Friday, December 16, 2005


I snagged this off Marc van der Woude's blog a few months back. I believe this is good insight on the kingdom and control. Often I fear that I am leading in a very control oriented organization that limits the free movement of the spirit. By that I do not mean that there are bad people in the organization, but that the very nature of leading something big and structured can limit us in our ability to hear and quickly respond to the Spirit. The effects of being large are incredible, but the hazards loom large as well. When the Spirit says to a leader . . ."jump, move, change, go" there can be the self imposed trap of organizational realities.

This surfaced a few weeks ago when one gifted leader in our organization wanted to run new evangelistic leadership training program in a new city (with students from other schools). However, another very gifted and talented leader is "in charge" of that city. This is complicated by the fact that these leaders do not know each other and they think a bit differently about how to get the job done. Whatever leader number one does gets handed off (or dropped, or left) for the the leader that remains in the city. So now (because of our system) both these leaders need to burn some energy to work out what needs to take place - if anything at all. No one is "wrong" but the system can easily generate more work in coordination than in actually getting to the work of the mission.

I am not sure what to do about this - because, like most of us, I enjoy an amount of organization and control - and yet at the same time I long for the Spirit to move us in wild, effective and uncontrolled ways.

Here is what Mark said about his journey:

When I was a leader in student ministry, in my early twenties, I exercised control, strongly pushing my well-meant reformation plans, and hurting people in the process. Then God moved me out of this ministry, and led me in a 'desert period' which involved breaking down selfish ambitions and motives, and a first-hand experience with controlling leadership in my work situation. Not very pleasant, but surely worthwhile to experience it from the other end of the spectrum. Then God led me in period of spiritual renewal, inner healing and new freedom. These are some principles that helped me over the years:

1. The realization that, as Winkie Pratney puts it, "God is God and I am not." Christ builds His church, not me. I just submit to Him and do what He tells me to do. So there's really nothing I have to accomplish for Him, He is very well able to handle his own work, and I can live out of grace.

2. The Body of Christ is organic and carries life. The only thing we have to do is acknowledge this and bless/release godly life and connections. It's very similar to gardening work: developing an eye for life and hidden potential, watering and fertilizing the soil, pruning to increase fruit. Never turn the Body into an organization, it's the fastest receipt to kill life.

3. The focus of any ministry should be to release others into their calling and destiny. This is very different from expecting others to serve our agenda or stage performance. People we serve/invest in, should always experience grace and space to make their own decisions, and find their own track with God, also when that contradicts our direct personal interests.

4. Working in teams instead of on our own. Good teamwork by nature is interdependent, and doesn't give much space for control, as we always have to communicate and be accountable.

5. Don't hold tightly to any program or agenda, but allow and expect the Holy Spirit to change and inspire on the way. This is no excuse for bad planning, just a continual realization that God's ways and plans are higher than ours, and that we better make sure we're on His page.

Monday, December 12, 2005

New Orleans Road Trip

I spent part of last week in New Orleans with my good friend Rick Amos. Rick is coordinating the ongoing relief efforts of the Campus Ministry with Campus Crusade. He is doing a great job in a very chaotic setting. You can pray for Mouse and Kevin - two young leaders on the ground making a huge difference.

So far over 2800 students and volunteers from over 100 universities and 15 churches have worked over 8000 workdays in the region. In Pass Christian they have cleaned out over 500 homes, schools and churches. In New Orleans we helped to distribute 35,000 meals and 7,000 evangelistic pieces. Pretty amazing.

All that said, there is still a ton of work to be done and a ton of work available. Rick and his team have made connections with Desire Stree Ministries to figure out some next steps. Desire Street has a good understanding of the current situation and they are there for the long haul (as well as many others).

So this Spring there is the real possiblility of sending thousands of students a week to NO during Spring Break. One idea on the table is to recruit broadly from universities so hundreds of pre-believers will show up and be a part of the mix. Pray for Rick and Pete & Chanin Kelly, Robyn Eads and the whole RedRiver leadership team as they figure this out.

All this to say - if you have anyway to leverage some students to get down to NO - DO IT! This is a fantastic opportunity for good words and good deeds. You can see all the opportunities here: (having some link probs).

Monday, December 05, 2005

Percentage Doesn't Matter

Often times when talking about launching movements in ethnic contexts, people will mention how small the student population is for that ethnicity on their campus. Conventional wisdom would have us think that this would make a great difference in our ability to launch a spiritual movement. Oh how the conventional can fool us.

The reality is that any pocket (regardless of size) has the potential to make a great impact on the greater whole. The key issue is surfacing the spiritual leadership and unleashing it.

On larger campuses students in minority cultures are easily identifiable and already organized. With relatively little effort, spiritual leadership can be identified in these groups. Scott Crocker would routinely begin launching Impact movements by initiating a conversation with the first black student he could have a conversation with. More than likely, a member of the minority group will know what is taking place on that campus for the entire group. Who are the key leaders? Who are the spiritual leaders? Is there anything spiritually going on? Scott would simply introduce himself as a minister and begin decoding the campus through information gathered from this initial contact.

A small minority culture can result in much less work with more results. If God would allow us to surface a key leader, this group is easily reached very quickly . . . And at the same time can jump into launching in other categories. If there are only 50 black students a campus and there is a radical missional student among them, it will not be long before the entire population hears about Jesus – and even greater things will happen.

Kevin Lillistrand (Regional Director in the Great Lakes) has recently helped me see how the send component is forceful apologetic for our ethnic audiences. In other words, they may represent a small slice of the population, but a simple movement can produce an abundance of fruit for the kingdom and may be relatively easy to get to. Like Baylor (bastion of black hope) - there are only about 500 (or less) African American students, but Impact has a significant presents among the entire school – but Baylor is not even among the top 100 schools as far as ethnic population. If we find the right leader, this can be an easy great commission win.
And just for kicks . . .check out our Impact Staff Alma Maters (# of staff). Most of these schools do not have a huge ethnic student population. Penn? Wheaton? Baylor? St. Cloud State?

  • Baylor University (2)
  • BOCES Nursing School
  • Central Michigan University (2)
  • Cleveland State University
  • Daemen College
  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Florida State University
  • Hampton University
  • Howard University
  • Indiana University
  • James Madison University
  • Loyola University-Chicago
  • North Carolina A&T University (2)
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University (2)
  • San Diego State University
  • St. Cloud State University
  • Syracuse University
  • The College of William & Mary
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Maine
  • University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
  • University of North Carolina (3)
  • University of Oregon!! (3)
  • University of Pennsylvania (4)
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of South Carolina-Upstate
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Technological University
  • Wayne State University
  • Wheaton College

Sunday, November 27, 2005

John Peterson - Knowledge Cafe

John Peterson (Regional Director in the MidSouth – NC,SC,TN,KY and a slice of WV) recently sent me some notes from a “Knowledge Café” their team hosted to discuss launching new spiritual movements in cultures other than the dominant culture. Here are some of the results (Italic text are notes made by John):

----- -----

I. Why is it easier to go to a foreign country to launch a movement than it is to launch multiple movements on our campuses?

A. Differing Expectations:

  • Willing to try/ Freedom to fail/ Less pressure to succeed/ Higher expectations for success/we go to pioneer/ More just winning overseas/ Less infrastructure in the ministry – simpler
  • Here we stay to settle/
  • In U.S. we don’t see ethnic groups as readily as we see one ethnic individual.
  • Here, we’re taught NOT to isolate or separate people of different races and color/ here we feel we need to ‘tiptoe’ around culture
B. Feeling Overwhelmed:
  • Here, we don’t know where to start, Different cultures intimidate us in the states, Feels more like a group effort [how can we help our staff not feel isolated in attempts to launch new mvts?]
  • Less spread out overseas (resources)/ more focused/ we have so many white Christians to deal with
C. Feeling Distracted in U.S.
  • Support, lots of other important ministry things to do here
  • New Movements interfere with currrent movement [More bricks w/ less straw. How can we simplify the ‘current’ job for our staff, and help them view this more as leveraging opportunities (low control)?]
D. Needing Training for new culture [we’re more intentional, and we expect to have to culturalize our ministry]

II. What, (if anything,) would need to change in the way we think about ministry in order for multiple movements to become a reality?

A. God’s hand:“Multiple movements is a God-thing. Prayer, fasting and faith”
  • Believe it can be done
  • Surrender mentality
B. Take Risks:
  • Don’t sweat messiness or failure, Risk losing control, Release staff, Give freedom to embrace MM vision
  • More student leadership. Empower students more quickly. More empowering of leaders, Allow students to own the current movement
C. Vision: Lots of communication and vision about MM, Develop heart for MM, Greater vision casting

D. Learn: Catalytic mind set, Redefine success, Decoding exercises, Person of peace and missionary mindset, Willing to learn a new culture

III. The 80/20 principle say that 20% of our effort gives us 80% of our results (and the last 80% of our effort gives us 20% of our results). Understanding that God alone changes lives and produces the fruit of our ministries, what is the 20 % of what you do that leads to 80% of the fruit you see?

A. Seeking God:
  • Prayer and fasting
  • God Moments
B. Taking risks:
  • Stepping out of comfort zone
  • Making Mistakes
  • Empowering others to lead/ allowing opportunities for students to see God use them./ modeling ministry
C. Perseverance: Continually launching

D. Fundamentals in Ministry
  • Face time with students
  • Selecting wisely
  • Sharing Christ- evangelism
  • Sharing Spirit filled life
E. Networking: Build bridges with gate keepers

NOT: making posters, answering administrative e-mail, working with every student who is willing, …

IV. How can regional and national leadership best serve/help you in launching multiple movements?

A. Training:
  • every staff in Catalytic Lane at least two years [trying to say that staffed campus lane needs to apply catalytic principles – more hands off, more entrusted to students earlier,…]
  • field training in MM
  • Catalytic school for all staff/one day cross-cultural trng./decoding trng.”MM=catalytic in a way”
B. Resources:
  • Recruit more staff (especially catalytic staff)
  • money and scholarships [harder for minorities to raise support]
C. Remove Obstacles:
  • understanding from r. and n. when stats go down, takes time to learn new cultures/measure risks and attempts [how can we change reporting to better value, encourage, reward activity that lends to launching and developing multiple movements?]
  • relieve busy work/reduce work load [what do we ask of the local level that feels like ‘busy work’ to them? How can we ‘help’ more and ‘require’ less? –wkg group sited conferences and e-mails…. Also, the need to define the job for local leaders and staff. What is NOT included in their job descriptions?]
Lend a hand and help:
  • visits[Perhaps this is about leadership coming and helping to locate person of peace and launch movement]
  • regional launch day/reg. team visit campus to help launch mm-[teams go to a new campus]
D . Vision and Encouragement: stories of real movements videos and DVDs of places where it is working, video for students for vision [tool to help students catch the vision of this]

E. More Prayer

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Roland Allen - On Expansion

A few notes from Roland Allen's introduction in The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church are worth noting. Replace "churches" with "movements" and see how this strikes you.

Many years ago my experience in China taught me that if our object was to establish in that country a Church which might spread over the six provinces which then formed the diocese of North China, that object could only be attained if the first Christians who were converted by our labours, understood clearly that they could by themselves, without any further assistance from us, not only convert their neighbours, but establish Churches. That meant that the very first groups of converts must be so fully equipped with all spiritual authority that they could multiply themselves without any necessary reference to us . . . .

Many are beginning to perceive that we cannot establish a foreign Church governed and directed by foreigners, and then at some moment say: "Let us make it indigenous or native by process of devolution." If the Church is to be indigenous it must spring up in the soil from the very first seeds planted. One or two little groups of Christians organized as Churches, with their Bishops and priests, could spread all over an empire. They would be obviously and without question Native Churches. But if we establish Missions rather than Churches, two evil consequences, which we now see in greater or less degree everywhere, sterility and antagonism, inevitably arise . . . .

Spontaneous expansion must be free: it cannot be under our control; and consequently it is utterly vain to say, as I constantly hear men say, that we desire to see spontaneous expansion, and yet must maintain our control. If we want to see spontaneous expansion we must establish native Churches free from our control.
You can download the entire book here

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Keoke King - G3 (groups of three)

Last week Linda spent a great 24 hours in Irvine with Campus Crusade staff members from the Pacific Southwest Region. What a great goup of people.

Besides logging some great time with John and Faye Waidley, I was also able to spend a few minutes with Tommy Dyo (AACF) and Keoke King (Metro leader in San Fran).

I was very intrigued with how Keoke is tackling "movements everywhere" in San Francisco. Keoke and his team have embraced a simple organic missional mindset in order to spread the gospel rapidly throught the bay area. You can check it out at Here is an excerpt about the G3 concept from their web page.

What's a G3?

It's a simple way for students to connect around their faith in Jesus Christ by:

  • Sharing their spiritual journeys with Christ with each other and helping each other move increasingly into obedience to Christ and the abundant life He promised
  • Reaching out with the Gospel to their friends
  • Praying for each other and their campus

By simply meeting to pray and support each other in small groups a few students can become a contagious group. Students are moving from just trying to survive with their faith to being the salt and light messengers of life that Christ called us to be. Connecting in community for a quick power-up and finding God’s power through prayer is the beginning of taking seriously the call Christ gave to reach those around us with His Good News.

Groups of Three are usually just three or four students meeting weekly for about an hour. Just three students are often the first seed of a spiritual network that reaches into every social corner of the campus, planting many new communities. Our hope is to see spiritual movements everywhere, so that everyone knows someone who’s authentically following Christ. As visitors drop in and then start their own groups the spiritual community expands. Intentionally planting groups on a campus or in an unreached corner of a campus is often the best way to give every student a chance to hear the Gospel.

Real fellowship and community is more than a few students. Occasionally, student leaders pull everyone together for worship, community service, and outreaches.

Imagine this- what if campuses were full of G3s doing these three simple things? What if every Bay Area student had at least a 'friend of a friend' who was passionately loving people and following Christ daily – so that everyone knew someone who was authentically following Jesus? Would you like to see that happen on your campus?

It’s not a big commitment, only just 50-90 minutes around once a week. You’ll make great friends, grow deeper in your faith, and rediscover the adventure of being a light on your campus. If you’re the first to catch the idea, good news, they're easy to lead and you can start one up. Starting up with prayer is a sure bet.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spontaneous Expansion of the Church

In doing all this reading on organic/simple/spontaneous/open church/movement stuff, I have often run accross quotes and references to Roland Allen and his classic work on the subject. The work is originally from 1927, but I was able to pick up an 1962 copy (Amazon baby) and Roland's thinking is as good for today as it has ever been. I found myself amening many a page.

In this work Roland touches on all the key issues on kingdom growth and rapid expansion (and what limits it). I found myslef participating in much that limits.

A list of the chapter titles correlates to much of the discussion today (italics mine):

  • The Nature and Character of Spontaneous Expansion (what does this look like?)
  • Modern Movements toward Liberty (how does it expand?)
  • Fear for the Doctrine (nuff said)
  • The Christian standard of Morals (how do we make sure people are good Christians?)
  • Civilization and Enlightenment (how God redeems culture)
  • Missionary Organization (starting with missional churches)
  • Ecclesiastical Orgnization (structure by the mission)
  • The Way of Spontaneous Expansion

Roland aslo wrote Misionary Methoods: St. Paul's or Ours and "The Ministry Of the Spirit." I might have to read more.

You can read the whole book in many places on line.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dave Lowe: Why Mvts Everywhere?

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to spend time with the Cru/Epic/Destino/Bridges gang at UC Davis. Tina Greenwell And Dave Lowe are doing a wonderful job of decoding a multiple movement / movements everywhere strategy. Dave’s skills are definitely in adopting a movement building strategy to multiple entities. This is one of the reason I think they are seeing some of their success.

Here are some of Dave’s thoughts regarding how they landed on their current direction - and how they are trying to pull it off.

What made you decide to launch multiple spiritual movements on one campus?
The diversity of our campus made it apparent that there were large segments of the campus population that we weren’t reaching through our traditional Cru approach to ministry. We saw that ethnically, there were many students who would not get involved with our group. In order to reach them, we had to be willing to take a new approach. We had to sacrifice the idea that there would be only 1 group on campus.

Every campus has its share of diversity. One-third of our campus population was Asian American (it’s nearly 40% now). Initially, we thought that we could have a movement that was “multi-cultural”. It turns out, that “multi-cultural” simply meant having an ethnic diversity of students that had adopted the white (Cru) culture. We had about 20 Asian Americans that were involved in Cru so we thought we were doing pretty well. But we realized that there were a lot of Asian American students who were checking out Cru at the beginning of each year, and ending up somewhere else. We weren’t growing in our influence within the Asian American culture. With that group being such a large percentage of the campus population we expected more than 20 Asian Americans to be involved in a “multi-cultural” group.

As we began to look at the reasons why many Asian Americans were not sticking around and getting involved in Campus Crusade, we found out that many were plugging into other ministries where Asian Americans were the dominant culture. At that point, our Epic ministry decided to step out and have a meeting of their own. 40-50 people showed up and at least 20 of them were new students who had never come to a Cru meeting. We realized right then that there was a need for a ministry that reflected Crusade’s distinctives but allowed Asian Americans to be the dominant culture. Hence, Epic moved in a direction of becoming more separate.

We have encountered some resistance to having separate ministries from students and even from staff. But what is surprising about all this is that we have developed more leaders. When Epic was simply a group within Crusade, there was no need for many of the Asian Americans to step up and do things and to lead. But when they decided to go out on their own, they needed to find people within their group who could lead events, plan events and give leadership to the overall ministry. That fact alone has increased the number of committed leaders within our groups.

If you were asked to be the local leader at a new a new campus, how would you approach the job?
The first thing I would do is de-code the campus and determine what the different cultural groups were. Then I would seek to launch a movement that targeted the group that represented the largest percentage of students. I would seek to build within the DNA of that group the idea of reaching the lost, and being willing to cross cultural lines to do it.

We talk about going overseas, and we invite students to participate in cross-cultural missions overseas, but we don’t always invite them to do that here at home. Getting multiple movements started initially will entail somebody crossing a cultural barrier. Once the barrier is crossed and leaders are raised within that culture, then the movement begins sustaining itself and those within the movement are simply reaching their own. However, I would continue to try to build, within the DNA of every movement, the value of reaching out cross-culturally. Then you will have movements being launched by other movements. Then those movements will then launch other movements, etc.

What do you these different spiritual movements do together/separate?
Some of our movements are in the embryonic stage and do almost everything with the large group (Cru). Other movements that are more developed, like Epic, do most things on their own. They have their own weekly meeting, their own small groups; they do their own Orientation week events; they have their own ministry teams, etc.

However, we do some things together because it is beneficial for maximizing our resources. We do our Fall Retreat together. We do Saturday afternoon training seminars about once a quarter. We promote those together and do them together. We do our men’s and women’s retreats together. We do our Spring retreat together. We have a corporate meeting together about 2 times per quarter. We rotate who leads those meetings. We have a mixed leadership team. Our Shepherd team is comprised of leaders from many of the different groups who meet our leadership criteria.

Here’s how I look at the multiple movements strategy. On our campus, we easily have a dozen evangelical Christian groups. They all have their niche and their way of doing things. Some are ethnic specific, some are church-based and some are para-church groups.
I find that many of the Christians on our campus are uncomfortable with the notion that there is more than one Christian group. “Why can’t we all be together”, is what some have said.

Some on our campus have tried to bring us all together by doing inter-fellowship events like praise nights or worship nights, etc. But what I notice whenever I attend these events, is that most of the students sit in groups with other students from their own group. So there is very little “inter-fellowshipping” going on.

I think what unites the different groups is our common bond in Christ. The reason we are separate groups is related to the fact that we have different mission statements, different purposes, different ways of doing things, etc. The only way to truly have one group on campus is for every group to adopt the same vision and mission. But that would require some groups to change their vision and mission in order to accommodate the other groups.

What we are doing with a multiple movement strategy, is creating a number of groups that have different audiences, but who share the same vision, the same mission, and the same conviction regarding how we are going to do things. Now, when we do a “corporate” event, we are bringing together different groups that really do share a common vision; groups that have a similar conviction about what our mission is and how we’re going to fulfill it. When you bring these groups together, the atmosphere is electric and energizing. There really is a sense that we are all in the same boat, even though we are involved in separate groups. There is a sense of camaraderie.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bob Fuhs: Some Wise Observations

A few weeks ago I helped lead a gathering of 80+ leaders with the US Campus Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. We had some great discussion, some decent disagreement and frustration with a sense of greater hope generally sprinkled in. Depending on which email I read last, we either did a wonderful thing, or we are all going down with the ship.

So – I would like to post some thoughts from some of the key leaders in attendance. This from Bob Fuhs – formerly directing the ministry at UCLA and now hanging with the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.

These are simply some bullet points from Bob regarding next steps for the UMW Region (a bunch of cold states with names like Dakota). I particularly like his take on the barriers.

Have each local leader and metro leader give us a snapshot of their scope including # of campuses, # of students, ethnic breakdown on each campus, what is currently happening on that campus.

Our region needs to talk about multiple movements exclusively in terms of ethnic students. To talk about it in terms of anything else (the band kids, theatre kids, etc…) is too distracting and confusing and takes us away from what really needs to be happening on our campuses.

Get back to expansion work. A team can take one day a week to do launching this semester…and find a way to stay involved with that launch (as opposed to the Desert Road trips that were a one time deal with no continuing involvement). Also, some student leaders might really get into helping to launch a new campus.

Add a new campus or movement launch to a possible Target Area for a training group or action group.

U of M raise up interns to solely do expansion within the MSP area…and they are on our team and not Metro.

We need to make reproduction a non-negotiable. Multiplication can be a negotiable, but not reproduction. This gives some focus to our training groups and what we need to require.

Launching movements takes time. Even finding a person of peace does not guarantee a started movement. Students are (can be) immature, broken, fickle, flaky…making it hard to build something with them.

Key leaders are out there. This is why in launching, we need to target those already spring loaded for leadership. Is it possible to find those high-leverage high school seniors and know where they are off to college?

-Can we get a small booklet published with stories of launched movements and pictures of win-build-send and principles to use with staff and students?

Possible barriers to launching ethnic movements:
*we are fighting 50 years of momentum
*there are no key ethnic leaders regionally, nationally and globally. Our leadership face is still white.
*The name “Crusade” might be too hard edged, smacking of “olde tyme religion,” smacks of white establishment.

God has called CCC to be involved in and lead the charge in accelerating getting the gospel to every person on planet earth-starting with university campuses. We must never forget this is why we exist.

Try these exercises with your team:
It’s 2010 and our movement is marked by the fact that we are really reaching every student on our campus. How did it happen? What principles guided us? What worked? What things did we try? What things did we need to do? What problems did we need to solve?

A successful launch needs a least 4 things:
1. Tools. How to’s in terms of small groups, weekly meetings, evangelism, discipleship…
2. Modeling. They need to see what a movement looks like. Either they come to us or we go to them. Summer projects are key. It’s hard to create something you have never seen.
3. Ongoing support and encouragement.
4. Consistency of leadership at some level. Could be staff, volunteers locally…someone who will be there longer than the average shelf-life of a student leader (i.e. more than 4 years).

Friday, November 11, 2005

Douglass on Simplified Growth Discussion Methods

One thing I like about Steve Douglass (el presidente of Campus Crusade) is that he gets his hands dirty in the ministry – very dirty at a bare bones level. Here is a recent memo from Steve regarding some work he is doing at the University of Central Florida. Steve is attempting to ratchet up the turn around time for spiritual multiplication by making it simple, transferable and relationally driven. Here is part of his solution.

This is totally an experiment on Steve’s part (and I might get fired for posting it . . . not). Obviously he is willing to mess with the formula and is always looking for improvements.

TO: Small Group Leaders
FROM: Steve Douglass
DATE: October 9, 2005
SUBJECT: Growth Groups

Thank you for being willing to help Campus Crusade experiment with simplified growth group discussion methods. We are praying that this will lead to better and quicker spiritual multiplication with students who are new to the ministry. The method you will be using builds in relational connection, involvement in learning through discussion, “storying” and immediate practical application.

What follows is:
  1. An outline of the topics and outcomes you will be seeking in your group discussions.
  2. A general discussion outline. You will use this same outline for every session.
  3. A list of suggested ways to introduce each topic along with Bible passages related to each topic.
We will be walking through this in more detail, so I won’t duplicate all of that interaction in writing here. However, I would like to stress a few main points:

  1. Pray and prepare for each group session to the point where you are not “a slave to your notes”.
  2. Remember throughout the discussion, that you are seeking to engage and involve people in the learning process versus just telling them what they should know.
  3. In light of that, keep asking questions, listen intently to answers and often say, “What do the rest of you think about that?”
  4. Be sure you get to the “Apply” discussion and encourage people to seriously pick one thing they could try to do in the next week.
  5. Also encourage people to select someone specific they could “Tell” about what they learned in this session. This is crucial to accelerating the spiritual multiplication process.
  6. Pray for one another for both application and sharing, as you close the session.
  7. Be looking for at least one member of the group who shows signs of being able to lead a small group discussion like this. At the end of the “4 Walks” challenge him/her to start a group and offer help in getting that started.
How to Help Christians Grow in Christ
Challenge them to get to know God and start to relate to Him.

4 Walks

  1. ASSURED – Be sure of your personal relationship with God.
  2. FORGIVEN – Know you are truly forgiven by God for all of your sins – whatever they are.
  3. FILLED – Know you are filled with the Holy Spirit, giving you wisdom and power for living.
  4. CONTINUALLY – Relate to God all the time.

Challenge them to trust God for changes in their lives in light of their relationship with Him and the availability of His power and wisdom.

4 Talks

  1. PRAY (Talk to God) – Talk to God about everything you encounter.
  2. APPLY the Bible (Let God Talk to You) – Apply to your life what you learn from the Bible daily.
  3. FELLOWSHIP (Talk to Christians) – Form close relationships with true followers of Jesus.
  4. WITNESS (Talk to Non-Christians) – Share the gospel with your non-Christian friends and acquaintances.

Challenge them to trust God to change their perspective.

4 Attitudes

  1. TRUST – Trust God versus yourself.
  2. OBEY – Obey what is right versus what you feel.
  3. LOVE – Love God with your whole heart and worship Him.
  4. USE – Use well what God gives you, for His purpose.

Growth Group Discussion Outline

with needs:

  • Find out how they are doing.
  • Introduce them to the topic and why they need to understand and apply it. (See suggestions for introducing the topic on the next page.)
  • Surface experiences:
Let me tell you how I have experienced this (or a related topic)…”
Have you experienced this? Tell us about it.”

HEAR what God says:
  • Read (or tell) a Bible story/passage related to the topic (See the next page for suggested Bible passages. If there is another passage you prefer on this topic, use it instead. But, try not to use more than 2 different passages in one session.)
  • Discuss:
What can we learn about God?
“What can we learn about our response to God?”
Follow-on questions.

APPLY that to life:
  • Clarify the main lesson. (See the previous page for a brief statement of the lesson.)
  • Discuss:
“Why don’t we always respond that way?”
“How can you get started applying this lesson in the next week?”
  • In groups of 2 or 3, have them share how they plan to get started applying. Then have them pray for one another.
TELL someone they know:
  • Ask who they know who might be interested in hearing about what they are learning.
  • Encourage them share with that person in the next few days.
  • Ask later how it went (perhaps in the “connect” part of the next group meeting).
Suggested Ways to Introduce the Topic (IT) and Suggested Bible Passages to Discuss (BP)

4 Walks

  • IT: “Relationships thrive on acceptance and assurance”
  • BP: Luke 15:11-24 (story); I John 5:11-13


  • IT: “Forgiveness gives a relationship fresh start”
  • BP: Luke 7:36-50 (story); I John: 1:9 – 2:2


  • IT: “A Christian cannot have enough wisdom and power to cope
  • with life’s problems without God’s power.”
  • BP: John 7:37-39; Ephesians 5:18-21; Contrast Peter in John
  • 18:16-18 versus Acts 2:14-21.


  • IT: “Like any human relationship, our relationship with God greatly
  • benefits from frequent interaction.
  • BP: Philippians 4:4-9; Psalm 16:8

On the Tarmac

I am sitting on a plane in Albuquerque NM – heading back to Florida. The past few weeks have been fun, tiring and incredible.

I was able to spend a few days in Atlanta with Hugh Jones, Don Knox and Cindy Peterson (and some other wonderful leaders) engaging with students about becoming part of the missional community for life. The conference was a Life Options conference – and an unapologetic to recruit students to join Campus Crusade to help take the gospel to students all over the world.

After that – I headed to UC Davis for a fall retreat near South Lake Tahoe. Dave Lowe and Rita Greenwell are doing a great job leading that ministry. We spent the weekend sessions asking the students to engage in a process to reach all of UC Davis with the gospel. I am not sure how it all played out . . . . I am sure Dave will give me an update.

I am now returning from time with JL, Dave Dishman, Libby Crafton and company. They hosted a life options conference in Santa Fe. It was great to meet some fantastic students and talk about God’s passion for the world. Last night at the Atomic Café Peter & Alan Lively (Director at UNM) discussed simple church implications for reaching campuses. They had just logged some time with Jaeson Ma and others to discuss the feasibility of working this in the collegiate environment. It was fun to discuss the different effects this could have, and what the appropriate next steps should be.

It is a wonderful thing to work with wonderful leaders.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Action in Boulder

Steve Van Diest and his team are doing a great job decoding "movements everywhere."

Bruce Henderson is a staff member on his team and he and I go way back. We actually joined staff together - his words are encouraging.


Had to share this with you. Since the start of the year, I have been asking God to raise up a movement among African-Americans here at CU. So – I was super encouraged by your “experiment” with Destino. Here I am, a 38 year old white guy believing God for something with African Americans.

I have met with several African American leaders here – just getting to know them, do a leadership survey to find out more about them/what they want to do/etc. We have about 60 Impact Survival Kits I have wanted to get out. So, I asked the students I have met how to get them out/etc. They said, just bring them by the BSA (Black Student Alliance) and we’ll give them out. So, numerous times I keep going by the office but no one seems to be there.
So today, it’s about 3pm, I’ve already been by the office and no one was there. And, I’ve finished other discipleship appointments & it’s raining on campus. So I face the dilemma we all face – do I go by one more time or just head back to the office? So, I went by one more time and someone was in the office. I met Jarvis and we talked briefly. He said – sure, we’ll give out the kits. I asked how we could try to get them to freshman. He said, “we’ll we have this study/hangout time tomorrow from 11-3, where basically all the freshman come. So, if you can bring them by tomorrow, I’ll give them all out. I then asked if he thought they could fill out a brief survey so I could know where they are spiritually. He said – no problem.

So, tomorrow I take FSK’s to the BSA office so that Jarvis can give them out to freshman students in the black community. Pray with me for more amazing things that God will do here at CU. Thanks again for your encouragement and model of actually going out to believe God for a new movement.

Bruce Henderson
These guys are also working to launch things in numerous categories. Go Buffs.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Does it work?

Another note on . . . . from OK.

We started an "" website and just started promoting it…and someone trusted Christ on Saturday! Awesome!

Chris Burton
University of Oklahoma

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A few months ago Marilyn Adamson (her name be praised) launched - a way to locally focus this great web evangelistic tool. Here is a little write up we did for how it works.

Steve Sellers has said that " is the most effective evangelistic strategy of the last 10 years." On average, has been seeing over 3,000 per month indicate decisions to receive Christ.

Now you can have one of your very own! Introducing We have taken the most effective articles from and packaged them into a leaner version for maximum local effectiveness. An site for any location.

What can can do for local Movements.

  • Your sites will bring email questions from students on your campuses to easy way to surface those who are seeking and engage those hard to reach areas of campus!
  • It will give you an effective evangelistic tool for broad exposure to thousands of students on any campus. It is likely that for every 1,000 students who come to your site, 10 to 15 will indicate they have received Christ while on the site.
  • You can use this site to target specific ethnic or affinity groups on any campus no matter how large or small.
  • You can use this site to help surface key contacts and leaders for new movement launches.
  • For very little cost you can expose large numbers of people to great gospel content on a range of questions.
  • You will be able to report exactly how many students in your scope of responsibility are exposed to the gospel (who visited your site) and how many indicated decisions to receive Christ.
  • You can show specific, measurable results to donors.
To build this, you will need to:

  • Pray! Select a handful of students, donors and staff to saturate this effort in prayer.
  • Select a URL (website's name) (ex:,, We will set it up for you! You simply tell us what you want.
  • Select campus colors for the site design.
  • Select the site's home page masthead banner. Your site can be general, or for any group of students; African Americans; Asians; or Hispanics. You can even build a site for each group you are hoping to reach on campus.
  • Tell us the email address that will receive students' emails. (You would be committing to answering every email within a day or two. This is a great way to involve students - the point person can easily forward emails to an email team. However, it is imperative that all emails be answered as promptly possible).
  • Pray some more.
  • Marketing (see below). No one on campus will know these sites exist unless you advertise. A simple poster strategy with just the website name has proven very effective in generating traffic. One poster for every hundred students is a good rule of thumb.


$150 for the year. Thats it. This covers building the site, hosting it, technical support, as well as providing you with traffic reports.
Further costs: whatever promotional materials you use to move students on campus to your site...posters, banners, business cards, etc. The site will need to be promoted on campus in order to draw students to it.

Can I still use
You bet! is a simple attempt to maximize the incredible effectivenss of the concept. It is simply a new tool to help you get to more students with the gospel. Marilyn and her crew will continue to promote and improve for a mass audience and the email team will continue to handle these emails. Please continue promoting this site as well!

If you would like to have your own site for any campus or campus target, start now by clicking the title on this blog. The gang up in Mid-Atlantic are attempting to use this tool to launch a bunch of new movements. Tim Holcomb is leading the charge. I will try to stay up to speed how it is going. Pray for them.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Escobar - Spontaneous Expansion

I found this interesting from The New Global Mission by Samuel Escobar (pg. 19)

It was in 1927 that Ronald Allen (1896-1947) first coined the expression “spontaneous expansion of the church,” and we can now measure the incredible extent to which a Christian testimony among the masses of this planet has been the result of such spontaneous expansion, especially in China, Africa and Latin America. In many cases such expansion became possible only when indigenous Christians were released from the stifling control of Western missionary agencies.

As we look at the religious map of the world today we find a marked contrast between the situation at the beginning of the twentieth century and the situation in the early twenty-first century. Scottish missiologist Andrew Walls has described a “massive southward shift of the center of gravity of the Christian world.” He understands the history of the Christian church and its mission as a sequence of phase, each of which represents the embodiment of Christianity in a major culture area. This is followed by the movment forward through transcultural mission in such a way that when that major culture declines, Christianity continues to flourish, now in a different setting.

The recession of Christianity among the Europe peoples appears to be continuing. And yet we seem to stand at the threshold of a new age of Christianity, one in which its main base will be in the Southern continents, and where its dominant expressions will be filtered through the culture of those countries. Once again, Christianity has been saved for the world by its diffusion across cultural lines.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Douglass - A Dynamic Time

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending some time with Steve Douglass - el presidente of Campus Crusade for Christ. Steve spent some time with our national leadership team.

One of the questions we asked Steve (I think it was Sam Osterloh) was, "In the history of Crusade, what was the best year of the campus ministry (best meaning missional / exciting / effective)? " Of course Steve answered . . . . it is still in our future - the best is yet to come.

But as we pushed him, he nailed it down to 1967-1970. Here are the six things he said were true of this dynamic period.

  1. Expectant: There was an expectation of God working. You could feel the electricity in the air - nothing was too big for God to accomplish - and we expected him to do so.
  2. Simple: The tools were simple, well taught and used effectively. You quickly learned and then were expected (even called) to action and reproduction. You went to campus and you knew exactly what was expected and what you needed to do.
  3. Consistent: Everyone was on the same page. Simple, transferable and universally used.
  4. H.S.: "We talked about the work of the Holy Spirit much more than we do today." Everythings was about the movement of the Spirit - conversations flowed from what the Spirit was doing. (so much so that many people thought we were a charasmatic group).
  5. Student Ownership: "I owned it - and so did my roomates. Not that we did it perfectly, but we deeply owned it and were allowed to run."
  6. Quick Turn Around: After someone trusted Christ they were out sharing the next day. You could become a new believer and be teaching basic lessons in less than three weeks.

Interestingly, Steve said that maybe only 30% of the whole of Crusade was operating at this high octain (he was gueussing and speculating), but it was enough to dirve a huge level of work, excitement and resources for the Great Commission.

As I look at thoses six . . . . well, it does not seem that complex. Again, Steve was answering off the top of his head, so I am not sure he would identify this as THE SIX THINGS - but it is telling to see the organic nature of movement in this simple list.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Spooky Reality

I am usually a positive post kind of guy, but these stats bear some reflection. They are from an American Society for Church Growth (ASCG) report titled "Enlarging our Borders." This was presented to the Executive Presbytery in January 1999. (I snagged these from - a group committed to rapid saturation church planting in the campus setting. We will be hearing more from Jaeson Ma and his crew).

  • Churches lose estimated 2,765,000 people each year to nominalism and secularism.
  • Between 3,500 to 4,000 churches close their doors each year in America.
  • Last 10 years, the combined communicant membership of all Protestant denominations has declined by 9.5% (4,498,242), while national population has increased by 11% (24,253,000).
  • Half of all churches last year did not add one new member through "conversion growth"

Ouch! It seems like the way we "do" church may be suspect.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Revolution: George Barna


IN THIS EDITION: An article by American researcher Geoge Barna that gives insight in a major shift in the church landscape that is currently taking place in North America and Europe. Comments are welcome and can be sent to


TREND: A faith revolution is redefining 'church'

For decades the primary way that Americans have experienced and expressed their faith has been through a local church. That reality is rapidly changing, according to researcher George Barna, whose new book on the transitioning nature of America's spirituality, entitled 'Revolution', describes what he believes will be the most massive reshaping of the nation's faith community in more than a century.

Relying upon national research conducted over the past several years, Barna profiles a group of more than 20 million adults throughout the nation labeled 'revolutionaries'. He noted that although measures of traditional church participation in activities such as worship attendance, Sunday school, prayer, and Bible reading have remained relatively unchanged during the past twenty years, the Revolutionary faith movement is growing rapidly.

"These are people who are less interested in attending church than in being the church," he explained. "We found that there is a significant distinction in the minds of many people between the local church - with a small 'c' - and the universal Church - with a capital 'C'. Revolutionaries tend to be more focused on being the Church, capital C, whether they participate in a congregational church or not."

"A common misconception about revolutionaries," he continued, "is that they are disengaging from God when they leave a local church. We found that while some people leave the local church and fall away from God altogether, there is a much larger segment of Americans who are currently leaving churches precisely because they want more of God in their life but cannot get what they need from a local church. They have decided to get serious about their faith by piecing together a more robust faith experience. Instead of going to church, they have chosen to be the Church, in a way
that harkens back to the Church detailed in the Book of Acts."


One of the most eye-opening portions of the research contained in the book describes what the faith community may look like twenty years from now. Using survey data and other cultural indicators he has been measuring for more than two decades, Barna estimates that the local church is presently the primary form of faith experience and expression for about two-thirds of the nation's adults. He projects that by 2025 the local church will lose roughly half of its current 'market share' and that alternative forms of faith experience and expression will pick up the slack. Importantly,
Barna's studies do not suggest that most people will drop out of a local church to simply ignore spirituality or be freed up from the demands of church life. Although there will be millions of people who abandon the entire faith community for the usual reasons - hurtful experiences in churches, lack of interest in spiritual matters, prioritizing other dimensions of their life - a growing percentage of church dropouts will be those who leave a local church in order to intentionally increase their focus on faith and to relate to God through different means.

That growth is fueling alternative forms of organized spirituality, as well as individualized faith experience and expression. Examples of these new approaches include involvement in a house church, participation in
marketplace ministries, use of the Internet to satisfy various
faith-related needs or interests, and the development of unique and intense connections with other people who are deeply committed to their pursuit of God.


In the effort to increase their obedience and faithfulness to God, Barna discovered that Revolutionaries are characterized by what he identified as a set of spiritual passions - seven specific emphases that drive their quest for God and a biblical lifestyle. Although these are areas ofspiritual development that most local churches address, millions of adults who are the most serious about their faith in God were the ones least likely to be satisfied by what their local church was delivering in terms of resources, opportunities, evaluation and developmental possibilities. The consequence is that millions of committed born again Christians are choosing to advance their relationship with God by finding avenues of growth and service apart from a local church.

Asked if this meant that the Revolution he describes is simply a negative reaction to the local church, he suggested that most Revolutionaries go through predictable phases in their spiritual journey in which they initially become dissatisfied with their local church experience, then attempt to change things so their faith walk can be more fruitful. The result is that they undergo heightened frustration over the inability to introduce positive change, which leads them to drop out of the local church
altogether, often in anger. But because this entire adventure was
instigated by their love for God and their desire to honor Him more fully, they finally transcend their frustration and anger by creating a series of connections that allow them to stay close to God and other believers without involvement in a local church.

One of the hallmarks of the Revolution of faith is how different it is for each person. "It would be wrong to assume that all Revolutionaries have completely turned their back on the local church," the researcher stated. "Millions of Revolutionaries are active in a local church, although most of them supplement that relationship with participation in a variety of faith-related efforts that have nothing to do with their local church. The
defining attribute of a Revolutionary is not whether they attend church, but whether they place God first in their lives and are willing to do whatever it takes to facilitate a deeper and growing relationship with Him and other believers. Our studies persuasively indicate that the vast majority of American churches are populated by people who are lukewarm spiritually. Emerging from those churches are people dedicated to becoming Christ-like through the guidance of a congregational form of the church,
but who will leave that faith center if it does not further such a
commitment to God. They then find or create alternatives that allow that commitment to flourish."

How do most Revolutionaries justify calling themselves devoted disciples of Christ while distancing themselves from a local church? "Many of them realize that someday they will stand before a holy God who will examine their devotion to Him. They could take the safe and easy route of staying in a local church and doing the expected programs and practices, but they also recognize that they will not be able to use a lackluster church experience as an excuse for a mediocre or unfulfilled spiritual life. Their
spiritual depth is not the responsibility of a local church; it is their own responsibility. As a result, they decide to either get into a local church that enhances their zeal for God or else they create alternatives that ignite such a life of obedience and service. In essence, these are people who have stopped going to church so they can be the Church."


While the Revolution brings with it some very promising qualities -an intense pursuit of godliness, new networks of believers supporting each other, heightened financial giving to ministry endeavors, greater sensitivity to the presence of God in the world, a greater sense of freedom to be a genuine disciple in the midst of a secular society - Barna also pointed out that the Revolution brings great challenges to those who choose that pathway.

"There is the danger of exposure to unbiblical or heretical teaching. There is the possibility of experiencing isolation from a true community of believers and the accountability and support that can provide. It could become easier to hoard one's treasures rather than giving generously. Some might find it more difficult to sustain a life of worship without a place or means of expressing that praise to God."

Barna contends that these are very serious challenges faced by
Revolutionaries - but that they are no more serious than the threats to the spiritual health of regular church-goers. "Objectively speaking, these are the very same problems that we identify among people who rely upon the efforts of a local church to facilitate their growth. We find plentiful evidence of unbiblical teaching in small groups, Sunday school classes and
other local church venues. We know that few churched Christians give 4% of their income back to God, much less 10%. We recognize that most people attending worship services in a church sanctuary leave feeling that God was not present and that they did not personally connect with the living God through that experience. We have identified the relative absence of accountability within most congregations. So even though Revolutionaries face serious challenges in blossoming into the fervent God-follower they
hope to become, perhaps the main difference is simply that they have a wider range of options for achieving their faith goals than do people who are solely focused on faith delivered through a local church. In either case, it is ultimately up to the individual to make sure that they have their spiritual priorities right, that they are investing themselves in activities that draw them closer to God, and that they stay focused on pleasing God more than themselves or other people."

The explosion of Revolutionaries in the U.S., however, raises new
challenges for people involved in ministry. "This new movement of God demands that there be new forms of leadership to appropriately guide people in their faith journey," Barna said. "It requires new ways of measuring how well the Church at-large is doing, getting beyond attendance figures as the indicator of health. And it demands that new tools and resources be accessible to a growing contingent of people who are seeking to introduce their faith into every dimension of their life."


Having written three-dozen previous books about faith and culture, Barna feels that this book may ultimately wind up being the most significant volume he has written. In the course of doing his customary national research studies, he stumbled onto the Revolution. "Having been personally frustrated by the local church, I initiated several research projects to better understand what other frustrated followers of Christ were doing to maintain their spiritual edge. What emerged was a realization that there is
a large and rapidly-growing population of Christ-followers who are truly want to be like the church we read about in the book of Acts. We began tracking their spiritual activity and found that it is much more robust and significant than we ever imagined - and, frankly, more defensible than what emerges from the average Christian church. But, because the Revolution is neither organized nor designed to create an institutional presence, it
typically goes undetected."

Revolution, published by Tyndale House, is what the author calls "a brief introduction to the most important spiritual movement of our age." He believes that fifty years from now historians will look back at this period and label it one of the most significant periods in American Church history. "I would not be surprised," the California-based researcher noted, "if at some point this becomes known as the Third Great Awakening in our
nation's history. This spiritual renaissance is very different from the prior two religious awakenings in America, but it may well become the most profound."




Joel News is an international e-zine with news reports and articles on prayer, revival and church growth. It aims at leaders, intercessors, church planters and other Christians who carry a vision for the advance of God's Kingdom in every sphere of life. The reports are meant to encourage, challenge and inform. A keen selection of only the most relevant entries from over a hundred reliable sources in six continents, make Joel News a
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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Steve Van Diest: Thinking about NCAA movements

Van Diest has take Cole's Organic Church thinking and adopted it for a collegiate setting. Good stuff.

Steve Van Diest: Thinking about NCAA movements

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Report: More Kids Being Home-Churched

And the church marches on. Read . . . . and nervously laugh to yourself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Crocker: Evangelicals Tilting Left?

I am adding Crocker to my worthy blogage. Scott has a deep understanding of racial issues in America - he is white and thinks black. He sees things from both perspectives and is able to help the rest of us bridge the gap

Crocker Chronicle: Evangelicals Tilting Left?

MegaShift on Male Leadership

This from Rutz - a shot across the bow on developing male leadership. Rutz is a huge proponent of open church for the spontaneous expanision of the church. Open church is a small group of believers gathered to openly interact over scripture. This type of empowerment helps to rapidly increase leadership in the body.

Why don't more American men attend traditional services along with their wives? Is it maybe because they've figured out that the pastor has taken on the role of surrogate husband of every woman in the congregation? Is it because they instinctively recoil from a game where they're shut out and have to play a passive part? You betcha. When there's no room left for strong men, they opt out.

Open churches offer a reason to opt back in: unlimited empowerment, which produce men of iron and women of fire.

You don't' grow strong men by making them sit in rows. You grow men by whacking them on the shoulder and saying, "On your feet. What has God been showing you this week?"
Strong males who are forced to to be pew warmers are like the bench warmers in football: They're aching to to grab the coach by the lapels, get in his face and yell, "Just put me in the game! Just gimme the ball!"
In team Christianity, as in war, everybody is in the game, and everybody gets his hands on the ball. Typically, men will do roughly 60% of the talking and women 40%. That's not something we aim for, it's just what happens - and everyone seems to like it that way.

Lions do not grow in small cages. And after a life time in a cage, it does no good to set them free, either. Zoo-born animals fed by keepers never learn to survive in the wild.
Rousseau observed that men are born free, yet are everywhere in chains. I would add that men are born wild at heart, yet our churches are filled with captured lions, tamed pew-sitters who no longer know - if they ever knew - how to feed themselves spiritually.
Megashift pg. 124, 125

Monday, October 10, 2005

MegaShift - Selected Stat o Rama

I have enjoyed James Rutz' MegaShift. He writes with zeal and passion and enjoys lobbing the occasional bomb at his audience.
The ten engines of change are not just clever experiments. God has been using them to expand His family quite rapidly. Here is a brief summary:

  • Between 1990 and 2004, Christians in Cambodia grew from 200 to 400,000.
  • Kazakhstan went from 100 evangelicals in 1990 to 6,000 in 2004.
  • Guatamala is now 44% born -again Christians.
  • El Salvador is at 53%
  • About 25,000 house churhes were started in India in 2002.
  • China has the largest church in the world with 115 to 120 million true Christians, mostly in house churches. They have about one million active church planters.
  • As of 1970, Nepal had 5,200 Christians. As of 2000, its 543,340
  • [My favorite] More than 100,000 members of the Hmong tribe in northern Vietnam have turned to the Lord after listening to Christian radio programs (no missionary visits). This was discovered by accident because none of them were literate enough to write the station and report their massive response.
These are tough times for a pessimist.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Go Adam Go

This is a recent email I recieved from Adam Go at The University of Minnesota (that hotbed of ethnic student activity). Adam is launching an Asian American student movement (Epic baby!).

At about 7:50pm, I was like, "Why in the world did I ever sign up to do EPIC. This is stupid. No one is gonna show up."

Tonight was our 1st EPIC meeting, our 1st actual event, 1st evangelistic attempt... And we had a Severe Thunderstorm and a Tornado Warning... NOT GOOD... But I thought, "Adam, every step of the way, God has surprised you. He's done something when you didn't think anything good would happen."

Well, by 8:30pm, we had 16 people! More importantly, I didn't know 5 of the people - brought by friends and one just got handed one of our flyers! It was a good 1st meeting, very informal, shared names, small group question, I share my salvation testimony (I got saved frosh year in Crusade!) and then shared out of Matt 6 - Do No Worry - but Seek His Kingdom 1st... that was the message - even through your year and what we hope EPIC to be about -- is to seek God over all other things, even good things out there.

We're doing good - I have student leaders - aligned as far as I much as I can expect with what I've shown them. And one of our women today asked, "Do you want bible studies yet? Cause I'd love to lead one." I mean... sure! So, a women's bible study to come!

God's good... I've planted... My students have sown... Only God can make things grow.
Go Adam Go!

Monday, October 03, 2005


Back in the early 1990’s Rick Hove and I used to joke about some of our Crusade tag lines. It went something like, “why do we say every student every year when it is neither." It was not that our hearts were not into iit it simply seemed that our directives and dreams were pie in the sky because no matter how hard we worked the plan, we could never see it happening. No matter how big we stretched our models, they always failed to break into the whole of the campus.

Here is how I saw it: If you took the average campus, you may typically have 1-2% of the student body involved in spiritual things (from the Newman Center to the Abundant Word of Living Faith Gospel Tabernacle). At only 1% (and usually bunched up in 5-20 groups), this group of believers is fairly ineffective at getting the gospel to the whole.

As a result, many non-Christians may never encounter a believer on campus. Or better said, they never encounter a believer in a real life setting. They may see Jesus posters, or get caught in a random conversation, but they can easily avoid the lives of kingdom people.

But what if you could radically raise the percentage of believers involved in missional activity? What would it look like to actually get to 10% - or even 20% of the students? At that point, everyone would know someone who knows Jesus. At a school like Ohio State we are talking about 5,000-10,000 committed believers mixed in with the whole. But getting to that level seems like a daunting task.

Part of my dilemma is I lack a paradigm for this type of growth. I traditionally think about how big each existing group would have to be in order to accomplish this. Or, how huge my organization would have to be to get to every.

But what if we looked at getting to the whole by moving smaller, more organic and highly missional?. This is the essence of saturation church planting – churches (or movements?) that max out at 20 people, split, and max out again. In each case a leader (a student team) is in charge of the group and is trained. Trained to train and to split.

In my 15 years of working in college ministry, I have never heard anything that gives me as much hope as saturation church planting with a simple/organic flare. If we could mobilize and launch just 20% of the students currently involved, it would radically change the campuses we are on.

Of course I am one of those guys who jumps onto potential solutions while it is still very potential. I am ready for the new thing. Only in this case – it is an old thing. A very old thing - dating back to the initial expansion of the kingdom. Rapid growth through group multiplication centered on body life and those who are lost.

What we need are some working models and some leaders willing to risk a brighter future by leverage the pretty decent present. More on that later - but for now . . . . this just might work.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Next 10 Books I will read

  1. Organic Church: Neil Cole
  2. An Army of Ordinary People: Felicity Dale
  3. Revolution: George Barna
  4. Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church: Reggie Mcneal
  5. Primal Leadership: Goleman
  6. Megashift: Igniting Spiritual Power: Rutz
  7. Waking the Dead: Eldridge (ok, Im late on this one . . .)
  8. Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement: David Cannistraci (this is older as well . . )
  9. The Restoration Of The Apostles & Prophets And How It Will Revolutionize Ministry In The 21st Century: C. Peter Wagner
  10. Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything: Steven D. Levitt (ok, I just finished this, but I will add it to the list).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Mega Shift - James Rutz

A MUST READ. Megashift chronicles the massive wave of God's power that is sweeping the world. Complete with miracles, trends, tips and stats. It is well documented - even if it does blow some of my categories.

Particularly interesting is the empowerment factor. Most of the massive growth has happened in simple structures run by average believers with Big God faith.

Here are 11 engines of change that Rutz sees shaping this movement of God.

  1. Intercessory Prayer (prayer warfare / strategic level intercession / prayer evangelism) - A serious dependence on God arriving to produce amazing results.
  2. Empowerment - "In the new, more open churches, you don't have to wait for someone to give you permission for every little thing. You just do it." Empowerment has to do with unleashing the potential in every member of the body - mainly by decreasing the complexity by doing church and life together with very few external controls.
  3. Reconciliation - Breaking down the power of the enemy by healing the wounds between peoples.
  4. Identificational Repentance (IR) - Apologizing and seeking forgiveness for the actions of those who have gone before us. (ie. slavery) (there are a lot of good biblical examples of this - I like Ezra 9:1 - 15)
  5. Spiritual Mapping - "Hard, plodding, basic research aimed at discovering the spiritual history of a town, region or nation (or campus even). It tries to answer the central questions: How did this place come to have all its problems? Exactly how is the enemy messing us up today? What can we do about it?"
  6. Saturation Church Planting Movements - Strategically planting small, simple, rapidly reproducing bodies in order to saturate a specific target. Many of these groups are starting new groups every other weekend.
  7. On Site Prayer - praying over the location you are targeting.
  8. Fasting - nuff said.
  9. Leadership Teamwork - APEPT / 4-11 / Fivefold ministry teams (Eph 4:11) - ministry based upon gifting and example rather than organization position. More of an emphasis on networks and partnering over denominations and organizational structures.
  10. Media Evangelism - radio, tv, web
  11. God working even if we don't - dreams, vision and other wild stuff.

Interesting tidbit - more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 10 years than the previous 1,000.

That is enough for me to realize that God is up to something!