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Strength for Today's Pastor

Strength for Today's Pastor

By Bill Holdridge

We work with Jesus for the revitalization and health of His church.

Therefore, we provide practical encouragement and help for senior or lead Pastors. By strengthening pastors, the church will also be strengthened.

Interviews with seasoned and tried pastoral leaders re: subjects that will edify current senior/lead pastors of churches.
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012 - Dan Finfrock on Inductive Bible Study Based Preaching

Strength for Today's PastorAug 24, 2021

148- Getting Your People Into God's Word (with Rich Cathers)

148- Getting Your People Into God's Word (with Rich Cathers)

Rich Cathers has written a book. He didn't write a book to write a book; he wrote a book that would advance a ministry passion of his ... the discipling of God's people into the Word of God. Helping them make Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible contemplation and application as much a part of their lives as breathing or eating.

So, the book is called Seven for Seven. As you listen to this episode, you'll discover the reason for the title (which all by itself will inspire you).

Rich Cathers has retired from his 25-year pastorate of Calvary Chapel in Fullerton, CA. He planted the church ... and in addition to being a church planter, Rich disciples men, coaches pastors, and advocates for the Bible to be a huge part of every believer's life.

From the Preface to the book: “I’ve laid out the book so that each page gives you the reading assignment for the day, as well as a short devotional article pulled from something in the reading.  These articles were written over the twenty-five-year period I pastored Calvary Chapel of Fullerton.  They were meant as a weekly encouragement to the church based on this same reading plan.

As you read along with us, you will note that I don’t comment on everything you’ve read.  You will notice I may not even comment on what you would think is the most famous or important passage in your reading.  My intent is to show you that sometimes even the smallest phrases in the Scripture can come alive and speak to you.”

Sep 12, 202347:28
149- What About Pastoral Counseling? (with Pastor Paul LeBoutillier)

149- What About Pastoral Counseling? (with Pastor Paul LeBoutillier)

Pastor, is counseling a burden or a blessing to you?

How is your one on one ministry oriented?

What's your end game? What are you aiming to accomplish with the many hours you spend with people?

Paul LeBoutillier speaks with program host Bill Holdridge about counseling, and the way the Lord has taught him to approach it in his church of almost 30 years.

It promises to be both liberating and encouraging to any pastor.

Aug 29, 202337:52
147- "I Wrote a Book!" (with Pastor Paul LeBoutillier)

147- "I Wrote a Book!" (with Pastor Paul LeBoutillier)

Podcast number 147 features Pastor Paul LeBoutillier, who recently, and very excitedly, announced that he has written and published his first book.

This podcast is aimed at encouraging pastors who have something to say, to say it in written form!

In this episode, Paul will share with us about how the book came to be, some of the important components of writing a book, and encouragement to do so.

Paul is the founding pastor of Calvary Chapel Ontario, Oregon, which began in December of 1990. He is known as a practical, filled-with-wisdom Bible teacher who is dedicated to teaching the Bible. Paul doesn’t just teach from the Bible, he teaches the Bible itself, working hard to give the people the whole counsel of God contained in the 66 books of the Bible … book by book, chapter by chapter.

Paul was with us twice in the early days of this podcast, in episodes 23 (“What About Pastoral Counseling”) and 27 (“Maintaining Unity Among Church Leadership”). We recommend going back into the SFTP archives and giving them a listen. You'll be strengthened, for sure.

Aug 15, 202333:31
145- A Biblical Response to the ‘Transing’ of America- by Pastor Gary Hamrick
Aug 01, 202358:10
146- Paradigm Shift: Equipping the Next Gen (with Patrick Farrell)
Jul 18, 202301:01:44
144- An Enjoyable Season of Ministry, Because… (with Jeff Birmingham)

144- An Enjoyable Season of Ministry, Because… (with Jeff Birmingham)

Pastor Jeff Birmingham started River Rocks Church in 2012. But after about five years into the effort, he and his wife Jessica were worn out ... about ready to throw in the towel.

It was then that things started to happen. A new focus emerged, the strategic leadership development began, and improvement was on its way.

An enjoyable season of ministry has been the God-given result. There is now a team, and Jeff is leading relationally, and not just as a boss.

Hear the story in this podcast, and learn some creative ideas for doing things differently.

In this case, different is also Biblical.

Jul 05, 202338:06
143- Meet Kevin Green ... and His Music

143- Meet Kevin Green ... and His Music

Kevin Green is the founding pastor of Calvary Chapel in Fort Bragg, California. He's been serving there for 25 years.

Kevin is passionate about Jesus, the scriptures, about teaching the whole counsel of God, about making disciples, and about the fellowship that he feels very privileged to be part of.

He's also passionate about music.

On that note (pun intended), Kevin has written, performed, and produced an incredible album of 21 songs, one song for each chapter of the gospel of John. Naturally, the album is entitled "Gospel of John."

If you're like me (Bill Holdridge, show host), you're curious about a song's origin, how it was written, and why. We talk about some of that in this episode.
Kevin sings all vocals except for the John chapter 4 selection, "The Well" (sung by his daughter Sarah Thurber). He also does almost all the instrumentation.
And did we mention, you'll love the eclectic nature of Kevin's music!

But he didn't, by any means, do the album alone. Along with the Helper's help, Kevin was aided by his three daughters, by Calvary Chapel pastors Les Boek and Chris Vanover, and by other wonderful musicians from his family and long list of friends.

The album can be listened to for free at There one can find the songs, the lyrics, the credits, and other interesting information.
This is a serious contribution to the world of scripture to song music that exists out there. I doubt you will have encountered anything quite like it.

For Kevin’s teaching:
▪ For The Gospel of John Project: You can listen for free and also find the lyrics and credits.
▪ To purchase the album, just go to the iTunes store:
▪ For CDs, contact Kevin at
Jun 27, 202356:42
142- Identifying Future Leaders- with Bob Claycamp

142- Identifying Future Leaders- with Bob Claycamp

Bob Claycamp has been there, done that. He's been a church planter, a longtime senior pastor in North Phoenix, a Christian commune Bible teacher, a senior pastor in Exeter, England, a transitional senior pastor, and since 2010, has served with our team of Poimen Ministries pastors.

Bob says, "Sometimes (in searching for leaders) we are looking for a product, and we get a project."

Bob says, "When you're looking to identify leaders, begin by looking within your own fellowship."

In other words, look for the characteristics of a servant-leader in a man, even if they've not been developed yet.

Bob has an eye for leaders. He knows what a true, Biblical leader looks like. He knows how to identify them, coach them up, and help them see their place in the body of Christ.

Bob's contention is that the leaders you need may already be in your church. When the essential qualities in a man are recognized, then it's time to pour in to them, so that they will pour out.

Wise pastors will seek wisdom from wise pastors who have gone before them. Bob's counsel is simple, and it works.

Jun 15, 202344:57
141- Suggestions for Leading Impactful Prayer Meetings- with Pastor Tim Brown

141- Suggestions for Leading Impactful Prayer Meetings- with Pastor Tim Brown

Prayer is God's idea. His great invitation.

Prayer is essential. Prayer is the primary means by which God involves His children in what He wants to do in His world.

Prayer was a primary focus of the best church ever—the apostolic church, as in Acts 2:42.

Yet, way too often our prayer meetings seem boring, are poorly attended, and unexciting ... when they ought to be one of the most exciting times of our lives.

There is no doubt that there is a huge spiritual warfare component that is part of our unwillingness to pray. The enemy of our souls is like being robbed in an alley ... a struggle ensues, and then a knife appears. Suddenly, the battle changes. Whoever controls the knife pushes the narrative. The same is true of prayer, and of our prayer meetings.

Is there anything practically that can be done? Guest show host Tim Brown interviews Bill Holdridge of Poimen Ministries on this intriguing and hopefully helpful subject. Suggestions are made—hopefully helpful—that can may help us transform the prayer culture in our churches.

"Lord, teach us to pray!"
Jun 07, 202339:36
140- Pastors Ask About Pastoral Transitions (with Jimmy Morales)

140- Pastors Ask About Pastoral Transitions (with Jimmy Morales)

This subject is coming up more and more every day. We at Poimen Ministries are finding ourselves in conversations every week with pastors who are looking to the future, and wondering what they should do now with regard to their own pastoral transition.

The bottom line is this: unless Jesus returns before you've come to the end of your ministry at your present church, someone else will pastor your church.

Therefore, at the very least, every pastor should prepare for someone else to be in the saddle.

Pastor Jimmy Morales asked show host Bill Holdridge if he could interview him with his own list of questions on this topic. The resultant interview is from that discussion.

Jimmy Morales pastors Fervent Church (formerly called Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain) in North Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a strong leader, with a kingdom vision for the ministry the Lord has given him.

May 18, 202352:34
139- A Very Fruitful Union (Part 2 with Tadd and Charity Scheffer)

139- A Very Fruitful Union (Part 2 with Tadd and Charity Scheffer)

This is a very interesting and inspirational testimony ... Tadd and Charity Scheffer tell their story.

Tadd is the founding and senior/lead pastor of Calvary Ellensburg, Washington. Charity, in addition to being a wonderful wife and mother, has an amazing side hustle (i.e. job). You'll have to listen in to find out about it.

In 2009 the Scheffers followed the Lord’s calling in their life to go to Ellensburg with their four children. They have a huge heart for missions and a special heart for Haiti, as they have adopted 2 children from there.

Their desire is to serve the Lord in what ever aspect He leads them.

Even senior/lead pastors need models ... examples ... visuals ... concerning what pastoral ministry is all about. Episode 139 provides encouraging narrative to help with that...

May 10, 202345:50
138- An Unlikely Union Pt. 1 (with Tadd and Charity Scheffer)

138- An Unlikely Union Pt. 1 (with Tadd and Charity Scheffer)

It's an amazing thing to watch how the Lord sovereignly brings two people together and then uses that union for His greater glory.

Such is the case in the lives of Tadd and Charity Scheffer.

Tadd is the senior/lead pastor of Calvary Ellensburg, in Ellensburg, WA. When he and Charity met, she was a Mormon and he was a carnal believer. Yet, the Lord used their relationship to draw both of them to Himself, and the rest is history that is still being written.

Tadd was highlighted in episode 136, which focused on his journey out of Calvinism and into a new freedom in ministry with Calvary Chapel. Part of his and Charity's story was told there.

May 02, 202331:28
137- Stoke It Up- Alan Stoddard Interviews Bill Holdridge

137- Stoke It Up- Alan Stoddard Interviews Bill Holdridge

Alan Stoddard is the author of the Stoke It Up Podcast, and is a former Calvary Chapel Senior/Lead pastor. He is currently prepping for a new church plant in Granbury, Texas.

Alan recently discovered that Bill Holdridge had been a church planter himself back in the day ... so he decided to interview him.

The discussion takes a number of twists and turns ... it's about church planting, pastoral calling, the days of the Jesus Revolution, and other topics in the fast-moving interview that testifies to the faithfulness of God.

Hope you enjoy it.


Dr. Alan Stoddard is the co-author of the book Groups that Revitalize, which deals with the subject of sermon based small groups.

Sermon based small groups a powerful ministry opportunity that multiplies the reach of the pulpit. Dr. Alan Stoddard shares some of the ministry philosophy behind sermon based small groups as well as the Biblical precedent and tips and tricks to make the best curriculum questions possible.

You can read Alan's Doctoral thesis here:

Or read his book here:

Alan serves as the Lead Pastor of Calvary Ruidoso, in Ruidoso, New Mexico. He has pastored churches in Texas and New Mexico. He has a real passion for making disciples in small groups. He's married to Jeana and has a daughter, Briana.

Recommended Episodes from The Expositors Collective:

How to Lead an Interactive Bible Study:

Learning from John the Baptist:

The Power of Connection:

Apr 24, 202338:24
136- I Came Out of Calvinism (Testimony of Pastor Tadd Scheffer)
Apr 13, 202349:24
135- The Holy Spirit and Ministry: What Holds Us Back? (with Paul Berry)

135- The Holy Spirit and Ministry: What Holds Us Back? (with Paul Berry)

Pastor Paul Berry's passion is to “equip the body of Christ with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying Spiritual gifts given for the work of the ministry and the flourishing of the church.”

This is also the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, Jesus had much to say to His disciples prior to going to the cross, to prepare them for days ahead, and also for life after He ascended into heaven. His preparation included a strong emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in (and through) their lives … particularly in John 14-16.

In a recent email thread with other pastors, a question was asked about the ministry of the Spirit in the local church, specifically about believer’s meetings, aka afterglows.

The question was then asked: "why is it that so many churches do not have body life, afterglow kinds of meetings, where gifts like prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, healings, tongues with interpretation, will occur?"

Two words became obvious answers to that question: Unbelief. Fear. These twins of discouragement and failure seem to be behind much of the current hesitancy re: the things of the Holy Spirit.

Sit with Pastor Paul as he shares his thoughts on unbelief and/or fear as hindrances to the work of the Holy Spirit being manifest in and through our lives.

Obviously, it’s far easier to focus on what’s wrong than it is to provide hope and direction to do things right.

So, what’s to be done to address the faith issue with regard to the activities of the Holy Spirit in and through the church?

Next, what’s to be done to address the fear issue with regard to the activities of the Holy Spirit in and through the church?

Apr 06, 202337:15
134- Avoiding Pastoral Burnout- Leading on Empty (with Terry McNabb and Trip Kimball)

134- Avoiding Pastoral Burnout- Leading on Empty (with Terry McNabb and Trip Kimball)

You may have heard this phrase, or even used it in a message: “I’d rather burn out than rust out!”

Let’s be honest, many of us have worn that phrase as a badge of honor, as though it’s an honorable thing to burn out for God.

Today, that phrase is a painful one … far too many of our brothers-in-arms have opted out of ministry (“I’m done, this isn’t what I signed up for!”), or have given up on ministry (due to discouragement or stress), or have been chased out of ministry due to their choices (ethical or moral failure.

A recent Barna Group study found that 38% of pastors are seriously considering leaving full-time ministry.

We see this trend as tragic, and as being part of much greater problems in today’s church. There are the expectations that people put on their pastors — and that pastors put on themselves … these can be debilitating. “Everywhere pastors go they are expected to be ‘on’ — ready to give stellar leadership, unending compassion, an inspiring message, anointed prayer, and words of encouragement.”

Are there only two options? Is burnout in the ministry and in the life of a minister inevitable? And, if I don’t experience burnout, does that mean that I’m rusting out?

The answer is “no.” There are not only two options. There is a third option, which is to learn a life lived under grace, with the right pace, and for the correct race.

In this episode, we’re going to talking about the life-giving counsel of a book we’ve all read … written out of the true story of the author, Wayne Cordeiro. The book is entitled Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion.

Two wonderful pastor-friends-teammates of mine will be helping me in this conversation … Trip Kimball and Terry McNabb. Trip is a long-time pastor-teacher, author, equipper, and discipler; Terry is also a long-time pastor-teacher, musician, and leadership coach. Terry and Trip have both been on our team of Poimen Ministries pastors, for years. You can learn more about them on our ministry website.

to Trip and Terry: "Welcome to the program. I just finished reading Cordeiro’s book. I’ve had it on my bookshelf for a couple of years. I’m so blessed by what Wayne Cordeiro has written. I wish I’d have had (and looked for) a resource like this when I started my ministry back in 1976. It taught me things, reminded me of other things, and motivated my in areas of my own life as well. So, we’re gonna get into it, each of us. And this will explain why we’re recommending reading it."

Mar 28, 202335:40
133- Are You Holy Spirit Qualified for the Ministry? (with Paul Berry)

133- Are You Holy Spirit Qualified for the Ministry? (with Paul Berry)

Acts chapter 19 opens with this narrative: "And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples, he said to them, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?' "

Eventually, these followers of John the Baptist became followers of Jesus Christ, and were miraculously baptized with the Holy Spirit of God.

Charles Finney, in his book Power from On High, wrote: 

“In a former article I said that the lack of the Baptism of the Spirit should be deemed a disqualification for a pastor, a deacon or elder, a Sunday School teacher, a professor in a Christian College, and especially a professor in a theological seminary. 

"Is this a hard saying? Is this an uncharitable saying? Is it unjust? Is it unreasonable? Is it unscriptural? 

"Suppose any one of the Apostles, or those present on that day of Pentecost, had failed through apathy, selfishness, unbelief, indolence, or ignorance to obtain this Baptism with the Holy Spirit, would it have been uncharitable, unjust, unreasonable, or unscriptural, to have accounted him disqualified for the work which Christ has in fact called us all? 

"Christ had expressly informed them that without this endowment they could do nothing. He had expressly enjoined them not to attempt it in their own strength.”

So, the earnest, honest question for all who serve our Lord Jesus Christ is the same. Have we received the Holy Spirit? And beyond that, are we walking in His power and fulness? Do we rely upon Him — and upon Him alone — for the qualifications and power to do what only Christ can do through us by the Spirit's power?

Exhortation and encouragement are the two sides of the same spiritual coin. Prepare to be exhorted and encouraged, and may the Lord break out upon us with power, passion, and the pursuit of the highest calling imaginable... to know Christ, and to make Him known.

Paul Berry is the founder of Acts 19 Ministries, as well as a team pastor with Poimen Ministries. Paul pastored Calvary Chapel Santa Maria, CA for over 30 years until stepping aside to pursue the leading of the Holy Spirit in this next chapter of his ministry life. 



Mar 16, 202337:13
132- The Unconference- 24 Hours with Senior Pastors Only

132- The Unconference- 24 Hours with Senior Pastors Only

What can be said about The Unconference? 

When the concept was first introduced, many senior pastors on the West Coast were intrigued, and the 1st annual had good participation.

But probably no one ever imagined what might happen in a mere 24 hours together with other hungry and desperate-for-God pastors.

In. Credible.

Tune in to hear from three senior pastors who have been there throughout. 

Many have prayed for revival, others have prayed for an awakening. Many have prayed for both. One thing is for certain: revival doesn't happen in a vacuum, or in culture of isolation. Revival, if and when it comes, always involves people. Groups of them.

The Unconference. 

Feb 28, 202338:47
131- Poimen Ministries Expands into Europe and the U.K.- with Mark Walsh

131- Poimen Ministries Expands into Europe and the U.K.- with Mark Walsh

Poimen Ministries staff pastor Mark Walsh shares his journey of faith throughout different continents of the world in serving the Church ... and the lessons learned along the way.  We'll also discuss a new vision that has been birthed for Europe and the U.K. in equipping a new generation of church leadership in these critical regions of the world.  Great insights and encouragement await all who listen to this meaningful conversation. _______________________________________________________ Mark Walsh accepted Christ at age 15 at a Brethren Evangelistic outdoor camp at Bassenfell in the Lake District of England. Since then, he has been involved in ministry. Mark originally comes from the Leeds /Bradford area of England where he served for many years in the Worship & Teaching ministry of Church on the Way, a Calvary Chapel affiliate. In 1998, he left his job as a Legal Liability Specialist with a major UK insurer and moved with his family into full time ministry. He and his family moved to Millstatt, Austria in 1998, to be a part of the Calvary Chapel Bible College, Europe. He served as a pastor on staff responsible for worship, teaching in the Bible College and was responsible for the administration of the facility. He joined CCBCE when it was located in Austria, and was part of the team responsible for the moving the Bible college from Austria to Hungary in 2002. In 2002, Mark served as a Pastor on staff at Vajta, Hungary with responsibilities overseeing worship, teaching in the Bible school and various administrative, including overseeing the internship program and the grounds and maintenance department.  For eight years, Mark made frequent trips to the Pacific Rim, with a passion to encourage the saints and helping to raise a ministry school there. In 2009, the Walshes moved to New Zealand where they started Calvary Chapel Bible Institute New Zealand and The Psalm 2:8 Trust. Since 2009, they have been ministering with CCBI across the Pacific Rim and have helped facilitate the planting of three churches in this time, Calvary Hawkes Bay, Hastings NZ, Shoreline Calvary, Mount Maunganui, NZ and Calvary Chapel Nasinu, Suva, Fiji. Mark has been part of the Poimen Ministries team for two years. Currently, the Walshes live in West Yorkshire in the UK, and are active in strengthening pastors in various parts of Western Europe.
Feb 15, 202340:07
130- Benefits of Having a Clear Calling- with Bill Holdridge

130- Benefits of Having a Clear Calling- with Bill Holdridge

There are many examples in the scriptures that highlight the callings of men and women of God. 

In this podcast episode, show host Bill Holdridge dives into the calling of the prophet Jeremiah, and makes applications for pastors in our day.

It has never been more important for pastor-teachers to make their ministry calling a certain thing in their hearts and minds. 

From that certainty, many very good things result. 

Tune in to hear more.

Feb 03, 202335:32
129- Senior Pastors Developing Leaders in a Biblical, New Testament Way- with Bill Holdridge

129- Senior Pastors Developing Leaders in a Biblical, New Testament Way- with Bill Holdridge

Today, many churches are hindered in their growth and spiritual health due to the lack of training/discipleship of potential leaders.
Bill Holdridge sits down and shares his heart and experience with regard to raising up a vibrant, healthy ministry team made up of consistent, godly leaders.
Your church can impact your town and the world at large from the already existent ranks of your own church congregation.
What you are about to hear is one of the most needed messages for senior/lead pastors who are active in ministry today.
(This podcast description written by Pastor Jeff Jones, Podcast Post-Production Editor for Strength for Today's Pastor.)
Nov 22, 202228:19
128 - A Biblical Way to Make Disciples- with Alan Stoddard
Oct 06, 202241:18
127 - The Case for Sermon Based Small Groups- with Alan Stoddard

127 - The Case for Sermon Based Small Groups- with Alan Stoddard

Pastor Alan Stoddard wrote his doctoral thesis for Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary on the subject of sermon based small groups. 

That thesis eventually became a book, entitled Groups that Revitalize: Bringing New Life to Your Church through Sermon-Based Small Groups, co-authored with Kenneth Priest. 

Alan is passionate about the amazing discipleship opportunities doing sermon based small groups provides for any church ... especially for churches that are committed to expositional Bible teaching. 

This podcast presents the case for sermon based groups, as an effective way to kill several birds with one stone. Biblical fellowship can be a result, along with a much deeper dive into Sunday's teaching. This will enliven the Sunday morning pulpit experience, giving it an even greater sense of purpose in the heart of the pastor-teacher.

Alan is also passionate about church revitalization. Sermon based small groups can play a major role in that happening as well.

Sep 22, 202239:47
036 - Five Things to Say to Pastors Who Are Thinking of Transitioning From Their Church

036 - Five Things to Say to Pastors Who Are Thinking of Transitioning From Their Church

Pastoral transition is real, and unless Jesus Christ returns for His church before a specific pastor dies, someone else will be the pastor of his church! 

In this podcast, Poimen Ministries Director Bill Holdridge provides fodder for thought for the senior/lead pastor who is considering whether or not to  move on to something else. 

Is the senior pastor certain that it's his time to leave? 

Does he feel called to be an essential part of the selection of his successor? 

Will the next pastor come from within the church, or from without? 

What are the vital parts of any successful transition? 

These subjects are all discussed in this podcast.  

Poimen Ministries invites any senior/lead pastor with questions on pastoral transition to reach out to them at

Sep 19, 202231:48
126 - Staying in Our Lane as Pastors- with Bill Holdridge

126 - Staying in Our Lane as Pastors- with Bill Holdridge

Pastoral ministry—especially as it pertains to the office of pastor-teacher—can be extremely multi-faceted. For most pastors, there is far more to do than hours in which to do them.
Especially considering the fact that pastors have wives and families.
Especially considering that pastors require proper rest ... in sleep and sabbath.
Especially considering the need for exercise and good health habits.
But does pastoral ministry have to be as multi-faceted as we've allowed it to become? Do we really need to run in all eight lanes of the race? Or is there one primary lane that we must stay in? What does that look like?
Let's explore this important subject.
Aug 16, 202233:58
125 - The Importance of Meditating Upon and Following Our Calling

125 - The Importance of Meditating Upon and Following Our Calling

The Bible is replete with examples of men and women who were clearly called by the Lord unto something He would work through them to do. Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Paul, Timothy, etc. are a few of many such examples. 

Calling is one thing.

Living out one's calling is another thing altogether. Samson failed because rather than live out his calling, he repeatedly decided to live life on his own fleshly terms. 

If we are to hit the bullseye in life, we must not only know our calling, but use it as the baseline and chief decider concerning how we're going to fulfill it.

Calling provides direction, courage, authority, and leadership direction. 

This is why the pastor-teacher must meditate upon his calling into the office of pastor-teacher, and then follow it. The pastor-teacher probably ought to think on these things every day. And then, calculate what he says "yes" to, and what he says "no" to, accordingly.

Podcast 125 is part one of two episodes on this all important subject. We hope it's encouraging to you who shepherd God's people.

Jul 27, 202231:51
114 - Faith, Risk, Sacrifice, and Reward - with Bob and Jeanne Claycamp
Jul 23, 202259:48
124 - The God I Won't Believe In- with Nick Cady
Jun 07, 202242:39
074 - The Case for Expository Preaching and Teaching - John Miller

074 - The Case for Expository Preaching and Teaching - John Miller

In this podcast episode we will hear from Pastor John Miller, Senior/Lead pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, CA.  

John will be sharing with us on the subject of Expositional Bible Teaching and Preaching, and specifically, he’ll be presenting the case for Expositional Bible Teaching/Preaching. 

What is Expositional Teaching and Preaching? 

Why does it matter whether or not a pastor preaches/teaches expositionally? 

What is the place and purpose of exegesis in preparing an expositional teaching? How does it contrast with eisegesis? 

What is the difference between the text governing the sermon and the preacher's own thoughts? What are the reasons that pastors today MUST preach and teach expositionally? 

Be ready to be challenged and encouraged, pastor. This is for every pastor.

Jun 02, 202245:04
123 - Pastoral Retirement: Do a Lot with a Little- with Registered Investment Advisor Doug Eagle

123 - Pastoral Retirement: Do a Lot with a Little- with Registered Investment Advisor Doug Eagle

In this podcast we’re with Doug Eagle of Eagle Retirement Plans, Inc. 

John Wesley once famously stated in a sermon entitled “The Use of Money” that believers should “earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.”

It’s good to have Doug Eagle with us today to talk about these things, especially geared towards senior pastors. Doug will be bringing hope and encouragement to pastors in the light of a possible retirement from the senior pastorate; hope and encouragement for those who opted out of Social Security years ago and want to know how to move forward with what seems to be a limited income; and hope and encouragement who just want to be better stewards of what God has allowed them to have.

From the Eagle Retirement Plans Website: "Doug is the President and Registered Principal of Eagle Retirement Plans, Inc. He is a Registered Investment Advisor through Crown Capital Securities, L.P. He also holds Series 7, Series 24, Series 63, and Series 65 Securities Licenses, along with a California Life and Health Insurance License.

"For nearly two decades, Doug has built a following of loyal clients who rely on his proven expertise to lower their taxable incomes and build their financial resources. He specializes in using retirement plans as a foundation for financial success. With an in-depth understanding of the varied retirement options available, he has guided individual investors and large companies in creating robust retirement plans for themselves and their employees. Using a conservative financial strategy designed to deliver value over the long-term, Doug has established a proven record of performance."

So stay tuned…

May 10, 202237:26
122 - A Son Interviews His Father... Pastors Nate and Bill Holdridge... Together Again

122 - A Son Interviews His Father... Pastors Nate and Bill Holdridge... Together Again

Nate Holdridge is the Lead Pastor of Calvary Monterey (California), a church started 43 years ago by his father, Poimen Ministries Director Bill Holdridge.

In this podcast, Nate interviews his dad on his own podcast, called "Jesus Famous with Nate Holdridge."

In a conversational, father-son style of back and forth, dad and son talk about the history of the church, comparisons between the Jesus Movement of the 60s and today's world, Bill's own calling into ministry, and so on. Lots of subjects, encouraging for the pastoral soul.

Podcast producer Jeff Jones, at the end of the show, predicts that this will be a podcast listened to over and over again.

Lots of lessons from Bill's 27 years with the church, including ventures of faith.

Apr 26, 202201:06:19
121 - What's Up with Poimen, Calvary Chapel, and the Church- Interview with Ron Arbaugh

121 - What's Up with Poimen, Calvary Chapel, and the Church- Interview with Ron Arbaugh

Ron Arbaugh is the senior and founding pastor of Calvary Chapel San Antonio, Texas. Ron is a gracious and wonderful leader, and the Lord has blessed the ministry big-time in San Antonio, and expanded the church's reach amazingly.

Ron was kind enough to invite me to join him on his call in daily (M-F) radio program entitled "Word to Stand On for Life" ( As he thought might happen, no one called in that day. Apparently (as Ron told me), people don't call in if the convo Ron is having with his guest is interesting!

Anyway, it was an organic, fun conversation about a number of topics which I hope you'll find interesting and edifying.

Listening to Ron, I am always encouraged in the areas of vision and faith. I trust the same will be true for you.

Mar 23, 202249:22
120 - Questions Pastors Ask about Pastoral Transitions- with Jimmy Morales

120 - Questions Pastors Ask about Pastoral Transitions- with Jimmy Morales

Jimmy Morales pastors a wonderful church body in Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the fellowship is Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain. 

I (show host Bill Holdridge) had the privilege of being with this congregation early in February of 2022. One of the plans we had for my time there was to record a podcast interview with Jimmy ... only in this podcast he would be the one interviewing me. He wanted to hear about pastoral transitions, so he prepared a list of commonly asked (or unasked) questions on that topic. So, that's what we talked about. 

Jimmy is not in the process of transition himself, nor is he planning a transition. He's still young, the church is exploding, and he's got a lot of gas left in his ministry tank.

But Jimmy does have a heart for other pastors, and thus, the questions.

When is a good time for a pastor to retire from his church pastorate?

How does a transition process move forward? 

What should pastors do now, even those pastors who have years ahead of them in their present church?

Is it better to choose a successor from within the fellowship, or from without?

How involved should church leaders be in helping the pastor transition?

And so on. 

Listen in. Pass it on. 

As we've said many times before, unless Jesus Christ returns before a pastor dies, someone else will pastor that church. Why not (at the very least) start pastoring as a pastor who is in transition? Why not have an emergency plan in case something happens to you? Why not invite outside counsel to come in and help with your thinking process?

Feb 08, 202252:08
119 - Living a Life of Ministry in Peace- with Bob Larson

119 - Living a Life of Ministry in Peace- with Bob Larson

Bob Larson of Calvary Chapel Caldwell, Idaho, doesn't do things the way others expect him to do. He has a clearly defined set of priorities, and he lives them out in family life and in church life.

He also applies (literally) the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8 ... and in doing so, his thought life has been profoundly affected. 

Prepare to hear a different slant on the rhythms of pastoral life and ministry. Is in unbiblical or unspiritual for a pastor to have fun?

This podcast contains tools/concepts that every pastor can use, and tailor make for himself.



Pastor Bob Larson was born in Boise, Idaho. He grew up in a military family and moved around during his childhood, living in Germany and California as a teenager. He eventually moved back to Idaho and gave his life to the Lord. In 1998, with seven other people, Pastor Bob founded Calvary Chapel in Caldwell, Idaho.

He has a passion to teach the truths of scripture in a very real and practical way and therefore provides the congregation with lessons that apply scripture to every day life.

Bob’s vision for Calvary Chapel Caldwell is to preach the gospel and make disciples.

Pastor Bob resides in Caldwell with his wife, Suzie, and their three children, Steve, Dave and Dan.

Jan 12, 202247:20
118 - Experiencing the Power of the Gospel in Forgiving Others- with Dr. Bruce Hebel

118 - Experiencing the Power of the Gospel in Forgiving Others- with Dr. Bruce Hebel

This has been a long-anticipated episode of Strength for Today's Pastor. We have the blessing of being with Bruce Hebel, author of the incredible, life-changing book entitled Forgiving Forward: Unleashing the Forgiveness Revolution

In episode 118, Bruce makes the case that God treats us in our relationship with Him as we treat other people, specifically in forgiveness. In fact, this is a major part of the Lord's prayer, and a huge part of the gospel. Forgiveness of others is central to the message of the cross of Christ.

The parable of Matthew 18 (the parable of the unforgiving slave) and its intended meaning is huge re: this discussion. Unforgiving people are under torment as long as they refuse to forgive.

There is also time spent on the subject of the difference between forgiving someone and becoming reconciled to them. Forgiveness of others is mandatory for the true believer; reconciliation is a matter between two individuals, and may or may not happen.

Show host Bill Holdridge has been significantly affected by the teachings of Jesus as taught in Bruce's book. He now considers himself a part of the forgiveness revolution.

Forgiveness of others may be the key to revival, if a wholesale revival is to come. Church congregations will become free with the freedom with which Christ has set us free in His crucifixion and resurrection.

Nov 23, 202101:03:35
117 - Sifted for the Ministry- with Brian Hill

117 - Sifted for the Ministry- with Brian Hill

Brian Hill is on the younger side of pastoral ministry, but is much older in wisdom.

Much has been said about the ways the Lord prepares His vessels, men in whom He pours Himself and then flows through them to equip and bless others.

That's the journey of Brian Hill.

This is a cool story, an encouraging bio of a man used by God.

Testimonies are helpful to everyone. Pastoral testimonies are particularly helpful to pastors and leaders. Be encouraged!

Oct 28, 202146:26
116 - Divine Optimism in Pastoral Ministry- with Roger Ulman

116 - Divine Optimism in Pastoral Ministry- with Roger Ulman

In episode 116 we’re joined by Roger Ulman, senior/lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Kalamazoo Valley, Michigan. Roger planted the church in 2000, after an interesting and God-ordained training process. This testimony is included in this interview.

Roger is married to Lisa, his wife of 37 years. They have three children … two boys and a girl. #10 grandchild on the way.

Roger Ulman is a pastor who is genuinely joyful, and very optimistic about ministry and life in general. 

Pastors always can use optimism and encouragement … these are very challenging times for pastors everywhere. 

So, where does such a positive outlook comes from? This could me a major key re: how we pastors serve the Lord Jesus and His people.

Tune in to hear the not-so-secret secret of Divine Optimism in Pastoral Ministry.

Sep 28, 202156:49
076 - Receiving, Listening to, and Obeying God's Vision- with Danny Lehmann

076 - Receiving, Listening to, and Obeying God's Vision- with Danny Lehmann

THIS PODCAST is being re-broadcast due to its relevance for today's senior/lead pastors.

Danny Lehmann is a leader in Youth With A Mission (YWAM), an international missions and church planting thrust that has had a tremendous world-wide Kingdom impact. In this podcast, Danny will be talking with us on the subject of vision. Specifically, we’ll be talking about a Biblical pattern for seeing and receiving God’s vision for our lives and ministries. 

Danny is keen on the subject of church life as well, having served for many years with Pastor Bill Stonebraker at Calvary Chapel Honolulu. 

YWAM has been, from its inception, big on hearing God's voice, obeying His voice, and persevering through the word commanded by that voice. YWAM founder Loren Cunningham has modeled that approach, and YWAMers have sought to emulate his pattern.

Danny Lehmann has written four books on evangelism: Go! The Excitement of Personal Evangelism, For the Gospel’s Sake, Bringin’ Em Back Alive, and Beautiful Feet. He has also written on the subject of spiritual discipline: Before You Hit the Wall, as well as STOKED! Firing Up Your Passion for God. His latest book is entitled The Next Big Thing: How Little Choices Can Make a Big Impact.

Danny lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, with his wife Linda and now serves as part of the leadership team for YWAM Kona.

NOTES from Danny's 5 Points about asking for, receiving, and implementing the vision the Lord gives us:


  • Nehemiah 1:1-10 … his vision was initiated by God and prayed through by Nehemiah. 
  • Also Habakkuk 1:2-4; 12-17 … he cried out to God because of the injustice in the land and the LORD’s seeming indifference to it all.

2) THE POSTURE FOR RECEIVING THE VISION. (we must do the possible)

  • Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.


  • Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets that he that reads it may run.”


  • The vision must cast so that others may run with it. 
  • Habakkuk 2:2-3 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, It will not tarry.


  • Often there is a “death of a vision,” so that God’s will and word can be resurrected.
Sep 21, 202149:47
115 - Biblical Mandates for Unity and Forgiveness- with Daryl Zachman

115 - Biblical Mandates for Unity and Forgiveness- with Daryl Zachman

Mandate: "An authoritative commande; especially : a formal order from a superior court or official to an inferior one."

Jesus has given His church a number of mandates. These are all commandments, not suggestions. The only possible responses to a Divine mandate are to obey it or disobey it. Of course, one can obey partially, but that didn't work out too well for king Saul. He was told that his partial obedience was akin to witchcraft. And one can disobey passively, e.g. by pushing the commandment under the rug and ignoring it, pretending that it wasn't issued.

But the commandment to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is a definite mandate.

The commandment to forgive everyone of everything is also a definite mandate. 

In this podcast, pastor Daryl Zachman (Calvary Chapel Treasure Valley, Meridian, Idaho) and show host Bill Holdridge discuss these two mandates, and spell out how they connect to each other. 

In these last of the last days, we need to get these things right. So much is riding upon it. Anything short of complete obedience grieves the Holy Spirit of God.

Sep 14, 202152:37
102 - Live Not By Lies- Discussion with Lance Ralston

102 - Live Not By Lies- Discussion with Lance Ralston

Episode 102 of Strength for Today’s Pastor features Pastor Lance Ralston of Calvary Chapel Oxnard, CA.
Our conversation today concerns the ideas contained in a new book by author Rod Dreher … a book that contains a message that could have major impacts upon the ministries of pastors, leaders, and churches.
A bit about Lance: he has been married to Lynn Ralston for forty years. They have three children and four grandkids. They began Calvary Chapel Oxnard thirty-eight years ago. The church’s ministry includes a private Christian high school and a 24-hour low-power FM radio station.
Lance is the author of the book, Marriage: As It Was Meant To Be. He also authors a popular podcast called “Communio Sanctorum: History of the Christian Church.” (
Are you ready for a radical stance in response to today's darkness and accompanying evils? Then tune in to hear a well-reasoned, Biblical response which will challenge and strengthen pastors everywhere.
Sep 07, 202145:12
024 - Reaching Men- with Pastor Cliff Stabler
Aug 31, 202139:47
012 - Dan Finfrock on Inductive Bible Study Based Preaching

012 - Dan Finfrock on Inductive Bible Study Based Preaching

This program was originally aired in May of 2019. Since that time, it has become clear to me that there is a generation of pastors who "do not know Joseph," so to speak. 

In this case, our Joseph is Dan Finfock of Intensive Care Ministries ( Dan is a world traveling (53 countries and counting) fanatic concerning the IBS method of Observation, Interpretation, and Application. For 45 years Dan has trained pastors and Christian leaders, as well as members of many church congregations in the U.S. and abroad. 

IBS is the most Biblical way of studying the Bible ... and should be the Biblical foundation of all Bible teaching and preaching. 

This episode will encourage those who are using the inductive method of Bible study already, will inspire those who aren't to learn Dan's simple methodology, and will try to convince today's pastor to reach for the commentaries only after having worked with the  text directly thoroughly.

Connections to Intensive Care Ministries for training and materials are in the podcast.

Aug 24, 202141:04
038 - How to Answer the Evil that Happens to People- with Pastor Jay McCarl

038 - How to Answer the Evil that Happens to People- with Pastor Jay McCarl

Pastor Jay McCarl is a longtime senior pastor. He also recently retired from a 30 year ministry as a Law Enforcement Chaplain.
Jay has seen it all, and shares with us super effective, Jesus-like ways to provide real help to people in great need due to tragedy or loss.
The wisdom Jay possesses is God-given, and comes right from God's Word, empowered and applied by God's Spirit.
Jay is also the author of an amazing book on the subject: Answering Evil: Crisis, Compassion and Truth in an Age of Uncertainty. At the end of the podcast, Jay shares how to get a copy.
These are tools every pastor can use.
Aug 03, 202148:30
027 - Maintaining Unity Among Church Leadership - with Paul LeBoutillier

027 - Maintaining Unity Among Church Leadership - with Paul LeBoutillier

Divided leadership leads to a compromised and ineffective church. All pastors know this to be true.

So how can we surround ourselves with men who aren't "yes men," who can weigh in solidly in the decision making processes of church leadership, and at the same time have men that are loyal and unified with one another.

Pastor Paul LeBoutillier believes that we don't need 100% agreement on everything, but that it's essential to be in 100% unity with each other.

Paul is the longtime senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Ontario, Oregon. He brings almost 30 years of experience into this great discussion.

Jul 20, 202139:55
107 - Ingredients of a Healthy Church - with Bob Kopeny
Jul 13, 202101:01:44
019 - The Greatest Challenge in Pastoral Ministry - with Tim Brown

019 - The Greatest Challenge in Pastoral Ministry - with Tim Brown

Tim Brown has been in pastoral ministry since 1973, and a senior pastor since 1985. He is widely regarded as a very wise man, full of sage advice and interesting insights on matters of theology and church life.

In episode 019, Tim shares his thoughts on the subject of the pastoral ministry's greatest challenge. His conclusions may surprise you. But they most definitely will challenge and encourage any senior pastor, or anyone in ministry for that matter.

Tim argues that the greatest challenge in ministry is not the need to be pure, but rather the need to remain ____________.

Tune in and see if you agree.

Jul 06, 202133:56
016 - What Does the Coaching Process Look Like? - with Terry McNabb

016 - What Does the Coaching Process Look Like? - with Terry McNabb

When we (Poimen Ministries) enter into a coaching relationship with a senior/lead pastor, the purpose is to help the pastor discover many of the things he already knows. And then to help him discover how to move forward in his calling and vision.

In this podcast, host Bill Holdridge interviews Pastor Terry McNabb. Terry underwent a coaching process during the course of his own pastoral ministry, and it was not only life and ministry changing, but has also become the foundation of his coaching approach to pastors in this current stage of his ministry.

Five areas of focus are worked through in a coaching relationship: Calling, Vision, Mission, Organization, and Communication.

These five areas of focus will be explained by Pastor Terry in this very helpful episode of Strength for Today's Pastor.

Jun 30, 202127:56
015 - Could You Use a Pastoral Coach? - with Terry McNabb

015 - Could You Use a Pastoral Coach? - with Terry McNabb

Pastoral coaching has been a relatively new development in the past several years. Pastors, hungry to to their best and eager to find their ministry sweet spot, are more open than ever to have a seasoned 'coach' who can help them rediscover their passion, clarify their vision, and regain some of their strength.

It's even better when the coach is a seasoned pastor himself.

In this podcast, program host Bill Holdridge interviews Pastor Terry McNabb. Terry introduces us to the process of pastoral coaching ... what it is, why it's a healthy thing to do, and what to expect. 

Terry is a longtime and seasoned senior pastor who experienced a coaching relationship while in his former church. It was tremendously helpful to him, and set him on a course that greatly enhanced himself and his ministry.

Jun 29, 202123:05
113 - Amazing And Exciting Ventures Of Faith-With Phil and Susie Evans

113 - Amazing And Exciting Ventures Of Faith-With Phil and Susie Evans

This episode has been published and can be heard everywhere your podcast is available.

In this episode of SFTP, show host Bill Holdridge speaks with Poimen Ministries servants Phil and Susie Evans, as they tell their story of faith, victories, successes and changes.  

This is great encouragement for any pastor, young or old, as Phil and Susie recollect upon 45 years of pastoral ministry. From the early beginnings of church planting to their "golden years", where God  is blessing in beautiful and powerful ways. Their story will captivate, comfort and hopefully embolden you to expect great things from God in your own ministry. 

Jun 15, 202101:05:46
112 - A Walk of Faith (with Adventure)- with John and Laura Cowan

112 - A Walk of Faith (with Adventure)- with John and Laura Cowan

The Christian life, when lived by the Holy Spirit, is not boring. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance. Neither is the ministry of the pastor—and of his wife—boring, dull, or predictable. 

In this episode of SFTP, John and Laura Cowan sit down with show host Bill Holdridge and tell their story. It's an exciting one, to be sure, and it's continuing to be exciting as this godly, much loved couple continue serving, loving, trusting, and walking by faith.

The power of testimony is awesome. The power of example is also amazing.


Jun 08, 202101:06:40