Today on The Pod, we tackle two ideas that many ministry leaders have a difficult time accepting. First, we’re joined by Jeanne Stevens who reminds us that with God all things are possible—but He never intended for us to live as though we are limitless. Then Ryan Leak sits down with guest hosts Holly Crawshaw and Sarah Bragg to talk about principles found in his book UnOffendable: No Offense. None Taken.
Welcome to Episode 85 of The Think Orange Podcast!
Jeanne Stevens talks about doing work with God instead of doing work for God (4:15)
Jeanne shares from Deuteronomy 30:11–14 on the gift of limits (7:51)
The gift of limits leads to the gift of rhythm (11:34)
Warning signs of limitless living (13:58)
• Comparison (14:35)
• Tiredness/sickness (15:15)
• Excessive control (16:14)
• Compulsiveness (16:34)
• Emotional numbing (16:51)
• Escapism (17:27)
• Over-working (17:50)
• Feeling overwhelmed (18:00)
• Worry (18:17)
• Withdrawal (18:20)
With God all things are possible—but not all things are possible for you (18:23)
Holly Crawshaw and Sarah Bragg interview Ryan Leak (21:06)
Ryan describes the idea behind his book UnOffendable: No Offense. None Taken. (26:08)
Everyone has the right to feel offended; the problem is when you stay in that place (32:41)
“Funeral Rules” Ryan’s friend taught him (34:22)
• Consider who you want sitting in the first two rows at your funeral
• Think about what you want those people to say about you and evaluate your life in light of those things
In the same way we’ve been offended, we’ve probably offended others—so we have to create space for grace to come in (36:35)
Believing the best in others, knowing that others have taken a chance on us (38:04)
How to approach a person who is frequently and highly offended (43:13)
As leaders, it’s important to decipher between what’s offensive and what’s constructive (46:26)
Some people want to just fall into friendships, but you have to be intentional if you want to win with relationships (53:00)
Dave’s final thoughts (54:43)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Ryan Leak serves as the Young Adults Director at Covenant Church in Dallas,TX and is also a Filmmaker, Author & Motivational Speaker. He’s mostly known for pulling off The Surprise Wedding, which went viral on Youtube in 2013 with 1.4 million views. He’s been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Queen Latifah Show and many other various media outlets.
He and his wife are published authors with Random House and released, The One: An Amazing Love Story Starts With You, back in May 2015. His latest project is a documentary about what life could look like if we all stop living with the fear of failure. Chasing Failure, encourages its viewers to embrace challenges and chase their dreams. In this documentary Ryan tried out for the NBA team, the Phoenix Suns. Along with the documentary Ryan has released his most recent book, Chasing Failure: What if losing was the quickest way to win?
Jeanne Stevens is one of the lead pastors of Soul City Church in Chicago’s dynamic West Loop neighborhood, which she and her husband, Jarrett, started in 2010. Jeanne has had the opportunity to teach, pastor and speak in to the lives of thousands of people across the U.S. and around the world. Her passion to develop leaders, to encourage people to live from the fullest part of themselves and to live boldly give her a unique voice of hope and challenge.
Jeanne is the author of Soul School, the devotionals Everyday Brave and Grit & Grace, and a contributor to the Bible Study and DVD Series “Twelve Women of the Bible” as well as “Real Women, Real Faith.” In addition to pastoring Soul City Church, Jeanne finds great joy in being a wife to Jarrett of 17 years, and a mom to her son, Elijah, and daughter, Gigi.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
As we strive to be unoffendable, we have to consider how we engage with those we deem offensive. Every day, we bump up against people who don’t think, look like, or act like we do. Here’s three things to keep in mind in our pursuit of, as Ryan called it on today’s episode, making space for grace:
Exposure builds empathy.
Understanding rarely happens in a vacuum. True learning comes through interaction with new people, places, and ideas. Seek out opportunities to meet, learn from, and shadow people who live, think, and do ministry differently than you.
Excuses don’t promote healing.
When confronted with information that feels new or foreign to us, it can be tempting to try to explain away our ignorance. When it comes to things like racial tensions, statements like, “I had no idea,” and, “That happened before I was even born,” just aren’t good enough.
Conversations increase understanding.
Admitting an area in which you are biased can be embarrassing. But if you want to unpack that bias, you have to be willing to open up and engage in vulnerable conversations.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
What’s an area of your life in which you’ve attempted to live as though you’re limitless?
What are the warning signs you experience when you’re experiencing burn out?
Is there an offense you’ve been carrying that you need to let go?
Who are your go-to people for helpful input into growth points in your life?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Sarah Bragg has worked with students in ministry for more than 15 years and previously worked in full-time ministry for 7 years. Her book titled Body. Beauty. Boys. The Truth About Girls and How We See Ourselves helps young women find their value in the One who matters. She is the Lead Editor for a student strategy and curriculum called XP3 Middle School for Orange at the reThink Group. She has a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Sarah and her husband, Scott, and their daughters, Sinclair and Rory, reside in Marietta, Georgia. To listen to conversations about surviving life, check out her podcast Surviving Sarah on iTunes and to follow along with her life, check out www.survivingsarah.com.
Holly is the Lead Writer for Life Stage Strategies at Orange, working on the Parent Cue team. Before joining the Orange team, Holly joined the staff of North Point Ministries to work with middle school students, as well as serving as the Director of Preschool at Browns Bridge Community Church. Since then she has had opportunities to speak at camps, retreats, conferences, and Sunday morning environments. Throughout her experiences over the last nine years, Holly has seen the vitalness in creating fun and engaging environments for students to connect to one another and with their heavenly father. She has also found that there is a dire need and importance for female communicators for young women growing up today.
Join Us Next Week
Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.