CNLP 244: Scott Sauls On Why Non-Christians Hate Christians, Ineffective Evangelism and Resilience in a Turbulent World

Why do people outside the church show so much hostility toward or indifference to people inside the church?

Scott Sauls has some intriguing answers, plus we talk about the most effective and least effective evangelism strategies and how to stay resilient in a troubled world.

Welcome to Episode 244 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Episode Links

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CNLP 049: Stop The Hate: How Christians Can Get Along When They Disagree. An Interview With Scott Sauls

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The Good Neighbor: The Life & Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time by Sarah Arthur

Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World by Andy Stanley

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

From Weakness to Strength: 8 Vulnerabilities That Can Bring Out the Best in Your Leadership (PastorServe Series) by Scott Sauls

Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear by Scott Sauls

Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls

Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing by Andy Crouch

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CNLP 222: Patrick Lencioni on Saying No to Steve Jobs, Motivating Millenial Workers and the Three Qualities You Need to Look for to Create the Ideal Team

3 Insights from Scott

1. Pain and conviction can keep us in a healthy place of humility

Scott argues that both success and failure can be dangerous to leaders. In both cases, a leader’s heart can move away from humility and to an unhealthy place of pride or self-absorption. The only people who can be effective at sharing the gospel are those who stay humble.

Humility is key in leading any organization. The problem is that when we succeed, we can begin to get prideful. So, as we begin to get more and more success we have to be more and more intentional about staying humble.

2. How have we made Christianity resistible?

To Scott, the answer to this question is obvious. The biggest thing making our faith resistible is the joining of Christianity and partisan politics. When we relate our Christianity to one side of the political agenda, we put on blinders and isolate the other side that disagrees with us.

We can be political people, but we cannot filter our Christianity through our political stance. Scott argues that we get into trouble when we begin to let other kingdoms become as important as the Kingdom of Jesus is within our own lives.

3. Kindness is key in making our faith irresistible again

Kindness is the primary way to win the world. The less “mean-spirited” we can become, the better. If we want to reach lost people, we should become less mean-spirited, too. All government is not bad (God was the one to invent it).

These are a few voices that transcend the noise of politics and are concerned with the real issues facing our world. These are the people we should model if we are going to make our faith irresistible again: Ann VoskampTim KellerRussell MooreEugene PetersonHenri Nouwen.

Most of these leaders are “too left for their conservative friends, and too right for their liberal friends.” Scott’s argument is that that position is right where we need to be.

Quotes from Episode 244

God invented government; man invented politics. @scottsauls Click To Tweet The failures and the disappointments have always lead to the most spiritually rich seasons of my life. @scottsauls Click To Tweet Start by defending somebody else’s rights before defending your own. @scottsauls Click To Tweet Gossip is just another form of pornography in which you undress someone and turn them into a thing in order to get a cheap thrill. @scottsauls Click To Tweet The heart that has no room for the poor has no room for God. @scottsauls Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 244

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Didn’t See It Coming Will Help You Solve the Problems Most Leaders Miss

If you want practical help overcoming some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

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“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

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Next Episode: Jud Wilhite 

Las Vegas is a place millions visits, but home to two million people who live there year round. 20,000 of those 2,000,000 Vegas residents attend a location of Central Church in Vegas. Jud talks about some fresh strategies and insights he and his team are developing to reach even more people, and opens the book on their current assumptions and strategy and shares and what’s working, what’s not and what they’re changing.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 245.

CNLP 244: Scott Sauls On Why Non-Christians Hate Christians, Ineffective Evangelism and Resilience in a Turbulent World


  1. HoosierConservative on February 19, 2019 at 11:58 am

    When I speak to my atheist/unbeliving friends about why they resist Christianity, I have personally never gotten an answer about politics. The two most common answers I hear are “Christians are stupid” and “Christians are vicious.”

  2. Melanie on February 13, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    This episode gave me such hope! I often feel that tension between being too liberal for my conservative friends and too conservative for my liberal friends. I am frustrated by Christians who equate their faith with their patriotism, or their political party. My heart breaks when I have Christian friends that talk about “those people” or “that person” with such ugly terms and statements that I truly question their faith.
    But there was so much hope in this discussion. There is a way forward. My favorite part was when Scott said, we need to be the best kind of enemies. The kind that as far as it depends on us, we don’t have enemies. He shared hope that people are not brought to faith because shouted them down in a debate, but they are brought to faith when we figure out how to love them where they are at!

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