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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