The Discipleship Podcast for Church Leaders

In the weeks and months leading up to Harvey, we were working behind the scenes preparing a new resource for discipleship leaders that is easily accessible, relevant and convenient. We’re always looking for ways to share the information and tools we know will make a real impact on discipleship in churches, and podcasts are a rapidly growing means of communication. Nearly a quarter of internet users in the United States listen to podcasts at least once a week. Our recent audience survey showed that over 53% regularly listen to podcasts. Despite the effects of Harvey, Ascending Leaders released the first two episodes of our new podcast on September 4. In its first five weeks, people downloaded almost 200 episodes!

We’re convinced that a podcast can serve our audience—can serve you—by encouraging and educating in a way that integrates easily into existing daily routines. In Episode 00, you can hear Mike talk about what “discipleship” is. In subsequent episodes, hear conversations with different church leaders who are actively applying a stages of faith approach in their churches.

To further enhance the value the podcast provides church leaders, each episode transcript is available on our website, along with a free downloadable tool or resource related to that episode’s topic. For example, Episode 02: “Defining Discipleship” has a list of ten example definitions from churches of varying contexts and sizes.

God’s perfect timing for me. I listened to the first podcast episode on discipleship. It was what I needed to hear at this time. Thanks for your work!








  • Episode 06: Remain in Me—Moving Toward Mission
    With Joel and Patty Hogan, Spiritual Directors from Madison Square Church, Grand Rapids, MI


  • Episode 07: Naming the Stages for YOUR Church
    With Ken Schripsema, Executive Director of Ministry, Madison Square Church, Grand Rapids, MI

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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