Church Leadership Podcast
Church Leadership Podcast
Episode 129 - Russell Klinner on Thin Places & Serving at Shocco
Are you or is someone in your congregation looking for a way to be better equipped to serve in the local church? Check out our partner and sponsor for this episode, Samford University’s Ministry Training Institute. To learn more about their exciting program and to receive 50% off of the disciple making certificate, visit and use the discount code: ALSBOM

This week on the podcast, Mark and Andy get the chance to have another conversation with their friend, Russell Klinner. (You may remember our previous interview with Russell in Episode 7.) Russell is the Executive Director of Shocco Springs, a conference center in Talladega, Alabama, that hosts camps, retreats, conferences, and so much more. We have all faced our fair share of testing brought about by the pandemic. Organizations like Shocco that completely depend on guests attending in person events have especially been challenged. As you listen to this episode, you will hear Russell’s heart for ministry at Shocco and his desire to lead his team well through adversity.

If you would like more information about attending or booking an event at Shocco, they would love to hear from you. Make your plans now for 2022, because space at this world-class facility is already limited. You can either contact them by phone at (256) 761-1100 or you can email them at

Do you know of a high school graduate or college student who would love to work at Shocco? You can find out more about great opportunities to serve as resident summer staff at Shocco here

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Quotes from our conversation with Russell…

“I think for me, the biggest lesson that I’ve learned through this whole process is just reliance on God for everything.”

“Isn’t that always great advice? Chill out. Trust God”

“You never say, that’s not my job, at Shocco.”

“This guy is experiencing a major life event, a ministry life event. His wife had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he didn’t know how to handle it. I was the closest thing he had to a pastor.”

“I think of it as a thin place. I’m sure when I say thin place, a lot of people kind of instantly know that’s the mountaintop moment… It’s where the spiritual and that physical world kind of come together.”

“When we can find that moment of quietness is when God is so capable of waking us up, and just intersecting with our lives.”

“We serve, typically in a normal year, around forty thousand guests a year.”

“If you’re on the way somewhere, don’t neglect that spur, that urge, that Holy Spirit drawing you to do something. There’s a reason for it. Go do it. Don’t hesitate to follow that guidance, even though we are on the way to something that is really big.”