Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apprenticeships (2)

Many of you who read this blog are familiar with CO2s. The CO2 ("church of two") concept has now become a primary spiritual discipline for hundreds of people. It's origins were from a time just over a year ago when the Lord brought together a number of elements (SASHET, Virkler, pairs, etc.) in to a new "container".

Our sense is that He is doing a similar thing with the Apprenticeship this fall. Many of the elements and concepts are familiar but they are coming together in a new "container". We think this 12 week experience will be a context that God will use to train many people in Kingdom rhythms in the years to come. Those of you who make the commitment this fall will have the opportunity to help shape the process. Two cohorts (10 people each) are already "in". We have room for 10 more.

So, ask the Lord if He want you to join us. If you are interested, shoot me an email and say "send me info on the Apprenticeship". DenverWH@aol.com


Monday, August 30, 2010

Apprenticeships (1)

A growing number of people have been asking for training in the basic practices of the Luke Ten Community. Our sense is that we are to offer 12 week Apprenticeship training groups this fall. This training is designed to deepen your personal relationship with God. In addition, it will increase your capacity as a spiritual leader.

The training will take place in small virtual communities (called cohorts) of 10 people. Two cohorts have already been filled and we have space for only 10 more people in a third cohort.

I'll be saying more about the Apprenticeships over the next few days but here's an overview of what will be involved ...

1. Weekly learning assignments designed to deepen your understanding of our first three practices. (Listening to God on my own, listening with one other (ie, a CO2) and listening with a spiritual family) These assignments will expose you to the best articles and videos on these foundational spiritual rhythms.

2. Learning in the context of a small virtual cohort (weekly online discussion forum, monthly conference calls). We believe the best learning takes place in community. And, these small communities will give you the opportunity to get to know and learn from 9 other people who are on a similar journey.

3. Two individual phone sessions each month with a trained LK10 coach. This individualized help will assist you in paying attention to the specific things that God is addressing in your life.

Again, we have only 10 more spaces available for the fall session of the Apprenticeship. If you are interested in learning more, email me as soon as possible at DenverWH@aol.com Just say, "Send me info about the Apprenticeship"


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Talkin It Over, Me and God

Tim and Brittani Morris, are leaders of a house church in Sedalia, CO (south of Denver). I visited their church recently and they are doing a wonderful job of valuing hearts (SASHET) and valuing Jesus as the Leader of the church. Every time they gather, the whole church spends time listening to Him for His agenda.

Tim just sent me the link (below) to a song that captures this value of listening to God.

Here are some the lyrics...

Early in the morning, talkin it over, me and God.
Late at night, talkin it over, me and God.


PS. If you have a song or hymn that speaks about listening to God, send me the link.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Church Flows from Listening

My approach to this blog is that I don't post anything unless God gives me something. (Think John 5:19) And, recently He hasn't given me much to post. But, my sense is that this is about to change.

See below for an interview with Robbie James who is a church planter in Brighton, CO and who is part of the Denver Leadership Team. This is another great story of a church (and churches) that is learning to listen to Jesus as the Head of the church. I especially love that they are developing what they call "a culture of honor". You will also get a sense of the spontaneous church multiplication that is occurring north of Denver.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trinitarian community (2)

Watchman Nee, the famous Chinese Christian leader, said that a true church meeting could be described with one word: mutuality. (Think 1 Cor. 14:26)

And, where does this way of doing/being church come from?

It flows from the very nature of the Trinity.

Within the triune God we discover mutual love, mutual fellowship, mutual dependence, mutual honor, mutual submission, mutual dwelling, and authentic community. In the Godhead there exists an eternal, complementary, and reciprocal interchange of divine life, divine love, and divine fellowship...the headwater of the church are found in the Godhead. Viola, Reimagining Church, p. 35.

House church is not some superficial, passing fad. It's rooted in foundational theology.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trinitarian community (1)

Think about this quote from theologian, Stanley Grenz...

God's triune nature means that God is social or relational - God is the "social Trinity." And for this reason, we can say that God is "community." God is the community of the Father, Son, and Spirit, who enjoy perfect and eternal fellowship.

Churches are supposed to be a reflection of this Trinitarian community. Meeting in a home (instead of a church building) doesn't guarantee that kind of fellowship but it creates a context where it is at least possible.

The early church didn't meet in homes because they were afraid of persecution. They met there because they longed for this kind of community they had tasted with Jesus.

"...that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you." Jn. 17:21


Thursday, August 12, 2010

10:2b Story (Part Three)

Great comment from Carolyn Spence (Clovis, NM) in response to Mike Deaton's interview in yesterday's post:

OK, agreed! We need the opportunity to see it practised. My mother (89 years young) cried to experience the very tiny taste of our gathering in Clovis with MRT members from Albuquerque and Colorado saying, "now I see what you mean"... If you are going to spread a virus, personal physical contact works best... Carolyn

Today, we have an interview with JoEtta Deaton. She tells a similar story. To paraphrase: "By visiting some of the house churches in Brighton (CO), I experienced a whole different paradigm of church. What I saw was church that flowed out of listening to Jesus. This was transformational and I want to begin to try this out when we go back to Virginia".

(JW: This is the third of seven LK10 Practices. Church = a spiritual family focused on listening to Jesus.)

Now, listen to JoEtta tell the story in her own words below. Share with us your response to what she has to say.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10:2b Story (Part Two)

As Hobby and his apostolic partner, Robbie James, began praying the 10:2b Prayer (see yesterday's post) the Lord of the Harvest began arranging divine encounters. In the video below you will hear about one of those encounters with Mike Deaton, a professor at James Madison University in Virginia, and his wife JoEtta. (More from JoEtta tomorrow.)

Notice that Mike and JoEtta were already committed to planting house churches. But, two years of very limited success had made them hungry to learn. We have found this to be true for people who are answers to the 10:2b Prayer. In every situation, God has worked in their lives to prepare them. They have been "thrust out" by the Lord of the Harvest and are already motivated. You might say that "God does the heavy lifting" in preparing these church planters.

See what else you hear in Mike's story.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A 10:2b Story (Part One)

The DNA of our Luke Ten Community focuses on seven key practices. (To see all seven, go here: http://lk10.com/media/lk10_visionpaper_2_0.pdf )

The fourth practice is in obedience to Jesus' command in Luke 10, verse 2, part b. We sometimes call this the "10:2b Prayer". This was Jesus' solution to a specific problem. Namely, "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few". To Jesus the answer was obvious - ask the Harvest Master for more laborers.

So, what does a "10:2b answer" look like? In this three part series, you will see three examples of harvest laborers sent out by the Harvest Master.

First, in the video below (the first of three parts), you will see Hobby Chapin who was a "10:2b answer" here in Denver over a year ago. Hobby has become a good friend and a very effective church planter in Brighton (north of Denver). Tomorrow, you will see what happened as Hobby prayed the 10:2b Prayer.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

City Networks and Listening

We've talked about the idea that "church emerges out of listening". What this means is that we really believe that Jesus is the Head or Leader of each individual church and that, as we listen to Him, He brings the agenda for each meeting.

This same thing is true on the larger level. The house churches in Denver are connected in a relational network. Jesus is also the Head or Leader of this expression of church, and, as we listen to Him, He brings the agenda for the network as well. Church, at every level, emerges out of listening.

See below for two encouraging examples of what people in the Denver Network are hearing. One has to do with connecting women across the city. The other has to do with helping people, especially new believers, learn the Bible.

What a concept! Jesus really is the Head of His church on every level. And, He really is expert at building His church on every level (Mt. 16:18). Our job is not to do a great job of figuring it all out but to do a great job of listening to Him.


From Christal Haner: One of the amazing benefits of house church is the close community that we share within our own house churches. One of the more difficult areas of house church is the lack of that broader sense of connectivity within the body of Christ. For a couple years our network (ASPEN) has been putting together a semi-annual women's retreat. So far it has just been about 16 of the women from our network coming together to check in and worship together over a weekend. While I was praying about it for the Fall retreat, I felt a strong need to open up our women's retreat to the entire Denver house church network. So, we would like to invite all of the women in your house churches to be a part of our women's retreat this fall.

From Sean Hyatt: I am writing to ask for your help in praying and listening about a project/vision I feel the Lord has put on my heart. I've chosen to send this email to you specific guys & gals because I am close to you and I trust you to pray and truly listen to what the Lord might speak to you on this. Thank you ahead of time for reading this lengthy email :))

I would like to write, illustrate, and produce a new full-color home Bible study chart. We used to use these as an evangelism and soul-winning tool in the denomination I grew up in. They are designed so that you can teach an individual, family or group for about 12 weeks, an hour or two each week, in the comfort of their home or somewhere out in public in their territory. It is basically like Bible 101. Someone who is interested in learning more about the Bible (or who is simply hungry for God) can go thru this home Bible study with you and learn all about the Bible and all the major stories and themes in the Bible, including the gospel message. It is a powerful soul-winning tool for an individual or a group, and a powerful discipleship tool as well.

Before, when we taught weekly home Bible studies to seekers, at the end of the 12 or so weeks when the study was finished (since all we had to offer them was traditional church) we basically said, "Congratulations! Now that you're saved, you get to come to our church, sit on a cold pew, stare at the back of peoples heads, and marinate for a decade or so" :) ... but now that we understand organic church planting, once the study is done we can simply keep meeting weekly in their home (or the coffee shop or workplace or park or wherever), and a new church is planted with their oikos. A much better situation after the Bible study is done.

There was a time when I was a teenager and a young adult that I was teaching multiple ongoing weekly 'chart' Bible studies in multiple homes, and winning multiple sinners to Jesus...it was a very exciting and fulfilling time. Colorful chart Bible studies also are great for teaching children or teens or young adults (or anyone without a basic biblical foundation) all the basics about the Bible, Jesus, the gospel, and the kingdom of God.

Any and all feedback or ideas, positive or negative, are welcome (truly!). I just want to get some further direction from the Lord before proceeding...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What are you investing in?

Dear LK10 Friends,

(In case you were wondering, this blog is part of the ministry of LK10.)

Most of us have left the traditional church and are no longer investing in church buildings or traditional programs. This should free up significant resources to help those in need both inside and outside of our house churches. I'm hearing lots of good stories where this really is happening.

Another highly valued investment in the New Testament church was that of church planting (see Paul's comments in 1 Cor. 9). Hopefully you have identified proven apostolic church planters in your area to help financially.

It's along this line of church planting that I would like to ask you to consider investing in LK10. Our mission is to connect and equip the growing number of men and women who are planting house churches. Over the last two years we've come through the start-up phase of our ministry on a "shoestring" budget. Our Board of Directors now feels that the Lord is calling us to significantly increase the scope of our work and has asked me to share this with everyone in the LK10 Community.

My request of you is simply that you read our LK10 Donor Report and ask the Lord if this is something He wants you to help with. You can find the Report here under the heading of "Support the work of Luke Ten" :

If the Lord wants you to help, you have two options. The first is to use the Paypal "Donate" button on this blog. The second option is to send me an email and let me know that you would like the address where you can send a check. Send the email to DenverWH@aol.com

Whether you are directed to contribute or not, I appreciate you taking the time to read our Report.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sarah Young (3)

Here's an example of the devotional reading from August 3 in Jesus Calling. As you read it, you will see that it's something Sarah felt the Lord spoke personally to her.

This is valuable to those of us who are learning to hear God's voice because it gives us an example. It helps answer the question that I've heard many times, "So, what kind of things does God say to you when you listen to Him?" For those of us who were trained to believe that God only speaks today through Scripture, these examples are quite important.

Seems to me that this same sort of thing can happen in CO2s (churches of two) and in our simple churches. That is, we can help each other by sharing the kinds of things we are hearing from God.

Share with us your impressions about what Sarah wrote below.


From Jesus Calling on August 3...

Watch your words diligently. Words have such great power to bless or to wound. When you speak carelessly or negatively, you damaged others as well as yourself. This ability to verbalized is an awesome privilege, granted only to those I created in My image. You need help in wielding this mighty power responsibly.

Though the world applauds quick-witted retorts, My instructions about communication are quite different: "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." (James 1:19). Ask My Spirit to help you whenever you speak. I have trained you to pray - "Help me, Holy Spirit" - before answering the phone, and you have seen the benefits of this discipline. Simply apply the same discipline to communicating with people around you. If they are silent, pray before speaking to them. If they are talking, pray before responding. These are split-second prayers, but they put you in touch with My Presence. In this way, your speaking comes under the control of My Spirit. As positive speech patterns replace your negative ones, the increase in your Joy will amaze you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sarah Young (2)

Sarah Young continues describing a turning point in her spiritual journey. The year is 1993 and, although she had been a Jesus follower for many years, she now begins listening for God's voice.

My journaling had changed from monologue to dialogue. Soon, messages began to flow more freely, and I bought a special notebook, to record these words. This new way of communicating with God became the high point of my day. I know these writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping me grow closer to God.

...This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received.

Sarah's daily devotional, "Jesus Calling", is simply 365 short examples of the messages she has received from the Lord. I'll include one of them tomorrow so you can see what it's like.

What I want to emphasize today is that this "practice of listening" is at the heart of our Luke Ten Community. This is a "community of practice" where we are...

*sharing what we are hearing as we listen as individuals
*sharing what we are hearing as we listen with one other person (CO2)
*sharing what we are hearing as we listen with our spiritual family (simple church)

The whole thing is pretty simple, isn't it.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sarah Young (1)

For the first time in a long time, I've begun reading a daily devotional book. I'll tell you about the author, Sarah Young, and you'll understand why.

Sarah writes that in 1993 her relationship with God changed dramatically...

I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day.

I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying. I felt awkward the first time I tried this, but I received a message. It was short, biblical, and appropriate. It addressed topics that were current in my life: trust, fear, and closeness to God. I responded by writing in my prayer journal.

Many of us in the Luke Ten Community have been on a similar journey. Longing to hear what God might say to us personally on a given day. Feeling awkward when we first begin. But, being aware of "spontaneous thoughts" and writing them down. Finding that they are often both biblical and appropriate.

Take a minute and, in the comments below, share what this journey has been like for you.

More from Sarah tomorrow.