Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pilot City ~ Cedar Rapids: One Congregation Reports


Note: The following is one Pastor's response to my question: "How is the Prayer~Care~Share strategy (LC2C) going in your congregtion and city?"


It's moving into summer & that's a tougher time to keep people "interested & plugged in"....

You probably know from Charles (Daugherty)...we're planning a big city-wide (Cedar Rapids) event in the baseball stadium this coming Sunday (Global Day of Prayer===>Click headline to access Cedar rapids' website . . .)....hope the attendance will be strong....we need that BIG PUSH to keep the inititative from loosing wind.

We have Aug 1 (National Nite out) as our next citywide effort to CARE, we'll be attempting to gather at least 30-50 block parties in neighborhoods to build relational contacts with the city....in order to build for a 2007 SHAREFEST.

All in all, we @ Father's House Vineyard are attempting to keep the P-C-S initiative on the front burner. KEEP PRAYING for the effort as the church goes a bit "underground" during the summer months. We have our own CAREFEST at our church throughout the summer (see
http://www.crvineyard.org/CAREFEST.htm for details)...

hope you & the fam are well. BLESSINGS.....mb

Pastors Marty & Sandy Boller
FATHER'S HOUSE VINEYARD CHURCH
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Phone: (319) 390-9300

Email: tfh777@msn.com Website: www.crvineyard.org
"Bringing the Father Heart of God to a fatherless


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Monday, May 29, 2006

Pilot City Pastor Featured on Sermon Central


Pastor Marty Boller of Cedar Rapids is featured on the Sermon Central website with a Prayer ~ Care ~ Share sermon ...

Way to go!



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




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Change the Culture ... Or Die?

Key your eyes on the prize -- Changing the culture of the Church, so that, God's people love their communities to Christ!

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: danjuma1@aol.com


Churches told: rediscover mission -- or die

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

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND (ANS) -- The head of the Council for World Mission has a direct message for the Christian Church in the Western world: rediscover mission or die.

Desmond van der Water

On a visit to member churches in New Zealand, CWM general secretary the Rev Dr. Desmond van der Water said the Church in the West and Northern Hemisphere since the time of Emperor Constantine had been shaped by a model of being a Church which is essentially institutional.

“At the centre of the task has been a maintenance function rather than a missional function. The acute challenge is to reshape and redirect the image of the Church as one not existing to maintain itself but existing for the sake of God’s mission.”

Dr. van der Water told Challenge Weekly it was a daunting task, but that did mean it should be shied away from.

“The most difficult part is that the Church has entrenched itself as a social institution. It has infrastructure, buildings, staff -- and to reverse that trend is a huge task.

“It is an uphill battle. The bright part of it is that there’s a hunger, especially among the younger generations, for non-institutional expressions of faith.

“The movement towards ‘new ways of doing church’ is vibrant in Europe, which is an encouraging sign of the readiness by people even within the institutional churches, to explore what I think is a movement of the Spirit.

“The consequence of not changing is an institution which is moribund. It is a reality that many of the historic churches in Europe are dying.

“They recognize they are declining, hence the enthusiasm about the new ways of exploring church. Church leaders are telling me that staying the same is not an option.

“Theologian Emil Brunner more than a century ago said, ‘The Church exists by mission as fire exists by burning’. Without mission there is really no Church.”

Dr. van der Water said there had been major shifts in mission over the past two decades.

“What has been recognized over that time is that the movement of mission and missionaries was never really meant to be unidirectional. It was meant to be from everywhere to everywhere.

“From the start of the modern missionary movement in the 19th century, the movement of missionaries was from the north to the south. In the last 25 to 30 years, missionaries have moved from every part of the CWM constituency to every part.

“There is probably more movement now from the south – Africa, South America and Asia – to the north.

“The attitude which the earlier missionaries had in the 19th century – arrogant and coming as experts – can no longer be said in the CWM constituency.

“Even from the north now there is much more recognition that you come in humility, that you come ready to learn as much as to share, and you come even with a readiness to be converted to other people’s ideas. That equalization has taken place within much of the missionary world today.”

During his visit to New Zealand, Dr. van der Water has been struck by the extent to which the Church and religion is marginalized and peripheral in New Zealand.

“I did not expect the extent to which religion is not cent ral in people’s lives. That is a huge challenge for the Church in New Zealand, to find ways, for example, that children at the very least know the Bible stories. It’s as simple as that.”

He said people in the West urgently need to find more relevant expressions of being the Church and being able to share faith.

“The challenge for the West is no longer in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The challenge for the West is on its own doorstep -- not trotting off to other countries but examining the communities around us.”

He said migrant churches could do a great deal to help New Zealand to overcome its isolated position and to become vibrant again.

“The immigrant churches coming in are very healthy for the country. They will infuse the nation with a new prevalence of the Church and Christianity, even if it’s in cultural forms that are alien to New Zealanders. That to me is a sign of hope rather than constituting more problems.”


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.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

ASSIST News Service is brought to you in part by Gospel for Asia (GFA). Gospel for Asia's passion is to plant churches among the world's most unreached peoples - those who have never heard a Gospel message. More than 15,000 native missionaries are now on the field with more than 29,000 churches planted in 10 Asian nations. You can help sponsor a native missionary for less than a dollar a day. Gospel for Asia is currently working to relieve the poverty and hopelessness of the Dalit communities by reaching out to Dalit children with food, clothing, and an education - all through the love of Jesus Christ. To learn more about GFA and their work among the Dalits (Untouchables) of India please go to their website at www.gfa.org or in North America call 1-800-WIN-ASIA.
ASSIST News Service is brought to you free of charge and is supported by friends like yourself. If you would like to make a donation (tax-deductible in the US) to help us continue this service around the world, you can do so by logging onto our website -- www.assistnews.net -- and making the donation by credit card or by sending a check to ASSIST, PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA .e Assist News via e-mail, click here to unsubscribe.


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Friday, May 26, 2006

Arial View of City Transfomation

Take a look at Tom White's Leadership Roundtable Matrix for the Emerging City Church. Click here! Add your comments below . . .

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Leadership~ Blanchard on Partnering Skills






What Makes a Great Frontline Leader?


While there are many aspects of being a great frontline leader, there are three main skills that all supervisors and managers need to master in order to succeed: partnering skills, performance management skills, and interpersonal skills.

Partnering skills are the frontline leader's ability to accurately diagnose the individual competence and motivation levels of his or her direct reports, and then use the appropriate leadership style for the situation.

Is the direct report an eager beginner with the task? An overwhelmed employee with moderate skills for the task? Or an experienced veteran who has routinely handled this task successfully in the past? Each of these employees requires a different management style.

When first beginning a new task where they have had little, if any, prior knowledge or experience, most individuals should be led by a Directing style. They need to know what to expect and how to do the task at hand.

As the development level of an employee increases, his or her competence and commitment fluctuate. People at this stage need a Coaching style--high direction--to continue to build skills--as well as high support to address their low commitment.

As competence continues to improve, most individuals go through a self-doubt state where they question whether they can perform the task on their own. These individuals need a Supporting style--they need to be listened to and encouraged but do not need much direction, since they have demonstrated competence for doing the task.

Finally, in the highest level of development, employees demonstrate high levels of competence and commitment. The corresponding leadership style to use is Delegating--giving the employee increased autonomy for doing the job he or she has demonstrated both competence and commitment in doing.

The next set of skills that all frontline leaders need to master are performance management skills. These are the ability to set clear performance expectations, reward and recognize progress toward goals, and provide negative performance feedback when necessary.

The secret to helping an employee excel lies in the details; the best way to capture the details is to meet frequently and informally, while the specifics of a success or a disappointment are fresh in the memory. Great frontline leaders meet more frequently--and less formally--with the people they support. This makes the conversation vivid and the advice timely. Instead of saving performance discussions--and criticisms--for a formal annual review, the great frontline leader meets with each direct report bimonthly, weekly, or even daily to discuss performance, needs, and goals.

Interpersonal skills are the third set of skills that hold it all together. It is the ability to communicate effectively, listen actively, and maintain each employee's self-esteem while getting the job done.

This type of communication includes three steps.
  1. Gather information. Ask something like, "What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about doing this?"
  2. Check for understanding. Say something like, "So this would be something new for you. Sounds like you're excited about this opportunity."
  3. Ask for permission. Ask something like, "Since you haven't had any experience with this kind of thing, would it be helpful if ...?"

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Prayer Invades the Marketplace


--->Click headline to access articles on faith @ work . . .

Work Life Repentance and Prayers
Os Hillman, President, International Coalition of Workplace Ministries, presented this prayer during the Atlanta Global Day of Prayer on May 15. 2005 Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

LONDON TIMES, DECEMBER 11, 2004
The bank in American backwaters that has the answer to your prayers. Feature in the London Times, December 11, 2004

Sharing Faith in the Workplace
Amid post-9/11 uncertainty, prayer groups find foothold in business world. Atlanta Journal-Constitution feature story on faith and work published July 3, 2004.

How Revival Started in the Marketplace?
Success stories of prayer in America during the 1800's

"OUR FATHER" FOR THE MARKETPLACE
Applying the Lord's prayer to the workplace

Cardone Industry's "Take 5" Strategy to Pray for Their Employees
Learn what one company does to bring prayer into the workplace.

Prayer: God�s Strategy for Success in the Marketplace
Prayer could be your secret weapon in the marketplace.

National Day of Prayer and Repentance Guide for the Workplace
A guide for prayers of repentance, thanksgiving and petition in the workplace

Bringing God to the 9 to 5 Window
Following is Chapter 7 of The 9 to 5 Window: How Faith Can Transform the Workplace by Os Hillman, Regal Books, pub. September 2005. This chapter chronicles the current activities of the faith at work movement.

Why is there an increasing interest in faith at work at this time?
Os Hillman cites 7 reasons he believes there is a growing interest in faith at work.

A NEW WAY TO WORK:A PARADIGM FOR MARKETPLACE MISSION IN THE 21ST CENTURY
What is marketplace mission really all about? Is about converting others? Is it about caring for God�s creation? Is it about doing work well? Is it about justice for the oppressed? Is it about the Christian faith being introduced into the marketplace through these various approaches? What is marketplace mission and why is it important to grasp a new paradigm that incorporates these approaches but goes farther?

Churches Making Paradigm Shift in Equipping the 9 to 5 Window
There�s a fresh wind blowing in a number of churches across the U.S. right now. It�s blowing in some of the smallest as well as the largest mega-churches. This fresh wind is a new emphasis on how to equip and commission the church member where he or she spends the majority of their time - - the 9 to 5 window. For years we�ve heard about sending missionaries to the 10/40 window of unreached people groups. However, many church leaders have been frustrated in their ineffectiveness to impact the 80/20 rule in their local congregations. That rule says that 20% of the people do 80% of the ministry. Part of the problem lies in the way churches attempt to equip these people.

Business as Mission: How two grocers changed the course of a Nation
In the time of revival, at the turn of the last century in Britain, it was as if God poured out an entrepreneurial gift on his church and people started doing things that were unheard of. These are the people, normal people in the pews, that God got a hold of and helped them to use their entrepreneurial skills to change society, to see churches grow, and to see missions grow. One of them was Arthur Guinnes

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ServantHood or ServantLeader?

Note: Thought-provoking chapter on Servanthood versues Servant LEADERSHIP and a healthy perspective on spiritual warfare ===>Click headline to access website . . .

Full Service: Moving from Self-Serve Christianity to Total Servanthood
Siang-Yang Tan

Is servanthood a way to lead or a way of life? Leadership has its place in Christian ministry, but God calls us, first and foremost, to servanthood. Servant is not a modifier for some other activity but the foundation of the Christian life.

Siang-Yang Tan calls the church back to its primary role of being servants of Christ and other people. This genuine Spirit-inspired servant attitude will enable you to enter more deeply into God's rest and grace and will revolutionize your life and ministry.



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Prayer ~ Training Kids' to be Prayer Warriors

GET YOUR KIDS PRAYING LIKE WARRIORS!

Praying for My Neighborhood
by Arlyn Lawrence
Praying for My Neighborhood:Arlyn Lawrence


Are you ready to see Jesus transform your community?
When God works in a community, He doesn't just use adults. He uses the prayers of kids! Here are some prayers that the children you care about can pray to invite God to powerfully work in your neighborhood.

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

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Loving Our Communities to Christ Pilot City Profiels

Loving Our Communities to Christ Pilot Cities

In December 2005, Christian leaders gathered for the official announcement of the first nine “Loving Our Communities to Christ” (LC2C) Pilot Cities that will serve as the “proving grounds” for collaborative ministry. During the pilot phase, leaders are praying and working together within a collaborative and holistic strategy for reaching their city with the Gospel message. The experiences of these nine diverse cities in the pilot phase will give insight and prepare the way for LC2C efforts in future cities.

===>Click headline to access complete LC2C Profiles . . .

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Evangelism and Prayer?


Evangelism and Prayer?
By Lon Allison

At first glance it may not appear that evangelism and prayer are related. Evangelism focuses on reaching pre-believers. Prayer is primarily an activity of believers. The first is about outreach; the second concerns spiritual growth. This is how I used to think. Not so anymore. I now see these two spiritual disciplines as inseparable.

“Evangelistic-praying” is necessary. John 6:44 reminds us that no one will come to Christ apart from the work of the Holy Spirit’s drawing power. No manner of personal persuasiveness, perfect theological presentation or amount of friendship can save anyone. Although these things may lead someone to pray a prayer of salvation, this is no guarantee of regeneration. In evangelism we work with God, under God and in full dependence on God. Therefore, a life of prayer is essential for the believer in reaching the lost. We must remember that as we reach out to lost people, we are in a spiritual war for souls. Satan (the god of this age) blinds the mind of unbelievers so that they are not able to see the light of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4).

We also learn from Paul how to ask for prayer in our task as witnesses and evangelists. In Ephesians 6:18-20 and Colossians 4:2-4 Paul asks the churches to pray for open doors, courage and clarity of speech as he witnesses. It seems the great apostle was fully aware of his need for divine leadership in evangelizing. The prayers of others were his avenue for that anointing.

As I write this article, I am looking out the window at our neighbors’ homes. We are new to this community and only now getting to know the neighbors. The couple who live to the right of us is wonderful. The husband and wife come from different ethnic groups but have a common yet somewhat nominal Christian background. My wife and I do not sense much devotion or commitment to Christ. It is probably safe to assume they do not know the risen Christ as Savior (rescuer) and Lord (king). It is part of our calling as believers to love them deeply by evangelizing them. It is the best gift we can give. However, before we begin evangelizing, we must pray. Please do not get me wrong. I do not minimize the verbal witness. In six months we have been to their home a couple of times and they have been to ours. We are in spiritual conversation on a regular basis, but even that is sporadic and limiting. In many ways it is easier to share once at length with a stranger than to orchestrate several conversations over time with a neighbor or friend. This is why we must pray every day, at any time and from any location for our neighbors. Prayer evangelizes when our words are absent.

Our neighbors to the left are more difficult. We know the husband’s name but have never met the wife. We have not been invited into their home, and they did not respond to an invitation to come to ours. It seems the door of witness is presently closed. However, this would be a wrong conclusion. The door to verbal witness is closed, but the door of prayer is wide open. I often tell people that if a person does not want to listen to what you have to share, just devote yourself to prayer, prayer, prayer.

I have also learned that prayer saves evangelism from manipulation, while evangelism saves prayer from isolation. The life of prayer gives us Christ’s love for the lost. Since his love is an active love, we are, as Paul wrote, compelled (2 Cor. 5:14) to enter their lives. The life of evangelism on the other hand, gives us an urgency and passion for our prayers. The evangelism lifestyle stops any temptation to withdraw from the world in solitude and silence to the exclusion of reaching out to people dying without our Lord. Indeed, prayer and evangelism are not strangers, but friends.

===>Click headline to access complete newsletter . . .

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How to Recognize Spiritual Receptivity in Your Community






How to recognize spiritual receptivity in your community
by Rick Warren

If you want your ministry to maximize its evangelism effectiveness, you need to focus your energy on the right soil. That’s the soil that will produce a hundred-fold harvest.
- - -
Pastor, you’re surrounded by dirt.

To be more precise, you’re surrounded by soil – all kinds of soil. In your community, you have people who are ready to respond to the Gospel and people who aren’t. Your job is to isolate the good soil and plant your seed there.

Jesus clearly taught this notion of spiritual receptivity in the Parable of the Sower and the Soils (Matt. 13:3-23). Like different kinds of soil, people respond differently to the Good News. Everyone is not equally ready to receive Christ. Some people are very open to hearing the Gospel and others are very closed. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus explained that there are hard hearts, shallow hearts, distracted hearts, and receptive hearts.

===>Click headline to acess complete article . . .


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Saturday, May 13, 2006

"Programs Don't Work!"


Is Outreach a Program? Nay I Say!
By Steve Sjogren

Recently someone asked me, “What do you think about programs?” I was surprised at how much I had to say in response to that short question, so I have been putting some thoughts together recently about the power—or lack thereof—of the program approach to doing church.

Seeker Sensitive Approach
Take, for example, the experiment that has been going on at a broad base across the American Church landscape for the past 20 years or so—the Seeker Sensitive approach. It basically boils down to being a program approach to doing church. No one who has seriously attempted to be a “Seeker Church” hasn’t taken a trek to one or more of the Seeker Meccas in the U.S. to see how they do what they do. When going to those places, there is no shortage of very well executed, well marketed, snappy videos, DVDs, a whole array of books that spell out precisely how to “do” the Seeker Sensitive thing.

The only problem is that after 20 years of doing this program—and it’s fair that we start looking at the fruit of this thing now—that it hasn’t produced much fruit.

Don’t get me wrong. It was partially helpful to the Church at large— especially as programs go. Rarely do programs work in the long run. This one actually brought a measure of fruitfulness. In certain situations it brought great fruitfulness. Overall, I believe it is accurate to state that it was an experiment that was 30% helpful, but 70% that was actually damaging to the Church at large. (Damaging in that it lowered the level of challenge to the Church’s message in an attempt to make it easier to make the front door larger—well intentioned, but a big mistake in the long run. (George Barna has much to say about this in his new book Revolution if you care to read it.)

Ultimately it was another program that promised much and delivered far less that the initial hoopla. Like all programs, in the end, it let its participants down.

Programs Don't Work
After working in church leadership for 25+ years and observing the Church at large on a broad cross-section, I believe that this statement is absolutely true: Programs don’t work! They never have and they never will.

You have to travel a bit to figure this out, but what you will find as you get outside the good ‘ol US of A is that North America (specifically the US and Canada) are the only two countries that value programs in the world. If you want to look at it another way—programs are an invention of that latter part of the 20th century in the US. When is someone going to stand up and observe that the Emperor has no clothes on? Programs don’t work.

The closest culture in the world to North America has to be Central and Northern Europe, and even they are far more skeptical of the usefulness of the program approach to getting things done than we are at this point in history.

Serving is a Lifestyle
Let’s bring this down to our specific concern as outreach people. Take this home and ponder it: As long as you are treating outreach as a program you will never ever succeed at creating a widespread lifestyle of serving in your congregation. That I can guarantee. That was my hunch about 10 years ago. Now after coaching a few hundred leaders later, I can pretty much prove it. History speaks the truth that is inviolable. If you confine serving to something that is done once a week by a minority of people in your congregation… or say you even succeed to the point that you have people going out several times a week and you have evidential success, you are still laboring away at a program-based mentality. I’ve been analyzing this for a couple of decades now.

Don’t get me wrong. A lot of great work can be accomplished by approaching the serving of your city with a program approach. I have seen some amazing results with this approach over a prolonged period of time to the degree where a congregation definitely made their imprint upon a city…where after diligently serving and serving they eventually, with just a minority of their people became known as the “Serving Church” in their city. Unfortunately, it has often become a Gideon’s Army kind of thing, where a few hundred cause thousands to flee with their trumpets blaring and their torches flashing. But it can be so much more effective! There can be so much more!

Our Plan for Tampa
Consider this: Janie and I are moving to Tampa next year to plant a new church. We have been listening to God big time, seeking to put together the best of what we have learned over our years in leadership—we aren’t assuming anything about what God has in mind for this new church. It may sound trite, but this whole thing is in His hands. One of the clear operational plans that we have is to make outreach absolutely organic and not programmatic in the least. The way we are going to carry this out is this: We are going to, from the first week we gather, begin to create an atmosphere where it is understood, in print, in words spoken in messages literally weekly (at least a brief touch on this each week) that we are all carriers of the deeds of Jesus. Jesus walked in the atmosphere of kindness, generosity, love, acceptance… In Peter’s words, “He went about doing good to all kinds of people” (Acts 10:38).

On a practical level, every single week—let me repeat that in case you missed that—every single week—as everyone leaves, smiling people at the exits will wish people well as they leave, and hand them a small zip lock bag with 10 of our Coastland Church connection cards. Our gentle challenge to them and model from all of our leaders is that they will touch between 5 and 10 people during their week. I have no illusions that this will be done by a large percentage of our people from the beginning. In fact, I’m sure it will take a long time to re-orient people toward outwardness. From my experience, I suspect that those who come from a long-term Church background will take the longest to reorient! Those people have heard for years or decades that self-serving living is just fine—that just giving God his little percentage, and staying away from gross visible sin and then reading Focus on the Family each month is all that God would ever expect from any good Christian… Wow, are they wrong! There is much, much more to the picture if you or I hope to change the world! Janie’s and my aspiration is that after 2 years of being a public, going venture as a church in Tampa, that 80% of our people will be touching between 5 and 10 people each week as they go about their business.

(Hint: If we hope they will touch that many people then we need to carry out the lifestyle of touching between 5 and 10 people a day, 6 or 7 days a week with acts of love, generosity, kindness. Our people will only do what we do…they will do less than what we do… you know the principle…)

Let's do the Math
Here’s the exciting idea: If we have 2,000 regular attendees by that point, which we think is entirely possible, do the math on how many touches into the community that works out to. Let’s conservatively round that off to 8 touches per week done by 1,600 adults in average attendance. Those people, without any other large-scale events which we shall certainly also do, amount to just under 55,000 touches / tacit invitations to the “party” each weekend per month. Carry that out to 12 months… it comes out to over 645,000 touches per year. That’s not bad for a 2-year-old church! As the church continues to grow to, say 4,000 in weekend attendance, we will be touching well over 1 million per year—not counting our large scale special event outreaches. Now we are talking about something exciting—not a program, but a lifestyle that is integrated into the daily, hourly lives of our people. That is tremendously exciting to me. How does that grab you?


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Conference Call Tackles Marketplace Ministry Issues

Dear Workplace Ministry Leader,

As a leader in the faith and work movement, I think you will agree that it is vital that we understand the signs of the times and what these signs mean to our respective organizations.

On May 23, 4PM eastern time I will be hosting a free one hour conference call entitled 7 Reasons for the Modern-day Faith and Work Movement. At the end of the presentation there will be time for Q&A. This session will help you as a leader understand some of the key issues and key developments that are fueling the modern-day faith at work movement.

In the future, there will be a cost for these sessions for those who are not ICWM Coalition Partners. Partners will recieve this benefit free. However, we invite anyone to join us for this call.

We hope you can join May 23 at 4PM. Here is the call in information:

Dial-in Number: (712) 580-0100
Access code: 224198#

Also, we announce an August 27,28 ICWM Leaders Roundatable meeting in Virginia Beach.

For Christ in the workplace,
Director, ICWM, 475 Tribble Gap Road, Suite 110
Atlanta, GA 30040
===>Click headline to access website . . .

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Are We Manufacturing or Movement-ing?


The making of movements

Wherever Christianity is growing around the world, whether in South America, Asia, Africa or in Eastern Europe, the most significant element in that growth is mobilisation and multiplication, especially through movements.

Martin Robinson, director of Eurochurch.net, wrote an interesting article on the nature of movements. ===Click headline for complete article . . .

Source: Martin Robinson, Eurochurch.net


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