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Best David Ostler Interviews on Podcasts or Audio about David

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Ministering to Those Who Question | An Interview with David Ostler David Ostler is a former bishop, stake president and mission president (Freetown, Sierra Leone). Now retired, he has a professional business background focused on executive management of bioinformatics and evidence-based medicine. A lifelong member of the Church, Brother Ostler was raised in Utah, served a mission in Japan, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Utah and Dartmouth College respectively. He and Sister Ostler, who reside in the Washington, D.C. area, are the parents of six children. Brother Ostler has been a previous guest on Leading Saints and has participated in the Leading Saints virtual summit on the subject of “Questioning Saints.” He is the author of the 2019 book Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question. The book is the result of research, interviews, and surveys involving former Church members or those not presently attending.


Highlights
06:50 A one-size-fits-all approach to gospel learning is ineffective. Reasons people stop attending vary.

09:50 Approach to surveying and writing on this subject discussed. It was vital to keep himself open to thinking about the issue in a different way.

11:50 His intent was to listen and better understand the issue. Existing books did seem to help current, believing members (e.g. parents, leaders) understand the issue.

13:40 Reworking the pronouns: It’s about “us”—we are all in this together, regardless of present activity status. It should not be “us versus them.” Nearly everyone has been confronted with difficult questions.

15:40 How can leaders sound more inviting? Using the right language. Labels reduce people to a “them.” The term “apostate” generally means an enemy, and that does not fit most people who have left the Church. They’re not necessarily “fallen, “anti-Mormon” or “tares.”

19:00 We all struggle in some fashion and are all sinners. Recognizing commonalities. Although we dress shiny at church many may be paddling upstream. Leaders should not fear exhibiting vulnerability.

21:30 We seem to be good about ministering when there’s a health or economic issue, but these other areas are more challenging and require some different skills.

23:50 Many who were surveyed or interviewed expressed gratitude that someone was trying to understand them. Leaders/parents may not have the perfect answers but can listen with empathy.

25:25 People reflect to some degree the era in which they are raised. They may have experienced things differently as to how they view authority, education, minority issues, mental illness, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation. Genuinely listen to avoid succumbing to blind spots.

27:55 Societal changes, including the internet, have had an effect. Try to understand. Not all they read on the internet is inaccurate. Many younger people are concerned about financial institutions, school debt, etc. Many don’t see issues as black and white. They’ve been exposed to non-traditional families and non-traditional gender roles. Avoid being overly simplistic in our approach to helping someone.

34:40 Focus on a “pastoral” role as a leader, not simply getting the person back to church. Pray for insight, treating people as individuals and not simply seeking “just the right scripture” to share.

37:40 Crucial conversations. Genuine empathy builds trust. Fear keeps us from listening or leads to the “Us” vs. “them” approach. As a leader, you may say the wrong thing, but is your heart in the right place?

40:35 Dealing with these issues as parents. Don’t let fear pervade our thinking. Doing the right things vs. doing things right. Strive to make gospel study home-centered and church-supported.

45:00 “Gospel Topic” essays. Missionaries need to have read those and not be caught off-guard. “Come Follow Me” should allow us to delve into important topics on the home front.

49:20 Story of “Amanda,” who no longer comes to church and feels her mother is no longer proud of her.
Helping Leaders Understand Faith Crisis | An Interview With David Ostler Dave Ostler, who lives in Northern Virginia (Washington, D.C. metro area), was raised in Salt Lake City, served a mission in Japan, married in the temple, and was educated in the Eastern U.S. He and Sister Ostler have lived in New York, Minnesota, England, India, and Sierra Leone, Africa, where they presided over the Church’s mission until it was temporarily closed due to an Ebola outbreak. They subsequently served a mission (one of five for Brother Ostler) with a responsibility for historical sites in Palmyra. More recently they were asked by their stake presidency to explore the reasons some LDS members cease attending church or lose their faith. Brother Ostler has also served as a bishop and stake president. Now retired, he professionally developed research data to help people make better healthcare decisions.
Highlights
3:00 Letter with survey link sent to 700 people asking why they don’t attend church. Conducted focus group and met in non-church setting before forming conclusions. Spoke with ward/stake leaders to ascertain their views.  Recommended a training plan for the stake to address the survey findings.

5:00 Solicited ward/stake leader views with 120 statements/questions. Analyzed 600 responses to compare leader assumptions to responses given by members who had left.

6:27 Anecdotal examples of non-church goer reactions to the invitation to be surveyed.

9:00 What survey recipients want church leaders to know. (Responses to an open-end question)

12:00 Listen as Christ would listen. Don’t respond to fewer actives with an overly prescriptive approach. Avoid the tendency to “talk them into” returning to the fold.

14:00 Faith “transition” (not “crisis”) perhaps has a less negative connotation for some who will transition to a more meaningful faith. Crisis often happens in a compressed time where something causes a person to lose all footing as to what they believe and can rely on. Leaders should avoid overly broad assumptions.

21:45 Summary of common assumptions by leaders as to why people have fallen away, compared to what survey respondents said were their actual reasons. Do the assumptions about members being offended, having conflict with a fellow member or not wanting to live the commandments hold up under scrutiny?

25:00 Discussion of “triggers” that prompt some to lose their faith foundation. What about church history, gender roles, transparency and LGBT issues? Respondents’ views vary by their age and gender.

27:20 Making effective use of the “Gospel Topics” essays on the Church website to provide context and build trust. Some leaders have not read them. Does faith mean having the answers to everything?

32:05 “Social” issues may fuel the fire of someone already in a faith crisis. Building a community of acceptance versus being dismissive. Does the content of church meetings reflect relevancy to help people develop a pathway forward? They want to be able to trust the institution, feel supported and find relevance. Are teachers/leaders tempted to respond to inquiries by testimony alone?  Leader example.

41:00 Protecting the doctrine while also showing empathy as a leader. Teach people, not lessons. Christ dined with the publicans. Are we more accepting of investigators than we are of members? A “culture of certainty” in congregations may, in some cases, diminish the reality of those who struggle.

49:30 Dual nature of a bishop’s role—(a) pastoral and (b) organizational. In sacrament meetings is there a tendency to overuse certain themes at the expense of other relevant topics? Address the issue of faith struggles from the pulpit. Are teachers examples of inclusion or are people induced to form a “foyer ward?” Dealing with these issues in ward council and first-Sunday priesthood/relief society councils. Seeking to understand, not twist arms. Are female views (as opposed to mere affirmation/echo chambers) actively sought in stake/ward council meetings?
Ep. 102 - David Ostler - Author, Bridge Builder, Latter Day Saint David Ostler is the author of the new book Bridges: Ministering To Those Who Question. David has done amazing work studying why people leave the church and how we can minister to them. In the episode, we talk about his experiences as a Mission President In Sierra Leone, serving in Palmyra, his calling to find out why people leave the church, the cause of faith crises, misconceptions we have about why people leave and what we can do to serve those going through faith transitions. David is so candid, humble and has incredible insight.
1177: David Ostler: Bridges - Ministering to Those Who Question Pt. 1 Join us now as we interview the author of the new book “Bridges - Ministering to Those Who Question.” In Part 1 we will hear David’s story - focusing on how he came to write a book in support of disaffected Mormons. In Part 2 and 3 we will explore his book, digging into his suggestions for how to minister to Mormons who are struggling with their faith, and how the LDS church can become a more hospitable place for Mormons who question/doubt/disbelieve.
1178: David Ostler: Bridges - Ministering to Those Who Question Pt. 2 Join us now as we interview the author of the new book “Bridges - Ministering to Those Who Question.” In Part 1 we will hear David’s story - focusing on how he came to write a book in support of disaffected Mormons. In Part 2 and 3 we will explore his book, digging into his suggestions for how to minister to Mormons who are struggling with their faith, and how the LDS church can become a more hospitable place for Mormons who question/doubt/disbelieve.
1179: David Ostler: Bridges - Ministering to Those Who Question Pt. 3 Join us now as we interview the author of the new book “Bridges - Ministering to Those Who Question.” In Part 1 we will hear David’s story - focusing on how he came to write a book in support of disaffected Mormons. In Part 2 and 3 we will explore his book, digging into his suggestions for how to minister to Mormons who are struggling with their faith, and how the LDS church can become a more hospitable place for Mormons who question/doubt/disbelieve.
What to do in a FAITH CRISIS | ft. David Ostler David Ostler, a new friend of ours, came on the show to talk about faith crises. Chances are, you know someone (or are someone) who has been through/is going through a faith crisis. Faith crises are scary, both non-members and members will agree. And the outcome is different for everyone. &nbsp;&nbsp;
Is it possible to build bridges between those in a faith crisis (and those who have left the Church) with those who haven't been through/aren't going through a faith crisis? YES. David Ostler talks about how we can connect despite differences in beliefs. He talks about ministering to those suffering with love and empathy.
301: Ministering to those who Question: David Ostler David Ostler is a former LDS Bishop, a Stake President and a Mission President.  David has been kept awake at night by questions of what good pastoral care or ministry to those who question and doubt might look like. But, rather than guess (as is often the case), he went to both those in faith crisis and to those in leadership and he collected data.  From that data his book ‘Bridges; Ministering to those who Question’ emerged, and the results are fascinating. This episode is co-hosted with Nathan McCluskey.
Marriage on a Tightrope: 047: David Ostler David Ostler joins the podcast to discuss his new book &#8220;Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question&#8221;
The book can be found on Amazon, Deseret Book, Kofford Books, and at bridgeslds.com
David also helps run a Facebook group for parents of children who have left the church.
Go to the Marriage on a Tightrope Facebook group if you&#8217;d like a chance to win 1 of 5 signed copies of Bridges.Become a Premium Subscriber:
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The post Marriage on a Tightrope: 047: David Ostler appeared first on Mormon Discussions Podcasts - Full Lineup.
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