Unlearn in Order to Learn how to Disciple?

13 million people in 12 years through a disciple making movement?!!! (A few people in the Word started it all.)

This morning, I got to group Skype with a missionary on the other side of the world and hear how fast the Gospel is spreading. He had to unlearn things in order to learn how to truly make disciples.

I loved that he said some of his best leaders are women! 😀

What is a disciple making movement? Here’s one way to explain… 🙂 

Jesus Longs for His Church to Come Alive

I loved reading a book over the weekend written by a pastor who was told he needed to leave his institutional church in order to protect his health. Today, he leads a movement that has reached multiple countries.

Below is a quote from his wife excerpted from his book:

set free butterfly

“The Revolution is happening – it’s happening all over the world.

We are in a Reformation.
Acknowledge it or not.
Be a part of it or not.

Jesus longs for his church to come alive, to become a living, breathing organism. He longs for us to be in a real, live, intimate relationship with Him, regardless of others – and then in real, live relationship with our families – earthly and spiritual.

And, He’s begging us to come alive, be who we are as individuals, alive and free in Him, telling the world who and what He has done for us…

The enemy accepts that Christianity is in the world… but if he can just contain us, keep us from contaminating others, there’s little to worry about. If he can contain us in buildings, then the world will not know the truth and few will be set free. But what I saw in Kenya, I also see in America and other parts of the world.

The virus is leaking.

The Reformation of the 21st Century, led by the Holy Spirit, is taking Christianity out of containers into the open spaces of the neighborhoods and nations of the world.”

(Brooks & Roger Thoman. Simple/House Church Revolution (Kindle Locations 137-141). Download and read for free at: https://www.simplechurchrevolution.com)

He writes on his website: 

“In time, we began to see that this ‘paradigm shift’ (from institutional church to disciple making movement) was preparing us to train leaders in the multiplication of disciples, simple churches, and leaders.  …we saw tremendous fruit as disciples could quickly reproduce disciples and churches…

God used a dark season of our life to birth new purposes that were far above and beyond anything we might have dreamed on our own!”

(Learn more at: https://appleseedministry.com/about )

Supernatural Mothers

Godnurtures
God nurtures us. Image source: Today’s Christian woman

Oh, this weekend of Mother’s Day… I have always noticed that this day and Father’s Day carries with it special supernatural meaning because we are called to be family (and when that doesn’t happen, there’s deep pain.)

I pray more folks are adopted into loving community this weekend because they experience El Shaddai (“well breasted one”) because God nurtures us. I believe motherhood is a gift – whether you are a biological mom, or adopted mom, or a spiritual mom. Every woman has the potential to be like a healthy mother to others. I believe moms are created in God’s image. So, when you are rejected, unloved, that is not from God. I pray instead for healing and hope if this feels like you.

You are loved.
Love your people,
whether they are blood line or not.

Questions:

  1. What women in your life have been the hands and feet of God in His love and compassion? Take time to honour them, thank them, pray for them, remember them…
  2. What woman (or man) in your life, is God calling you to ‘mother’ (or ‘father’) on His behalf? Take time to ask Him who and what that should look like…
  3. Take the time this week to do that. Carry on the journey of Titus 2 intentional mentoring.

What Does Your Anger Look Like?

angry
How good are you at your anger management?
Where would you be on this scale…?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Anger Ladder ~ by Dr. Ross Campbell

1) Pleasant behavior;
2) Seeking resolution to the conflict;
3) Focusing anger on the source only;
4) Holding to the primary complaint, not to peripheral issues;
5) Thinking logically and constructively;
6) Unpleasant and loud behavior;
7) Cursing;
8) Becoming angry at someone else who is a bystander instead of at the source of the anger;
9) Expressing unrelated complaints;
10) Throwing objects;
11) Destroying property;
12) Verbal abuse;
13) Emotionally destructive behavior;
14) Physical abuse; and
15) Passive-aggressive behavior.

We should all strive to achieve the first 2 rungs of the Anger Ladder.
Which is ‘1’ ~ Pleasant behavior; & ‘2’ ~ Seeking resolution to the conflict; Dr Campbell suggests that we find out where we are on the Anger Ladder and move up one rung at a time.

The worst way for anyone to handle anger is through passive-aggressive (or PA) behavior. In PA behavior, a person uses indirect means to get back in anger at another person — for example, procrastinating, stubbornness, intentional inefficiency and “forgetfulness.” The person acts in these ways to provoke anger. A PA person refuses to accept responsibility for his or her own behavior.

Note that PA is at number ’15’ which is worse than ’13’ ~ Emotionally destructive behavior; & ’14’ ~ Physical abuse; because it is not easily noticed.

Note: Dr Campbell did mention a “16” which represents Homicidal attempts, homicidal threats and homicide which is worst but it’s not covered in the scope of his book  ‘How to Really Love Your Teenager’ (Amazon afflink).

After 2 unsuccessful attempts at mediation with someone who has hurt me in the past and looking at the scale above, I can see why trying yet another time is unwise. A person seeking true reconciliation should demonstrate the first two rungs on the ladder, and not 7, 9, 12, 13 and 15. I have forgiven and moved on, but see that for reconciliation to occur, honour and respect and sincere apology must happen. Forgiveness and trust restored/reconciliation are two different things. Sigh. I pray that they can also find the inner healing in order to restore their own broken relationships within their biological family.

How are you doing at expressing your anger? For deep inner healing, I recommend the following process… 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Ways to Bless Others

uydoe_ayjqs-jenn-richardson-2
UnhurriedLiving.com 

Those who know me, know that I’m intentional. 🙂 But, did you know that as you go about your day, there are a ton of ways to bless others without planning ahead?!

Here are a few very creative and simple ways to do bless people through what you are already doing!

I loved this list from an on-line mentor of mine…

Jesus didn’t say, “Love everyone at once.” Only God has the capacity to do that. We can love our neighbor—the one who is near enough to us that we can serve their good.

These little “five minute” ideas are simple.
That’s the point.
You could easily add plenty of other creative ways to bless another.
We simply encourage you to do the good that God has put in your heart for the benefit of another.

These mini-ministries can be done as you live your real, day-to-day life, including emailing, grocery shopping, driving, doing laundry and washing dishes.

Blessings to you as you live, love and serve…

Go here for the list: 17 Simple Ways to Serve Others

The Contagious Bible-focused, Spirit-led Study Tool

discovery_bible_studyThere is a mind-blowing, powerful yet simple Bible Discovery practice/tool being used in house churches around the world where the Kingdom of God is spreading like wildfire.

It’s contagious! 

Bible-focused,
Spirit-led.
You learn to truly digest the Bible and hear God’s voice yourself.
You share what you’re learning with others.
In light of what you’re learning, you ask God for ways to apply it all.
A movement begins…

“When my word goes forth, it shall not return empty or void, but will accomplish the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

God’s Word does what He said it would do—if WE get out of the way.

Okay! What’s the contagious part… aside from having a Divine experience in the Word of God?

The contagious part that goes viral is when others want to join your group (because you are sharing how powerful it is and what you are learning),…

BUT you don’t add people to your group.

What?

Nope.

We aren’t trying to build a huge group.

That would prevent multiplication.

Plus, when a group gets larger than 5 people, it no longer holds tight relationships.

The key to multiplying is to keep it small. (Yes, this flies in the face of ‘bigger is better’.) Why? Because, when you become a large group, you no longer have everyone engaged and participating, using their gifts. Instead, we are wanting to truly do life together and empower each other to discover and use their gifts.

You start with the interested person in a new group but on their turf. You go into their home or wherever they choose and have them invite anyone else and facilitate the process over 2-4 weeks time and then pull out and allow them to take the lead. The beauty is in empowering others, and preventing them from expecting you to feed them. They can learn to feed themselves and then empower others to do the same. (Sure, you check back with them from time to time offering help and mentoring, but don’t take the lead of their group and their sub-culture. Let Holy Spirit transform them!)

There’s an incredible joy in watching people’s lightbulbs come on above their heads simply by reading the Word and asking a few simple questions. God’s Word is alive.

It’s contagious! 🙂

You have a few options…

1. Are you not in a church of any kind? 
Perfect. Start a house church/discovery group! 🙂 Join with family and friends. 5 people or less is ideal. Use the help guides below allowing God’s Word to teach you.

Here are some quick links…
Get started and see how powerful it is!

What is it? (Simple and Powerful – Discovery Bible Study in a nutshell)

Quick and Handy Guide

List of Scriptures you can start with.

Extensive List of Scriptures based on desired focus.

2. Are you in an institutional church wanting to learn how to add this powerful strategy? (Disciple-Making Movements Hybrid Strategy)
If so, read… Spent Matches by Roy Moran (Book Summary highlights)

 

Character of Leaders?

I was pondering the C’s of leadership lately as many of us have been disappointed in leaders lacking the character to walk faithfully and courageously.

Some people say that a leader should have character, charisma, commitment, courage, competence…

But, have you ever noticed how God seems to never look for people with outstanding character to call them to leadership?

Just read the Bible and look at the motley crew of disciples, the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews…and all their mistakes…

Does rather, God seem to take people and transform their character (if they surrender and trust Him)? Or even like David who was initially in good character, but later lapsed in character under the pressures of leadership…Thankfully, he later repented and God’s compassion still came…

(That is the key for any leader. Repentance is a beautiful thing that returns us to the path God has chosen for us. Without repentance, we lose the inheritance God has promised – even often for those we lead.)

Yesterday, at a women in leadership luncheon, I got to hear the story of how an employee lapsed in character (out of fear of not measuring up to expectations). But, the employer’s loving response casted out the employee’s fear… resulting in huge trust in their relationship. It was a beautiful God-filled thing!

The employee told the story of her own lapse in character. To admit what she did – you could sense the room gasp and I saw her neck turn slightly red as she must have felt like she walked off a ledge… But the story of how her employer responded to her – no scolding but with love and compassion. Wow – Jesus with skin on. I think what was shared was a wonderful shifting in perspective of what many have experienced from our leaders (both men and women). Jesus never shames us, but only empowers and calls us up to walk out our inheritance in Him.

Our character may lapse, but when we admit our mistakes, God’s compassion and blessing affects not just us, but everyone we lead.

And when we forgive those who admit their mistakes, we invest in them and encourage them to take hold of the inheritance they have in Christ.

But, when those who lead us or those we lead don’t admit mistakes, the relationship is broken and God’s inheritance is unclaimed.

Repentance.

Restoration.

Relationship restored.

(PS. Also got to hear a cool story yesterday of how a person was healed physically after their leadership repented.)

Disciple making Movements?

Disciple-Images-2
Image: www.exponential.org

If what you’re doing isn’t working, why keep doing it? (…Or at least add an additional track like one mega church in Texas did after doing the math.)

This past weekend, I enjoyed sitting in on a session with a gentleman serving overseas (cannot name country due to security).

My friend and I were blown away by the stories of how fast the Gospel is spreading through the disciple making movement. 100,000 disciples on track to double in the next 14 months. I quickly saw why – the level of community in a small group along with the hunger to multiply and share the Word with others in a way that allows the Word to teach a small group rather than a guru or highly educated pastor (which actually has been shown to stump the growth of the Gospel he said because most NA pastors have been trained to talk rather than listen).

The missionary explained that small groups allow people to engage and participate and hear from Holy Spirit directly from the Word, rather than another person’s interpretation of the Word.

Picture this…

Starting with a group of 5 people or so meeting in a living room perhaps.
Sharing things to be thankful for, challenges, etc. Listening to each other.
Reading aloud passage of Scripture together.
Asking themselves a few simple Qs from the passage.
Reflecting together. Going back to the Word.
Praying together and for each other.
Committing to share what God reveals with someone in their week and helping each other and neighbours in their community in practical need.
Together.
Little to no money.
Leaders/facilitators developed and multiplied as new groups form.
Entire families and communities transformed!! (like in the book of Acts).

God’s Word and Love spreading rapidly because of the…
Word /
life together /
prayer …focus.

No Master’s Degree required (because it actually hinders the multiplication putting emphasis on a human teaching rather than the Word.)

The stories were amazing.
Numbers unreal.
Blows any North American mindset.
Yikes.

Does this work in North America?

It is reportedly happening like wildfire as traditional churches dwindle and home churches rapidly multiply. People are hungry for spiritual relationship with God, and life together with people committed to each other.

For more info on how you can be apart of a disciple making movement:

https://www.contagiousdisciplemaking.com/blogs/news/dna-of-discovery-groups

https://www.contagiousdisciplemaking.com/pages/everybody-should-be-part-of-a-movement-that-is-bigger-than-themselves

How one megachurch in Texas has heard the call to adopt a new strategy after doing the math: https://youtu.be/jJhlfRPbpC0 Even in Texas!

Best Truth of the Year!

heartLast night of 2017, I reflected on the highlights and got excited for what’s ahead for 2018. Below I share with you the key theme that God has given to me and through me over and over. I’ve had the joy of sharing this so many young women and watching them be set free. Find a quiet spot and digest this love letter from God…

(You can also read, listen, or watch downloadable formats here.)

Entering a new year deeply knowing that you are loved by your Heavenly Father will transform you.

Even when those who say they love God speak to you words that are not in love, you know they are not aware themselves truly of God’s love. Those who dishonour you, know not of God’s love, but live in fear and see themselves as orphans who think they have to fight for His love and favour. You however, may you choose to bless those who curse you.. because you truly know God’s loving heart for you! 🙂

Happy New Year!