We travel all around the country, talking to thousands of leaders, and over and over we hear stories of burnout, cynicism, and isolation. In today’s interview-only episode of The Think Orange Podcast, Carey Nieuwhof dives into issues affecting many young leaders and pastors today. Through the framework of his new book Didn’t See It Coming, Carey talks candidly about some of the most common challenges leaders face. From personal experience and years of insight, Carey shares steps for breaking the cycle of pain by breaking out of isolation and taking steps today that will help you thrive tomorrow.

Where To Listen:  iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Stitcher  |  SoundCloud

Topic Timeline

Dave and Ashley introduce Dave’s interview with Carey Nieuwhof (4:56)

This episode sponsored by Orange Conference 2019 (8:11)

Disclaimer: This episode contains content related to self-harm, depression, and suicidal ideation (9:25)

Interview with Carey Nieuwhof (10:15)

Generating blog, podcast, and other media content in an age of increasing transparency (13:12)

Vulnerability doesn’t mean sharing everything with everyone—when sharing publicly, start from a place of asking, “Is this helpful?” (15:18)

Using personal experiences to build empathy (17:29)

Ways technology and social media can contribute to cynicism (21:57)

“Cynicism roots itself in knowledge.” (23:21)

Projecting past failures or hurts onto new situations can cause you to miss out on the joy of life (25:36)

The antidote to cynicism is hope (26:47)

The antidote to burnout is to live in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow (28:22)

Charge your internal battery quickly by not cheating sleep, diet, and exercise (31:53)

The seven specific challenges addressed in I Didn’t See It Coming (33:00)

  • Cynicism
  • Compromise
  • Disconnection
  • Irrelevance
  • Pride
  • Burnout
  • Emptiness

The importance of addressing even seemingly minor moral compromises as a leader (34:30)

Handling feelings of emptiness by keeping perspective (39:18)

Observations from the life of Solomon and the tale of two kingdoms (41:33)

Carey’s past experience with suicidal thoughts and self-pity (45:34)

You have no idea what the next decade may bring for you (49:54)

If you’re experiencing depression, burnout, or anything of the sort, don’t live in a place of isolation—stop what you’re doing right now and tell someone (52:25)

Advice for someone who knows an individual they think are in the middle of a particular challenge they haven’t recognized yet: Questions are a gateway to conversation (54:13)

Dave and Carey conclude the interview in prayer (56:23)

Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts (1:00:45)

Dave’s description of the Hebrew word picture tikvah (1:04:12)

If you need someone to share your challenge with or to pray with you, you can reach out to Dave and Ashley anytime at @aussiedave, @ashleybohinc, and 201-831-7155 (Dave’s cell) (1:06:17)

People, Places & Helpful Resources

Featured Guests

Carey Nieuwhof


Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church. He’s the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, Didn’t See It Coming, and speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth.

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast and Carey’s blog at www.CareyNieuwhof.com are accessed by millions of leaders each year.

Quotes from This Episode

Ideas to Influence the Next Generation

As ministry leaders, we can become so accustomed to taking care of the needs of others that it feels out of place to care for ourselves. Maybe it feels selfish to draw attention to our needs or we feel shame for struggling. Or maybe we just don’t realize anything is wrong because we’re used to going a million miles a minute. In today’s episode, we talk about the dangers of going on “business as usual” and are challenged to establish a new normal. We see that growth doesn’t take place in isolation—it happens in relationship.

Here are three places ministry leaders can seek to de-stigmatize the difficulties they face and learn how to practice vulnerability and perspective:

Small groups. Whether a short-term group or a long-term community, finding a group of trusted individuals who will track with you on a regular basis is paramount in practicing vulnerability.

Online communities. While there’s no substitute for face-to-face, consistent connection, social media and online forums can be a great place to connect with a community of people walking through the same issues as you.

Professional help. You get counseling because you’re breathing, not because you’re broken. For help knowing where to start, consider reaching out to your church’s care team for recommendations to providers in your area.

Conversation Starters For Your Church

How would you describe vulnerability?

What’s a hardship or challenge you wouldn’t understand if you hadn’t walked through it yourself?

What actions can you take today to help you thrive tomorrow?

Who is someone you can be 100 percent authentic with about the challenges you face?

Your Hosts

Dave Adamson, The Think Orange Podcast Host


When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.

Ashley Bohinc, The Think Orange Podcast Host


Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.

Join Us Next Week

Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.

We hope you’ll join us for episode 78, Best of Ashley Bohinc. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.