The Christian Publisher, Church, and Family: An Interview with Ron Hunter

For decades, Randall House Publications has served the National Association of Free Will Baptists as its publishing arm. In addition to being the main provider of curriculum to our churches, they also provide a range of resources and products designed to foster spiritual formation and discipleship. More recently, under the leadership of Executive Director and CEO Ron Hunter, they have attempted to move family ministry to the forefront of how churches think about discipleship

Since 2002, Ron has been with Randall House, having come there after pastoring for eleven years in Florida and Tennessee. Earlier in life, Ron served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He earned his undergraduate degree at Welch College, a masters degree from the University of Colorado, and is currently earning a Ph.D. in Leadership at Dallas Baptist University. Ron has written for various magazines and authored or contributed to three books, including Toy Box Leadership (2009), Youth Ministry in the 21st Century: Five Views (2015), and The DNA of D6 (2015). The two titles Ron is most proud of are husband and father. He married his college sweetheart, Pam, and they have two college-age kids serving Christ.

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Jackson Watts (“JW”) – Ron, thank you for being with us here at Grace Church this weekend, and also for doing this interview for our Forum readers and listeners. Tell us a little bit about how you got here. In other words, how does one go from being a local church pastor to leading a Christian publishing house? It seems like a person with a different type of profile would end up in that kind of role.

Ron Hunter (“RH”) – (0.30 – 3.19)

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JW – So you certainly had a pretty significant ministry background as far as in the local church setting, but you did have a business background also.

RH – (3.30 – 3.45)

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JW – So you’ve been at this 10 plus years, closer to 15? As you survey the landscape, thinking specifically of denominational publishing houses, what does it look like to be a viable Christian publisher in today’s world? What has changed, if anything, in recent years?

RH – (4.12 – 6:49)

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JW – So you guys are trying to provide biblically-based books, curriculum, and other resources to do the work of ministry. But the electronic age has put in our hands resources from so many sources—some good, some good—and that puts you guys in a unique situation to say the least.

RH – (7:15 – 8:07)

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JW – Most people familiar with Randall House will immediately have the phrase “D6” pop into their heads whenever they think of you guys. If one has been at any of our state association meetings or the National Association certainly, that will be something people associate with you. So in a nutshell, what is ‘D6’?

RH – (8.28 – 9:11)

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JW – So you would say it’s possible to have a D6 mentality and philosophy without the D6 curriculum, conference, and products, but yet what you are trying to do is specially convey and reinforce D6 through what you provide?

RH – (9:30 – 10:35)

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JW – I’ve appreciated your book The DNA of D6, which came out the latter part of last year. Your chapter on “The Senior Pastor Complex” was one of the most insightful parts of the book. It definitely felt like you had your finger on the pulse of an issue that we’re not really comfortable talking about. Was this chapter born mostly out of your observations and conversations with ministry leaders, or perhaps lessons learned in your own family life?

RH – (11:16 – 14:10)

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JW – That leads quite naturally into my next question. One of the very practical aspects of your book is the discussion about how parents can dive deeper in spiritual conversation with their children, grandparents with their grandchildren. But why is that such a problem? What do you think are maybe the one or two biggest reasons why this is even a problem or obstacle that parents have to confront in the home?

RH – (14:42 – 15:59)

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JW – How does this 1/168 figure we often see on Randall House t-shirts connect to this discussion?

RH – (16:15 – 17:37)

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JW – So for the church then, as we bring this to a practical conclusion, let’s say you have a church for which generational discipleship or family ministry isn’t on the radar. What’s the starting point for that church to move in a more faithful direction, to become a ‘D6 Church,’ so to speak?

RH – (18:10 – 19:12)

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JW – In a sense, that sounds very similar to a concept I’ve often been taught and tried to practice—the idea that as a preacher or teacher we want to give people handles that attach to what is being conveyed, so people can grab hold of that message and take it into their unique household, workplace, and Monday-thru-Saturday life. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

RH – (19:36 – 20:47)

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JW – Well Ron, again, I know what you’ve shared with us so far this weekend and here in this interview will go a long way toward helping people. They can obviously visit Randallhouse.com, but are there other places you’d direct people to?

RH – (21:00 – 21:45)

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JW – Well on behalf of many of our Forum readers and listeners, many of whom are already benefiting from what you guys are doing, we say thank you.

RH – (21:57 – 22:04)

Author: Jackson Watts

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