Real Life Theology Podcast

We renew the teachings of Jesus to fuel disciple making. We envision disciple-making disciples among all nations and ethnic groups. The Network Podcast champions all biblical truth, including hard topics, by sharing discussions, webinars, public presentations and other similar resources.

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6 days ago

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Welcome back to season seven of the Real Life Theology podcast, a resource dedicated to renewing the teachings of Jesus to fuel disciple-making movements. In this episode, Paul Huyghebaert dives into a compelling discussion about guiding traditional American churches toward missional multiplication.
Explore the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from an attractional church model, focused on 'come and see,' to a missional model that emphasizes 'go and be.' Paul shares practical insights and personal experiences on how to foster a disciple-making culture within your church.
If you're seeking to understand how your church can move towards a framework that champions missional multiplication, this episode is a must-listen. Join us and be inspired to embrace the brave mission Jesus has called us to.
Stay tuned for the upcoming season featuring Reagan Gibbs, who will introduce a new series titled Gen Z on, exploring the experiences and perspectives of the Gen Z audience in today's world. See you next time on the Real Life Theology Podcast!
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Tuesday Jun 11, 2024

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Rethinking Church Models: A Shift Towards Multiplication and Disciple-Making
Today's Episode talks about the challenges and systemic issues within modern church models, emphasizing the need for a shift from consumer-driven models to a more discipleship and multiplication-focused approach. It explores historical changes in life expectancy and technological advancement to question why the church struggles with certain 'lists' or challenges despite societal progress. The speaker emphasizes the importance of letting go of control and cooperating with God, recognizing the baggage and outdated operating systems that hinder growth and effective ministry. Through discussing the distinctions between operating systems and models, it highlights how many churches have drifted towards seeking conversions and consumer satisfaction rather than genuine disciple-making. The speaker addresses various dilemmas facing the church, including legacy, mission, customer focus, and economic models, and introduces the idea of a new operating system grounded in prayer, fasting, and a re-evaluation of traditional church growth strategies. The conclusion points towards a church planting and operational model that prioritizes discerning God's will, redefines success beyond numbers, and considers economic liberation, ecclesiology, and the essence of true, impactful ministry.
Key Takeaways 00:00 The Quest for Simplicity in Church Operations00:35 Reflecting on Technological Advancements and Life Expectancy01:21 The Importance of Cooperation with God in Church Leadership04:05 Dissecting the Current Church Operating System06:49 Addressing the Dilemmas of the Consumer-Driven Church Model19:18 Introducing a New Operating System for Church Planting23:05 Redefining Church Success and Economic Models27:59 Ecclesiology and the Future of Church Mission
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See Below for a longer description:          In the today's episode Todd Wilson goes deep into the complexities of church operating systems, challenging conventional norms and urging listeners to rethink their approach to ministry. The episode opens with a profound reflection on the rapid technological advancements and societal shifts that have doubled the average life expectancy, setting the stage for a critical examination of the current state of church practices.The speaker passionately explores the idea of operating systems in churches, emphasizing the difference between models and systems. Drawing on personal anecdotes and industry trends, he navigates through the evolution of church strategies over the years, from the prevalence of 'The Purpose Driven Church' model to the emergence of new paradigms focused on gospel saturation and disciple-making.          Throughout the episode, the speaker dissects eight key dilemmas plaguing modern church systems, ranging from legacy and end-game considerations to the role of consumerism and programmatic approaches in driving church growth. He challenges listeners to embrace a more holistic mission beyond mere conversions, advocating for a shift towards mobilizing everyday missionaries and fostering a culture of disciple-making.            As the episode unfolds, the narrative delves into the economic intricacies of church operations, highlighting the influence of tithes, offerings, and alternative financial models based on liberated economic principles. The speaker paints a vivid picture of a shifting landscape where business for mission models and unconventional funding sources are reshaping the future of church planting and sustainability.The exploration of ecclesiology brings a fresh perspective on what defines a church in today's context, challenging traditional notions and prompting reflection on the essence of community, mission, and discipleship. The episode culminates with a powerful discussion on the driving forces behind church operating systems, emphasizing the importance of Acts 2-inspired fellowship and collective empowerment in fueling impactful, sustainable ministry efforts.            Listeners are invited on a thought-provoking journey through the intricacies of church leadership, growth, and impact, woven together with personal anecdotes, industry insights, and compelling arguments for reimagining the way we approach ministry in today's ever-changing landscape. S7 Ep. 8 stands as a beacon of innovation and introspection, challenging listeners to break free from conventional norms and embrace a new era of church practices rooted in mission, discipleship, and transformative community engagement.
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Tuesday Jun 04, 2024

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Transforming Lives Through Disciple Making Movements: A Worker's Journey in India
Josh Howard, a worker who has lived in India for over 15 years, shares his transformative experience of leading and witnessing disciple making movements in India. Starting with a moment of prayer and inviting the Holy Spirit to guide the session, Josh introduces himself, mentioning his background and family. He highlights the importance of asking oneself whether they are a disciple worth reproducing and shares a powerful narrative of initial failures and eventual successes in disciple making. Through his story, Josh emphasizes the critical role of prayer and fasting in achieving spiritual breakthroughs and the unexpected results of equipping ordinary people to start discipleship movements. Highlighting key lessons learned, such as the necessity of relinquishing control and allowing the Holy Spirit to work, Josh's narrative encourages viewers to reconsider their approach to discipleship and the potential within every individual to initiate a movement that can profoundly impact their nation and beyond. His story is a testament to the power of God working through ordinary individuals to achieve extraordinary things.
Key Takeaways 00:00 Opening Prayer and Invitation for the Holy Spirit01:30 Introduction and Personal Background02:39 The Journey of Faith and Discipleship in India03:19 Challenges and Breakthroughs in Disciple Making05:45 The Power of Prayer, Fasting, and Humility09:27 Launching a Movement: Expectations vs. Reality12:13 Learning from Unexpected Success14:22 The Potential in Every Believer for Disciple Making17:00 The Key to Movement: Releasing Control and Embracing God's Will
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Tuesday May 28, 2024

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Transforming Faith: From Traditional Churches to Disciple Movements
Ron Johnson, the founding pastor of Restoration Church, shares his journey from skepticism to embracing disciple-making movements (DMM) in the U.S. and abroad, including Nepal and India. Initially focused on planting Pavilion Model churches, Johnson's perspective shifted during COVID-19 as he saw the potential for rapid expansion through DMM. His church has since initiated numerous discovery Bible studies, leading to hundreds of baptisms and the establishment of over 1,200 simple churches. Johnson emphasizes the transition from a church growth mindset to a kingdom mindset, the importance of moving from addition to multiplication, and shifting from knowledge-based to obedience-based discipleship. Despite challenges, Johnson advocates for running traditional and movement-based approaches in parallel, highlighting the unique challenges and rewards of each approach.
Key Takeaways 00:00 Introduction: Meet Ron Johnson00:20 The Journey Begins: Embracing Disciple Making Movements00:31 The Impact of COVID on Church Growth and Strategy01:59 A Shift in Strategy: From Traditional Churches to Movements02:51 The Role of the Holy Spirit and Prayer in Movement Growth03:16 Embracing Diversity: The Global South's Influence03:46 Lessons Learned and the Path Forward05:17 Final Thoughts and Encouragement
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See Below for additional information: This episode on the Real Life Theology Podcast features Ron Johnson, a follower of Jesus Christ and a pastor at Restoration Church. Ron shares his journey of transitioning from traditional church models to disciple-making movements. He discusses the impact of COVID, the growth of simple churches, the role of prayer and the Holy Spirit, and the challenges of balancing prevailing model church practices with a movement strategy. Ron emphasizes the importance of shifting mindset from church growth to kingdom focus and obedience-based discipleship. He reflects on the hybrid approach and concludes that running prevailing model and movement separately but complimentary is more effective. Ron's story showcases the growth of over 1,200 simple churches in their city and thousands more globally, driven by a diverse community and a strong emphasis on prayer and obedience to God.
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Watch our 2024 Gathering Main Session Recordings

Tuesday May 21, 2024

Navigating Church Leadership and Discipleship in a Changing World
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Piggybacking off the past 4 episodes this track goes into detail on some very relevant questions about discipleship, and culture. This session engaged with individuals who asked some critical questions so that we could draw some important lessons from them.
This episode features a discussion on church leadership, discipleship, and the innovative approaches to ensure the sustainability and growth of church missions within changing cultural contexts. Leaders share experiences and strategies on financial modeling, making disciples who make disciples, and the concept of failing forward as a method to discover effective practices in ministry. The dialogue also tackles the critique of traditional church models and the necessity of church planting, alongside enhancing existing churches to fulfill the mission of spreading the gospel more effectively in today's world. Critical points include rethinking financial models to support outreach and discipleship, embracing failure as a learning tool for improvement, and the challenge of balancing the need for new church plants with the call for unity and efficiency within the existing church landscape.
Key Takeaways
00:00 Opening Remarks and Q&A Session Kickoff00:54 Deep Dive into Financial Models and Church Budgeting03:44 Embracing Failure and Innovation in Church Leadership07:53 Rethinking Church Models: A Case Study on Cutting Sermons08:49 The Debate on Church Planting in Saturated Areas17:50 Revolutionary vs. Evolutionary Change in Churches
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Tuesday May 14, 2024

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In this engaging discussion, three friends, Ryan, Russ, and Tom, share their journeys toward fostering disciple-making movements within their respective churches. Each speaker highlights the fundamental importance of prayer, obedience, and sharing the teachings of Jesus as core to sparking spiritual movements. Ryan begins by reflecting on his personal challenges and realizations, emphasizing the pivotal role of prayer in connecting with God and facilitating change. He shares how his church has incorporated various forms of prayer into their regular activities, emphasizing the power of prayer in disciple-making. Russ and Tom further elaborate on the practical aspects of creating disciple-making communities, stressing simplicity, the Holy Spirit's guidance, and practical tools like the Discovery Bible Study. Collectively, they underline the transformative potential of seeking God wholeheartedly and the need for churches to focus on supporting discipleship in practical, everyday contexts.
Key Takeaways 
00:00 Welcoming the Panel: Insights into Disciple Making Movements00:30 Practical Steps Towards Disciple Making: Ryan's Journey01:24 The Power of Prayer in Disciple Making04:22 A Moment of Prayer and Reflection06:04 Expanding the Prayer Movement: Ryan's Church Initiatives07:25 Russ's Perspective: Friendship and Practical Disciple Making10:19 Tom's Unique Approach to Disciple Making and Multiplication14:49 Concluding Thoughts on Disciple Making and Prayer18:38 The Essential Principles of Disciple Making Movements
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Tuesday May 07, 2024

Jeff Duerler starts off this track by talking about some practical next steps to shift culture and launch new churches. He shares his own experience with his church on steps they have taken towards the disciple-making movement. Jeff hands it off to Paul Huyghebaert who continues the conversation and shares his personal experience. 
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Tuesday Apr 30, 2024

In this episode, Paul Huybhebaert and Todd Wilson talk about the culture of disciple-making. Todd Wilson talks about a national study on disciple-making conducted by and talks about the current state of disciple-making in the Church in the United States. Furthermore, Todd talks about the operating system of the church.
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Tuesday Apr 23, 2024

In this episode we kick off Season 7 of the Real Life Theology Podcast (Moving Towards a Disciple Making Movement), Paul Huyghebaert engages Josh Howard in a conversation about disciple-making movements where Josh shares some of his personal experiences of making disciples in India. 
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Tuesday Apr 16, 2024

Navigating Complex Cultural and Ethical Questions as a Christian Leader (feat. Chad Ragsdale and Daniel McCoy).
This video script discusses how Christian leaders can thoughtfully navigate difficult cultural and ethical questions while staying true to their faith. The conversation covers a wide range of topics including handling accusations of Christian nationalism, preaching on controversial topics, engaging with culture wars, and the Christian approach to professions that involve ethical complexities like military service. It emphasizes the importance of understanding different perspectives, showing grace, and having nuanced, informed convictions that don’t compromise on core beliefs. The talk also addresses how to deal with disagreements within the Christian community and the significance of not allowing cultural issues to dictate the focus of the church’s message.
Key Takeaways 
00:00 Introduction to Hypothetical Scenarios
00:08 Dealing with Criticism as a Church Leader
01:00 Understanding the Importance of Relationship in Communication
02:06 Addressing Misunderstandings within the Church
04:04 Navigating Political Conversations in the Church
05:23 Balancing Biblical Teachings and Current Issues
06:54 Addressing Controversial Topics in the Church
08:34 The Role of Church Leaders in Guiding their Congregation
11:12 Navigating Family Disagreements on Cultural Issues
13:53 Understanding the Complexity of Christian Beliefs
20:16 Addressing Differences in Teaching within the Church
24:44 Navigating Concerns about Media References in Sermons
26:35 Creative Approaches to Introducing Jesus
27:53 Addressing Criticisms of Church Spending
28:18 Navigating Cultural Criticisms and Cynicism
29:24 The Role of Extravagance in Worship
29:55 Debating Church Resource Allocation
32:06 Navigating Disagreements on Cultural Celebrations
34:44 The Intersection of Christianity and Fantasy
39:16 Navigating the Decision to Join the Military as a Christian
44:22 Understanding the Nuances of Christian Engagement with Culture
49:25 The Importance of Accuracy and Conviction in Apologetics
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Tuesday Apr 09, 2024

Navigating Complex Issues in Faith and Modern Life (feat. Chad Ragsdale and Daniel McCoy).
This extensive discourse features a dialogue with Chad Ragsdale, discussing how various philosophies outside the church influence Christian thinking negatively, with a focus on emotional reasoning and the impact of technology on faith. Ragsdale expresses concerns over the church's adaptation to modern cultures, emphasizing the need for sober-mindedness against hollow and deceptive philosophies. The conversation also explores the conflict between following one's heart versus adhering to biblical truths, the challenges posed by a technologically driven culture, and the philosophical shift towards a therapeutic societal approach. Further, it delves into practical applications of faith in modern societal roles like the military and law enforcement, touching on navigating political landscapes as Christians. The dialogue also touches on dealing with disagreements within the church community, the importance of nuance in forming convictions, and balancing the dynamic between embracing cultural shifts and maintaining spiritual integrity.
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Key Takeaways 
00:00 Introduction and the Dangers of External Philosophies
00:51 The Seduction of Emotional Reasoning
02:29 The Impact of Technology on Our Thought Processes
03:41 The Influence of Artificial Intelligence on Our Lives
04:46 The Dangers of Offloading Our Abilities to Technology
06:57 The Influence of Emotional Reasoning and Technology on Our Faith
07:11 The Struggle to Cultivate a Genuine Inner Life
09:19 The Impact of Moral Therapeutic Deism on Our Decisions
12:34 The Role of Church Leaders in Addressing Cultural Philosophies
19:14 The Importance of Deep Thinking in Our Spiritual Life
22:00 The Challenge of Addressing Controversial Issues in the Church
22:50 Navigating Disagreements and Differences
23:01 Understanding the Complexity of Social Issues
23:05 The Role of Passion and Perspective in Faith
Join us this April at our 2024 Courageous Renewal Gathering

Tuesday Apr 02, 2024

Navigating Differences and Fostering Unity among Christians in Today's Culture (feat. Chad Ragsdale and Daniel McCoy).
In today’s episode we continue the discussion on how Christians can navigate differences within their community and engage with the broader culture effectively. Today’s episode explores the concept of postures versus gestures, emphasizing the need for biblical wisdom to discern when certain responses are appropriate. The discussion highlights the dangers of adopting rigid postures, like hostility or accommodation, as one's default position towards cultural issues and the importance of a balanced, thoughtful approach. Specific issues such as political courage, the transgender moment, and the porn industry are mentioned as examples requiring discernment. The speaker introduces the problems posed by 'Heresy Hunters' and 'Tower Topplers' within the church, individuals who create divisiveness by labeling others too quickly or attacking their beliefs. To combat these issues and foster unity, the presentation suggests focusing on faith, asking two key questions to understand others better, recognizing the importance of different levels of doctrinal importance, and thinking like a missionary to connect more effectively both within the church and with the outside world. The role of empathy, grace, and technology's impact on our ability to think well are also discussed as part of the broader challenge of maintaining Christian unity in a post-Christian culture.
This session was filmed at Ozark Christian College 
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Key Takeaways 
0:00 Episodes 2 The Disciples Mind Workshop (Ozark CC) 
05:32 The Role of Humility in Thinking
07:26 The Importance of Thinking Well
07:39 The Role of Thinking in Connecting with Others
08:09 The Power of Thoughtful Leadership
09:02 The Impact of Disunity in the Church
09:32 The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism
10:49 The Challenge of Hostility Within the Church
11:06 The Dangers of Heresy Hunters and Tower Topplers
16:45 The Role of Thinking in Promoting Unity
17:00 Four Key Elements to Consider for Unity
18:29 The Importance of Empathy and Understanding
Join us this April at our 2024 Courageous Renewal Gathering


NEW SERIES: The Fool of God


The Story of Alexander Campbell, Who Made Scripture His Final Authority and Catalyzed a Movement




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Podcast Episodes


Join us this April at our 2024 Courageous Renewal Gathering



Our era is a time of tribalistic ethics, tech anxiety, class envy, and “owning” the opposition as if they were trophies. In such a time, disciples of Jesus can’t afford to let the surrounding cultures box the Christian faith into a preset, predictable mold. We are disciples of a creative, courageous King. The gospel of King Jesus renews everything it reaches, starting with us and moving outward into all creation. Our courageous King rescued and redeemed us, and he invites us to participate in his courageous renewal of all things.



Check Out Our Podcast Book Series prints and publishes books for church leaders, churches and everyday disciple makers. Our books, as with everything we seek to create, focus on good theology through culturally relevant engagement. These podcast series feature some of's most popular books and provide a behind the scenes conversation with some of our authors. 



How to Live as a Disciple of Jesus (Real Life Theoloogy) 




When does playing music go from formidable to fun? It starts getting fun when you feel the rhythm and join in. In the same way, the Christian life gets more doable when you take the time to learn its rhythms. Knowing what we ought to do only leaves us feeling guilty until we take time to learn the how tos. 


This podcast series features 4 episodes talking about the Rhythms of life. Click HERE to view the series. 


Sermon on the Mount:

40 Days of Learning the Ways of the Kingdom


Have you been wading in the shallows of Christianity? When longtime Bible student Jeremy Bacon began seriously studying the Sermon on the Mount, he found his tidy worldview exploding.

In the Sermon on the Mount, street-level wisdom and prophetic declaration collide. This sermon forces you to decide whether you’re going to remain part of the crowd or step out in faith and be a devoted student of Jesus.

Choosing the way of Jesus means more cost—and more reward—than you ever would have guessed. Sermon on the Mount is a forty-day discipling resource that walks you through the ways of Jesus’ Kingdom. Will you respond to the call to go deeper?


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Step Into Scripture 

Tina Wilson, author of Step into Scripture, develops Biblical literacy by exploring the nature of God, the centrality of Christ, the context and purpose of biblical texts, and shadow—fulfillment connections within the Bible. 






Scripture in Black and White

Scripture in Black and White is a show that examines what scripture teaches with clarity and no uncertain terms. We discuss the scriptures in black and white and bring perspectives from ministers who happen to be black and white.

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