CNLP 163: Erwin McManus on Living Fully Alive, Tackling Your Fears, Dealing with Critics and Creating Space For People Not Like You

Erwin McManus talks about his diagnosis of cancer, facing fear and how to deal with criticism. 

In this wide-ranging and fascinating conversation, he also talks about being branded a heretic, creating a church where atheists get baptized and people from widely divergent views and walks of life find a home.

Welcome to Episode 163 of the podcast.

Guest Links

Erwin on Instagram

Erwin on Twitter

The Last Arrow

The Artisan Soul

Links Mentioned

Breaking 200 Without Breaking You

Join me February 22-23, 2018 at the Pipeline West Leadership Conference. Use coupon code: LeadLikeNeverBefore for 10% off your registration before the Early Bird Rate expires on October 31st!

3 Insights from This Episode

1. You won’t be afraid to die if you haven’t been afraid to live

Erwin McManus responded to his cancer diagnosis with gratitude for a life well lived and courage to face the challenges ahead of him. He wasn’t fearful of dying. The news was devastating, but served as a personal reassurance that he had been living his life the way he wanted to – with no regrets and no need to change his course.

People who aren’t afraid to die don’t feel like they’ve missed out on a life better than the one they already have. Living a full life in Christ frees you from the dominating power of fear.

2. You have to care more about your why than you do the response of critics

Erwin’s time in ministry hasn’t been free from criticism, but he’s remained faithful to the why of his mission. Here’s some great advice he offers to those holding back their message because they’re hesitant of how others may react:

1. Realize that life can’t be about you. It’s about what God wants to do through you.

2. Don’t believe people who disagree with you are evil. Show love and respect towards those with views different from your own.

3.  Resilience can only be learned on the other side of failure. It’s okay to make a mistake as long as you learn from the experience.

3. Creating a Space for people not like you

Congregations tend to be made up of people with similar backgrounds rather than diverse groups. But only doing life with people who are like you could create an environment that revolves around only one thing – You and people like you.

The church must learn how to become a welcome mat for all people in Jesus’ name and be a place that shows love and respect to everyone.

Quotes from This Episode

Some Help For Your Church

So you would love to reach more people, but how? Your church just can’t seem to sustainably grow past the 200 barrier. And you’re really not sure why.

My new online course called Breaking 200 Without Breaking You is designed to help senior pastors and their boards and leadership team break through the barrier 85% of churches never move past: the 200 attendance barrier.

So many leaders who try to break it either get stuck at 150-250 in attendance or burned out in the process of trying.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Believe it or not, the reasons most churches never break 200 aren’t spiritual reasons, they’re practical reasons. Strategic reasons.

So whether your church is 50, 150 or 250 in attendance, the principles will help you gain the insight you need to break the barrier more than 85% of churches can’t break.

Click here to get instant access!

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Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Allyson Evans

Allyson Evans came in from the marketing world to join the staff at Life.Church 16 years ago just as Life Church was opening its second location. She talks about working with Craig Groeschel, what’s working for them in reaching families, tough decisions as they’ve grown and on a radical staffing decision that leveled the playing field between kids ministry staff and student ministry staff.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 164.

CNLP 163: Erwin McManus on Living Fully Alive, Tackling Your Fears, Dealing with Critics and Creating Space For People Not Like You


  1. Darryl Hartwig on October 27, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Wow!!! What an amazing interview. Thank you so much Carey and Erwin. I can hardly wait for part two.

  2. David Manafo on October 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Such a great conversation. Erwin is such a gift
    To the church and the world.

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