Jacob Hansen grew up immersed in and passionate about ideas about the world. He grew up near Sparks, Nevada, in a blue-collar family with parents who now serve as a State Senator and in the Nevada State Assembly. He served a Church mission to Argentina and attended both Brigham Young University and BYU-Hawaii, graduating with a degree in Operations/Supply Chain Management. He then partnered with another recent-grad to start a company that continues to grow. Jacob married his college sweetheart, Erica, and they have four children. He loves just about anything that takes him on an adventure.


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1:40 Introduction to Jacob Hansen, the creator of Thoughtful Faith YouTube channel.

3:10 A part of Jacob’s YouTube channel are formal debates. Listening to Christian vs Atheist debates saved Jacob’s testimony.

6:30 Contrast is what creates clarity. That’s why Jacob likes to talk to people that disagree with him and have debates.

7:30 Should most people debate? Formal debate is a skill set and not recommended for everyone. It’s not a good way to minister to someone.

10:00 Although argument doesn’t create conviction and belief, a lack of argument destroys the climate where belief can flourish.

11:30 Interest-based programs. Why are they important in the Church? We can combine values and people’s interests to create a great experience.

17:00 Ministry should happen at a ward level but when it comes to interest based activities you can do them at a stake level. Stop forcing people to go to activities they have no interest in.

20:30 We need to gather in these sub-interest groups for community and human connection between the saints. It’s not about entertainment.

22:00 How can Relief Society presidents and elders quorum presidents begin to implement interest-based activities? It can happen at the ward level but it’s easier for stake leaders because there are lots of people.

26:45 More people will engage in these interest-based activities because it’s actually something they are interested in. It’s also something that non members will show up to. Activities are a much better way to do missionary work.

29:30 These activities are not a ploy to get people baptized but we are bringing the Spirit into someone’s life and then they can decide what they want to do with it. We are facilitating opportunities and loving people.

34:00 Ultimately life is about being one with God and one with each other. The most valuable thing that we have in our lives is our relationships. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why we are building community and groups.

35:50 What about the budget? Start with activities that you don’t need a budget for, such as a yoga night or jujitsu night.

38:00 Why not just do these activities outside the church entirely?

38:30 What if your idea isn’t supported by the bishop or other leaders?

40:30 Liability for these activities. How do we deal with it? Create a simple waiver.

42:30 The point is not the activities themselves. It’s about the vision.

48:00 Thoughts on being a leader

The Leading Saints Podcast is one of the top independent Latter-day Saints podcasts as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help Latter-day Saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at LeadingSaints.org.

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Reyna and Elena Aburto, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, Lynn G. Robbins, J. Devn Cornish, Bonnie Oscarson, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, Ganel-Lyn Condie, Michael Goodman, Wendy Ulrich, Richard Ostler, and many more in over 700 episodes.

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