August Mobilization Update on Coalitions, Mission and more from @MikeJentes

Enewsletter-header-Encompass

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

August 2015

The summer has been full with activity and ministry, too full to even write a newsletter ;-).

In July, I had the privilege to share in the Sunday morning service on Disciple Making & Mission @ Norwalk Grace Brethren Church, in Norwalk, CA. (hear’s therecording and powerpoint) What a neat church family with a heritage of engaging the world!

In late July, I was off to Atlanta for Encompass Family Reunion where it was great to catch up with many of our deployed staff who were back in the USA for home ministries. This time was rich for relationship renewal and even for the connections of future partnerships.

To wrap up that week away, I was in New York City (okay staying in Newark, NJ) at theFlinch Conference with our Grace Brethren Family. The theme on taking RISKs for Jesus was very powerful through messages and testimonies. You should check out some of thevideos of main session talks and audios of the workshops online.

I had the privilege to lead 2 workshops:
1) A Candid Conversation about Bi-Vocational Church Leadership with a whole panel of leaders, and
2) The Great Debate: Missions Vs. Missional with John Ward (handout)

Neither of these workshops got recorded, but I posted my powerpoints at the links above for you.

From a family side, we also sent our oldest daughter, Kayla, off to Grace College.  Here’s a little pic of us at a send off for her the night before she left!

(Thanks Flinch Conference for the selfie stick…we used it in Long Beach too..not just in NYC.)

Coalitions

Over the summer, we made some significant traction with a variety of coalitions:

Chad Educational Coalition:

Partnering with the Chadian church to help start new Christian elementary schools and help their teachers get the training/certification they need to lead those schools. We are looking to raise about $7000 per year to send 5 teachers to the training. Ways to give will be open soon!

Chad Medical Coalition: Partnering with the Chadian church leaders and evangelists and to aid their self-sustaining medical clinics and build a new surgical center where it is really needed. This one is still in development, but hopefully by the end of the year will be moving forward significantly.

St. James Way Coalition
A unique evangelistic opportunity is afforded by thousands of pilgrims walking on the Caminho de Santiago or the St. James Way. In Western Europe, where spiritual conversations are a rarity, this experience is fertile ground for the church to relationally and spiritually connect for evangelism, discipleship and leadership training. The faithful Via Portus Cale ministry in Porto, Portugal has become a strategic dual initiative: along the caminho and in therefugio.

We’ve had two different Teams to walk the St. James Way and to serve pilgrims over this summer. Also we had two interns serving consecutively for one month each.  One of the outstanding young ladies–Mariah Shope–was from our Los Altos Grace Brethren Church. There is much to be learned and prayed for in this ministry as we hope to send 20 international teams over the next 3 years! We are excited that Grace College will be doing a special mission project this fall (with solar panels) and taking teams next year!

Encounter SoCal

A cross-cultural experience in one of the most ethnically diverse geographic regions of the world — Southern California (pic from ChinaTown in LA). This pilot program from August 10-14 was a great success!
The participants had an eye-opening time and four people expressed faith in Christ for the first time through the ministry efforts of the team!  

Donate nowThanks for your support!

I wanted to thank you for your prayers, they make all the difference! Also, if you want to continue to mobilize the church for the sake of the least reached, you can make a tax-deductible donation to support my work using the Donate button.

Press on,
Mike

Mike Jentes

Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives
Encompass World Partners

 

My E-newsletter Archive:

August 2015 E-newsletter    on Mail Chimp
June 2015 E-newsletter    on Mail Chimp
May 2015 E-newsletter    on Mail Chimp
April 2015 E-newsletter    on Mail Chimp

Read the September 2014 E-newsletter
Read my February 2014 e-newsletter

Read my December 2013 E-Newsletter
Read my August 2013 e-newsletter
Read my June 2013 e-newsletter
Read my May 2013 e-newsletter
Read my April 2013 e-newsletter

June Mobilization Update on Coalitions, Family and more from @MikeJentes

 

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

June 2015

I know I didn’t get this out at the beginning of the month, but since we are at the halfway point, I wanted to still send something out to you.

These last 6 weeks have held special times for our family…as we have multiple birthdays, end of the year concerts, award ceremonies, promotions, and a graduation from high school. Congrats to Kayla who graduated with honors from Los Alamitos High School.


We were blessed to have my Dad as well as Mindi’s Mom and Dad with us to celebrate several of these special milestones.

We are so blessed! Thanks for praying for us and standing with our family over many years!

Coalitions

Last month I shared about a vision trip heading to Chad, and that trip was a great success.  We are actually in the process of building at least 3 coalitions to aid the indigenous work there:

1. Chad Medical Coalition: Partnering with the Chadian church leaders and evangelists and to aid their self-sustaining medical clinics and build a new surgical center where it is really needed.
2. Chad Educational Coalition: Partnering with the Chadian church to help start new Christian elementary schools and help their teachers get the training/certification they need to lead those schools.
3. Reaching the Least Reached: Relational bridge building and future church planting in the capital city of N’Djamena.


St. James Way Coalition
A unique evangelistic opportunity is afforded by thousands of pilgrims walking on the Caminho de Santiago or the St. James Way. In Western Europe, where spiritual conversations are a rarity, this experience is fertile ground for the church to relationally and spiritually connect for evangelism, discipleship and leadership training. The faithful Via Portus Cale ministry in Porto, Portugal has become a strategic dual initiative: along the caminho and in therefugio.

Because of the potential of this ministry, we have a St. James Way Coalition to help the ministry prosper for the sake of reaching the lost, discipling believers and equipping leaders.

Two different groups (one pictured above) have gone to walk the St. James Way and to serve pilgrims in this last month. I was also able to help one of the outstanding young ladies from our church, Mariah Shope, to go and serve as an intern later this month! Pray for her and for the equipping of more hosts and guides for the ministry!

Encounter SoCal

A cross-cultural experience in one of the most ethnically diverse geographic regions of the world — Southern California.When: August 10-14, 2015 (Monday 9am thru Friday 4pm)

Who: A learning community of only 20 High School Seniors, College Students, and Adults

Individual/Group Sign Up: For applications and info email Haley, or call 678-992-5313 x49.

Donate nowThanks for your support!

I wanted to thank you for your prayers, they make all the difference! Also, if you want to continue to mobilize the church for the sake of the least reached, you can make a tax-deductible donation to support my work using the Donate button.

Press on,
Mike

Mike Jentes

Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives
Encompass World Partners

May Mobilization Update on Iraq, Chad, Communications and more from @MikeJentes

Newsletter-header-Encompass

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

May 2015

April held a special time for our family…as we got to take a special vacation. While we all looked pretty dapper, we got a family pic:

We are so blessed! Thanks for praying for us and standing with our family over many years!

Networks

Last month, I shared about being involved in creating, facilitating and resourcing networks for Great Commission good. Two of the networks had special events in the month of April. I thought I would share those events with you:

Connect & Equip

  1. Communicators Network: This isn’t one I started, but a group of Grace Brethren communications folks have been getting together for a while now. They asked me to plan their April get together…and it was a very insightful time. I wrote a blog post with a recap, so if you are interested in more info about the Church & Social Media check it out: Communicators Communal Learning with special guest DJ Chuang.
  2. Northern Iraq Summit:  A variety of churches and ministries were called together around their work in this region to a one-day Summit at our Encompass headquarters in Atlanta. We had 13 people from 8 different churches and 7 different states for the day. Many stories were told and prayers were lifted for the peoples of this region.  If your church is involved in Iraq and wants to know more, send me a message!

Great people are involved in each of these networks and I’m so privileged to be able to connect and resource so many great efforts!

Chad and Coalitions

A short-term vision trip team is heading to Chad this month (but not me this time). The team consists of several pastors (who represent churches considering partnering with Chad), Encompass leadership, and individuals that are considering long-term work in Chad.

The overall goals of the trip are:
1. For Encompass leadership to meet with, encourage, and teach Chadian church leaders and evangelists and to discuss together the direction of the ministry.
2. To visit different ministries in the capital and to brainstorm how churches can partner with in N’Djamena.
3. For 3 prospective people to get a first taste of Chad and to pursue God as to whether or not he is calling them there full time.
4. For partners to be cultivated for 2-3 different coalitions to work together with the national church for greater fruitfulness!

I am very excited about this team of 18 people! (Special Note: this is the largest short term team Encompass has ever sent to Chad)

I want to encourage you to join with a some of my colleagues in a 10 day journey of daily prayer for this trip. They will send out daily prayer requests specific to each day beginning on May 6th and ending May 15th. Please make the commitment to praying for this trip by joining the  email group “10 Days of Prayer for Vision” by clicking here: 10 Days of Prayer for Vision.

Donate nowThanks for your support!

I wanted to thank you for your prayers, they make all the difference! Also, if you want to continue to mobilize the church for the sake of the least reached, you can make a tax-deductible donation to support my work using the Donate button.

Press on,
Mike

Mike Jentes

Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives
Encompass World Partners

April Encompass Newsletter

Newsletter-header-Encompass

Mobilizing the Church for the Sake of the Least Reached

April 2015

Sorry, it’s been a while since I sent out an update. This isn’t because the ministry is going slowly…quite the opposite!

I have changed email newsletter systems (now with Mail Chimp), so hopefully I transferred everyone’s email addresses correctly! Feel free to share this update with others so they can pray and be participators in this amazing work!

Thanks to many of you who have financially supported the work the Lord is allowing me to do. I have been fully supported each of my two full years with Encompass! Thanks!

Networks

This month I wanted to share with you some of the nitty gritty of my work (in one specific aspect). I’m heavily involved in creating, facilitating and resourcing networks for Great Commission good. I’d love to share five of them with you, so you know and can pray…and can even JUMP IN!

  1. Adoption, Orphan and Foster Care: This is one that the Bible is hot on…and we’ve been able to pull together some folks who are passionate about this into a Facebook group.  If you are interested, you should join it here!
  2. Women in Church Planting: This secret Facebook group is also a place for women involved in church planting around the world to connect, make friends, share stories, and share helpful stuff.  If you are a lady involved in church planting, this group is for you!
  3. Church Mobilizers Network: A group of nearly 30 of us gathered in Columbus, OH in February to be challenged on how we could create “pathways” for people in our church to grow as disciple-makers and to be deployed as missionaries to the least-reached!
  4. Communicators Network: This isn’t one I started, but a group of Grace Brethren communications folks have been getting together for a while now. They asked me to plan the next get together…and it’s gonna be great (ok…I’m biased).  You can find out more about it at Connect & Equip for FGBC Communicators.
  5. Northern Iraq Church to Church Partnerships: Grace Community Church in Goshen, IN was tapped on the shoulder by the Lord to DO SOMETHING to help in Iraq. Their journey has been amazing and they invited Encompass (and me) to walk with them and see what might be next. We are pulling together a Summit this month in Atlanta with some highly invested churches in the region. If your church is involved in Iraq and wants to be invited, send me a message!

Great people are involved in each of these networks and I’m so privileged to be able to connect and resource so many great efforts!

Thanks for your support!

I wanted to get this out to say thanks, and to mobilize you to pray!

I also wanted to say that our family is looking forward to a special Family Vacation next week during Spring Break! We are excited!

Press on,
Mike


Mike Jentes
Coordinator of Mobilization Initiatives
Encompass World Partners

September E-newsletter from @MikeJentes

September 2014 E-Newsletter

Meeting in SoCal

Mindi and I meeting with ethnic leaders from SoCal! On Saturday, August 30 we had a little gathering of leaders from Cambodia and Latin America for a little breakfast get together with Jesús Muñoz (our Cambodian brother left before the picture and our Japanese friends were on a retreat!). This gathering may emerge into a network of ethnic leaders who can spur one another on to make disciples and plant churches in the nations of our world!

WHAT’S HAPPENED WITH ME
The Latest Scoop

Sorry it has been a while since I’ve communicated to you via this means.  The past few months have been full, as I’m sure they have for you!

Engagement Stations &
E Talks @FellowSHIFT

At the FellowShift Conference this summer, Encompass sought to do something which would engage people in reaching the nations. We set up stations we called “Engagement Stations” with a variety of different ways to participate. We also created an online version of the Engagment Stations so you can participate right now! Check out all 7 online!

We also shared a variety of short 8 minute or less Engaging Talks which we dubbed
E Talks. These were all videoed and will be available for viewing soon!  I was able to share on Coalitions as well, so stay tuned! If it turned out well, I’ll pass it on and if not, well…you’ll never know! 🙂

Cameroon Leadership Training Coalition

Just yesterday, I talked via Skype with Jason Carmean in Cameroon!  He and his family have been on the ground for one month and are adjusting well.

   I’m excited to be part of a coalition that has committed for 5 years to seeing dozens and dozens of pastoral leaders trained for the more than 45 churches and 30+ church plants in Cameroon.

   Dave Guiles has described this “as the greatest leadership development need the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches has seen in several generations.”

One of the ways you can help is by supporting the first modules of Bible training supporting the first modules of Bible training–please consider a gift!

Château

Pray for the Ongoing Ministry of the Château de St. Albain      

Yesterday, September 3, 2014, was declared as a Day of Prayer for the Château by

Joël Rongier, president of Château Association.

Please join in praying and fasting for God to supply the following personnel needs for the Château so that ministries will continue without interruption:

1) A European business manager and coordinator: Pray especially for wisdom and direction for the Château steering committee to find the right people to fit into ministry leadership.

2) An American support couple: To care for the responsibilities of welcoming visitors, preparing and serving meals, maintenance and grounds work.

Our Château Coalition is seeking to publish a coffee-table book (in English, French and German) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ministry and funds are needed to get it rolling.

Catalyzing Networks

Over the last few months, I’ve been part of catalyzing two really important networks:

One is around Women in Church Planting. All over the world, women are involved in the church planting endeavor– moms, businesswomen, educators, missionaries, single women, etc.  Many of these ladies don’t have a place to connect with others. Through the leadership of my friends Louise Klawitter and Jessica Robertson, this network has formed a Facebook group that is nurturing this network. It’s a secret group to hide the identities of some of our bravest women who are in closed countries, but if you send a message to Louise, she can get you synced up.
A second network is forming for those who are passionate about Adoption, Orphan & Foster Care.  This budding network, in addition to it’s Facebook Group is holding monthly Skype calls where folks from all over the world can call in and participate.  Find out more on my blog about this group.

 

THANK YOU!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank YOU for your prayers and support which are vital to the Lord’s work in our world.  I’m humbled and privileged to serve our King and alongside you!

Thanks so much for your financial gifts to support the work of reaching the least reached! Some of you have remained very diligent even without a lot of info from me! My work continues to be fruitful, so I want to encourage you to continue your pledge or consider a monthly gift!

 

Read the entire September 2014 E-newsletter online 

My E-newsletter Archive:
Read my February 2014 e-newsletter

Read my December 2013 E-Newsletter
Read my August 2013 e-newsletter
Read my June 2013 e-newsletter
Read my May 2013 e-newsletter
Read my April 2013 e-newsletter

On My Way to Africa

20140217-154749.jpg

I was asked to join a special opportunity with Encompass ( the pic above was drawn by Katja) in the country of Chad. I’m actually at the airport in LA getting ready to depart!

I will have the chance to visit our strong work in the Southern region of Chad with Africa Director Frank Puhl. Also I’ll get to visit a training center, Bible Institute, a hospital as well as the President of the Chadian Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches ( with 250+ churches! More than the USA!).

After that we will be scouting the capital city of N’Djamena for a few days with a team from Akron, Ohio. Please pray for Jesus to show us what He wants to do in advancing His work in that great city.

I’m thankful for the Lord’s guidance and direction for this trip as it will be my first to Africa. From the time I was a little boy, I’ve prayed for Africa, and now I get to go.

I’d appreciate your prayers for me on the trip and for Mindi and the rest of the family at home.

A Video About Chad from Encompass World Partners

http://www.encompassworldpartners.org/pray-news/item/4473-windows-to-the-world-chad.html

December E-newsletter from @MikeJentes

Dr. Mindi's Graduation
Dr. Mindi’s Graduation

Our greatest achievement over this year has been seeing Mindi become a Doctor! On the 14th of December she graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the Southern California University of Health Sciences / Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. We are deeply indebted to you for your prayers and support over this journey!

WHAT’S HAPPENED WITH ME
The Latest Scoop

Sorry it has been a while since I’ve communicated to you via this means.  The past few months have been full, as I’m sure they have for you!

Some brief updates:

Mobilizers Mobilizers 24 Hour Retreat

In the fall, a collection of leaders who are mission pastors gathered for a retreat to be share with one another, be challenged and focus on the global work of mission.  See more on my blog

Cameroon Leadership Training Coalition

I’m excited to be part of a coalition that has committed for 5 years to seeing dozens and dozens of pastoral leaders trained for the more than 45 churches and 30+ church plants in Cameroon. Dave Guiles has described this “as the greatest leadership development need the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches has seen in several generations.” Jason & Christy Carmean will be key leaders in this effort! You will be hearing more about this opportunity, but if you are interested in how you can help please let me know!

Château

Coalition to Celebrate the 50th Year of Ministry of the Château de St. Albain      

In April 2014, we will celebrate one of the most out of the box and effective ministries in our global movement–the Château!  An 18-month coalition has formed with Jay Hocking as the coordinator to help with the celebration and to come up with long-term USA partnerships.

We are seeking to publish a coffee-table book (in English, French and German) to celebrate and seed funds are needed ( email me if you want to help).

Also, we are looking for some staff to serve a support need for a year or two on-site at the Chateau. Please pray and pass it on to those who might consider this opportunity!

Prayers Answered for the 533 Challenge

With Encompass World Partners we did a special project called the 533 Challenge at both Momentum and Grace College this year. Through a mission network called Finishing The Task, they have research which shows that 533 people groups (approximately 70 million people) who have little or no opportunity to hear the gospel. In order to direct prayer toward these peoples, we asked students to take part in the “533 Challenge” – a challenge to pray daily for the least-reached over the next 30 days.

Prayer Wall for 533 Challenge

We celebrated that all of the 533 people groups were adopted and prayed for!

In early December, I attended the annual meeting of Finishing The Task and as of December 5th, we saw the list go down to 449! We praise the Lord that He is still working to reach those who are least reached in our world!

THANK YOU!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank YOU for your prayers and support which are vital to the Lord’s work in our world.  I’m humbled and privileged to serve our King and alongside you!

From our family to yours we wish you a…. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Read the Entire December 2013 E-Newsletter

 

My E-newsletter Archive:
Read my August 2013 e-newsletter
Read my June 2013 e-newsletter
Read my May 2013 e-newsletter
Read my April 2013 e-newsletter

June E-newsletter from @MikeJentes

COALITIONS
Still plenty to pray for…

We are still praying and working toward a strong and effective coalition for each region of our world – Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Continue to pray for the coalition for the World Cup. We seek to come alongside the Brasilian Church for outreach, discipleship and church planting around arguably the largest world-wide event! Your prayers are needed for the Spirit to direct the Brasilian Church as to how He wants them to seize this opportunity. Although the World Cup isn’t until June 2014, the time is short to pull this off.  Would you pray for great progress in the coming weeks?

Would you also pray for God’s guidance in forming coalitions around the Unengaged, Unreached People Groups? There is great interest, but this will be some of the hardest work we’ve ever done.

See all of my June E-newsletter from @MikeJentes.

My E-newsletter Archive:
Read my May 2013 e-newsletter
Read my April 2013 e-newsletter 

 

May E-newsletter from @MikeJentes | Mobilizing the church for the sake of the unreached

COALITIONS
A Time of Incremental Progress

Thanks for your prayers for 3 solid coalitions to be in formation by this month. This is coming into reality!

I had the privilege of sharing our progress with the Global Leadership Team of Encompass at the end of April. It was very affirming and sharpening as well.

Since that time, we are praying and working toward a strong and effective coalition for each region of our world – Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America!

The highest-profile, most-time sensitive one I’ll highlight for you. We have approached the leaders of the Brasilian Grace Brethren Churches with an opportunity to have a coalition for the World Cup. We seek to come alongside them for outreach, discipleship and church planting around arguably the largest world-wide event!Your prayers are needed for the Spirit to direct the Brasilian Church as to how He wants them to seize this opportunity. Although the World Cup isn’t until June – July of next year, the time is short to pull this off.  Would you pray for great progress in the coming weeks?

Read the Rest of the MAY  E-newsletter from Mike Jentes.

Archive:
Read the April 2013 e-newsletter 

The First & April E-newsletter from @MikeJentes | Mobilizing the church for the sake of the unreached

WHAT’S HAPPENED WITH ME
A New Role and the Ball is Rolling
It’s hard to believe it has been a couple of months since I joined Encompass World Partners. It has been a blast getting to know many of the people I have served with and long respected!Last month, I had the privilege of joining 2 other current staff and 7 other soon to be deployed missionaries for Core Orientation (link). I hope you’ll go to my post to see more about that week.Also I was in Ohio, for a meeting with Mission Mobilizers (link) at the Wooster Grace Brethren Church. A great group of leaders who were challenging one another to be intentional about calling people to living on life-long mission.I also was with a gathering of men and women at the Lexington Grace Brethren Church who have all been in Africa and have a passion for Leadership Training. God is stirring up something for the benefit of the church leaders there — in Central Africa, Cameroon and Chad!

I need your prayers for following up on the leaders and churches from these meetings. We asked these leaders to pray and seek the Lord about next steps. Pray for me as I have the joy of sifting through all that God and trying to form some coalitions.

COALITIONS
What Are We Talking About?

A coalition is

– a covenant group of churches, leaders or ministries

– cooperating in joint action

– together for a common purpose.

This is the simplest definition, but a potent one. We believe that moving forward together in joint action as teams will truly be the future of mobilization.

There are a host of coalitions in formation right now.

Please Pray that there would be 3 solid coalitions by next month.

Read all of my first E-newsletter (April 2013) from @Mike Jentes

Dependence…learned from a couple of Jesus Stories

Dependence

In the USA, we love the Declaration of Independence. In fact, rugged independence defines us at a deep level.  In the spiritual world, it is the exact opposite…we are totally dependent! We enter into a relationship with God totally reliant, trusting on Him & Him alone! In truth, we are reliant upon God for everything!

On Sunday, we ventured into a story about Jesus which nails this concept:

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 

                        (Mark 10:13-15)

Here are kids…who know more about the kingdom of God because they are dependent! When it comes to our relationship with God we need to always remember that we are kids!

To put even a finer point on this, the very next story in the Gospel of Mark is about the Rich Young Ruler. Jesus doesn’t give the same answer to this man (i.e., “become like a child”). This Rich Young man claimed that he had kept everything in the law since being a child. And Jesus asked Him for something more than keeping the law, “You lack one thing, sell everything you have and give the money to the poor!”

This Rich Young Ruler was self-reliant. The issue wasn’t his stuff, but it was rather Who he trusted in. He trusted more in his own riches, his own youth, and himself than Jesus.

We must trust Jesus! Become little children and depend our our Great and Mighty God!!!

 


These thoughts were spawned from the message by Phil Helfer on 11/11/2012 @LosAltosGrace. Published in the MidWeek E-newsletter  If you want to hear Pastor Phil Helfer talk through this message and much more, tune in online here.

New MP3 Downloads on APEST and much more…

MP3 Downloads Now Online
Organic Church Movements Conf MP3

Visit our blog

View our videos on YouTube

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Organic Church Practitioners Sharing about Ephesians 4 and APEST Leadership 

Christ Is The Gift: Teaching on Ephesians 4 by Neil Cole The 4-1-1 on Ephesians 4:11 Roles by  Neil Cole, Alan Hirsch & Wolfgang Simson

Apostolic Leadership by Neil Cole & Ross Rohde

Prophetic Leadership by Dezi Baker & Neil Gamble

Evangelistic Leadership by Ed Waken & Scott Wilson

Shepherding Leadership by Phil Helfer

Teaching Leadership by Paul Kaak

One & a Half Hour Workshops-only $.99

Being a Disciple Worth Reproducing by Curtis Sergeant

From the Campus to the Marketplace by Neil Cole, Anita Lee & Caleb Lin

Organic Church & the Black Communityby Robert Caldwell, Cue & Don Graves

Organic Church & the Tough Questions of the GLBT Community by Deb Hirsch

Organic Church Urban Strategies Panel by Carlos Borges, Clive Craigen, Robert Caldwell & Jared Looney

Transforming A City by Jason Evans, Brad Fieldhouse & Scott Wilson

Women and Leadership in the Organic Church by Felicity Dale & Katie Driver

Never Underestimate the Silent Years by Traver Dougherty

Look Closer

 Never underestimate the silent years

Greetings!
Maybe it’s because Matt and I share the same birthday – even the year. Maybe it’s because my wife, Aimee, gets a little giddy when she hears his name. Maybe it’s because he’s a relatively good actor. While Matt and I don’t share the same political views or moral standards, I always seem to listen when he talks.In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Damon reflected on life in the limelight. Just before the premier of Good Will Hunting, someone told Matt, “You’re going to be famous, and it’s going to be fun for a week.” Then, Matt lamented to Piers, “When do I get my week?” Matt’s point? Fame is overrated.While few intentionally capitalize on the Christian industry, for some there’s that nagging question, “Papa, when’s it my time to shine? When will I get the chance to really make a difference for the Kingdom?” While the question itself poses some problems, it’s an honest one and it’s important we address it. 
Benched in Tarsus
Excerpted from Journeys to Significance: Charting a Leadership Course from the Life of Paul by Neil ColeJourneysToSignificance.com

As Jesus once commented, a prophet’s hometown and own people are usually the most resistant to the prophet’s message. I’m sure that was the case here as well; that is the only way to account for the five times Saul was scourged by the Jews before he wrote 2 Corinthians, in 56 A.D. I am sure Saul preached the Gospel any chance he got, and he may even have started churches (Galatians 1:21; Acts 15:23, 41), but a decade in one place would have been a long time for this “sent one.” May speculate that it was in Arabia that Saul sat and listened to the Lord about the important things concerning his life and faith (Galatians 1:11-12), but I believe it was while he was sidelined in Tarsus that Jesus tutored him and prepared him to fulfill his destiny (2011:29).

My Reflections

Look CloserIn my early 20s, I got my first “ministry” job. I was a college intern at a large church. Ohhh, how I loved the Lord and ministering in His name! And then something funky happened. Alongside the college pastor, I helped get 60 or so college students to a Christian winter camp. The speaker was mesmerizing – almost godlike. And that’s when it happened. I remember thinking, that’s what I want to do. While I didn’t think of speaking to the masses in terms of fame per se, that’s effectually what happened.

While the stories vary, what I just described happens to thousands upon thousands of young believers. For at least part of it, the system’s to blame. For another part, it’s cultural; we Americans value achievement. And we must own up to our part, too. For all sorts of reasons, our flesh cries out, I want to be important. Said another way, I want to be godlike.

Now, does God “bench” us because our priorities are out of whack? No, not always. In fact, that’s usually not the case. Usually, it’s because some of the best stuff happens when we’re out of the limelight. What believer, for example, isn’t grateful for King David’s shepherd and cave years? Or Moses’s Midian years? Or Yeshua’s carpenter years? Was Paul somehow less productive during his “lost” decade? I think not. Truly, it’s a matter of right perspective. Listen to Paul: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…” (1 Thess 4:11). While Paul was certainly addressing some Thessalonian-specific issues, there’s no doubt in my mind Paul understood the power of an ordinary and obedient life.

Things have certainly changed for this ol’ bird. While the spotlight has always alluded me, it’s no longer a concern of mine. Maybe I’ve just come to terms with it. Or maybe I’ve been spooked by what fame does to people. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ve come to truly appreciate the value of a quiet life – as a man who believes there’s just as much power in obediently riding the pine as there is in making the buzzer-beating shot.

As always, The Banqueting Table hopes this was of some benefit to you.
Sincerely,

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table

Originally written April 4, 2011

We’re Not Multiplying! by Traver Dougherty

Our community hasn’t multiplied for awhile; What should we do?

Tree GrowingOne of the more difficult things in the organic church movement is lack of numerical growth. No, this doesn’t mean the movement as a whole isn’t multiplying. It is. But sometimes, individual house churches either stagnate or seem to stagnate. What’s going on?Well, there’s a number of things. Sometimes we’re too eager for numerical growth. Sometimes we’re not actively making disciples apart from our house churches. Sometimes, a house church is in its golden years and, at some point, will die and open the door for a whole new crop of house churches.
There’s a Time for Everything
Excerpted from King Solomon’s writings; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

 

Look CloserMy Reflections

While the answers to this question are not cut and dry, here are a few things to consider or things you can proactively do when stagnation sets in.

  1. Enjoy the golden years: My community is a 4th generation house church. While I think we may have some more reproducing to do, menopause may have already kicked in. Every church has a life cycle: birth, growth, stability, decline, death. Referring to his death, Yeshua (Jesus) said, “…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (Jn 12:24). I have several theological reasons to believe this cycle occurs at the community level as well. Don’t fight it; the golden years are some of the best.
  2. Make disciples: Remember, Yeshua will build his church (Mt 16:18). Our job is to make disciples. Never ever think poorly of your community because it’s not growing. Let it be. If you want to do something (and we all should), pray for the lost, scatter lots of Kingdom seed, and begin discipling those who respond. I guarantee that if this is happening, your church won’t stagnate for long.
  3. Start another fellowship: There’s no reason why you can’t take part in an existing community and start another one; Paul the apostle made a regular practice of it. I may be in the middle of starting another community myself, but I’m still discerning. The disciples I’m making are just on the cusp of taking that next step.
  4. Talk openly with your community: Sometimes, fellowships close up because of past hurts. Allowing others to join opens the door to additional pain. When this happens, be sensitive. Before inviting new people, ask your fellowship if it’s okay. If they say yes, then proceed accordingly. If they say no, that’s the time to gently ask why and address the issue. If the answer remains no for too long, make some more disciples and start another community.
  5. Remember who’s in charge: Yahweh is, you’re not. Sometimes I think we need to take a collective chill pill. My eldest son just entered high school. He’s going to try out for the baseball team and I think he needs to gain a little weight. Every once in a while, I’ll get on to him about taking protein supplements. When I feel my “pushing” get a little out of hand, here’s what I try to remember. First, there are seasons for growth (he has yet to hit his pubescent growth spurt). Second, artificial growth has it’s dangers. Third, my un-contentment can sometimes send the wrong message – I don’t like you the way you are.

As you press forward, just remember that if you scatter lots of Kingdom seed and keep yourself close to Yeshua (Jesus), good things will happen. And no matter what, let’s keep things in perspective: we’re nothing really. Paul writes, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Cor 3:6, 7).

 

As always, The Banqueting Table hopes this was of some benefit to you.
Sincerely,

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table

Originally written August 15, 2011

New Tools & Trainings E-newsletter

 

CMA LogoTools & Trainings E-Newsletter
Issue 66                                            January 19, 2012   
Prisoners Coming to Christ

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...