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John Starke’s Antidote for Performance Faith

When John Starke, an author and the pastor of Apostles Church Uptown, moved to New York City, he quickly realized that he wasn’t all that impressive to his neighbors. It didn’t feel great at first. But now, he sees the ability to embody seasons of being unimpressive—even being embarrassed and humiliated—as a gift.

On this episode of The Russell Moore Show, Moore and Starke talk about perseverance, suffering, and the power of Jesus’ presence. They discuss the temptation to be performative in ministry, how to embrace our limitations, and what it looks like to heal shame. Starke shares rhythms and practices for growing in understanding ourselves as hidden in Christ, which he writes about in his new book The Secret Place of Thunder.

Moore and Starke’s conversation also includes reflections on their mutual friend, Tim Keller, who passed away recently. Tune in for an episode that looks thoughtfully at the human heart, the character of God, and the encouragement in Scripture to live as those hidden in Christ.

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

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“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today

Executive Producers: Erik Petrik, Russell Moore, and Mike Cosper

Host: Russell Moore

Producer: Ashley Hales

Associate Producers: Abby Perry and Azurae Phelps

CT Administration: Christine Kolb

Social Media: Kate Lucky

Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens

Production Assistance: coreMEDIA

Audio Engineer: Kevin Duthu

Coordinator: Beth Grabenkort

Video Producer: John Roland

Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).