Skills You Need to Move from Pandemic to Progress with Brian Dodd

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s unSeminary podcast. We have Brian Dodd back with us. He’s the Director of New Ministry Relationships at Injoy Stewardship Solutions, as well as blogging at Brian Dodd on Leadership and the author of several books.

Brian is talking with us about the current state of the church post-pandemic and what we are seeing in terms of church growth. Plus don’t miss the practical tool he offers for discipleship and leadership development.

  • Connect and restore hope. // Brian has a unique vantage point as he works with growing churches, noting that churches that focus on Jesus, the Bible, and discipleship are flourishing post-pandemic. COVID-19 has stripped away non-essentials, and people are looking for what’s real and authentic.
  • The primacy of scripture. // While the attractional model still works, churches that model personal holiness and excellence while focusing on the primacy of scripture without the glitz are thriving. Realize that as a preacher you’ve been given a specific message to deliver to a specific group of people at a specific time, and that message can change people’s lives forever. People are dramatically attracted to these type of leaders and churches.
  • Connect people to God’s word. // We’ve raised an entire generation of people who don’t know who God is. They may come to church on Sunday, but don’t have an active relationship with God Monday through Saturday. Give them practical handles to hold onto in the struggles they face each day. Great systems in small groups that route people in to where they can learn about God’s word and what it says about their life are what people need today. Churches that do that are the ones that are bearing fruit and growing.
  • Seven skills. // Brian also shared about his process of writing his latest book, “Mighty: 7 Skills You Need to Move from Pandemic to Progress,” and how it can be used as a tool for pastors and church leaders. The book is based on the 31 verses in 2 Samuel 23 about David’s mighty men and pulls out seven skills that are important for leaders to have in a post-pandemic world: production, passion, resilience, teamwork, contentment, courage, and faith. Each chapter has study questions at the end, making it a great tool for discipleship or developing a leadership culture in churches.
  • Serving others. // If you want to move forward in a post-pandemic world and become everything God wants you to be, these seven skills will help you develop your leadership. Brian wraps up by underscoring the importance of serving others first in our decision-making rather than serving ourselves. If we make ministry and leadership about other people, it will lead to exponentially greater results in the long run.

You can learn more about Brian’s books at www.briandoddonleadership.com. Plus order “Mighty: 7 Skills You Need to Move from Pandemic to Progress” in bulk here.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Leadership Pathway

If you are trying to find, develop and keep young leaders on your team look no further than Leadership Pathway. They have worked with hundreds of churches, and have interviewed thousands of candidates over the past several years. They are offering a new ebook about five of the core competencies that are at the heart of the leadership development process with every church that they partner with…just go to leadershippathway.org/unseminary to pick up this free resource.

Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Well hey, friends welcome to the unSeminary podcast. So glad that you have decided to tune in. I’m super honored to have Brian Dodd with us again on the podcast. We were saying this has got to be maybe the fourth or maybe even fifth time. I just love Brian – he’s got a huge heart for serving church leaders and he there’s a very few small group of people who who I say, listen anytime you want to come on, you come on, and Brian is one of those. Ah, he’s the Director of New Ministry Relationships at Injoy Stewardship Solutions. He’s been blogging since blogging was cool. Ah, it’s called Brian Dodd on Leadership. Feel like you know it’s not a lot of us still doing that but he’s still doing it, which is amazing. And he’s author of many books including his most recent book, “Mighty: 7 Skills You Need to Move from Pandemic to Progress”. Brian, welcome to the show. So glad you’re here.

Brian Dodd — Hey, Rich, it it is an honor to be back again. I love hanging out with you, love investing in your audience. Love your heart as well, and you were blogging when blogging what you know was cool also. So…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Brian Dodd — …you you and I have persevered and are are still trying to get our voice out there and serve leaders through that medium. So.

Rich Birch — Yeah I love it. And your you know I love your I still every week um, you know I’ll love where every week you you know you do this post that’s like the top 10 things that you’ve read that week on Twitter. And all still like check that out and look through and you’re a good curation source of like, hey where you know what you know think good the good ideas. So I’m glad you’re here again. So you you and interact well fill out the picture. What did I miss about Brian Dodd what you know, what how else who else are you? What do you want people to know? Tell us about Injoy that kind of thing.

Brian Dodd — Yeah I mean as far as me. Yeah, I mean you’re right? You you hit them. You know my daytime job is I serve pastors and church leaders through Injoy Stewardship, helping with leadership development and developing cultures of generosity.

Brian Dodd — Evening, for fun and it’s actually turned into something more than fun, I run the website briandoddonleadership.com. And coming out of that’s come a podcast for books, you know, just a number of of resources there to help pastors and church leaders. but being a husband of 32 years and, you know, my wife just retired from being on staff where we attend church. And my daughter is 24 and she’s on staff as a worship leader at a church. Thrilled for her. And come November 12th is the expected date she’s gonna make me a grandfather. So.

Rich Birch — Oh my goodness. Brian, how is such a young man like you a grandfather – I don’t know how that’s possible.

Brian Dodd — I tell you it’s Abraham in reverse it’s, you know. Ah, but yeah, I mean so ah, you know so it’s ah it’s a great season for the Dodd family and and we’re just thrilled about everything God’s doing in our lives. So.

Rich Birch — That’s fantastic. That’s that’s so great. I know my ah my wife, we have young adult children who are not in the like thinking about kids mode. But my wife is definitely. She would like to be a grandma so she’s like ready for that. And I’m like you got to just keep that language down a little bit. You know you got to got a few more stages to go here before we get to that. But that’s so cool. That’s great.

Rich Birch — Well you have ah you know you have a unique vantage point um, and I appreciate you coming on to the podcast to try to take advantage of that vantage point. You interact in your day job with church leaders all the time all across the country in your unique slice, you know, folks that are growing and looking to do new things and all that. And I wanted to kind of pick your brain a little bit around what you’re seeing in this I really do think it’s post-pandemic. You know I was last weekend I saw I was at the movie theater in our town, and there was this like hole these holes random holes on the wall. And I was like what what are those holes there. And I was like oh that’s where there used to be one of those like hand sanitizing stations. They obviously have taken it down and not patched the holes. And I was like hey, that means we’re post pandemic not hand sanitizer as much everywhere. But what what are you seeing kind of you know from your vantage point when you think about the church in this kind of current phase.

Brian Dodd — You know, Rich, listen to your story you know, Barna and Gallup they spend all this money you know trying to figure things out and if they would just go to a movie theater and look for hand sanitizer, they would have already had all their answers. Ah…

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Brian Dodd — I think I, because all I do is deal with growing churches, you know, churches that need to raise money for expansion, or major renovations, or payoff debt to do more money or new campuses. So I have a very unique vantage point. And here’s what I’m seeing, and I’ve actually talked to pastors at conferences to see if they’re seeing the same thing and it’s it’s been validated.

Brian Dodd — Ah churches today who understand that it really is all about Jesus, the Bible, his word, how he can change your life, and here’s the steps to do that through discipleship. Those churches are flourishing and here’s why: um Covid stripped away all nonessentials. You know, people people lost a lot during Covid. You know, they lost hope, which may have been the worst. You know, they lost family members. They lost careers, they lost money, they lost trust in just life in general. Some of them lost faith in God through that whole process. So they are they are looking for what’s real.

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Brian Dodd — And they recognize, if I can use phrases like this flash and dash or glitz or anything like that. Yeah, you know a hazer is not going to reach people for Jesus, you know.

Rich Birch — Sure, sure.

Brian Dodd — And I talk to pastors all the time I say does the attractional model still work? Well in my opinion, yes, and no. No, the opulence, the over the top things, the wow factor – ah those type of things people don’t need that anymore.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Brian Dodd — They they need what’s real. They still they still won’t excellence. But if you give them… it’s it’s strange, Rich. It’s almost a 1980s messaging. If you give them a 1980s messaging with a 2000s level of excellence, those churches are thriving. And those are the churches that I see God blessing tremendously. And what does that mean for pastors and church leaders? I say this if you focus more on your personal holiness than you do your personal preferences…

Rich Birch — Oh that’s good.

Brian Dodd — …and you realize that as a pastor, I am not a communicator, I am a preacher I’ve been given a message by the Ancient of Days to deliver to a group of people at this point in time in human history – a specific group with a specific message at a specific time that can change their life forever, people are dramatically attracted to those type of leaders and those type of churches.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love that. You know and some of this I think we were seeing movements of this before covid for sure, and I think covid in some ways has accelerated or intensified I do think that idea that you know there was so much stripped back during that time frame um, that you know the kind of flash and dash or the you know like the flash in the pan kind of thing I think faded away is not you know, not around anymore. I know there was a study done by our friends at Gallup before the pandemic, so this was 2018 or 2019, where they asked people who attended religious services—it was not a particularly Christian sort of study—but they were saying why do you attend? And to me I found lots of hope in it actually they were said three quarters of the reason why people attend was because of the message because of what was what was being taught at those. And then they asked those people, what is it that you’re looking for in those messages? And the two things that came out um, and almost neck for neck one is it needs to be based on scripture, and the second is it needs to be applicable to my life on Monday like it needs to have you know applicable you know outside of this you know this thing. And to me I took great hope in that because I would say hey that is that’s what we want our churches to be. We want our churches to ultimately point people back to the person of Jesus, not to ourselves, that we’re not the we’re a signpost we’re we’re hoping that people um ultimately see him and will walk out as changed people. What are some ways what are some examples of that? So this idea of like hey churches that are that seem to be thriving in this day are are ones that are focusing on you know transformation, or focusing on um you know what you know what what are some examples of that that you’ve seen as you’ve engaged with people?

Brian Dodd — Yeah, um, I’ll just I’ll just use you know some churches that I know firsthand. I’ll give you some practical tips and you know some of your listeners may go you’re getting into behavioral modification a little bit, but I would say, you know, these these are the expectations. Um, you know you can no longer lead from the green room. You know you you you will lead from the lobby and the sanctuary. You know your staff needs to be in the front row with their bibles open taking notes. They need to be leading in that spiritual hunger.

Brian Dodd — Um, you know pastors, old testament and new testament, biblical teaching. Rich, you said it best tell me who God is. We’ve raised up an entire generation of people who don’t know who God is. Ah, tell me who God is. Tell me what his plan for my life is. I’ve heard that he loves me but tell me what that means. And as you said, Rich, so well, what does that mean to me on Monday through Saturday? And give me real handles that I can somehow… because what are people dealing with today? Um, you know I’ve got neighbors – one’s got cancer, one’s got a kid that’s wanting to transition, one’s struggling with their marriage. Another’s got financial challenges, another another’s in the banking industry. So their career is in flux. They need something real that they can hold on to.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — And so you give you give people real… Ah by the way too um, you know this discipleship, whether you want to call it Sunday school, on campus small groups, small groups, community groups, whatever phrase you want to use, but great systems that route people in to where they can learn about God’s word and what it says about their life, and the bible has to become primary and not a reference point.

Rich Birch — Oh that’s good. Yeah, that’s so good.

Brian Dodd — The church…yeah, churches that are doing that and elevating the scriptures to a point of primacy, those are the churches that are yielding tremendous fruit currently that I’m seeing.

Rich Birch — Yeah, it’s I love that. I love that you’re pointing that out. Listen, you know, I’ve made the joke you know, kind of privately for years that I’m like, friends, just because it’s just because it rhymes doesn’t mean it’s true. Like there’s preaching out there that doesn’t have this kind of like um, is it actually pointing people back to God, or is it just like those are your interesting ideas. And we have to come back to part of what you know I worked with a guy by the name it worked for a guy by the name of Tim Lucas for years and one of his coaching on his teaching is you know when when when he teaches like, listen I need to get to what the bible says like with and he was a dog on it whenever we had other communicators preaching. It’s like you’ve got to get to what the bible says like in the first two and a half, three minutes. Like do not don’t where you know there’s some messages you go to and it’s like you’re 20 minutes in and you’re like are we ever going to land on scripture? It’s crazy.

Brian Dodd — Well you you know, Rich, I heard a sermon once and I don’t know if this individual listens to your podcast or not and if if he does I apologize. But you know his whole thing was Adam and Eve shame equals blame. Okay, so that was his whole thing. It was the rhyme. That’s what made me think of it.

Rich Birch — Yes, yes, yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian Dodd — And so if you just do a bought just a basic Google bible search on verses on shame.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Brian Dodd — What you learn is shame is what happens when you sin and let you know that you’ve missed God’s mark, and you’re separated from God. The issue is what do you do with it.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — Now Adam and Eve blame. But if you shame is ah is an action point or is an impetus for repentance.

Brian Dodd — Shame is not bad. If you don’t have it by definition we live in a shameless society.

Rich Birch — Oh right, right. Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian Dodd — So we actually need a little more shame…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Brian Dodd — …and a little people responding to shame in a way that’s godly. Now blame is the wrong way to handle it.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — I will I will give that I will give that pastor credit on that. Um, but shame, shame can shame can be a driver towards repentance and you know getting back in a right relationship with with God. So.

Rich Birch — Nice. Now…

Brian Dodd — That’s just an example to support what you’re saying.

Rich Birch — Love it. So now do do you cover this in your most recent book 7… “Mighty: 7 Skills You Need to Move from Pandemic to Progress”? Is that is that kind of stuff you’re talking about in in this book?

Brian Dodd — Well I you know I talk about a number of things in the book. One of the seven skills is faith. You know if you want to move successfully in a post-pandemic world and become everything God wanted you to be and everything you were meant to be, ah faith is the seven skill is the seventh skill. And so it’s actually the most important too. But I do have a page or two dedicated to what I’m seeing in churches that are experiencing post-pandemic growth.

Rich Birch — That’s interesting. Yeah, so talk to me about talk to me about this book. Talk you know this the thing I love about your your books is they’re very grounded in I don’t know how you observe so much that’s going on in the world around you. You have like this giant ability to like see things that are happening and integrate them all together. You see connections between things that I’m always like, man, how does he connect all those dots? It’s pretty amazing. But talk to me about that; talk to me about Mighty – what led you to read write the book, and and what are you hoping people get out of it?

Brian Dodd — Yeah, and so let me address that. But I want to talk about how I connect things because I think this will help the executive pastors…

Rich Birch — Okay.

Brian Dodd — …because I want obviously I want them to get the book but also want them to have some tools that make them better. So whenever I write, or I collect information, or I try to build cases for various things, Rich, it’s always the law of the second question.

Rich Birch — Oh that’s good.

Brian Dodd — So the average person will go to church and they’ll they’ll be driving home and they’ll go well that is a great service. I had a wonderful time. And then they’ll talk about lunch, or the football game, or you know whatever they’re doing that afternoon. It’s the law the second question – the ability to stop and then go, okay, exactly why was it a great service?

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — Well that’s your blog post. That’s how you coach your staff. That’s how you build momentum because you can replicate the things that God’s blessing and the things you’re doing well. But but that’s that’s the process I go through. It’s really not that complicated. It’s the law of the second and third question, and actually collecting that data and leveraging it for future growth. So that being said…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Brian Dodd — …one of the things that fleshes out of that future growth is a book. Okay? So I I did a couple of devotions for work for church and actually for the local business association. And for the local business association I left out chapter and verse. But I really did something on the 31 verses in 2 Samuel 23—David’s mighty men. Because in that that that passage takes place in 1018 to 1014 B.C. David’s on the run from Saul. So I mean he’s he’s in the wilderness, and he’s lost his friends. He’s lost Jonathan. He’s lost his wife. He’s lost his position. He’s lost his income. Sounds a lot like 2020, doesn’t it?

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah. True, true.

Brian Dodd — You know and so he’s lost everything. Well he starts attracting all these people that the bible refers to as distressed, in debt, and discontented. Okay, so out of this collection of misfits, he forms this elite fighting force called David’s Mighty Men.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Brian Dodd — And that’s how history remembers them. So I began when I would give devotions on it and give speeches on it, it was really well received, and I’m thinking, Okay, this thing’s got legs.

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Brian Dodd — You know it might be the right message for the right time. And so I chronologically go through that particular set of verses. And the different skills, one’s not more important than the other except faith, which is number seven. Because there’s two sections in there where it said, and the Lord worked a great victory. So without the Lord, the other six, you know, aren’t aren’t going to give you the victory that you want. But I just chronologically go through that passage. And so that’s where that’s where the seven skills come from.

Rich Birch — That’s with the seven. So this is production, passion, resilience, teamwork, contentment, courage, and then faith – so these are the seven…

Brian Dodd — Right.

Rich Birch — …kind of truth that you’ve pulled out, the seven skills.

Brian Dodd — Yeah. So for instance I’ll just do the first one because you mentioned it first…

Rich Birch — Sure. Yep, yep.

Brian Dodd — …and it’s the first thing. The the chief of David’s mighty man was a gentleman named Josheb-basshebeth. And what we learn about Josheb-basshebeth…

Rich Birch — Great name.

Brian Dodd – Yeah. I’ve had to practice a lot on the name.

Rich Birch — <laughs>

Brian Dodd — What we learn about him is he killed 800 men with a spear.

Rich Birch — So crazy.

Brian Dodd — Now here’s the deal, Rich, I am prone to embellishment. Like I go, oh that’s the most awesome thing I’ve ever eaten.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — Well, it’s a burrito.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, right, right, right.

Brian Dodd — Okay, it’s not the most awesome thing I’ve ever.

Rich Birch — Yeah, yeah.

Brian Dodd — It’s you know it was tasty, but it’s not worthy of awe.

Rich Birch — Right. Love it.

Brian Dodd — And it’s you know and you know so I’m prone to embellishment. But when the bible says he killed 800 men with a spear…

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — …he killed 800 men with a spear.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — So if you mentally insert yourself into that story and you’re walking with him, and however he comes upon this army, whether they’re hunting him down, there’s probably a bounty on his head. Or whether he’s hunting them down or whether they just come together, in any event there’s this confrontation between him and 800 men. And I just have it in my mind that he says, okay Brian, back up I need to take care of this. And I back up 50, a hundred yards because I’m sure they got bow and arrow. So I’m backed up a pretty good way and I watch him go to work.

Rich Birch — Sure.

Brian Dodd — And just on him I noticed three things about him.

Rich Birch — Okay.

Brian Dodd — Number one: he’s a master of his craft. He knows how to work a spear.

Rich Birch — Yep, yep.

Brian Dodd — And I talk about being a master of your craft. Number two breathtaking health. If you’d never watch two individuals get into a fight, and I’m not talking about professional combat, like um MMA or boxing or anything like that. But like your little league game. Okay?

Rich Birch — Yep, yep, yep yep.

Brian Dodd — You’re going to notice two things. Number one, it’s over very very quickly. And number two, both are exhausted, probably from an adrenaline rush. But…

Rich Birch — Sure yep.

Brian Dodd — …you know he had the health to conquer 800 people.

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Brian Dodd — And the fourth thing you learn about him is there could be no wasted movement. His level of efficiency was that an elite level. So for instance, if you want high production in a post-pandemic world so that you can be a person who can accomplish great things for God and your organization in your church, yeah, you’re going to need those three things. You’re gonna need to be a master of your craft.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — You’re gonna and part of that is you’re going to have to master the fundamentals of your craft.

Rich Birch — So good.

Brian Dodd — You’re gonna have to have yeah you got to have great health.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — Because if your health goes it that’ll take you down.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — You can recover from a lot of things, but if your health goes that’ll take you down. And number three, you’ve got to be highly efficient. Ah edit your life and eliminate all the nonessentials.

Rich Birch — So good.

Brian Dodd — And so I unpack in that one chapter I unpack all three of those things that we learn from Josheb-basshebeth. So that’s one example and of course you’ve got the other six that you mentioned earlier.

Rich Birch — Yeah I love that That’s so good. And you can see even with those this again this is, friends, this is a part of why I love about Brian’s communication style. Like he’s so good at just you know it’s the the high juice to squeeze ratio. You’ve got like one thing there and we’re squeezing all kinds of um, ah very applicable lessons out of it for you ah you know to really wrestle with I think this could be a great you know an encouraging text for people, encouraging book to pass along. But then you you go from um from the passage and then give some real some kind of contemporary examples.

Brian Dodd — Yeah.

Rich Birch — Talk to me how all that works. How does how did that how do how did you how you weave those in as well.

Brian Dodd — Well you know, Rich, you’ve written a book. Okay? Have you written more than one or just one?

Rich Birch — Yep, two. Yep, two books, working on the third. Oh sure.

Brian Dodd — Okay, so you’re you’re you’re a writer, so I’m gonna and I think every leader has a book in them.

Rich Birch — Sure, sure.

Brian Dodd — So if you’re thinking about writing a book I’m going to walk you through briefly kind of the writing process of the book. Okay?

Rich Birch — Yep.

Brian Dodd — Um, I noticed when I used to read Malcolm Gladwell at the very beginning of his chapters, there’d be a bible verse. And then he would write about whatever he’d want to write about. So in my second book Timeless which was Ten Things That Apex Leaders Have Always Done and Will Always Do, I actually expanded on Malcolm’s thoughts. And so what I did is I I opened up not with a bible verse but with a biblical framework for that particular skill. And then because it’s timeless things that people have always done will always do you had the biblical text but then I brought in modern examples. Okay. So mighty takes that concept.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — And so I will build out whatever those, you know, courage or contentment or teamwork or whatever it may be, I’ll build out what the text teaches and then have modern stories of people in a post-pandemic world who are living that out.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Brian Dodd — And so that’s that’s how the book is actually structured. And and here’s another thing and and, Rich, I want to say this. And this this is a different point but I do want to invest in your audience a little bit beyond just content of the book.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Brian Dodd — This is my fourth book. Okay. Here’s the big lesson I learned in my fourth book. My first three books were were about me, if you want to know the truth about it.

Rich Birch — Sure, sure.

Brian Dodd — My my first book is I just wanted my name on something. I had this book in me I just wanted to get it out. I wanted my name in the Library of Congress. I wanted to plant my flag in this earth.

Rich Birch — Sure.

I just wanted my name on something.

Rich Birch — Sure.

Now I love all 4 books. They’re like your children you love them all.

Rich Birch — Yep, yep, yep.

Brian Dodd — You know my second book, which was Timeless, that was a question I wanted the answer to. Are there common threads that the best of the best, regardless of industry, regardless of whether you’re a church or and athletic team – the best leaders, are there common threads in um? And the answer is yes. So that was the answer to a question I had is a research project if you will know the truth about it.

Rich Birch — Yep. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally.

Brian Dodd — Third book I wrote 2021: The Year in Leadership was a book I always wanted to write. The reason I started writing my website and my blog is I wanted to write a book. I can’t write fifty thousand, sixty thousand words at one time, but I can write 500

Rich Birch — Right. Yep, yep.

Brian Dodd — And I would just house it on my blog and then kind of scrunch it together and make a book.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Brian Dodd — That was the book always wanted to write.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Brian Dodd — So my flag, my question, my book. This book is the first book and it’s just me maturing as an author. But this is the first book I ever wrote for other people.

Rich Birch — Oh good.

Brian Dodd — In fact in the title 7 Skills You Need to Move from Pain…

Rich Birch — Right, right.

Brian Dodd — So this is the first book I wrote for somebody else.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Brian Dodd — And Rich, here’s the thing and this is what I want all your readers to know, and hopefully you won’t have to wait to your fourth book to learn it like I did. Okay?

Rich Birch — Sure.

Brian Dodd — When you make your ministry and your leadership and what you push and present to the world, it’s the old old Zig Ziglar phrase, if you give people what they want, you’ll get what you want.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so true.

Brian Dodd — Rich, this is the most pre-ordered, pre-sold book I’ve ever written.

Rich Birch — That’s a good lesson.

Brian Dodd — Ah it hit five five days into it it was the Amazon’s number one bestselling new release for Christian leadership.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Brian Dodd — It hit Kindle three days ago and last night, its second day, it was number two.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so good.

Brian Dodd — Now all the glory goes to God, and number two it’s a lesson I wish I learned a long time ago. If I would have made my writing and my leadership about other people sooner, and serving people sooner…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Brian Dodd — um you know it’d look different than it does today. But that’s the logic behind the book. That’s the structure of the book. And I think you’ve got XPs on here today that they’re they’re they’re having to make a decision – is this going to serve me, or serve my church, and if it serves my church, it might hurt me a little bit.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — I would encourage them to always serve other people and serve their church. It will work out for them exponentially better in the long run.

Rich Birch — Yeah I love that. I love ah, in fact, in our house we have as you leave kind of the door that we mostly walk out of, and we’ve had this since our kids were a little, we have these these these words it just says: help others. Um, you know that we’ve tried to with our kids all the way along say hey you know there’s a more rich and full life ah, if we orient around the needs of other people, and figure out how we serve them, and get around thinking about that. And what a vivid example um even from this most recent you know book that you’re working on.

Rich Birch — I also love that idea of the framework. I found the same thing in the so two books that have been released, third that I’m working on. Um, it’s done actually – I’m just in that kind of like final grooming of it. Um, it’s that actually coming up with the the framework, the the substructure of how it all fits together is a big part of it, and getting that all kind of sorted out. Um, then from there you know it it does tend to flow because you’re just following the the structure that you’ve put together, the kind of the path that you’ve laid out. So um, love that That’s that’s encouraging to hear. I’m, you know, love hearing about this book. As it’s been out there, has there been any part of it… because the thing I found interesting about the things you you write is you write them and then people read them and they react differently, or like hear things that maybe you weren’t really thinking of, or kind of spurs interesting conversations. Has there been any of it—I know it’s just early—but has there been anything that’s that’s happened so far that’s kind of caught your attention as it’s been out in the real world.

Brian Dodd — Well here’s what’s here’s what’s been interesting. Um, and then all 7 skills, I don’t think there’s one chapter better than the other chapter. But people gravitate to what speaks to them. You know like I’m wired for production. You know, I like getting things to done. I like checking things off a list I’m wired for production. I love the production chapter. So I was talking with a friend yesterday. He loved the passion chapter. Okay. He loved Eleazar and they had to pry the sword from his hand. So we spent a lot of time talking about the subject of passion and what that whole battle scene must have been like, you know, and [inaudible] people versus passion people.

Brian Dodd — And so really the the interesting thing for me, and um in my other books there have been specific points that really jumped out to people. But what I’ve learned about this point is whatever a person’s gifting is, whatever their interest is, however, they’re wired, that chapter speaks to them more than the other six.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Brian Dodd — So the good news about that is is it’s a book that no matter who you are as a leader, ah, here’s what I know one seventh of it you’re going to love. You know?

Rich Birch — Which is pretty good! Love it.

Brian Dodd — Yeah.

Brian Dodd — So I you know look if we just get average on the other six we’re ahead of the game…

Rich Birch — Yeah, that’s funny.

Brian Dodd — …but I know at least I know at least one seventh of the book, you’re going to read that you’re going to see yourself in it.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Brian Dodd — And here’s another thing, Rich, that I’ve had another person tell me, anyone can be mighty.

Rich Birch — Sure. Oh love that. Yeah.

Brian Dodd — And you know, they just need permission to be mighty and they need some skills. And so this book this book is giving people confidence to go, and I don’t have to live in 2020 anymore. I want to leave 2020, I’ve started leaving 2020, but now I can leave 2020 in the most productive, successful, God-honoring way possible.

Rich Birch — So good. Well this is fantastic. I know for me, you know I’m struck by this. I think this could be a great gift book to give to someone. I do think this would be a great maybe even a framework for a series, that kind of thing. I think it could be an amazing ah tool for church leaders and so I’m assuming we could pick it up, or I know we could pick it up at Amazon. Is there anywhere else we want to send people, maybe to your website or there are other places we want to send them to pick up copies?

Brian Dodd — Yeah, you you you can get on my website. Let me tell you who I wrote. You know, I said I wrote the book for other people you, let me tell you who I really wrote the book for.

Rich Birch — Okay, sure.

Brian Dodd — If the business community reads it and loves it, great. The athletic community if they read it and love it, great. And I hope they do. Okay. This book is written for pastors and church leaders, and at the end of each chapter I have a set of study questions. And here’s why I did that. Ah, it is a great discipleship tool.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — I am praying and my hope is that pastors will do it as a sermon series, and they’ll have an accompanying small group um lesson going right along with them. And they’ll read that chapter and then they’ll do those five study questions at the end of each chapter. And it does build to faith at the very end.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — Um, and so what I’m really really hoping is that you know because at churches, you know, I love the phrase we want to develop a leadership culture. Well absolutely. Question is how do you do that?

Rich Birch — Yeah, what’s that look like? Yeah.

Brian Dodd — And there’s there’s not many books out there, you know, like okay we can take ah a book and you can pick the name of any book, but let’s read a chapter. What’d you read? What’d you learn? How are you going to apply it? The old Dan Ryland process.

Rich Birch — Mmm-hmm.

Brian Dodd — And really what you’re doing is you’re repurposing a book to make it a discipleship tool in your church.

Rich Birch — Right.

Brian Dodd — This book is written for fun and enjoyment and learning and application. But it’s also written then know if you want to disciple your leaders, or you want to start a leader group, or a business leader group, or a sermon series, this book is written that you can do that over a seven week process.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Brian Dodd — And obviously buying the book, to answer your question, buying the books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. But if you go to Xulon press, who I used for my self-publishing, I would get the bulk orders through Xulon Press, if you want to do 10 or more.

Rich Birch — Okay, love it. Good.

Brian Dodd — And Xulon is xulonpress.com

Rich Birch — Press dot com. Okay, great. Perfect. Well this is this has been fantastic. Anything else, you’d like to say just as we wrap up today’s episode?

Brian Dodd — You know, Rich, you and I known each other a long time. Um I just want to thank you that you have given your life to serving pastors and church leaders…

Rich Birch — Well thanks, man.

Brian Dodd — …and you’ve been faithful in that. You’ve been consistent in that, and you’ve done it with unbelievable excellence. You’ve been a great friend for over a decade, and I just want to thank you. I mean to be honest, you are now such a constant in the church leadership world, you can be taken for granted.

Rich Birch — I appreciate that.

Brian Dodd — And trust me, there’s guys like me that we don’t take you for granted. So thank you for everything you’re doing.

Rich Birch — Well I was, you know, it’s I appreciate that that’s super kind of you to say that – means a lot coming from you, Brian, for sure. You know, I was I was joking with our mutual friend, Carey Nieuwhof, we were talking about this. How um you know it’s amazing people come and go in this space all the time. But there’s like some of us have just been around. We just won’t let go. It’s like we just both you know if anything we got staying power, so you know I appreciate that. I really appreciate that. Ah, we want to send people to briandoddonleadership.com – is there anywhere else we want that to send them to get connected with you ah, to follow along with you and your story?

Brian Dodd — Oh sure on Twitter is @briankdodd and Brian’s with an “i” and @briandoddonleadership on Instagram. So yeah, any of those.

Rich Birch — Love it.

We got links to them all on my website so you can go to the website and then springboard off of that.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Brian Dodd — But yeah, if you know love to interact with your audience, love to serve them in any way I possibly can. And yeah, just being an absolute honor to play a very, very small role in helping equip them to become everything God created them to be.

Rich Birch — Thanks so much – appreciate that, Brian. Take care, brother.

Brian Dodd — You too.


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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.