Pastor Talk: Delighting Grace Interviews Jon Hawkins of Pastor Discussions Podcast (Part 1)

onc7eomThere’s a new podcast on the block and Delighting Grace wants you to tune in. It features a couple pastors having a conversation about doctrine, faith and Christian life. Its’ called Pastor Discussion Podcast. It will hit the internet on January 16 and it will be awesome. So DG talked to Jon Hawkins about the podcast.

Delighting Grace:  Hi Jon, please tell us what’s Pastor Discussion Podcast?

Jon Hawkins: First, let me say thank you for reaching out and inviting us to share what God is doing with your readers. I really appreciate you including us in your blog.

Delighting Grace:  It’s a pleasure helping you guys out.

Jon Hawkins:  The Pastor Discussions Podcast is your weekly conversation about doctrine, faith and the Christian life with a couple of rural pastors. The idea is to invite the listener to join a weekly conversation about issues that they face and that are relevant to their lives. There are a lot of Christian podcasts out there and so we considered whether or not this was even something that was needed.

What we started noticing is that there are sermon podcasts, podcasts with one or two hosts talking with each other, podcasts that are simply interviews with famous people, and podcasts like Ask Pastor John where the pastor fields questions. We wanted to not only let the listeners drive the content through sending us topics for shows, but also include them in the show. We plan on regularly having listeners, fellow pastors, and church members on the show. The aim is a kind of podcast community where people feel like they are a part of the show and give them things to talk about with their friends and family so they can be more active in growing in their faith.

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Delighting Grace:  How did you guys came up with this podcast? Who’s idea was it?

Jon Hawkins:  I have been thinking about it for a while. We have a group of guys that meet together weekly and it’s a time of fellowship and laughter, but we also talk about the Bible or situations we are facing in our lives. At one point one of the guys said “I wish that people could just experience this. That they could just listen and see how natural and beneficial it is to talk about the Bible or Christ with other people who will sharpen and challenge you”. That got me thinking. Our church has grown and we are no longer a small church, but we are also not a big church. We are in this sort of in-between stage and learning how to function that way. There are blessings to growth, but also challenges. Because of that, it is hard to find time to do discipleship with a large part of our congregation like I would like to. At best, I can meet with 4-5 people on a weekly basis and that’s wonderful, but I wanted to produce content that is easily accessible and practical for our church as a whole and is plug and play so it could accommodate people’s schedules.

Delighting Grace:  I think we all struggle with that part and we really need to address it through digital means.

Jon Hawkins:   So I started asking how we could leverage the blessing of technology to not only help address things that Christians in our church face, but also reach a broader population and minister to the Christian community as a whole. So I talked to the two other staff pastors about starting a podcast. We wanted to model what Christian conversations look like as well as give people content to talk about in their homes, to think about throughout the week, and to study in the Bible for themselves. I think a lot of Christians have never experienced what it looks like to talk about doctrine, faith and the Christian life without it feeling forced or cheesy or what it looks like to be sharpened by someone else. There are also others who don’t feel like they could contribute to a conversation like that because they feel they don’t know enough or something like that. I know I felt that way, but there were men in our church when I was a young Christian that invited me into those conversations.

I listened and thought and asked questions and grew as a result of that. A lot of Christian growth comes from talking about God and life, listening, and learning to see the world through the lens of the gospel. So that’s what we wanted to replicate using the medium of podcast. We are hoping that it will spur conversation within homes and friends, but especially that there would be people in our church that ask questions about a show and give us more of an opportunity to walk with them through their relationship with Christ and see it deepen and grow.

Delighting Grace:  Who are the pastors that will be on board on the podcast?

Jon Hawkins:   All three of us staff pastors will be regularly involved. Pastor Joe is our Pastor for Worship and Pastor Jonathan is our Pastor for Family Ministry. Both of them bring something unique to the show and have great perspectives. Joe has a tremendous grasp on worship and outreach and Jonathan is a Biblical Counselor and has a heart to see parents actively involved and leading in the discipleship and evangelism of their children. He is also a gifted writer and is planning on doing some blogging on the Pastor Discussions website. In addition to them, we will also have guest pastors on the show. We have some guys lined up from Chicago, rural Nebraska, Canada, the Dominican Republic and everywhere in between. Guys in cities and guys in small towns. There is also an open invitation to John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Kevin DeYoung, but they must have lost my email address 😉

Delighting Grace:  Whoa, John Piper on your show, that will be awesome!  There are lots of podcast out there in the internet, what makes “Pastor Discussion” unique?

Jon Hawkins:   I think there are a few ways that Pastor Discussions will be unique. First, we want to have listeners drive the content. We want to hear from them on what they want us to talk about and then we will talk about it. We aren’t extremely limited in our scope because the Christian life and the implications of what following Christ means in our daily interactions isn’t limited to one area or topic.

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Second, we are unique in that we want to not only talk about issues, but hear real stories from Christians on how God has been faithful in their lives. We want to help people share their unique experiences of God’s grace and faithfulness to encourage others.

Third, it’s unique because we don’t want a niche. We want to address issues that people of different races and genders care about. We want to minister to a lot of different kinds of Christians. For example, we want to have women on the show and help encourage Christian women to be women of “Velvet Steel” (a term coined by John Piper). We might even be able to talk our wives into being on the show… It’s a long shot, but who knows. We want to have conversations on racism with minority brothers and sisters and address issues that they face and help people understand their perspective and then work talk through what the Bible has to say about that TOGETHER.

Finally, we are unique because of the guys on the show. We are serious when we need to be, but we are friends that like to laugh, joke around, and poke at one another. We are really trying to give people a glimpse into our friendship and the fellowship that flows out of that. We want to be a show where a husband and wife, parents and kids, or a group of friends can sit down together, listen and be entertained and challenged, and then have some good, edifying conversation afterwards about the content.

Delighting Grace: Now that’s something to look forward to. How can listeners interact with you guys to be part of the show?

(To be continued next week. Pastor Discussions Podcast premieres January 16, 2018. Check their website www.pastordiscussions.com to listen to their podcast, subscribe to their mailing list and enter giveaways.)

Help promote Pastor Discussion Podcast: Download and share it on your social media these promotional posters:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c0p033c6n5f20f8/AADkmN1Mg8r6tTPkaweyBUuqa?dl=0

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