Appealing to the Qur’an

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It seems like we wake up every day to stories of new atrocities committed by the Islamic State.

Mark Durie examines the Islamic State’s appeal to the Qur’an to justify their deeds. Here’s what he concludes:

Persuading Muslims to take the words of Muhammad seriously is the core strategy of radicalization.  This tactic works as well as it does because it appeals to a plain reading of Islam’s holy texts.

To be deradicalized, a Muslim needs to repudiate the theological authority of the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. This is a hard call for pious Muslims.

more ….

Movements do

What separates movements from everybody else is that movements do. They don’t make excuses.

From Seth Godin…

Icn seths headSeen, heard, gotten, changed

Most of the news/advice/insight you run into is merely seen. You might acknowledge that something is happening, that something might work, that a new technique is surfacing.

Sometimes, if you work at it, you actually hear what’s being said. You engage with the idea and actively roll it around, considering it from a few angles.

But rarely, too rarely, we actually get what’s going on, we understand it well enough to embrace it (or reject it). Well enough to teach it. And maybe that leads to a productive change.

It’s not clear to me that more stuff seen leads to more ideas gotten and more action taken. We probably don’t need more inputs and noise. We certainly need to do a better job of focusing and even more important, doing the frightening work of acting ‘as if’ to see if we get it.

It starts with more doing, not more seeing.

Training church

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I caught up with Chuck and Debbie Wood recently and hear Chuck mention the concept of a “training church”. I wanted to know more, here’s what Chuck wrote back,


We’re doing Training Churches and Timothy Churches.

The training church focuses on people who are already believers who want to be trained on how to plant churches. It’s usually an existing church that has attended one of our training events. Once we identify a group of people who are serious about training, we pick a house in their target neighborhood and begin to meet together. We start off by explaining what the training church is and how we plan to conduct the training. The second week we model the first of the Seven Stories of Hope and have them practice. The third week we’re out knocking on doors looking for houses of peace. We then start an every other week training scenario. One week they are being trained in the training church. The next week they’re training others in the new house of peace that they have found. We work our way through a couple of Stories of Hope and then we begin to work through the Commands of Christ. We do just enough to get them started. Once they feel competent and confident we launch them and then check back occasionally to see how they’re doing. It really goes at the pace of the church that has requested the training. Often leaders take over the training process within 5 to 8 weeks.

The Timothy Church consists of the budding leadership of the next generation of laborers. They are found either in existing churches or the harvest. The primary purpose of the Timothy Church is to model church and to encourage and coach Timothy’s as they plant their own churches in the harvest. If you look it Ken Blanchard’s leadership model this is a great way to get people through the discouragement of a lack of competence in the skills (C2 all the way to C4). It is not uncommon to see Timothy’s plant churches that fade away out from underneath them. Them Timothy Church gives them a consistent source of fellowship and coaching whiles persevering through the process.

Both Training and Timothy Churches use the Three Thirds Process and the primary value is modeling and encouragement.


If you want to know more, connect with Chuck.

BTW that’s Chuck on the left. I think the others are two gang leaders he was witnessing to.



Did 7.5 million Americans really lose their faith since 2012?

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Matthew Maule questions the figures.

A recent Religion News Service (RNS) analysis piece by Tobin Grant claims “7.5 million Americans lost their religion since 2012.” He bases his analysis off the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) done by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago; the survey is funded by the National Science Foundation. He further elaborates that “When asked their religious preference, nearly 1 in 4 Americans now says ‘none.’” An examination of the numbers, however, brings both these claims into question.


Tim Scheuer: How to share God’s story within your story

Tim Scheuer demonstrates how he shares God’s story (the gospel) within his story.

Here’s how Ray Vaughn does it.

Why not have a go with your own version? Use your own headings for each section, not Tim’s.

If you put it on YouTube, send me the link.

If you lead someone to Christ, teach them to do this immediately and share it with family and friends.

What does it take to reach a city: Part 2 [podcast]

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Fred shares the second part of What it will take to reach a city?

Here’s a link to the first part.

Fred mentions sharing God’s story in your story, Ray Vaughn shows how to do just that.

What Jesus Started has more on Discovery Bible Study, T4T, the Three Thirds process.


The Blog turns 10


Ten years ago I thought my first book on Movements would never see the light of day. Six publishers had rejected it.

So why not get it the ideas out anyway? I became a blogger. I learned to write for my readers, not to impress my critics (I’m my worst critic).

Now my third book on Movements is due for release in November 2015.

Thanks to Alister Cameron (above) my blogologist who helped me set the whole thing up in WordPress. Thanks to Peter Bergmeier and Kyle Walling who made it look nice and function effectively.

Thanks to Michelle who never reads my blog and never stops believing in me.

Here’s the first of 1,781 posts… I still believe every word.

Lost History of Christianity just £2.99 on Kindle

Finally a great book on discount for my UK readers.

More on the Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins…

“Lost History of Christianity The” (Jenkins Philip)

Are Americans losing their faith?

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In the US the percentage of people who have no religious preference is growing.

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The percentage of Americans who never go to church is growing.

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The percentage of Americans who never pray is growing.

On the other hand, 85% of Americans still pray sometimes. So go find them, and ask them if they’re near or far from God right now? And would they like to be nearer?

Don’t moan about the statistics. Don’t blame your church or your pastor. Get some training and do something. As you step out, God will show up.

NoPlaceLeft Australia and New Zealand

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NoPlaceLeft training with Steve Smith and Ying Kai

Sydney, Australia

29-31 May 2015