Work, Innovation and Doing Greater Things

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As Jesus is preparing his disciples for when he will no longer be with them in the flesh, he tells them how those who believe in him will continue his work. But he doesn’t leave it there. He then says, “and they will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12 NIV). Wow! Can we really do greater things?

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Get Your Spirit in Shape features conversations to help us keep our souls as healthy as our bodies. Logo by Sara Schork, United Methodist Communications.

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Len Wilson, Director of Innovation and Strategy at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas; Publisher of Invite Resources and author of a new book called Greater Things: The Work of the New Creation, shares how we can live into that call and be faithful in all of our work.

Len Wilson

UMC.org on Work

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This episode posted on September 26, 2021.

Transcript

Prologue

Joe Iovino, host: Welcome to Get Your Spirit in Shape, United Methodist Communications and UMC.org’s podcast to help us keep our souls as healthy as our bodies. I’m Joe Iovino.

My guest today is Len Wilson. Len serves as Director of Innovation and Strategy at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas. He’s also publisher of Invite Resources and the author of a new book called Greater Things: The Work of the New Creation. Len and I have this wonderful conversation about what it means in our work, no matter what our work is, to be a Christian innovator.

Conversation

Joe: Len Wilson, welcome to Get Your Spirit in Shape.

Len Wilson: Thanks. Glad to be here today.

Joe: Tell me about Greater Things: The Work of the New Creation.

Len Wilson: Well, this is a…it’s a new book. This is my first time to publicly talk about it. So thanks for having me on. It’s very early. The book is not even out yet. This is the first time to talk about it. So I’m all excited to do this here with you today.

Joe: Yeah, glad to get that opportunity.

Len Wilson: This book is really about 5 or 6 years in the making.

I had done a book in 2015 called Think like a Five Year Old, which is kind of laying out a theology of creativity and how to use creativity for kingdom purposes. And after that I really saw what I was calling ‘two next acts.’ One of those is an inner work and one of those is an outer work.

The inner work is what happens in our own spirits as we grow into Christ and we discover our creative gifts, and live those out. The outer work is what happens when we begin to use those creative gifts. I’ve been working on both books at the same time, but what happened was the pandemic, along with my doctoral studies which had already been going on, really accelerated the outer question of how we use our gifts in order to help recreate the world. What is the relationship between us and God in that process, and how do we think about our own work in relationship to the new creation.

I don’t see the pandemic as an anomaly. I see it as an event which is a catalyst and an accelerator for a trend which has been developing really since 9/11 which is what I call an existentialist angst about the end of the world. There’s just been this increasing sense of pessimism.

I quote an article, in the book—research article, that’s talking about how in the 10 years leading up to the pandemic, Rasmussen did a report on whether people think the country of the U.S. is going in a positive direction or a negative direction. In no single week did the aggregate people, aggregate poll, think the country is going in a positive direction. There’s just this sense of pessimism that pre-dated the Trump phenomenon and all that. And so it kind of hit this head. I think in people’s minds the pandemic wasn’t just a pandemic; it was a pandemic plus all this kind of worry and angst about the U.S.

From an academic standpoint I could spend a whole hour talking about post-modernism, the idea that you’re kind of tearing things down. You’re tearing structures down. We’ve been doing that for 40 years and now everything’s kind of torn down.

So the book basically is saying…. I quoted Ecclesiastes 3. The time to tear down is done. Now is the time to build, and if we’re really gonna think about seriously what it means to build again and use our creative gifts to do that, then how do we go about doing that. So that led me to starting to think and research a lot about innovation.

But the hook here, Joe, is that it’s not simply innovation, because innovation has been a hot topic for… The entire time our country has been doing this kind of cultural slide there’s been people talking about innovation over the whole thing, which doesn’t make any sense. If we’re so innovative and great how come the country’s going the direction it’s going? So I make a distinction and say it’s not just about innovation. It’s about Christian innovation and what is unique about Christian innovation and then how do we go about actually engaging with that as followers of Christ.

What is Christian innovation? (3:42)

Joe: Can you give us an insight into that? What is the difference between innovation and Christian innovation? What makes an innovation Christian?

Len Wilson: Sure. Sure. At a very base level, one of the big discoveries I have personally been through in my own spiritual walk is the realization…. I’ll date myself. I’m 50. So this is about 10 years ago.

I had a first career in a church role, been involved in using screens in worship and was doing a lot of work that was supposedly (quote/unquote) building the kingdom. And I began to realize that that phrase is an oxymoron. We don’t build the kingdom. And the Holy Spirit led me through a lot of bombshell revelations about 10 years ago. One of those was Deuteronomy 8. Of all the books Deuteronomy is …. Which, by the way, Deuteronomy and Isaiah are Jesus’ favorite books. The first 12 chapters of Deuteronomy, Moses is on the edge of the Promised Land with the people, and they’re about to enter Canaan and they’ve gone through all this stuff. They’re like, “We’ve made it. Yeah, we’re here.” Then Moses talks, and he’s like, “Wait a minute.” He gets a word from God, and he gives them all this like, like caveats and preambles.

One of those was in chapter 8:17 & 18. Don’t think that all this prosperity and wealth was the result of your work. You didn’t do this. This is God doing this. If you forget that, bad things are gonna happen…using their own strength. And that’s exactly what happened to the Israelites. And that’s exactly what happens to us. We forget the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, and we begin to look into our own strength. The whole church growth movement of the last 60 years was about our own strength.

So, the fundamental difference (to answer your question) between innovation and Christian innovation is that. Innovation is defined by the culture as something that we invent, that we do. It’s humanistic. And this worldview versus Christian innovation is differentiated by a willingness to spiritual listening, patience, willingness to obey the Spirit’s guidance.

Our role in creating and innovating (5:41) 

Joe: One of the things that you get at in the book, and it’s something that we like to talk about here on Get Your Spirit in Shape is the role of work. We talk about call a lot on this podcast. What’s our agency in this? What’s our role as workers? In 2 Corinthians is this phrase ‘workers together with God’ – What is our role in innovating, creating?

Len Wilson: Well, for one, I talk a lot in the book about in the creative process. I’ve got 2 chapters that really focus on this question a lot. One is actually called the Work of the New Creation. So that’s the subtitle. It’s the end of part one.

I kind of build up this whole thing I’ve just been talking about—innovation, why it fails and what’s the difference, and the Sprit’s role. Then our response. This whole chapter talks about work.

Then later on in the book I have this chapter on the creative process. And in the creative process chapter I talk a lot about the difference between ex nihilo and ex materia. I’ve talked to a whole lots of Christians, a whole lot of believers, a whole lot of Christian leaders, who fundamentally think that the creative process is ex nihilo, and it’s not. Every creative idea is a combination, a derivative of two previously known ideas. God is the only creator.

One way I describe this is that we are sous chefs. All the materials are already there. We’re tasked with putting together a nice recipe, a nice meal, but we’re not inventing the food, we put it together. So part of that work is just acknowledging that God is the creative agent here, and that we have a creative role, but it’s a subsidiary role to God’s work.

I think that’s really important to clarify. In fact, I quote Miroslav Volf a lot in chapter 6 if your readers have gotten into him. He has a great theology of work which is a pneumatological theology of work and really focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit. He has this great little journal article he wrote…. He wrote a book on work and then he wrote a journal article later, after the book, which clarifies a few things. In it, he talks a lot about Luther’s theology of work versus where he thinks we need to be today. He makes a case that we’re still living out of Luther’s theology of work, and that there are several problems with that. So, I think that’s very helpful distinction. If anybody likes the book, that will be a way to kind dig into a lot of what I talk about.

Joe: Tell me about Luther’s theology of work. In a nutshell, what is he talking about there?

Len Wilson: Well, the idea there was that there’s a station in life that you’re called to, and that you’re given a job to do. At the time, there was such a distinction between clergy class and the non-clergy class that even talking about the idea that you would have a role was a pretty cool idea, that the way to find it tended to be a little bit limiting in the idea that you had a specific station in life, right? So there’s no sense of mobility or change or evolution.

So, like our modern understanding of how we can grow, even kind of like Wesleyan sanctification, kind of rubs against that a little bit. Like, you can evolve and grow over time as you improve as a person. Luther was very locked in with this idea of work. So if you got out of that you would get out of God’s design for your life. So, that became kind of problematic.

You will do greater things (9:03)

Joe: That’s really helpful. I want to back up a little bit and ask you what may be a simpler question. There are a couple of terms you redefine in the book. They’re not ones you would typically think of redefining. One is the term greater. Jesus says you will do greater things than these, which you think through a different way of understanding what it means to do something greater. Can you expand on that a little bit?

Len Wilson: This verse has blown my mind, Joe, for a long time. I mean, there…there Jesus is with the disciples. They’re having their last training session, and he says, Hey, you’re gonna do even greater things than me because I’m going to the Father. I would have been like, “What?”

Joe: Exactly.

Len Wilson: They had already seen him raise multiple people from death. So they’re just like, I can’t do that. But as I got into it I began to realize there is a presupposition: There’s this idea or this understanding or leaning we bring to the word ‘greater’ that colors our ability to understand that well. I spend a chapter on this in the book. I talk about the ideology of progress.

We are so wrapped up in the enlightenment ideal of what I describe as the new and improved world. Right? So innovation is often seen in this context. You have something new and it’s….

A lot of innovation scholars describe new as disruptive. That’s really a core word that they like to use. It’s like this necessary overturning of what came before in order to create a new world that is fundamentally improved upon the previous world.

The supposition there is an enlightenment way of thinking, that science is discovered, that the future is where we find the better world, which went against pre-enlightenment. The ancient way of thinking was that authority was found in the past. There’s this huge philosophical argument in the late 1600s between the ancients and the moderns. And the ancients said, no, authority is in the past. Everything done has been done before. We look to the ancients to understand how to do things. The moderns said, no, we’re going to discover. The future is necessarily better.

The moderns won. No argument. We have been given this and that infiltrated the church to the point where we could see all the greater work…. The word greater is wrapped up in this concept of this new and improved world, which reached its peak in 20th century America in this idea that we’re gonna move on to this utopian future, driven by technology.

I think part of the angst about the end of the world we’re talking about, has been the gradual, slow realization in our culture over the last 20-40 years that we’re not moving on to heaven. We’re not moving on to this utopian perfect future. So we’ve begun to reject implicitly this idea of progress, but that kind of jacks with our faith system in a way…and our belief systems that we didn’t understand, didn’t realize. Right?

So that’s all the back story to the word greater.

There’s a very interesting verse in another biblical story where Jesus is talking about John the Baptist to his disciples. And he talks about how the prophets were considered the greatest of all Israelites, the closest to God. And John the Baptist was considered the greatest of all prophets. According to Jesus’s definition of the ancient Israelites’ understanding, John the Baptist would have been the greatest human to ever live. Yet Jesus says to the disciples, ‘There is no one greater than John the Baptist and yet he is less than the least of those in the kingdom of heaven.’ He’s saying it’s not a ranking. It’s not this like you can move up through the caste system of the spiritual world or something.

Joe: Some social ladder or something?

Len Wilson: Yeah, right. That’s not the way it is. He’s saying there’s a whole new category of humankind that you enter into when the Holy Spirit enters into you and you become greater because you become defined by the Spirit’s presence in your life.

So greater things is simply a reference to your personhood, who you are as a follower of Christ and the Spirit’s presence in your life. So it’s a very pneumatological understanding of what greater means, and what worth then means and everything that we’re doing as a part of the new creation.

2 ways of understanding 'new' (12:59)

Joe: That’s really helpful for that verse to have a different way of kind of grasping that, is really helpful.

The other one is the word new. You talk about how there’s two Greek words for new. I found this super helpful. So will you talk about new creation and tell me about the word new?

Len Wilson: Yes. There’s neos and kainos. If you talk to anybody on the street about what new is, it would align more closely with the Greek understanding of neos. That’s closer to our idea of new and improved. This is historically some sense of the idea of evolving or progressing this history in Greek culture. Like, it didn’t come really codified and what I call an ideology of progress until the enlightenment. If you go back in Greek history there is some understanding by some people that time moves along and you can actually improve through time. So neos is a little bit like that in the sense that there’s something new and it’s gonna be better than what came before.

Kainos is something entirely different. Kainos is a qualitatively different reality. It’s not something you can gradually evolve into, but it’s a completely different understanding of the world. There’s only one parable where Jesus uses both of those words at the same time. It’s the parable of the wine skins. In the book, every time you see the word new and wineskins in English, I say, this is a neos, this is a neos. Here’s a kainos I go through and explain how kainos is different than neos because you don’t evolve into it.

This is a core piece of the book. You don’t progress your way into the kingdom of heaven. It’s a qualitatively different experience. It only comes by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Joe: Excellent. That was just really helpful for me. Again, another one of those verses that’s really difficult to understand, the new wineskins and the idea that it’s a qualitatively different wineskin, not just the same thing only newer, which is the way I usually hear that. And to hear that differently was just super helpful. And I really appreciated that.

Failure prevention (14:47)

For me as a creative person—I write and I do the podcasts and all of these things—one of the hardest parts for me in the creative process, ironically is pressing publish. It’s the putting it out there that can be one of the most difficult things. You talk about this as ‘failure prevention’ – I think is the phrase that you use for this. Can you help me with that? Can we talk through that a little bit?

Len Wilson: Yeah. Let’s have a coaching session about this. So, for the readers who obviously haven’t seen the book yet, let me just contextualize and say that there’s 12 chapters. The first six chapters, Part 1, are hitting some of these kind of fundamental concepts that we’ve been talking about so far, redefining innovation, redefining new…you know, things like that.

The second half is more of a how-to process to then begin to engage in Christian innovation. Towards the end I get to a chapter called “Almost Perfect.” I outline this kind of creative process you’re talking about. At the beginning I talk about how you’re up on the …. If you draw a graph and the ‘X,’ you know the vertical line is awesomeness and the ‘Y’ line is time.

Joe: Time. Yeah.

Len Wilson: You’re up on the dot at the time of top of the X axis, but you haven’t moved on time at all, but you’re sitting there. This is where you have your beautiful, wonderful idea. You’re think, “What if we did this?” You get all excited, and it’s all awesome. It’s just perfect up there, and a lot of people never leave that summit because it’s so pretty right there in your head. and you haven’t done anything about it yet. You’re like, “Oh, that’s going to be awesome.

But then you’re scared to death to step out because what happens is the bloop, and it falls down. Very quickly you fall down to what I call the pit. Every creative thing I’ve ever done, Joe, this has happened. I have a beautiful idea and then after spending a little bit of time on it it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. It just sucks. I’m just, “I’m never gonna get to the place where it’s really any good.”

Then you go through this long slow slog up this hill and…. It’s a little bit like an S-curve in business. You go up this hill of work. I’ve got 8 I-steps I outline in the book about this. And then at some point you reach what I call the hill of finished. This was going be my first title for the book originally. It was The Hill of Finished, because it’s never perfect.

Sometimes, if it’s really good it might be almost perfect. But you really just have to stop. It’s deadline driven more than anything. You could work on it forever, so you just have to say, Ah, forget it; I’m just gonna go until you can stop climbing. So you get it published like you’re saying. Right?

Joe: Yeah.

Len Wilson: I don’t know if you’ve seen the George Lukas stories where he’s gone back and you know, he’s like when digital technology improved he went back and redid the first trilogy. He added in scenes. He said, these were gonna be in the first films to begin with.

At one point I think I can totally relate to the ideas that creative that you had this original vision. It wasn’t technically possible then, and now you’re going to go back and fix it.

On the other hand, I’m like, “George, move on, dude. You hit the hill of finished. You released it and the world loved it. So just get on with it. Let it be. Go do something else.”

Yes, you never quite get it the way you want it to be. You just gotta hit the button.

Joe: I was going to say, if Star Wars isn’t perfect, I think we can all say, all of our stuff isn’t. It doesn’t quite measure up.

Critic or creator (18:08)

It seems to me in today, maybe it’s social media, but it feels like the critic is right around the corner every time. Is that something you struggle with at all or…?

Len Wilson: Oh, Joe. Totally. I didn’t put this in the book but I’ve got a blogpost where I talk about there’s an A or B reality. You can either be a critic or a creative. And I’d rather be a creator than a critic. But if you do that, you’re gonna take slings and arrows because there are people who find comfort in criticism because they’re sitting up on the hill of awesome before they ever started. They haven’t moved.

The courageous move is to drop down into the pit. You can sit up on that hill and shoot slings and arrows at people that are on the hill of almost finished, almost perfect, on the hill of finished.

But it’s better to be here. It’s better than the hill and I’ve gone through the process. It’s not because you’re more successful. It’s not because you’re a better person. It’s nothing like that. It’s that the creative process is what we’re designed to do. I grow as a human, I grow as a follower of Christ when I’m going through that creative process.

If I’m stuck up on that hill of awesome I’m not growing. I’m stagnating because I’m not actually taking the courage to actually step out and do a new thing.

Joe: One of the things I want to point out to people, too, is that in the book you draw on people across the spectrum to talk about these things. A lot of times when we think about creative people, we think about writers or artists or anything like that. But you’re talking about anybody who’s trying to innovate, who’s trying to do something new and trying to do something good.

You talk about Florence Nightingale. You talk about William Wilberforce who was a politician. The Last Samurai. There’s all of these different iterations of this that are just really helpful.

Len Wilson: My favorite story of all of them is Norman Borlaug. So Norman Borlaug, he had a 22,000 word page-long obituary on the front of the New York Times. The atheist magicians Penn and Teller, said he was the greatest human who ever lived. If you asked somebody, Who’s the greatest person who ever lived, and if people know his story, they would have to say Norman Borlaug because he is directly responsible for saving 1.5 billion lives on this planet. Nobody in the world is ever gonna be able to say that, past or future.

Joe: Through food production.

Len Wilson: Yes, through food production. Absolutely. So in the early part of the 20th century there were 2 billion people living on the planet earth. And people began to see because the life expectancy began to increase, that that was going to grow. Through World War II, we had shot up to 4 or 5 or 6 billion by the ‘60s and ‘70s. And so all of the intelligencia of the U.S., all the thought leaders, were all saying, “We’re going to have mass starvation.” There was actually serious conversation in the late ‘60s about cordoning off India and Pakistan and letting them fight it out and starve to death because they said there’s no way we’re going be able to feed the planet. Those are the critics. Right?

So the critics versus the creatives: Norman Borlong, (fascinating story)…. I go through his whole back story in the book and all the ways in which his life parallels the principles of innovation. But he went down to Mexico and spent 20 years developing high yield farm crops, wheat primarily, which was directly responsible for generating the increase in food production. Now we have all these artisan, homegrown local foods, which is very elitist, honestly, because if it wasn’t for mass production of crops, there would be mass starvation on this planet, and Norman Borlaug is responsible, directly responsible, for that. So that’s an example of the kind of innovation.

When he accepted the Noble Peace Prize in 1970 or ’71—I forget—he quoted Isaiah. He talks about his Lutheran upbringing. So clearly he’s motivated by his own Christian faith, you know, in his work.

Joe: And then sharing that work.

Change: Christians don't handle it well (21:57)

One other piece to round this out a little bit, which I just thought was fun, although it’s a serious topic, is change. You say that Christians don’t handle it well, which just kind of makes me smile, because there’s a lot of truth in that.

Len Wilson: Well, since I wrote it I’ve wondered if this is gonna become one of the kind of the most interesting pieces of the book for people. I defined it according to 3 different responses. There’s either retreat, rule or self-reliance.

When the social context changes, Christians tend to either back off, stay away. That’s taken to define fundamentalism, for example.

Or rule, which is to take on a bad theology of the kingdom of God which says we’re going to own the world, kind of a theocratic understanding.

Or self-reliance which abandons community. And forgets this whole theological thing here, Joe, about gnosis and how the Holy Spirit itself models community. We’re designed to be in community, but there’s a whole lot of people who have adopted a privatized understanding of faith. They don’t know how to respond to change well.

All of those dynamics are big time in play right now with what’s happening in our national political scene.

Joe: I did not expect a book about innovation to talk about how we got here. I thought that was a brilliant move on your part. I really appreciated it. There’s so much for people who might not immediately pick up a book about innovation or creativity. There’s so much else in this book.

Len Wilson: Thanks. I appreciate you saying that. In fact, let me talk about Rauschenbusch for just a minute because he’s one of the stories I tell. He was a Christian innovator par excellance. In terms of impact and influence he’s one of the best theologians in American history. Yet, he was heavily influenced by the ideology of progress.

In the 20 years prior to World War I was the philosophical peak of the enlightenment. Science, reason, humanism and progress. The idea that through human agency we’re going to progressively get better. The social gospel is steeped in it. In fact, he wrote 3 books… All of them Abingdon Press by the way, in the time leading up to World War I.

By the time he reached the end of his last work in 1917 the natural consequence of this was, “We don’t even need the church.” It was totally humanistic. People started realizing that social justice could be achieved through human effort, which is not true. But that’s what people were saying. And people were believing that.

By his last work in 1917 he was trying to fix that. Basically, the movement had run away from him, and there was all this emphasis on humanism at that point. He was saying, “Wait a minute; you can’t leave Christianity.” But, yeah, I think he had accidentally kind of set the seeds for that through these assumptions he was making in his earlier works about the human effort.

He was correcting from a German pietism in the 19th century, which says we have no role. So there’s this over correction that happened, that ran past him to say we don’t need the church at all. And we’re still basically fighting that battle today.

Joe: Yeah. It’s interesting, too, that you also talk about how we went into the worship movement. And how all we need were worshipping communities. That was going to bring about the kingdom of God. And, like most things, when the pendulum goes, and then we bring it back into where it needs to be, a little closer.

Len's history of Christian innovation (27:51)

Tell me about your history and how you’ve come to this work of innovation, change and creativity.

Len Wilson: Yeah. Thanks for asking that.

I’m a preacher’s kid, Methodist. I grew up in little Methodist Churches. The gospel fundamentally didn’t make any sense to me when I was a kid. The forms and images and language used in church was super confusing to me. I like to joke about the Chrismon tree. You walk up and you’re like, what the heck was that? This weird tree with all these weird ornaments on it—filled with symbols that I had no idea what they were.

My desire to go into ministry was this calling specific to communication because I wanted to understand how can we communicate the gospel. I had moments that were driven by story, not by the kind of like propositional language that I was hearing in the church. I couldn’t articulate this at the time. It was just kind of what I was experiencing. But I was moved by story. So I wanted to use story to help communicate the gospel.

My first ministry appointment/assignment was at Ginghamsburg Church who had just put in the screens. I was hired to put something on the screen. First, I got it in focus.

There’s this little joke about that, a long-running joke. So this was like 5 years of like trying to story-tell weekly. That creative process, that crucible of designing something… We didn’t do series back then, Joe. It was week to week. I produced 250 different worship services in 5 years, all with images and all this kind of stuff. So that crucible of putting creativity into practice using innovative new techniques in service to the gospel.

The growth that happened and the correlation in my mind, which I’ve questioned this ever since because we grew during that time from around a thousand to around thirty-five hundred. This was huge growth. So we’re like, is that responsible for that? What is the relationship to those things? Is there a relationship between those things? And so I’ve just been fascinated with that experience the rest of my career since.

I’m kind of asking what is the role of creativity, imagination and the innovative work we were doing at that time. That’s kind of the back story, I guess, to the previous work I wrote, which I mentioned earlier, Think Like a 5 Year Old, which is more of a personal reflection on creativity.

Then, now into this work, the thing I’ve tried to do… I’ve tried to not make this a church growth book. I’ve tried to not say this is about techniques for making your church better. I’m kind of rejecting that whole movement honestly. But I’m saying theologically we do have a role in new creation, which is a role that’s very close to how we define innovation. So what is that? What is our role in new creation? That’s a core question in the book.

Joe: Wonderful.

How Len keeps his spirit in shape (27:51)

Before I let you go I want to ask you the question that I ask every guest on Get Your Spirit in Shape, which is simply this: How do you keep your spirit in shape?

Len Wilson: For 10 years I’ve been serious about it. I have be honest and admit until I was 40, I wasn’t fully serious about this question. But since that time, morning Scripture reading—I did a one-year Bible plan that took me 4 years because I was going so slow, because sometimes I couldn’t get past 2 verses. I would read a verse. I’d start journaling about it. And that would just go for a half hour, and then I would stop. So, I don’t do it 365 days a year, but I do it maybe 250-300 days a year. That process is critical to me.

There’s some other things I’m actually writing and processing and reflecting on, right now…. Somebody asked me recently, “How do you listen to the Spirit?”  I’ve been thinking about that question deeply. And that may be some future work. Hopefully that comes…

Joe: We’ll get another book and there may be another conversation around that book.

Len, thank you so much. Thanks for your time today. Thanks for this work and all that you do.

Len Wilson: Thanks, Joe. I appreciate it. And thanks so much.

Epilogue

Joe: That was Len Wilson, Director of Innovation and Strategy at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, publisher of Invite Resources, and the author of Greater Things: The Work of the New Creation. To learn more about Len, his ministry and to order his book, go to UMC.org/podcasts and look for the notes page of this episode. Along with a transcript of our conversation you’ll find links to Len’s stuff and to my email address so that you can share your thoughts about Get Your Spirit in Shape with me.

Thanks for listening. I’ll be back soon with another conversation that’ll help us keep our souls as healthy as our bodies. I’m Joe Iovino. Peace.