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Lead Stories Podcast

Tales of Leadership and Life with Jo Saxton and Steph Williams
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Stories of leadership and life with Jo Saxton and Steph Williams

Mar 22, 2017

In this Lead Voices podcast Jo and Steph chat with Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, the author of Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship (Zondervan, 2016).

 

She intentionally serves as a credible witness of Christ’s leadership to engage, equip, and empower people to live and lead on purpose. She is the visionary founder of the 501(c)(3) organization, Leadership LINKS, Inc., a ministry that exists to connect people with purpose.

 

Leadership LINKS exists to educate and equip servant leaders who are committed to using their skills and resources for the greater good of humanity. We fulfill our vision by offering leadership education that facilitates impactful living, character and spiritual development.

 

Natasha serves as a Bible teacher, writer, mentor, anti-human trafficking advocate, and champion for education.

 

Natasha is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte (cum laude, M.A. Christian Leadership) and the U.S. Naval Academy. A former Marine Corps officer, she has over 15 years of leadership and mentoring experience in the military, government, church, seminary, and nonprofit sectors.

 

She is a sought after leadership consultant, mentoring coach, and speaker. Connect via her official website www.natashaSrobinson.com, blog www.asistasjourney.com, Twitter @asistasjourney, Instagram nlsrobinson, orwww.facebook.com/NatashaSistrunkRobinson.

 

Come join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Mar 20, 2017

Once we have overcome barriers to responding to God, how do we actually discern what God is saying? What does that look like practically?

 

This week Jo and Steph share their stories, answering questions such as:

  • What are some of the ways God has got your attention in the past?
  • What role has community played in discerning God’s voice?
  • What does it look like discerning God’s voice with your husband and kids?
  • When were you first aware that you were hearing God?
  • What does hearing God’s voice look like for you as a leader of a faith community?
  • Are women more easily deceived so they need to be more careful in discerning what God’s saying?
  • We say, God is always speaking.  What does it look like to look for God’s voice out in the culture?

 

Discussion questions:

1) Having listened to the podcast are there some fresh ways you can identity that God has spoken to you in the past that you didn’t previously recognize?

2) What does / could it look like for you to develop the spiritual muscle of discerning God’s voice in your life?

3) Do you find it easier to discern God’s voice in stillness or movement? How can you develop the other area more?



Join us at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Mar 13, 2017

God is already moving and doing things in our lives, neighborhoods and world and He desires for us to meet Him in it.  Can we recognize what He is doing and join Him in it?

 

Jo and Steph embark on a new season during the season of Lent looking at how we can discern what God is saying and respond to Him accordingly.  In this show they discuss everyday things which prevent us from responding to God - 5 Barriers beginning with ‘B’!

  1. Busyness
  2. Battles
  3. Bitterness
  4. Brokenness
  5. Babies!

 

Discussion questions:

  1. How does it change how you feel about mission / responding to the brokenness we encounter knowing that God is already there and our job is to just respond to God’s personal invitation to us in each situation?
  2. Think back to changes in seasons in your life which have made it more difficult to recognize what God was doing.  (Job changes, babies, moving from/to singleness)In what ways did you learn in recognize God in new ways in those transitions?
  3. Who are the people who you have invited into your life to prayer with you and help you recognize what God is doing and to keep you accountable to respond?
  4. Which ‘B’ is your biggest struggle right now? Share and pray!

 

Come join us at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Mar 6, 2017

What does it look like to experience purpose in the wilderness?

 

This week Jo and Steph look at key men and women in the Bible who were given a calling and a promise and then for an extended period of time they recieved the exact opposite to what God had promised. 

 

They also take time to look at Joshua and Caleb, faithful leaders who were ready to respond to God’s invitations to enter the Promised Land but who were held back by others. 

 

Who would have thought that the crazy wilderness journey which is opposite to the promise is actually the journey to the promised land itself?

 

Discussion questions:

1) Do you know what your purpose is? What has God called you to do, not matter what season you are in? Jo mentioned that hers was ‘equipping others to be all they are meant to be’. Spend sometime developing a personal missional statement.   

 

2)  Have you ever felt held back as a leader by other people’s lack of faith? How did you respond to that disappointment?

 

3) What happens when you are the person who sees the giant and is afraid to go in? Are you prepared to believe? Are there giants that are sabotaging your life right now?

 

4)When you have longings do you tend towards despair or hope? How can you invite God into your longings so that they are transformed into hope and faith?

 

5) Are you paying attention to what God is doing in the midst of waiting? Steph mentioned how learning plumbing through broken toilets was not her desired calling, but it has prepared her for later in life in her calling. What things are seemingly pointless in your life right now which God could redeem?

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: 

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Mar 2, 2017

In this episode Jo chats with Rachael Leman, the executive director for CARE, a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty.  Their focus is on women and girls, recognizing that poverty will only be eradicated when there are equal rights for all.

 

Listen in to hear how CARE is working to impact the lives of many people positively, empowering them out of poverty. 

 

http://www.care.org

http://www.careaction.org

 

Come join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community 

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 27, 2017

Identity is one of the areas God often puts a finger on during our wilderness seasons. We may suddenly find ourselves stripped of our identities or taking on an identity in an unhealthy way. Often wilderness seasons lead us back to the question: ‘who am I actually?’ and hopefully then onto finding out who God says we are: His masterpieces.

 

Before Jesus starts ministry His identity is declared: This is my son, who I love, with whom I am well pleased.

He is then driven into the desert to face temptation. If He had forgotten who He was, He would not have been able to face those temptations.

 

Discussion questions:

1) Who are you really in God? Take a moment to discuss or write a list of what God says about you as a child of God and the gifts and callings God has spoken over you. Where is the enemy trying to get you to deny your true identity?

 

2) We can be tempted to try and earn God’s love, thinking that we can only be His children if we are perfect.  Where have you been tempted to earn your identity as God’s masterpiece and His love?

 

3) Read Psalm 139: v1-18 & v23-24 out loud . Do you feel you are too much or not enough? Why? What does God say about you? Where do those feelings hold you back?

 

4) Jo mentioned reading Psalm 139 over herself in the mirror during times when her identity was attacked. How can you practically embrace God’s truth about your identity? (Have a verse written in a prominent place, paint or write out your identity, memorize scriptures…)

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 22, 2017

Jo and Steph talk racial recognition, representation and reconciliation in today’s episode.  Listen in to this fascinating and informative discussion on what true historical and biblical justice really looks like and why a diversity of faces in the room is not the same as racial diversity.  Also hear their suggestions for being a bridge in your culture between different diverse people. 

 

Resources:

Be the Bridge

http://www.latashamorrison.com/

https://beabridgebuilder.com/

 

Join us at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 20, 2017

Jesus has two significant experiences before His ministry begins - first His baptism and then He is driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan.  First he receives a declaration of love and approval from His Father before He has done anything, and then He is driven into a harsh physical wilderness. 

 

In this episode Jo and Steph discuss Jesus’ wilderness journey in Matthew 3:13-4:11.  They look at the three temptations Jesus faced from the enemy and discuss where the enemy has similarly tempted them in those areas:

 

1) Appetite

2) Approval

3) Ambition

 

After facing those temptations, Jesus comes out of the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Steph shares about her wilderness journey into ministry, where God broke down her desire for approval from others, and Jo shares how God made her step out of worship for a season to address unhealthy ambitions. 

 

Take-aways:

1) The promise of the wilderness is God’s power.  God’s Spirit is with you in the wilderness and it is God’s power which will lead you out.

2) Surrender to God in the wilderness.  Not necessarily surrender to it, but surrender to God.  He is still the safest place to be.

3) Let God expose those three A’s in your life.  It is the safest way.

 

Discussion questions:

1) Which of the three A’s are you struggling with right now? How is that affecting your life in a negative way?

2) Where do you need to surrender to God in the current wilderness? Do you believe God is the safest place? Why or why not?

3) Think back to a wilderness you have come through.  Where has God’s power been manifested in your life as a result of that season?

 

Come and join us at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community 

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 13, 2017

Re-broadcast of Life in the Wilderness.

 

The start of a new series of Life in the Wilderness, Jo and Steph discuss those times we all face but all would prefer not to - those desert times.

 

They discuss what the wilderness may look like and has looked like for them: times where we feel spiritually dry, where our faith has been tested or where God has used difficult circumstances to form our character.  Jo shares about adapting to a new life in the US after a fruitful season in the UK, and Steph shares about her journey with singleness and dating.

 

Looking at the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt, we learn the the distance between slavery and the Promised Land is the wilderness, and how God uses that time to correct the wrong mindsets the Israelites had in terms of their identity, purpose and relationship with God.

 

God sees you, He is with you in it and He wants to walk with you. You are not forgotten.

 

Discussion questions:

  1. Describe a desert time in your life that has now passed and you have now seen breakthrough.  What did it feel like physically, emotionally and spiritually during that desert time? How did God meet you in that desert time and form your character?

 

  1. Where in your life are you still in the wilderness? Where are you seeing the opposite to what you believe God has promised right now? The Israelites were given truth in the wilderness.  What truths do you need to remind yourself of and how can you do that practically? (Have a verse in a prominent place, set a timer weekly to re-read words spoken over you, have a time to meet regularly with someone to pray about the wilderness season).

 

  1. Where are you wrestling against God’s purposes for you in the wilderness? Where do you need to surrender and trust that God sees you and is with you and wants to meet you in the midst of this wilderness?

 

Download the Resource guide to accompany this series at:

www.leadstoriesmedia.com/resources

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 8, 2017

Jo and Steph chat with Amena and Missi from the ‘Hear for the Donuts’ podcast about using their voices - Amena as a traveling recording artist and Missi as a blogger, homeschool mom and midwife.

 

Check out:

http://www.amenabrown.com/

Missi’s blog:

http://www.audacitermatris.com/

 

Find their podcast: ‘Here for the donuts’ at

https://soundcloud.com/here-for-the-donuts or on iTunes!

 

Remember to check out the Lead Stories community at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 6, 2017

So it turns out God had other plans!  Although uncomfortable, going into the wilderness can be a place where we meet with God and are empowered by Him. Jo and Steph share why and how they felt God is leading them to revisit the wilderness and take us along too!

 

In this podcast Jo and Steph share about the ‘desert fathers and mothers’ who deliberately embraced the wilderness as a withdrawal from consumerist ‘Christian’ society.  They discuss how the desert fathers and mothers met with God in power and also led others who sought them out to encounter God powerfully.  They explore how the same principles could look for us without us leaving our homes and becoming hermits in a physical desert!

 

Discussion questions:

1) What is your gaze on right now? Which of those things are blocking your gaze on God? What are you going to do about it?

 

2) What do your daily, weekly and monthly rhythms of rest and meeting with God look like right now? How can you be intentional about them this year?

 

3) Are you scared of the wilderness? Why? Where do you find it hard to believe that God is enough?

 

4) Where might God be inviting you into the wilderness right now?

 

Check out the new resource study guide for groups and individuals: ‘Life in the Wilderness’. It is an opportunity to dig deeper and explore questions. Find it at:  

www.leadstoriesmedia.com/resources  

 

Check out Lead Stories Community at:

www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Feb 1, 2017

Jo and Steph chat leadership and speaking with Nicole Bullock.

 

Nicole leads a church called ‘Blue Oaks Covenant church’ in the Twin Cities but she is originally from inner-city Chicago. 

 

Listen in to hear what life was like for Nicole growing up in Chicago, how she was influenced by Christians who served in her neighborhood. Find out how she came to lead a Gospel choir without knowing how to sing, how that lead to her going into ministry and how, despite having no desire to do so, she became a church planter and a foster mom!

 

Also listen in to hear her top-tips for women related to public speaking.

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) When you look back at your childhood, which people were influential in your life now that you didn’t realize at the time?

 

2) Nicole says: what you are doing right now, whether big or small, know that you are making a huge impact and God is watching you being faithful.  Where do you need to hear that encouragement in your life right now?

 

3) How do you feel about public speaking? Do you think it is a skill that is gender specific? Is it possible you could have assumed that you are not called to speaking? Are you open to God providing opportunities for you to learn how to speak in the next season?

 

Come and join us at Lead Stories Community at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 30, 2017

This week Jo and Steph interview each other about vision.  

 

Find out how hauling a 250lb television fits in with leadership and getting along and how Jo and Steph answer these questions:

 

- How has vision played a role in your leadership?

- What does discerning vision look like for you?

- When are some times that vision was crucial?  

- What does casting a vision look like as a leader in times of crisis?

- When did your vision not work out?  

- How do you keep vision fresh and alive in your heart?

- How do you lead others with a clear vision whilst holding it lightly to be open to things changing?

- What does it look like to discern the right opportunities with vision?

 

Discussion questions:

1) What are some of the overarching vision words in your life? If you are not sure, read Luke 4:16-20 and see where your life / calling may fit in with Jesus’ vision for the kingdom.

 

2) Can you think of a time when you had vision and it went well and another time when the vision you had didn’t work out?

 

3) How do you practically embrace your vision without losing daily relationship and input from God? Do you ever find yourself ‘using’ God to get vision and not engaging with Him aside from wanting to know the next steps?



What are your questions about vision: let us know at:

Www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 25, 2017

Steph is chatting with Efrem Smith about his role as President of ‘World Impact Incorporated’ and how his upbringing has impacted his calling to see reconciliation and unity within churches and communities currently divided along class, political or racial lines.  

 

Listen in to hear how this passion for diversity and reconciliation has impacted Efrem’s ministry decisions.  He also shares steps we can take to encourage greater diversity within the church.

 

Bible verses:

2 Corinthians 5

 

Steps for reconciliation in leadership:

1) Deepen our personal relationship with God. Declutter our lives enough to have intimacy with God. Begin to get a heart for what He cares about.

 

2) Investigate and meditate on the multi-ethnicity of Jesus.

 

3) See people who are different from you as opportunities to extend God’s kingdom and love, not as threats.

 

4) Learn to see ourselves and others as God sees us - our true identities.  Dismiss the lies and false information the world gives us about ourselves and others.

 

5) Refuse to be happily entrenched in your own viewpoints, traditions and comforts.  Listen to others and learn how to hear what others are saying even when we don’t adopt their viewpoint.

 

Resources:

www.worldimpact.org

 

Check out Efrem’s books:

 

New release: Killing us softly

 

The post black and post white church

Jump into a life of further and higher



Discussion questions:

  1. Where are you happily entrenched in your default political / racial mode? Where have you ignored or pushed away opportunities to engage with others who are on different political or racial lines to you? Take some time to repent.

 

  1. Read John 17:20-21. Do you have a heart to see a united, reconciled church? Take some time to pray and ask God to ignite His passion for unity and diversity in your heart and to give you opportunities to help influence others in this area.

 

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 and discuss the following statement: ‘white people have a choice to engage or disengage with racial diversity, whereas black people don’t have that choice’.   How can the church and us as individuals practically engage with differences in the church and have ministries and messages of reconciliation?

 

Come and join us at www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 23, 2017

What is vision, how do we get it and how do we know if it is any good? Do you have vision for your life?

 

After Steph shares some great, although unsolicited, dating advice, Jo and Steph share how vision is ‘a picture of what could be’ and how we embrace that in our lives. They share why vision is so important and what happens when vision isn’t present.

 

Bible passages mentioned:

 

Proverbs 29:18 (Check out the Message version)

Habakkuk 2:1-3

John 5:19

 

Questions to help you explore your vision:

 

1) What do you get excited / frustrated about?

2) What makes you laugh / cry?

3) Where do you have strong emotions that God may be stirring to lead you into a vision for change?

4) What things do you find yourself returning to in your mind over and over?

5) What things do you find yourself drawn to / investigating (blogs/books/movies on certain themes)

6) What things would your friends say you are passionate about? (ask them!)

7) What threads show up in your journals which may be signposts?

8) What themes / passages in Scripture stand out to you?

9) What would you do if you weren’t afraid? (Of failure / others / discomfort…)

10) Who are you talking to as you explore your vision?

11) What things are your friends and family sick of you talking about that you don’t do anything about? (Ask them!)

 

Check out and join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 16, 2017

Courageous leaders lead with their whole hearts.  Listen in as Jo and Steph answer questions live from Bethel Seminary. 

 

Questions include: 

 

1) How do I authentically implement my own leadership style whilst also accommodating the needs and styles of those I am leading?

 

2) How can I, as a male leader, empower the women around me without being patronizing?

 

3) How do you lead in the midst of segregation and divided political lines?

 

4) What does it look to lead your leaders when you don’t like the tone or leadership? How do you lead up?

 

5) What qualities do you see in courageous leaders?

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) How would you define courageous leadership? Can you think of any examples in your own life and from the Bible of people who demonstrated courageous leadership to you?

 

2) What does it look like for you to be a courageous leader in the next season? What are the uncomfortable spaces God may be calling you into?

 

3) How is your inner life - your core - where courage flows from? Where do you need to make courageous decisions to deal with your junk? (Unhelpful habits, debt, emotional hurts etc.)

 

 

Check out and come join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

 

Jan 9, 2017

Jo and Steph have been doing the 'hello, goodbye' process for years.  In this podcast they vulnerably and candidly share their personal goodbyes and hellos from last year and for the coming year.

 

Steph shares about how last year’s word ‘threshold’ worked out, and the new words God has given to her for this year: ‘priority shift’ and ‘redefine’. She shares about how she is trying to intentionally embrace the changes with what her work-life looks like and redefining herself as gets married this year.

 

Jo shares how she struggled to truly embrace God’s word for last year ‘favor’, and made the word for the year ‘driven’ instead.  Listen in to hear how she is trying to readdress that (this time recognizing more of her need for God!) as she embraces the word ‘flourish’ for 2017.

 

Check out the mentioned resources:

 

Grayshot www.grayshot.net

 

Woman - The Full Story: A Dynamic Celebration of Freedoms - Michele Guinness

Lost Women of the Bible: The Women We Thought We Knew - Carolyn Custis James

 

Check out and come join us at: www.leadstoriesmedia.com/community

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) How do you feel about the ‘unknowns’ and ‘abstracts’ of this coming year? Where and how are you tempted to ‘white-knuckle’ hold-on rather than to step out in faith and trust God will meet you there?

 

2) Luke 17:33 says If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.’ - how does this make you feel?

 

3) Do you struggle more with suffering or blessing? How is that manifested in your life? Do you believe that God wants to bless you, or do you feel you have to earn His blessing?

 

4) Read the following C.S. Lewis quote from Screwtape Letters that Jo mentioned:

 

The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forearmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack. You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favor of the “best” people, the “right” food, the “important” books. I have known a human defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions.

 

Where are you tempted to choose what society says is “best” and “right” and “important” over the personal things that make you come alive in your relationship with God? Where do you need to give yourself permission to flourish in those areas this year? 

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Jan 2, 2017

It’s 2017! Today Jo and Steph are chatting about what it looks like to be intentional with looking backwards at 2016 and saying ‘hello!’ to 2017. It is not too late for you to embrace the process!

 

Saying goodbye to things in the previous year and saying hello to new things has been a process Jo has been embracing since way back in 1992! Listen in to hear her journey with the process.

 

The ‘Hello Goodbye’ process is a tool in response to New Year’s resolutions - it is not about fixing yourself, but intentionally, prayerfully turning away from certain things, whether good or bad, and turning towards other things.  Those things might be fun (like working out!) or they may be uncomfortable like embracing grief or forgiveness, but the focus is finding ways to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and physically.

 

Listen in to find out who said:

‘Why cry when you can eat fried chicken?’ and ‘It’s not an idol, it’s an ideal!’

 

You can get your free Hello Goodbye workbook at www.leadstoriesmedia.com

 

Discussion questions:

 

1) What traditions have you had at New Years? Have you ever had any New Year’s resolutions? How did they go?

 

2) When you look at your life honestly right now, would you say you are living intentionally or surviving? How are your work-rest rhythms?

 

3) Have you already done a Goodbye-Hello process this year? What would you like to be held accountable on? If you haven’t done it yet, when are you going to take some time (let’s talk days and dates!) to actually do it?

 

You can get your free Hello Goodbye workbook at www.leadstoriesmedia.com

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo:

Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox

Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast

Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast

Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton

Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS

Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Dec 29, 2016

Steph's Favorite episode: Episode 36 - The Biggest Lies of Life on Mission

God is doing things all around us and is inviting us to be on mission with Him on a daily basis in our everyday lives. There are, however, many lies we believe which hold us back from joining Him.   Jo and Steph discuss 10 lies about life on mission: 1. It is going to take a lot of extra time (which I don’t have!) 2. A life on mission is somewhere else, preferably abroad. 3. You have to be a professional missionary to be sent on mission 4. You have to have a certain personality type - one that is fearless and chatty! 5. You have to have professional training to do mission - until then I can’t do mission. 6. Assumption that real mission will be the exact opposite of anywhere you want to go and anything you want to do. 7. It’s all about what you say. 8. It’s all about what you do. You don’t need to say anything. 9. You have to go it alone! 10. You have to do it for God.   Discussion questions:   1) Read John 5:19.  Where is God already working in the lives of people around you? In which contexts is God inviting you to be on mission with Him in your every day life? 2) Are you an introvert or extrovert? How can you do mission within your personality type? Where are the challenge to embrace? 3) Who are your team? Who is praying with you about your mission opportunities?

Dec 26, 2016

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com



Dec 19, 2016

In this episode Jo and Steph review Lead Stories season 1.

You may or may not hear them singing Mariah Carey as well as find out their favourite Christmas movies, favorite Lead Stories episodes this year and some ideas for Season 2.

Also if you haven’t joined the mailing list yet to get your free ‘hello - goodbye’ workbook, and to be one of the first to find out about the forthcoming Lead Stories community, then go quickly to www.leadstoriesmedia.com to sign up and check out the new website!

Discussion questions:

1. What was your favorite Lead Stories episode this year?

2. In what ways has Lead Stories helped you in your leadership this year?

3. What self-care ideas are you going to embrace over the holiday season?

Let Jo and Steph know the answers to those questions as well as any things you would like them to discuss next year or questions for them.  They are waiting to hear from you!

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Dec 12, 2016

The holidays are coming and that means we often have lots of opportunities to navigate conflict in testing times!

Jo and Steph share several practical ideas to empower us to manage tension, and to pursue healthy relationships with our loved ones.

 

In this episode they will discuss:

 

1) The importance of the preparation of prayer

2) Learning to listen well

3) How to ask good questions

4) Clarifying what you think you heard someone say

5) Taking a moment to pause before jumping into conversation

6) Managing areas where opinions are different in a positive way.

 

Discussion questions:

1) Which relationships do you particularly need to prepare for in prayer this season?

 

2) Where do you need to grieve and lament injustices and difficulties in your family relationships? Maybe take some time to write a lament that leads to praise.  Check out the Psalms to find some examples of laments.  

 

3) Are you more likely to avoid conflict or be hot-headed? Discuss what elements make up a healthy conversation where conflict, misunderstandings or disagreements are present. Take some time to pray for courage to communicate in healthy ways.

 

Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Dec 5, 2016

Jo and Steph are answering questions from a live audience on leadership and life.

Questions include:

- What key questions or conversations should I have when I start working with a new boss?

- What tips do you have on finishing well?

- Is there a common thread in the lives of those leaders you look up to?

- How do you motivate or move on people you are leading who are not doing a role well?

- How do you deal with toxic people as a leader?

- What would be your utensil of choice to eat ice cream if a spoon was not available?

- What does self-leadership look like for you right now?

Resource mentioned:

Edwin H. Friedman - A Failure of Nerve

Jo and Steph would love to hear any questions you have about leadership to help them plan future podcasts. See their social media contacts below to get in touch!

Discussion questions:

1) Think of three people who have influenced or directly led you in different ways and discuss what you admired about them. (Keep it positive!)

2) What goodbye rituals do you have already in place in your life for seasons of transition? Discuss some different ideas which could be used for future transitions.

3) How honest are you with ‘toxic’ people you are leading? How can you have honest but loving conversations? Share ideas.

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Nov 28, 2016

This week Jo and Steph are live from The Sheridan Story warehouse in Minneapolis, interviewing Rob Williams, the Executive director.

After a call for help from a local school which had discovered children hoarding food on Fridays because of food insecurity over the weekends, The Sheridan Story began to provide Friday food packages to children in need.

Working with local faith communities, The Sheridan Story enables them to partner with local schools providing the logistic know-how.  They are now helping over 120 schools and 15,000 children in the Minneapolis area.

 

In this inspiring interview find out:

- Why providing children with these food packages makes such a difference to their future and the future of society

- How The Sheridan Story began

- How The Sheridan Story gives ‘dignified’ food packages and why that is important

- How Rob’s previous experience and jobs he struggled with helped prepare him to develop and lead The Sheridan Story.

- Steph’s childhood nickname!

 

It costs a cup of coffee to support one child with a food package each weekend.  Find out how you can donate and get involved at www.thesheridanstory.com

 

Also check out: www.millcitychurch.com

 

Discussion questions:

1) What do you think about churches offering services without expecting anything in return? What do you think about churches providing services whilst expecting something in return? (Attendance, access to relationships, formal opportunities to give a Gospel message…) At what point does it become ’prostitution’ rather than love from the church?

 

2) How often do you / your church offer services to others rather than asking them what they really need and doing that instead? Why could meeting people where they are at be an effective way of building relationships with those outside the church? Can you think of any occasions where Jesus or the disciples responded to needs rather than offered services?

 

3) Where could you / your church support a local school? Who has connections with a local school that you know where you could find out what services your local school needs?

 

4) ’All kids are our kids.  All children are from God and bear God’s image.’  How should this impact the way you and your church view children in the wider community?

  Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

Nov 21, 2016

Working with survivors of trafficking, addiction and prostitution, Becca Stevens developed Thistlefarms social enterprise as a way to meet the economic needs of those women.  The project began with a residential community of just 5 women and is now the largest national enterprise run by survivors.   Jo chats with Becca about her dream to create a sanctuary for women survivors, her journey to ordination and some of the key ingredients in helping her to survive and thrive in leadership. Jo and Becca also share how their recent trip to Haiti has impacted them.   Listen in to find out what Becca is currently excited about, and what she means by saying she is ‘more interested in bold leadership than servant leadership’.   Check out:  Thistlefarms products in Wholefoods stores and online: www.thistlefarms.org   Books:  Check out Becca’s books at: http://www.beccastevens.org/books/ Look out for Love heals when it is released!   Also check out this article on Thistlefarms and Becca on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/02/us/cnn-hero-becca-stevens/index.html   Discussion questions:  1) Dream time! What dreams are in your heart? Take some time to share.   2) God told David ‘not you, not now’ when he dreamed of building a temple, so obviously now is not the time for every dream to be realized.  However, where are you too busy to invest in the dreams that God is calling you to work with now? What are you going to do about it?   3) Would you describe yourself as a bold leader? Why or why not? What do you think it means to be bold in Christ? Where is the Holy Spirit encouraging you to be bold in your leadership right now?   Follow Lead Stories Podcast to interact with Steph and Jo: Twitter: @LeadStoriesVox Instagram: @LeadStoriesPodcast Facebook: LeadStoriesPodcast Connect with Jo at: www.josaxton.com @josaxton Connect with Steph at: www.pastorsteph.com @pastorstephMPLS Subscribe on iTunes to have the podcast automatically download to your device every week or listen at www.leadstoriespodcast.com

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