LEAD Pods offer “the best of us to the rest of us”

MISSION & MINISTRY: USMB podcasts encourage listeners to wrestle with important issues

Matt Ehresman, staff member at Ridgepoint Church in Wichita, Kansas, is the host of LEAD Pods.

“Podcasting is a unique and intimate way to connect with your audience,” says podcaster Tim Ferriss. The content of Ferris’ business and lifestyle podcast may not resonate with you and me, but what he says about podcasts is sound.

USMB launched LEAD Pods in 2020 intending to provide a regularly released podcast that focuses on the leadership development and communication needs of our USMB family—connecting with our USMB audience as “the best of us to the rest of us.”

Recent Christian Leader online articles report that 100 episodes have been produced so far. That number is now slightly higher. That over 100 episodes have been generated strongly indicates the value recognized by the many who listen—an average of about 105 downloads per episode.

“When we began LEAD Pods, I was hoping for maybe 30 to 40 downloads,” says Don Morris, USMB national director. “I thought the real value would be in having an archive of various topics where someone could find some beneficial dialogue about that topic. And that is a continuing value. But it’s obvious that people enjoy listening as episodes are released. That’s been very affirming.”

Matt Ehresman, LEAD Pods host, says, “To me one of the biggest benefits of the platform is the ability to communicate quickly. I love that we can communicate to our national audience (and even to some friends serving around the world) relatively quickly whenever new topics or important events warrant a response. When AI entered our culture and when the war in Ukraine broke out, I love that our MB family had a place to turn to learn together and wrestle through important, pressing issues. I hope that continues in the episodes ahead.”

USMB staff hope that more people will begin listening to LEAD Pods, recognizing it as a valuable MB-oriented resource. People are listening in their car, while exercising or walking or even when doing the dishes. You can virtually listen anywhere and at any time. New episodes drop every two weeks and listeners can find LEAD Pods on Apple, Google and Spotify.

“We can speak into contemporary issues from a MB perspective,” says J.L. Martin, LEAD Pods coordinator, about the value of the podcasts. “There are many great leaders in our USMB family, and we can share what they are doing with the rest of the family. Through podcasts, we provide leadership development on a biweekly basis rather than having to wait until that next conference or seminar.”

In addition to Ehresman, LEAD Pods feature Katie Goings, an experienced radio host from Ridgepoint Church, who voices the advertisements about USMB activities and from LEAD Pods sponsors. Sponsors include Fresno Pacific University, Tabor College, MB Foundation, Multiply and Menno-nite Central Committee.

From the very beginning the push was to provide a top-notch podcast, not simply one thrown together. That level of quality has been evident throughout the past 100+ installments.

“I’ve learned so much, both about day-to-day church leadership and Christian living, as well as elements of MB history and culture that I’m not sure how I would have learned otherwise,” says Ehresman. “I’ve been surprised that we have so much to talk about! We’re 100+ episodes and 14,000 downloads in, but it kind of feels like we’re just getting started. Church leadership is always changing and evolving, so there are always new ideas to discuss as well as old stories to tell. I look forward to continuing to learn along with all the listeners over the next 100.”


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