Episode 05: Moving Toward Sacrifice

Our Guest for this Episode – Greg Hawkins:

Greg Hawkins was on staff at Willow Creek for 22 years, and is the co-founder of REVEAL research. He’s the author of five books, including Move and More. He’s currently on staff at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX, working with Senior Minister Max Lucado.

His latest book, More, is the first book written from REVEAL research targeted to church attenders, not church leaders. It primarily details the journey from “Stage 3 to Stage 4,” using your language”.

Episode 04: Moving Toward Intimacy

Our Guests for this Episode – Julia Johnson and Richard Blackaby:

Julia Johnson has been Small Groups Director for over eight years at Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church at Katy, TX. Her goal is building Christ-centered communities to spur on spiritual growth. She has participated for two years in Ascending Leaders’ DiscipleOn! communities and is currently participating in the Catalytic Gathering hosted by Ascending Leaders. Her husband, Dan, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Katy and they have four adult children.



Richard Blackaby is an author and international speaker on leadership and the Christian life. He is co-author of the revised edition of Experiencing GodHe has authored over 31 books, including Hearing God’s Voice, Unlimited God, Spiritual Leadership, and Living Out of the Overflow.

Episode 03: Moving Toward Belief

Our Guest for this Episode – Blair Lerner:

Blair has been committed to Christ’s mandate to make disciples throughout 33 years of ministry. He has served in the local church and as a missionary. He has devoted himself to becoming more effective in making disciples. Blair believes that “Ascending Leader training has helped our discipleship staff incorporate and plan a multiplying disciple making movement at our church.”


Episode 02: Stages of Faith

Our Guest for this Episode – Bob Johnson:

Bob Johnson has served as the executive pastor at Chapelwood United Methodist church in Houston, TX, for 14 years, where he has led lay and staff teams related to discipleship. He recently shifted focus to bring more attention to the church’s discipleship-related strategic goals. He has recently joined Ascending Leaders as an adjunct consultant/coach.

Bob and I have been acquaintances for years, but in the past probably six months, Bob and I have gotten to know each other very well. He has been part of one of Ascending Leaders’ DiscipleOn communities – which are virtual communities of people in churches of a variety of denominations around the United States who are working on discipleship.

We’re going to focus in on four stages of a disciple’s growth. You know, Jesus’ last words to his eleven disciples were, “Make disciples.” (Matthew 8:18-19) In other words, make more people like themselves. People who are growing more deeply in love with Jesus.

Episode 01: Defining Discipleship

Our Guests for this Episode – Rev. Matt McClure and Rev. Peter Cammarano:

Rev. Matt McClure is the pastor of Prairie City Christian Reformed Church in Prairie City, Iowa. It’s a small farming community; Matt came there seven years ago after he graduated from seminary. This is a church that had a history before that of beating up pastors, one of those churches that almost closed, and then they went through a pretty remarkable recovery and looked forward to a better future. The church has been growing well under Matt’s leadership. I’ve been coaching with Matt and the church for about the last four years. We worked first on charting their next course as a church, and then around discipleship, and they’ve done a good job of this. I’m glad that Matt’s with us here for this episode.


Peter is the pastor of Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Lake Jackson, Texas. That’s a church of about 160 people on Sunday morning. Peter has been there seven years, and 260 on a Sunday.


Episode 0: What is Discipleship?

Our Guest for this Episode – Mike Johnson:

Mike Johnson is about the intentional formation of people. Over the last fifteen years he has focused on the formation of people through innovating, creating, writing, coaching and teaching. Ten years ago he planted the ministry Ascending Leaders. In 2004 Mike received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary. Prior to this Mike worked as a CR church planter and pastor in Missouri City, Texas. Mike and his wife make their home in Sugar Land, Texas. Their two children are married and live in the area. They are all employed in the field of education.

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