Today’s guest, Ron Surgeon, works as an elder, training believers in how to minister to the people around them. He uses church planting methods, not only abroad, but also locally. He shares about the ways in which God has been working in his life and ministry. He also gives listeners the encouragement and ways in which they can spread the Gospel throughout their areas. One step of introducing yourself can make all the difference.

What we talked about

Detailed Show Notes (click to read)

Getting to know Ron Surgeon


Our guest today, Ron Surgeon, works as an elder in charge of training believers on church planting methods. He uses these methods at Christ the Rock Church in Memphis, Tennessee. He seeks out people who desire to do missions and teaches them how to go into the harvest and spread the Gospel where they are. He also will be getting married in a few weeks, so he looks forward to that as he continues to serve locally and abroad.

Using church-planting methods locally

Unlike most church planters, Ron uses the methods in his local area, not just overseas. He teaches his team from Luke 10, which provides a model for sharing the Good News. Also, he trains them in how to share their testimonies, minister, and tell stories about God to other people. These methods allow believers to understand how they can reach the next generation of disciples that live around them.

Meaningful quote

“When I consider my ministry, I consider the entire world, because anything less that that would not be worthy of Christ or His mission for my life.” - Henrietta Mears

Teamwork in ministry

Ron forms teams of people based on those who are interested in ministry. He then pairs them up and sends them out into their own areas so that they might put training into practice.

Season of challenge

Ron shares about his struggle with seeing people fall away from Christ into bad lifestyles, especially when he invested deeply in them. He also talks about his tendency to compare his ministry with others and rivaling against them. In order to combat that, he praises and encourages others in their ministry. He also acknowledges that God is moving and working in their lives instead of comparing or competing against them.

Beneficial habits

Prayer, according to Ron, is crucial in his spiritual walk as well as in the growth of his ministry. Referencing 2 Thessalonians 3:1, he talks about the need for prayer so that the Gospel bay be spread quickly throughout the world.

Moments of revelation

God has really been revealing His presence to Ron in a new way. God truly fills all time and space. How amazing is our God?

Engaging Missions Leadership Moment

Scott McClelland of FX Missions shares about the source of courage. Listen to discover what happened during some missions training exercises and what you can do if you have failed similarly.

If you have a question about leadership that you’d like to have answered on the show, email it to

About the ministry

How did God lead you into ministry?

In 2006, a lady asked Ron to attend a conference in his area, sending multiple texts to convince him to come. Initially, he had no interest, thinking that conferences tend to have no impact on the outside community. After the lady kept asking, he decided to go. The conference focused on spreading the Gospel throughout the world.

Through the teaching, Ron finally had an outline for ministry and how to reach people around him. He began meeting with some of the leaders from the conference in order to learn more on how to put the teaching into practice.

Then in 2012, after serving in Honduras, Ron and his friend Zack went to training in Texas. There they worked with other church planting leaders, then returned home to put those methods to practice.

How do you connect with other churches?

In order to form relationships with local churches, Ron calls them and meets with them. The churches he works with tend to be located in low-income areas. During his meetings with these churches, he shares about his heart for the area and his desire to see no place where the Gospel hasn’t been shared.

Targeting local churches

Ron seeks to connect with churches around the area that he wants to minister in. If the church is willing to minister to the area themselves, then he and his team don’t have to be there in person. If the church has no interest in reaching out, however, then he and his team minister themselves.

Potential opportunities

Ron shares about the hope to work in new zip code areas, reaching people that have not been reached yet. They also desire to minister to an Indian population in the city. They have already started this, but it is in its beginning stages. One of his greatest desires is to see churches engage the people around them and spread the Gospel throughout their areas.

What excites you about ministry?

“The joy of the Lord is in it! Even when the days are hard and people fall off and churches die, I feel the joy of the Lord. I feel like I’m doing what God has called me to do.”

What would you change?

“I would start out not having a knowledge-based mindset for being a disciple of Christ, and to have an obedience-based mindset. It’s not about experiencing and being a mature believer because I know so much; it’s about my allegiance to Jesus, and living it out practically.”

Territorial churches

Sometimes, Ron deals with churches that have no desire for outside groups to work in their area. These types of churches tend to simply refuse to meet with Ron and his team. Thankfully, this does not occur often.

Focus on YOU, the listener

Marketplace matters

“I think that people who are in that field should realize that their vocation is sacred. they shouldn’t compartmentalize working for God and then pursuing their career; they are one in the same.”
“Their career can be a sacred means by which God advances His mission to see His Kingdom established and heard.”

Changing our mindset

“Lead your heart. Don’t be led by your feelings. Be led by the Word of God, by the Spirit of God; allow Him to dictate … how your vocation should be viewed.”

Surrounded by nations

“Be glad! Rejoice because God has brought the nations to you, and many times we talk about going to the nations, but we live in a time in which God gravitates them to us. And so consider yourselves blessed to have an opportunity to impact the world right from where you live.”

Taking the first step

“Introduce yourself!”

Internet and book resources

Movements that Change the World Podcast
Discovering Church Planting by
The Master Plan of Evangelism
T4T Online
Four Fields from Church Planting Movements
Knowledge of the Holy

Parting advice and contact info

“Many times it’s kind of where we have to give up our own agendas, and allow ourselves to die to the things that distract us from fulfilling God’s mandate.”

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies it will bear much fruit.” -John 12:24

Contact: Facebook or @ronsurgeon on Twitter

Questions, Topics, and Times

  • [00:31] – Introduction
  • [02:01] – Using church-planting methods locally
  • [03:06] – Meaningful quote
  • [04:35] – Teamwork in ministry
  • [05:21] – Season of challenge
  • [07:32] – Beneficial habits
  • [08:10] – Moments of revelation
  • [09:21] – Engaging Missions Leadership Minute
  • [12:45] – How did God lead you into ministry?
  • [16:14] – How do you connect with other churches?
  • [17:40] – Targeting local churches
  • [18:34] – Potential opportunities
  • [19:34] – What excites you about ministry?
  • [20:15] – What would you change?
  • [21:17] – Territorial churches
  • [24:18] – Marketplace matters
  • [25:35] – Changing our mindset
  • [26:04] – Surrounded by nations
  • [26:47] – Taking the first step
  • [27:03] – Internet and book resources
  • [28:30] – Parting advice and contact info


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iTunes Reviews

  • Great missions interviews
    by Caleb from United States

    Bryan has some great mission interviews on his podcast with missionaries who are on the front lines serving the Lord.

  • Great interview with Brent B.
    by Marfoof from United States

    Enjoyed hearing about YWAM...have some friends who participated in YWAM as well as a daughter-in-law. Their ministry is great!

  • Such a need for this!
    by Micpreeeb from United States

    What a great idea for a podcast. SO many will be blessed by this...from the missionary to their supporters to the people they minister to. Excellent.

  • Great listen!
    by JoeDaddy1138 from United States

    Interviews are very informative and an easy listen. Engaging Missions' ability to offer insightful questions to paint a picture of the opportunities and challenges with the mission field will help shed some light on what God is doing worldwide.

  • author
    by TC Avey from United States

    You'll be blessed by listening.

  • Uplifting
    by Brian Ambrose from Australia

    Always challenging and encouraging

  • Thank you
    by Biznice Marketing, Inc from United States

    Incredibly relevant podcast, doing mission work! Great interviews and thank you for doing this. As a Christian on a mission it can be hard when you feel isolated. We are not alone! Thank you for reminding me of this.

  • A Missionary Must Hear
    by silas2mongolia from United States

    I found this podcast by accident while I was searching for another. After listening to just one episode, I was hooked. Each episode is encouraging and challenging in all different kinds of ways. As a missionary, I have been really encouraged by the different stories of people giving their lives for the sake of Christ. I think absolutely that every missionary should listen to this, but also any believer should as well.

  • Great podcast
    by Country_chick4 from United States

    This is a fantastic show that I have shared with all my mission minded friends. It is terrific, uplifting, thought provoking, and interesting. I have been greatly blessed and benefitted tremendously from listening to this podcast!

  • Interview with Scott McCelland
    by Steve the horn player from Australia

    Thanks Bryan for this encouraging interview with Scott McCelland

  • Great interview, Great ministry.
    by pagaentzy from United States

    Every episode is intriguing. The Thanksgiving episode was both heartwarming and challenging. Thank you for sharing. God bless you, your interviewees, and your listeners.

  • Great resources and stories
    by oldsow from United States

    Bryan has a relaxed style, quick humour, and "engaging" style. Every week there is different guest who is serving in a different capicity in missions. You get to hear from vetrans who have spent decades in the field to students who are about to embark on their first journey. They represent a wide spectrum of missional work and church backgrounds. Their testimonies are encouraging and thought provoking. They also add in very helpful tips for missionaries, potentiaonl missionaries, or mission supporters.

  • Bryan is a great interviewer
    by Androwlew from United States

    Not only is the content of this show wonderful to listen to, Bryan makes it easy to want to listen to it as he is a great listener and has intriguing questions. I listen to many podcasts, and some of them the podcast host can get in the way of the narrative trying to be told. That is definitely not the case with Engaging Missions. Bryan finds a good balance between asking the right questions, getting the interviewee to go deeper on concepts they know well but the audience doesn’t, and allowing the interviewee to tell his/her story. It’s a fine balance to find and he does it well.

  • Great Podcast!
    by octavehigher from United States

    Great Podcast!

  • One of the best
    by SteCIr from United States

    One of the best podcasts I've listened to. Audio quality is superb, the interviews are engaging, the content is challenging, and the website content is very helpful. Very professional.

  • Bryan is a fantastic host
    by This is Rammy from United Kingdom

    I've only recently came across Bryan's podcast but I found the content to be very refreshing and thought provoking. He not only makes you question what you're doing to benefit others but also what you could do more.The guests he interviews are varied and that helps to keep the content feeling fresh.Thanks Bryan, keep up the great work.Lee

  • Great stories and inspiration!
    by Daniel J. Lewis from United States

    Bryan does a great job of pulling inspiring stories from his guests. Not only will this motivate you, but I think it can help open your eyes to the wide field of Christian missions work.I think you’ll learn how to better pray for missionaries, recognize how you can support missions work, and discover opportunities to participate yourself!

  • Great Podcast
    by Cobbled Together from United States

    Great interviews with those on the forefront of missional thinking. Thanks for doing what you are doing!

  • Fantastic Podcasts on Disciple Making Movements!
    by C Huckaby from United States

    Found these podcasts because of their amazing collection of interviews with leaders of church planting and disciple making movements! Keep up the great work!

  • Stop By Here for Consistent Encouragement
    by jph356 from United States

    It’s no secret that there are more podcast shows out there than we could ever listen to, so from Day One on iTunes, we have to start filtering all the options to find the “diamonds in the rough.” I feel that Bryan’s interviews with missionaries are at the forefront of cutting-edge podcast ministry. I am deeply encouraged by his ministry of missionary stories and mission education. May God bless you, Bryan, as you continue to serve the LORD and bring him glory!

  • Great source
    by J bo from United States

    It is such a great source to be able to hear and learn about missions from missionaries. Very helpful tool for missionaries to share what they are up to and how they are serving Christ.


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Overcome pride with praise Click To Tweet
Stop competing with people. Praise them instead. Click To Tweet
Your career can be a sacred means by which God advances His mission to see His Kingdom established and heard. Click To Tweet
“When I consider my ministry, I consider the entire world, because anything less that that would not be worthy of Christ or His mission for my life.” - Henrietta Mears Click To Tweet


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