Ray Vaughn

153-Pursuing NoPlaceLeft as a Team

The #noplaceleft Houston team share what they're learning about reaching a city of 6.5 million. For more on #noplaceleft Houston listen in to the interview with Ray and Sara Vaughn.

L to R: Bobby Herring. Sara Vaughn, Philip Lynch, Beth, Chris Lynch, Ray Vaughn, Rodger Shull, Guy Caskey.

Video above, audio below.

152-Pursuing NoPlaceLeft Together — Ray & Sara Vaughn

Ray and Sara Vaughn tell the unfolding story of NoPlaceLeft Houston and beyond.

How did God prepare you to reach the city?

Who is that guy?

Who is that guy?

My last question to Ray Vaughn was on how God prepared him for the challenge of reaching a city of 6.5 million.

I can feel rather overwhelmed with a city that’s a large as Houston but I think what’s prepared me is being in Columbia being in a smaller realm and in all honesty the thing that’s prepared me the most is failing. To know I’ve failed enough shows me that I have perseverance at least and can maintain it. Paul commends or validates his work as an apostle, more than any other way, through perseverance. Constantly he is reminding us look I’m not a false apostle because I’ve suffered through hardship, beating, shipwreck, trial, constantly I have the burden of the church. Any false apostle or somebody who’s not really called to this type of work is not going to persevere through those type of things.

The reality of learning to persevere through churches that get started and then flop, learning to persevere through teams that feel like are forming and then they don’t, learning to persevere through being in a city and feeling like you’re the only person who really wants this (even though you’re not but you just haven’t met those people yet) learning to persevere through loneliness, through I have no idea what to do next or through getting to 2nd generation church and then it all flops, or to 3rd generation and wondering how do we get to 4th or 5th generation church? Learning to persevere through hardships with pastors that don’t share your view on church or leadership or baptism.

Learning to persevere has helped me to realize it comes with the territory of trying to get to movement and no place left. By embracing that role and vision and call I need to expect and say yes all these other hardships.

Podcast interviews with Ray Vaughn:

A final thanks to Janet for typing up the transcript of Ray’s interview. 

PHOTO: Ray and Sara Vaughn. Not sure who that is on the left. I’m sure he’s not dangerous.

Partnering with local churches to find Generals

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Ray Vaughn shares what it looks like to turn local churches into centers for training and mobilizing ordinary believers:

So we start training at Sugar Creek, we meet this guy named Otis, he’s maybe in his 50s, really sweet African-American guy with a real good heart for the Lord but has been in the church for about thirty years. We trained about who to share with and what to say, with lots of repetitions and practicing the 3Circles gospel presentation. After this he’s just in tears and says, “I’ve been in the church thirty years and nobody’s ever actually showed me how to share the gospel.”

So we set a small goal: go share the gospel with five people this week. He calls us three days later and says he’s already done that, what else should he do? So we say share with more people, so he shares. He ends up leading ten of his family members to the Lord, baptizes four out of the ten, trains them and now some of them have actually led two others to the Lord and possibly getting baptized in the next month. They meet now in a church in their home; Otis is leading a church with that family and some of his friends every other week, and they’re committed to planting more churches. As a result of this training we’re finding guys like this Otis and just want to release and equip them.

Ray’s always looking for “Generals” who can build teams.

I’m training at Woods’ Edge and all of a sudden this young guy comes out of the training, Angelo and his wife Brianna. They come to me and say hey, we already have a group in our home, in fact when we moved into this complex we knocked on every door. He’s got every hour of his week mapped out, he knows exactly what he’s doing but he has no idea what process to go by, how to multiply.

So you get this general type, the ones God’s already got...now we’re giving Angelo lots of time, even outside of training, because it’s not classroom, it’s relationship. We want to make sure Angelo really gets it, and he’s got it so we’re giving him and his wife a lot more time. Now he’s identifying that group in his home as church and putting 3Thirds into that and now they’re going out sharing every week and getting now an idea of how to multiply.

Listen to the whole interview…

Q. How do you reach a city of 6.5 million? A. Turn local churches into training centers.

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How do you reach a city? Turn local churches into training and centres that mobilise ordinary believers to do extraordinary things.

From my interview with Ray Vaughn in Houston,

We have three maybe five ongoing training centers. One is with Sugar Creek Baptist Church where we got started, and now there’s a team that got raised up there in Sugar Creek that’s doing all the training every month. So we don’t have to be there but when we do go we’re just looking to coach and to help. Now we’re guiding them more in the areas of Fields 3 and 4 (making disciples, forming churches). But Fields 1 and 2 (connecting and sharing) they’re sharing like crazy. They have teams that go out every week, sharing the gospel is starting to become part of their DNA as a church and they have members that are already training folks downstream.

Woods Edge Community Church recently is getting on board where they’ve already learned a lot of these tools, with multiple trainings at their church, but now since we’ve come alongside them we’ve been able to capture more progress and help them go through more consistency of training. Now the first Saturday of every month they’re training folks, taking them out. We’re looking for who’s obeying so we can help them start churches and groups that are multiplying.

Sagemont Church is another church in Pearland, south Houston. They’ve committed to the third Saturday of every month and are also giving us some short term missions into Houston that are tied to the training. The first one is in March, they’ll be taking them out among internationals, with lots of repetitions in the harvest, and then they’re coming back to their Saturday training. Then they’re the ones that are going to train the church there. We’re just coaching them.

Then we have some through this ministry called Hip Hop Hope through Guy Caskey and his network, it’s been a great connection working with Guy and pre-existing leaders in other networks. They’ve tightened up some of their Lesson 1 and they’ve seen lots of generations and some fruit. From that they’ve taken inner city urban poor, folks coming out of prisons, and are plugging them a network of folks really going after church-planting and making disciples to 4th, 5th, 6th generation. They have a training center maybe two times a month where they have new folks from different churches that are being trained.

Ray has set a goal of training 5,000 people in Houston in 2016. To achieve that goal, Ray and his team are training trainers.

Most weeks in Houston there’s a church somewhere training their people and going out into the harvest. Ray and the team help set them up, then hand the training over.

They circle back looking to develop emerging Pauls and Timothys.

What can a movement pioneer do in a city of 6.5 million?

Ray SaraVaughn

How do you reach a city like Houston of 6.5 million people?

That was my first question to Ray Vaughn, a movement pioneer just after congratulating him on marrying Sara (photo).

The headings are mine, the quotes are taken from his interview for the Movements podcast.

1. Begin with the end in mind—reaching the whole city. If you act like a team leader you’ll only see what you and your team can do.

We’re starting out with a macro strategy and then moving to a micro strategy. What that means is I could take my team of full-timers and just plug into an apartment complex and say, “OK, let’s go sharing, let’s try and start groups and churches and see how we can get those to multiply and increase,” but then that just makes me a team leader. As a team leader into one area that’ll be a good start but that’s not going to reach the city or see movement.

2. Train and mobilise existing believers, existing churches and form them into teams.

Instead, what does it look like, on a macro level, to start training as many people as we can on every spectrum that we can, whether it’s African Americans, Spanish-speakers or Arabic-speaking churches or people or groups, just any possible person, we’d like to train them and start mobilizing multiple teams into the harvest—that is our macro strategy

So for these next one and a half years, we’re really going to be just training, training, training any person that we can, just to get them into the harvest in a particular area, sharing the gospel, to where that becomes the norm for the culture here, as well as not just sharing the gospel and getting them to Fields 1 and 2 (connecting and sharing the gospel), but then Field 3—discipling them in their homes, in their workplaces or coffee shops or wherever it is and then, of course, forming churches around those people.

3. Keep leading by example

So that’s the clarity that’s in my head as far as how we’re attacking the city of Houston right now. We’re training existing networks, existing churches, pre-existing believers and of course we’re also simultaneously in the harvest every day, sharing, looking for people of peace that are brand new.

There’ll be more to come from my interview with Ray. Thanks to Janet for transcribing the podcast!

108-Pioneering a City-wide Movement — Ray Vaughn

Ray Vaughn (right) on what it takes to be a movement pioneer across a city. Want to get started? Want to take the next step. Ray recommends you get some training. My last interview with Ray. Connect with Ray Vaughn and support his ministry.

Training opportunities.