Show cover of Pastor to Pioneer

Pastor to Pioneer

The Pastor to Pioneer podcast is an honest conversation with pastors and former pastors who are exhausted from existing church structures and are seeking a simpler way of being the church and making disciples like we see in scripture. This podcast is a space to consider the question many are afraid to ask, “Could these things look differently?”

Tracks

How to Raise Financial Support Well
On the final episode of Season 4, we cover the topic of how to raise financial support well. This is for those pastors who decide they want to go the route of raising support and pioneering full-time. We have John and Devin Marshall from New Hampshire along with Matt Schneider from Massachusetts. They share their own wrestling and experiences with raising full support and what this has looked like in each of their lives.
53:06 12/13/23
How to Transition Well to a Marketplace Job
Eric shares practical advice and wisdom for pastors who are considering transitioning into the marketplace. He talks about common mistakes and practical first steps. www.ihelppastorsgetjobs.com eric@Ihelppastorsgetjobs.com
53:38 12/6/23
Start Now Before Your Transition
Welcome to episode 7 of season 4! Today we have Logan Wolf joining us from Salt Lake City, Utah. Logan and his wife moved out to Salt Lake in 2011 to plant a church and later transitioned to starting a network of house churches. We shared a lot of laughs and stories on today's episode as we each reflect on our failures in this transition process and what we have learned along the way.   Logan Wolf - pastor@crosspointutah.com
49:23 11/29/23
How to Transition Your Family Well
Welcome to episode 6 of season 4 of the Pastor to Pioneer Podcast. Today I have Josh Chaffin from Central Michigan and Justin Roper from Charlotte, North Carolina. We are discussing the topic of how do you help you family transition well from pastoring to pioneering? These guys share a lot of wisdom and things they have learned along the way through their different timelines and experiences.   Justin - j.roper@big.life Josh - Chaffin.josh@gmail.com  
56:05 11/27/23
Your Job is NOT Your Calling
Today I have Damian Gerke from Tampa, Florida. And Neil Karsten from Holland, Michigan joining us as we jump into episode five of this season and talk about the topic that your job is NOT your calling. It's a common question. It's a common wrestling a lot of pastors have. Let's dive in.        
53:35 11/15/23
Transparency in Transition
Welcome to episode 4 of season 4! Today we continue to talk about how do you transition well from being a pastor into pioneering, disciple making, and simple church movements? Today we're having a conversation around this topic of how transparent should you be with your church when you're starting to grow in conviction and wrestling through some big questions about what it means to follow Jesus and be the church. How transparent should you be with people? When should you be transparent? What group of people should you be transparent with? How transparent should you be when you decide to leave and why you're leaving? Today I have two friends on the podcast that are at different places on this journey. Jim Pool from Detroit and Delton Lehman from Pennsylvania. Jim transitioned away from being a pastor two years ago, and Delton is in the middle of that process right now. He is going to be transitioning out of his role as a pastor in the prevailing model of the church at the end of the year. 
48:53 11/8/23
Conversations with Church Leaders
  Welcome to episode 3 of this season of the Pastor to Pioneer Podcast. We have a great conversation with Matt Schneider in New England, and Isaac Dagneau in British Columbia. These guys are at two very, very different points of the journey from pastor to pioneer, but really share some very interesting and helpful insights about how do you engage your leadership in the church? How do you have conversations? What to consider? They share some things to think through, and some really incredible things that I hope is as encouraging for you as much as it was for me.
54:09 11/1/23
Relational Components of Leaving Well
Welcome to episode two of this season of the Pastor to Pioneer podcast. This season, we're continuing to tackle the topic of how do you transition well from pastoring in the prevailing model of the church to pioneering disciple-making and simple church movements. Today I've got Neil Karsten and Patty Nemazi to talk about how do you do this well in terms of relational considerations? How will relationships change? What do you do about the change in those relationships? Both of them will get to share their stories and share incredible wisdom and insight for pastors who are making the transition, how to do this well, and how they considered the relational impact of making a transition. I hope it's encouraging for you as much as it was for me.
45:14 10/27/23
Personal Journey vs Corporate Transition
We are kicking off Season 4! On this episode of the Pastor to Pioneer podcast, I have two friends that join me, Tyler Dipprey and Jordan Baker. You may remember Tyler, who has been on the podcast before. He's from Lubbock, Texas, and was part of a team that transitioned a church of 10,000 people and 10 campuses into a decentralized network of house churches, so he experienced the approach of trying to transition a whole church.  Jordan, on the other hand, was not a senior pastor, but was an associate pastor of a church in Mansfield, Ohio. He didn't try to transition the whole church, but he was sent out by his church to continue the work of pioneering disciple-making and simple church movements.  This episode covers two different perspectives. They bring up so many amazing thoughts to consider when you're going through that questioning of these things like, "I'm having conviction about the church and following Jesus, is it just for me or is it for the whole church? Do I just get sent out or do I try to transition my whole church?"
51:54 10/18/23
Full Circle: Coming Home
Hello and welcome for the final time—this season—to Pastor to Pioneer.  This week brings both Britton’s travels and season three to a close.  Britton reconvenes with Neal and Matt to wrap things up, and shares with them about being ready to move his family into his mom’s house as they discern what God has in store for them next.  The guys spend some time talking about various aspects of detox that are necessary for pastors when they step away from the prevailing model of the church.  Britton shares some of the insights he gained on this topic from his time on the road, while Matt and Neal join in by sharing from their experience coaching pastors.  The guys discuss the difficulties of attempting to detox, process, and separate from something while you’re still in that self same environment.  As things draw to a close, Britton shares about his desire to be more mindful of living into several of the things God taught him while on the road, no matter where this next season of life brings him and his family.
56:35 7/5/23
Invitations and Internal Work
Hello all, and welcome to the penultimate episode of season three of Pastor to Pioneer.  As Britton nears the culmination of his travels and conversations, he connects with Taylor and Laura Birkey in the suburbs of Chicago.  It’s a reunion for them, as in college Taylor and Britton had together been part of a group that looked a lot like a house church.   Taylor and Laura share with Britton what they’ve been up to since that time, revealing that they were both lay leaders in their prevailing-model church, and Taylor was an elder for a long time.  Years ago, though, they began to ask questions about why we do church the way we do it, and Britton recommended they read Letters to the Church by Francis Chan.  That led to some deeper conversations with the other church elders.  When COVID hit, they pivoted as a church body to everyone meeting in homes.  They tried many different iterations of this but as COVID restrictions lifted they decided to not go back to what they had been doing previously.  The church now meets three Sundays a month in homes around the western suburbs of Chicago, and once a month gets together for a larger gathering.  As the conversation continues, Taylor and Laura share that not only was their church body going through a major transition, but they were personally doing the same.  They bought an old fixer upper home that required major amounts of work.  Taylor and Laura talk about the difficulties and frustrations of desiring to host people in their home yet not having it be in good condition to do so.  They discuss the parallels to letting people into the unfinished work of their home and letting people into the unfinished work of their hearts, as well as the value of a “long work” in the midst of a culture that only wants quick change and immediate results.  In other areas of the day-to-day, Laura is currently a life coach and a photographer, as well as holding down a few other side gigs.  Taylor works in marketing and communications for Lions Clubs International.   Instagram: @instatay and @lulubizu  
57:45 6/28/23
Localized Impact: Discipleship One House at a Time
Hello and welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer season 3.  This week, on episode 20, Britton—still on the road—connects with Nick and Caren Harringshaw.  Nick and Caren are based in St. Paul, MN, and have known our host for quite some time.  Caren was part of the first house church that Britton experienced, dating back to 2014 when he was first exploring the world of simple church. Caren shares how that time transformed her life—how she then continued to be part of the gathering that met at Britton’s home and became part of the Smith family.  Caren and Nick go on to discuss moving to the Twin Cities area for a teaching job for Caren, how they had separate ministries there, as well as the challenges of those ministries coming together.  Nick had been a well known presence in the Frogtown area of St. Paul and Caren was joining in on that.  They realized that they were helping people have powerful encounters with God but it never translated to lasting discipleship.  Nick and Caren have recently stepped away from their other ministries and into intentional disciple making and simple church planting in their own neighborhood as missionaries.  Nick and Caren have 1 year old twin girls and share the ways in which their world shrank drastically when the girls were born.  They also talk about how they wrestled with what felt like a shrinking impact.  They realized, however, that they have grown and that God has taught them so much through slowing down and prioritizing their family.  They have come to realize that you can’t bypass or work around your family to help others become a spiritual family.  
54:23 6/21/23
Old Friends, New Growth
Welcome back to life on the road with Pastor to Pioneer.  This week for episode 19 of season 3, Britton reconnects with an old friend.  Peter Schuett now lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, and shares about the beginning of his walk with the Lord, from the darkness of drugs and alcohol to coming through the tunnel to the light on the other side thanks to God’s grace.  As Peter walked through these things, the Lord gave him the heart of an evangelist and the desire to share God’s story in his life.  He eventually became a youth pastor and then an outreach pastor at a church in Holland, MI for several years.  Peter and his wife Jessie then felt called to return to their home of the Twin Cities.  From there, Peter worked with an evangelistic ministry that did large outreach events in various parts of Africa.  Though he saw major impact there, he realized that the work wasn’t causing him to become more like Jesus.  Rather, he was coming home stressed out, burned out, and virtually inaccessible to his wife and two daughters for long chunks of time.  When Peter realized this, he stepped away from what he viewed as ministry, and into a property management position.  Peter shares that he has lately realized that his family itself is ministry, not something separate from ministry.  He is beginning to recognize that the goal is not easily measured “impact" but rather growing in Christlikeness.
47:21 6/14/23
Why’s Foundation
Hello and welcome dear listeners, to episode 18 of season three of Pastor to Pioneer.  This week Britton connects with Tim King in Rapid City, SD.  Tim was a pastor in Kentucky for several years before feeling called to start a new church in Rapid City.  Tim shares that he entered the venture with hopes that things would be different this time around, only to discover as time went on that this new church experience was winding its way into the exact same place as his old church experience.  Tim recollects that as he pondered these things, he realized that the issues he was seeing were foundational—and they had never been addressed.  This led him to asking more and more questions, especially why-oriented ones like “Why do we even do this?”  As Tim and Britton parse some of the whys and what-fors, they also dig into cattle branding in South Dakota as well as Britton’s moth-agedon situation that he barely survived while on the road in South Dakota.  Currently, Tim remains a pastor in the church—one who asks questions, tries to make changes, and encourages others to ask deeper, why-oriented questions as well.
55:07 6/7/23
Staying Power: How Change Helps
Hello, hello, and welcome to episode seventeen of season three of Pastor to Pioneer (on the road edition).  This week, Britton reconnects with old friend and former college dorm mate Alan Briggs, who currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO.  Britton and Alan connected at an event in Phoenix, AZ that Alan was helping to run with his current organization, Stayforth—a ministry designed around coaching leaders and curating events for them to slow down, catch their breath, and recharge.  Alan was a pastor for 13 years, working primarily with church planters.  In this time, he observed several heart issues that needed to be addressed, and so began coaching those leaders.  In doing so, he realized that he himself was coming more alive, and so felt led to step out of pastoral ministry and into the thing that was bringing him life.  Stayforth was birthed out of this transition.  As Alan shares about all of this, he also touches on several important insights regarding change.  He addresses the need to “disorient before you can reorient,” and how leaders can learn and grow in that space of vulnerability, especially if they have someone to walk through the process with them.  Alan dives into his work with guiding leaders, discussing his four steps to change:  1. Naming 2. Permission 3. Practice. 4. Leverage. Email: alan@stayforth.com Website: www.stayforthdesigns.com  Coworking Space: www.gathercos.com   
49:48 5/24/23
Prayer: Movement and Impact
Hello listeners, and welcome to episode sixteen of season three of Pastor to Pioneer!  This week we are back to Britton on the road, as he connects with David Hinman, a former pastor of 30 years.  David shares with Britton about his journey with the church.  He was a pastor in the traditional American church model for over three decades, leading everything from large churches to small church plants, but the more time he spent in that model, the more discontent he became with it.  As David began to explore other expressions of church, he started hearing from overseas about movements that emphasized disciple making.  He decided to step into this idea full on, and began starting simple churches in Phoenix, AZ.  As he began this new work he started realizing how important prayer was in movement.  He and the team from New Generations—an organization David is involved with—interviewed disciple-making movements from around the world and discovered some consistent keys to impact-making prayer.  David and Britton dive into these key prayer factors, as well as the importance of prayer in regards to spiritual warfare in a given area or city.  He encourages anyone wanting to step into a movement of disciple-making and simple church planting to start with prayer!   He is passionate about helping others in movements around the world grow in prayer through -  www.movementprayer.org.  He currently helps shepherd the network of simple churches and disciples with the Phoenix Underground - https://www.phxunderground.org/ David can be reached at - Dhinman@newgenerations.org  
43:33 5/17/23
Checking In and Following On
Hello and welcome to the reunion episode of Pastor to Pioneer!  This week, Britton checks in with Matt and Neal from his adventures out on the road.  Matt and Neal give updates of what they are seeing in New England and West Michigan, respectively, and Britton shares what he has been learning through having his family as his primary ministry, including the growth he has seen in all of them.  The guys discuss the difference between having a Spirit-led conviction about doing church differently rather than just doing it out of convenience.  As a part of this, they also dig into the reality that a growing number of people are discontent with the church as we know it.  The guys also encourage and remind each other—and any listeners—that if we are faithful with what God brings us, then God will take care of any growth and multiplication that is meant to happen, and that Jesus, not some form of church or multiplication, is the true and only treasure.
51:43 5/10/23
From Mega to Meaningful: Discovering How to Operate the Church
Welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer, on the road edition!  This week Britton converses with Tyler Dipprey, a former megachurch pastor based out of Lubbock, Texas. Tyler shares with Britton his experience as a pastor of two different megachurches, thinking that was the best way to reach people.  He was a pastor at Experience Life Church in Lubbock, TX with over 8,000 people attending across 10 campuses.  They had seen 10,000 people come to faith in the span of 8 years, but soon began to realize that the financial cost of the current church structure couldn’t hold up if they hoped to see the vision that was burning in their hearts come to pass - 1 million people giving their lives to Jesus in the West Texas area.  Church leadership started to feel convicted that simple, reproducible ways of making disciples and being the church was the way to go for their overseas work and realized that was what God wanted for them as well.  They started by trying a hybrid gathering of sorts, and then began to take more radical steps towards changing what Sunday worship looked like.  They saw many people leave, but relaunched the church to be a decentralized network of house churches.  Tyler shares with Britton that he is often asked “Would you do it again?”  and “Did it work?”  But he keeps coming back to the importance of the question of “What is Jesus asking you to do” instead—living into his present call rather than wondering what could have been different in the past.  Tyler has started a few different businesses since the church transitioned to its current form and no longer has paid pastors.  He and his coworkers have received a lot of interest in what they are doing through the book they wrote about their church’s journey.  He now spends most of his time coaching and training pastors and others in the legacy church on how to transition into this simple way of discipleship and being the church.  While Tyler and his co-leaders thought the Lord was going to use them to reach West Texas, they have seen their work spread around the world. Book:  From Megachurch to Multiplication https://www.experiencelifenow.com/store/p/from-megachurch-to-multiplication www.experiencelifenow.com  
59:07 5/3/23
Crawfish, Rabbits, and Elephants: Different Modes of Church
Hello all!  Welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer, where this week we hear about what the simple church all boils down to as Britton shares a meal and garners wisdom from Josh Spinks, a Baton Rouge area pastor of over twenty years.  Josh and Britton break bread together, Cajun style, as they talk through what it was like for Britton’s family to experience a crawfish boil courtesy of Josh’s family, and what a fantastic cultural experience that was.  Josh also shares how he planted a church twelve years ago without any guidance or anyone to coach them, but with the desire to start something with disciple making and simple church principles at the forefront.  Josh divulges to Britton that he regrets starting to meet as a big group every week because he saw that people often seemed to want to take the path of least resistance.  It often appeared easier for people to come to a large gathering where little was expected as opposed to sitting knee to knee in a house where much more was expected. Josh also talks about the need for both elephant and rabbit churches, the elephant church being the current church system which takes a lot of resources and has a long gestational period before there is reproduction, while a rabbit church is a simple church that takes little resources and reproduces quickly.  Josh is still the pastor of The Way Church in Denham Springs, LA but much of his time is spent in his role as the Director of Made to Multiply.  This is an initiative of e3 Partners to train 1 million people in how to have gospel conversations, how to make disciples and gather in simple ways.  He does a lot of training in traditional churches throughout the country, also looking for people who want to be sent out as pioneers to start new movements of disciple making and simple church initiative. josh.spinks@e3partners.org www.e3partners.org  
57:37 4/26/23
Half a Century of Growth
Hello and welcome back to a new episode of Pastor to Pioneer.  This week, Britton continues his time on the road and meets up with Melvin Airhart, a man based in Birmingham, AL and involved in ministry for over five decades.  Melvin shares with Britton about his experiences in Bible college from fifty years ago and how even then, it seemed like much of what the church in America was doing didn’t line up well with what he read in the Bible.  Even though he had no ambitions of being a pastor, Melvin became one after Bible college because he had a deep desire to look after and guide God’s people.  As he got into the role of pastor, though, he still didn’t see the things he read in the New Testament actually happening in the church, so he went to seminary, thinking he must have missed something because he didn’t have enough training.  Melvin continued to try new things in ministry and was a pastor at 6 churches over the course of 45 years.  Eventually, though, he experienced a powerful vision from God that guided him to move to a simpler expression of the church. Melvin shares with Britton about the difficulties of speaking critically about the church without it being taken personally by those involved in it, as well as the ongoing  debate over how much of the culture should be used in the church to reach the culture versus creating a counter culture that reaches people by standing out.  Melvin also discusses the fact that he hasn't preached a sermon in over three years but has seen more fruit in his current approach.  Instead of preaching to people he tries to ask good questions to get them to see what the Spirit is saying to them through the Bible.  Melvin ties this to stories of doing ministry in Honduras and planting traditional churches—but he soon realized how many resources it took to plant churches this way.  Instead, he started training his Honduran friends to make disciples and plant house churches.  Over the past few years they have seen nearly 1500 house churches planted.  He found that a lot of the people he was ministering to were coffee growers.  This led him to start a coffee business called Principio Coffee, though he still isn’t a coffee drinker.  The profits from the coffee business fund the work in Honduras. In addition to the coffee business, Melvin has started a life coaching business to help fund the work of planting house churches and disciple making in Birmingham, AL where he lives.  You can find more info about his coffee www.principiocoffee.com  
58:09 4/19/23
She Persists
Welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer!  Join us as we tackle another week on the road with Britton, who this time around connects with Patti Namazie, a former stay at home mom who felt prompted to join her church’s missions department, and then eventually felt led by the Lord to become a pastor. Patti discusses how her vision was initially squashed by her pastor, but that he later apologized and asked her to start a new campus in Sarasota, Florida.  As much as she didn’t want it to be like the church she had come from—all about the Sunday morning show—it eventually did.  Ultimately, Patti got burned out and tired of being more production manager than pastor, leaving that church to plant a new one with a colleague in Pensacola, Florida.  Again she had hopes that things would go differently, but again—much to Patti’s frustration—they wound up the same.  She and the other pastor were not on the same page about how to continue, and so Patti stepped away in January of this year.  Patti shares with Britton the ways in which she and her husband Steve are attempting to discern what is next.  She wonders if she should be raising support or finding a traditional job.  As Patti and her husband balance this with stepping into disciple making and engaging in simple church, she has been pleased to discover that most of her time IS NOT going into managing the Sunday morning product and just making sure the show goes on.  She has the heart of an evangelist and now feels free to be among those who don’t know Jesus and to share the Gospel with them. Patti also shares how grateful she is and how valuable it has been to connect with others who are like minded and pursuing similar things and to be encouraged by and learn from those people along the way.     Patti’s email: pnamazie@gmail.com  
51:03 4/12/23
Foundation Building
Hello and welcome to Pastor to Pioneer, On the Road Edition.  This week, Britton connects with Lee Wood, a former pastor in the prevailing American church model from Tampa, FL who has gone through a variety of difficult life circumstances.  Lee shares with Britton some of his painful memories, including being dropped off at an orphanage by his dad as a young child after his mom died in a house fire, as well as his first wife dying from pancreatic cancer.  Lee also emphasizes, however, how good and faithful God was in the midst of everything, so it should come as no surprise that he continued to see the faithfulness of the Lord as he began to feel called out of familiarity and into smaller, simpler versions of the church.  Even though it was a rough beginning—starting with training in 2013, Lee saw several of his attempts as starting simple churches fail—he continued to lean on and listen to God, learning to do so better and better, and eventually realizing that those early attempts were failing because of a poor foundation and wrong focus.  Lee was putting all of his efforts into launching start-up simple churches rather than emphasizing disciple making and community creating.  Lee shares, though, how he started in Tampa and learned with others how to listen and truly obey Jesus.  As they did, God started doing amazing things.  Over the span of a decade he saw God build a network of simple churches and various practical and tangible expressions of God’s grace and love to the community - from tutoring, to a school, to a fitness center and more. Lee and his wife Stacy recently moved from Tampa to Fort Meyers to start a new work similar to what they did in Tampa.  They have started a fitness gym business called Catalyst Community Gym where they hope to model a self sustaining way of ministry as well as a provide a place to connect with those who don’t know Jesus. Resources: 1Body Church Tampa - 1body.church Lee’s Book: 7 Things in 7 Years -  https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6189ae9b760e043246e262da/t/6207a93229eb29355a27b457/1644669235034/lee+woods+seven+things.pdf Love One Another Documentary - https://loveoneanother.life Zume Training - https://zume.training  
49:23 4/5/23
Turning the Page
Welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer!  This week we listen in as Britton connects with Jonathan and Cheyenne Phillips, a couple based in Fort Meyers, FL who have occupied pastoral leadership roles while in the midst of feeling called to make a change.  Johnathan and Cheyenne share with Britton about the difficulties of realizing a processing that a change needed to happen.  They are open, honest, and raw as they discuss how they weren’t on the same page for parts of this journey, particularly because Jonathan processed many of his thoughts individually and didn’t talk things through with Cheyenne until much later.  The two of them discuss the things they have learned from the mistakes they made, and what it looks like for them to be on the same page when it comes to making big decisions.  Once Cheyenne and Jonathan sorted things out and came together, they both felt clearly that the Lord was asking Jonathan to leave his role as senior pastor at their church.  They don’t yet know what’s next, but are stepping into following Jesus a little bit at a time as He leads them through this process.  They know the future involves making disciples and being the church in simple ways in their home but they are waiting on the Lord to walk them through exactly how to get there.  As they share with Britton, Jonathan and Cheyenne talk through the reality of returning to their first love, Jesus…of being in relationship with Jesus simply to know and love Him, and that people do not need a new formula or model, but just, simply, need Jesus.  Jonathan and Cheyenne share all this even as they are in the middle of it, trying to figure out which page they’re on and exactly when to turn it, listening to God along the way and trusting that He will show them these things even as they walk by faith.
53:07 3/29/23
Pain and Growth: A Healthy Relationship
Welcome to season three, episode eight of Pastor to Pioneer.  This week Britton comes across Tennison and Ginelle Barry in his travels, and garners insight from them as they share about their journey with faith, the Church, and their own identities, purpose, and expectations.  Tennison and Ginelle describe how, despite the very good works they were doing—working in ministry and fostering over 70 children over the course of their work—they still felt that something was lacking, so they chose to step away from ministry in general and traditional church in particular when they moved to Greenville, South Carolina.  As Ginelle and Tennison began to process some of the difficulties they had gone through and why they felt the need to take a step back, they realized that there was trauma in their ministry past that they needed to deal with, that they had idolized ministry itself, and that they needed to step into growth in relational maturity.  Ginelle and Tennison share that they began to be able to do these things as they stepped away from the prevailing model of church and into what they call Community Tables—their version of simple church.  As they have grown, so they desire to see others grow, especially in meaningful relationships with God and others through these gatherings in their home.  The Barrys reveal their passion to help the Body of Christ grow in greater maturity and relational health as they have experienced the importance and reality of this in their own story.   https://www.facebook.com/tableandwellco @tableandwellco www.tableandwellco.com
62:57 3/22/23
Experiential Mix
Join us for episode seven of season three of Pastor to Pioneer as Britton converses with Kirby Langley in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Kirby has been and continues to be part of the church in a variety of ways and on multiple levels.  From being involved in church software sales to being an elder at Mars Hill Church in Seattle—including the time when things crumbled badly there—to exploring what being the simple church looks like for him and his family, Kirby has seen a bit of everything.  He shares with Britton about the mix of good and bad from his time in Seattle, and goes on to discuss his continued journey with Jesus and how it led him to North Carolina.  Even as he explores simple church options, Kirby continues to be involved in the legacy church at the same time, discerning what might be best for him and his family.  Kirby also share the ways in which he approaches questions about the church very differently now, in his forties, than he did or would have in his twenties or thirties.
59:15 3/15/23
Brothers Bear
Hello and welcome to episode six of Pastor to Pioneer on the road!  This week, Britton connects with James Gunnell and Christian Rafetto, brothers-in-law living in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  Both men were staff members of churches; they share how they each respectively came to the conclusion that there were deep, systemically broken issues happening that went far beyond their individual churches to the church at large.  Each of them saw good people with good intentions in the church, but they also observed the ways in which their churches were structured seemed to set their people up for less than what God has intended for the Church.  During COVID, Christian and James began meeting regularly in James’ house with a few other families; the brothers-in-law share how, through this, they began to learn that church is more than just a weekly event; it is a life lived together.  They discuss with Britton how they are learning to bear one another’s burdens as they meet one another’s needs in very practical ways.  James and Christian gladly share the positive impact that being the church in simple ways has had on their families, and continues to shape their vision as they look to continue being the church going forward.
55:35 3/8/23
Wandering and Wondering: In the Midst of Discernment
This week on Pastor to Pioneer, Britton speaks with Delton and Charity Lehman, a couple in the middle of the discernment process regarding what a simple church and discipleship-oriented movement might look like for them in their current life context.  Delton and Charity ended up in Pennsylvania, at the church Delton grew up in, with Delton serving as the head pastor there.  Lately, Delton has been hearing more and more about disciple-making and discipleship oriented movements around the world, and wrestling with what that might look like in his own city.  The more he has struggled with these ideas, the more he has felt led to ask the question, “What do I do with this?”  Delton shares these struggles with Britton, exploring whether this is something that is just for him and his family, or for the broader church they serve as well.  Charity and Delton reveal that they will soon be having a difficult but honest conversation about these struggles; about their love for their church but the seeming incompatibility with the things stirring in their hearts.  The Lehmans are earnest about discerning their next steps alongside wise friends, and though they don’t know what the future holds or which direction they will go, they trust Holy Spirit to guide them through the process.
51:47 3/1/23
Walking It Out
Welcome episode four of season three of Pastor to Pioneer!  This week, Britton speaks with Jason Walker, a former youth pastor currently living in the Pittsburgh area.  Jason quit his job as a youth pastor nearly a decade ago when he realized that professional, full time ministry was killing him, his marriage, and his family.  He had planned to take a break, a few years at most, and then head back into full time vocational ministry—until he began to see a new way to be the church.  After reading Francis Chan’s Letters to the Church, Jason started dreaming about ways in which the church could be different from what he had experienced to that point.  He started a house church with his wife and a few others, and let this be his means of being the church.  Jason shares with Britton about the detox process when leaving vocational ministry, particularly emphasizing the importance of former pastors and those in their house churches going through that process in order to not bring their previous “church baggage” with them.
56:33 2/22/23
Healthy Community
Hello again, all! This week on Pastor to Pioneer, Britton hears from Megan and Zach Duke, who share some of their story of going from super extra—the largest Southern Baptist church in the world—to extra small—stepping into the simple church movement.  After several years in the megachurch universe, they returned to Zach’s hometown in Indiana, intent on trimming back and simplifying things.  Megan and Zach open up about some of the mistakes they made and things they learned as initially, many of the groups they started quickly died just as fast.  The Dukes talk about learning to focus on being with people, on helping them walk through life and grow into healthy and mature disciples, and letting those disciples go with that example in order to then do the same—to multiply.  Finally, Megan and Zach discuss the amazing Kingdom expansion they have seen as a decentralized network of simple churches has sprung up in the Indianapolis area and catalyzed similar growth around the world. @megandukemusic @zkduke Book recommendation from Zach - Primal Fire by Neil Cole  
53:35 2/15/23
Duke’s Up
Welcome back to Pastor to Pioneer! This week, Britton talks to Jake Duke, a man who, after years of travel and ministry in various parts of the country and the world, finds himself back in his home town—and feeling called to impact the place in which he grew up.  Jake lived for several years doing ministry in Dallas, Texas, and also spent some time in India, where he had the opportunity to see simple church and practical, every day disciple-making in action.  He felt moved to bring those same things to his hometown, and so now is back on his family’s farm—as the eighth generation there, no less—finding ways to bring positive change to the town of his birth.  Jake shares with Britton about all of these things, as well as the ways in which he has seen maturity and multiplication come through the simplicity of starting with his own family.
54:13 2/10/23