Saturday, December 30, 2006

Changing The Culture

NusAmer 06-11-165

AMERICAN CULTURAL BAGGAGE

How to Recognize and Deal With It

Stan Nussbaum

Orbis Books, 2005, 160 pp., ISBN 1-57075-625-2


Stan Nussbaum worked many years in Africa and now serves on the staff of Global Mapping International. Building on common American sayings he explains basic American cultural values, why we think and behave as we do. It is fun to read and very insightful, if a little troubling, for those of us who are monocultural Americans. A shorter edition for internationals is called, “Why are Americans Like That?” (Enculturation Books, Colorado Springs, 2005, http://www.enculturation.org/)

“The aim of this book is to help open your eyes to your own American culture. Then you can deal with it in a conscious way, choosing when to act American and when not to.” (9)

“Culture is to a society what personality is to an individual—unconsciously built in, hard to describe, but easier to deal with once a person deliberately reflects on it. This book is a reflector, a mirror helping you to see what you look like to other people.” (10)

Here are the “Ten Commandments” in American sayings.

1. You can’t argue with success. (Be a success.) “Success is probably the highest value in American life.” (15)

2. Live and let live. (Be tolerant.) “Americans love freedom and privacy.” “It means that no one should object to anyone else’s way of living.” “If we are not tolerant of other people, we may damage their self-esteem. To attack someone’s self-esteem is to break one of the most basic rules of American life.” (16-17)

3. Time flies when you’re having fun. (Have lots of fun.)

4. Shop till you drop. “We are perhaps the ultimate consumer society, and this saying describes us so well that it could be our national motto.” (18)

5. Just do it. “We are people of action.” (19)

6. You are only young once. (Do whatever you can while you have the chance.) “…enjoy life to the full, taking advantage of every opportunity…” (19)

7. Enough is enough. (Stand up for your rights.)

8. Rules are made to be broken. (Think for yourself.) But laws are official. “No one is above the law.” (20)

9. Time is money. (Don’t waste time.) “Wasting time is as bad as wasting money, so we schedule everything and we hurry everywhere.” (20)

10. God helps those who help themselves. (Work hard.) “For most Americans, God is much less a concern than success, money, and time.” “It is better to be independent than to depend on other people.” (21)

Americans’ three basic goals are being a success, building self-esteem, and having fun. “We want our biography to be a success story.” (22) “Ambition, self-confidence, and hard work are admired. A certain amount of toughness and aggressiveness will be needed.” (25) “Today we are a nation of risk-takers….” (29)

“Success implies several other things that are not central concerns in many cultures—setting goals, working hard for change, and using personal achievements as the basis for making judgments about a person’s worth. Some other cultures center their values on social harmony, defense of an ethnic/racial community, maintenance of the status quo, or transcendence of personal existence.” (36)

“When we Americans press for success and change, some other cultures see us as insensitive, pushy, and disruptive.” (36)

“From kindergarten onward, schools and parents tell children how ‘special’ each one is.” “The philosophy of life is, ‘Express yourself,’ ‘Enjoy yourself,’ ‘Respect yourself,’ Be true to yourself.” (39)

“Whatever promotes self-esteem is good, and whatever diminishes it is bad. That is why racism, sexual harassment, child abuse, male chauvinism, and religious intolerance are so unacceptable in America today.” “We even have a new term for such things. We say they are not ‘politically correct.’” (40)

“..though it is a terrible thing to condemn anyone for being ‘morally incorrect’ or ‘theologically incorrect,’ is a very good thing to condemn people for being ‘politically incorrect.’” “‘Political correctness’ defines what is not tolerable in a society that claims to tolerate anything.” (40-41)

“When Americans do not consult others…members of more group-oriented cultures take us to be arrogant and self-centered….” (43)

“American life seems to go by the principle, ‘More choices mean a better life.’” (51) “We unconsciously make judgments about another city or country based on the number of channels on the TV set or the number of kinds of restaurants in town. If the number is low, we may conclude that we are in a second- or third-class country…and resent it….” “It may not occur to us that a third-class consumer society could be a first-class society in other respects, and America could be a third-class society by other standards. For example, America is a third- or fourth-class society when it comes to maintaining quality relationships in the extended family.” (53)

“Love and sex feature very largely in American culture because they represent an obvious way to achieve all three primary cultural goals at the same time—success, self-esteem, and fun.” (57)

“The contradiction between the glorification of love and the glorification of individual freedom may be the deepest contradiction in American culture. The myth and the pledge of eternal love are consistently defeated by the desire for individual freedom.” (57)

Money is important to Americans. In regarding other cultures we do not see that their primary concern is often with spreading existing wealth rather than making money. “They believe that to accumulate individual wealth is antisocial. It insults the rest of the group, and it must be punished, not imitated.” (61)

“Our international businesses and even our ‘aid’ and ‘development projects’ often come across as ways of teaching our money-sucking techniques….” (61)

“American play tends to be achievement-oriented and competitive.” (62)

“Preserving American freedom is the only serious concern most Americans have about international affairs.” (67)

Just do it,” may be the best three-word summary of American cultural values. (69) And it may be about the worst rule to live by in many cultures. (77)

“We assume that since our goals are noble and our intentions are good, people in all cultures will welcome our efforts to improve things….” “…Americans get a reputation for being impatient and inconsiderate.” “We think our American national symbol is an eagle, but the rest of the world thinks it should be a bull…in a china shop.” (71-2)

In America growing up means becoming independent. In many cultures it means becoming interdependent with other adults. (73)

“Americans consider selfishness to be very bad, but self-interest (including self-esteem, self-sufficiency, self-preservation, and self-expression) to be very good.” However, they seem to be pretty much the same thing! (81)

“Americans living in other cultures tend to excuse themselves for behavior that the local culture considers inexcusable. Self-expression, viewed as a fundamental human right by Americans, can get us into all kinds of trouble.” (82)

“It has been said that most cultures worship their elders, but America worships its children.” “Aging is seen only as a loss of liveliness and strength, not an increase in prestige or wisdom. Everyone wants to ‘stay young.’” (83)

“One of the most important differences between American culture and many others is that one’s sense of worth comes more from personal achievements than from relationships. A great deal of American culture will not make sense to the outsider until this point is recognized.” (86)

“Americans do not mind group relationships. What bothers us is group obligations. We join groups easily and we leave groups easily.” (96)

“American life patterns are subconsciously designed to maintain our personal space, while many other cultural patterns are subconsciously designed to form groups. This puts Americans out of sync with many other societies at a deep level.” (98)

“We tend to call attention to the individual who is responsible for a success or failure. This is a gaffe in cultures that go to great lengths to avoid shame of any kind.” ‘In such cultures calling attention to a blameworthy act may be judged to be worse than the act itself.” (113)

“In many cultures, proverbs remind people to trust and respect authorities of all kinds. By contrast, American proverbs teach people to question and challenge authorities. Our nation was born in a revolution that threw off an unwanted authority, and we have been throwing off authority ever since.” (116)

“It does not come naturally to us to obey local cultural rules that make no sense to us. A basic challenge of cultural adjustment is the challenge to obey first and ask questions later.” (118)

“Americans are time-conscious to an extreme.” “Life is seen as an hourglass in which the days slip by…. Life is not seen as an accumulation, an unfolding, a growth. It is a race…against time, and the human being always loses.” “Next to the credit card, the watch is our worst slave-driver.” (127)

“Time spent sitting and reflecting does not count for much. In fact, silence makes Americans nervous.” (128)

“When we go into another culture to work for a few weeks or even a few years, our short time frame and our success orientation guarantee that we will be out of step with what is happening there.” (129) We can then stick with our schedule or switch to their time. This is a very heavy piece of baggage. (130)

“Since many Americans go overseas to promote change of some kind, they run head-on into change-resistant cultures.” (135)

“Much of the rest of the world, particularly Europe, has a love-hate relationship with American optimism and enthusiasm.” “Europeans…are turned off by anything that sounds like American hype.” (139)

“We want God to meet our individual needs. We are not so interested in fitting into his master plan for the universe. The vast majority of us Americans say we believe in God, but, crudely stated, many of us want to use God rather than worship him.” (142)

Americans want an explanation for why God doesn’t prevent the deaths of good people at a young age, etc. “A nation that worships success cannot worship a God who fails.” (143)

“In more religious cultures we need to ask people questions that we rarely ask other Americans. Which unseen powers do they believe exist? What effect do these powers have on life, health, work, family, etc.?” (145)

* * * * * *

David Mays

DavidLMays@sbcglobal.net

Helping leaders fulfill their roles in the Great Commission




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Friday, December 22, 2006

CARE ~ Servant Evangleism Articles & Ideas

Servant Evangelism
Transitioning an established church toward Servant Evangelism

By Richard Pool
"I do not need convincing about the value of Servant Evangelism as a tool for the local church."
Boomerangs, Kidz, and Seed Flinging
By Tom Fox
...I like to use boomerangs to help kidz understand the idea of seed flinging...

Small Things Done with Great Love Will Change the World
By Janie Sjogren

Perhaps our motto should read, "Small Things Done with Great Love Are Changing the World"
World-Changing Outreach Projects
Outreach Projects That Will Change the World!
By Serve! Publisher, Steve Sjogren
These are projects we have done, not just thought up in a committee meeting! Use these in the assurance that they actually do work, but read the explanations that accompany each concept.
Coaching
First One's Free Session...
By Serve-Coach.Com
Good Coaching can help you improve your communication skill.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

CARE ~ City Officials Praise Collaborative Effort

Cleveland city officials celebrate Southern Baptists’ ‘Fresh Coat Cleveland’ volunteer effort Cleveland city officials recently gathered to praise Southern Baptists involved in Cleveland’s Strategic Focus Cities initiative for their recent efforts to mobilize more than 600 volunteers to paint 22 homes as part of the ongoing Fresh Coat Cleveland effort.===>Click headline to access article . . .

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pastors & Marketplace ~ Partners in Transformation



Pastors will learn...

* Why C. Peter Wagner believes the new emphasis on faith and work could be the most significant movement since the Protestant Reformation.
* Why Dr. Henry Blackaby says we will never see societal change through political leaders or pastors.
* How the nation of Uganda is being transformed and the role the Church has played a key role in this. You will hear from one of their key leaders, Bishop Julius Oyet.
* Hear from Doug Spada and Os Hillman about effective church-based workplace ministry models you can adapt in your church.
* Why Kent Humphreys of Fellowship of Companies for Christ believes your relationship to marketplace leaders is key to impacting every member of your church.
* Why Linda Rios Brook believes you can change your city by equipping your workplace leaders.
* Why research tells us that 90% of church members say they do not feel equipped by their local church to live out their faith at work and how you can change this.
* Five changes you can make that will radically equip your workplace leaders for transformation and change your church in the process.
* Why Eric Swanson, author of the Externally Focused Church, believes your church can be a city-changing church.
* Why churches that are not incorporating an intentional focus to equip workplace leaders will lose members to those who are.
* Why and how your role as pastor can impact a city and nation.
* Why the nuclear church and extended Church have different rule books and the problems this causes.

Workplace Leaders will learn...

* Four attributes of the workplace leader God is using to transform workplaces, cities, and nations.
* Three ways we can expect to see a wealth transfer in the last days and your role in it.
* Why workplace leaders need to be in relationship with pastors if they want to see the presence of God manifested in their city.
* How to understand the role adversity plays in your own calling in the workplace.
* How to better relate to your pastor so that the two of you will be a dynamic team for ministry.
* How God is raising up social entrepreneurs today and how this relates to city and nation transformation.
* What you can do to impact your city through your workplace calling.
* How a ministry in Atlanta is impacting executives in the high tech industries, real estate and the financial services industry and how you can do it in your city.


Click Here for Details and Online Conference Registration

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Monday, December 18, 2006

LC2C - FAQ's

  1. IS LOVING OUR COMMUNITIES TO CHRIST INCLUSIVE OF EVERYONE?
    Christians who become involved in Loving Our Communities to Christ (LC2C) represent many denominations, backgrounds and ethnic groups. With theological agreement based on The Lausanne Covenant and following the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, each person commits themselves, their congregation or their ministry to call God's people to His mission of Loving Our Communities to Christ. LC2C seeks to present the clear message of the Gospel to every person in the nation – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, lifestyle or location.
  2. IS THIS ANOTHER NATIONAL INITIATIVE OR CAMPAIGN?
    Loving Our Communities to Christ turns national initiatives upside down by honoring the plans and initiatives of local cities and communities. LC2C was prayerfully initiated by leaders of cities and communities in collaboration with national leaders of denominations and ministries. Local pastors, lay leaders, business men and women, city leaders, ministry leaders, etc. are crucial to its success. Because of the flexibility of this process, many communities may become involved in short-term, city-specific campaigns such as Bible distribution or hosting an evangelistic crusade, however the focus of LC2C is on long-term citywide transformation.
  3. WHERE CAN I GO FOR HELP OR RESOURCES?
    MAC partners have many resources and ideas that cities may want to consider using. MAC has compiled a listing of LC2C related resources. Additional information will be made available through the free monthly
    MAC EConnections enewsletter.
  4. HOW LONG WILL LOVING OUR COMMUNITIES TO CHRIST TAKE?
    Because every community has different needs and is at a different stage of bringing leadership together, there is no pre-set timeframe in which LC2C must take place. LC2C is meant to be an ongoing strategy for community transformation; one that, as the Lord leads, will continue to regenerate itself over the months and years to come so that every person will have an opportunity to come to know Christ.
  5. WHAT ARE THE STEPS?
    The first step is to contact our Mission America Coalition Office by phone (760) 200-2707 to express your interest. Ask for the Next Steps document. A National Facilitator will be in touch with you following this initial contact to guide you through the next steps which are briefly outlined below.
    • Agreement to the Lausanne Covenant
    • Commitment to “Loving our Community to Christ” framework
    • Complete City/Community Profile
    • Letters of invitation from representative Pastors for engagement in the process. Pastors should represent a significant portion of church attendance in the community.
    • Commitment to engage with the Mission America Coalition leadership for at least a three year period
  6. IS THIS WORKING ANYWHERE?
    Hundreds of communities throughout the United States are already involved in strategically impacting their community with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. While not expressly using the language of LC2C, these cities have gathered their leadership together and are prayerfully working together to share Christ in word and deed. For more information on these communities please go to
    www.cityreaching.com. Since the LC2C framework was unveiled in the fall of 2004, more than a dozen communities are currently evaluating the readiness of their area to become pilot communities.
  7. HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?
    LC2C is a customizable, community-specific framework. Because the community chooses how the framework will be implemented, it’s difficult to determine how much each area will need to invest financially. However, churches and individuals who are committed to reaching their community should prayerfully and carefully consider how much financial support can be budgeted toward this effort, with the understanding that this strategy calls for more than a temporary investment of time and resources.
  8. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO THE MISSION AMERICA COALITION’S NATIONAL FACILITATORS OFFER OUR LOCAL MOVEMENT?
    The MAC National Facilitator Team brings with it more than two decades of experience in city-reaching. In addition to helping lead the MAC national movement, this team has served at the grassroots level as pastors in local churches and leaders of local city movements. They offer a wealth of practical experience acquired through on-the-job “training” in cities and through the development of an online community of city-reachers through
    www.cityreaching.com. This team can help you network with other Christians who are in various stages of reaching their community so you can share ideas, encouragement and strategies. MAC extends its services to communities that whole- heartedly embrace the concept of collaborative evangelism and that recognize the importance of a holistic, whole-city approach to community transformation.
  9. WHAT KIND OF RESULTS CAN WE EXPECT?
    Measuring results and setting expectations for each community is a locally-owned process. MAC can assist communities in establishing systems for setting goals and tracking progress, however local leaders are the best equipped to monitor the advancement of the Gospel in their area. Here is a sampling of the kind of benefits your community can expect to experience.
    • Strengthen and expand your cityreaching movement.
    • Increase effectiveness of outreach efforts that will grow your local congregations
    • Consultation of Mission America National Facilitators for the development of a communitywide whole church strategic plan for loving our community to Christ. These leaders bring expertise and experience in working with over 750 city movements nationwide. They serve as a connection point for resources that will help your community pursue your strategic plan.
    • Increase effectiveness of outreach through leveraging organizations and resources.
    • Draw on the expertise and resources of hundreds of Mission America Coalition member organizations.
    • Customized resources from Mission America Coalition partners to serve the needs of the community based strategic plan.
    • Shared costs for services and resources.
    • Breakthrough results with short-term, mid-term and long-term success measures.
    • Practical steps for congregations and ministries to strategically collaborate in saturation evangelism throughout the city or community.
  10. HOW DO WE MARRY JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY? (BALANCE OF PIETY AND SOCIAL ACTION.)
    When the whole church comes together to take the whole gospel to the whole community, often this means that followers of Jesus with different approaches the discipleship process work together in unity for the first time. We have seen this bring a new appreciation for the richness of the Body of Christ in a community. This requires people of Christ-centered and Biblically-based faith to also be people of grace and love so that we seek first to understand one another. Our experiences in life are different and this often brings different understandings of how our lives in Christ are to be lived out. Some have come to find great pleasure in the development of a deep devotional and passionate prayer life. Others have found great joy in seeing God at work in bringing a more just society. Ultimately, we find our greatest joy in understanding that our Lord Jesus Christ is not either/or in these matters, but both/and. For in the person of Jesus Christ, we see the marriage of justice and righteousness and he is our model for living out our faith as a holistic expression of both the demonstration and the declaration of the good news of God.
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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Coaching ~ or Consulting

Consulting ~ Coaching

•Problem Focused ... Process Oriented

•Brings Answers ... Asks Questions

•Leads the Process ... Listens throughout the Process

•Views me as a Client ... Views me as a Colleague

•Viewed as a Resource ... Viewed as a Resourc-er


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Coaching ~ LC2C Coaches' Roles & Responsibilities

Loving Our Communities to Christ

A Role Description for City / Community Coaches


LC2C is "an invitation to collaborative conversations in our cities and communities that produces customized, locally initiated and owned strategies, goals and plans."


The Mission America Coalition will provide a coach who will serve the local city movement in achieving these objectives.


City / Community Coaches: Role

• Consultant: serve as a consultant to the city movement
• Expert: Bring expertise in the area of city reaching
• Catalyst: cast vision for strategic prayer, practical ministry, and collaborative evangelism
• Facilitator: guard the process as you guide the leadership team
• Convener: connecting national ministry resourc-ers and city/community leaders together
to guide the process of discerning and implementing the city / community's action plans
• Reporter: share insights and progress with MAC and the city / community team


City / Community Coaches: Responsibilities

• Establish / reconfigure / strengthen the city/community team
• Assist this team to:
analyze the current status of local collaborative ministry
recognize and help recruit strategic leaders
assess strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures
identify critical needs in various communities
• Objectively monitor progress of the city/community team
• Assist the leadership team to strategize a Spirit-inspired plan to:
Invitation - increase the number of congregations and ministries connected to the city-reaching movement
Cooperation - broaden cooperative events and activities among congregations and organizations in various communities
Collaboration - involve additional leaders of influence in the praying, planning, publicizing, producing, proclaiming process
Transformation – our ultimate goal for the glory of God
• Help the leadership team catalyze churches and ministries to implement the strategy


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Friday, December 15, 2006

CARE ~ More than Kindness: Let Justice Roll Down

Dr. John Perkins will be the special guest on the Mission America Coalition's City/Community monthly conference call Thursday, December 21 at 11 am Eastern time, 10 am Central, 9 am Mountain, 8 am Pacific. To participate, email requesting the dial-in #. (If you have already responded and received the number, you may disregard this message.)

Following is an additional invitation from Dr. Paul Cedar to you.

Greetings, brothers and sisters,

Just a note concerning a special opportunity being afforded to all of us during this wonderful season of the year. Each month, the City/Community leadership team of the Mission America Coalition conducts a telephone conference call for city and community leaders across the nation. There has been significant participation in the calls.

This month the special resource person will be Dr. John Perkins. As you know, Dr. Perkins is one of the Honorary Chairs of the Mission America Coalition. John has been a very special person in my life and ministry as we had the privilege of teaming together for some 10 years when I served as a pastor in Pasadena, CA.

John has received so many honors over the years. The memo below relates one of his latest honors. We would like to invite you to honor him with your presence on the December City/Community Conference Call. The details of the call are found below.

We thank the Lord for you and pray that you and your loved ones will enjoy a most blessed Christmas season.

Joyfully and prayerfully yours,

Paul Cedar


LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN

All of the MAC national committee members
have been invited to join us as we rejoice in how our Lord has used the life and legacy of of our our Honorary Co- Chairs to influence evangelical ministry over the last 30 plus years!

Many who are involved in collaborative city-wide ministry can trace a lot of influence in city ministry back to John Perkins. You don't want to miss this yearend conference call with one of the giants of ministry-Dr. John Perkins.

It's been 30 years since Dr. John Perkins first shared his story with the world on the pages of his classic book, Let Justice Roll Down. The book taught believers the true meaning of Christianity and racial reconciliation as they read how Dr. Perkins was able to forgive and love those who had wronged him and almost beat him to death.

Readers rejoiced as he was able to move beyond the injustices he encountered during the Civil Rights era, to become a pioneer in what is now known as Christian community development. He wouldn't let hate and bigotry destroy him.

Let Justice Roll Down has been an inspiration to those of us who believe in the principles and power of Christian community development. In fact, the October 2006 edition of Christianity Today lists it as No.14 in an article that names 50 of "The Top Books that have Shaped Evangelicals." As members of the Body of Christ, Dr. Perkins has taught us that we are called to minister to the "whole" man. That basically means ministering to body, mind and soul.

It is with much joy, yet with humility, that we announce Regal Books has honored Dr. Perkins by publishing a special Anniversary Edition of his book, Let Justice Roll Down, which is scheduled for national release in December.

If this book has influenced your life and or ministry in any way, we would especially like to have you on the call to share briefly or if you are able to send an email testimony to info@cityreaching.com.

Carolyn for Jarvis Ward and Glenn Barth,
Facilitators of the monthly cityreaching call

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Desperation: The Key to Transformation?

The Key to Transformation - Desperation

“The key of holy desperation for the presence and ministry of Jesus is required in order for us to move out of our complacent, satisfied existence. Desperation is the underlying fuel that ignites our hearts for unity, prayer, worship, and repentance. If we aren’t longing for Jesus our ministry activities will be routine and hollow. There is certainly no shortage of ideas, plans, methods, books, teachings, programs, and activities in the church; what we are suffering from is a drought of desperation for God!” Rhonda Hughey

Are we desperate enough for transformation? Are we each willing to pay the price that desperation requires? I have just begun to taste the level of commitment necessary for city transformation. We have just finished a non-stop 24-7 house of prayer throughout the month of November. It has radically changed my life, just as it has so many who have stepped into the fire of God’s presence in this location in southern Spain. Prayer lives have been challenged. The question is, “How far are we willing to go? How desperate are we willing to become? Can we even begin to think about going back to how things were even one month ago?” The answer is “No!” We must proceed. We have stepped in this far and the levels of commitment required are going higher. God is challenging us to a new phase, a new mountain to climb for His glory. The battle has been great, but there is no turning back.

There is something so exceeding real and alive to this dimension of living. There is something so necessary and dynamic to this taste of unity between the churches. Suddenly, we are realizing that we are in this together, and we desperately need one another to touch this region with God’s glory. We begin to value and love the body of Christ in all its’ dimensions as we have never done before. We begin to understand what it means to be members of one another. We have tapped into God’s wonderful plan for Kingdom living, and we can never return to the old ways. We are willing to radically change our personal lives and reprioritize everything! God has brought us all to the end of ourselves, and we are beginning to find true life together! It’s all the way forward for city transformation, and for once, we feel really alive with the purpose of God!

Indicators of Transformation

“The decision to make a radical lifestyle change and realign our hearts with the Lord is a matter of our will availing itself of God’s grace and reprioritizing our time and commitments. We can willingly and purposely begin to pursue God! When we do, He responds, and the more time we spend in His presence, the more desperate for Him we will become. It’s an interesting dynamic; the hungrier we are for Him, the hungrier we will become for more of Him!” Rhonda Hughey

There are ways we can evaluate our cities and see if they are on their way towards transformation. There are several ways to discern if the signs of transformation are present and increasing in our city. George Otis, Jr. gives several indicators of transformation. Below are some of these indicators adapted from his study. Take time to regularly evaluate your city and pray through these indicators. Study and pray these verses over your city for each one. Your city is on God’s heart. Pray until transformation becomes a reality in your city!

· The political leaders acknowledge their sin and dependence on God - II Kings 11:17-18; 23:2; Jonah 3:6-9.
· The economic conditions improve - II Chronicles 17:3-5; Psalm 144:14; Isaiah 60:5; Amos 9:13.
· Kingdom values are integrated into daily life - Ezra 10:4; Nehemiah 8:10; Ecclesiastes 10:17; Acts 19:17-20.
· Crime and corruption diminish - II Kings 12:13-15; Nehemiah 5:6-12; Isaiah 60:17-18.
· New laws are put into effect - II Chronicles 19:10; Nehemiah 10:31.
· There is a decline in divorce, bankruptcy and suicide - Nehemiah 12:27-28, 43; Isaiah 54:11-14; 62:3, 7; Jeremiah 30:17-1; 31:11-13; Hosea 2:15.
· The natural environment is restored - Leviticus 26:4-5; II Chronicles 7:14; Ezekiel 34:27; 36:29-30.
· Christians take responsibility in healing and helping their community - Isaiah 58:10-12; 61:104.
· Christians take revival into other cities and nations - II Chronicles 17:9; Isaiah 61:6; Acts 11:20-26.

An Invitation

“To walk through the doors before us, the doors of intimacy, hope, and heaven, and to respond to His generous invitation, we need only one master key: the key of holy desperation. Are you desperate for His presence? Then open the door…”

Lord, help the Church in my city to focus on your Kingdom in everything we do. Make us desperate for Your presence. Bring the churches in my city together in unity. Teach us to walk together and love and esteem one another. Help us to find ways to worship and pray together. Reveal to us our city through Your eyes. Teach us brokenness and humility. Help us to walk low and give You all the glory. Help us to walk in repentance. Give us a heart for the lost and the broken-hearted in our city. Help us to walk in Your authority and power and minister to people outside of our church building. Fill our city with a spirit of prayer and intercession. Make us holy and righteous. We seek Your face. Make us hungry. Make us desperate for You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

“Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Psalm 14:9-10).

For more information on city transformation, I recommend the book Desperate For His Presence by Rhonda Hughey.

“To be desperate means to be without hope in your current condition and to know that in your own power you don’t have the necessary resources required to change it. People who are desperate become determined to find help, often taking great risks to meet their desperate need. In the communities where transforming revival has occurred the people of God were desperate enough to change their lifestyle and their priorities and to commit their time and resources, making everything secondary to the desperate pursuit of God in their midst. They cried out in desperation, and the Lord heard their cry.” Rhonda Hughey

Together in the Harvest, Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise ~ deb@intercessorsarise.org

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Coaching ~ Matching Leadership Style to Development Level

Matching Leadership Style to Development Level

===>Note: Apply the sales motif to the city leaders you work alongside.

===>Click headline to access original website . .

Suppose you have recently hired a 22-year-old salesperson. There are three key responsibilities required of an effective salesperson besides selling: service, administration, and team contribution.

Having worked in the hotel industry during the summer, your new salesperson seems to have good experience in service. Since he was the treasurer of his fraternity and captain of his college soccer team, it looks like he also has some experience in administration and team contribution. As a result, your initial training focus with him will be in the sales part of his job, where he is an Enthusiastic Beginner.

In this area, he is enthusiastic and ready to learn, despite his lack of skills. Because of his high commitment to becoming a good salesperson, he is curious, hopeful, optimistic, and excited. In this area of his job, a Directing leadership style is appropriate. You teach your new hire everything about the sales process, from making a sales call to closing the sale. You take him on sales calls with you so that you can show him how the sales process works and what a good job looks like. Then, you lay out a step-by-step plan for his self-development as a salesperson.

In other words, you not only pass out the test, but you also are involved in teaching him the answers. You provide specific direction and closely supervise his sales performance, planning and prioritizing what has to be accomplished for him to be successful. Teaching and showing him what experienced salespeople do--and letting him practice in low-risk sales situations--is the appropriate approach for this Enthusiastic Beginner.

Disillusioned Learners Need a Coaching Style

Now, suppose that your new hire has a few weeks of sales training under his belt. He understands the basics of selling but is finding it harder to master than he expected. You notice that his step has lost a little of its spring, and he's looking a bit discouraged at times. While he knows more about sales than he did as a beginner and has flashes of real competence, he's sometimes overwhelmed and frustrated, which has put a damper on his commitment. A person at this stage is a Disillusioned Learner.

What's needed now is a Coaching leadership style, which is high on direction and support. You continue to direct and closely monitor his sales efforts, but you now engage in more two-way conversations, going back and forth between your advice and his questions and suggestions. You also provide a lot of praise and support at this stage, because you want to build his confidence, restore his commitment, and encourage his initiative. While you consider your salesperson's input, you are the one who makes the final decisions, since he is learning on actual clients.

Capable but Cautious Performers Need a Supporting Style

Fast forward a couple of months. Now the young man you hired knows the day-to-day responsibilities of his sales position and has acquired some good sales skills. Yet he still has some self-doubt and questions whether he can sell well on his own, without your help or the support of other colleagues. While you say he's competent and knows what he's doing, he is not so sure. He has a good grasp of the sales process and is working well with clients, but he's hesitant to be out there completely on his own. He may become self-critical or even reluctant to trust his own instincts. At this stage, he is a Capable but Cautious Performer whose commitment to selling fluctuates from excitement to insecurity.

This is when a Supporting leadership style is called for. Since your direct report has learned his selling skills well, he needs little direction but lots of support from you to encourage his wavering confidence. Now is the time to stand behind his efforts, listen to his concerns and suggestions, and be there to support his interactions not only with clients, but also with others on your staff. You encourage and praise, but rarely do you direct his efforts. The supporting style is more collaborative; feedback is now a give-and-take process between the two of you. You help him reach his own sales solutions by asking questions that expand his thinking and encourage risk taking.

Self-Reliant Achievers Need a Delegating Style

As time passes, your former new salesperson becomes a key player on your team. Not only has he mastered sales tasks and skills, but he's also taken on challenging clients and has been successful with them. He anticipates problems and is ready with solutions. He is justifiably confident because of his success in managing his own sales area. Not only is he able to work on his own, but he is also able to inspire others. At this stage, he is a Self-Reliant Achiever in the sales part of his job. You can count on him to hit his sales goals.

For a person at this level of development, a Delegating leadership style is best. In this situation, it is appropriate to turn over responsibility for day-to-day decision making and problem solving to him by letting him run his own territory. Your job now is to empower him by allowing and trusting him to act independently. What you need to do is acknowledge his excellent performance and provide the appropriate resources he requires to carry out his sales duties. It's important at this stage to challenge your high performing salesperson to continue to grow in his sales ability and cheer him on to even higher levels of sales.

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Coaching ~ Authentic Leadership

Truly Authentic Leadership
U.S. News & World Report
October 30, 2006, p. 52
by Bill George

How do we recognize authentic leaders?

Usually, they demonstrate these five traits:
1. Pursuing their purpose with passion
2. Practicing solid values
3. Leading with their hearts as well as their heads
4. Establishing connected relationships
5. Demonstrating self-discipline

To be effective leaders of people, authentic leaders must first discover the purpose of their leadership. If they don't, they are at the mercy of their egos and narcissistic impulses. To discover their purpose, authentic leaders have to understand themselves and the passions that animate their life stories.

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The Dynamics of Transformation ~ North America "CIR"

~~ Fellow City-Reachers – This is YOUR Meeting —

You are invited!

Hold These Dates!

April 19-21, 2007

North America City Impact Roundtable

The Dynamics of Transformation

A Consultation for City-Reaching Practitioners

Who?

- Practioners of city or regional movements of unity, prayer, service and outreach

- Leaders of congregations and organizations collaborating with a vision for community impact and kingdom advancement.

- Includes men & women with marketplace callings, evangelistic and compassion ministries, and prayer networkers.

Where?

El Paso, TX, home to a longstanding regional movement engaging three city-reaching movements bridging two nations and two states (Juarez, Mexico; El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM).

When?

The CIR will begin @ 1:00 p.m. Thursday and conclude at noon Saturday. Attendees of any former CIR are welcome to join us for pre-CIR fellowship and prayer Wednesday night, April 18 @ 7:30pm and Thursday 9 am to noon.

What?

The CIR has four components—

1) Roundtable, Intra-City Dialogues: Sitting @ tables with leaders from different cities, sharing journeys, hearing God & discerning relevant take-aways.

2) Plenary Keynote Presentations on Principles leading to Community Transformation by Reid Carpenter, President and Founder of Leadership Foundations of America and Eric Swanson of visionSynergy.

3) City Models that demonstrate the keynote principles in action. The focus will be on practical demonstrations of what's working.

4) Relevant Workshops & "Table-Talks"

    - Through the Doorway to Cityreaching (For those just starting the journey)

    - Building Strategic Partnerships with Marketplace Ministries

    - Multigenerational Cityreaching

    - Trench-Talk: Issues Common to Experienced Cityreachers

    - The Leadership Foundation Model and Process

    - Ministry and Outreach among Hispanics: Engaging Ethnic Churches to Reach the Whole City

    - Mission America's "Loving our Communities to Christ" Strategy: an Update

    - Keys to Leading and Managing Cityreaching Movements

    - City AIDS Summits: The Community of Compassion, the Church, Engaging the Crisis (Fall '07)

    - Righteousness & Justice: If not now, When? Essential Issues for City Transformation

Cost?

$120 Early bird by January 15, 2007

$135 January 16 - February 15
$150 Regular rate February 16 to April 6, 2007
$175 Late registration April 7 to April 19, 2007

One day options: Thursday $50 (no meals)

Thursday (with banquet)

Friday (lunch and dinner) $70

Saturday $50

Full registration includes three meals for all attendees. Hotels and motels in El Paso are inexpensive and lovely! (Register lodging at Hilton El Paso Airport by April 2, 2007 for special CIR rate of $75 - $83 per night.)===>Click headline for registration form...

Please give serious thought and prayer to participating in the 2007 CIR. For maximum benefit, we strongly advise you come as a team, at least three leaders representing your city's unique mix.... five to seven is even better. To register, click on the registration link below.

TOURS INTO MEXICO: Plan to come a day early or stay an extra day to enjoy an exciting all day ministry tour of Juarez, Mexico. More details coming!

The following are serving on the current CIR Design Team:

Glenn Barth (Minneapolis/St. Paul) CIR Convener

Barney Field (El Paso, TX) CIR Host

Tom White (Corvallis, OR)

Jarvis Ward (Pearl MS)

Phil Miglioratti (Chicago)

Elijah Kim (Boston)

Sheila Ford (Minneapolis)

Chris Batz (Muncie, IN)

Max Torres (Houston)

Pat Allen (Dallas)

Charles Daugherty (Cedar Rapids)

Please pray for us as we seek the Lord for His final touches on the CIR.

Glenn Barth
Convener, City Impact Roundtable


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

SHARE ~ Get Out of the Pews with the Good News

Taking church to the people
With Christianity marginalised, on the edge is the place to be

By John McNeil of Challenge Weekly, New Zealand
Special to ASSIST News Service

SEEKERS: Members of Opawa Baptist's developing Espresso congregation meet to explore questions of faith.

NELSON, NZ (ANS) -- Stories from churches on the edge were to the fore at the Baptist national assembly in Nelson.

"Churches need to be relevant and engaging the culture. The days when the church dominated the skyline and its values were the epicentre of society are gone," said national consultant Lindsay Jones.

"Now the church is at the margin rather than the centre, so engaging the culture requires a huge missional shift. More and more the work of mission will have to be done beyond the current patterns of the way church structures and gathers."

Mr Jones said New Zealand has so significantly changed that it is far more helpful to think of the church's task of mission as now cross-cultural.

"We can no longer expect that mission to mostly take place inside the church. It must move more and more to where the people are, the marketplace."

A 2004 Church of England report called Mission Shaped Church questioned the dominant model of doing church, which is to gather for worship first, offer community second and act in mission third.

He said that in a culture where Christian truth is not at the centre, the people the church seeks to reach need community through mission. Worship will grow as the natural response of that group.

Within the Baptist Union there has been a clear shift of the centre to encourage exploration and engagement with churches' local communities in a specific way. Examples included:

Delta Community Trust and Church, North Avon, Christchurch: The trust, which has been going for 11 years, began as a vision of North Avon Baptist to reach local people in significant physical and emotional need.

There was also the hope of revitalising the existing congregation. Today the trust runs a wide variety of courses, support services and events for community people, including a weekly full meal.

It bought the adjacent former Shirley Rugby clubrooms to provide a base. There is now a Monday night Delta church that meets with more than 60 adults present, many of them with disabilities.

Matthews Party, Papanui, Chrustchurch: For some years, the church had significant practical care ministries, including budget advice and a foodbank. Out of the heart that senior pastor

Fraser Campbell had to reach the local community and explore models of doing church that were effective in that context, he stepped down and with some others formed a community from out of those contacts.

From a ministry the church did into a community, it has become a fully recognised congregation of Papanui in its own right. Its primary gathering is mostly on a Friday across several hours at midday, with a full meal and other activities. There is no expectation that those people will turn up on Sundays.

Hillsborough Baptist, Auckland: Earlier this year, the church did a full work day in a decile 1 primary school, Hay Park, where one of the church members was a teacher. More than 150 people arrived to clean up and renovate the school environment.

That opened further doors for relationship between the church and school, and a number of people are now doing recovering reading and other activities as a result.

The Lighthouse, Paraparaumu: A ministry mostly using OSCAR funding, this began in a former nursing home, initially aimed at solo parents who needed support and care. It has expanded to people who need emergency type housing, but the primary focus is children.

With the help of local trusts the church has bought a fleet of vans, taking children to and from school and running a range of activities. This has developed into a children's church on Sunday, which is an example of ministry coming first and church second.

The Lighthouse has just won an award for the best out-of-school programme in Wellington, Kapiti and Wairarapa region, and will be a contender for the national award in February.

The Avenues, a small creative congregation formed at Epsom Baptist in Auckland and aimed at people who don't connect with normal church. Run on a Sunday morning, it begins with breakfast.

Although it follows a set theme every week, usually the same as the main congregation, it does it by way of story-telling and creative interaction. It caters particularly for young families and is trying to equip people for whole of life living, taking the theology that spirituality applies to everything - there's no sacred/secular divide - and relating it to the reality of what people are dealing with in their daily lives.

Cityside Baptist, Auckland, has become one of the major alternative church communities of people who don't fit standard church patterns. The primary focus is on relationships, and it is acceptable for people to not believe the same things.

It runs an interactive pattern of worship on a monthly cycle, whereby while some things are emphasised every week, others are emphasised just one week in a month. For example, singing as a form of worship might happen on just one Sunday in the month.

There is an emphasis on story-telling, using Christian disciplines and patterns of the past, forms of meditation, poetry, icons and images.

Espresso is an emerging congregation which meets in the cafe foyer at Opawa Baptist, Christchurch, on Tuesday evenings. Pastor Steve Taylor has for some years run a weblog on spirituality and journaling.

One day a woman approached him and said, "I have been reading your blog for the past couple of years and I have all these questions. Can I talk to you?" At the end of a two to three-hour conversation, she said, "I have a lot of other friends asking the same kind of questions."

The result was the establishment of a developing congregation which meets during the week. It is formed basically around the questions people bring who want to explore faith.

A core group of the Opawa congregation have committed themselves to participate in this, but it is run on the terms of the people who come with the questions.


John McNeil, a veteran of 40 years of newspaper and radio journalism, is South Island editor for Challenge Weekly, New Zealand's non-denominational, independent national Christian newspaper.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Quote; Unquote"

“Information doesn’t transform cities.Conferences can’t transform a city! Education can’t transform a city! Having citywide ministry programs or large networks cannot transform a city. Only the presence of Jesus can bring transformation, and only individual people willing to get on the altars of prayer to contend for His presence will become the kindling for God’s fire.” Rhonda Hughey


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