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Judah Smith on the Biggest Challenges for the Church, Leadership Culture and Preaching Prep

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Judah Smith shares about the biggest challenges facing the church today, how he strengthens his leadership team, and how he prepares sermons.

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Judah Smith is the lead pastor of The City Church in Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles. He’s also the bestselling author of the book Jesus Is _____ and his most recent release Life Is _____.

You could say pastoring is in Judah Smith’s Blood. He’s a seventh-generation preacher with family history that goes back to a woman preacher on a horse with a Bible and a gun in New Mexico.

In many ways, Judah is pushing through new frontiers himself—only he’s holding a fully loaded Instagram account (178K followers), instead of a gun.

In this candid interview, Judah talks about the biggest challenges for the American Church today, the importance of creating a healthy leadership culture, what we can learn from the Tower of Babel—and his secrets for preaching prep. Hint: he only spends 2.5 hours on his sermon every week.

We think you’ll enjoy this episode—there’s a ton of leadership takeaways. Make sure you don’t miss his segment on creating a healthy leadership culture (around 19 minutes in)—it’s leadership gold, for sure. Also, make sure and grab one of our tweetables below and pass it on.

Big Questions:

What are the biggest challenges for the American Church today?

What are some of the early mistakes you made in ministry?

What are the instrumental factors in the growth of City Church?

How do you create a healthy leadership culture?

What does your weekly routine look like and what’s the most important day of the week for you?

What does your preaching prep look like?


Key Quotes:

“The Bible is not a collection of moral ethics, concepts and commandments…It’s a love story; it’s a narrative. We’ve got to stick to the narrative in its raw form.”

“I love youth ministry. To this day I dream about it and think about it.”

“These 40 minutes are actually not the answer to it all. I’m not the answer-man for the community.
These are 40 minutes that, by the grace of God, I’m going to use to encourage the people that are a part of our community.”

“Community is so much more than a 40 minute talk…Community is living life together…”

Our church is reaping the benefits of great men and women who have prayed for years and years and years.”

“Prayers never die. What we’re doing is connected—it’s generational. Maybe the prayers of my great-grandfather are being answered in my day.”

“Culture boils down to verbiage and values.” 

Mentioned in the show

More from Judah Smith on ChurchLeaders

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