where is God already working in the lives of people around you? In which contexts is God inviting you to be on mission with Him in your every day life? 2) Are you an introvert or extrovert? How can you do mission within your personality type? Where are the challenge to embrace? 3) Who are your team? Who is praying with you about your mission opportunities?   Neighborhood crawl: In your everyday life here are 8 things you can be intentional about: (Go to www.leadstoriespodcast.com to see visual)   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jul 25, 2016

What is ‘calling’?

How do we handle seasons where God seems silent about our calling?

How do you step into what you think God is doing when all the doors keep closing?

How does serving in insignificant roles make a difference to our callings?

How do we discern which ideas to pursue when we have some many ideas?

How can we encourage people to be content with seemingly insignificant callings?

How can we get access to leaders and mentors who are so busy?

How can we decide who we should mentor?

 

 

Jo and Steph are live answering questions on calling at Mercy Vineyard Church in Minnesota

 

 

References mentioned:

 

Matthew 28: we are commissioned

 

Acts 21: we are witnesses

 

1 Corinthians 12: we are part of a body

 

Isaiah 61: Jesus’ calling

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) Ask one another: ‘Where do you see me come most alive?’ &  ‘When do you see me most discouraged and depleted?’

 

2) What are the small, perhaps difficult things God is calling you to be faithful in right now?

 

3) Who are you mentoring right now? Who is mentoring you?

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jul 18, 2016
  • What can I do if my partner is not at the same place spiritually as me?
  • How can I thrive being single?
  • How can churches encourage people to step out of gender roles and embrace their personal calling?
  • What about conflicts?
  • How can we build healthy teams?
  • How can women navigate relationships with men who are not supportive of their calling?

  Jo and Steph are live answering these questions and more on relationships at Mercy Vineyard Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota   References: Matthew 18:15-17 - Jesus’ practical advice on reconciliation   Discussion questions:

  1. Who are your key relationships right now? Who are you not spending enough time with? Who are you investing too much time in?  
  2. Read Matthew 18:15-17 - how well are you following Jesus’ advice in conflict situations right now?
  3. Which of the questions asked today (see above) spoke most into your situation? Why?

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

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