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ELIM MPower Podcast

The discipleship podcast for busy blokes

In conversation with Billy Vunipola

Nick Whittome with Billy Vunipola • September 6, 2020 • Billy Vunipola

Discipleship For Busy Blokes podcast had a great opportunity recently to catch up briefly in conversation with Billy Vunipola, rugby player for Saracens and England. Originally from Tonga, Billy and his family are now resident in England. He plays at Number 8 at the back of the scrum, and although he shares about notable games, tries scored and man of the match awards, he’s keen to stress how much it’s all about the team as a whole working together to gain victory. He also shares about the special bond he has with his brother Mako, who is also in the same two teams, and how they sometimes chat in Tongan.

In conversation with Chris Cartwright

Nick Whittome with Chris Cartwright • July 24, 2020 • Chris Cartwright

MPower's Nick Whittome is in conversation with Elim’s national leader Chris Cartwright. Chris briefly outlines his journey in faith and ministry, up to his current role as the General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal movement. We ask the million-dollar question: how can really busy blokes manage all the different priorities they are confronted by? We all get pushed into an extraordinary level of ‘busyness’, but we mustn’t beat ourselves up about that! Chris shares that he has been slowly working his way through the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, along with a couple of really helpful principles for really busy blokes.

In conversation with Maldwyn Jones

June 6, 2020 • Maldwyn Jones

In this Elim MPower podcast episode, we discuss why men find it hard to face mental health problems. Maldwyn Jones shares about a time when he himself suffered a mental breakdown at the age of 27, which took him several months’ recuperation to overcome. He points to several factors that helped him get better: his wife Ruth acknowledged the struggle without letting him slip into a morass of depression; he had a daily routine supported by a mutual friend; he talked with the psychiatrist referred for him by his GP, and he spent a period of time doing physical work on a church building project, which helped him not just to feel useful but which also gave him better sleep at night. Maldwyn talks about struggling with self-confidence, and with battling his own self-esteem for much of his ministry. He credits the increased confidence of his later years both to Jesus and also to the strong love and support of his wife Ruth. He also describes the terrible issue of suicide particularly among younger men – and points to the love of God for us as men as the foundational starting point of who we are and for a strong sense of worth.

The Mark Greenwood interview

May 25, 2020 • Mark Greenwood

We are in a lively and fun conversation with Elim’s head of evangelism, Mark Greenwood, recorded just before the coronavirus lockdown in late February. Mark opens by sharing the story of his family’s journey to faith in Christ, through a door-to-door evangelist called Brian Hardacre, who had only been a Christian himself for six days, amazingly!

The Will Neville interview

May 19, 2020 • Will Neville

In this episode, Nick chats with Will Neville, who is a member of Birmingham City Church. Will is a big West Bromwich Albion fan, enjoys rugby and golf and loves going out on his carbon-fibre road bike. Will plays the drums on the worship team at BCC, he is married to Charlotte and they have a young son called Ben. Will is programme coordinator at the William Booth Centre, which is a ministry of the Salvation Army providing services to homeless people, in the heart of Birmingham in the UK.

The Simon Whittome interview

May 2, 2020 • Simon Whittome

In this brief but entertaining episode, we are in coronavirus lockdown conversation with podcast host Nick Whittome’s own middle son Simon!

The Gordon Allan interview

April 7, 2020 • Gordon Allan

In this episode, which we recorded by iPhone and Bluetooth speaker because of the coronavirus lockdown, we are in conversation with Gordon Allan, the lead pastor of Edinburgh Elim Church. Gordon opens briefly about his family, background and liking for rugby – and then we discuss the impact the coronavirus lockdown has had on life in the city and in his church and how it has affected the way in which they are ‘being church’ together. Social isolation has brought a steep learning curve with many challenges of different kinds, even for a ministry that was already ‘tech-savvy’.

The Danny Easton interview

March 9, 2020 • Danny Easton

In a special extended episode of ‘Discipleship For Busy Blokes’ we are in conversation with Danny Easton, one of the elders at Birmingham City Church. After initially starting out in an apprenticeship in tool-making and then moving into Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Danny is now a car-seat designer for a company with automotive clients including Jaguar-Landrover and Nissan. Danny describes a ‘step out of the boat’ season in his career when he had to deliver results for a new client rather quickly, and where he felt right out of his comfort zone. He spent a couple of weeks convinced he would get “found out” and stood down – but instead much to his surprise he was congratulated for the work he was producing.

Run the race ahead of you

February 25, 2020 • Mark Lyndon-Jones

In this episode, we are in conversation with Mark Lyndon-Jones, leader of the ministry to men across the Elim movement in the UK. We open with a review of Mark’s written devotion from Philippians 3:13-14, that he brought to set the tone for men across Elim in 2020 at the beginning of the year. We reflect on the great athletic achievement from Eliud Kipchoge, who became the first athlete to run a marathon distance in under two hours, beating the mark by just 20 seconds.

The Dami Awosika interview

Nick Whittombe and Dami Awosika • February 6, 2020 • Dami Awosika

We are in conversation with Dami Awosika, one of the elders at Birmingham City Church. Dami is a network solutions architect designer, and he explains how he built his career in IT starting out from building PCs to working with servers and systems – and how he ultimately got into networking, which he has been doing over the last 20 years

The Chris Fletcher interview

Nick Whittome and Chris Fletcher • January 21, 2020 • Chris Fletcher

In conversation with Chris Fletcher, lead pastor of Manna Church, Fayetteville Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Manna Church is right next to the largest military base in the world, offering around 15 services a weekend and has an ambitious vision to plant Manna churches in every U.S. military base across the globe.

The Gavin Calver interview

Nick Whittome and Gavin Calver • January 10, 2020 • Gavin Calver

We are in conversation with Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK. The Evangelical Alliance seeks to represent evangelical Christians in the UK, to bring Christians together and help them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. Gavin's infectious energy, vision and passion for Jesus and life is inspirational. We talk about how men can be less passive and take more of an activist role in their faith. Football fans just start a song, which is not passive at all - whereas church can sometimes be a bit polished, and men feel they have to 'receive'. As a practical outworking of this, Gavin encourages men to take a more activist stance in pointing our kids to Jesus, for example. We need to set the pace as men. Gavin talks about his passion for AFC Wimbledon, how he used to play with Scott Parker and Sean Wright-Philips, but injury put paid to his hopes of playing football at a national level. Gavin ran 1000 miles in 2019, and so we discuss the connection between fitness and faith. Gavin uses a lot of his time running talking to Jesus and listening to Him.

The Darren Passmore interview

Nick Whittome and Darren Passmore • December 18, 2019 • Darren Passmore

We are in conversation with Darren Passmore, who is pursuing a part-time degree in Applied Theology at Regent’s Theological College. We discuss Darren’s decision to study theology as a mature student, what led to his decision and what God has been revealing to him through his study, particularly around trust in God, identity and confidence. Darren opens up about how he was really challenged while he was growing up as a result of the divorce of his parents; and of finding out about his adoption as a young teenager. He describes how God has been building healing, strength and wholeness back into him as he has journeyed in his faith. Darren’s key ‘takeaways’ are to keep on trusting to do things God’s way; to keep on taking risks; to keep on saying ‘yes’ to challenges; to keep on harnessing the power of prayer; and to keep on accessing the strength available in partnering with God as Father.

The James Chipwete interview

Nick Whittome and James Chipwete • November 27, 2019 • James Chipwete

On this episode, MPOWER are in conversation with James Chipwete about the book of Jonah. James is a doctor, and he is one the elders at Birmingham City Church. They talk about why Jonah runs away, and why blokes in general can sometimes run away from responsibility or equally from fear of failure. James suggests that Jonah may not have received the best role modelling and that this could be why he disappears off towards Tarshish to begin with. Role modelling is such a help for men when it is available, and equally destructive when absent. We also explore what the captain says to Jonah when he is asleep – to wake up and call on his God. Jesus could sleep despite a storm because He was within the centre of God’s will, whereas Jonah was perhaps asleep in a rebellious place and the cause of a storm. Jonah seems to represent those men who have to get to the very end of themselves before turning to God, where all other options have been taken off the table. This inturn leads to a turnaround moment for Jonah – and listening and acting more quickly in response to God next time around. We look at how receptive the Ninevites are to Jonah’s rather terse outreach message because God has been doing work on them in the background – and deeper than this that Jonah’s outreach work perhaps lays the foundation for the later exile of Judah to Babylon. If blokes have blown it with things, the message of Jonah is that we worship a God of second chances. They unpack whether blokes sulk, like Jonah, and our tendency not to share our feelings, and how narrow Jonah’s perspectives really are, and its lack compared with the other people in his world. The Ninevites also seem to be so much quicker in their spiritual turnaround than Jonah is in his geographical about-face. We round up with this thought: that God sees us as men where we are, and if we need someone to walk alongside us, God can do this; and James closes by praying for everyone listening.

The Robson 'Robbie' Alencar interview

Robson Alencar and Nick Whittome • November 8, 2019

MPOWER: On this episode, Nick Whittier is in conversation with Robson Alencar from Birmingham City Church. We discuss Robson's journey to faith, how he navigated a recent tough time with some extreme pain and learning how to pray.

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