Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CARE ~ More Than Being Nice: Youth Call Us to Radical Service

The New Friars

The Emerging Movement Serving the World's Poor

By Scott A. Bessenecker
book cover

Quotes from Chapter:

1. God's Recurring Dream
"They sought not simply to bring the gospel to the lost or oppressed but to be the gospel."

2. Pushed into Poverty
"Every time the gap between rich and poor is measured it is larger than the last time it was calculated."

3. Sucked into Poverty
"A Person's contentment with a situation of poverty does not make it OK."

4. The Voluntary Poverty of God
"Why would God chose to be born among a defeated people in a backwoods town under a shadow of dishonor through a dirt-poor, unwed teenager? Solidarity, that's why."

5. Incarnation: Pursuing Jesus' Descent into Humanity
"Incarnation i snot easy."

6. Devotional: Pursuing Intimacy with Jesus
"Without intimacy with Jesus we have nothing to give away to others."

7. Communal: Pursuing Relational Wealth
"The interdependence of slum-dwellers puts to shame the kind of shallow relationships that exist in most suburban communities."

8. Missional: Pursuing the Kingdom
"Intimacy with Christ must come first but some form of mission will soon follow."

9. Marginal: Pursuit at the Edges
"Those called to minister on the edges are bound to face misunderstanding and rejection by the 'popular'."

10. Our Darkest Hour
"One out fo every twenty kids lives on the streets."

"The amassing of treasure isn't bad, just the type of treasure and where it is located."

Afterword: Darkest Night of the Year
Appendix A: How to Join the New Friars
Appendix B: Five Religious Movements That Paved the Way

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SHARE ~ The Four Laws of Outreach

Outreach : Your Source For Church Communication & Outreach Tools

Law 1 – Create an Outreach Identity –

Effective outreach begins by establishing an outreach identity at the heart of your churc, including outreach-oriented mission statement, a faith-filled vision and a vibrant logo and branding tools designed to convey your identity. The following articles will help with your identity needs:

Law 2 – Attract Visitors by Communicating Your Identity –

People are attracted to your church when you communicate your identity in a compelling way. Your outreach efforts need to convey who you are to the right audience, at the right time, through the right method. These articles can help you with ideas, and tools to attract more visitors to your church:

Law 3 – Connect Attenders to Your Church –

Getting people connected with others is most often the key to keeping them around. The connection process is facilitated by having the right materials available to help people find places of connection. Provide tools to let them know about your church's ministries, needs and opportunities to be involved:

Law 4 – Equip Members to be Inviters –

People are your most powerful outreach tool. As you equip your regular attenders with the motivation, knowledge and materials they need to share their faith, they will take the lead in your church's outreach efforts.

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From Competing to Completing

From Competing to Completing
by Travis Deans
I propose a revolution in youth ministry

NetMag Winter 2006

Back in the early 1990s, I was a youth ministry major at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. For one class, we read Mark Senter’s book The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry. I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Senter’s well-researched history of youth ministry, but I remember being incredibly curious – what in the world could this coming revolution in youth ministry be?

Ten years later, I suppose someone could easily argue that the postmodern/emerging church phenomenon is that revolution. Some might suggest that our 21st Century technology qualifies as revolutionizing youth ministry (iPods, blogging, video cell phones, etc…).

However, as monumental as those recent changes are, I am totally captivated by something else – something that has been waiting 400 years (give or take a few) to come to fruition. I’m talking about communities all over the country where youth leaders in Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Assembly of God, Anglican, Free Methodist, and other churches are discovering a youth ministry resource that they never knew they had…each other!

In the youth ministry training that I’ve had, I feel like there’s a huge void of teaching on how youth leaders in a community should relate to each other. Youth leaders are often taught to do youth ministry as if, for all practical purposes, their youth ministry is the only game in town. However, what I see out in the trenches of youth ministry is a hunger to get out of our separate ditches and find out who’s got what ammunition and how to make the best use of it.

How should youth leaders relate to the other youth leaders and churches in their communities? A good friend of mine suggested using a diagram from the Harvard Business Review on Managing People1 to help us picture four ways that churches can relate to each other: competing against each other, communicating to each other, cooperating with each other, or completing each other===>Click headline for complete (no pun intended) article . . .

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Coaching ~ How to Ask Great Questions

A Great Resource for Constructing Powerful Questions
Reviewed by Tony Stoltzfus

(4.5 stars)

Buy this book if you want to:

  • Learn the nuts and bolts of constructing concise, powerful questions
  • Work with small groups and want to increase facilitation skills

How to Ask Great Questions is a guide to the art of constructing powerful questions that get to the heart of a matter. With a plethora of examples and practical tips, the author talks through how to develop open and closed questions, what leading questions are and how to avoid them, how to ask questions that delve into meaning instead of just soliciting information, and much more. The best feature of this book is that it takes a scenario, then provides example after example of what kinds of questions you might ask and what the effect of that question might be...

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LC2C Coordinator Interviewed by Steve Douglass

--->Note: Steve Douglass of Campus Crusade for Christ, a storng supporter of Loving Our Communites to Christ, recently interviewed me (Phil Miglioratti ) for his radio program. His questions and my prepared notes follow . . .

1. Phil, how would you describe Loving Cur Communities to Christ?
-LC2c is n upside-down initiative - National entities and resources are responding to the ongoing work and needs exhibited and expressed by the grassroots leaders in these cities

2. What cities are currently involved?
Cedar Rapids, IA
Charlotte, NC
Charleston, WV
Corvallis, OR
Tuscaloosa, AL
Santa Rosa, CA
Coachella Valley, CA (Palm Springs region)
Fox Valley, IL (Western flank of Chicago)
El Paso-Las Cruces-Juarez (3 cities, two nations, one vision)

3. How did the vision and concept for LC2C come about?
Members of the Mission America Coalition (several hundred national leaders) declared it was time to truly collaborate on reaching our cities - A smaller team (Steve Douglass among them) designed a framework that would assist the MAC to engage city reaching movements in a relational, collaborative way, rather than a higherarchical, programatic way

4. Phil, tell us what God is doing so far in Cedar Rapids?
Our Advance Team met with a group of about 30 pastors, most of whom had long been praying together. They responded to the call for a culture change in our churches with brokenness and almost immediately went to their congregations with the prayer-care-share strategy. This past year, many of the participating churches have reported people young and old coming to faith in Christ. Task Forces have been formed for citywide prayer-care-share events to widen the impact and bring Christ's love to the entire community

5. How about Fox Valley, Illinois,
Last spring, one pastor implemented the strategy even before the leadership team agreed to become a Pilot City. Recently, another pastor, on his own, has begun inviting pastors into the process. They are energized that this is a grassroots effort, not a national program.

Santa Rosa,
They are a good example of our macro-vision; applying prayer-care-share on a citywide basis. A Care-Fest touched from throughout their community; from fun event for kids to serving local schools 'needs.

Cochella Valley
Pastor are praying together for the first time in decades. LC2C in Coachella Valley started almost from scratch and is helping build the foundation of a citywide movement

6. How are you conveying the message this is a lifestyle and not another program?
Several ways:
-We operate from a framework (principles) not a format (practices)
-We are casting a vision for a culture change in the church to the pastors
-We are connecting P-C-S to the marketplace; the Church scattered
-We provide each city with a coach; one who asks questions and helps stay focused

7. What vision do you have for the future of these cities? What are you praying God will do as a result?
We have faith that
... many lost people will find life in Christ
... the citizens of these cities will know they have been blessed by the One Church, through many congregations
... as lives are tranformed, we anticipate those communities to be transformed
... these Pilot Cities will mature and begin to mentor other cities

8. What about other cities? How would they get involved in this?
  • Look over the items posted @ http://www.missionamerica.org - Clck on LC2C
  • Read the Framework
  • Then contact the Mission America Coalition office . . .

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SHARE ~ Agree or Disagree?

"Do you have to believe in the resurrection to be an orthodox Christian?

I think the answer is clearly yes.
But do you first have to believe in the resurrection to become a follower of Jesus?
The answer would seem to be no, simply because the first followers of Jesus described in the New Testament knew nothing about his eventual resurrection when they decided to become his followers. I do believe that if you choose to follow Jesus, you will eventually believe in his resurrection. But you need not start with such an intellectual mind-bender. Indeed, the earliest members of the Jesus Movement knew nothing about creeds or orthodox belief in our sense of these words. They were simply and yet profoundly attracted to the person and teaching of this itinerant pesa
book covernt named Joshua (his probable Hebrew name)."

Finding God in the Questions ~ A Personal Journey
Dr. Timothy Johnson, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove 2004, p.130

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Coaching ~ Asking Leader or Follower Questions?

Are You Asking Questions Like a Leader or Follower?

With their minds constantly buzzing with curiosity, my children ask me many questions. Andrea, my youngest child and only daughter, recently asked me, “Why do you kiss Mommy so much?”
Andrea and Dad
“Oh, I know.” She immediately answered her own question. “Because you not only love Mommy, you like her, too.” Children are so profound!

Andrea illustrated the “Power of Asking Leader Questions” – Your brain immediately begins working to solve the questions you ask – whether they are weak questions or strong.

Questions precede progress. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your answers and results.

Jesus amazed the most educated people in the land with the quality of his questions and answers (Luke 2:46-47).

When facing challenges, are you in a creative or reactive mode? Do you feel strong and capable or weak and inadequate? Questions sketch the blueprints on how you approach issues in your life.

So what questions are you asking yourself? Do you question like a leader or follower?

A few days ago, a daunting challenge arose with the 4 unit apartment I own and am in the process of selling.

I faced a fork in the road. I stated to fall into the paralyzing trap of asking weak, victimized “follower” questions like,

* Why did this have to happen to me?
* Why can’t they get their act together?
* Are things going to ever go my way?

These powerless questions pulled me out of a creative mode into a reactive mode. My leadership was negated because these questions zapped my ability to “act upon” the situation to improve it. Instead, the situation hovered over me like a superior commander to which I had to submit.

“STOP – Ask leadership-driven questions instead!” I demanded of myself. So I began to ask:

* What invaluable lesson can I learn from this?
* What are 3 creative ways I can improve this situation?
* How can I have fun taming this challenge?

It pulled me from procrastination and making excuses to creative action. I am already seeing positive results!

When facing challenges, you choose to react or create, conform or transform – by the questions you ask.

Here are a couple of action items you can implement immediately. Please consider taking a “Question Inventory.” What questions are you asking yourself – both consciously and subconsciously? Be still for a moment. Pay attention to how to feel about yourself towards that challenge. Your feelings usually indicate whether you are asking “leader” or “follower” questions.

Second, fill your mind with powerful, creative questions that unleashes your leadership into that situation . . . I suggest writing these questions down to refer to often and watch how you begin to feel and act towards the challenge you face.

If you found this article to be helpful, you will love my new CD Seminar, called Leadership's Biggest Battle.

Take a moment to invest in yourself. Until October 31, you can purchase this CD Seminar and save $30 – check out this special offer only available for a few more days!

SPECIAL NOTE: All of those who donate to help us secure our Distribution Center will receive Leadership’s Biggest Battle free of charge.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

SHARE ~ Captured by Culture or Changing It?

A Mind for God

By James Emery White
book cover

Retail Price: $12.00 / Length: 127 pages / Published: June 2006 / ISBN: 0-8308-3392-7

"For the Christian mind, understanding the world we live in is decisive ... we need to be to be aware of how such worldviews maybe living in us. Is our thinking informed and directed by the authority of Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit, or have we succumbed to the subtle temptation of moral relativism?" James Sire

If the only books you read on evangelism speak to methodology, then this is a book you should read.

If you are serious about changing the culture of a congregation, not merely promoting a temporary program, then this is a book you and your leaders would benefit from reading.

We will not change the culture if we have been captured by it.

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CARE ~ Servant Evangelism Ideas & Articles

Serve! with Steve Sjogren

Servant Evangelism

Outward Focused Living

Deep Thoughts

Just Me and My Gift Card
By Cheley Fishbough

Ask Dr. Savant
Ask the Doctor

By Dr. Savant

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

City Stories ~ Modesto, CA

Featured Cities' Call Reminder

Blessings to you as your thoughts turn to family, turkey and over-eating, but before you fall asleep from too much tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy) remember that next Tuesday is the Featured Cities’ Call.

This month’s call is about Modesto, CA:

Since the origination of the Community Marriage Policy, the “Miracle in Modesto”, and the “Lighthouses of Prayer” thrust, God has really spoken to the leaders of Modesto about hearing and responding to His voice and authority on a day to day basis rather than focusing on high profile events. On this call with some of the leaders of Mission Greater Modesto, you will hear the story behind the story and also some of the lessons they have learned in their walk. They will talk about what God has revealed to them as they approach their 14th annual Prayer Summit, and their 13th year of meeting together every Wednesday at Noon for prayer.

Join us at 9:00 AM (Pacific time) on Tuesday, November 28th by calling 712.775.7000 and enter the code 257835#.

Dennis' signature
Dennis Fuqua
International Renewal Ministries

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Coaching ~ Follow-Through

What to Do When People Don't Follow Through
by Tony Stoltzfus

You've just started a coaching appointment, and the first thing you discover is that the person sitting across from you didn't do half of his action steps - for the second week in a row. Do you confront, cajole, encourage, get frustrated, or just let it go by?

A challenge all coaches face (and they face it often!) is what to do when people don't get their action steps done. The key to handling a failure to follow through is maintaining the grace versus truth balance. You want to continue to offer unconditional acceptance without just letting people slide completely off the hook. A guiding principle I use in these situations is, "Give grace but don't lower the standard." That means that I don't go negative when people fail -- like showing disappointment in them, or pointing out that they blew it, or getting prickly about doing it right. However, I do keep expecting that they will complete the task. In other words, don't punish people when they fail, but do help them recommit, and then nail down what they intend to do. Give grace, but maintain a high expectation that if we set out to do something, we're going to get it done.

Here are five practical techniques to help you do just that:

1. Check for Buy-in
When an action step doesn't get done (especially if it happens more than once), one question that often should be asked is, is this the right step...

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PRAYER ~ Pondering?

Christians in developing countries spend less time pondering the effectiveness of prayer and more time actually praying."
Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

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SHARE ~ Reaching Men

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly -- An online companion to the weekly television news program
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Anyone attending church these days can see that there are usually a lot more women in church than men. Judy Valente has a story today about attempts underway in some churches to bring back the missing men -- encouragement to be better husbands and fathers and friends, but also sometimes by emphasizing qualities the Gospels do not.

JUDY VALENTE: A darkened room. On the screen, a film about Scottish warriors. A movie theater? No. Try Sunday worship. This is the Grove Community Church in Peoria, Illinois, a self-described "men's church." Mark Doebler, the bongo-playing pastor, says Christian men have been "neutered."

Rev. DOEBLER: We're not saying that we shouldn't be gentle and humble and serve people. But there's a flip side to that, which says we have to be aggressive in the world when it's appropriate. We are warriors.

GROVE COMMUNITY CHURCH CONGREGATION (singing): "Oh, oh this is our war cry, oh, oh. This is our battle cry."

VALENTE: The congregation meets in what used to be a nightclub. The ambience is decidedly masculine.

Photo of Wilson HAROLD WILSON: You saw the pastor on stage in an open collar, blue jeans. He was speaking to me man-to-man. It wasn't a polished sales pitch or anything like that. He was speaking to me on a man-to-man level===>Click headline for the complete article . .

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Quote; Unquote . . .

Our post-industrial times require us to ask new questions -- questions that people 100 years ago would have never thought of asking." Doug Pagitt, Church Re-Imagined

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The World's Awakening to Collaboration

The World's Awakening to Collaboration
A review of significant popular articles on people working together by David Hackett, visionSynergy
PowerofConnecting Partnership eNewsletter
The signs of collaboration are all around us.
Though this Partnership eNewsletter doesn't usually dwell on articles written in the secular press, the emerging weight being given to collaboration and partnership in popular-level articles is very significant. It can spark helpful reflections in Christians who want to work across organizations - and serves as a great encouragement as well.

God designed us to connect
Many of these articles give witness that God designed us to connect. It's wired into our brains - as a recent Newsweek article puts it. When we speak of "being on the same wavelength" with someone, we're learning that quite literally it's true. Interacting with people can activate the very same circuits in our own brains - of empathy, moods, enthusiasm - as in our companion's. It turns out that we respond at very deep levels to the company we keep. A fledgling field called social neuroscience is plumbing these connections that people make with others, which one scientist calls "neural WiFi."

This raises the prospect that larger-scale connecting is also wired into us - that entire networks of people meeting together and focused on a mission task may activate the same connective circuits in all their brains to forge together a solidly unified missional workforce

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Collaboration Creates New Youth Ministry Network

College-age Exiting The Church Is At Crisis Level
(Christian Post ) More youth leaders are preaching the alarming exit of college students from the church yet churches don't seem to be grasping the significance of the loss of even one youth. "I'm fearful that we as a church in the U.S. are using the word 'lost' incorrectly," says Youth Transition Network coordinator Jeff Schadt. A theological span of church groups and college ministries are unanimously behind the effort to transition high school youth to college nationally so they more readily retain their Christian faith. The former "Ministry Edge" dropped its name and existence this month to birth the Youth Transition Network, sponsor of LiveAbove.com, involving some 40 leaders from major ministries such as Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, the Navigators, Chi Alpha Ministries, and the National Network of Youth Ministries. Today 70% to 80% of youth who are involved in a Christian ministry in high school walk away from their faith within one year of high school graduation....
[Read the article] | [Christian Post: "Concerned Ministers Build Campaign to Help College Students Avoid Campus Pitfalls"] | [LiveAbove.com] | [National Network of Youth Ministries] | [Mission America Coalition] | [Center for Youth & Family Ministry]

>Timely resources for further reading: Youth Ministry Resources published by Zondervan

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

CARE ~ Its About Redeeming the Community

http://lists.christianitytoday.com/t/5286382/100730/122587/0/ COMMUNITY LIFE
Redeeming a Needy Neighborhood
Not all communities have too much. How one church brings the gospel to the economically distressed.
A Leadership Interview with James Meeks

A consumer culture doesn't affect only those who have too much. It also affects those who don't have enough. One pastor who ministers in the middle of both plenty and scarcity is the Reverend Senator James Meeks.

| Finish this article |

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Monday, November 13, 2006

CARE ~ Denomination Tackles Macro Response

Snowstorm in Buffalo tackled by 1,200-plus Baptist volunteers
By Mickey Noah

BUFFALO, N.Y. (BP)--No one would have wished for the record-breaking blizzard that hit Buffalo in October, but from an evangelistic standpoint, many are saying it has provided more opportunities to share Christ than at any time since 19Click to download Hi-Res Photo88’s Billy Graham crusade.

“The citizens of Buffalo and the surrounding area now know who the Southern Baptists with the yellow shirts and yellow caps are,” says Terry Henderson, disaster relief associate with the North American Mission Board.

The heavy, wet snow -– 24 inches during a 12-hour period -- blanketed Buffalo Oct. 12-13. Because the storm hit so unseasonably early –- when colorful autumn leaves were still on the trees -– the combination of leaves and heavy snow caused trees to fall across homes, power lines and streets in record numbers. An estimated 20,000 trees were lost.

Following downed trees and limbs came a massive electricity blackout, with some 400,000 homes and businesses without power for seven days.

Click to download Hi-Res Photo
When the Baptist Convention of New York’s disaster relief director, Chuck Stebbins, asked NAMB’s disaster relief group for assistance, Henderson activated NAMB’s disaster operations center and mobilized chainsaw teams. The first volunteers to arrive were from Virginia.

More than 1,200 disaster relief volunteers from 20 Baptist state associations have been working in shifts in Buffalo since the storm hit, Gerald Peters, commander of NAMB’s national Incident Command Service (ICS), reported.

“Today, almost a month later, we still have 105 volunteers working, most as chainsaw teams,” Peters said Nov. 9. A longtime disaster relief volunteer and Baptist preacher from Park Hill, Okla., the 72-year-old Peters said plans call for shutting down operations by Nov. 18.

The chainsaw crews have completed 542 tree-removal jobs for local citizens, Peters said, along with serving 3,440 meals; and providing nearly 1,200 showers. The ICS office received 1,560 requests for assistance with downed trees.

“More importantly, our chainsaw crews have presented the Gospel 236 times resulting in 14 decisions for Christ,” Peters said. The crews also have distributed hundreds of free Bibles and tracts.

Peters said the disaster relief crews couldn’t have accomplished as much without the cooperation and support of Mike Flannery, director of missions for the Frontier Baptist Association in Buffalo and five Buffalo-area churches: Amherst Baptist Church, Buffalo Creek Community Church, New Hope Baptist Church, New Life Baptist Church and North Buffalo Community Church. These churches have housed the waves of 1,200 volunteers since their initial arrival in Buffalo in mid-October.

“This has been the greatest thing for the cause of Christ and evangelism in this area over the last 13 years I’ve been here,” Flannery said. “We [Southern Baptists] have been under the radar as far as helping the Buffalo community. While we never pray for a disaster, we have prayed for an opportunity to show what Southern Baptists are about and what we can do. This has been a tangible way to do that.

“It’s a show-and-tell situation. We show Christian love and then tell them about the love of Christ. It’s an open window for evangelism and now we have to go through it,” Flannery said. “A lot of people called it a surprise storm, but it didn’t surprise God.”

Flannery said the unprecedented snowstorm left people in Buffalo shaken, especially senior citizens. Although they normally revel in handling harsh winter weather and are used to bitter cold and several feet of snow each year, Flannery said this storm was different.

“Their power was out for several days. When our chainsaw crews showed up, the seniors actually cried and were really appreciative.”

Flannery said citizens continually have attempted to pay the Baptist chainsaw teams for their work.

“We consistently tell them that the price has already been paid by the Lord Jesus Christ and that there is no charge.”

The disaster relief team established a system whereby senior adults received priority; as a result, 75-80 percent of the chainsaw work was done for seniors. The other top priority groups were the needy, the handicapped and single parents.

Both Flannery and Peters commended area city and county officials for their cooperation -– to the point that the county has been providing damage assessment and chainsaw teams with free gasoline for their vehicles.

The disaster relief team will give Buffalo-area Southern Baptist pastors the names of the local residents assisted -– especially the names of those who made decisions for Christ -– and the ministers will follow up with cards and letters before dispatching visitation teams, Flannery said.

State conventions providing disaster relief volunteers in Buffalo were Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland/Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, New England, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania/South Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah/Idaho, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Baptist General Association of Virginia and West Virginia.

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SHARE ~ Reimaging Evangelism: A Needed Paradigm Shift

Reimagining Evangelism

Inviting Friends on a Spiritual Journey

By Rick Richardson

Foreword by Brian McLaren and Luis Palau

book cover
Rick presents a needed paradigm shift in how we think about and then present the gospel.

You'll encounter several tough questions and new thoughts:
  • Evangelism: Salespeople or Travel Guides?
  • Holy Spirit Collaboration versus Personal Activism
  • The Witness of the Community
  • Spiritual Friendship
  • The Power of Story over Steps and Scripts
  • Jesus Outside the Box
  • Invitation to a Wedding: Journey Versus Event
  • Building Trust in a Multiethnic World
  • The "Big Story" of the Gospel
  • Models of Conversion
Rick also discusses the relevance of Paul Hiebert's insight from the 80's regarding bounded set and centered set thinking. One creates boundaries; you're in or out. The other welcomes journey toward the goal and stresses moving in the right direction.

Churches and Christians need more than another rousing sermon of onward Christian soldiers ... Even more than new methods, we are in desperate need of new ways of thinking, talking, acting, inviting, welcoming===>Click headline for an excerpt . . .

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Inner~Views: A Praying Pastor Might Need a Coach

*Tony, you have written a book on coaching, Leadership Coaching. For many Christian leaders, this is a new term - Please define it and describe how it is different from both discipleship and the process of consulting.

Coaching is the art of helping people grow without telling them what to do. It is probably closest to mentoring or spiritual direction, in that it is a one on one relationship designed to help you move forward in life. But mentoring is about one person imparting to another (the mentor gives wisdom, advice, influence or perspective to the mentoree), whereas coaching is about one person drawing out another (a coach uses listening and asking to help you find what God is saying to you). Coaches help people think things through and get things done, but the emphasis is always on the ability of the coachee to figure out what to do and do it, with the coach walking alongside to support the change. Another definition of coaching I often use is that coaching is walking with people as they grow in a way that consistently expresses belief in them, keeps them responsible for their own lives and allows God to be the initiator of change in them. That definition references three key values of the coaching approach: believing in people, personal responsibility and God as the initiator of change.

The usefulness of coaching is that it is uniquely suited to developing leadership qualitites in people. Different approaches are more and less suited to our stage of development. I like to use a parenting analogy to help people understand how this works. When your kids are 3, you take them to bed (just like a discipler might pick up a disciplee and take them to church). When they are 10, you've set boundaries for bed time and you expect your kids to take some responsibility to follow them. If you are a good parent, you are also explaining the wisdom of regular bedtimes, so the kids aren't just doing whatever you say, but are developing their own motivation to do this. In other words, you are moving toward more of a mentoring approach as a parent. When your kids are 17, they may be setting their own bedtimes. The boundaries are getting looser as they move toward adulthood, and effective parents are helping their kids think through what actions to take and what the implications of those actions are. In other words, you are coaching. As a parent, a big part of your job is to gradually give more and more responsibility to your kids, so they are ready to assume full responsibility for their lives as adults. Coaching is a way to help people and influence them toward making great decisions without taking responsibility for their lives and telling them what to do -- and that's why it works great for working with leaders.

* "Coaching is a dialogue, not a monologue." (Jospeh Umidi) - What are the implications of this statement to a person who does the coaching? To a person or group that invites someone to serve them as a coach?

The toughest part of learning to coach is turning off the "Mr Fix-it" gene that listens for about 3 minutes and then is ready to give advice or suggest a course of action. Too often when we are helping people we are monologuing: sharing our thoughts about the situation without having really heard, and with no way to test whether the solution we are offering (which probably worked for us at some point in the past) is really a viable one in this situation. Coaches are trained to really listen, to really hear, and to believe in the work of God in a person's life. When you invite a coach into your life, you're bringing in someone who will push you to think things through, who will believe you can come up with great solutions to the challenges you face, and who believes that God is speaking to you about what to do and that you can hear him.

*Can anyone simply declare them self a coach? What skills are required? Personality? Experience?

There certainly are a lot of people out there who have declared themselves coaches! Frankly, almost all people who "coach" without undergoing formal training are really mentoring under a different name. We have no idea how prone we are to think for people and tell them what to do until we are in a situation where we get some feedback from a trainer on what we are doing. So if you are serious about coaching, or you want to call yourself a coach, coach training is vital. My experience in running a coach training school for years and doing training around the country is that it usually takes 3-6 months of immersion in coach training for a person to really break out of the "telling" habit and begin to coach instinctively. We've all been conversing for our whole lives, and do it every day: habits that deeply ingrained are hard to change!

There isn't a particular personality type or track record that you need to become a coach. Your life experience helps you shape your coaching niche: you'll coach best in an area where you have experience, and clients are most drawn to a coach who understands and has experience in their world. People who are drawn to coaching generally have a passion to help others grow or maximize their potential.

*Agree or Disagree ... Life coaching (developing an individual leader) and group coaching (guiding a team of leaders in a particular project or initiative are radically different ... And explain why.

There are actually numerous niches in the coaching field, of which life coaching is one. Life coaching is walking with people through destiny discovery, life balance, getting the personal life they want, transitions, etc. Performance coaching helps people be more effective or get more done, transformational coaching changes who you are to change what you do, relationship coaching focuses (usually) on romantic relationships... there are a bunch of different sub-categories under the heading of coaching. Group coaching can be coaching a team in a project, or it can be working with a group of people who are all working at the same thing -- in other words, you could do group coaching with a group of people who are in the process of discovering their destiny.

*A successful or famous leader may not necessarily be the best coach. Why, and what should an individual or team look for in a great coach?

The skills and personality that make a great large sphere leader often include a lot of directing, oversight, vision-casting, ability to work in large group settings, public speaking, etc. None of these are key coaching skills. A great coach is first of all a great listener: someone who is willing to completely focus on you and what is going on in your life. The second key skill of coaching is inquiry: drawing out of you your thoughts, feelings, motivation, etc. Third, coaches are experts in the process of personal change. They need to understand how the change process works in individuals and how to manage things like encouragement, accountability, support structures, and motivation. Great coaches are people called to change the world one person at a time, by working with one person at a time. Most large sphere leaders have an organizational calling -- in other words, they are called to change the world by building world-changing organizational structures. It's a different animal.

*Give us a one sentence reply to each of these coaching principles identified in your book:

> Ask, don't tell ...

The fundamental skill of coaching is to draw out a person's true heart and their own insight, instead of offering your own.

> Skills channel character ...

What you do is a function of who you are. The skills and techniques that you've acquired are only a conduit for what is inside your heart: so, for instance, if you aren't interested in a person or you think their life is trivial, no amount of listening technique will cover that up or keep them from receiving that message from you,

> Transformation is experiential and relational, not informational ...

Deep, lasting significant change is not a cognitive process: God breaks into our lives at the point of our experiences and relationships, and that is where the transformational process begins.

> Build leaders, don't solve problems ...

If as a coach I help you make the "right" decision, I've helped you a little today. If I help you use this decision to learn to hear God's voice or become a better decision maker, I've affected every decision you'll make for the rest of your life.

> Change is more a function of motivation than information ...

In church settings we generally try to get people to change by telling them what they ought to be doing. It's not knowing the right thing to do that causes us to change: it is being motivated to take action.

* What have you found to be the most misunderstood aspect of coaching among Christian leaders, and how can this be overcome?

Its just the fundamental understanding of what coaching is. In much of the church, "coach" is just another name for "mentor" or "supervisor". I think the biggest need right now is for great training materials that are accessible to the church that can teach people the difference.

*Tony, please write a prayer on behalf of Christian leaders and teams that would benefit from the service of a coach . . .

I pray that you would have such a passion to engage life, that you would have such a desire to find God's purpose for your growth in every circumstance or challenge that you face, that you would not be content to just keep sloggin through your days without seeking out the meaning in what is happening to you. I pray for the awakening of desire in you, I pray for the awakening of the hunger to experience the reality of God's work in you each day; and I pray that that yearning would lead you to reflect deeply, to stop and look for your creator in everything, and that seeking him you'd find him. And I pray that you would draw many others along with you on that journey to a deeper experience of life in God.

Tony Stoltzfus
Coach22 & Coaching Pastors
Virginia Beach, VA
Bookstore: www.Coach22.com
Personal Coaching: www.CoachingPastors.com

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Coaching ~ Cues & Clues from the Mentoring Process

Making Mentoring Meaningful
by Rennie Garda with Bill Allison

It seems like a lot of people are talking about "mentoring" these days, but what does mentoring look, feel, and sound like?

What Is Mentoring?
When the Apostle Paul was mentoring a young pastor named Timothy, he wrote the following words: "You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others" (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT). Paul was instructing Timothy to be intentional. Simply put, mentoring is being intentional about relationships. That is, God will actively direct us to specific people in our relational sphere of influence (our RSi) in whom He wants us to invest our lives . We begin to mentor these people when we intentionally start overflowing what God is doing in us into their lives (see 1 Thessalonians 2:8). Mentoring, then, is the umbrella under which all of our intentional relationships stand.

Mentoring Relationships Nuts and Bolts
It's critically important to understand that there is a wide range of flexibility in mentoring relationships. Some mentoring relationships are so informal that you don't even know that the other person views you as a mentor. Other mentoring relationships can be so intense that if you--as the mentor--don't define a clear beginning, middle and end of the mentoring, you'll end up in a relational crash because of undefined expectations. This can be a painful experience. If you receive a request to mentor someone and sense God wants you to do it, then it would be beneficial if you both clarified the focus and the length of time. Let me explain...

* Clarify the focus of the mentoring relationship.
For example, you might agree together to improving the mentee's walk with God, realigning the mentee's direction in life, or walk alongside the mentee in a first experience as a small group shepherd. The focus of the mentoring can range from internal issues such as self-image/understanding who we are in Christ to specific life skills to better live out obedience to God in an area of struggle. The focus of a mentoring relationship could also be helping a mentee with priorities or a life role such as husband, father, young mom, daughter-in-law, friend, etc.

* Define the length of time for the mentoring relationship.
For example, you might mutually agree to meet together weekly for 6 months, or every other week for three months, or some other arrangement. Your role is to come alongside someone for a set amount of time as he/she wrestles through the journey on a specific issue.

Mentoring Others: Proceed with Caution
When in a mentoring relationship, you, as a mentor, should never take on total responsibility for another's life. On the other hand, a shotgun approach to mentoring relationships is doomed to fail because the relationship is not intentional and defined. If you enter a mentoring relationship (and I hope you do), let me reiterate: I challenge you to come alongside someone for a specific season of time for a specific, mutually-agreed-upon focus. Then after the season of time has elapsed (3 months, 6 months, a year) you each can decide if a new season of mentoring should be entered into and if you are the best one to mentor the person in the area of focus for this new season of time.

Jesus: The Master Mentor
For me mentoring begins with my favorite mentor--Jesus. A careful study of the gospels reveals that Jesus intentionally invested his life in his relationship with his heavenly father--AND with people that he targeted for impact. The way Jesus invested his life to win others reveals a wealth of insight into spiritual mentoring that has application for us today. In the Mentoring Connection workshop (see info below), we explore twelve aspects of Jesus' flexible style of mentoring. We offer no simplistic formula for mentoring others--just a flexible pattern of relationship priorities that'll grow you as a mentor. These twelve aspects of Jesus' flexible mentoring style are:

1. Jesus made himself available to people.
2. Jesus dealt with people as unique individuals.
3. Jesus engaged people in creative dialogue.
4. Jesus asked probing questions.
5. Jesus listened attentively.
6. Jesus ministered through unconditional love.
7. Jesus identified obstacles to spiritual growth.
8. Jesus patiently bore with the ignorance, laziness, fears and failures of people.
9. Jesus challenged, confronted and corrected.
10. Jesus ministered in community.
11. Jesus ministered with a sense of lightheartedness.
12. Jesus cared for his own soul.

Look closely at these twelve aspects of Jesus' flexible mentoring style.
* Name one person you view as a mentor. Which of these twelve flexible styles of mentoring does your mentor use in the mentoring relationship with you? How about stopping the carousel of your life long enough to write a thank you note to them?
* Which of these twelve do you do well? In which of the twelve do you need to grow?
* Name one person you are mentoring (informally or formally). Which of the twelve styles might be best for the person you are mentoring at this season of the mentoring journey? Why? How might you effectively use this style in the mentoring relationship?

Don't Just Be a Mentor--Find a Mentor!
A final thought for you to ponder: Mentoring is a 360-degree experience. The best mentors are those who are also being mentored.
* Who is one person whom you need to formally ask to mentor you?
* What would the focus of this mentoring relationship be? (In other words, what does this mentor have to offer you--that you need to learn? Be specific about this.)
* For what length of time and how often should the mentoring relationship continue?
Now, dare to make the ask! Why? Because if you want to mentor others, you need to be mentored.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Pilot Cities ~ Santa Rosa, CA: City Gives $100,000

-----Original Message-----
From: Dr. Sam Tillery [mailto:drsam@instepministries.org]

We will take these dates. Will work out the details later. All is going well in Santa Rosa, the city just awarded us $100,000 to develop the Christ centered gang mentoring program, we are calling "Hope Works" (Jobs & Jesus).

I meet today with another part of the city leaders to work on "Disaster Preparedness" strategy to educate the community. They are giving us $10,000 to produce a teaching video for the city & churches to use to prepare our community for emergencies. We are going to use this as an evangelistic tool and to continue to build relationships into the cities in the county.

For His Glory, Sam

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

PRAYER ~ Macro-Level Prayer Strategy

The Power of a Praying City Church

“The life of the church is the highest life, and its office is to pray. Its prayer life is the highest life, the most fragrant, the most conspicuous. When God’s house on the earth is a house of prayer, then God’s house in heaven is busy and powerful in its plans and movements. ‘For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people’ (Isaiah 56:7), says God. Then, His earthly armies are clothed with the triumphs and spoils of victory, and His enemies are defeated on every hand… The very life and prosperity of God’s cause - even its very existence - depend on prayer. And the advance and triumph of His cause depend on one thing: that we ask of Him.” E. M. Bounds

There is power released when the church in the city prays! What is needed in the worldwide Church at this hour is a unified, praying Church. There is the need for supernatural power. Only the power of God will defeat the attacks of the enemy in our cities. When the church in a city or region decides to drop its own agendas and decides to come together to pray day and night in a central location, there is great spiritual power released into the atmosphere, the very power of God. Prayer will affect everything! It will affect time, places, occasions and circumstances. A praying church within the city brings success and supernatural power into that region.

“Success is sure to follow a church given to much prayer. The supernatural element in the church, without which it must fail, comes only through praying. More time in this bustling age must be given to pray by a God-given church… More heart and soul must be in the praying that is done if the church would go forth in the strength of her Lord and perform the wonders that is her heritage by divine promise.” E. M. Bounds

We must get on our knees and seek God passionately. The obstacles towards city transformation are many. We must believe that our cities can be transformed by the power of God. We must know that none of us has the answer to our city, only God does. We can’t figure out how to bring revival into our cities. God is the one who transforms. It is time to shake off our apathetic lifestyle, and expect the supernatural from God. We must have no hidden agendas or selfish motives. This is all about the Kingdom of God and intimacy with the King. We must stop our busyness, remove ourselves from the distractions all around us, and become passionate for God. It is time to seek the Lord.

Requirements for Powerful Transformation in Your City

“The time has come to lift the bar of expectations. Transformation is attainable for God. This is the heartbeat of God. It is not the work of man. It’s the finger of God. ‘If you call on me, I will answer.’ He takes care of the problems. The church becomes a beacon of light and hope.” George Otis, Jr., Transformation video

God wants to come into your city with His presence. He is greatly concerned with your city and cares deeply about reaching the people who live there. We need to ask ourselves, “What are the requirements needed to bring God’s power into our city, power that will reach the lost and set the captives free?” “What is required for transformation in our city that will change the face of everything?” The following are principles that will help bring life and transformation into your city:

* Invite God into your city - Ask Him to increase your capacity to desire Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to empty you of self-satisfaction and fill you with Himself. Pray this for all the churches in your city. See Isaiah 62:6-7.

* Walk in holiness and humility - God wants to change us first. He is drawn to holiness and humility. He wants to remove all pride from our lives. Decide not to let others offend you, and forgive daily. Choose to walk in humility. See Isaiah 66:2.

* Make an individual decision to pray and seek God - Revival begins with individual obedience and solitary decisions. Come to God afresh and commit your life to Him totally and without reservation. Ask Him to change you, and find others who have made that personal commitment. It always starts with a few. These are the ones who will press through in prayer and cry out to God for city transformation.

* Repent of the sins in your city - Why is there a lack of blessing in your city? Map the history of your area and deal with past sin. Understand the depth of God’s feeling of unresolved corporate sin. Past iniquity can be dealt with only through prayer and repentance. Repent of anything that offends God.

* Make prayer a priority - Fervent prayer will release God’s destiny for our cities. Be willing to persevere in prayer with a holy determination. Determine not to let go of God until He breaks through. Become desperate for God.

* Expect God to work uniquely in your city - Don’t think He will do the same in your city as another one. The work of God comes through prayer, and it is unpredictable and out of man’s control. God will show up in unexpected ways. We think our strategies are the way, but God sees things in a much more powerful dimension.

* Seek for unity among the churches in your city - Remember that God doesn’t need a majority but a few churches coming together with hungry hearts for the cause of revival and transformation of the city. The presence of God will bring supernaturally unity as we cry out to God for it. Seek to unite with other churches in prayer for transformation.

“Unity is a revelation of the spirit of God that sees that only together can we get the results that God wants. I need my brother. I can’t do it alone. We must give ourselves away to one another and to Him. We must look at ourselves in a kingdom connection. It is in all of us, not one of us.” George Otis, Jr., Transformation video

Are we willing for God to transform our cities through prayer? Are we willing to pay the price? For many of us, God has brought us to the point of desperation. We are willing to lay down our own agendas and get on our faces before God for however long it takes. We have seen that our own methods and plans will never change the increasing darkness that is permeating our land. We are becoming desperate, and that is a good place to be. Seeking the manifest presence of God in a region is risky, but it is the way towards a true and powerful transformation in your city.

”It’s risky, aggressive, and brought about through prayer. It’s not predictable and out of our control. There is an unexpectedness of God. We are fooled by strategy. We lack God’s processing power. You can’t format God. We are proud and impatient. God’s approach is to come in through the back door. He shows up, not shows off. There is a flow with the Holy Spirit that is not stage-managed. He is willing to be invited but only on his terms. The light of God is a surprise. Leaders must be committed to a community. They must persevere through apathy and not give up. I can’t coast and there is no time to say, ‘I’ll relax’. It’s not a quick start but a long run. The goal is to get to the last day and then face Jesus and through everything to direct men and women toward the Kingdom. God is looking for a man who will take the burden on himself for the nation. God is looking for leaders who will stand in the gap for their nation, who don’t care who gets the credit. They are not stakeholders but shareholders. They give God the glory. Revival leaders are often unlikely choices. The measure of leadership is not influence with the public but influence with God.” George Otis, Jr., Transformation video

Are you ready for transformation in your city? We are right now in a region in southern Spain that is seeking God for transformation. November 1st started a month-long 24-7 House of Prayer situated in a central location in the region. God has provided in an amazing way a large 200-year old hotel for this event. This place is set apart this month to seek the face of God and invite Him to come and transform Spain, Gibraltar and North Africa. Churches and individuals in the region are dedicating time in the prayer room. They are choosing to unite and drop their differences. They are seeking God’s Kingdom purposes for this region. Individuals from several other countries are coming to this area and dedicating large amounts of time in the prayer room. We invite you to join us in prayer for this area called Campo de Gibraltar. See www.campo247.com for prayer requests and updates. We also invite you to pray the following prayer for your city and believe God for a mighty transformation. “Lord, whatever it takes. Give me the grace to get there. I will live and die believing for my culture to be transformed.” It’s time to believe that God will transform our cities. May God bless you as you apply these principles and seek God’s face for transformation in your city.

“The life, power, and glory of the church is prayer. The life of its members is dependent on prayer. The presence of God is secured and retained by prayer. The very place is made sacred by its ministry. Without it, the church is lifeless and powerless. Without it, even the building itself is nothing more than any other structure. Prayer converts even the bricks, mortar, and lumber into a sanctuary, a Holy of Holies, where the Shekinah dwells. Prayer separates it, in spirit and in purpose, from all other buildings. Prayer gives a peculiar sacredness to the building, sanctifies it, sets it apart for God, and conserves it from all common and mundane affairs.” E. M. Bounds

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise


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Friday, November 03, 2006

“The Dynamics of Transformation” ~ 2007 City Impact Roundtable

~~ 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


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

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

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


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).


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.


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

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"

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

q Building Strategic Partnerships with Marketplace Ministries

q Multigenerational Cityreaching

q Trench-Talk: Issues Common to Experienced Cityreachers

q The Leadership Foundation Model and Process

q Ministry and Outreach Among Hispanics Engaging Ethnic Churches to Reach the Whole City

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

q Keys to Leading and Managing Cityreaching Movements

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

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


$120 Early bird by January 15, 2007
$150 Regular rate January 16 to April 6, 2007
$175 Late registration April 7 to April 19, 2007

One day local registration Thursday $50 (no meals)

Thursday (with banquet) $70

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 Feb. 2, 2007 for special CIR rate of $75 - $83 per night.)

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 now, see attached registration form.

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), 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), and Barney Field (El Paso). Please pray for us as we seek the Lord for His final touches on the CIR.

Glenn Barth
Convener, City Impact Roundtable

Registration for

The 2007 National Meeting of the City Impact Roundtable

El Paso, TX (Juarez, El Paso, Las Cruces region)

April 19-21, 2007

3 Ways to Register:

Fax: 760-200-8837 (if paying by credit card) or

Online: Pending

Mail: Attn: Dee Neely, Mission America, PO Box l3930, Palm Desert, CA 92255 (if paying by check or credit card. Make check payable to Mission America Coalition)

Please fill out a separate registration form for each individual attending.

n Individual Registration $120 (before January 15)

n Regular Registration $150 (January 16 – April 6)

n Late Registration $175 (April 7-19 )

n Single day registration: $70 Thursday with banquet, $50 without

$70 Friday

$50 Saturday

Please note: Full registration includes 3 meals but does not include lodging.

Register your lodging at Hilton El Paso Airport by Feb 2 for CIR rate of $75.00 - $83.00 per night. Hotel phone: 915-778-4241


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Ministry Name: _______________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________________

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