How I wrote a book with JR Forasteros. | Productive Pastor 88

How I wrote a book with JR Forasteros. | Productive Pastor 88

Welcome to this episode of Productive Pastor. We are doing another installment of “How I wrote a book” with my buddy JR Forasteros.

This episode is sponsored by the awesome folks at Make sure to check them out for the best mobile volunteer training system out there. If you didn’t catch it, we recorded an episode earlier this year with their founder Scott Magdalein.

Jr, the pastor of Catalyst Community Church, is the author of Empathy For the Devil: Finding Ourselves in the Villians of the Bible*. I was lucky enough to read it early on and it is a fantastic read. It is also written differently than many other books, so I knew I wanted to get JR on the show.

We talk about:

  • The story of his book title
  • The role of a book cover
  • Writing fiction AND non-fiction for a book.
  • How JR researched the narrative portions
  • What questions he asked during the process.
  • Why you need an agent
  • How to write a book proposal (check out the resources)
  • How JR wrote
  • How to get published
  • What JR would do differently


Resources/Links Mentioned:


The Story of God, the Story of Us: Sean Gladding*
Exclusion and Embrace: Miroslav Volf*
Unclean: Richard Beck*
Lex Luthor Man of Steel*
My Friend Dahmer*


How I wrote a book with Tom Fuerst


JR’s proposal for Empathy for the Devil

Back Matter

Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium for podcasting and content creation.

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

*Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate Links

Advent 2017

Advent 2017

Over the last few years, a growing number of churches have started celebrating Advent. Historically, this is a part of Christmas you find more liturgical/sacramental traditions (Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Catholic, Orthodox, etc), but lately baptist or non-denominational churches are starting to hang out with the Advent party.

And I think that is totally awesome.

Advent is a pretty big thing to me. It was a big part of my own faith development in my 20’s, and it still plays a special part of my life today.

So what I want to do is resource you and anyone else with an Advent question in this post.

We will start with my own Advent story.


Podcast Episodes
Over the years, The Threshing Floor has produced a special advent episode yearly. These are some of our most popular episodes. In each one, we talk about various Advent practices and traditions and sometimes have special guests.

Advent 2014
Advent 2015 Solid Country Gold, Advent, and JD Walt
Advent 2016a Waiting, Advent, and Tetherball
Advent 2016b Anticipating, Advent, and Aleppo

Thanksgiving Q & A | Productive Pastor 87

Thanksgiving Q & A | Productive Pastor 87

Every year I record a listener Q & A episode during Thanksgiving week. We’ve got three great questions, with a few helpful links. to talk about today.

This episode is sponsored by the awesome folks at TrainedUp.Church. They are innovating how churches train leaders and volunteers.

  1. How do you encourage and incorporate staff and volunteers into your processes and systems? What are some times when you’ve struggled (and/or failed) to adequately get others to engage in productivity/system flows? Preston Morgan

Systems rise and fall on the person who is leading the system.

   Helpful Episodes
Michael Lukaszewski on Systems 
Developing Systems that Work
Building Guest Systems
Building a Staff Onboarding System

2. I’m always considering is the best ways of keeping a calendar for ministry, family, etc.  Best practices, best tools. Tyler Tibbs
I’ve found the best lesson with calendars is to simply pick something and use it.

3. What’s the best way to tie Thanksgiving into the larger story of God? Jonathan Bevil
I’ve worked off how the different seasons speak into the vision of our church. What are the hard parts, the good parts, and the lessons to be learned.

Parent Podcast Episode on Youtube


Three Big Mistakes | Productive Pastor 86

Three Big Mistakes | Productive Pastor 86

What’s up Productive Pastors! Today I want to talk about three big mistakes. It is brought to you by the great folks at TrainedUp.Church. Make sure to check out the all-new version they have out now.

Front Matter
I’ve spent some time updating my YouTube Channel this past month. Hit it up and subscribe. I upload different content to it and love experimenting with the format.

What I’ve been reading. 
It’s Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff *
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield *

I’ve also been reading and rereading HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Teams * this fall. I like it so much I want to give you a chance to win a copy of the book. I am trying Amazon’s giveaway feature, so cruise over to this link, share a tweet, and get a chance to win this book!

Three Big Mistakes

I want to have a conversation today about the way we handle our schedule and how it has the ability to move us forward or keep us sitting still.

First, we have a few prerequisites. These are three episodes of Productive Pastor I think can help make this conversation better.

The Preferred Future Episode 79

Why You Need a Production Calendar  Episode 17

How To Have Quality Momentum with a Future Focused Calendar Episode 59


The Officials Son | Behind The Sermon Vlog

The Officials Son | Behind The Sermon Vlog

Earlier this summer I spent a week recording what I thought would be a fantastic vlog in the behind the sermon series. And it just got posted. This was the vlog that would never end, and I probably uploaded it around 12 times before everything was good.

In other words, this might be the last one, because it was a massive headache. Or not.

If you want to catch the whole sermon, here it is.