Please enjoy this transcript of our interview with Rev. Dr. Ed Glover. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos.
Ed Glover: 00:00 You cannot delegate your responsibility of being a spiritual leader in your house. You can’t delegate that to your wife or to the church. You’ve got to give leadership to that. And the scriptures, it makes it very clear that we need to lead spiritually. I don’t, I’m not saying that your wife and the church can’t help you and assist you. Absolutely. But you’ve got to give the direction. You’ve got to give leadership. So that means you, you’ve got to be in the word because you can’t teach what you don’t know. So you’ve got to teach the word of God. You gotta be the guy.
Doug Smith: 00:29 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 226
Doug Smith: 00:46 Hey everyone, and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well. In today’s episode, you’ll hear me interview one of my spiritual heroes, Ed Glover, who is the founder of Urban Impact, their nonprofit reaching urban kids on the north side of Pittsburgh. And their mission and vision is simple but powerful. Their vision and desires to see lives holistically transformed in their community, one person, one family, and one block at a time who in turn make a powerful impact locally and globally for Jesus Christ. And I had the privilege of interviewing Ed at the Manup Pittsburgh Conference, which is a conference that may, Urban Impact actually hosts on an annual basis they started at seven years ago and man up. The purpose of it is to encourage and teach men to be godly leaders for their families and to raise awareness of the detrimental impact of fatherlessness among youth today.
Doug Smith: 01:37 And I am absolutely obsessed with this conference. I love the vision for it, and I loved the impact that it’s making in our city. And so in this interview, you’ll hear Ed talk about ManUp, why it’s important, why they created it, the crate created it. You’ll hear his advice to two dads. You also hear his encouragement to those who may have wounds from, being fatherless in their life. And you also hear about urban impact in how you can connect there. You’re going to love this, interview. So let’s dive right into it and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.
Doug Smith: 02:10 Well, Hey, thank you so much for hopping on here. We’re here ManUp in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Victory family church and this is the seventh year you’ve done this conference. And can you just give us a vision of what God put in your heart, you know, eight-plus years ago to start this thing and why you do it year after year.
Ed Glover: 02:25 Yeah, I’ve been doing Urban Impact, you know, in the north side for 33 years. We start, Tammy and I started at 24 years ago and I really didn’t understand one of the great things that we do is impact fatherless kids. And I went to a conference and I heard Tony Dungy speaking and he was talking about that his purpose in life, part of this purpose is to impact fatherless kids, especially in an urban setting. And I felt like the Lord was telling me to speak to him, to go talk to him, to work with him, and I thought, I don’t know him. And next thing I know, three months later he’s calling me on the phone telling me that he and his wife, wrote a book for urban kids, and he was trying to come to Pittsburgh to read the book in elementary schools in the inner city.
Ed Glover: 03:13 He said, Ed, I hear you, the guy that I got to meet. I said, sure. So he came, we began to do that. And at the end I said, you know, would you ever want to work with me and impact men and impact, fatherless kids in the city of Pittsburgh? He said, yeah, let’s get together. So anyway, I, things happen. I called and we called and kept him, you know, two ships in the night. And I finally just kind of gave it up. And then the Lord just kinda tapped me on the shoulder and said, and I didn’t, I didn’t ask you, I’m telling you if you don’t do this, I’m taking you out to the woodshed. And I was telling the Lord, I said, I need another thing to do, like a hole in the head. And I said, no, I’m telling you. So anyway, I know that Mike Tomlin knew Tony really well.
Ed Glover: 03:51 So I went down to see Mike because I’ve been doing chapels for years with the Steelers. I met with Mike and I said I was going to try to do, I’m trying to impact men and impact, you know, follow those kids. He said, well, I’d like to do that. And I said, really? I said, why? And he said, well, I grew up as a fatherless kid and you’re asking me to impact men impact following the kids, I’m in. So that’s kinda how it all started. And then we got going in it. But I didn’t realize what I was doing for all these years is really impacting father was kids. And, and it was, it’s amazing to think about what we do now and how we’ve gotten so many people involved.
Doug Smith: 04:31 And can you share your four men or four dad step process? I think that’s so amazing.
Ed Glover: 04:35 Yeah. Very quick. Yeah. The purpose of man up as impact men impact the fatherless. And what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to call men out to be godly and specifically to be godly fathers, to love their wives, love their kids, and then call the men out to impact the fatherless in their community as well as in the city of Pittsburgh. So dad one, the first decision that we’re calling them to make in the first session, which is actually going on, you know, just got done just a few minutes ago, is to call those men to really impact their kids, impact their family, their home dad two, which is going to happen at lunchtime. We’re going to call him out the impact their community to make a decision that there’ll be a godly father figure to kids who around them. And then dad three, which is after lunch, dad three and four is to impact the city of Pittsburgh by making a decision to come alongside of Urban Impact and so that either by praying, giving are going so that we can impact the fatherless in the city. And then number four, dad, number four is to bring somebody back next year so that you can multiply yourself to be part of the mission and part of the movement that God’s doing.
Doug Smith: 05:48 Yeah. So you mentioned a, you’ve been a father to the fatherless and helping fatherless kids for 30 plus years. I’m just curious, can you just give us a little insight and context into your journey, to godly manhood? Did you have, you know, a great dad growing up? Was it other people that came into your life? What did that look?
Ed Glover: 06:02 Yeah, my father was a great man. My mom and dad got divorced when I was three and then my mother remarried and she remarried a really great guy. The only thing is that he didn’t believe in God. He was a, he declared himself as an atheist. So we never went to church. I didn’t really understand who Jesus was and what he had done for me until I got to college and after college is when I came to know Christ though, I came to know Christ at three river stating trying out with the Pirates at second base. You know, that’s a whole other story. But I came to know Christ and after coming to know the Lord and went back to my hometown, believe it or not, Ripley, New York, no pun intended. But anyway, I got there and I ended up going really being challenged by the Lord.
Ed Glover: 06:50 About two years later I ended up in seminary and they’re at seminary I, I met my beautiful wife Tammy, and we got called to come back to Pittsburgh. So I never really had a lot of men. I had a lot of coaches in my life and I had a lot of men in my life. But once I came to know Christ, it was amazing how many, you know, you’re part of the body of Christ and iron sharpens iron. And I, and I found a lot of men in my life from the moment I came to know Christ. Rock Dillman was the pastor that I went to in northeast Pennsylvania. So Rock and I connected that I connected with great men in seminary. And then when I got out, I came back to Pittsburgh and I’ve met people like John Guests, you know, Rock Dylaner, Reid Carpenter. There have been some great men in my life over the years.
Doug Smith: 07:39 Yeah. So you’ve been blessed to have great men around you. Can you talk to the person and even the kids that you administered to then maybe listen to this and saying, Hey, I am fatherless, or I don’t have a great role model. What would be your encouragement to them as you’ve ministered to them for 30 years? What’s the best way they can get out of that and deal with the wounds that may have been left in them because of fatherlessness?
Ed Glover: 07:57 Yeah. I have found, like when I came to know Christ, my stepfather was a good man, but he worked all the time. I mean, he was, he was, he was around, but he wasn’t really, you know, didn’t he didn’t know the Lord. So how was he going to invest in me? Really didn’t really understand that he was present and he provided. But that was about it. So once I came to know Christ, really I began to focus my attention on Jesus. And I’ll tell you what you focus yourself on Jesus Christ, you just become a man who begins to love. You have joy, you have peace, you have patients, you have kindness, you want to multiply yourself. You want to reach out to people, you want to serve. And you naturally become a good father to be honest with you.
Doug Smith: Yeah.
Ed Glover: So I really encourage kids to check, you know, look at Christ, follow him, but then also going to have to forgive. A lot of, a lot of guys are walking around with a lot of unforgiveness. And when you have unforgiveness in your in your soul, that’s no good. You know, you, you become bitter, you become angry. You can’t figure out why you can’t find peace. And you got to forgive. And when you forgive, it was, it’s amazing how God takes over and how God begins to help you to love and to love yourself. Love the people around you as well as him.
Doug Smith: 09:21 And can you talk about the dad one’s at being a great dad. Your kids are grown now, are almost all grown, and they’re all living for God, a lot of them more than your ministry. Is there anything that you did and Tammy intentionally, to raise up such a godly family and any advice to dad’s listening to this right now?
Ed Glover: 09:38 Yeah, I would say to them a number of things. One is you cannot delegate your responsibility of being a spiritual leader in your house. You can’t delegate that to your wife or to the church. You’ve got to give leadership to that. And the scriptures, it makes it very clear that we need to lead spiritually. I’m not saying that your wife and the church can’t help you and assist you. Absolutely. But you’ve got to give the direction. You’ve got to give leadership. So that means you, you’ve gotta be in the word, you can’t teach what you don’t know. So you’ve got to teach the word of God. You gotta be the guy with your wife, and I really encourage that. Second is that you’ve got to be a person who not only teaches, but you practice what you teach. Because if you don’t practice what you teach, I’m not saying you have to be perfect, nobody’s perfect.
Ed Glover: 10:28 But you have to put into practice what you’re saying. Because what you tolerate, your kids will worship, but they see the inconsistencies in your life, that’s where they’ll go. So when you are inconsistent, you just admit, hey man, I screwed up. Forgive me. Didn’t mean you know, you tell them. And if you’re vulnerable in that way, it’s amazing. And the next thing you know, I’ve found that you’ve gotta speak very positively to your kids. You’ve got to be the prophetic promoter. And I really mean that you, you’ve got to help your kids not only see who they are now, but who they can become. And that’s important in the fourth thing is you can’t do any of those things I just said, if you’re not present, we’ve got to be where our feet are. You know, for if you’re with your wife, you’re with your wife, you’re with your kids or with your kids.
Ed Glover: 11:12 You’re not on your cell phone, you’re not thinking about what you’re going to go do. You strive to try to be present physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually present with your kids. And last, last thing is make they make them a priority. Cause you’re going to have lots of different things coming into your life and they’re going to be trying to distract you and keep you from what God called you to do. If you have kids, that’s a divine calling you, you need to be the father to those kids. So you need to make that a priority. And I always tell people, hey look, look at my priorities is my first is my relationship with God. Second, my relationship with my wife third, my relationship with my kids. Fourth is my work and my ministry and number five is my leisure time. And if I keep those in the, in that sequence, I’ll, I’ll never be perfect but my life will work.
Ed Glover: 12:03 But if I get them out of sequence, my life unravels. Now let me just say this into everybody’s listening. I didn’t do all those things right all the time. Matter of fact, I, I didn’t, there’s times that I really failed, but over the years I finally got myself back on track and I got up one more time than I fell to. Successful Christian is one who gets up one more time than they fall. You look at scripture, that’s the truth. So that’s the things I would say to guys, you know, to, to, if you put those things into practice, you can’t predict it. It’s not foolproof. But you’ve got a really good chance that your kids are going to follow the Lord.
Doug Smith: 12:41 Yeah. And then there’s the sole purpose of, hey, once you’re a good dad to your kids, you should expand the circle. And correct me if I’m wrong, you guys have had like 500 kid, not 500 I’m exaggerating, but like 30 plus kids actually, live with you over the course of the last 30 years. Can you, can you just talk about, cause I don’t think anyone’s modeled it as well as you. How did you expand your circle and influence to the fatherless beyond your, your quote unquote, for more year for no more.
Ed Glover: I married a tremendous woman. I mean, no joke.
Ed Glover: 13:09 They always say a good man is, you know, they’ve got a great woman and I have one. And she, she would always say, you know, there’s always one more, one more chair, one more welcome at the table. And we were ministering to, you know, we now minister to thousands of kids on the north side. Back in those days, we were probably in the hundreds and we didn’t have the volunteers. We didn’t have the staff that we had. So kids would come to us and he’d want to live. They were going through really difficult times. So we would take them in and they would live with us for three months, six months, sometimes a year, sometimes two years. And we’d help them get on their feet. We discipled, I mean, Jesus called us, not just to be a disciple, but, but make disciples, make disciples that make disciples. So were we did that and we knew that we were present in the community.
Ed Glover: 13:57 And see, I don’t believe you can really transform a community if you don’t live in it. So we chose to, you know, Jesus didn’t come down one day a week and then shoot back up to heaven for the next six, right? He came down and lived among us. So we moved in, Tammy and I so that we can be present without where the families were, where the kids were so they could have access to us. So when they came knocking at the door and asked us to live with them, we evaluated it, we prayed about it, and then we took him in and it has been really transforming. Now, not all the kids have come out of that, are those relationships with us? Perfect. Or even, I wouldn’t even call, some of them aren’t even walking with the Lord today, but the majority of them are doing very well dynamic. Many of them are walking with the Lord, married Godly people. Their kids are growing up in the faith. Now we have their kids in our ministry. It’s been fantastic because it’s incarnational. You’ve got to be with people, I mean, God, it’s all Christianity is a relationship. Amen. And you gotta be in relationship with people.
Doug Smith: 14:56 Yeah. And lastly, so you’ve done incredible work with Urban Impact on the north side to things what you did to encourage people to do one. If they’re hearing here in Pittsburgh, how can people connect with what you’re doing at Urban Impact on the north side and then two, I know you guys want to be an outer model for other cities. Just when you’re doing inner-city ministry. If someone’s listening to this and doesn’t live in Pittsburgh, but they’re saying, wow, I want to be a part of what God’s doing through ManUp and through Urban Impact, how can I potentially bring that to my city? How can people connect with what you’re doing?
Ed Glover: 15:22 I appreciate that though because I really believe the Lord is really called us at this time. We won some national awards for what we’ve done and each time we won those awards they said, ed, don’t die with what you’ve learned. And we’ve really taken that seriously and we have developed some tremendous training. We’ve already trained a whole bunch of people and they’ve gone to other cities and even internationally. So if you’re interested out there and if you think like God’s calling you and you want to transform cities, you want to turn it around, we are a great place to come. You can come, we’ll train you, you can be part of what we’re doing. But Urban Impact, we call ourselves urban missionaries and the dealers that you have to live in the community on the north side and you have to raise your own support.
Ed Glover: 16:08 And we are really, we have really taught and trained people to do that. So we do that very well. Also, if you just like to come down and volunteer, I mean there are three different ways you can pray, you can volunteer or you can give because nothing moves without prayer, leadership and money. So you have to give and you have to pray. And there are all kinds of opportunities. We do sports, education, arts, options, options, helping kids transition out of life in and out of school in the life, going to college, trade school, getting a job, going in the military, in the ministry. So there are all kinds of opportunities to volunteer. We train you, we equip you so you’re not just coming down. And it’s great because you really find partnerships like it’s amazing. There’s a real sense of a loving atmosphere in a community when you come to Urban Impact.
Ed Glover: 16:55 So a lot of people come, they get involved, and it’s, it’s, people tell me they’re getting more out of it then they feel like they’re giving. And I think that’s true, when you serve, when you put yourself out there and you, when you remember that God, the father is the father of the fatherless, and you begin to go back because there are 24 million children in America growing up without a dad and I, we reached almost 2000 kids now and well, over 80% of those kids come from a single parent home. You know, mothers raising the kids. So when you come back and you start serving in that capacity, it is amazing what happens to you and what happens to kids and families because you’re just being obedient to what God asked you to do.
Doug Smith: 17:40 Again, if you’re listening to this, I’ll include links to Urban Impact, man up and everything that they’re doing in the show notes, so make sure you check that out and add just as we close anything else you want to leave leaders with today?
Ed Glover: 17:50 You don’t want to talk to the once you retire, don’t retire, rewire, and I’m encouraging you to come in and find out what Urban Impact does. I know that you have learned and you’ve been trained and you built secular organizations and you’ve done that. Now come build the Kingdom of God. Come check out Urban Impact and how we’re a Christian community development organization. We’re trying to transform the whole north side. The north side is as big as Erie, Pennsylvania, land wise populations the size of Butler, so there are tens of thousands of people we still need to be reached, still need to be reached and we would love for you to come to help us do that. That’s what I’d say, the leaders, and again, not the moves without prayer, leadership and money brother.
Doug Smith: Thank you so much for doing ManUp. Thank you for Urban Impact and thank you for time.
Ed Glover: Thank you, Doug. Thanks for what you’re doing.
Doug Smith: 18:42 Hey everyone. Thank you so much for listening to my interview with Ed Glover. I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did. You can find ways to connect with him, man up urban impact and everything else that we discussed in the show notes at L3ladership.org/episode226 I want to thank two sponsors. I want to thank Henne Jewelers. They are owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura, and I got her engagement and wedding rings through Henne Jewelers and we just think there are incredible, not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people. In fact, they give every engaged couple of book to help them prepare for their marriage and we love that. So if you’re in need of a good jeweler, check out Hennejewelers.com I also want to thank my friend Alex to Landon. He is a full-time realtor at Keller Williams Realty and if you were looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy, he’s a member and a supporter of L3 Leadership and would love to have an opportunity to connect with you.
Doug Smith: 19:32 You can find out more about Alex at pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com and lastly if you want to stay up to date with everything we’re doing here at l three leadership, you can sign up for our email list at L3leadership.org and you will get a free copy of my ebook Making the Most of Mentoring, which is my step by step process for getting meetings with leaders and cultivating those relationships I know to add value to. So make sure you get a copy of that. And again, I want to encourage you, thank you for all of you who listened to the podcast. If you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe. Share this on social media, share it with a friend and you know, to add value to and help us really get the word out there so we can add value to more leaders. As always, I like to end with a quote in our quote, Theodore Roosevelt.
Doug Smith: 20:11 He said this, he said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” And the more I grow up, the more I realized how true that is. And I hope that that’s true for you. I hope that you found something worth working hard at cause there’s, there’s really nothing more satisfying. I know Ed has, my wife and I have, so anyway, find something worth doing and do it for the rest of your life. It’s a great reward. Thank you so much for listening and being a part of L3 Leadership. Laura, and I appreciate you so much and we will talk to you next episode.