#33: On writing, sermon prep, and the local church with Cole Russell Deike.

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One of the most intriguing passages in all of Scripture remains the account of one of the patriarchs “wrestling” with God. At the end of Genesis 32, we read of how Jacob wrestled with a man “until daybreak” (Gn 32:24), and we learn that this “man” was God on the ground, that is to say, Jesus. (Gn 32:30) Without delving into the theological implications of Jacob wrestling with God too much, I think in a real way, each of us are wrestled down by God, in some form or another, with some of us tapping out quicker than others. Today, I’d like to share the conversation and testimony of a wrestler who wrestled with the gospel and was wrestled by God himself.

In this edition of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I’m joined by pastor and church planter Cole Russell Deike to talk about the incomparable grace of the gospel that wrestles us into God’s joy. Cole’s been uniquely called to serve the people of Iowa and there proclaim the good news of Christ for sinners. We speak to that mission and the ministry of Frontier Church and the endeavor to plant the most joyful church in the city. We also talk about how God broke Cole down in order to use him, and in knowing his limits, he’s been set free.

I loved talking with Cole about how he’s serving the Lord in the Midwest and how he, a wrestler, was wrestled by God. I think you’re really going to benefit from this episode.


Frontier Church

The Ligonier Statement on Christology

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, Eugene Peterson 

The Pastor: A Memoir, Eugene Peterson 

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, John Piper 

The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus, Zack Eswine 

The Unsettling of America, Wendell Berry 

The Explicit Gospel, Matt Chandler and Jared Wilson 

The Road to Character, David Brooks 

Grace: So Much More Than You Know and So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray


This episode is brought to you by the Christian Standard Bible. Find out more by going to CSBible.com.


Cole is the happy husband to Chloe and father to Russell. He lives and ministers in Des Moines, Iowa, where he pastors Frontier Church. Cole is an excellent speaker and an accomplished writer, with contributions featured on sites such as Mockingbird, For The Church, and Dead Men. His goal in ministry is to stir you to greater joy and deeper devotion by exalting Christ and living on mission in his locality. You can find him on Twitter at the handle @colerussell.


Intro music: “West Coast” by Ryan Little, licensed under CC BY 4.0.