The Candid Truth about Bi-Vocational Church Leadership

flinchconference2015For the conference on RISK–FLINCH Conference–I was asked to lead a workshop on bi-vocational leadership for the church.  Rather than me talking about this, I decided to pull together other leaders from around the country who have been doing it to share about the candid truth.

Here is the workshop description:

Since the beginning of the Church, her leaders have not all been fully salaried staff pastors. The Apostle Paul even made tents for a season in his ministry. One of the questions facing many of our leaders is “how to support my family and do the ministry that God has called me to?” We have a panel of leaders who have experienced the reality of bi-vocational ministry — earning income from the ministry and from some other source. So as we think about raising leaders and church planting, we should hear the stories of those who have embarked on the bi-vocational journey.

Here is the list of panelists:

Manuel Espinosa:  Pastor – Iglesia Cristiana de la Comunidad  (Lakewood, CA), Prison Evangelist, House Painter

Angel Ortiz:  Pastor – First Alliance Church NYC (Christian & Missionary Alliance Church; the church Dr. A.B. Simpson started), Freight Supervisor – Javits Convention Center in NYC

Jack Brown:  Pastor – North Shore Bible Church (Essex, MA), Realtor – Sotheby’s International Realty, Grow New England – Regional Church Planting

Javier Forero: Pastor –  Iglesia Comunal La Esperanza (Lithia, FL), Chaplain – Crush It, Dominion, & more!, Coaching & Recruiting Church Planters –   Encompass World Partners

Plus via Video– Hugh Halter:  Church Planter – Adullum (Denver, CO), Author, Trainer with Missio, House Painter

Here’s his video that set up our conversation (the first 7 minutes):

bivo-bookI’d recommend his book: BIVO: A Modern-Day Guide for Bi-Vocational Saints as well.

 
Unfortunately, our workshop didn’t get recorded, but I posted my PowerPoint online here

 

 

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

The Essence of the Church by Tom Julien cited by @JD_Payne

This post is a connection of 3 influential missiological thinkers in my life:

1) I saw this post on Kurt Miller’s blog (thechurchplanter) – @KurtMiller01 is my father-in-law and one of the sharpest thinkers about church planting in the USA.
2) Tom Julien wrote most of the content, and he is the Director Emeritus of my current agency Encompass World Partners. From the time we shared a meal at my parents home when I was a little boy, I’ve hung onto the wisdom he has spoken.

DiscoveringChurchPlanting-JDPayneThose first two were plenty of reason to repost, but then as I did some more research, I realized that
3) missiologist J.D. Payne included this in his 2012 book Discovering Church Planting. I’ve learned from Payne in his merging of global mission & church planting over several years of collaborating with @CMAResources.

Sorry for the long intro, now to the content of “The Essence of the Church”:

 

“In his article, “The Essence of the Church,*” Tom Julien discussed the fact that many church planters often define the local church in terms of their cultural preference, which can lead to problems on the field.  Julien admonished church-planting teams first to come to an agreement on what the local church is so they will know what they are planting.

“Our problem is that we identify the local church by her cultural and historic expression, more than by her biblical essence. To arrive at a clear definition of the local church we must make a distinction between the two. Sluggish thinking here will lead to differing assumptions in the church-planting team that will affect the basic principles of any church-planting ministry. The more focused we are on essence, the less attachment we will have to any particular cultural expression of the church. On the other hand, if the form or cultural expression of the church becomes our reference point, adapting to different cultural situations will create tension.

The New Testament reveals the church both in her essence and expression. With regard to the essence of the church, this revelation is given in images and presented as fact; with respect to the cultural expression of the church, this revelation is given as example and is descriptive rather than prescriptive…

Let us come back to our original question: “What is a local church?” We have said that a local church is a visible manifestation of the biblical essence. Most of us, however, need something more concrete to work with. It is crucial that every church-planting team agree on a working definition, in concrete terms, that grows out of essence, and not expression. This definition must include those elements that are indispensable to the identity of a church, and omit those that are not. This definition identifies the seed for church planting.

Here is an attempt at such a definition. Members of every church-planting team need to be unified with respect to what they are planting, even if it takes months of struggle to agree.

A local church is an organized body of baptized believers, led by a spiritually qualified shepherd, affirming their relationship to the Lord and to each other by regular observance of the Lord’s Supper, committed to the authority of the Word of God, gathering regularly for worship and the study of the Word, and turned outward to the world in witness.”

Questions to Consider:

  1. What do you think Julien meant by “If the form or cultural expression of the church becomes our reference point, adapting to different cultural situations will create tension”? Can you give an example of such tension?
  2. Do you agree or disagree with Julien’s definition of the local church?
  3. Have you and your church-planting team taken the time to agree on a biblical definition of the local church? f not, why not? How do you know you are all on the same page when you talk about church planting?

*Taken from Tom Julien, “The Essence of the Church,” Evangelical Missions Quarterly (April 1998): 148-149, 152.”

Photocopy original citation in Discovering Church Planting page 44
Photocopy original citation in Discovering Church Planting page 45

Kindle Version:

In Memory of TRUE World Changers: Jim & Lyn Montgomery

Today I went to a Celebration of the Life of Lyn Montgomery…who entered eternity earlier this week to join her Lord and her love Jim. I have known Lyn only in these last 4 years, but I know I missed her most fun and fruitful days. The years wore on her beautiful body and soul, yet I long to know the woman that I heard the stories of today…at least to taste her carrot cake!

I’ve had the privilege of knowing the Montgomery’s son Len (who is an amazing man in his own right) and Len’s wife Mishal (amazing too!). My two boys are the same ages as their three boys (they have twin 6th graders). In fact, all those boys are right now at our house enjoying video games together!

I never had the privilege to know Jim either, as he passed in 2006. Never-the-less, I’ve been deeply impacted by his work, vision and writings.  He brought us in the church/missions world the idea, strategy and success of saturation church planting. On his shoulders, the ministry of DAWN (or Discipling A Whole Nation) was birthed. The most popular work of his, was DAWN 2000: 7 Million Churches to Go.   In modest numbers, the implication of Jim’s ideas have catalyzed more than 3 million churches around the world.  What a wake!

In a time of hype about movements and changing your world, Jim and Lyn are the true thing. I truly believe that even though less than 100 people gathered to celebrate the life of Lyn Montgomery in Anaheim today, there are thousands of saints in glory who welcome Lyn home because of her influence for Jesus around our globe. Certainly her Lord Jesus said, “Well done good and faithful servant!”

 

Links for you:

Jim Montgomery’s Writings – Free Downloads from DAWN

Jim’s Impact in starting DAWN Ministries (Discipling A Whole Nation)

From 2006 – Tall Skinny Kiwi: In Memory of Jim Montgomery.

Jim Montgomery telling the story of Campus Churches, Students of Peace and @JaesonMa

Insightful Videos from Neil Cole

Newforms

Newforms

Our bro, Neil Cole was at the Newforms National Conference in April and they captured some video…these clips are short (3-5 minutes) and pithy!

 

 

  1. Sabatoging Movements
  2. What is Church Planting “Movementum”?
  3. The Power of a Movement
  4. Building a Movement
  5. Believe in the Seed

Church Planting Lessons from Guy Muse

1. Work with what you have on hand.
In Jesus miracle of the five loaves and two fish, he asked the disciples what they had on hand. Of course five loaves and two fish were not nearly enough to feed 5000, but when turned over to Jesus, He blessed those few loaves and fish so that they fed thousands. The same hold true in church planting. Start with what you have and turn it over to the Lord and watch him multiply the “little” into “much.”

2. The importance of a few key details.
The difference between success and failure in church planting often hinges on attention to a few key details. For example, it is a lot easier to gather people first and evangelize/disciple them, than trying to win individuals and attempt to gather them. Another is baptizing new converts as soon as possible. Ongoing relationship and mutual nurturing of leaders within an accountability group of fellow believers is also an important detail.

3. Materials are not the key.
The most frequent question people inquire about is what materials we use. “Show us your materials.” This is the least relevant thing and yet is what everyone thinks is the key to a successful church plant. Just get the right materials and voila you get a church planted. Not so. What is important is the person’s perseverance through the ups and downs of planting a church. Knowing how to effectively use a few simple tools (materials) can go a long way, but nothing takes the place of an inner drive and love for the Kingdom.

just do it

4. “Just do it.”
Nike’s slogan means don’t wait to have all the answers before beginning. It is better to just get out there and start something, than to stand back waiting for conditions to be just right, or for more training. The best way to learn is to get out there and “just do it.” Yes, mistakes will be made, but seldom are these mistakes fatal to the overall work. The grass is NOT greener on the other side of the road. It is no harder to plant a church where God has placed you, than it is for someone else in another “easier” location.

5. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers.
Once you settle that He is the one who does the calling, then it becomes important to accept those he sends, regardless of the initial unpromising impression these folks might make upon you. Over and over it has been the “least promising” individuals who have panned out, while the really sharp, cool, educated types fizzle along the way.

6. Dealing with the “authority” issue of who can plant a church.
Many are looking for authorization or blessing from their pastor, denomination, an ordination council, or respected leaders to give them the “green light.” If there is any doubt in the mind of the novice church planter that he/she has the authority to plant a church, they will not do so. If, however, they understand their authority comes directly from Jesus, they will be mightily used of the Lord. Every church planter needs to settle in their hearts and minds that Jesus is the source of their authority issues. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth [therefore] go…make disciples…baptizing…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” One of my roles as a missionary is empowering people to do those things that Christ has already empowered them to do!

7. Have a clear idea of what it is that needs to be done.
Many of our folks see themselves as simply “evangelists” and are out trying to win a few to Christ. Once they get it into their heads that they are apostolic church planters, fully invested with the authority to do ALL that such an undertaking entails–baptizing, serving Lord’s Supper, counseling, teaching, praying for the sick, planting a church, etc.–they are transformed into amazing vessels for the Master’s use.

8. Simplicity.

This one cannot be emphasized enough. Neil Cole simply says, “Simple is transferable, complex breaks down.” He goes on to say, “Simplicity is the key to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation. If the process is complex, it will break down early in the transference to the next generation of disciples. The more complex the process, the greater the giftedness needed to keep it going. The simpler the process, the more available it is to the broader Christian populace.” Almost every mistake we have made in the church planting process can be boiled down to our making things more complicated than people can actually handle. I have the tendency to think “more” is better, but “less” is always more in the long run. This certainly applies to church. The more simple church is made to be, the more likely it will take root and grow. The more complex we make it, the more likely it will fail.


© 2011 J. Guy Muse who is a missionary catalyzing organic church planting movements in Ecuador.

Posted on CMAResources.org   Originally posted at http://guymuse.blogspot.com/ HERE

Interesting Facts for Global Church Planters

  • There are 9,608 ethnic people groups and 15,942 people-in-country groups, counting each group once per country of residence.
  • Of the 15,942 total groups, 6,430 are Least-Reached, totaling 2,576,038,000 individuals.
  • Of these 6,430 groups, 4,975 are in 10/40 Window countries. That means 77% of the unreached / least-reached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.
  • The largest least-reached group is the Japanese, with over 120,000,000 individuals.
  • 3,285 groups are primarily Muslim, totaling nearly 1,300,000,000 individuals.
  • 2,436 groups are primarily Hindu, totaling about 900,000,000 individuals.
  • 561 groups are primarily Buddhist, totaling nearly 375,000,000 individuals.
  • 6,486 groups are primarily Christian, totaling over 2,000,000,000 individuals. “Christian” is defined here as Christian adherents, not restricted to evangelicals.
  • The Mandarin Chinese is the largest people group, being in 98 countries with a total of about 793,000,000 individuals, and with 783,000,000 of those in China.
  • Jews are found in 130 countries, Arabs in 84 countries, and Chinese groups in 117 countries.

There is still lots of work to be done!

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

The Least-Reached and Secular Humanists in America Need the Lord

Never before has the climate for evangelism and church planting been riper for taking the love of Jesus to least-reached people right here in America! Not only are there over 800,000 least-reached people living within our shores, but there is a tremendous spiritual vacuum created by three generations influenced by secular humanism. People are searching for meaning, security and significance. New churches are timely, relevant and connect easily with their communities. Now is the time to plant more and better churches! Now is the time for existing churches to multiply and reap the harvest fields around them. Historically, church planting is proven to be the most effective form of evangelism.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

Least-Reached in U.S.

Reaching the least-reached in the United States with the love of Jesus
Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

Definition of an Unreached People Group

The Joshua Project gives the following definition of an Unreached or Least-reached People Group:

“A people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.”

The original Joshua Project editorial committee selected the critieria less than 2% Evangelical Christian and less than 5% Christian Adherents. While these percentage figures are somewhat arbitrary, there are some that suggest that the percentage of a population needed to be influenced to impact the whole group is 2%. Joshua Project uses the terms Unreached People Group (UPG) and Least-reached People Group interchangably.

If they are to be reached, churches must be planted.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller

God Desires to Bless the Nations

Psalm 67

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us–that Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Here is the latest from thechurchplanter blog…the blog connected to thechurchplanter mini-magazine of Kurt Miller
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