Episode 36: Worthwhile Reads on Discipleship

Our Guest for this Episode – Mike Johnson:

Mike served as resident pastor at New Life Church in Spring, Texas, and then planted and pastored Community Life Church in Missouri City, Texas. During this period, Mike developed and implemented the Texas Leadership Development Network, which was the predecessor to Ascending Leaders. Mike helps church leaders refocus. He has been involved in the city-reaching efforts of the greater Houston area.

Mike started Ascending Leaders in 2005 and is the core author of much of Ascending Leaders’ material. He has developed coaching practices that have blessed a myriad of churches.

Click Here for Books Mentioned in The Episode

Episode 35: Discipleship in a Distracted Culture

Our Guest for this Episode – Harry Vein:

Harry retired in 2022 from serving churches throughout the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for the past 40 years. He served churches in Houston (Chapelwood – my home church), Cleveland (FUMC), Brenham (FUMC), Cypress UMC and Spring Faith UMC. 

Throughout his ministry, Harry loved leading people into an intimate relationship with Christ that would lead their faith to come alive. In planning for life in retirement, Harry was trained through Coach Training For Leaders in order to empower pastors, leaders and churches to be all that God created them to be. His passion in ministry is to see lives and churches transformed as people fall in love with Christ and one another. 

Episode 34: Making the Shift: Moving Discipleship-focused Ministry from Adults to Students

Our Guest for this Episode – Janet Ables:

Janet is the Minister of Development (Leadership, Curriculum and Women) at CityView Bible Church in Round Rock, Austin, Texas and she also serves as the interim Student Pastor.  She made the “exodus to Texas” just before the pandemic in 2019 and before coming to Texas she served for over 15 years in vocational ministry in California. The bulk of this was within the scope of women’s ministry and adult discipleship.

She’s written 3 Bible-study books, Faith Refined: How God Uses Hard Times to Redefine Our Faith, Deceived: Destroying the lie that we are not enough, and To Know by Name: An Intimate Look at the Names of God.

She’s also the founder and president of the Esther Movement, an organization dedicated to reaching women in vulnerable places with the love of the gospel. And if that is not enough, she is also a recent graduate from the Evangelism and Leadership program at Wheaton College.

Episode 33: Lessons on Discipleship from Forgiveness

Our Guest for this Episode – Emmanuel Kwizera, M.A. ’23:

Emmanuel is a Billy Graham scholar in the M.A. program for Evangelism and Leadership at Wheaton College. He first arrived on campus with his family in 2021 after spending years working in Kenya as an evangelist.

He is originally from Rwanda, the son of missionary evangelists. In 1994, he survived the brutal genocide that ripped the country apart and led to the death of over one million of the Tutsi people, including over 100 of his own family members. Raised in a Christian family, Emmanuel was left wondering how God could have allowed such horror to happen, especially in a country that identified overwhelmingly as Christian. Join Ascending Leaders’ podcast to hear what he learned about discipleship and forgiveness.

Episode 32: Engaging Practices for Online Practices

Our Guest for this Episode – Wendy Mohler-Seib: 

Wendy is a wife, mother, stepmom, teacher, golfer, Kansan, Southwestern College Builder. She is a lover of good books, beaches, good conversations over good meals, travel, musical theatre, and a good laugh.

She has spent the last 20 years in ministry, and served in full-time youth ministry, bi-vocational youth ministry, and pastoral ministry. She has a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Southwestern College. Her M.Div. and M.A. in Youth Ministry are from Princeton Theological Seminary. She runs a high school vocational discernment program called the Summit Youth Academy and teaches youth ministry courses. She is an elder in the United Methodist Church and currently working on her Ph.D. in Religion from the University of Manchester with a focus on youth ministry.

Information on The Summit Youth Academy:

The Summit exists to prepare high school participants, known as Summit Disciples, for a lifetime of faithful Christian discipleship through connecting, learning, and discerning God’s call. Supported by the Institute for Discipleship, the program launched with funding from the Lilly Endowment with the first Summit in 2017. The Summit Youth Academy is a week for rising high school juniors and seniors to connect with God, Christian leaders and peers, learn Wesleyan theology from seminary and college professors, and discern God’s calling in one’s life.

Facebook – Summit Youth Academy

Instagram – @SummitKansas

Website – www.summityouthacademy.org

Other – wendy.mohlerseib@sckans.edu

Episode 31: A Promising Example of an In-Person/Online Hybrid Small Group

Our Guests for this Episode – Jon & Katie-Lee Harrison:

Jon and Katie-Lee Harrison have been married for almost 12 years and have three small children. Jon is the pastor at Greensburg Christian Church, Greensburg, KS. Katie-Lee works from home for a law firm in the Chicago suburbs. Jon and Katie-Lee met at Taylor University where they served as volunteers with Youth for Christ. Jon received his MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Prior to moving to Kanas, Jon served in churches in Indiana and Illinois. Jon was introduced to Ascending Leaders about a year ago. Both are part of the new discipleship team and have been very encouraged by the direction and growth their training has developed so far.

Facebook www.facebook.com/greensburgchristian 

Website www.greensburgchristianchurch.com

Episode 30: Potential Technology and Platforms for a New Era of Discipleship

Our Guests for this Episode – Steve Bauserman and Chris Stieb:

Steve is an ordained minister and has served on church staffs as a church administrator and a pastoral staff member. He has supported churches with system needs for more than forty years. Steve sees The ACTS Group as a support ministry to churches. He volunteers as a church photographer and a substitute Bible study leader for his church in Sugar Land. His family serves on church staff, in various ministries and as missionaries around the world. Steve is an avid cyclist who restores and collects old bicycles, and also tinkers with old British sports cars.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.bauserman or https://www.facebook.com/actsgroup.net Twitter@BausermanSteve or @ACTSGroupnet Instagram LinkedIn Advanced Church Technology Systems Group Website www.actsgroup.net


Chris is the Project Manager and an Engineer for the ACTS Group. Chris is a graduate of Houston Baptist University. He has served on church staff before and has extensive experience in Christian school IT operations. He volunteers actively at his church in Sugar Land on the Media team.

Weekly Blog www.actsgroup.net/blog


Episode 29: Leading a Discipleship Revolution in a Church

Our Guest for this Episode – Rev. Mike McClenahan:

Pastor McClenahan has served since 2003 as Senior Pastor at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. His passion is for the church to experience authentic transformation in order to make a tangible difference in the world. He has seen tremendous change in the structures and culture of his church: focus on sermon based small groups as primary discipleship strategy together, unified and intergenerational worship, missional strategy for the whole church, rebuilt and remodeled campus, and most recently a renewed commitment to personal spiritual practices. Ascending Leaders helped us respond to the Reveal for Church results to create a more effective culture of discipleship. 30 years ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and current chair of church planting committee of Presbytery of San Diego and board president of The Fellowship Community. Degrees from UCLA (BA Spanish) and Fuller Seminary (MDiv 1988, DMin 2000). He and his wife Amy, were married in 1985. They have twin married sons and five grandchildren. They are fans of pilgrimage, coffee and travel.

Mike McClenahan, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church

Facebook, instagram: @mikemcclenahan

Blog: mikemcclenahan.blogspot.com

Church website: solanabeach.church

Episode 28: The Youth Advocate Program

Our Guest for this Episode – Rev. Matt McClure:

Rev. McClure went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids for undergraduate and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for His MDiv. He has been married to his beautiful wife for 15 years and God has blessed them with 4 children. Lorien is 11, Leighton is 10, Graiden is 8, and Tiernan is 5. He Is The Pastor Of Prairie City Christian Reformed Church In Prairie City, Iowa. A Small Farming Community.

Episode 27: Why we do what we do

Our Guest for this Episode – Mike Johnson: 

Mike believes he is formed by Christ to form others. He is an ordained Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. In March of 2004, Mike received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. He specialized in adult lay leadership development.

Prior to that, Mike served as resident pastor at New Life Church in Spring, Texas, planted and pastored Community Life Church in Missouri City, Texas, and also developed and implemented the Texas Leadership Development Network, which was the predecessor to Ascending Leaders. Mike has also helped church leaders refocus and has been involved in the city-reaching efforts in the greater Houston, Texas area.

Mike is the core author of most of Ascending Leaders’ material. He sees his calling and gifting as being a faithful tool for creatively forming others. His passion is to help people grow and serve effectively as discipled leaders in God’s Kingdom.

Mike, his wife, Gina and their two children, Emmelyn and Nicholas, have made Sugar Land, Texas their home since 1990. He recently became a grandparent to two amazing granddaughters, whom he adores. Mike enjoys gardening with his wife and family activities, such as traveling and camping. He also enjoys friends and reading.

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