CNLP 466: Nicky Gumbel on How Law Prepared Him for Ministry, Nazi Germany and His Family’s Connection to Einstein, and How He Created the Bible in One Year

Nicky Gumbel rejoins us on the podcast and this time shares some of his family’s background as refugees from Nazi Germany, how his education at Eton, Cambridge and Oxford prepared him for law and ministry, and how he created the popular Bible in One Year study, and how he refreshes it each year.

Welcome to Episode 466 of the podcast. Listen 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.

Guest Links

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Episode Links


As you look towards a new year of ministry, what would it look like if 2022 was the year your church got serious about developing a culture of generosity?

Imagine generosity being woven into the mission and vision of your church and your community fulling engaging in understanding giving and biblically-rooted stewardship.

Our friends at Generis are passionate about helping church leaders do exactly that, and they have been for over 30 years. With a new year approaching, now is a good time to reignite your community.

You can learn how to increase giving and generosity in your church by scheduling your FREE 45-minute strategy session at

Red Letter Living

Leading a church the past two years has been tough, to say the least. Keeping everyone on one mission with everything that is going on in the world, pandemic opinions (mask vs. no mask, vaccine vs. no vaccine), political tension, racial oppression, some saying you need to speak up here, or some offended you said too much there… division is at an all-time high.

Pastors, one of the wisest things you can do in divisive times when noise is really loud all around you, is go back to the basics. Go back to the Good News. What unifies our church more than anything else? It’s Jesus.

As we enter a New Year, and with Lenten season right behind that corner, why not spend 40 days diving deep into the life, words, and habits of Jesus by using a 40-Day Challenge from Red Letter Living?

Their original bestselling Red Letter Challenge has been used in 600 churches in 3 years. The feedback they hear the most, especially during COVID, is the need for unity. So, if you need unity back in your church, from kids to adults, from your weekend experiences to your small groups, to even your social media, a 40-day challenge centered around Jesus could be a great choice for you.

Learn more about their 40-Day Challenges, get 10-40% off church packs and, pastors, you can get a free book all at

Conversation Links

Bible in One Year 

Alpha USA

Holy Trinity Brompton


Mein Kampf

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Jesus Began to Preach by Raniero Cantalamessa

CNLP 343: Nicky Gumbel on Why He Changed His Mind About Church Online, Why Online is a Better Outreach Tool Than In-Person Ministry, and How He Repositioned His Church and Alpha for Explosive Growth

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

Get Carey’s Content Straight to Your Inbox

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Insights From Nicky

1. Faith and doubt are meant to co-exist

Nicky leads Alpha, a multi-week course on faith and the Bible for skeptics and doubters. Some people believe that if you have doubts about your faith, then that’s it—the show’s over. But, according to Nicky, faith and doubt aren’t opposites. They’re two sides of the same coin. You can’t have faith without doubt. The very fact that you have doubts means that faith is work.

It doesn’t take faith to believe 2 + 2 = 4, because you can easily prove it and you trust in the symbols we’ve created. But anything vital to living a fulfilling life—the love of a spouse, the wonder of creation, a belief in a loving God—can’t be proven mathematically or scientifically.

2. The Bible has never been more accessible

Nicky is also the author of “The Bible In One Year,” a reading plan that takes readers through the entirety of Scripture in one year with additional commentary from Nicky and his wife, Pippa. According to Nicky, 99.9% of the world will have access to a copy of the New Testament in their language by 2033, and the rest will have access to at least 25 chapters of the New Testament in their language. Apps like YouVersion and multiple Bible-related film projects mean the story of Scripture is now available to more people than ever before in history.

3. Leaders in 2022 need to ensure their faith is built on a firm foundation

Earlier in the episode, Nicky talks about how the Bible needs to be approached as 100% divine and 100% human. Unfortunately, Christians tend to emphasize the divinity of Scripture at the expense of the human side of Scripture, which can lead to people losing their faith when they encounter someone who intelligently emphasizes the human side of Scripture at the expense of the divine.

At the close of the episode, Nicky makes the point that leaders need to ensure their faith is built upon firm foundation if they want to weather the storms the next years will surely throw our way. And a big part of that is remaining humble, staying curious and seeking out wisdom from trusted sources.

Quotes from Episode 466

You cannot have faith without doubt. The very fact that you have doubts means that it is faith. @nickygumbel Click To Tweet 99.9% of the world will have the New Testament in their own language by 2033, and all the rest will have 25 chapters of the New Testament in their own language. @nickygumbel Click To Tweet The most important thing that you can know in life is that you're loved. @nickygumbel Click To Tweet How do we deal with insecurity? Know that you're loved, and you are accepted for who you are. @nickygumbel Click To Tweet We know that Jesus died for us. We know that Jesus was resurrected. We know there is a God. We know that God is love. @nickygumbel Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 466

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen.


Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Adam Grant, Seth Godin, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus, and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts


Google Podcasts



Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

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 Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn 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: Rick Warren

In 2021, Saddleback founding pastor, Rick Warren, announced he was retiring as senior pastor to embrace a new role. In this wide-ranging interview, Rick talks about how to leave a legacy of integrity, why so many megachurch pastors fail, what he told Bill Hybels, and lessons learned over 42 years at Saddleback. Catch the full interview plus bonus footage on our YouTube channel.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 467.

CNLP 466: Nicky Gumbel on How Law Prepared Him for Ministry, Nazi Germany and His Family’s Connection to Einstein, and How He Created the Bible in One Year

1 Comment

  1. Shirley Kealey on December 30, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    This was amazing. I kept crying. His decision matrix helped me feel more certain to move into retirement from my govt job and follow God in my giftings. god is so gracious, loving and good to us. Feeling blessed and inspired by this interview.

Leave a Comment

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