Crossing Your Barrier

Ep.12 | Interview with Jud Wilhite

Hosted by Craig Smith


  • The humble beginnings of a kid from Texas | 1:39
  • Contextualizing how God has used you, to bring people closer to HIM | 4:10
  • A conversation WITH the congregation vs. peaching AT them | 10:11
  • A look into message development with Jud and the Central Team | 12:19 + 20:28
  • Going from Homeless and Justice Ministries to Preaching through a biography | 24:52
  • We want people to know how great God is, not how great we think we are | 27:20
  • Chasing away the distortion of “Platform Hunger” | 31:30



It’s really important that your audience can connect with you during the message that you’re presenting. Jud puts a lot of thought and time into preparing his messages so that his audience can see themselves in what he is conveying, and he does with a couple of tools:
1 // The Introduction– Connect with them on a human level. Jud puts a lot of emphasis on connecting with them first and foremost before introducing the Bible and Biblical jargon. He wants them to feel heard and seen, not judged.
2 // We’re Not the Hero– In the introduction, Jud makes sure that he isn’t the hero of the story. It’s important to be seen on a level playing field with those that you’re speaking to.
3 // Facing the Problem– This is where he takes the problem that the passage is talking about, and tries to put application pieces to it. He lets his audience know how he has faced the challenge in his life and offers up “maybe’s” for the audience to apply. That way, the text can provide the solution!

2 | Run Applications through the grid of your life

When Jud is looking through passages and thinking about applications of that scripture, he tries to always think about how he has applied it in his life when giving out advice. By dissecting what the Word of God says, and see it worked out in a real-world application in your own life, can help you think about how to apply it to others. Put things through the lens of your own life before you think about how it can relate to others/your audience.


You are going to drive yourself crazy the further you push into micromanagement. If you’re constantly telling your team, “Do This!” or “Don’t do that.” or “Do that, this way.” you’re going to constantly be missing some built up mark that you have in your head. Instead, if you have a values-based leadership model built into your team, so they’re trying to chase a value or point towards a value, with a freedom to play, it allows for the Holy Spirit to work through that. Implement values that you’re team can model, not tasks that they have to perform exactly. We want people to know how great God is, not how great we are, or how great our leadership is.


Hey, it’s 2020! We are so excited to dive back into Clarity, which is designed to improve and shepherd those looking to grow in their preaching and communicating skills as church leaders. Today, we have Jud Wilhite, who for 17 years, has been the Lead Pastor of Central Church in Las Vegas, NV.

Jud is a best-selling author who has written several books including Uncaged, The God of Yes, Pursued, and a study Bible for new believers, The Uncensored Truth Bible for New Beginnings. Listen in today as Craig and Jud discuss reaching people in dark places, how teaching practical, Biblical applications can have a big impact, and what it looks like to “be liked” versus being “followed”. What a way to kick off 2020, we’re so excited to bring you this conversation!


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