Discipleship, Identity and Faith with Damian Gerke, Ep #146

By Tammy Burke

Damian Gerke is a leadership coach and the author of three books: “In the Way: Church As We Know It Can Be a Discipleship Movement (Again),” “Taking the Lead: What Riding a Bike Can Teach You About Leadership,” and “Are You Who You Want to Be?

In this episode of Follower of One, Damian shares why he wrote each book and what Christians can learn from them. More importantly, he shares how each of us is called to be a reflection of Jesus in our lives. After all, discipleship happens in everyday relationships. He shares how we can live in that truth in his newest book and gives us a taste in this episode. 

Outline of the Episode

  • Learn more about Damian’s book, “Taking the Lead” [1:22]
  • What led Damian to write his second book, “In the Way” [5:34] 
  • Damian’s upcoming book, “Are You Who You Want to Be?” [9:16] 
  • How you can become a reflection of Jesus [15:10] 
  • The details about Damian’s newest book [20:12]
  • Discipleship happens in everyday relationships [23:16]

Learn more about Damian’s book, “Taking the Lead”

When Damian graduated from college he went into aerospace. He didn’t have a relationship with God. But when he came to know the Lord, he redirected his life. After 10 years as an engineer, he went into ministry and was a pastor for 15 years. 

Toward the end of that time, he began to realize he was being directed out of a pastoral role. A large part of his role was walking with people through big decisions in their life. He realized he had a skill that he hadn’t previously understood. 

So he transitioned out of ministry and into coaching. During that time, he started riding bikes and fell in love. He began to see concepts and principles in cycling that he dealt with while coaching leaders. 

So he wrote a blog post that turned into five blog posts that became 30 chapters of his book, “Taking the Lead.” He ties real-life real-world principles into experiences that people can understand. 

What led Damian to write his second book, “In the Way”

Damian ended up getting an HR position in a billion-dollar company focusing on learning and development. He created their leadership development approaches and performance management practices. 

He also got involved in a church planting movement similar to the house church movement in China, which is starting to reignite again in the United States. The church he attended had done some training, which led him to the idea for “In the Way.”

But he was working in his corporate role and had a long daily commute. He didn’t have time to write a book. So the Lord told him to quit his job and write the book. “In the Way” lays out the disciple-making approach to ministry targeted toward pastors and church leaders. It contrasts the movement with the legacy approach.

Damian’s upcoming book, “Are You Who You Want to Be?”

This book came out of Damian’s own experience transitioning out of pastoral ministry. When people asked him who he was, he couldn’t articulate who he was or what he did. At the time, he was parenting young teenagers. How could he talk to them about their identities when he couldn’t pin down who he was?

When Damian thought about who he was, he tended to think about his role, successes, failures, who he’s related to, and what he’s been called. This is everyone’s first instinct. Many people rely on others to tell them who they are. It’s a setup for failure. No one can tell you who you are. You can’t even tell yourself who you are. The only person who can is God

God has designed each of us to be unique, for a specific purpose. That purpose is to be a reflection of Jesus. We have a longing for identity. That longing is restored and satisfied through Jesus. 

We are designed to be a reflection of Jesus in our space and time. God is using all of our stories to tell the story of the Gospel. He chooses to use us in our uniqueness to reveal the good news. That’s our purpose, from now until His return.

Learn more about how Damian’s newest book will help you overcome anchors that have been holding you back from your identity in Christ in this episode!

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