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Stories of Sifted

Eric Reiss and Todd Wilson

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31).

At some point in their lives, everyone will go through suffering and troubled times.

Scripture calls these trials “sifting” and makes it clear that God’s people will be sifted. How we respond to this universal experience is crucial to who we become as people and leaders. In Stories of Sifted, authors Eric Reiss and Todd Wilson explore these difficult seasons in a new way by looking at what Scripture teaches about being sifted and the potential it brings for our increased faithfulness and multiplied impact.

Stories of Sifted offers 30 familiar accounts of prominent biblical leaders, told from their point of view. From Adam to the apostle Paul, these stories of sifting remind us that God calls and refines messed up people to accomplish His grand purposes. Walking with these leaders through their sifting and refining process, we see how God uses suffering to accelerate our spiritual growth through our surrender to Him.

Stories of Sifted is for all Christian leaders.

This book is an important resource for men and women of all ages in all church contexts. By thinking about suffering as a process to participate in and actively embrace instead of a season to avoid, we can learn to recognize God’s hand in our lives, moving from discouragement to joy and peace that transcends adversity.

What are others saying?

“Planting a church is possibly the loneliest, hardest thing on the planet. No pastor should do it alone. Stories of Sifted provides inspiration and encouragement for the journey.”–Rick Warren, Saddleback Church

"Stories of Sifted contains the kind of seasoned counsel that only comes from veteran leaders. I highly recommend this book!"–Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, Chairman of Board, Willow Creek Association

Stories of Sifted is a tremendously encouraging resource for you and others on your team. It reminds us that God has always, and continues to use the troubles and hardships of his people to increase our surrender to him. Increased surrender is the seed that produces 100X fruitful multiplication through us. Jesus promised the troubles AND he promised that our resulting faithfulness would produce 100X impact and fruitfulness. We are sifted for multiplication. Read this book and grow through times of sifting to become a healthier reproducing leader for many years to come!”–Dave Ferguson

“I’m so encouraged that these real-world stories of increased surrender during times of trouble are now available in e-book form. They will challenge and inspire you in the real work of church planting!”–Ed Stetzer

“My first church plant closed its doors as quickly as we began. As painful and difficult as that experience was for my wife and I, we were sifted in a way that prepared us for even greater fruit in the future. Stories of Sifted is filled with inspiring and encouraging stories of how God uses our faithfulness and increased surrender through troubles for his glory. This resource will give you a new paradigm for our worldly troubles.”–Mark Batterson

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Eric Reiss

The life of a rodeo clown is a life of danger. Fortunately, Eric Reiss navigates the safer waters of helping churches and non-profits do design and print projects all over the United States. He also serves as the executive pastor for a recent church plant just outside of Washington D.C. (thesurge.cc). He is a songwriter and recording artist with a quirky sense of humor, and is very much in love with his wife, Karen, and their well-above-average daughter, Evangeline. He resides in Burke, Va.

Todd Wilson
Exponential Director, Author

Todd Wilson is the founder and currently serves as the CEO of Exponential (exponential.org), a national non-profit ministry whose core focus is distributing thought leadership through conferences, books, podcasts, software, and small group learning communities.

I’m passionate about the local church and the starting of healthy, high‐impact new churches. I enjoy starting new things focused on Kingdom impact and multiplication, as well as helping others create an image of future possibilities and the strategy to implement them.

I’m also co-founder of discipleship.org, Passion for Planting (church-planting.net), Made for More, and the Multipliers Project.

I received my B.S. in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree equivalent from the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. I spent 15 years serving in the Division of Naval Reactors on nuclear submarine design, operation, maintenance, and overhaul.

After a two-year wrestling match with God, I entered full‐time vocational ministry as the Executive Pastor at New Life Christian Church where I played a visionary and strategic role for several years as New Life grew and implemented key initiatives such as multisite, externally focused, and church planting. My passion for starting healthy new churches continues to increase, and I now spend most of my energy engaged in a wide range of leading-edge and pioneering initiatives aimed at helping catalyze movements of healthy, reproducing churches.

I’m also passionate about seeing people discover and deploy their unique personal calling.

I’m a certified Life Planner and strategically invest in the lives of several leaders and organizations each year. I’ve written/co-written multiple books, including Stories of Sifted (with Eric Reiss)(2012), Spark: Igniting a Culture of Multiplication (2014), Becoming a Level Five Multiplying Church (with Dave Ferguson)(2015), Dream Big, Plan Smart (with Will Mancini)(2016)More: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure (2016), Dream Big Workbook (with Will Mancini)(2016), Dream Big Questions (with Bill Couchenour)(2016), Multipliers: Leading Beyond Addition (2017), The Legacy of a Hero Maker (with Dave Ferguson – 2018), Made for More (with Rob Wegner in 2018), Mega-Multi-Multiply (with Ralph Moore in 2018) and The Mobilization Flywheel (with Larry Walkemeyer in 2019).

I live in Manassas, Virginia, with my wife Anna.  We have two grown boys, Ben and Chris, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws, Therese and Mariah.

My calling?  I am an ENTREPRENEUR (my BE), who ENVISAGES OPPORTUNITY (my DO), wherever there is potential for EXPONENTIAL KINGDOM IMPACT (my GO)!

My passions?

  • My family
  • The local church
  • Kingdom opportunities with potential for impact and multiplication
  • Helping Kingdom-minded leaders find their sweet spot of calling
  • Starting new things, including healthy new churches


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