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.

Visit www.atacrossroads.net/podcast for more links and commentary about this interview.


Tom and Sandi Blaylock, authors of “Marriage on Mission” - Episode 14 - on how ministry can become a mistress to a marriage

November 18, 2015

Authors, veteran church planters, retreat leaders, and marriage and ministry leadership coaches Tom and Sandi Blaylock (Pawleys Island, SC) share with honesty, grace and transparency the many struggles they've endured as a married couple in ministry.  These experiences have given Tom and Sandi a wealth of wisdom on how married couples can heal their marriages.  This interview truly goes "behind the curtain" of the Blaylock's lives as ministry as host Noah Filipiak walks with Tom and Sandi through topics of working long hours, insecurity, woundedness, using ministry as a mistress, and what to do when a minister's spouse is not interested in doing ministry.  

Many people assume ministry leaders shouldn't have marital problems when in fact the position of ministry leadership innately brings with it unique marital opposition.  
Find Tom and Sandi at LifeWorthImitating.Blogspot.com and get a free copy of Chapter 1 of their book Marriage on Mission at MarriageOnMission.com

Susie Finkbeiner, Novelist - Episode 13 - on Exhaustion, Superficiality, Politics and Staying Grounded

October 27, 2015

Susie Finkbeiner has written three novels, with her recent A Cup of Dust being released today, October 27th, with Kregel Publishers.  In this episode, Noah Filipiak interviews Susie about exhaustion, how to handle exhaustion, the superficiality of "puppy hug and rainbow kiss" Christianity (and Christian fiction), politics and how to stay grounded.


Ruth Haley Barton, spiritual formation author - Episode 12 - on Performance-Oriented Drivenness, Ego, Pace, Soul & Spiritual Transformation

October 1, 2015

Ruth Haley Barton is the award winning author of 7 books and the founder of The Transforming Center.  Her book Sacred Rhythms won the Logos Book Award for Best Book Award on Spirituality and her book Invitation to Solitude and Silence won the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award for Spirituality.  In this interview, Noah Filipiak interviews Ruth about how to deal with success and failure, burnout, ego, ambition, technology, pace, false self and true self, finding who we truly are in Christ versus the facade strategies we have learned to protect ourselves, and much more.  Ruth and her Transforming Community team have extensive experience helping Christians and ministry leaders find their true self in Christ and are uniquely gifted and called to this essential work in today's hectic, cluttered, performance-driven culture we live in.  If you've ever struggled with having a dry devotional time with the Lord and wondered if there was more to experience from God than you currently know, God has led you to the right person by now connecting you with Ruth Haley Barton and the Transforming Center.


Josiah Price, Record breaking TE for the #4 Michigan State Spartans - Episode 11 - on the temptations college football players face, the pressure put on by fans and how he stays grounded

September 17, 2015

In this episode, Noah Filipiak interviews the starting tight end for the #4 ranked Michigan State Spartans football team, redshirt junior Josiah Price.  Price has 13 career touchdowns at Michigan State, a record for a tight end, including 3 in the first 3 games of 2015.  He caught the go ahead touchdown against #2 ranked Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game in 2013, as well as a fourth quarter touchdown in the 2014 Cotton Bowl against #5 ranked Baylor that began a 21 point 4th quarter comeback for Michigan State.  Michigan State was the 2013-14 Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion, finishing 3rd overall and the 2014-15 Cotton Bowl Champion, finishing 5th overall.

Noah and Josiah discuss the temptations facing college football players, how Josiah stays grounded, as well as the ‘superfan’ mindset of many fans who take college football way too seriously.  Noah and Josiah unpack death threats sent via social media to Josiah’s teammates after bad plays, as well as how a player is worshiped and adored if they make a good play.


Noel Heikkinen - Episode 10 - On Anxiety, Avoiding Burnout & Guarding Against Ego and Sexual Sin

September 4, 2015

Noah Filipiak interviews Noel Heikkinen, one of the pastors at Riverview Church in Holt, Lansing and East Lansing, MI.  Riverview is a church made up of around 3000 - 4000 people that has 4 venues in the Lansing area.  Noel and Noah discuss the hardest thing about being a pastor, including a helpful discussion about the anxiety pastors and church planters face, how we can combat anxiety, and how churchgoers can help their pastors feel less anxiety.  They discuss how churchgoers can help their pastors stay healthy, avoid burnout, and stay at their current ministry post longer.  They also discuss the dangers of church planting and book publishing, including good reasons to do such ventures as well as sinful reasons.

Noel is a director with the Acts 29 Church Planting network and is author of a book with the working title "Unchained" coming out in early 2017 with David C. Cook publishers.


Luke Gilkerson - Episode 9, Why do pastors look at porn and have affairs? - “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast

August 15, 2015

Noah Filipiak interviews Covenant Eyes' Luke Gilkerson on why pastors look at porn & have affairs. Applicable to men, women, pastors and churchgoers, this is a must listen for the Church.

Luke is the Educational Resource Manager at Covenant Eyes, he also runs the Covenant Eyes blog where he is also a frequent author.  Luke’s personal blog is www.intoxicatedonlife.com and he is the author of The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality & Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability.


Chris Pruett - Episode 8 - “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast

August 10, 2015

Noah Filipiak interviews Chris Pruett, the self-titled “Happiest Homeless Person in Lansing.”  Chris attends Pastor Noah's church and does a great job of shedding the light of love and humanity onto homelessness.  Learn about homelessness from the eyes of a homeless person.  Chris is intelligent, creative and funny.  See www.atacrossroads.net for a small sampling of the various signs (and boxes for his head) that Chris wears around Lansing.