CNLP 316: John Mark Comer on Secular Salvation, Post-Christian America and How to Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry from Your Life

John Mark Comer has become one of America’s foremost voices on post-Christian culture. In this interview, we talk about how the culture is changing, what salvation looks like when you remove religion and faith, and how leading a large church caused John Mark to embark on a radical re-orientation of his life, centered on the ruthless elimination of hurry.

Welcome to Episode 316 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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This Cultural Moment podcast

Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

3 Insights from John Mark

1. Eventually, the pendulum will swing away from progressivism (and it might come with Gen Z)

The cultural swing of progressivism in places like Portland, California, and Toronto has been so intense that John Mark thinks that culture will swing back against some of the politically-correct ideologies that are being pushed forward by progressives. There are some obvious flaws in their belief systems, and John Mark thinks a reaction is coming.

John Mark thinks we might be seeing the beginning of that swing with Gen Z. He relates the progressive message to the “old church lady” of today. If you step out of line in any way, you will be “shushed” by her and punished. This hyper politically-correct narrative has done the same thing to young people, and early studies are finding that many Gen Z members are beginning to swing the opposite direction.

2. Living by “the 4 B’s” is a dangerous way to live

Before taking a sabbatical and changing the ways that John Mark measured his own personal success, he measured his leadership by “the 4 B’s.” He based his success on butts, budgets, buildings, and buzz. When he did this, he was never satisfied, because there was always someone doing better.

Now, he lives by measures of success that are much healthier, but harder to track. He tries to look at the work his church and his team are doing, and see if the fruits of the Spirit are growing in their people. This might be more difficult to measure, but it has led to a much more sustainable pace for him and his team.

3. Hurry is the enemy of longevity

The title of John Mark’s most recent book, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” is based on a story from John Ortberg. John was in an intense and fast-paced season of leadership that he knew wasn’t sustainable, so he called his mentor, Dallas Willard, and asked what he should do. Dallas’ only response was this, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

When hurry is eliminated from our lives, we live more like Jesus, we understand what we are actually called to do, and end up living for Christ, not our own ego. If you want to lead for a long time, you have to eliminate hurry and learn to live a slower, more meaningful life.

Quotes from Episode 316

It's a fool's errand attempting to achieve inner fulfillment through external success. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

I'm constantly doing things that are draining me and killing me that God has not asked me to do. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

The rise of depression grows in tandem with the rise of achievement culture. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

Once you put the pronoun 'your' in front of the noun 'truth,' you're no longer using the Webster's Dictionary. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

Everything we believe produces fruit, positive or negative. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Dogs are the new children. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Portland in many ways defines itself against America. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

People want to blame the megachurch for everything because it's an easy target. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

It doesn't matter what structure you have or what accountability you have in place, how good your board or elders are, if you have people that don't have Christ-like character, it will implode at some point. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

The problem, at least in America, is that we don't celebrate a wide enough bandwidth of types of churches and types of leaders. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

The only way you will actually heal from burnout and wounding and the sense of failure is by doing the same thing you used to do differently and in a healthy way with healthy people. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

People assume that leaders are way more confident and secure than they actually are. @johnmarkcomer Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 316

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Keeping conflict low, passion high and frustration to a minimum can be a challenging task, especially when you’re not the in same room every day.

My team and I have put together a free PDF for leaders:  5 Virtual Tools To Help Your Team Thrive.   The PDF shares 5 tools we use to keep our virtual team running well. All the tools also work really well in a traditional office setting too.

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Next Episode: Jefferson Bethke

YouTube launched Jefferson Bethke to fame in 2012 when a video he posted got millions of views. Since then, he’s spent his entire life online, pivoting through all the changes in algorithm, platforms and audience. Jeff and Carey reflect on what it’s like to be the first generation to be able to do that with your life, why having a fluid strategy matters, and how to stay sane in the midst of it all as a young leader while raising a family.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 317.

CNLP 316: John Mark Comer on Secular Salvation, Post-Christian America and How to Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry from Your Life


  1. Kyle on March 18, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Youth pastor here🙋🏻‍♂️
    The wave is at your ankles. People under 28 loves Jesus too. They’re just not motivated by tradition.
    They want Jesus and don’t need or want ‘cultural christendom’.

  2. UnlockMyTV App For Android on July 27, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Thank you so much for the great information and i just love reading this content

  3. Doug Crew on January 28, 2020 at 7:01 am

    Question, When John Mark refers to the midwest Trump supporters in a post-Christian context is he saying that this is another type of post-Christian movement moving away from Christian roots in a different way or is he saying that movement is attempting to say that society at large does not want to move in the direction of progressive cities like Portland?

    Thank you!

    • Dillon on January 28, 2020 at 10:13 am

      Hey Doug,

      I believe that he was saying that there is a negative response to progressivism growing in other parts of the country.

      He was pointing out that not everyone is signing up for the future Progressives are trying to create.

      That’s what I think he was saying!


  4. Rachael Jenneman on January 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    This was so good.
    Thank you.

  5. Michael Doerr on January 21, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Progressive Christian is not an oxymoron.

    • Michael Doerr on January 21, 2020 at 10:46 am

      To be specific–the critique is valuable; progressives far too often use shame as a power tactic, which silences an important conversation on the merits of the issues we face in our time.
      However–I am a progressive. I am a Christian. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that most of the progressive agenda (cultural and political) is right, good, and correct, precisely because, and not in spite of, who Jesus is, how he lived, what he taught, and where the Holy Spirit is at work in creation.

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