Blog

49 | Learning Around the World | A Conversation on Education and Advocacy with Jes Biondo of Collected Ministries & Sprezza Foundry

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Jes Biondo is a daughter, a former Back2Back staff member, a traveler, a teacher, lifelong learner, creator of Sprezza Foundry Shop, and Executive Director and Podcast host of Collected Ministries & Podcast. Jes attributes her desire to say yes, even when she doesn’t know the outcome, to her parents and a teacher from her childhood.  She has taught English camps in Thailand, served the vulnerable in Mexico, and held teaching workshops in Kenya, among many other things. She believes serving is never one-sided – we can both teach and learn everywhere we are, and this model allows for sustainability within communities.

In this episode, Jes shares how she knows when God is leading her to something or asking her to reroute. Hear how she believes leaders can best serve and love their single staff members, why loneliness and singleness are not mutually exclusive, and why cultural representation is imperative in the classroom.

Links to learn more:

Collected Ministries & Podcast: https://www.collectedministries.org/

Sprezza Foundry Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SprezzaFoundry

Kilgoris Project: https://www.kilgoris.org/

Follow Jes on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

48 | The Trajectory of Literacy

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Who do you know? When Be the Difference Podcast began, the goal was simple – highlight everyday people making the difference at their jobs, in their communities, and around the world. We realize, though, people don’t often know where to be the difference if there aren’t eyes to see and speak on the difficulties and hardships in the world.

In this episode, Chris and Sammy discuss a staggering statistic around childhood literacy. Hear how this impacts them both individually and with the global work Back2Back does, what you can do right now to help children gain access to books and adults who read, and how you can help the podcast grow! We want to hear from you and those you know who are being the difference for one!

To nominate someone to be a guest on a future episode of Be the Difference, fill out the form at this link

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

47 | A Year in Review

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Another full year of stories of how everyday people are being the difference for one! Together, we’ve listened to stories of grit, determination, following promptings without knowing how things will end, and how people, everyday, choose to show up for others and leave an impact that won’t be forgotten. Thank you for joining us, sharing with us, and gathering around others to ensure they feel known and loved.

In this episode, Sammy and Chris share a Back2Back tradition called “picture of the day” and share each of their own “pictures of the year” from the podcast. You’ll hear about moments they’ve loved, felt challenged, and grown as a result of people sharing their stories. Hear about their highlights from Season 2 as they review the last year of change-makers.

Sammy’s Clips

30 | Impossible Made Possible | Kevin Schwieger

32 | Patience and Perseverance | Rick and Lisa Bursey 

42 | Everyone is Creative | Brad Wise

26 | Weightless Anchor | Andrea Holtman 

27 | Open Doors & Red Carpets | Hope and Cheque Garcia

36 | Presence & Proximity | Mike Wilson

Chris’s Clips

25 | Saying Yes in Every Season | Sammy Mathews 

29 | Cross Worship | Troy Culbreth 

31 | The Power of Presence | Dynette Clark

24 | Being a Young Life Leader | Garrett Dexter

33 | Voices of the Next Generation 

45 | From Planting to Preaching | Steve and Kelly Carr

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

46 | 12 Ways to Be the Difference This Season | Chris & Sammy

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Tis the season! For two seasons of the Be the Difference Podcast, we have gathered together to hear of everyday people making an impact in the lives of those around them. We don’t need fancy job titles or a lot of money to come alongside others and offer our time, energy, and resources. As Sammy and Chris reflect on the stories we’ve heard and the lives changed as a result of those stories, they are inviting us to be the difference right now, in the midst of the Christmas season!

In this episode, join Chris and Sammy as they share personal anecdotes and 12 ways you can be the difference today, as we await the celebration of our King’s birth. Hear how they’ve each been impacted by the guests who have shared their own difference-making ways and prepare for the final episode of 2022!

12 ways to be the difference this season:

  1. Volunteer or donate (volunteer with Bogg, from one of our previous episodes)
  2. Trade ornaments with a neighbor
  3. Support a foster family
  4. Ask good questions
  5. Pick up a set of Story Cards to use over the Christmas season
  6. Go on a mission trip
  7. Shop locally-owned or minority-owned businesses
  8. Take time to write thank-you cards
  9. Thank those who have a more intense workload this time of year
  10. Join an Undivided cohort
  11. Sponsor a child 
  12. Invest in those who are investing in children
  13. (bonus) Share an episode of the Be the Difference Podcast with your friends and family!

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

45 | From Planting to Preaching | A Conversation on Leadership with Kelly & Steve Carr of Echo Church

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Kelly and Steve Carr are husband and wife and Co-Founders of Echo Church in Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, Ohio. Steve formerly led the church, but in recent years, Kelly has stepped into the Lead Pastor role. Echo Church was founded in 2005 and is a body of believers united by common relationship with Jesus. They believe when we listen to what God is saying, we begin to see the world in a different light, and invite others to journey with them as they ask questions, seek Jesus, and work out their faith.  

In this episode, Kelly and Steve share how they named their church, what Steve wanted to call it before Kelly stepped in with a different suggestion, and why they landed on Echo. Hear about why O’Charley’s and the produce department at Kroger were pivotal points in their lives and how Steve taking a sabbatical made room for Kelly to step into a lead pastor role. 

Links to learn more:

Learn more about Echo Church

Learn more about the Steve & Kelly

Read Steve’s bi-weekly thread for thinkers

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook

44 | Perseverance Through Community | A Conversation on Leadership with Michayla White of International Network of Children’s Ministry

<
Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Michayla White is a wife, mother, lover of Jesus, and Executive Director of International Network of Children’s Ministry (INCM). INCM exists to connect children’s ministry leaders to what they need – training, resources, and community. Michayla attributes her passion for children’s ministry and those who lead it to her mother, a volunteer children’s ministry director, and seeing her commitment to investing in children and seeing them as important to the family of God.

In this episode, Michayla defines children’s ministry and what INCM believes is the best possible curriculum for children’s ministry leaders to possess. Hear about her own challenges as a woman in leadership, how we can all make the future more equitable for women in leadership, and the questions that keep her up at night.

Links to learn more:

Learn more about International Network of Children’s Ministry

Follow INCM on Social Media:

Instagram

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

43 | Voices of Leadership: Re-Imagining Roles | Chris, Sammy, & Beth Guckenberger

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

November is here! This means many things, but for the Be the Difference Podcast, it means a month of new guests who bring their own stories and experiences in being the difference. It also means we are highlighting a new topic: voices in leadership! To kick off, Sammy and Chris meet with special guest, Beth Guckenberger, and ask for her insight on women in leadership and why it matters.

Beth is co-executive Director of Back2Back Ministries, as well as an author and speaker who has long held leadership positions within the evangelical world. She is currently writing a new book about the very topic of women being used by God in leadership positions. In this episode, hear a little bit more about the heart behind this month’s topic, why Beth’s next book started as a secret between her and Jesus, and how her heart has grown and expanded on this topic. Hear two words of encouragement as we engage in this conversation and who Beth’s own examples of women in leadership are. And please join us throughout this month to hear from two other women who lead within their own spheres of influence and ministry, and how we can each support the women in our lives who are leading with grace and love.

Links to learn more:

Hear more from Beth at Reckless Faith

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries

Instagram | Facebook

42 | Everyone is Creative | A Conversation on the Power of Art and Creativity with Brad Wise of Boonrise, Leadercast, and Bespoken

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Brad Wise is a husband, a father, a creative, and the founder of Boonrise – a video production company that exists to tell a better story through videos, experiences, and workshops that spark hope and action. Brad loves looking at things one way and asking if there’s a better or different way to do it; this intrigue and passion started in his adolescence when, instead of writing a paper on the effects of steroids, he asked to do a video instead. What began as a way to make his friends laugh and do work he actually enjoyed has turned into creating space and content where people can share and listen to each other’s stories. Brad shares, “When we tell our stories and we listen with kindness and imagination, something transcendent happens.”

In this episode, Brad shares his own definition of creativity and art, and how everyone can belong within that world. Hear about a woman named Joan he could listen to for hours and the story she shared that is one of his favorites, what exactly Boonrise means, and why Brad and his team chose it for their organization, and what is next for their team and why he is excited for what’s to come. 

Links to learn more:

Learn more about Boonrise

Learn more about Leadercast’s upcoming event Amplify

Learn more about Bespoken Live.

Follow Boonrise on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

41 | Art & Creativity: Cutting Room Floor | Mikeyy Evans

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Check out this bonus episode of Be the Difference! Today, our faithful producer Mikeyy shares a teaser for episode 41 with Brad Wise, founder of Boonrise. Sammy asks Brad who fostered the creative spirit in him, and Brad’s response is a beautiful story of how his mom stepped in, let him experiment, and formed the storyteller that he is today.

Links to learn more:

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

40 | Hosanna Revival | A Conversation on the Power of Art and Creativity with Katie Guiliano of Hosanna Revival

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyOvercast

Katie Guiliano is an artist and the founder of Hosanna Revival, a company that exists to excite people about engaging in scripture by creating beautiful and intentional tools for their lives. Katie’s relationship with Jesus began after she graduated high school and truly flourished, along with her business idea, in Spain while reading her plain black covered, bilingual Bible. What started in a secret Etsy shop with just Katie in 2015 is now well-known globally and is made possible because of a team of 13 dedicated artists and business-minded people, plus two sweet dogs.

In this episode, Katie shares about the very humble beginnings of Hosanna Revival and what spurred her to create and build a business simultaneously. Hear why she and the Hosanna team pray over every product before it leaves their hands, how she believes art and creativity will always point us back to Jesus, and why she felt led to paint the cover of a Bible in the first place.

Links to learn more:

Learn more about Hosanna Revival

Follow Hosanna Revival on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook

Learn more about Back2Back Ministries

Follow Back2Back Ministries on Social Media:

Instagram | Facebook