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Lead Stories Podcast

Tales of Leadership and Life with Jo Saxton and Pastor Steph O'Brien
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Stories of leadership and life with Jo Saxton and Steph O'Brien

Apr 12, 2017

Jo chats with Jenny Dyer, executive director of Hope for Healing Hands based in Nashville, Tennessee.  

 

Listen in to find out what advocacy really means and how we as Christians can be advocates for the world’s poor.  Find out what small 5 minute response you can make to help women and children around the world face a future with hope and free from disease.  

 

Check out:

http://www.hopethroughhealinghands.org/

 

Recommended book:

The Mother and Child Project by Kay Warren and Melinda Gates.

 

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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.com 

Apr 10, 2017

Welcome to Holy Week! Without the resurrection, all of Jesus’ life (and ours!) would be meaningless. Resurrection is the power of the kingdom of God and it is available for us today, not just in the kingdom to come. 

 

This week Jo and Steph look at Luke 24:36-49 and discuss what difference living in resurrection life can mean to us. 

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) What parts of your life need resurrection? Will you bring them to God and ask Him to work His resurrection power in them? (If it is not immediately clear, spend some time asking God to show you some areas He wants to restore.)

 

2) Where have you faced great disappointment or grief in the past? Did you ever ask God to bring resurrection into those situations? If yes, share your experience.  If no, spend some time asking Him to show you where He did or inviting Him to do so.

 

3) As leaders what could it look like for God to resurrect our failures? Where do you need His resurrection power as a leader?

 

JOIN IN!

Go to www.leadstoriesmedia.com/worldvision to find out more about the 6K for water and join Jo and Steph virtually or locally and take part!

 

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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.com 

Mar 6, 2017

What does it look like to experience purpose in the wilderness?

 

This week Jo and Steph look at key men and women in the Bible who were given a calling and a promise and then for an extended period of time they recieved the exact opposite to what God had promised. 

 

They also take time to look at Joshua and Caleb, faithful leaders who were ready to respond to God’s invitations to enter the Promised Land but who were held back by others. 

 

Who would have thought that the crazy wilderness journey which is opposite to the promise is actually the journey to the promised land itself?

 

Discussion questions:

1) Do you know what your purpose is? What has God called you to do, not matter what season you are in? Jo mentioned that hers was ‘equipping others to be all they are meant to be’. Spend sometime developing a personal missional statement.   

 

2)  Have you ever felt held back as a leader by other people’s lack of faith? How did you respond to that disappointment?

 

3) What happens when you are the person who sees the giant and is afraid to go in? Are you prepared to believe? Are there giants that are sabotaging your life right now?

 

4)When you have longings do you tend towards despair or hope? How can you invite God into your longings so that they are transformed into hope and faith?

 

5) Are you paying attention to what God is doing in the midst of waiting? Steph mentioned how learning plumbing through broken toilets was not her desired calling, but it has prepared her for later in life in her calling. What things are seemingly pointless in your life right now which God could redeem?

 

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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 8, 2017

Jo and Steph chat with Amena and Missi from the ‘Hear for the Donuts’ podcast about using their voices - Amena as a traveling recording artist and Missi as a blogger, homeschool mom and midwife.

 

Check out:

http://www.amenabrown.com/

Missi’s blog:

http://www.audacitermatris.com/

 

Find their podcast: ‘Here for the donuts’ at

https://soundcloud.com/here-for-the-donuts or on iTunes!

 

Remember to check out the Lead Stories community at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 6, 2017

So it turns out God had other plans!  Although uncomfortable, going into the wilderness can be a place where we meet with God and are empowered by Him. Jo and Steph share why and how they felt God is leading them to revisit the wilderness and take us along too!

 

In this podcast Jo and Steph share about the ‘desert fathers and mothers’ who deliberately embraced the wilderness as a withdrawal from consumerist ‘Christian’ society.  They discuss how the desert fathers and mothers met with God in power and also led others who sought them out to encounter God powerfully.  They explore how the same principles could look for us without us leaving our homes and becoming hermits in a physical desert!

 

Discussion questions:

1) What is your gaze on right now? Which of those things are blocking your gaze on God? What are you going to do about it?

 

2) What do your daily, weekly and monthly rhythms of rest and meeting with God look like right now? How can you be intentional about them this year?

 

3) Are you scared of the wilderness? Why? Where do you find it hard to believe that God is enough?

 

4) Where might God be inviting you into the wilderness right now?

 

Check out the new resource study guide for groups and individuals: ‘Life in the Wilderness’. It is an opportunity to dig deeper and explore questions. Find it at:  

www.leadstoriesmedia.com/resources  

 

Check out Lead Stories Community at:

www.leadstoriesmedia.com/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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 23, 2017

What is vision, how do we get it and how do we know if it is any good? Do you have vision for your life?

 

After Steph shares some great, although unsolicited, dating advice, Jo and Steph share how vision is ‘a picture of what could be’ and how we embrace that in our lives. They share why vision is so important and what happens when vision isn’t present.

 

Bible passages mentioned:

 

Proverbs 29:18 (Check out the Message version)

Habakkuk 2:1-3

John 5:19

 

Questions to help you explore your vision:

 

1) What do you get excited / frustrated about?

2) What makes you laugh / cry?

3) Where do you have strong emotions that God may be stirring to lead you into a vision for change?

4) What things do you find yourself returning to in your mind over and over?

5) What things do you find yourself drawn to / investigating (blogs/books/movies on certain themes)

6) What things would your friends say you are passionate about? (ask them!)

7) What threads show up in your journals which may be signposts?

8) What themes / passages in Scripture stand out to you?

9) What would you do if you weren’t afraid? (Of failure / others / discomfort…)

10) Who are you talking to as you explore your vision?

11) What things are your friends and family sick of you talking about that you don’t do anything about? (Ask them!)

 

Check out and join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 16, 2017

Courageous leaders lead with their whole hearts.  Listen in as Jo and Steph answer questions live from Bethel Seminary. 

 

Questions include: 

 

1) How do I authentically implement my own leadership style whilst also accommodating the needs and styles of those I am leading?

 

2) How can I, as a male leader, empower the women around me without being patronizing?

 

3) How do you lead in the midst of segregation and divided political lines?

 

4) What does it look to lead your leaders when you don’t like the tone or leadership? How do you lead up?

 

5) What qualities do you see in courageous leaders?

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) How would you define courageous leadership? Can you think of any examples in your own life and from the Bible of people who demonstrated courageous leadership to you?

 

2) What does it look like for you to be a courageous leader in the next season? What are the uncomfortable spaces God may be calling you into?

 

3) How is your inner life - your core - where courage flows from? Where do you need to make courageous decisions to deal with your junk? (Unhelpful habits, debt, emotional hurts etc.)

 

 

Check out and come join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

 

Jan 9, 2017

Jo and Steph have been doing the 'hello, goodbye' process for years.  In this podcast they vulnerably and candidly share their personal goodbyes and hellos from last year and for the coming year.

 

Steph shares about how last year’s word ‘threshold’ worked out, and the new words God has given to her for this year: ‘priority shift’ and ‘redefine’. She shares about how she is trying to intentionally embrace the changes with what her work-life looks like and redefining herself as gets married this year.

 

Jo shares how she struggled to truly embrace God’s word for last year ‘favor’, and made the word for the year ‘driven’ instead.  Listen in to hear how she is trying to readdress that (this time recognizing more of her need for God!) as she embraces the word ‘flourish’ for 2017.

 

Check out the mentioned resources:

 

Grayshot www.grayshot.net

 

Woman - The Full Story: A Dynamic Celebration of Freedoms - Michele Guinness

Lost Women of the Bible: The Women We Thought We Knew - Carolyn Custis James

 

Check out and come join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) How do you feel about the ‘unknowns’ and ‘abstracts’ of this coming year? Where and how are you tempted to ‘white-knuckle’ hold-on rather than to step out in faith and trust God will meet you there?

 

2) Luke 17:33 says If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.’ - how does this make you feel?

 

3) Do you struggle more with suffering or blessing? How is that manifested in your life? Do you believe that God wants to bless you, or do you feel you have to earn His blessing?

 

4) Read the following C.S. Lewis quote from Screwtape Letters that Jo mentioned:

 

The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forearmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack. You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favor of the “best” people, the “right” food, the “important” books. I have known a human defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions.

 

Where are you tempted to choose what society says is “best” and “right” and “important” over the personal things that make you come alive in your relationship with God? Where do you need to give yourself permission to flourish in those areas this year? 

 

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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 2, 2017

It’s 2017! Today Jo and Steph are chatting about what it looks like to be intentional with looking backwards at 2016 and saying ‘hello!’ to 2017. It is not too late for you to embrace the process!

 

Saying goodbye to things in the previous year and saying hello to new things has been a process Jo has been embracing since way back in 1992! Listen in to hear her journey with the process.

 

The ‘Hello Goodbye’ process is a tool in response to New Year’s resolutions - it is not about fixing yourself, but intentionally, prayerfully turning away from certain things, whether good or bad, and turning towards other things.  Those things might be fun (like working out!) or they may be uncomfortable like embracing grief or forgiveness, but the focus is finding ways to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and physically.

 

Listen in to find out who said:

‘Why cry when you can eat fried chicken?’ and ‘It’s not an idol, it’s an ideal!’

 

You can get your free Hello Goodbye workbook at www.leadstoriesmedia.com

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) What traditions have you had at New Years? Have you ever had any New Year’s resolutions? How did they go?

 

2) When you look at your life honestly right now, would you say you are living intentionally or surviving? How are your work-rest rhythms?

 

3) Have you already done a Goodbye-Hello process this year? What would you like to be held accountable on? If you haven’t done it yet, when are you going to take some time (let’s talk days and dates!) to actually do it?

 

You can get your free Hello Goodbye workbook at www.leadstoriesmedia.com

 

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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

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?

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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.com 

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 @pastorsteph 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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.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) pursuing 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 @pastorsteph

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

www.leadstoriesmedia.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

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