Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RESOURCE ~ Connecting to Your Marketplace Leaders

New Momentum BannerBridge Graphic

Use the following tools to share WorkLife with church leaders and working believers interested in tested solutions and tools for WorkLife:

The mission of His Church at Work is to grow the influence of the church through the work lives of its people.

Join us in accelerating the impact of WorkLife ministry. Together, we can help people see the significance of their field (of work)!

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CARE ~ "Be Ye Kind" to the Max!

Joel News

Thousands commit to daily acts of kindness

A small, spontaneous act of kindness by a Chicago-area pastor in the USA has inspired the creation of the 365 Club - a Facebook group whose members are each committed to performing 365 acts of kindness in 2009. Since its founding on January 2, more than 7,000 people have joined the club that so far has a collective commitment to perform more than 2.5 million acts of kindness this year. At the moment around one thousand new people are joining the club each day.

The 365 Club was inspired by a real-life story of kindness from pastor David Ferguson of Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois. Ferguson had walked into a Kinko's store holding a Starbucks coffee when one of the employees joked, "Hey, where is mine?" Ferguson immediately asked, "What do you want… I'm buying!" He also offered to buy the two other Kinko's employees working in the store at the time the Starbucks drink of their choice. "When I got back with their favorite drinks in hand you would have thought they won the lottery," the pastor recalled in his blog. "They were super grateful and it was just a fun and spontaneous random act of kindness."

He then posted his Kinko's-Starbuck story on Facebook, and not long after his friend Scott Couchenour took the idea and set up a Facebook group, 365 Club. One of the first members of the 365 Club, Michelle Thomas, posted her act of kindness on Saturday January 3. Thomas said she waited until 2:30 a.m. and brought a bucket of hot, soapy water to the parking garage of her condo building and began to search for the dirtiest car on the floor. She found a dirty car and washed it, dried it, and left a card in an envelope on the car's windshield that read, "Make this world a better place, pay it forward."

The 365 Club's motto is: "Small things done with great love can change the world!"

The 365 Club on Facebook.com:

Sources: David Ferguson, Jennifer Riley

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hey Coach

>>>Note: City movements are often unsure of how to utilize a leadership coach . . .

Hey Coach

Wisdom From a Cliff

You can find teachable moments in any situation.

Lasting Impact

Take some tips from Barnabas and leave a legacy in the lives of others.

Driving Force

How to uncover and develop your core values.

Listen Up!

Discovering the keys to meaningful conversation.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SHARE ~ The Importance of "Thresholds" in Sharing the Gospel

I Once Was Lost

What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus

Don Everts and Doug Schaupp

InterVarsity Press, 2008, 134 pp., ISBN 978-0-8308-3608-6

To purchase this book click here.

Everts is a preacher and writer who hangs around college campuses with students. He has written several other books, including Jesus with Dirty Feet. Schaupp is the regional director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's campus ministries in Southern California. In this book, the authors disclose a series of "thresholds" which postmodern young people surmount and the factors that help them over these hurdles in the process of becoming Christains. The authors show examples of the stages from the lives of real people.

"There are two foundational truths about conversion that all these new believers have taught us over the years…. The first lesson…is that it is, in the end, mysterious." "The second lesson…is that the postmodern path to faith is organic." (18, 20).

We have noticed over and over that there are five distinct seasons of growth. To reach people today, we recognize and sensitively approach people according to where they are in the seed, stalk, head, full grain, or ripe condition (Mark 4:28-29). (21)

People move from distrust to trust, from complacent to curious, from closed to change to open to change, from meandering to seeking, and then cross the threshold of the kingdom. (23-24) We can now ask about a person, "Where on the path are they?" And when we figure out roughly where they are, we can appreciate and empathize with them where they are. (25)

The better we listen, the better we can serve. We ask, "How can I enter into the mystery of this stage of their growth?" (27)

Threshold One: Trusting a Christian

"Trust is sweet. It is better than gold. Trust is always a gift of the heart, and therefore it just may be the most precious thing in life, next to love." (30)

While religion is suspect, church is weird, and Christians are hypocrites, distrust is normal. Genuine relationships are our currency. (31)

When people don't trust us, we tend to defend ourselves, to become indignant, to avoid, to judge, or to argue with the other person. However, we do better to pray, learn (try to understand the other person's perspective), sympathize, ask good questions, and listen. (39-40)

"People can smell a fake from a mile away." "We can never treat people like projects. Give your heart." (41)

Bond. Get with the people. Go where they are and do what they do. Get involved in their lives. Spend time with them. Affirm the real good you find. (41-43)

Avoid the pitfalls of relativism, sin, and temptation. Don't put yourself in situations where you struggle. (44)

Threshold Two: Becoming Curious

"Curiosity tends to blossom over time. You can think of curiosity as having three levels of intensity: awareness, engagement and exchange." (52) "Exchange is an intense form of curiosity that means being so curious that you want to exchange ideas, ask questions and offer your own opinions." (53)

Jesus stirred people toward curiosity by doing the unexpected, such as asking questions, using parables, and living curiously. Jesus is provocative, intriguing.

"A good question is worth a thousand answers. Sometimes when someone asks us a question, an answer is the last thing they need. Instead, they need someone to stoke the fire of curiosity in their soul." (55)

"Practicing Christian community is also pivotal to living curiously." (60)

Be sensitive to their level of interest. Don't dump five gallons of answers on a six-ounce question. (62)

Shelve the other issues and point them to Jesus.

Threshold Three: Opening Up to Change

This is the most difficult threshold, much harder that it seems. "It is actually a heroic, mysterious, deep thing." (68) Change is always difficult so opening to change is a tricky business. Questioning your worldview is revolutionary. (70) Thus we must be patient and "praying our guts out for them." (73) Walk actively alongside them, even while you feel the tension.

Jesus is our model. He challenged people all the time, altering his approach depending on what people needed. "We can, and should, practice the same nonjudgmental truthfulness about our own and other people's brokenness." (75) They may lack courage and simply need a nudge to act. (77) Jesus agitated the complacent and connected the dots for the confused. (78, 80) It is time to be both patient and challenging. (82)

Threshold Four: Seeking After God

This means to lean into the journey and decide to purposefully seek resolution, to become seekers. (86) They ask questions and pray and talk with others in seeking resolution. They sense the time is ripe. The difference between true seekers and those not so far along is the sense of urgency. They are looking for Jesus, not just God. They are counting the costs. And they are spending time with Christians.

This is a subtle, but unique and necessary threshold. It is often helpful to explicitly challenge them to become a seeker, to make a decision to commit to find God. Live your Christian life before them by showing them how to build their lives on Jesus' words, opening your prayer life to them, providing satisfying answers to their questions (personal, real and grounded in real-life experience), and modeling the seeking process by actively seeking after Jesus in your own life.

A five-step framework for apologetics works like this: (91-92)

1. Affirm people who pose questions about faith. Show enthusiasm for their questions.

2. Translate from abstract terms to real life, your life and journey.

3. Be transparent. Let your struggles demonstrate you are still a work in progress.

4. Insert yourself into the question as a case study. Personalize the questions to yourself.

5. Challenge your friend. What about you?

"There's nothing quite like having believers (especially brand new ones) tell the story of their journey to faith." (94)

"A guide isn't a know-it-all; a guide helps interpret their experience." (100)

"Today many of us are seeing the wisdom of inviting non-Christians to engage in kingdom activities, especially ones focused on mercy and justice. We try to create seeker tracks for all of our service projects and weeklong missions. We also intentionally articulate the gospel to them during these service projects, being explicit about why we serve." (101)

Threshold Five: Entering the Kingdom

There comes a point of decision and commitment. Jesus painted a picture using the parable of the man you sold everything he had to buy the pearl. The treasure is worth it all. "Entering the kingdom is just like that: it's a thing of great joy and great cost. The cost is dear, but is nothing compared with what is being gained." (106)

It's hard to maintain the posture of seeking. It demands resolution. "Leave the fruit on the vine too long, and it will spoil." (108) "When we are appropriately urgent, our strategies and actions usually flow intuitively from the situation." (108) In football this is called "the Red Zone." Defenses tighten up. Spiritual warfare often peaks.

It is time to be clear. But don't reduce Jesus to a magic formula. Use a visual illustration or an analogy, like wedding vows or a sports paradigm or the language of revolution. Talk about entering the Kingdom.

Beyond the Thresholds: Living in the Kingdom

The first year is unique. "There's nothing like getting to wake up in this new kingdom, to experience forgiveness, love and truth, for the first time. The first year is a tender, wonderful year. Yet it is also often a very confusing and painful year." (122)

It is like learning one's way around a new country. Dozens of decisions need to be made about their new life. "Growth is not automatic and must not be taken for granted." (123) "They desperately need us to help guide them beyond the thresholds." (123) Walk alongside them.

"We suggest explicitly setting up a six-to-eight-week intense mentorship with them." (126) The first phase is helping them secure their decision. The second is the core, helping them develop key kingdom habits. The final phase is the handoff to a local community, small group, or friend who will provide long-term sustainable care. (127-29)

Conclusion: Servant Evangelism

"People will regress and 'go backward' through the thresholds as often as they progress forward." (132)

Three questions when planning an evangelistic event:

1. Who is our audience?

2. What do they need at this stage in their journey?

3. How can we help them take the next step toward Jesus? (133)

===>Click headline for original posting . . .

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Perwparing for Culture Change

Change agents from around the world will convene in Atlanta for the Church in the Workplace Reclaim 7 Mountains Conference. I want to strongly encourage you to join us. With less than 9% of born again Christians holding a biblical worldview, it is vital we begin to reverse this trend. Change must take place in the 7 mountains of culture in order for this trend to be reversed. These cultural mountains include business, government, arts & entertainment, media, education, family and the Church. If these trends do not change, we will see a progressive eroding of the values we all hold dear.

You can be an important change agent towards reversing that trend. Please join us February 6th - 8th in Atlanta where you will be inspired and equipped to be an influencer in the area of your calling! If you register this week by Friday at midnight, you will receive a full set of CD MP3 files of the entire 2008 Reclaim 7 Mountains Conference! That is a $189 value, so you save $289 total or more! Click here to register now.

Register this week and we’ll give you a FREE BONUS – a full set of CD MP3’s of the entire 2008 conference presentations! That’s a $189 value! Learn more or Register

Consider our tremendous lineup of speakers and what and how they will equip you:

Os Hillman - I will be presenting three sessions; the current state of culture, the media and vital signs we need to address. I will share what is required to become an effective change agent.

Lance Wallnau will be providing practical tools that will help you maximize your gift and calling so you can affect your mountain. Lance will also address issue related to women in the marketplace and emerging leaders.

Dr. Paul Hegstrom will be helping us understand the need to become whole in our families and personal lives if we expect to have influence in culture. Dr. Hegstrom’s book has been THE MOST requested book from our ministry this year.

Johnny Enlow, author of the Seven Mountain Prophecy, will explain how there are spiritual forces that reside over every mountain of influence and what you must do to unseat them.

Doug Spada, will explain why the local church is vital to the mission of reclaiming culture and the progress his organization, His Church at Work, is making at the local church level. Many have given up on the local church, but Doug is excited about early signs of change.

Special Sessions for Next Generation and Women in the Workplace
This year we will have specific sessions for those under 30 and women in the workplace.
PLEASE, if you plan to come, bring one person under 30 with you. We have a special low cost rate for students and under 30 attendees. We need to mentor the next generation with this message. They will not get this in school or even church!

Ladies, you will have a great breakout with three dynamic women with proven marketplace experience. All three have incredible testimonies that will inspire you. Click here to see the breakouts.

We will have more than 20 breakouts to choose from that will give you practical tools for equipping you in your workplace calling. You will learn:

* How to understand the qualifications and processes needed to become a transformational leader
* The role and opportunity that women in the workplace and the next generation leader have today and the challenges that must be faced and overcome
* How to develop your personal strategy for influence
* Develop a biblical worldview: you will learn about The Truth Project from Focus on the Family
* How to fund your vision to impact mountains
* How to change culture through the local church
* How to develop strategic initiatives to overthrow principalities that control mountains
* How to establish a church-based strategy for equipping
* How to use influence by entering a career in arts and entertainment - an update on Christ in Hollywood.
* How to develop a community transformation model: Hear case studies of local communities in transformation
* How to encourage the next generation through education: Case studies from universities
* How to transform an African nation. Uganda: A case study in transformation
* How to develop practical models for utilizing intercessors to reclaim mountains
* How to use the internet to impact your mountain - understanding the current trends in web-based marketing
* Understand our economic times and the Federal Reserve and its impact on our current crisis

Special 3-hour Pre-Conference Training Offered
Os Hillman, Bradley Stuart and Doug Spada will be providing an in-depth training before the conference Friday morning from 9-12 with a lunch with the speakers. There will be 3 different training sessions. Click here to learn more.

Special 1-Day Conference Rate
Also, if you can only attend the conference on Saturday, we are offering a new one-day rate for Saturday only. Learn more.

Help Others Who Cannot Afford the Registration
Due to the economy, we have a number of people who have requested scholarship assistance. If you are able to help someone else attend through a scholarship gift, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you February 6-8.

For Christ in the marketplace,
Os Hillman

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SHARE ~ Marketing Our Brand

Jesus Is Not a Brand
Why it is dangerous to make evangelism another form of marketing.

For months after I first moved to Nashville, a billboard by the westbound I-40 advertised an alcohol addiction recovery program. But what caught my eye was the billboard's photograph: the coldest, frothiest, most delicious-looking pint of beer that has ever been poured. I never wanted a beer more than I did when I drove past that billboard. And I am not an alcoholic. I wonder how many of the hundreds of people suffering from addiction passed that spot every day and were perversely tempted—not to enter rehab, but to pull off at the next exit for a tall, cold one.

Marketing has problems if it makes the consumer pant for the dead opposite of what you are trying to sell.

An Unavoidable Dilemma

This is the issue we confront when weighing the merits of the church's public outreach, its evangelistic task, in a Western culture saturated by marketing. By marketing, I refer to all the activities that help organizations identify and shape the wants of target consumers and then try to satisfy those consumers better than competitors do. This usually involves doing market research, analyzing consumer needs, and then making strategic decisions about product design, branding, pricing, promotion, advertising, and distribution.

While researching Brand Jesus, I realized that the church faced unavoidable questions as it sought to maintain a public witness and evangelistic task in a consumerist culture. One is this:===>Click headline for complete article . .

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Connecting the Body of Christ in the Fox Valley

you're invited to the

Love Fox Valley
Synergy meeting

You're receiving this email because you are a leader in Aurora and the Fox Valley,
and you are an important part of what God wants to do here!

please join me and other leaders for

what: Love Fox Valley - Synergy meeting

when: Friday February 13 9-11am

where: Ginger Creek Community Church
2850 Ginger Woods Parkway Aurora, IL 60502
Butterfield Rd (Rt. 56), east of Farnsworth / Kirk Rd.

who: you - and other leaders in the church and community

together in Christ

There are many "galaxies" of awesome, life-giving activity in Aurora and the Valley, you are involved in some of it... way to go! We're convinced that God cares about the people of our communities, and that He wants to use us to help them know His love.

In Jesus' prayer in John 17 we see that unity - not just in theory, but reality - is super important to Him. Not only is it important to Jesus, He says that unity between His followers is a prerequisite to spiritual awakening. So the question is - what can, and should we do to live as Jesus really wants us to in our communities?

GiftMartLove Fox Valley is a name to describe this movement of unity and kingdom of God activity. The idea is not to impose a new program - we've all got enough to do!

But how can we communicate better (both within the body of Christ, among local churches - and to the people of our communities,) connect in friendships as we serve, and collaborate when we can do things better together?

Love Fox Valley
is a collaboration of community churches and volunteers, with a common vision to enhance the lives of those living in the Fox Valley area. Love Fox Valley partners with churches, agencies, the marketplace, local officials and government from the Aurora, Tri-Cities, Elgin, and Valley North communities to achieve its mission.
mural club

It's God showing up in our cities, as we come together - it's life and community transformation. It's being the church that Jesus prayed for!

At this gathering we'll be hearing about some amazing things that God has been doing in the Fox Valley (with an emphasis on Aurora) and we'll have a time of networking and discussion about communicating, connecting, and collaborating.


Please invite and bring other leaders, colleagues, assistants - thanks for helping to get the word out. Contact me if you have any questions.

I'm thankful for you, and I'm excited about what God wants to do in 2009, as we serve Him together. See you Feb. 13th!

Love Fox Valley, Motorcycle Sunday


Randy Schoof
for the Love Fox Valley leadership team

and pastor, Warehouse Church
630.859.0600 office
630.999.0706 mobile

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Friday, January 09, 2009

PRAYER ~ Launch with a "Go to the Wall" Sunday

Go to the Wall Sunday in Cedar Rapids

A picture really is worth a thousand words!

===>Click headline for a brief slide show of how one congregation launched prayer-care-share with their members . . .

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