The fault dear Brutus…

2016 05 Manchester mission

Cassius:

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Out on mission this week in Manchester UK. Seven teams of two — British, Americans and Australians in partnership with Ivy Church.

Day One: 56 people received prayer, 48 people heard the gospel (3Circles), 11 yellow lights (I want to learn more), 4 green lights (turned and believed).

Which brings me to the Shakespeare quote—why do we blame the stars? Wherever I go in England people tell me it’s hard here. The British don’t want to hear the gospel. They aren’t interested in faith. Sharing the gospel won’t work. Let’s go softly softly and slow.

Yet everywhere we go we find people whom God has prepared.

It’s hard work, but they are out there. The problem is not in our stars but in ourselves. We’re not convinced that God himself is at work whenever we step out and share the gospel.

Troy Cooper unpacks 3Touch Training

Find out more

115-From megachurch to movement in South Florida: Steve Wright

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Steve Wright talks about how a multi-site mega church can reach it’s community through multiplying disciples and churches.

Steve is Pastor of Discipleship and Church Planting at Family Church West Palm Beach.

Links:

UPDATE: Link to podcast fixed.

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The 3Touches in Tusla

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Troy Cooper unpacks what happened when he took the 3Touches of training to Tulsa:

Each touch of training has two components: one is the event and the second is the weekly rollout. We really believe it’s the week-to-week rollout of the training that really gets to movement, but the event training becomes an on-ramp for people and an opportunity to help raise up trainers.

We went in to Tulsa in September-October, and it was just a soft touch of training with the pastors and elders and a few key people in the church. I did just a basic, Level 1: how to share the gospel, and we took them out in the harvest. Then came back and debriefed. It was actually just supposed to be a vision meeting; it wasn’t supposed to be a training, but they took what I gave them and they began to roll it out.

They started going through the Commands of Christ on Wednesday nights, they started taking a training team out in the harvest on Thursday nights, and next thing you know you’re seeing out of this church led by pastors and elders, people come to Christ and stories start bubbling out within the community. So we were scheduled for January, April and July—three touches—but the January training was now a second touch because we’ve already got people on the ground that can train.

So we show up in January and I meet with their fruitful trainers on the ground the night before, and we run through the training and practice and we get up there and their people did 80% of the training. On the Assist part, they got it! The challenge was that because this was coming from pastors and elders in the community, we had seven churches there, with seven lead pastors! We had over 250 people at this massive training, getting trained, going out in the harvest…this is awesome, but the challenge is, if this thing continues to blow up, how many people are comfortable training in front of 250 people? It can seem like it’s just one church that’s doing this, so that’s why I just dropped the idea hey what if we rolled this out at multiple campuses next time? That’s where you’ve gotta bring other catalysts from the outside to help out.

So second touch of training, we did the event and then they did the 4-6 week rollout of the Commands of Christ afterwards. We just went back for the third touch and just watched them at two campuses, and now they’ve got a solid training team on several campuses, and now those teams are helping train other churches in the city.

At Cedar Ridge Church in Sapulpua it was their third touch of training. They had six trainers and 100% of the trainers had come to faith within the last year. They were the ones leading the training, 100%. Daniel Reese was just there to watch them and give them feedback. So these newer believers are training other believers how to make disciples, and what gave them such credibility to do it is, for the last 4-6 months they’ve been out in the harvest every week, engaging lostness, sharing the gospel, discipling the fruit and starting groups in homes, and they’re already seeing third generation disciples.

At this training one of the trainer’s second-generation disciple was there and that person baptized a third-generation disciple at the training.

Our whole goal is to come in to help get it started, then we remove ourselves and just continue on in a coaching and mentoring relationship, so that it’s the local leaders and teams that are the ones rolling this out. So most people in that city don’t even know who we are. They know NoPlaceLeft—that’s the banner they’re flying under—and they know there’s a number of pastors and churches in the area that are doing this.

Listen to the whole interview

Turning local churches into mobilisation centres

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Some of the #NoPlaceLeft guys have come up with a strategy to turn local churches into mobilisation centres. It’s called the 3Touches.
 
The 3Touches are three training events on sharing the gospel and making disciples, two-three months apart. After each one 3Thirds discipleship groups are launched to practice the skills, begin sharing the gospel and learn how to disciple others.
  • At the first training a “swarm” team of experienced practitioners do 100% of the training.
  • At the second event (2-3 months later) the training is shared 50/50 with the swarm team and a local practitioners.
  • At the last event (2-3 months later) the swarm team watch while the local practitioners do all the training.
Meanwhile three teams are forming:
  1. A House of Peace search team that goes out every week
  2. A House of Peace follow up team
  3. A Training team for training events every 1-3 months

A church that becomes a mobilisation centre commits to:

  • Lead an event training every 1-3 months
  • Lead weekly 3Thirds discipleship groups
  • Lead weekly House of Peace searches and follow up
  • Adopt a NoPlaceLeft radius around church to share gospel with every household within a time-frame.

To find out more listen in to my interview with Troy Cooper.

How to find churches that are ready to multiply

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Recently I spoke to Troy Cooper about how he finds churches that are ready to become mobilisation centres for multiplying disciples and churches.

Troy: We’re looking for three things:

  1. They are broken for lostness.
  2. Do they have any kind of God-sized vision that’s beyond themselves? At West Palm Beach it was 100 new churches. At Cedar Ridge Tulsa it was 1,000 new disciples.
  3. Humility—they are actually wanting to learn.

We’re not trying to sell what we’re doing or convince people you should be doing this. We’re looking for where God is working. When we find a pastor that’s broken for lostness, hungry to learn, then we can come in as catalysts, serve them like crazy through training and coaching, and praying for them like crazy.

We spend time making sure the leadership understands what our 30,000 foot view is. The lead pastor has to sign off on this. Or at least be aware of what’s going on and back it. We need to communicate to them what our strategy is—the Four Fields—so they can see where this is going. 

I’ve found that there’s usually three entry points in a church, where they’re itching for training:

  • One is disciple-making—they’re usually exploring different evangelism and discipleship tools that are totally unrelated to one another.
  • The second is church planting—hey we’re interested in planting churches—and they’ll typically outsource this to somebody.
  • The third one is missions mobilization; they’ve got a heart to mobilize people to the nations and they’re usually looking to outsource that too.

When I look at the Bible and see what happened in the book of Acts, if you start with disciple-making, it leads to church planting, which leads to missions mobilisation. That’s what I love about the Four Fields process: we equip people to make disciples, who gather to form healthy churches to mobilise disciple-making church planting missionaries. 

West Palm Beach wanted to plant 100 churches. So we went in to talk about church planting but we immediately went back to let’s talk about how to make disciples. Because how you make disciples impacts how you plant churches. They are making disciples and they starting new churches. Their vision is to start 16 churches from their existing churches. They’ve got third and fourth generation churches being started this year. A year and a half ago they didn’t have a missions department. Now they’ve got a full-time staff guy and a missions team and they’re pursuing unreached, unengaged people groups in Central and South America.

We had one church that said we want to mobilize missionaries to the nations. OK, so we’ll come in and talk to you about how to mobilize the right kind of missionary. So we go bring them back to disciple-making and church planting so we can send catalysts.

We figure out where they are and what their need is for training. We’ve learned to be patient with the process. Letting the lead pastor and elders see that we come to serve and that we’re willing to go at the pace of the Holy Spirit through their leadership.

Thanks to Janet for the transcript. There’s more to come…

Meanwhile visit Troy’s blog, he’s putting out some good stuff.

 

Treasure in jars of clay—reflections on Phil and Monika’s story

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But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

Paul

I listened again to Phil and Monika Clark’s story of pioneering movements in New Zealand. It’s a story I never tire of hearing. Wherever we train ordinary people with simple, but powerful methods of connecting, sharing, training new disciples and forming new churches—we see God at work. 

In New Zealand, as in Australia, Britain and Europe, we’re still a long way from multiplying movements of disciples and churches. But we are seeing fruit, where previously there was none.

The biggest barrier to the spread of the gospel, resulting in new disciples and multiplying streams of churches, is our unwillingness to share the gospel up front and early and teach new disciples how to obey Christ.

We have this treasure in jars of clay (2 Cor 4:7).

Theirs is the story of gospel advance as Phil is facing a life and death struggle with cancer. God is glorified that despite the predictions of imminent death, Phil lives. Even more, God is glorified that whether Phil lives or dies, Phil and Monika live in Christ. Listen to their story. One day, if not already, we will face the ultimate test of our faith. Listen to a couple who have looked death in the face and are no longer afraid. They have fought and won. Their faithfulness has prepared the way for movements of disciples and churches across New Zealand.

Multiplying movements are not the result of crunching numbers, of strategy and tools. They require flesh and blood. Brokenness and faithfulness. Power in weakness. Treasure in clay pots. We cannot go further or higher than our Saviour, he leads the way. He suffered, so will we. He triumphed and in him, so do we.

114-Pioneering Movements in New Zealand: Phil and Monika Clark

Phil & Monika Clark

Phil and Monika Clark talk with Steve Addison about their story of pioneering movements in New Zealand.

Phil and Monika serve with Church Army New Zealand.

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What’s Russell doing Mondays?

 2016 Russell  Dapo

Last time we checked in Russell Godward was out searching for houses of peace in Gisambi, Kenya. Now he’s out in Essex looking for people of peace with Dapo.

Here’s the latest from his newsletter:

I’m discipling a young friend, Dapo, in the photo above. Each week we head out into the same part of town to connect with people. We headed down to the Barber’s shop to meet a young guy we had been discipling. We meet him on his break each week and share with him at the cafe. We’ve done this every week now for a couple of months, but today he doesn’t show and we can’t get hold of him on his mobile. We’re disappointed and a little concerned. It’s getting dark and cold, so we head around the area to prayer walk before heading home.

As we head back to the car a guy calls across to us. A young friend of Dapo’s. Like many 19 year old lads with some street cred, he’s full of chat and bravado. We greet and talk a little and then it’s time to leave. Before we leave Dapo turns to the guy and does what we’ve trained him to do – he asks if we can pray for him. At that moment the guy changes, the bravado falls away and he visibly warms to the idea of prayer. I ask him if we can pray for anything specific? He looks me in the eye and says “Yes, 2 years ago this week my older brother at age 21 committed suicide in prison. I miss him and just want to know he’s okay”. So there on the High Street, as the cold and dark press in on us, we pray for him and his family in Jesus’ name.

He looks up and there are tears rolling down his face. We share some comforting words with him and ask after his mum and the family. He needs to leave, but before he does Dapo asks him if we can meet again to share some more? He says yes and we plan a time to meet in the next couple of days. Then he gives us the biggest ‘man hug’ ever and we head home, encouraged.

Two days later we are waiting in the cafe. He arrives on time, we greet and catch up briefly over a mug of tea. We begin to share more with him; we ask if he feels near or far from God and he talks a little about this. Dapo shares his story, how he came near to God. I share the 3 Circles on a notepad, a simple ‘gospel’ conversation we use regularly.

I then ask him 3 questions;

  • Where are you? He describes his life as being ‘broken’.
  • Where would you like to be? He’d like to live in God’s plan for his life.
  • Is there anything stopping you turning and believing today? He says ‘no’.

So there in that cafe an amazing miracle happens. We pray together as a young 19 year old guy turns his life over to following Jesus, and we make plans to start meeting to disciple him!

Discipling people like this will be hard work, fraught with difficulty and challenges. Broken people are not put back together overnight, but why would you want to do anything else?

This is what we do on Monday’s now!

We are seeking and learning to live like this every day, sent to connect and share with the ‘unreached’ people of our town and area.
We are offering to serve the church of Thurrock in order to equip and train local believers and churches to share in this way.
We are travelling and training churches and groups across the UK with the MOVE team.

We now exist to multiply new disciples & churches – everywhere!

If you want your Mondays to be different maybe we could come and train with you, your church or a group of churches in your town?

Russell has become our first British born MOVE UK team member. Send me an email if you’d like connect with him and find out more.

On the way to Exponential Orlando

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Heading out for Orlando and Exponential 2016. Troy Cooper and I are running workshops with Ron Surgeon, Steve Wright and Ray Vaughn.

If you’re going drop by and say hi. Look for me at the IVP stand where my books will be at 40% discount.