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NOW Start Network Convos: Matt Henry and “Catching the Wave” for a Church Plant in Kuna, Idaho

PLANTING A NEW CHURCH WITH DISCIPLE GROUPS. Matt shares how a local congregation in the Boise, Idaho, metro area is mobilizing to meet the “wave of urban migration” by planting a new congregation through the use of small groups and an active disciple-making process. Matt describes the difference between membership and discipleship, and unpacks how “helping someone grow” can be the foundation for helping a new church plant grow too!


NOW Start Network Convos: Clint and Mike of Xrossway Ministries

PLANTING A NEW CHURCH WITH A WHOLE-PERSON VISION (FITNESS CENTER INCLUDED). Clint and Mike share the impact of Xrossway on relationships with the community and the non-profit management model for a fitness center. Mike shares the incredible story of how he moved from Nebraska to Idaho to help manage Xrossway (thank God for mother-in-laws!)and the captivating power of a BIG vision for doing good in your community.


NOW Start Network Convos: Ty Schommer, Serial Entrepreneur

PAY ATTENTION TO THE CRITICS! A conversation with Ty (30-years starting new businesses including an investment company, Arbor Capital Management, and Denali Brewing Company in Talkeetna Alaska) at the NOW Start Networking event about his presentation. Warning! This conversation includes rare and powerful insight into the influence of critics on the entrepreneurial mindset.


The NOW Start Network: A Movement to Start New Ministries Across the Northwest

BE A PART OF THE NOW START NETWORK! If you’re considering starting something new in the NOW District, this one’s for you! Dust interviews Brian and Mike about the influence of the NOW Start Network and its unique expression of the Pacific Northwest pioneering spirit. The conversation includes the vision for NOW Start Network and a focus on getting things started from scratch.


Changing Our Focus: Partnering Together Regionally

Paul and Dust discuss challenges to ministry locally, and offer suggestions and resources for leaders and congregations to partner together to impact a region.


The Call Process: How To Find the Right Match

President Linnemann provides a helpful introduction to the call process, and offers important steps every calling group should consider in the call process.


“Workers For His Harvest” (Part Two of a Two-Part Episode)

Paul and Dust focus in this episode on the actual document “Workers For His Harvest.” They remind the listener that Lutheran DNA includes creating space to listen to one another respectfully, and discuss theological issues in a meaningful way together. Paul shares why he thinks this document is meaningful for him and meaningful for the LCMS in our time. He provides a brief introduction to the document’s purpose and some of its perspectives and encourages the listener to not only read the...


"Workers For His Harvest” (Part One of a Two-Part Episode)

Paul and Dust discuss the history of the service of Licensed Lay Deacons in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, particularly in the Northwest District. They introduce a document that began as a dissent by the Board of Directors of the Northwest District (in order to follow LCMS protocol), but is now a “public document” provided for discussion in the whole church. This episode is a “fly-over” of the history that led to the creation of the “Workers For His Harvest” document, and encourages the...


Who’s Audacious Enough to Serve An Entire County?

A conversation about community needs, equipping teens, and how the two can go together. For eleven years, Idaho Servant Adventures (ISA) has brought over 6,000 servant leaders (90,000 volunteer hours) to serve the people of Shoshone County in the panhandle of Idaho. Clint Kunze, the director of ISA, shares his vision for consistent service in Shoshone County, what it's like being called to love a specific community, and how ISA equips teenagers for a lifetime of service and leadership. Also...


Get Your Spark Ignited! Introducing 2018 Catalyst Grant Recipients

These creative new starts should get your spark going for building a blessing bridge in your community! Paul and Dust introduce the four recipients for the 2018 NOW District Catalyst Grants: 1. An activity center providing respite care for elderly people with memory issues, 2. a mission training process for congregations in a circuit, 3. discipleship materials for a new church plant, and, 4. helping a congregation launch a “comfort dog” ministry to provide care in their community during...


Institution and Movement: Which supports the other? Convention 2018 Recap and Next Steps

Paul and Dust offer a key metaphor for understanding the relationship between institution and movement. The conversation recaps the NOW District Convention “Being a Blessing to A Changing Culture,” with important take-aways for the next three years. The NOW District announces a new toolkit for leader discussions (especially congregation councils, boards, and other leadership groups) on Lutheran identity, how the institution supports the missional movement, and how to get traction on being a...


Kaleidoscope Grant to Help First-Call Pastors in the MAP-West Coast Program

Dust and Paul share the news about a grant that the NOW District received from LCEF (The Kaleidoscope Grant) for the MAP-West Coast program. The grant provides funds to help “first-call pastors” to the Northwest District grow in ministry applied practice (hence the acronym MAP!). Dust and Paul discuss the MAP-West Coast components, designed to "help brand new pastors move from being a student to being a practitioner.” They close with a brief introduction to a new leadership offering,...


All Worker’s Conference Recap and What is Next at Convention in June 2018

"Reforming for a Changing Culture,” was the theme for the NOW District All Worker’s Conference in 2017. We are in a different culture than the one in which we were raised, certainly from the culture 500 years ago when the Reformation occurred. Dust and Paul discuss key learnings from the plenary speakers at the Conference, and what this means during a time of transition for the church at large. They also preview what is to come in June 2018 at the NOW District Convention.


Episode 15 Cross My Art: Bridging to Community Through Art(Part 2 of a 2-part Interview)

Mike and Tabea share their favorite stories of the impact and influence of “Cross My Art” on their community. Dust Kunkel visits with Mike and Tabea of “Cross My Art” of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spokane, a growing mission to the community using artistic mediums to introduce and enrich faith in Christ. Anyone interested in starting something new, or launching a ministry that builds relationships in community will love this podcast! This is an interview (in two parts) with leaders in the...


Cross My Art: Bridging to Community Through Art — ’Startup Story'” (Part 1 of 2)

Mike and Tabea share the incredible story of the vision and genesis for launching “Cross My Art.” Dust Kunkel visits with Mike and Tabea of “Cross My Art” of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spokane, a growing mission to the community using artistic mediums to introduce and enrich faith in Christ. Anyone interested in starting something new, or launching a ministry that builds relationships in their community will love this podcast! This is an interview (in two parts) with leaders in the field...


The Listening Leader: A Sign of Maturity

“The Listening Leader: A Sign of Maturity" The difference between “what” and “how.” We know the “what:” the story has a good ending. The challenge is the “how:” what happens between now and then. We spend a lot of time telling people how things ought to be, instead, we should follow Him in the moment with each person. Sometimes, we use Easter as a way to dismiss people and how they feel in their suffering. Instead, let go of coercing, or manipulating people to the place we want them to be....


Episode 12 (1 of 2): A Leader Faces The ’S’ Word (Suffering)

Dust and Paul have a conversation about suffering, on Wednesday of “Holy Week” (the week before Easter that includes Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday). Our leader knows the destination, but we don’t always see it clearly. The challenge is walking with Him and letting Him direct our walk. Paul shares a story from his youth about trying to avoid suffering. “If you could go back to that 15 year-old Paul, what would you say to him?” I would be there, listen, look for connections...


The Xrossway Story - Building Bridges in Community Through Dance and Fitness

Dust Kunkel sits down with Clint, Chris and Kaeshawn, some of the staff at Xrossway Fitness and Life Center, and learns how ball-room dancing is strengthening community in Twin Falls, Idaho. Also, according to the Xrossway staff, it is fun! This is the first interview (with more to come) with “real-live” leaders in the field in the Northwest (NOW) District. The purpose of these interviews is to lift up good-news stories, and focus on ways we can strengthen our communities. If you laugh a...


All-Workers Conference, Oct 17-20, 2017 — “Why These Guys?"

Dr. Bob Newton and Author/Researcher Gabe Lyons are introduced as the plenary speakers for the 2017 All-Workers Conference for the NOW District. Paul and Dust have a brief conversation on the question: “Why these guys?"


“And Now For Something Completely Different: Joy in Ministry”

Paul and Dust take a side-journey into Joy, and its more than fun! Joy is transcendent. We were made for Joy. A conversation about having joy like a child. The opposite of Joy is fear. Joy is independent of circumstance. Happiness and Joy are not synonyms. We don’t have to be happy about something to be joyful about it. Experiencing Joy is being a “participant-observer” instead of being the “actor.” Time-lapse photography and Joy. Connecting the dots in the painting to find a heart-shaped...