In November 2016, Purpose Driven (PD) Pastor, Mingo Palacios, started recording road-trip conversations with church leaders in the Purpose Driven RV bus. While traveling the country, Mingo shared some of those enriching discussions via podcast with emerging, next generation pastors. The program quickly gained momentum from listeners who were interested in hearing real talk about the church.
Mingo discovered that once pastors stepped aboard the fully-retrofitted PD Church RV, it somehow became a confession booth where they could honestly share struggles, fears, frustrations, and hope for change. Within those fiberglass walls was born Mingo’s vision to someday take the podcast to the next level, even if that meant leaving the studio-on-wheels for a more permanent, accessible location. Through that dream came a new podcast studio recently built at Saddleback Rancho Capistrano.
“We’re in phase two of the podcast,” says Mingo. “As our relationships expanded, our strategy also needed to expand. The RV helped build relationships, and now the studio is there to manage the many opportunities that come our way. We started by crafting what we hoped to fulfill, and now we can reap the dividends by chasing growth and returns.”
Clearly the dividends are there, with over 40 episodes and 100,000 views in the bag. Through this journey has come a resurgence of the Purpose Driven Church—whether it’s an 8-month-year-old church or an 80-year-old church.
While the RV still draws a crowd of road-trip guests, the benefits of the new studio include upgraded technology and a larger space to host more voices in the room—thus facilitating a place to build community.
Constructed over a two-week period, the studio was an attempt to step back in time with deep conversations, and step forward in interconnecting through technology. The studio also helps leverage listeners through Facebook live events, moving the podcast from a place of sharing conversations to a trusted source of encouragement.
Saddleback’s Retreat Center is an ideal location for the studio, says Mingo, simply because of its history. Located in a 10 x 12 room off Lakeside Lobby, the studio is housed in the first ranch house on the property. What originated as a family room for conversations, community, and nourishment, has come full circle to serve in that same capacity.
“It’s incredible the caliber of leaders that have entered that space to shape the future of the church,” he says. “The Ranch is where Pastor Rick had conversations of reconciliation with 50 pastors after Charlottesville. It’s a stopping point where leaders can fill up and find renewal before the next leg of their journey. It’s where some of the most influential leaders of our generation have been given a platform to share their visions. I can’t think of a better place to set up a microphone.”
Once that microphone is on, there’s a commitment to summit to new ideas, he says. It’s an opportunity for everyone to walk away mutually educated, inspired, and tethered together through Christ. His single commitment to all his guests is that they realize that they are understood and heard; that no one is left in the margins regardless of their place in ministry.
For the listener, the goal is deliver practical tools that go beyond head knowledge to reach heart knowledge, bringing both value and inclusion to those outside the church. These 20-to-30 minute digestible podcasts have taught the young host, more than he ever imagined.
“I’m humbled that I’ve been invited to share this with my generation,” says Mingo. “It’s the ultimate open door to have trusted, proven leaders give us access to what they’ve learned.”
For 2018, he hopes to focus on topics related to Pastor Rick’s original writings that date back to the beginning of his ministry. The focus for Mingo is to simply start a conversation and verbally process it with his guests.
As he connects with leaders in the studio, others tune in to hear best practices and insights from the front lines of ministry. Many have said they listen to the podcast because it pokes at the larger issues and allows them to relate in their own context—whether that be at work, home, or church.
Above all, the podcast helps bridge the gap between generations, allowing for the next line of leaders to glean from the experiences of their predecessors.
“We both cherish the same thing,” says Mingo. “If we can be part of the solution to deliver leadership capital and insights, we are honoring the big vision by giving the best to the generation that is to come.”
To learn more about The PD Podcast, visit thepdpodcast.com.