The Gospel, Culture & Me

The Gospel, Culture & Me

What does the Bible say about politics, tragedy, disasters, injustice, and pandemics? As Christians, how do we operate and live in this tension? In these divided times, we must turn to the Gospel and find its intersection with today’s culture. Let’s play our part in mending a broken world. Join us for the Gospel, Culture & Me Podcast with Pastor Ron Zappia as we look to the Bible for guidance and strength.

Episodes

October 14, 2021 69 min

Parenting in this day and age can seem so difficult. How do parents navigate the crucial conversations on gender, technology, friendship, alcohol, and forgiveness? That is the topic we hit today with our guests, Jimmy and Krisitin Scroggins. The authors of Full Circle Parenting, Jimmy and Krisitn have been married for 26 years and have 8 eight children. They have served at Family Church, where Jimmy is the lead pastor and has grown...

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Is our western culture and pace at odds with the way Jesus intended for us to connect with Him? We explore how our “up and to the right” mentality has affected our churches and our own souls with our guest, John Mark Comer. He is the author of the book titled The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and the founding pastor of Bridgetown Church in the center of Portland.

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September 9, 2021 67 min

It seems like “multiethnic” is a bit of a buzzword in today’s culture. We talk about what it looks like to create multiethnic spaces, specifically as it relates to churches and church planting, with Daniel Yang. Daniel is the Director of the Send Institute, has planted a church in Toronto, one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, where he also recruited, assessed, and trained church planters through the Send Network ...

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Only 12% of evangelical Christians believe that immigration is a gospel issue. What has happened in the church to shift this topic from a gospel issue to a political issue? We speak with Matthew Soerens, the US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief where he helps evangelical churches understand the realities of refugees and immigration from a biblical perspective. He has also done work with 4 sitting presidents, both rep...

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July 22, 2021 58 min

Can reconciliation happen in our culture today? What does “the ministry of reconciliation” from 2 Corinthians 5 actually look like in our everyday lives? We wrestle with these questions with Dhati Lewis. He is the author of Advocates; The Narrow Path to Reconciliation and also the President of SEND Network with the North American Mission Board. He is also the Lead Pastor for the multi-ethnic Blueprint Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

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What do you do when your marriage starts to go off the rails?  How do we navigate significant leadership roles and marriage? Our guests, Dave and Ann Wilson had a lightbulb moment that forced them to make significant changes in their marriage. They have been married for 38 years and spent the past 33 years teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. Dave and Ann are co-hosts for the nationally syndicated radio pr...

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There isn’t a more polarizing topic in our culture when it comes to Christianity than the topic of sexuality. What is our response, as Christians, around the conversation surrounding the LGBTQ+ movements? Why is there such a divide between our two communities? We have that conversation with Bruce B. Miller, author of the book, “Leading Church in a Time of Sexual Questioning: Grace-Filled Wisdom for Day-to-Day Ministry”. Bruce i...

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Why are so many teens and college students leaving the faith? Why do kids who grow up in Christian homes end up rejecting those beliefs as adults? We speak with Mark Gregston, author of the book “Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture” and Founder and Executive Director of Heartlight, a residential counseling center for struggling teens. We dig into how parenting in today’s culture has never been harder. We also talk about why address...

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How should the church respond to the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements? We dive into that conversation with Danielle Strickland, an expert in this area who trains, advocates, and inspires people through initiatives like Amplify Peace, Brave Global, Infinitum, and the Women Speaking Collective. She is also the author of the book, Better Together which addresses this divide between Men and Women, and how working together can transform ...

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The term “woke” has become a very loaded term, especially in the church. How does the church wake up to and engage in social issues of racial injustice? We dive into a roundtable conversation with Dr. Eric Mason, Dr. Ed Stetzer, and Ron Zappia from the Men’s Conference “No Excuses” held at Highpoint Church in January 2020. Dr. Eric Mason is the founder and pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, PA. Also is the author of fou...

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The topic of human trafficking is a topic that the church just hasn’t completely missed, but has often ignored entirely. We speak with Christine Caine about how human trafficking takes on many forms outside of what has been sensationalized by Hollywood, how it is prevalent in our very own backyard, and what Christians should do when they don’t know what to do.  Christine Caine is a world-renowned expert on human trafficking. She ha...

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What if leaders were more interested in developing others around them, than leading for their own gain? That is the question we are seeking to answer in this episode. How do we make more leaders and invest ourselves into others? Dave Ferguson is an author, founding and lead pastor of Chicago’s Community Christian Church, the visionary behind the church-planting movement NewThing, and president of the Exponential Conference. He talk...

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February 18, 2021 72 min

Leaders and pastors are crashing and burning left and right, both in the workplace as well as the church, with leaders burning out now more than ever before. There is no one better to speak on burnout than Carey Nieuwhof. He is a former lawyer turned pastor of Connexus Church in Ontario, Canado. Author of several books including, Didn’t See it Coming, which speaks of Carey’s own experience with leadership burnout. Also host of the ...

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The amount of noise that we experience in today’s culture has never been higher. Cell phones, social media, the 24 hour news cycle. How do we intentionally create space to hear from God in the midst of all that is thrown at us? We dig into a historically spiritual practice central to Christian living, the discipline of Silence and Solitude, with Ruth Haley Barton. Founder of the Transforming Center, spiritual director, teacher, ret...

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January 3, 2021 69 min

There is no doubt that mental health issues are on the rise. With the influence of social media, the rise in suicide rates, and the rising cases of depression and anxiety, this is not an issue the church can afford to silent on any longer. Derwin Gray, author, founder and Lead Pastor of Transformation Church in South Carolina, and former NFL player talks with us on the issue of mental health and how the church can do a better job o...

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December 17, 2020 61 min

Does God intend everyone to get married? Does the church have a blind eye to single people? What does it look like to live as God intended, even in singleness? We talk with Lina AbuJamra, the founder of Living With Power Ministries, author of the book “Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended” and pediatric emergency room doctor. She is also engaged in providing medical care for Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

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December 3, 2020 70 min

HOW we communicate, HOW we get our point across, is important. As Christians, are people even listening to us or are we just living in our own echo chambers? Have we lost the art of effective communication and debate? Dr. Ed Stetzer, professor and dean at Wheaton College, Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, and author of the book “Christians in the Age of Outrage” dives into the topic of cancel culture, a...

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November 5, 2020 71 min

Marriages never stand still. They are either getting better, or getting worse. We are speaking with the guru of marriage, Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages and speaker who has impacted countless lives and marriages. Talking with him specifically on the topic of divorce as he shares wisdom that can be applied to any relationship. Jody Zappia joins Pastor Ron and shares their own story of being on the brink of divor...

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Kadi Cole is no stranger to developing leaders. She oversaw the booming growth of Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach, Florida as the Executive Director of Multi-site, taking the church from 3,500 to 23,000 people per weekend. She is now a leadership consultant running Kadi Cole & Company and is helping us look at a topic the church hasn’t been particularly strong on, how to develop female leaders.



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When it comes to race and reconciliation it can feel like there are only two sides to the conversation. But is there a third option? We talk with Miles McPherson, Senior Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, former NFL player, and author of the book The Third Option, on the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and how it is better to focus our attention on our similarities rather than our differences. 

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