Thursday, September 30, 2010
I'm checking in today as excited. I think I'm finally starting to get this listening thing... Tuesday I felt the Lord urging me to get up in the mornings to spend intentional time with Him; so that's what I did Wednesday morning. Wednesday around noon I found myself responding to some frustrations differently... more Christ-like.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The most surprising thing I encountered by using the SASHET method was an awareness of the state of my heart. I am a very driven, task-oriented person. It's easy for me to ignore the posture of my heart.
By using SASHET, it forced me to slow down and recognize how I am feeling. I like how John says that intimacy is the result of mutual self-disclosure. (JW: Actually, this is Kent Smith's quote!) As I recognize my intimate heart-posture and share that with my wife and with Father, I feel a deeper level of intimacy developing.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
In LK. 10:2, Jesus made a startling statement. In front of Him were 84 (12 + 72) church planters (“sent ones”, apostles). That sounds like a lot to us, but His evaluation was that it was only a “few”. Apparently, He saw the need for many more. And, in addition to identifying that need, He gave the solution. He commanded them to engage in the practice of “beseeching the Lord of the Harvest for more workers”. In this context, workers are both people of peace and more church planters.
We engage this practice with our CO2 partner (as well as others) for the region we are called to as close to daily as possible. This relentless widow lady in LK. 18 is our model for this kind of tenacious praying.
Key quote: “The 10:2b Prayer is the leadership solution.” -Kenny Moore
In the video below, Jim Mellon tells of some amazing answers to this prayer. Notice the wide variety of harvest workers that the Lord of the harvest has sent to Jim and Kathy. Notice also how naturally mission flows from this kind of praying.
More from Jim tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
I recently concluded a thirty day CO2 experiment with John White. Let me tell you about my background leading up to this and what I learned.
My wife Donna and I have been married for more than 21 years. We have five children (ages 19, 17, 12, 2, and 1) and until almost three years ago were both supported ministers in a large church in San Diego. I grew up in the restoration heritage and since 1980 have been associated with a branch of the churches of Christ known as the discipling movement. For more than 20 years I served in the full-time ministry. During my earliest experiences with discipling relationships, we drew heavily on Coleman’s "Master Plan of Evangelism" and Getz’s series, "Building Up One Another". At first these close relationships were natural, spontaneous and transformational! In time as this movement grew both in number and pride, “discipling” became an authoritarian hierarchical system. We understood our relationships as either “over or under”. What was once an expression of grace became burdensome and often harmful. With both fear and excitement I agreed to the CO2 experiment.
Here are some valuable lessons I learned. From the first to the last I was struck with John’s humility. Though John was the expert, I never felt talked down to. His humility and vulnerability were endearing. With genuine curiosity, John would usually reply to my questions with his own questions that drew forth my sense of God’s leading. John demonstrated both flexibility and consistency in our commitment to connect daily. I primarily learned by John’s example.
We would practice SASHET and then share with each other what we were hearing (or in my case attempting to hear) from the Lord. This would naturally lead into other areas about life, our pasts, marriage, church, and occasional academic discussions of early church history. John would share about what he was hearing and offer helpful suggestions to help me hear. During the month that we were CO2ing I made progress in listening to and expressing my own heart and even experienced a few times in which I really believe I heard the Lord….even as I write this I sense my own tentativeness. I loved doing SASHET and now practice it with others in my life. I am continuing to practice stillness so that I can hear the Lord more clearly.
Prior to and during this time with John, my family and I have been meeting with some other families in a home church. John was always willing to share ideas that we might find helpful in the house church. We are excited about what God is doing here in San Diego and believe that in some small way we are getting to be a part of it!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In the past few days, I’ve introduced you to the Smith Cohort and the Pynes Cohort. Today you will meet the White Cohort. Like the Pynes Cohort, my group will function as a virtual community although many of the people know each other. We also have an international element with Noah Cremisino in New Zealand.
One element of the virtual cohorts is conversation via internet discussion forums. Tim’s group will be experimenting with a Ning site and my group will try using a private Facebook group. We’ll let you know what we discover.
At the National House Church Conference last week, I caught up with two of the CO2s that will be in my cohort. See the video below for a bit of their stories. Notice that some of the cohort members are already thinking about how to pass the learning on to others.
Monday, September 13, 2010
For the last several days, you’ve had an introduction to the (Kent) Smith Cohort which, as I’ve mentioned, is face to face. The (Tim) Pynes Cohort, by contrast, is virtual. With the exception of the CO2 pairs, the people in this cohort don’t know each other and will not meet in person over the 12 week Apprenticeship. So, this will be an important part of the experiment as we pay attention to how community develops and how learning occurs in this virtual context.
As I’ve mentioned before, Tim Pynes brings an important passion for coaching to the Apprenticeship. In addition to facilitating and coaching his own cohort, he will also be training/sharpening Kent, Chadd, myself and some future cohort leaders in coaching skills this fall.
In the video below, you will see one of the CO2s that will be in the Pynes Cohort. I was able to catch up with David and Les at the National House Church Conference for a short interview. Following that, Tim gives us a brief introduction to coaching.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
In the video below, Dr. Kent Smith talks about the third practice, meeting together as a family of Jesus. His comments help us understand why house church is so much more than changing venues from a special “church” building to a home. It is, in fact, a “whole different animal”. Failure to understand this has resulted in some people becoming disillusioned with house church.
One of the goals of the Apprenticeship is to train followers of Jesus in how to meet in such a way that we take seriously the fact that Jesus is the Head of His church. He is no longer the “honored guest” in our gatherings. Rather, He is “the master of ceremonies”. He brings the agenda when we meet. This changes everything!
And, church becomes very simple. Listen to each other’s hearts. Listen to Jesus’ heart. Everything else flows from that.
So, watch the video below.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Part of what I’ll be doing in this blog over the Fall is reporting on the LK10 Apprenticeship. During the Fall, three cohorts of around 10 people each will function as small "communities of practice". One cohort, led by Kent Smith, will be face to face. The other two, led by Tim Pynes and myself will be virtual. Our learning will focus on the first three of the seven LK10 Practices. (see below for more on this)
My sense is that the Apprenticeship will become another powerful tool (like the 10:2b Prayer and CO2s) towards the end of seeing "a vibrant family of Jesus within easy access of every region and cultural group". Our hope is to be able to offer many more cohorts in 2011.
Today, I want to introduce you to the cohort that Kent Smith (and Chadd Schroeder) will be leading. This cohort is part of the Master’s Degree program at the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University. This group was introduced to the basic rhythms of the Apprenticeship by Kent, Chadd and myself at a retreat last weekend outside of Abilene. I was very impressed by both the hearts and minds of this group of young adults. They are passionate for Jesus and hungry to learn. (And, these guys can really sing!)
The video below will give you a bit of a feel for what this cohort looks like. (I want to encourage the members of this cohort to be "story collectors". Listen to the Lord and see when there is a story in your cohort that the rest of us on the blog need to hear about. Do a short video interview and send it to me.)
For more on the Seven Practices of LK10, see http://lk10.com/media/lk10_visionpaper_2_0.pdf