CNLP 135: Adam Weber on Planting A Megachurch as a Young Leader in a Mainline Denomination

You’ve heard all the excuses. Churches in this region don’t grow. Mainline denominations are dying. Adam Weber defied all the odds.

He pastors one of the fastest growing churches in America and in one of the most unlikely places: South Dakota. And he did all this as a young United Methodist pastor.

Welcome to Episode 135 of the podcast.

Adam Weber on CNLP

Guest Links: Adam Weber

Adam’s website

Adam on Twitter

Adam on Instagram

Talking With God: What To Say When You Don’t Know How to Pray

Links Mentioned

ReThink Leadership Atlanta, Georgia; April 26 – 28, 2017

The Canadian Church Leaders Conference Barrie, ON; June 8th – 10th

Belay Solutions *Sign up by the end of May for a live group call with Carey 

TrainedUp Leadership *For 10% off, use code: CAREY

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Take opportunities you don’t feel ready for. 

Adam had no idea that leading a church was in his future. And when he was approached about it, he didn’t feel ready. However, after agreeing to check out an opportunity, God made it immediately clear to him that the local church was where he needed to be.

Related Reading: 7 Risks Any Leader Can Take Today

2. Trust your instincts.

God gave you your instincts, so trust them. They are God nudging you in the right direction. Adam had gut feelings about certain things—for instance, meeting at a different time on Sunday—and when he obeyed the nudge, he saw attendance growth. Much like taking opportunities that you don’t feel ready for, trusting your instincts is an act of stepping out in faith.

3. Church growth for church growth’s sake is a miserable existence. 

When you listen to Adam on this episode of the podcast, it’s incredibly clear that he has a huge heart for the unchurched. Church attendance growth is never about leading a thriving, large church because it sounds fun. Attendance growth is about knowing that every additional person who walks through the doors each weekend is one more person who has a chance to encounter and know Jesus. Church growth is about mission.

Quotes from This Episode

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Chuck Swindoll, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via


Google Play


TuneIn Radio

Plus, I host a second podcast every month called the Canadian Church Leaders Podcast. If you’re Canadian, or just interested in ministry in a post-Christian culture, you can subscribe for free as well at:


Google Play

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Steve Fogg

How do you build on online and social ministry for your church…from scratch? Steve Fogg spills the secrets on how to do it whether you’re a large or small church, and tells us how he built one that reaches thousands of online attenders every week.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 136.

CNLP 135: Adam Weber on Planting A Megachurch as a Young Leader in a Mainline Denomination


  1. Teknicolor on April 13, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I don’t consider myself a church leader necessarily, but I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while now. I’ve definitely gotten great value from previous podcasts but, this one…. it spoke directly to everything I didn’t think was possible or at least didn’t understand how the possibility could be manifested in my church. Heard sooooo many great insightful, practical, actionable, and inspiring nuggets of information in this podcast. I sent it to my pastor and I’m going to make sure he listens, lol. I’m so glad you introduced me to Adam. I’ll definately be getting his book too. Thanks!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 13, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      I love that God used Adam’s voice and this episode this way. So thankful!

  2. John Howell on April 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Carey – once again – you’ve completed a fantastic and incredibly helpful interview – thank you for this. However, I think you might want to rethink the idea that churches don’t grow in South Dakota. In particular, Sioux Falls is a unique incubator for church growth. Take a look at Celebrate Church led by Dr. Keith Loy and The Ransom Church led by Phill Tague – Those are Wesleyan Churches and they are growing at an incredible pace. If you go to the other side of South Dakota to Rapid City – you’ll find Fountain Springs Church led by David Kinnan – again, another Wesleyan church that is growing incredibly. In fact, within the Wesleyan Church, the Northwest District of The Wesleyan Church led by Isaac Smith is growing at an incredible rate! Adam’s great – but God is certainly doing something in this region and it’s amazing! Full Disclosure – I’m Wesleyan and I pastor a restart church in this region (I’m in Oregon – it’s a big region) alongside these men. I’m a fan of Adam, Keith, Phill and David and of you – thanks for all you continue to do!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 12, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      John…great to hear from you, and I am delighted to be corrected on this. Love it! I’ll have to come to Sioux Falls soon and check it out. Love this!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.