I never thought I would actually start a podcast. Sure, I listen to them all the time, but that just seemed a little too far out of my comfort zone. I love talking to a group of people, but I hate simply talking to a microphone or camera - don’t get me started on the near panic attacks I would have back in the days of COVID trying to prerecord the sermon.
But at the beginning of 2023, I felt God pointing me toward giving it a try. I viewed it as another opportunity to pour into my church family as well as share the message of Jesus outside my normal circles. The thinking was… If I can interview different people inside and outside Oak Hills Church who have a story to share or a passion to express it will be like bringing a guest speaker to our church every other week!! All of a sudden, this seemed like a no-brainer.
So I began to think, who do I know that can help point the people I pastor and those that I don’t toward a vibrant relationship with Jesus? My mind started to go to ministry leaders, pastors, and church leaders that I have been blessed to get to know over my 18 years in ministry. And with the help of Bryan Houser, our Worship and Creative Arts Pastor at the church, we gave it a try.
I knew, based on the list of people who I was hoping to interview, that we would be able to encourage, challenge, and inspire our listeners. What I didn’t expect was how it would open my eyes to the goodness of God. So, I thought I would share four things that really stuck out to me from starting The Vibrant Life Podcast.
1. Everyone has a story
When we come to church on a Sunday, we often hide the real us behind a smile. But beyond the facade that we portray to make people think we have it all together, you will often find people who have an incredible testimony of how God has moved in their lives. The problem is that we don’t think we have a story. So many of my guests were so confused as to why I would want to interview them. They didn’t feel like they had a story to share. Yet when provided the right forum, they let down some walls and shared how God has worked in their life. We all have a story - we just need to find a way to share it.
2. God is stirring the hearts of his people
One of my favorite things about the first year of the podcast is to hear how God is on the move all over the world.
We were able to hear from people who have turned their lives upside down for the sake of the Gospel. Whether they entered into the world of fostering children, moved to NYC to invest in students, started a non-profit to help our nation's immigrants, began an addiction recovery organization, provide hope for people in a foreign country, or are zeroed in on helping people thrive in their marriage, the podcast reminded me that there are people all over the world that love Jesus and are passionate about blessing the world around him through His name.
3. Trauma is incredibly relatable
The topic that seemed to resonate most with our audience was that of trauma.
Whether it was the story of getting shot in the face, having a difficult upbringing, being told your son has cancer, or experiencing overwhelming family issues, I was reminded of how common it is for our stories to include levels of pain and trauma. Yet, through these conversations, I was reminded of how God can redeem our pain and brokenness. I was reminded that through His Word we can be given some ways to navigate and process the pains of our past. And I was reminded of how our personal experience with trauma uniquely wires us to be there to offer support to those walking a similar road.
4. We can be equipped to navigate the changing culture
The world is full of chaos, but this podcast has renewed my hope that God provides an outline for helping us thrive in the midst of it. Whether it is helping our kids navigate this crazy world, pursuing a different kind of leadership, pointing families to a new way of discipling their children, or providing a fresh look at the legitimacy of the faith - there are those among us that are passionate about helping us thrive in the midst of the changing culture around us.
As we enter a new year for the podcast, I look forward to continuing to bring you some incredible stories and passionate leaders who can help you lead a vibrant faith! Because we must remember… No matter where we are in life right now- a vibrant life is possible!!!
Thanks for listening in 2023. Be on the lookout for new episodes coming in January.