and we have got to wake up to this reality if we haven't."
Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus but Not the Church
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The Whole Church ... Showing & Telling the Whole Gospel ... to the Whole Nation ... Community-by-Community
Luke 15:4:10"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ORejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ORejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
In business terms ...
Christians can be hindered by traditional ideas of what evangelism looks like. The average Christian thinks, It means getting out and knocking on doors. I don't know if I can do that. We would like to reach lost people, but doing so doesn't feel like us. In the New Testament, Peter was confrontational, while Paul took an intellectual approach. The blind man in John 9 took a testimonial approach, and the woman at the well, an invitational approach. So let's free ourselves up. Let's not lay guilt trips on people by acting as though if they really loved Jesus, they would do it just like us. Let's find approaches that fit the personalities God gave each of us. Evangelism naturally tends to slip more than any other biblical value. It is what I call the law of evangelistic entropy. I've been negatively surprised by how rapidly this value slips, even in people who are fired up to share their faith. A year passes, and they've slipped into comfortable Christianity.
Denominations that started with evangelism as a priority can quickly become institutionalized. Evangelism is too often relegated to a statement on the front of a bulletin instead of a value by which we live. - Mark Mittelberg
Something to Think About ...The gospel must be preached afresh and told in new ways to every generation, since every generation has its own unique questions. The gospel must constantly be forwarded to a new address, because the recipient is repeatedly changing his place of residence. - Helmut Thielicke
Who is the book for and why should they read it?
[Dave and Scott] The book is for all persons interested in the megachurch phenomena. Megachurch leaders will profit from reading it because it helps them understand their own churches in a larger context. Leaders of smaller churches will enjoy reading it because it shows megachurch practices that are different from their own. Consultants, reporters and academic readers will see the important statistics and observations as critical to building their own frameworks and understandings of larger churches in the context of the entire American religious scene.
What's one thing you've learned from your experience with megachurches?
[Scott] One of the most basic and yet profoundly significant lessons from the
Download a sample chapter or order the book online:
How to Help the Poor Without Hurting Them...and Ourselves by Dr. Brian Fikkert, Chalmers Center Executive Director
We’ve all been in this situation: A poorly dressed person approaches our church asking for help with buying groceries. We want to help out, but how? If we give them money, perhaps they will waste it. And if we take the time to go to the grocery store with them, what will prevent them from needing help again in about a week or two? Many of us have a sense that our efforts to help the poor often fail to bring any lasting improvement. But the situation is often worse than we may imagine: Our efforts to help... Read More >>
The Five Top Asking Mistakes Coaches Make
(And How to Correct Them)
From the forthcoming book, "Coaching Questions: A Coaches Guide to Powerful Asking Skills"
By Tony Stoltzfus
From long experience as a coach trainer, here's my personal list of the top five asking mistakes coaches make.
1. Closed Questions
Our #1 offender is—closed questions! Open questions have two important benefits: they let the coachee direct the conversation (you can answer in many different ways) and they make the coachee think by eliciting more than one-word answers. While most people will answer the occasional closed question as if it were open, too many will shut people down.
To convert closed questions to open ones, first become aware of what you are asking. If you catch yourself before you've finished asking, you can simply restate the question. You'll know its a closed question if it can be answered with a simply "yes" or "no", like these examples:
If you catch yourself in the act of asking a closed question, here's a quick technique for readjusting: just start again with the word "what" or "how". Here are the closed questions above, made open:
The focus of Justice in the Burbs [Baker Books, 2007] by Will and Lisa Samson is on action—being the hands of Jesus wherever you live, as the subtitle says. This book, written by an award-winning Christian novelist and her husband, who’s working on his PhD in sociology, is half fiction and half non-fiction. The fictional part of the book describes a story of a husband and wife who live in the suburbs and start feeling the need to be more connected to issues of justice. The non-fictional component follows this storyline with Biblical facts and examples as to how and why the Christian couple were Biblically sound in their endeavors—and how they (and others reading the book) could do more to promote justice where they live.
This book was incredibly easy to read, with tons of great information and inspiration. And the fictional story is compelling—I cried several times at the heartache and joys the family encountered. I could see my friends and family in the faces Lisa described.
The only thing I didn’t love about the book was the last chapter. In the “Benediction”, Lisa ends the story of the husband and wife with a story of a happy family living simply. It’s a beautiful picture of love and grace, but it didn’t seem like enough to me. After ruminating on their words about justice, I wanted a vision of a world free from poverty and injustice.
But everything else about the book was beautiful, and the aspect I liked best was that Will and Lisa were providing guidance to all Christians about how to “bloom where you are planted”. This is important to me in my life and ministry because I thought at an early age that I was supposed to be a missionary. I’ve spent several summers in foreign countries evangelizing and working with churches and children’s ministries. But it never felt quite right. I kept feeling called to be at home, living in community and addressing the needs of my neighbors.
So this book is perfect for people like me who feel called into the mission field at their front door—it provides great examples, ideas, meditations, and tools that can be used in our ministries. But it’s also perfect for anyone who desires to learn more about Jesus’ heart for the poor and “least of these”.
Ministry: I’m currently working on my PhD in health policy, serve with a refugee ministry at our new church (Revolution) in Kansas City and an elder ministry, and run a couple of blogs (www.heartlandinnovators.org and www.revolutioninjesusland.org) with my husband.
What's "Coaching" To You?
by Keith Webb
What you mean by the terms "coach" and "coaching" will affect how you'll coach and the results you'll get.
A few years ago I sat down and researched various definitions of coaching. Marketplace definitions from the 1980s emphasized coaching only for job performance. Those definitions shifted drastically in the 1990s to holistic personal growth and unlimited human potential.
Until two years ago, Christian definitions echoed the marketplace versions or focused on mentoring functions like guiding and teaching. (One brilliant exception is Steve Ogne's early definition that still deserves attention.)
Here's my definition of coaching:
"Coaching is an ongoing intentional conversation that empowers a person or group to fully live out God's calling."
Let's take a look at the meaning. Watch for how the definition affects the process and results of coaching.
Ongoing: Coaching is a process. It's most successful over a period of time through regular interactions. I usually coach people 60 minutes every two weeks.
Intentional Conversation: The coaching conversation is different than a friendship or mentoring or teaching conversations. Coaching uses special techniques to keep the coachee in the driver's seat reflecting on ideas, making decisions, and taking action. Every conversation is expected to produce Spirit-led discoveries, insights, and action steps.
Empowers: The overall outcome of a coaching relationship is the coachee feels empowered. She grows. She feels equipped to think through and handle situations better. And she's been doing it all throughout the coaching relationship. There's no dependency on the coach.
A Person or Group: Coaching focuses on an individual's reflection, growth, and actions. Groups can also be coached, but only on the group's goals, not each individual's growth needs.
Fully live out: To thrive and excel and live up to full potential.
God's Calling: Here's where my definition diverges from many others. I believe that a coach's job is not to help a coachee to achieve whatever he wants, instead we help him to become what God would have him become (Eph 1:4, 5), and do what God would have him do (Eph 2:10). We steward the calling, gifting, and potential that God has given each person.
How do coaches do all this? With special techniques and a lot of practice! That's why we created a professional level coaching course for Christian leaders.
What are your thoughts on this definition of coaching? Let us know at our new blog. ===>Click headline to access website . . .
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On Saturday, the 20th we had an awesome day with a large CARE initiative from 8:00 a.m. until 12 p.m.
- Bless the schools:
- We were on the campuses of 5 schools systems
- Cedar Rapids – 12 locations
- College Community – 1 location
- CPU / Center Point Urbana – 3 locations
- Linn-Mar – 7 locations
i. One of our pastors who was also the site manager, divided some of his flowers and brought them to the school.
ii. One of our local greenhouses donated a large amount of fall flowers and bulbs for spring to one of the schools.
- Marion – 7 locations
- Total of 30 locations in the five districts
- We had over 340 volunteers from 27 congregations show up to bless the schools,
i. I had asked for 660 which we did not make – turned out to be a good thing although we could have put 40 more to work.
ii. The Marion district had 5 locations we could not get to for lack of help BUT they were amazed at what we did. So am I actually.
iii. The "people had a mind to work" – although smaller in number than asked for, these volunteers REALLY worked hard!
- I have personally spoken on Saturday and today with 2 of the five buildings and grounds managers
i. CR Schools – Tom is VERY happy and all his building engineers were appreciative of the work AND the attitudes of those serving.
· He is open to this being an annual event!
· We exceeded his expectations and actually exceeded mine.
ii. Marion – "I cannot find words to express my gratitude" We exceeded his expectations.
iii. Linn-Mar – one of the teachers told us the staff would be VERY appreciative when they came in on Monday. The B & G man said he could tell the difference from his truck as he drove by two of the schools on his way to the office this morning.
iv. College Community – no contact today as yet
v. CPU: no contact today as yet
- Kids Against Hunger: We had a goal of 108 people (9 lines of 12)
- Over 84 people showed up,
- Each paying $ 42.00 to cover the ingredients and the shipping costs.
- With 14,472 meals packaged to send to a nation that we will choose where people are starving. The food will go a missions group.
- Blood Drive
- We had a goal of 60 people.
- 71 showed up with 7 being 'deferred'
- 64 donors sending blood to an area blood bank
- The blood bank folks gave us a good report, many smiles.
- Food -Drive for local food pantries
- I canceled it due to lack of admin help and
- The Boy Scouts were having their annual food drive on Saturday also, seemed like a good thing to 'not compete.'
- We will work on this in November.
- Prayer Room
- The Serve The City area prayer team was alerted to the days activities via email.
- We had a central prayer room at The Alliance Church that was staffed from 7:30 to 1:00 pm.
- We had an excel spread sheet for all 30 school locations with the location and each volunteers name. Every volunteer that pre-registered had their name called out loud and were prayed for.
- A visual for the blood drive and a visual for the Kids Against Hunger.
- Injuries – I have had no reports of any injuries! With 14 chain saws going (that I know of), 26 people up on roofs, a handful on ladders painting, axes, machetes, weed whackers etc. going, no injuries. One of the pastors had his machete fly off the tree and into his leg but no skin was broken! This is a real praise the Lord.
- No shows: This was less than 10 that I have had reported HOWEVER, we over 20 show up that had not registered! Both of these numbers are amazing!
- Couldn't find us: As far as I know, we only had four people (2 couples) that could not find their work crews and went home. I have spoken by phone to one couple and written them both a letter of apology.
It was a very good day!
===>Click headline to access Serve The City website . . .
Top 10 Things You Should Know About Unchurched People - WEB EXCLUSIVE!
If you want them to hear what you're saying, here's what you should know about the way they think! Kem Meyer, communications director at Granger Community Church (our One-to-Watch) reveals key communication clues for connecting with your unchurched guests.
Thank you so much for your prayers for this last weekend. God answered! (Surprised?)
We would love to get your feedback after listening. We are preparing similar messages for our conferences in Peoria, IL Oct 26-28 and Garland, TX Nov 2-4. Your feed back could help us be more effective.
- About 200 people stood to their feet to commit to purposefully PRAY FOR , CARE FOR, AND SHARE CHRIST WITH THEIR NEIGHBORS!
- Then, about 100 people signed up to come to one of the THREE MODEL CHRISTMAS PARTIES next weekend! (The way we train churches is by actually hosting a full fleged party, just like the manual teaches, at a church member's home. That way, they will feel exactly what their neighbors will feel when they host a similar party in December. It is a fun, low-threat way to open the doors to redemptive friendships in your neighborhood!)
- To listen to Becky and me speak (31 min), simply click on http://www.bvchurch.org
- For our resources, go to www.neighborhope.com. Then to Products
Thank you for praying for this new season for us of speaking and mobilising believers into the Harvest!