Maybe eight or ten months ago (time rolls by so unevenly these days), my son-in-law called. “Hey, I have an idea for a podcast, and I want to do it with you.” Within five minutes I was sold — Pierce has that affect on me — and we began to map out an idea for creating conversations around things that matter to us. Things like how Wesleyans engage in supernatural ministry and what holiness looks like when it is lived out in the real world.
Underlying every conversation would be our relationship — a 57-year old woman and a 31-year old man who have become much more than in-laws to each other. Pierce and I are friends. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company. The first time my daughter brought him to meet us, we discovered we’d read all the same books (only he’d read them by the time he was 25 …). We are both passionate about ministry, Methodism, and Jesus. And of course, my daughter. We both really like her, too. We are family in the most blessed, generous sense of that term. I’m proud to call Pierce Drake one of us.
Pierce is bold, and an insatiable learner. He won’t think twice about emailing an author or speaker to seek out a conversation about whatever they know that can make him a better pastor. He is also deeply faithful. What he wanted from this podcast was a chance to learn together with me what God is up to in the world … in our world. He also wanted to hear our conversations through the filter of my experience as a pastor of 22 years and from the generation ahead of him. I was interested to hear from new voices and old friends through the filter of his generation. The combination of perspectives and the strong voices of our guests was enjoyable and enriching for us. In fact, that was one of our non-negotiables going in. We would only do this if we could have fun with it. So far, we have.
We are particularly honored to be featured as a New Room Network podcast, the first in what we hope will be a fine collection of voices across the orthodox Wesleyan world. The first season of The Art of Holiness is twelve episodes, dropping once a week beginning now. While every person in this season is a rock star, that wasn’t what we were after. We intentionally went looking for folks who are consistently (and sometimes quietly) bearing good fruit in the communities they serve.
Petey Bellini’s episode leads off the season with a beautiful and deep conversation about prophetic informed intercession. We loved talking with Cheryl Johns Bridges, who shares out of a Wesleyan-textured Pentecostal spirituality that inspires me. Chris Backert and Jorge Acevedo will help us understand Kingdom-minded innovation in the church with an eye toward missional community-building. We’ll talk with JD Walt and Matt Scott about the call to awakening, and what it looks like when Wesleyans do supernatural ministry.
Demetra Barrios and Helen Musick speak eloquently about holiness, recovery, and ministry in the city. Jack Deere and Bob Beckwith draw us into the deep with conversations about prophecy and prayer. Madeline Henners shares her research into strategies for finding intimacy with God, and then we get a great conversation with Scot McKnight that dips into discipleship and includes a discussion of his fabulous book, The King Jesus Gospel. Most of these conversations were recorded in the months prior to COVID-19, which means you’ll get to hear something that isn’t virus-related. We hope that comes as a relief to you.
Pierce and I invite you to come swim with us in the waters of Wesleyan spirituality. We pray you will find in these conversations enough of a spark to get a little personal revival going. That’s what we’re after. We aren’t so much interested in giving you tips for the ministry trade as an encounter with the Holy Spirit at the experiential level. We hope to inspire you (and maybe even our whole tribe) toward an awakening that draws us all toward the Kingdom of God.