Insights at the Intersection: Tampa Speaker Draws from Identity in Christ and Culture

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Church of God Convention

By Carl Stagner and staff

Minneapolis is home to Jo Saxton, popular podcaster, author, guest television host, and leadership coach. Though the cold climate is familiar to her now, it hasn’t always been that way. Phoenix, Arizona, was her home during a previous season of ministry, after she relocated across the Atlantic to embark on a fresh journey in ministry. Across the Atlantic? Absolutely. Jo Saxton was raised in London, England, but her diverse background stretches farther back than that. Born to Nigerian parents, the highly sought-after Convention 2023 and CWC Lead-HER Power Up speaker offers insights at the intersection of faith and culture, drawing from her diversity of human experience yet, most prominently, her identity as a child of God.

Jo Saxton

With her close friend Steph O’Brien, Jo Saxton co-hosts Lead Stories, a podcast garnering international attention and acclaim; already approaching a whopping four hundred episodes, the audio ministry has inspired, encouraged, and equipped listeners regardless of age, faith, and gender. Even as her passion galvanizes women, especially, to embrace who they are in Christ, Jo’s witty and whimsical—yet intellectual and articulate style—attract a considerable and eclectic following.

Investing in the development of women leaders globally, Jo Saxton is the founder of the Ezer Collective and host of a digital coaching community. Having served as an IJM ambassador, her breadth of experience in ministry must not be dismissed. She’s exclaimed, “I’ve led ministries, nonprofits, and pastored and planted churches. So, I get the challenges women face in leadership. That’s why I’m passionate to see women secure in their God-given identity, connected in meaningful and empowering community, confident in their call, and resourced to lead.”

Fleshing out her ideas and insights drawn from her diversity of backgrounds and experiences, Jo Saxton has written several books and devotional resources, including, but not limited to, High Heels and Holiness, The Dream of You, More Than Enchanting, and, most recently, Ready to Rise.

Jo Saxton speaks at an event.

Addressing multiple topics with engaging dialogue, Jo Saxton joined Jim Lyon for an extended conversation on a fascinating Season 1 episode of All That to Say. One of those topics was intersectionality. If anyone could speak authoritatively to the subject, it was Jo Saxton. While race, ethnicity, gender, age, background, and other cultural identifiers are often associated first with intersectionality, Jo used a practical example concerning physical disabilities to insist that other points of intersectionality are often disregarded or simply unknown to those who don’t fall into such categories.

“I’m mindful of people who are raising children with special needs. Basic wheelchair access to certain environments [is a serious issue]…. Before I worked for a church full-time, I worked with a college with hearing-impaired students. It was before [the prevalence of] laptops. I was their note-taker, but I was also their advocate. I would watch teachers be very dismissive. And I would have to be the person who said, ‘Okay, you have an obligation to this student who is in your class. It is your job to ensure they have the [necessary] resources. I know it’s inconvenient for you [but it is your responsibility].’ I would find myself having to go to bat for these students again and again because their distinct needs were blithely overlooked.”

All followers of Christ would do well to combat the challenges associated with intersectionality by simply getting to know people, their stories, the hurdles they have to cross, and the way they see the world. “Surely the gospel causes us to reach people, not just positions,” she observed. Expounding further, she pointed out the following vital truth for all disciples and disciple-makers: “If you want to serve a community, [you have to] know the community.”

Jo featured on a local TV show.

Jo Saxton isn’t all about her work, though she does it incredibly well and is wholeheartedly devoted to it. She loves spending quality time with her husband and daughters, hanging out with good friends, conversations over a good meal, long walks, shopping at Target, music that “makes [her] sing and dance,” podcasts besides her own, art that “inspires [her] soul,” and—most importantly—Jesus Christ.

In the conversation with Jim Lyon, Jo Saxton also said, “If you want to change the world, you need the whole world at the table.” How fitting that the Holy Spirit is at work in the Church of God internationally to do just that in Florida this June. Tampa will also be host to the inaugural gathering of the newly formed Global Church of God Alliance, which will convene immediately following Convention. This historic event is the first-ever convocation of representatives of Church of God assemblies worldwide to establish an ongoing strategic table to strengthen and network the Movement globally.

“He’s got the whole world in his hands.” What an encouraging reality! Be inspired by it, be challenged by it, and experience it firsthand at Convention 2023 and General Assembly, June 22–25 in Tampa, Florida. Learn more and register at

Feature (top) photo: Jim Lyon interviews Jo Saxton for a Season 1 episode of All That to Say.

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