“Ed’s passion for the truth, his practical teaching style, and his transparency create a strong connection with today’s students.  He is one of our most highly rated instructors.”

–Dave Duff, Executive Director of Ecola Bible School

I appreciate the difficulty of finding just the right speaker. In my role as Senior Pastor of Church of the Open Door, I’m responsible for the accuracy and relevance of the teaching in numerous gatherings, from small group discussions, to teaching series and seminars and large conferences. A general theme of my life is that I’m too old, too sick, and too tired to keep doing things that don’t matter.


I’ve come to believe that the success of an event depends on the speaker–his or her heart for God, connection with the group or audience, and biblical accuracy. If they were good at their craft, we had great success and impact. If they weren’t, no matter how important or timely their subject, well … we didn’t achieve our goal. Thanks for visiting this page. Thanks also for considering me. I am honored and promise to give it my all.

What you can expect.

These are my commitments to you from me and my team:

  1. Prompt, professional replies to your phone calls, texts, and email messages.
  2. A personal phone consultation with my administrative assistant, Celia Newkirk, prior to your event, so we can better determine how I can best serve you and your audience and maximize the spiritual impact of our time together.
  3. An announcement about your event on my blog and all social media channels. (This assumes that our time together is a public event and you want to invite others. Some leadership consults and seminars should just be kept between you and me.)
  4. A biblically accurate, relevant, and dynamically delivered presentation focused on the needs of your particular audience and the goals you have shared with me and my team. 
  5. A pastor’s heart that will be expressed in hands-on time with your audience. I love hanging out with those who come to my events and spending one-on-one time with them whenever possible.
  6. Custom notes, exclusively created for your attendees. It will include media I use in the preparation, handouts, thorough biblical notes when appropriate, along with links to books, articles and other resources I feel would be helpful to you.
  7. A quick follow-up communication after the event, to make sure I achieved the goal of meeting your needs. (I also use this to learn how I can improve.)
  8. The willingness for sustained relationship with your ministry, church, or community. I’ve found that the deepest impact comes when I can build a relationship with specific audiences over time.

What you need to know about me.

I have been speaking publicly for over 40 years and have taught the Bible all over the world. I have also appeared on local Christian television shows and several syndicated and local radio shows, including Focus on the Family, Haven Today, and Family Life Today.

I’m a Jesus Movement convert, who has been making disciples to Christ as a student, fireman, soldier, business person, and, for the last thirty-plus years as a pastor. Since 1996 I have pastored the historic Church of the Open Door in Southern California.

I devote my time to discipleship, studying and teaching the Word of God, writing, mentoring leaders and leadership teams, and speaking.   I have written three books. My newest one, The Trail: A Tale About Discovering God’s Will (Tyndale) will be published the summer of 2014. Judy and I have been married for over 40 years, We have three children and nine grandchildren. We live in LaVerne, a small community on the northern edge of Los Angeles County. In my free time I enjoy fitness, movies, and, when I feel brave enough, old man surfing.

Speaking Clips

I speak in churches, conferences, and lead seminars on grace-based church leadership. Here are some samples of me speaking:


My Most Requested Topics

I speak on topics related to the Bible, spiritual life, discipleship, practical Christian issues, and grace-based church leadership.

My most requested topics include the following. Keep in mind that I can present these in various formats–from platform speaking, to conference series, to small group workshops and seminars.

  • Are You Man Enough?
    Many men think that church is irrelevant to their lives. Others believe they should go to church, but they never seem to fit. Still others are skeptical of engaging because they’ve been disappointed in numerous men’s ministries and programs. I’ve lived in a man’s world as a fireman and an Army officer, and I’ve been discipling men all my life. This presentation challenges men to stop living hidden, lock arms with others, and follow Christ.
  • Discovering God’s Will
    Few Christians have a plan for pursuing God’s will for their life. Most are passively hopeful that somehow what’s happening to them has something to do with the will of God. Many wonder if God really does have a personal will for them. Others are simply worn out after trying to find God’s will through wild schemes that don’t deliver on their promise to show them the way. In this presentation, I explain how to discover God’s will through eight simple, yet practical principles grounded in Scripture. The popularity of this series led me to write my latest book, The Trail.
  • Radical Hope
    Encouraging hurting Christians. Some themes are from my personal struggle with leukemia I talk about in my book, When God Breaks Your Heart. Christians need encouragement because life on this sin-stained planet is hard. Thankfully, I’m living and serving by God’s grace. In these sermons and series I share how I have helped Christians cling to God during the storms of life. Some of the sermon and series titles are: The Whenever Psalms–Finding Hope in the Storms of Life; When God Breaks Your Heart–Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances; Smyrna–the Suffering Church.
  • Radical Christianity
    Almost every Christian I know complains about how little impact the church has on culture. In this discussion I share how to re-radicalize a life or a church by following Jesus’ simple plan. The principles come from Scripture, but the experiences come from my unique perspective as a Jesus Movement convert to Christ. I wrote about this in my book, Reborn to Be Wild. I know what revival looks like from the inside, because I lived one.
  • Authentic Discipleship
    Too often, discipleship gets reduced to mere knowledge. I’ve been making disciples and building a disciple making church culture for over 40 years. While biblical knowledge is important, real discipleship–mentoring that transforms lives and cultures–is much more. In this presentation, I share the five marks of a disciple making church.
  • Building Healthy Church Cultures
    I learned the hard way that ignoring the Great Commandment (John 13:34-35, love one another) while obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20, make disciples) is a prescription for tragedy. This presentation challenges communities of faith to rethink the way we relate to one another, especially the leaders. Jesus thought of unity … not to shame us, but to bless us.
  • Other Presentations/Series
    I’ve taught through every book of the Bible and have developed conference series on: Romans, Colossians, Proverbs, Psalms, The Pentateuch, The Prophets, Acts, 1 Peter, 1 John, Mark, Galatians, The Gospel, Stewardship, Unity, and many other topics.

The Next Step

Thanks again for considering me for your event. You can take the next step by contacting me: Ed Underwood. Let’s get the conversation going.