Ep. 34: David Staal on Personal Presence, Transforming Community, & Bringing Hope

March 9, 2017

Noah Filipiak interviews author and Kids Hope USA President & CEO David Staal on what it means to show up.  Showing up with personal presence is a rarity in our noise-filled world of busyness, social media, and getting the next thing on our to-do list accomplished.  David's recent book Show Up: Step Out Of Your Story And Into Someone Else's is an approachable collection of examples of what it means to be present in someone's life with genuine love in a way that transforms them, you, and society as a whole.

David currently serves as President & CEO of Kids Hope USA, a fast-growing national non-profit organization that partners local churches with local elementary schools. Kids Hope USA trains churches to provide mentors for at-risk students, and is America’s largest faith-based mentoring program, serving over 20,000 kids through a network of 40,000 volunteers across 34 states.

Noah and David also discuss how the Transforming Community they are in together has shaped them as Christian leaders, helped them avoid burnout, and allowed them to be present before God so they can be present before others.


Show Up: Step Out Of Your Story And Into Someone Else's by David Staal

Connect with David on social media:




Episode 33: Dr. Ravi Zacharias on Truth, Disagreement, Islam and Feb. 7th & 8th free events at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University

February 3, 2017

Dr. Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray are coming to Michigan this week for "Ask Anything" events, sponsored by Cru.  These events are free; you will want to attend and bring as many friends as you can.

Episode 33 of the "Behind the Curtain" Ministry Podcast features an interview by Noah Filipiak with Dr. Ravi Zacharias.  Ravi discusses the types of questions about faith and truth that people are asking in today's society, from pluralism to atheism to relativism to Islam and so much more.  Hearing Ravi's perspective will make you realize how much is at stake, not just for you and your friends as individuals, but for Western and global society altogether.  Following the interview with Dr. Zacharias, Noah sits down with Brian Langford, Cru's Campus Director at Michigan State University.  Noah and Brian discuss the faith climate on today's college campuses and why the "Ask Anything" event with Ravi and Abdu is something people will not want to miss.

The Feb. 7th UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN (Ann Arbor) Event:


  Hill Auditorium
825 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

RZIM.org event page for Feb. 7th U of M event

Facebook event page for WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN? (University of Michigan, Feb. 7th event)

The Feb. 8th MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY (East Lansing) Event:



  Michigan State University - Breslin Center (basketball arena)
534 Birch Road
East Lansing, MI 48824

RZIM.org event page for Feb. 8th MSU event


RSVP and share the Facebook event page for ASK ANYTHING (Michigan State, Feb. 8th event)

Click here if you'd like to DONATE to MSU Cru to help make this event possible


Dr. Ravi Zacharias's Bio:

Ravi Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM.org), Dr. Zacharias has spoken all over the world for 44 years in scores of universities, notably Harvard, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and Cambridge.

Dr. Zacharias has authored or edited well over twenty books including the Gold Medallion winner Can Man Live Without GodHas Christianity Failed You?, Why Jesus?, Jesus Among Other Gods, and Beyond Opinion. His latest books are Jesus Among Secular Gods  and Why Suffering?, both coauthored with Vince Vitale

Ravi has appeared on CNN, Fox, and other international broadcasts. His weekly radio program, “Let My People Think,” airs on 2337 outlets worldwide.  RZIM is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Romania, Turkey, Austria, Spain, and South Africa. Dr. Zacharias and his wife, Margie, have three grown children. They reside in Atlanta.



Social Media:

Follow Ravi on Facebook

Follow Ravi Zacharias on Twitter



Ep. 32: Authors Sarah Arthur & Erin Wasinger on their year of living out radical faith in ordinary contexts, Pinterest Fails & the American Dream

February 2, 2017

Radical Christianity and New Monasticism are exciting movements of the faith.  But can they be applied to "ordinary" contexts like the suburbs, child-rearing and hectic schedules?  Sarah Arthur and Erin Wasinger seek to find out as they spend a year doing one intentional practice each month.  What they find out is refreshing and freeing for those who seek to serve Christ's Kingdom in deeper ways but wonder if they have room to do it.

Buy the book: The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us (Forward by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Brazos Press)


The Small Things Podcast with Sarah Arthur & Erin Wasinger

Follow Erin on Twitter

Follow Sarah on Twitter



Listen to Noah's March 31st, 2016 interview with Sarah on spiritually healthy ways of measuring success here (Episode 19)



Doug Logan, Pastor & Author - Episode 31 - On Missions, Urban Ministry & following ALL of the Great Commission

December 13, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews Pastor Doug Logan about planting an urban church in Camden, NJ; Camden was rated the most violent city in America in 2015.  Pastor Doug is an expert on missiology, urban ministry and what it looks like for the whole Church to live out the whole Great Commission.  He is the pastor of Epiphany Fellowship Church (Camden) and the author of On the Block: Developing a Biblical Picture for Missional Engagement (Moody Publishers).  He serves on the board for Thriving and for Acts 29 and is the proud father of 3 sons and grandfather of 3 grandkids.

Check out www.ontheblock.life for Pastor Doug's blog, along with free music downloads, more info on the book and upcoming On the Block Conference.


Connect with Pastor Doug on Social Media:

Twitter: @pastordeelowg

Facebook: Doug Logan

Instagram: @pastordeelowg


Bryan Loritts, Pastor & Author - Episode 30 - On Multi-Ethnic Church, Ministry Leadership & Identity in Christ

November 11, 2016

Pastor Bryan Loritts discusses how to become a multi-ethnic church, as well as the cost and challenges therein.  Noah Filipiak also asks Pastor Bryan for help in navigating the Christian subculture of church planting, pastoring and being an author in a way where we don't end up measuring ourselves by performance-oriented metrics. 


Connect with Bryan online:

Bryan's Tumblr blog





Bryan's Books:

Saving the Saved: How Jesus Saves Us from Try-Harder Christianity into Performance-Free Love

Right Color, Wrong Culture: The Type of Leader Your Organization Needs to Become Multiethnic

A Cross-Shaped Gospel: Reconciling Heaven and Earth

God on Paper: The Bible--the Wildest Story of Passion and Pursuit You'll Ever Read (Dialogue of Faith)

Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 


Resources Mentioned During the Interview:

"Make Us One" Mount Hermon Worship Leader Conference - Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2017 (great for those desiring multi-ethnic churches)

Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win by Dr. John Perkins

Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity by Edward Gilbreath


Noel Castellanos, CEO of the CCDA - Episode 28 - on living incarnationally among the poor, what’s missing from the American Gospel and how to persevere in the thick of ministry despair

September 23, 2016

Noel Castellanos is the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and the author of Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God Is at the Center.  Noah Filipiak interviews Noel about the downside of American Evangelicals being obsessed with going to heaven, but neglecting much of Jesus's example and teaching.  Noel talks "behind the curtain" about the challenge of doing urban ministry, but also the call behind it and the purpose it brings. 

The CCDA National Conference is coming to Detroit, MI on October 4-7th, 2017 so be sure to save the date to join us.


From August 20 - 30, 2016 CCDA practitioners walked a 150 mile pilgrimage from the border of Mexico and California––El Camino del Inmigrante––to share in solidarity with immigrants who are migrating across the world.  You can follow walkers' blogs, stories and reflections along the way. 

Recommended reading from Noel:

Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God Is at the Center by Noel Castellanos

Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins

Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective by Justo L. González

The Future is Mestizo: Life Where Cultures Meet by Virgilio Elizondo

Galilean Journey: The Mexican-American Promise by Virgilio Elizondo

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (on mass incarceration)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (on mass incarceration)

Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible by M. Daniel Carrol R.

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate by Jenny Yang and Matthew Soerens


Matthew Soerens of World Relief - Episode 27 - on a biblical response to illegal immigration and Muslim refugees (with poetry by Jacob Mau)

August 19, 2016

Matthew Soerens is the US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief.  Noah Filipiak interview Matthew about a biblical response to undocumented immigrants, the Mexican border, Syrian and other Muslim refugees, and much more.  The episode closes with a poem called "Home" by World Relief's Jacob Mau (www.jacobmaumusic.com)

Books co-authored by Matthew Soerens:

Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate

Photo of a
Photo of a "40 Days of Scripture & Prayer" bookmark. Contact EvangelicalImmigrationTable.com to get bookmarks and for your church.

Connect with Matthew:

Follow Matthew Soerens on Twitter

Like Matthew Soerens Author Facebook Page

Resources and ways to enact change:


advocacy@wr.org - Subscribe to World Relief's immigration advocacy updates


Contact your Representatives in Congress:

National House: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

National Senate:­­ http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Hana & Saeed from World Relief on Vimeo.


The end of the episode features the poem "Home" read and written by Jacob Mau.  Connect with Jacob on Twitter, Facebook and at his music website.


Grace Fox, author - Episode 26 - on industry pressure to make ourselves big when the Bible tells us Jesus must increase and we decrease

August 16, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews Grace Fox on the pressure a Christian author faces to have to make themselves well-known, despite the Bible's emphasis that "Jesus must increase, and we must decrease" (John 3:28-30).  Noah and Grace discuss the challenge to do this in the Christian book marketplace where names must be known and books must be sold, and the damage that can be done to our souls when we get our priorities in the wrong place. 

Noah Filipiak interviews Grace Fox on the pressure a Christian author faces to have to make themselves well-known, despite the Bible's emphasis that "Jesus must increase, and we must decrease" (John 3:28-30).  Noah and Grace discuss the challenge to do this in the Christian book marketplace where names must be known and books must be sold, and the damage that can be done to our souls when we get our priorities in the wrong place.


Like Grace's Facebook author page

Follow Grace on Twitter

International Messengers Canada

Grace's books & resources:

Spiritual Growth

Morning Moments With God: Devotions for the Busy Woman

Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women

10-Minute Time Outs for Moms

Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman's Guide to Peace in Every Situation

Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation Guide (Workbook)

Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation Guide (DVD)

Moving From Fear to Freedom - Bible Study Group Discount

Parenting Resources

Tuck-Me-In Talks With Your Little Ones: Creating Happy Bedtime Memories

Tuck-Me-In Cards: Turn Bedtime Routines into Memory-Making Moments

10-Minute Time Outs for You and Your Kids

Marriage Resources

One-Minute Romance for Couples

Couple Minutes: Questions to Keep Your Relationship Fresh and Fun


A Taste of Hot Apple Cider

Mornings With Jesus 2016

Hot Apple Cider


Chris McKenna, Covenant Eyes - Episode 25 - On staying pure with new technology, Instagram and how he conquered a porn addiction

July 19, 2016

Chris McKenna is the new Educational Resource Manager for Covenant Eyes and also runs the website Protect Young Eyes (www.protectyoungeyes.com).  Protect Young Eyes is loaded with free tools for parents, as Chris specializes in speaking weekly around the Midwest to parents and students on using the Internet better as the latest apps and devices hit the market. 

Noah and Chris each share how they overcame addictions to pornography, as they discuss what both kids and adults are up against today in the age of mobile devices.  This is a must-listen for anyone who struggles with lust, as well as anyone parenting kids in this new day and age.  Most people would never imagine their kids are looking at porn on their tablets or phones, but there's a good chance they are, or soon will be.  Some will be surprised to hear all the ways their child might be accessing porn outside of the standard internet browser (e.g. Instagram, Twitter, etc.)

You can book Chris for speaking engagements through his website www.protectyoungeyes.com.

Get Covenant Eyes on your computers and mobile devices today; use this link and/or promo code CROSSROADS to get your first month free. 

Check out the Covenant Eyes blog.

Free e-books from Covenant Eyes (including Parenting the Digital Generation. The same link will guide you to the 3-week sermon series.).

Covenant Eyes' 40-Day Challenge App

Follow Covenant Eyes on Twitter and Facebook

Follow Chris on Twitter