Today, we are departing from our usual discussion of church and world events to continue a short interview series. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Micah’s work and ministry background.

Micah grew up as the oldest of seven children and as a pastor’s son. He was saved as a child and anticipated going into ministry as an adult. Following college, Micah returned home with his new wife and began to work with the housing contractor he had worked with in high school. Around that time, the housing market crashed, leaving Micah looking for a job. Through providential circumstances, Micah was hired by a local marketing firm where he has worked for the past eight years.

We talk about working in business while feeling called to ministry. When is it best to get a job and provide for your family and when do you pursue ministry opportunities? Micah shares how God has provided ministry opportunities through his work in the business world.

 

Marketing & Ministry: An Interview with Micah Fox | Episode 49 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Mentioned as an example of relational evangelism: Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Rosaria Butterfield

The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs: Respecting and Caring for All God’s Creation – by Joel Salatin

 

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Today, we are departing from our usual discussion of church and world events to begin a short interview series. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about us and our backgrounds as we interview one another. Mark begins by sharing his testimony and call to ministry. He tells how he met Cindy in college, eventually married her, and started a student ministry.

Early in Mark’s preaching ministry, another pastor criticized his preaching. Though it caused some discouragement initially, it ultimately forced him to ask “Am I doing this for the Lord?” and “What does the Lord want me to do with my gifts?”. Those questions gave him direction and motivation to continue in ministry.

Mark also talks about why and how he works as a communications professor and as a pastor. We also discuss how people are called to ministry in different ways.

 

Professor & Pastor: An Interview with J. Mark Fox | Episode 48 | CongreGate Podcast

 

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Links and Recommendations:

Age-Integrated Church – by J. Mark Fox

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Mark and Micah talk about their recent missions trip to Moldova and we share our philosophy of ministry regarding church missions trips.

We talk a little bit about the value of taking kids on missions trips. Mark had the opportunity to take each one of his children to Africa before they left home. Micah reflects on the benefits of traveling with his father to do missions work as a teenager.

We compare and contrast mission trips that are designed to meet physical and economic needs vs. trips that are focused on equipping leaders. Both can be beneficial, but our recent trips have been more focused on training and equipping local ministry leaders.

In Moldova, Mark and Micah taught the men Biblical leadership concepts from Mark’s book,  A Faithful Man. They also gave instruction on Biblical eldership and shared the discipleship process Antioch has used to train up new elders. These are areas where their church leaders have not received much training, so they were very eager to hear and implements the teaching they received on these concepts.

 

Moldova, Mission Trips, & Ministry | Episode 47 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

A Faithful Man – by J. Mark Fox

The Future Training of Church Leaders

Effective Leadership at Church and Home

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Today Shawn and Micah chat with a special guest, Tony Rose, about civility in public discourse. Tony serves on a local school board, so he has some insightful comments to share regarding public dialogue and conversation.

Conversation in our culture has been changing the past few years, as evidenced by the most recent Presidential election cycle. People can no longer agree-to-disagree. Responses are no longer logical arguments, but personal attacks. We share some personal experiences when poor argumentation, poor journalism, and personal attacks made it difficult to remain courteous in our responses.

Tony offers some helpful thoughts about how we can have more civility in our political and cultural conversations—disagreement is not a lack of civility; everyone you meet knows something you don’t know; don’t take disagreement personally; don’t consider politics a competitive sport.

 

Civility in Public Discourse | Episode 46 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism – by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Acts 26 – Paul before King Agrippa

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Shawn and Micah take over the podcast, while the beloved professor, Mark, is off on a European vacation. Following his vacation he’ll head to Moldova, where Micah will meet him, to do some pastoral discipleship & training with believers there.

Today we chat about the overwhelming amount of information coming at us every day, through social media and other avenues, and how to deal with the pressure that comes from living up to everyone else’s standards. We perceive a crushing weight of expectations, from the church and people around us who seem to “have it all together.” How do we know if we are doing the things that God call us to, without feeling the burden of others’ expectations?

This isn’t really a conversation about time management, though our busyness can contribute to the feeling of overwhelm. We can be busy doing “good things” and still feel as though it is all futile. We talk about how to choose the “first best thing,” which requires discrimination and discernment.

Are we prioritizing the right things? One way to find out is to ask your wife. Ask her to share 1 or 2 things that are a priority for your family. Work on those things to develop a new habit. Growth takes time and patience.

Ps. 4:6-8 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

 

Overwhelmed by Perceived Expectations? | Episode 45 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

We referenced a couple of previous episodes…

When our Wives are Discouraged about their Appearance

& Encouraging our Wives to Use their Gifts

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