23 March 2011

The Awesome Responsibility: Thinking, Speaking, Acting in the Name of Jesus


Henri J.M. Nouwen (In the Name of Jesus, 1989 pp 65-68) says,

"…Most Christian leaders today raise psychological or sociological questions even though they frame them in scriptural terms. Real theological thinking, which is thinking with the mind of Christ, is hard to find in the practice of ministry. Without solid theological reflection, future leaders will be little more than pseudo-psychologists, pseudo-sociologists, pseudo-social workers. They will think of themselves as enablers, facilitators, role models, father or mother figures, big brothers or big sisters, and so on, and join the countless men and women who make a living by trying to help their fellow human beings to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday living.

"But that has little to do with Christian leadership because thethinking, speaking, acting for Jesus Christian leader thinks, speaks, and acts in the name of Jesus, who came to free humanity from the power of death and open the way to eternal life. To be such a leader it is essential to be able to discern from moment to moment how God acts in human history. . .

". . . In short they have to say "no" to the secular world and proclaim in unambiguous terms that the incarnation of God's Word, through whom all things came into being, has made even the smallest even in human history into Kairos, that is an opportunity to be deeper led into the heart of Christ."

19 March 2011

Learning about Church Planting Movements Part 7

How does this happen?

How do you get past 1st or 2nd generation??

The process of each week’s session – this is a TRAINING process

  • First 1/3 Change_Ahead_Road_Sign_2

    • pastoral care,

    • worship,

    • accountability (review and encourage),

    • Vision-casting

      • How did you obey the lesson last week?

      • Who are you sharing with? Who has believed?

      • When are you training them in the same process?

      • As trainers training trainers

  • Second 1/3

    • New Lesson (enough biblical content to obey)

  • Last 1/3

    • Practice & Prayer (Confidence to obey & train others and goal-setting with commissioning)

      • practice the lesson

        • it’s not what you know but what you actually do…

      • set goals and pray for them


Remember the Goal…

  • Build a trainer, not just a listener…ask questions that get you the desired result: training trainers who train
  • Don’t ask, just tell…



The Four Calls:

There are 4 calls we should listen for daily…

  • Up – from heaven

    • the call to go
    • Isaiah – who will go and whom shall I send?
  • Down – from down below

    • Lazarus and the rich man
    • Relatives calling out from hell asking for a witness to give news…
  • Outside

    • Paul’s Macedonian call
    • when I hear a spiritual call from an individual’s conversation
  • Inside

    • listening to my own spirit that tells me where to go…

17 March 2011

Learning about Church Planting Movements Part 6

Beginning the final day of drinking from the fire hose at the Globe (Missions) Network Summit in Germany… 

Whew! Just trying to listen, participate and type is pretty exhausting! So these notes are not comprehensive, but more what I can do in the midst of a lot of discussion, exampfirehoseles and introspection…

And – you know me – I’m reticent to make evangelism into a program that in any way dehumanizes or institutionalizes individuals.  Or that somehow makes them into objects or trophies.  Can’t stand that!  Just can’t stand that!  And I hope these notes don’t give the idea that that’s what we’re trying to do. No!  God forbid! Programs don’t impact people.  Love and concern impact people.  It’s about dying, lost people who have found life, reaching out to others to share that life!  This is about helping people experience the grace of God through Jesus Christ.  It’s not about cookie-cutter programs, but about principles and methods to disciple nations.  It’s about a biblical response to the world’s lostness.  And “lostness” is something we all know something about.  Losing our way.  Walking in a fog.  Living without purpose or direction – whether for a moment, a month or a lifetime.  Lostness.  And separated from the loving interaction of a Heavenly Father…

Anyway, here we go again….

We begin the day with worship and prayer.  Prayer and intercession especially for Libya and those who are caught/involved in the conflict in Benghazi.

We ask each other (in Chinese tradition), “Have you eaten? What has God fed you? How will you obey what God has told you?  Who will you tell?” And it’s interesting as we talk, how God continues to speak to each of us in quiet and intimate ways.  I’m reminded that Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.”


Practical Steps in CPM

CPM Best Practice – Training for Trainers (T4T)

Emphasis on training others so they will train others… 2TI 2:2

There are 4 questions that Prevent Christians

  1. What do I say?

    • personal testimony – what God has done for you
  2. Who do I say it to?

    • It’s God’s will for you to win your family
      • make a list of 5 people with whom you are to share
    • Biblical illustrations:
      • Noah,
      • Cornelius,
      • Rahab (offered salvation to her, but she insisted on having it for her family),
      • Lot (maybe if he’d have been a better witness he might not have lost his wife),
      • Philippian jailer,
      • Gaderine demoniac (sent home by Jesus to tell his family)
  3. What makes you think I’ll do this?

    • Peer accountability – giving reports of what has been done
    • People do not meet expectations, they meet inspections.
    • Accountability is holding people accountable for what they said they would do in the way they said they would do it. Two kinds of airlines: those who crash and those who do not. The difference is inspections. Those who have inspections of the work done, don’t crash. Those airlines that rely only on the mechanics looking over their own work, crash. People don’t meet expectations, they only meet inspections.
  4. What do I do if the say yes to Jesus?

    1. teaching others how to hear, obey and follow


  1. There is a kind of person Jesus uses

    1. person of prayer
    2. person who hears the 4 calls
      1. up
      2. down
      3. outward
      4. inward
    3. who thanks God in all that comes
    4. person who see only 2 kinds of people –
      1. those who need evangelizing,
      2. those who need evangelism training
  2. There are persons of peace scattered throughout society

    1. the only way to find them is to evangelize them
  3. Everyone can participate in evangelism and CP but not everyone will do it…

    1. so train every Christian but continue with do-ers of the Word,not just hearers only
  4. The most effective evangelism comes from someone who knows you and loves you

    1. it is God's plan for the good news to flow through families

  5. Though everyone can participate in evangelism & church planting, some are uniquely gifted.

    1. these are called "Super-Spreaders"

Creating a CPM Ethos 

  1. Just Do It!!
  2. Church planting is not rocket science or brain surgery! (or even rocket surgery or brain science)
  3. It is a great joy to win someone to Christ…
  4. It is a greater joy to plant a church…
  5. It is the greatest joy to train someone else to plant a church!

16 March 2011

Learning about Church Planting Movements Part 5

In Most Church Planting Movements (where there is rapid multiplication of believers)

  1. Insulation from traditional believers – to prevent meltdown…

    • traditional believers have traditions that might hinder growth
    • traditional believers have extra-biblical requirements
    • traditional believers have different values
      • often concerned for heresy… but heresy usually comes from those who are not involved in evangelism
    • What will you do to protect the new believers from the old believers??
      • limit foreign teams… who need translation
      • meet in different places…
      • confront those who would cause dissention or confusion
    • (often beginning something new is easier than attempting to bring renewal)
  2. Persons of Peace

    • People, prepared by God, who are open to hearing the Gospel and who will take the Gospel to others in their Oikos or community (LUK 10:1-12).
    • Persons who function as bridges in the CP processes
    • Used to reach their own “oikos”
    • They came; they brought their whole family.  We did not empower them.  They left.”
    • Can they be a Cyrus? And still be a Person of Peace?
  3. High Cost for following Christimage002

    • we value that which is costly…
    • there is a high cost for fully following Jesus
    • we are commanded to pray for those who are persecuted
  4. Bold fearless faith

    • Act 4:29-31 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
  5. Family-based Conversion Patterns

    • “group them, then win them”
    • groups of people come to faith
    • patterns of group dynamics
  6. Rapid training of new believers

    • “Before you put your head on the pillow, tell your closest people what has happen to you…”
    • How would you rapidly train new believers?
      • meet as often as possible… “When do we meet next?”
      • to keep accountable in basic – SOT
      • always meet in a group
      • pray together
      • who God is… what He’s done for them… what was attractive for you to come to Christ
      • time – not done rapidly – quells the fire
      • equip to tell their story and empowered to tell
  7. worship in the heart language

    • believers desire to worship in the language of their heart
  8. divine signs and wonders

    • When God shows up…
  9. On-the-job Leadership Training

    • learn a little… do a little… learn a little… do a little…learn a little… do a little…
  10. Missionaries suffered

    • Satan attacks “lostness” at a personal level
    • must have strong intercession
    • intense spiritual warfare…

Learning about Church Planting Movements Part 4

We continue to learn about patterns of Church Planting Movements…

Make Disciples of all Nations

What is the purpose of our lives?

MAT 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  (NIV)

Why does God send us into the world?

MAT 9:36-38 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."  (NIV)

2PE 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  (NIV)

What does our Resurrected Lord call us to do?

MAT 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  (NIV)


2TI 2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.  (NIV)

Learning about Church Planting Movements Part 3

Beginning the second full day of CPM training in Hamminkeln, Germany…

After a time of worship and prayer…

We begin by asking each other, “How has God fed you most recently?”  And then, “How will you obey?”  Germans, Americans, Kenyans, Scots asking each other the questions…

The disciples rejoined Jesus at the well and they asked “Have you eaten?”  And Jesus replied, “I have food that you don’t know about.”  

Genesis 11:31 - 12:3  Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran. The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."  (NIV)

Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  (NIV)

Contrast between Terah – who set out for one place but stopped along the Good-Seedway – and Abram who became the Father of the Faithful. Often God tells us what we must leave behind before you can be effective. God spoke to Abram to leave behind:

  • His country
    • some missionaries leave, but never “leave,” instead they create a “little home-country” to remain comfortable… comfort is the enemy of change
  • His people
    • traditions and culture
    • leave room for new deep intimate relationships… if you remain attached to everyone back home (hours on internet, SKYPE, FaceBook with home folks) leaves little emotional energy for NEW relationships
    • developing new friendships is s Gospel thing
  • His family
    • in Abram’s time it was the family that cared for you, defended you and provided for you
    • God was calling on Abram to shift his dependence to God from his family systems

God told Abram to follow Him and He would lead him to where God wants him to go.  It’s a matter of trust in a moment by moment relationship.  God promises blessings for those who bless Abram and curses for those who curse Abram.

We must always ask ourselves, are we still on track with God?  Have we left those hindering things behind as we move forward with God in His plan for us.


Looking at Jesus’ commands for sending out others…

Matthew 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  (NIV)

Matthew 10:5-10 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.  (NIV)

Luke 9:1-6 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them." So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.  (NIV)

Luke 10:1-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.  (NIV)

From the instructions of Jesus…


  • Pray for harvesters
  • go 2x2
  • when you enter the house bring peace to the house
  • stay in the house that welcomes you
  • go to every town
  • heal the sick, cast out demons
  • look for a son of peace
  • eat what’s in front of you
  • preach the Kingdom
  • shake the dust from your feet


  • don’t take purse, sandals
  • don’t go from house to house
  • don’t greet others
  • warning and shake the dust
  • go to Gentiles/Samaritans
  • go needy and God will take care of you

Jesus gives very specific instructions to disciples (the 12, the 72)  Pray that God will raise up harvesters from the field.  Bring peace those who receive you – go prepared spiritually to call on God to demonstrate His power, love and compassion to solve whatever problem is found.

Jesus says to the disciples, when you don’t find the person of peace, move on. Often we spend too much time attempting to persuade those who are non-receptive to spend the time with those God has prepared.

When you find the Person of Peace, stop looking and moving around and stay with them.  Start modeling, assisting, watching and preparing to leave.

Acts 10… longest story in the Book of Acts: the story of Cornelius.  God prepares Cornelius and then prepares Peter.  (Working with persons of peace mean that you do not evangelize only single people but their families.)  When we go, God has already prepared people.  Our job is not to persuade, but to find those God has already prepared.

Jesus is interested in entire households and family groups not just in individuals.

Universal Issues:

  • Person of peace – placed by God – is a universal aspect of church-planting where the Gospel isn’t.  God has prepared someone to receive the Gospel.
  • Not everyone is called upon to be a church-planter. But everyone is called to make disciples.
  • God intends that all people, all generations, all cultures to have a local expression of the Body of Christ.
  • “Harvesters” bring to faith those who are in their spheres of influence.

It’s simple:  the intention is to start a church and you search for the man of peace, and if you do not find him either stay there and become the man of peace or move on and find the man of peace elsewhere. 

More later..

Learning about Church Planting Movements Part 2

We continue to sit together with men and women from around the world who are cross-cultural workers with Globe Europe and Globe International listening to Bill Smith teach about Church Planting Movements (CPM).

…As cross-cultural workers, it’s all about about God and Him holding everything in His hand.  Boldness engenders boldness in others.  Bold people generate bold disciples. God is not concerned about longevity in one place as much as the number of people who are touched and reached.

There are principles that apply, but we must apply them so that they work.  Methods are adaptable but principles remain true.

Sometimes missionaries can learn more from those to whom he ministers adding to what he knows already. 

Be willing to use smaller groups to reach more people because you are willing to work with those who are adaptable.  We are all brothers together, but we work with those who desire to change and be culturally adaptability. To do CPM, there will be a loss of friends and those who do not want to make necessary changes.  We must be open to learn from the ones we go to and it takes generations for us to overcome this.

The goal is not anything other than or less than reaching people with the Gospel and having them come into relationship with Jesus Christ.  More important to find the person of peace than to preserve a work permit or country access.

Principle:  when we get people into the the Word, they learn, not what we want to to teach others, but what God wants to teach them.  In studying the Scriptures, we learn what God wants us to learn.  And what God considers important.


In every Church Planting Movements: (this are descriptive of movements)

  1. Extraordinary prayer
    1. much fervent prayer for lost people, usually by name; not prayer for self, or church, or family, but for salvation for people they know…
    2. new believers now pray for their friends and relatives
  2. Abundant Evangelism
    1. many people hear the Gospel
    2. M2E – mouth to ear
    3. sow abundantly, reap abundantly
      1. the more who hear, the more believe
      2. typically more people will not come to Christ today who do not hear the Gospel today
      3. someone takes personal spiritual responsibility for the people group
    4. Frog Churches v Gecko Churches
      1. Frogs wait for bugs to come to them – I make a lot of noise, have a long tongue and if anyone comes near, I’ll reach out to him… (attractional)
      2. Geckos blend in and go out into the world looking for the bugs… (missional)
    5. Resources are in the harvest
  3. Intentional Planting of Reproducing Churches –
    1. “Intentional” – without intentionality ministries (humanitarian, medical, children) will not actually plant churches.
      1. You get what you aim for…
      2. church = group of people committed together to do what God wants us – individually and corporately – to do
      3. multiplying churches
    2. “Reproducing” – intentionally reproducing
      1. “Cuban baseball churches” – devotion before baseball game; when someone shows interest they go home with them and give gospel to whole family
      2. “Horse Church” vs. “Mule Church” – difference is in reproduction; one can reproduce and one cannot
  4. The Authority of God’s Word –
    1. The missionaries/church-planters are not to be the authority, but the Word of God… (The Great Omission – Steve Saint)
    2. Where the Word of God is not the authority, there is usually no CPM.
  5. Local Leadership
    1. Local people lead…
    2. The resources are in the harvest… next year’s best local evangelist in your area is not even a believer today
    3. They took the opportunities to lead
    4. They learn to depend on each other – finding our own resources locally.  Avoid financial dependency
  6. Lay Leadership
    1. God will use ordinary people to do His will.  Key word: ordinary
    2. Keep “church” simple so that “ordinary” people can “do it”
    3. Not extra-biblical requirements for leadership
      1. education
      2. ordination
      3. gender
      4. “not everybody can do this”
        1. baptism
        2. communion
    4. There is a need for critical mass for churches to exist – some cultures is determined by security issues nor necessarily sociological issues
    5. (Personal concern… that gift-driven ministry if recognized, taught and encouraged would simplify the process of leadership)
  7. House Churches
    1. Meeting wherever there is a place to meet
    2. Not in a dedicated single-purpose building
    3. Not tied financially to a building
    4. Advantages:
      1. interaction – participation – trust
      2. flexibility
      3. accountability
      4. more secure in persecution
      5. can put expenses toward missions
    5. DNA must be not about “smallness” or getting out of the institution but about moving towards addressing a lost world
  8. Churches Planting Churches
    1. Not professional church-planters doing their job
    2. if it requires someone from the outside then it will never become a movement
    3. Congregations take responsibility for churching a region
  9. Rapid Reproduction
    1. What is “rapid?” Nothing set in stone.
      1. Some churches go “rapid” – reproducing – in as little as 7 months
    2. Rabbit Churches and Elephant Churches
      1. rabbit can reproduce 4 mo. after birth with 7 offspring – second
      2. elephant can reproduce after 22 years with 2 year gestation
  10. Healthy Churches

15 March 2011

Learning about Church Planting Movements

Beginning to blog today somewhat live from the Globe Europe headquarters in Hamminkeln Germany.  Bill Smith is teaching about church planting movements (CPM).

We began last evening with discussions of definitions of a CPM.  And parts of that definition include:

  • Rapidly multiplying reproduction movement of indigenous churches
  • Not funded from the outside
  • Founded on prayer and intercession
  • Led primarily by “laity”
  • Reproducing exponentially as the Good News of Jesus spreads

In the book of Acts – and in CPMs – wherever someone believed the Gospel 1) they told other 2) some believed and some did not 3) those who did not believe persecute those believe 4) those believe are bold.

This morning we begin with prayer and worship.

And now Bill Smith begins teaching and impacting. (These are short-hand notes… not complete)

Emphasis on principles not on techniques/methods.

In China – a rapidly multiplying CPM – the traditional greeting is “Have you eaten yet?”  Chinese Believers have turned it into “What has God fed you today?”  And then to ask, “Have you obeyed yet today?”  “Who are you telling?”

Principle: In places where churches are multiplying rapidly, individual Believers take responsibility for hearing God speak and sharing that with others… The message3s are often given collectively and given the question of how will you obey.

The opposite is where paid leadership has responsibility to hear from God and take care of that.  The ordinary church-member only prays, pays and gets out of the way.

Principle: nothing stops… what others say is remembered and given to others. In a non-reproducing movement we remember what we say, not others. In CPM, we care most that people hear and then pass it on.

Question – will we obey what we hear God say, and then pass it on to others?  Based on the Priesthood of the Believer.  The opposite says that only holy people do holy things only in holy places.  Very exclusive.

Book of Acts – beginning with maybe 500 Believers in one place,

Peter –> Barnabas –> Paul –> Timothy –> Epaphrus –> @ Colose –> Nympha @ Laodocea

Principle: transferrable multipliable discipleship… a disciple who is not discipling is not really a disciple… must believe God is giving you key persons in order to multiply – train many, but disciple those who will continue with you and who will train others.  Sometimes the “person of peace” is one with a negative influence transformed – such as the Woman at the Well (JOH 4) who was the message-bearer where a whole village believed.

“The most successful are not those with the most disciples, but disciplers are those who can trace the linage for many generations of disciple-makers.”  Legacy is important.

What do we see in the Book of Acts -

  1. Discpling others who disciple others
  2. Faith and patience to disciple others
  3. Colossians 2:1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.  (NIV)
  4. It is possible to make disciples who make disciples, who make disciples…

The Mission Frontiers article: Hindu CPMs – MAWL: Model (do those things that new believers could also do; non-sophisticated things) – Assist (assist others as they did) – Watch (as others do this) – Leave… the apostolic model.

After leaving – Paul

    1. Prayed for those whom he left
    2. Sent others
    3. Left coaches
    4. Visited
    5. “Leave” is not “abandonment”

God honors our faith – for a church, for a region, for a movement.  Often our faith is too small. 

Do we set the pattern of self-correcting from the Word of God rather than through the latest preacher passing through?  And can we trust God to work through new Believers and to release them to do what God has called them to do?  The Word of God is the authority rather than strong personalities and authoritarian people.

Issues of confusion of control and accountability… biblical local-level accountability through group interaction about character, moral or life-issues.  Correction of life-issues has been passed on about how to deal with moral and life issues.

Spiritual Principle: wherever there are new lambs, there will be wolves.  So we learn ahead of time how we deal with wolves in the church, outside of the church…  “Leave” is not “abandonment”  Paul left his disciples behind but they remained in his heart.

Who do you tell?

Principle: Most new Believers have the most joy and enthusiasm the first few days of their salvation.  If told that as a new believer, they are the doorway of salvation to the family… tell those you love before you go to bed…

More later…