Narratives of Resilience with Bishop Robert Schnase


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How we tell the stories of our lives and the life of our church or organization makes all the difference. Bishop Robert Schnase, Bishop of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, details for us how narrative connects to resilience by sharing personal stories from his time as pastor and his observations as Bishop. He shares how the stories we tell ourselves shape our capacity to move through difficult circumstances. This episode will encourage and inspire you to consider the narratives in your life and leadership are shaping your way of seeing and being.


  • “Sometimes you think of resilience, you get knocked down, you jump back up. Resilience often takes a long time. It puts you on a path that lasts for a long time.” -Bishop Robert Schnase [15:22]
  • “And that again, a descending narrative, it’s not that it’s not the truth. It’s just that it’s not the whole truth.” -Bishop Robert Schnase [20:12]


  • [00:00] Intro
  • [00:22] Bishop Huie reads from Reservoirs of Resilience
  • [04:01] An excerpt of Bishop Huie’s writing on the narratives of resilience
  • [07:03] Meet Bishop Robert Schnase
  • [08:20] A story of resilience from Bishop Schnase
  • [16:36] The definition of narrative and the role of resilience through narrative
  • [21:31] Two purposes to music in worship
  • [23:15] Narratives in the church and among leaders that need to change
  • [24:21] How leaders can help shift the descending narrative
  • [30:58] What resilience looks like at an annual conference level
  • [35:13] How narrative can be helpful in the church today and post-pandemic
  • [38:58] Rapid fire round with three sentences
  • [45:53] Bishop Huie’s reflections and takeaways
  • [50:45] Outro


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For information about Bishop Schnase and links to all his books, visit

The episode references Life is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler who points to the work of Marshall Duke at Emory University to describe three categories of family narratives: ascending, descending and oscillating.

Reservoirs of Resilience is inspired by the monograph written by Bishop Janice Huie. Read the full publication here.

"That's Something" music and lyrics by Billy Crockett, © 2016 Spare Room Music, BMI, from the album In Session (with Roscoe Beck), Blue Rock Artists, 2020

"Resilience" music by Billy Crockett, © 2021 Spare Room Music, BMI

This podcast is brought to you by TMF’s Leadership Ministry. Leadership Ministry connects diverse, high capacity leaders in conversations and environments that create a network of courage, learning, and innovation in order to help the church lean into its God-appointed mission. For more information and to support TMF’s Leadership Ministry, visit

39 episodes