In this episode of Group Answers, Chris and Brian welcome Dr. Tony Merida as their guest. Tony is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. He also serves as Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. His books include:
- Faithful Preaching
- Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down
- Proclaiming Jesus
- Eight volumes in the new Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series (B&H), of which he also serves as a general editor, along with Danny Akin and David Platt.
He is happily married to Kimberly; and they have five adopted children.
1. Tony, you’re a guy that’s pretty busy. You’re a pastor, the father of a large family, you’re a writer, a part-time coach and until recently a college professor. What counsel would you have for group leaders also trying to balance full time jobs with family and significant ministry commitments?
2. You wrote Ordinary that is for the most part about hospitality — one of your passion points. What events or circumstances in your life have pushed the practice of hospitality to such a prominent position in your family’s personal values?
3. As you and Kim have practiced hospitality as an important aspect of your ministry what have you learned about hosting as a part of disciple-making?
4. Research shows that Bible engagement is THE indicator for a growing disciple that make disciples. What have you found to be the most effective way to teach the Bible to new believers?
5. Describe your relationship with the groups ministry at Imago Dei. To what extent are you involved with this part of ongoing ministry at the church?
I would encourage people to work early. I get a lot of writing done before 8:00am.
When I’m working, really work. When I’m resting, really rest.
Build in times and seasons of rest.
I can work with a sense of joy because Christ has accomplished what matters most and is coming to renew all things.
The secret to good sermon prep, and the secret to good writing, is great editing.
Hospitality allows people to do something very significant in the ordinary rhythm of their lives.
You can go through your day without talking to another human being, and I think that’s a problem.
Some people need to see how the Gospel works before they actually understand the Gospel.
I have found that a lot of unbelievers are more attracted to the Christian community than the Christian message.
The Group Answers Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in Lifeway’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway and author of Small Groups for the Rest of Us.