Zack Eswine, 2016 CT Book of the Year winner - Episode 24 - on Pastoring and how “Large, Famous & Fast” were not Values of Jesus’s

June 28, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews 2016 Christianity Today Book of the Year (in the Category of The Church/Pastoral Leadership) award winner Dr. Zack Eswine.  In addition to the award-winning The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus, Zack is also the author of Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression, Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons that Connect with our Culture, Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes and Kindled Fire: How the methods of CH Spurgeon can help your preachingZack pastors at Riverside Church in Webster Groves, MO and is the Director of Homiletics at Covenant Seminary.

Like the themes in Zack's writing, this interview is essential listening for pastors who struggle with burnout, significance and self-striving.  So much of what has become normative in church culture for pastors is the opposite of what Jesus taught and modeled for his followers.  Zack exposes these things with such grace, experience, and wisdom, offering the rest of us the hope from the hamster wheel of ministry he has found in Jesus.

You can follow Zack on Twitter and Facebook.  His website and blog can be found at


Joseph Bataille, Haiti Country Director for World Relief - Episode 23 - on breaking patterns of dependency, helpful and hurtful ways of helping, and how to avoid compassion fatigue

June 14, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews World Relief's Haiti Country Director, Joseph Bataille.  Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the 2010 earthquake and even more so after.  All this despite millions and millions of dollars of international aid over the course of decades.  Noah and Joseph have a "behind the curtain" conversation about how Haiti got in the spot its in, what World Relief is doing about it, and what we all can do about alleviating poverty in ways that work.  Noah and Joseph also discuss the perils of compassion fatigue and how to avoid it. 


Derek Webb, musician - Episode 22 - On people walking out of concerts, agitating people with truth and the necessity of having real friends we can be vulnerable with

May 6, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews Derek Webb about his career change from hit CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) band Caedman's Call to his solo career.  The focus of the interview centers around how to be real as a ministry leader who's in the spotlight with a public persona.  Derek's lyrics are known for being transparent, agitating and vulnerable, yet he shares how he didn't have close friends he was vulnerable until very recently when he was left with no choice.  Derek and Noah discuss this common problem among ministry leaders and what can be done about it. 

Connect with Derek on Twitter and Facebook - Check out tons of free music from Derek, videos, and more

Derek is also the co-founder of Noisetrade, a revolutionary tribe-building platform where artists and authors post free music and books for download.

From the interview, here is the article (copied from Derek's Facebook page) entitled "Derek Webb: On Failure, Liturgy and New Years"


Senator Todd Weiler - Episode 21 - on Utah’s Resolution SCR9 making pornography a public health crisis

April 27, 2016

The State of Utah recently declared pornography to be a public health crisis via a resolution drafted by 23rd district Senator Todd Weiler.  Noah Filipiak interviews Senator Weiler about the perils of pornography, the flak Senator Weiler has received (including from Seth Myers and Whoopi Goldberg), what can be done to find freedom from pornography on a personal level, and what we can all do about it on a legislative level. 

Read Utah’s SCR9 resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis.

Connect with Senator Weiler on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit the “Find My Legislator” website to contact your state representatives about adopting Utah’s SCR9, declaring pornography a public health crisis in your state as well.

Get Covenant Eyes filter and/or accountability software on all of your online and mobile devices to protect yourself and your family from pornography.

Covenant Eyes’ blog for women whose husbands look at porn.

Terry Crews Speaks Out Against Pornography


Dennis Hammond - Episode 20 - on being raised in inner city Lansing, finding Christ and going to Honduras

April 27, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews 18-year-old Dennis Hammond on being raised in inner city Lansing, how he found Christ, his June 19-26th trip to Honduras and how the odds are stacked against inner city black youth.  The catalyst of this interview came from Noah helping Dennis fund-raise for his $1600 missions trip and realizing how different it is for an inner city black teen to try paying for a missions trip in comparison to a white suburban teen.  The unfolding conversation between Noah and Dennis highlights fatherlessness, crime and gang activity that riddles inner city youth and the need for the Church to redistribute its network, mentoring and resources to help these teens chart a new path.  Dennis shares about how God saved him from a life of drugs, gangs, crime and despair to a new life as a young leader in his church and an evangelist for God's Kingdom wherever he goes.  If you can give money to help Dennis go to Honduras this June, please visit Dennis's GoFundMe account:


Sarah Arthur, Author - Episode 19 - on spiritually healthy ways of measuring success

March 31, 2016

In Episode 19, the one-year anniversary episode for Behind the Curtain, Noah Filipiak interviews 11-time author Sarah Arthur.  Sarah's book Walking with Frodo was the #1 bestselling youth resource in Christian publishing for the holiday season 2003, and #13 in all categories and Walking with Bilbo won the Logos Book Award at the Christian Booksellers Convention for Best Youth Book 2005.  Her most recent books include a 3-part devotional series that follow the Church liturgical calendar:  Between Midnight & Dawn, Light Upon Light & At the Still PointNoah and Sarah discuss the roller-coaster ride of succeeding and failing in the publishing world and how to discover spiritually healthy ways of measuring success in anything we do in life.  In a fast-forward world where everything is pressing and urgent, this interview examines how to rest in our identity as God's kids and not let other voices determine our ultimate value. 


Shawn Lovejoy, Author - Episode 18 - On workaholism, focusing on God’s success measurements in spite of the pressures of Christian culture, and on leaving the megachurch he planted

February 24, 2016

Shawn Lovejoy is the author of The Measure of Our Success: An Impassioned Plea to Pastors and Be Mean About the Vision: Preserving and Protecting What Matters.  He is a church planting veteran, having planted Mountain Lake Church in Cumming, GA, which he recently stepped away from after 16 years to focus on coaching leaders and pastoring pastors at  Noah Filipiak interviews Shawn about his transition away from his church plant, about the epidemic of church planters with non-Christlike goals, the denominations that push these goals, and the walls pastors hit when their disillusionment catches up with them.  Noah and Shawn both share their own struggles in these areas, with Shawn giving great wisdom from the hundreds of church planters and pastors he has coached over the years in these areas.  


Tyler St. Clair, Detroit church planter - Episode 17 - on being real about ministry in the hood, fundraising as a black man and why the Church shouldn’t hoard its resources in the suburbs

February 3, 2016

Noah Filipiak interviews Pastor Tyler St. Clair about his upcoming church plant on the NW side of Detroit, the neighborhood Tyler and his wife both grew up in.  Tyler's target location is one of the "bad parts" of Detroit, with all of the symptoms of urban poverty ever-present.  After being guided to plant in other more financially viable areas, Tyler discusses why he is staying committed to this needy area.  Noah and Tyler discuss white privilege and the challenge of ministry fundraising as a black man.  They also discuss the lost emphasis Scripture puts on loving and ministering to the poor and the need for the Church to be the body and not hoard all of the resources in suburban areas.  They also discuss how a lot of church planting movements want to make it look like they are ministering in the poor parts of Detroit, when they really aren't.  Tyler also shares about a season of his life where he rejected black preaching and theologians, and how God brought him back to his roots and ethnic identity by introducing him to many spiritual giants of the Christian faith who come from the African-American Church.


Andrew Maxwell, 2012 Michigan State University starting QB - Episode 16 - on being benched, hate-filled tweets, NFL tryouts and identity in Christ

December 30, 2015

Andrew Maxwell compiled an impressive career as Michigan State University's quarterback, his biggest season coming as the starter in 2012.  Maxwell finished his MSU career with 3014 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and a 105.5 quarterback rating in 26 total games played.  After going undrafted, he had tryouts with the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots in 2014. 

In this interview, Andrew and Noah Filipiak discuss what it was like emotionally for Andrew to be benched in Michigan State's bowl game in favor of Connor Cook, what that off-season was like, and what it was like to be benched again his senior season.  Noah and Andrew discuss all the ways we find our identity in things other than who we are in Christ, football a primary culprit of this in Andrew's life, the hard lessons God has taught him about trusting God, as well as why fans say such awful things toward players. 


Jeremy Dowsett, “Failed” Church Planter - Episode 15 - on the flaws in Evangelical Protestantism and the freedom in gospel discovered apart from church planting

December 10, 2015

The church Jeremy Dowsett started 10 years ago closed its doors in 2015.  In this interview with Noah Filipiak, Jeremy takes us behind the curtain of how he's handled this emotionally and spiritually.  Every church planter who has gone through this experience is going to be unique and Jeremy is no exception.  The interview walks through the flaws in Evangelical Protestantism that Jeremy experienced and how that eventually led him to convert to Catholicism.  We also discuss the emotional weight of pastoring a church plant and what it's been like to be away from that weight, as well as if it's possible for a church planter to truly experience the freedom of the gospel of grace while in the midst of shouldering the load of church planting, or if the two are mutually exclusive. Jeremy also wrote a blog post in 2014 that got so many hits it broke the Internet, making Noah jealous, which we also discuss.

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