Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"For the first time, I'm seeing the value of "checking in"."

Apprenticeship Rhythms One and Three: The Weekly Assignments and Daily Forum Posts

The Assignments in Week Eight focus on the simple but powerful idea that "church flows from listening". Below is the forum post of one member of the Apprenticeship. Below that is my response to his post. (You can see how the online forum becomes a place of dialogue and learning.)


"Well, I must admit for the first time I am seeing the value of “checking in” (with each other and with God) to planting house churches—such simple practices that take the onus off any particular “leader” and can be replicated by anyone. And while I still don’t care much for the acronym SASHET (men don’t sashet; they CLOG), so far this is the simplest way I’ve heard to get all participants to open up, allowing others to know what is going on in each others’ lives. Good stuff. Thanks John."

My response...

"Thank you. I totally understand your reluctance with SASHET. I felt the same way when I was first introduced to it. However, I am a pragmatist at heart. I'm interested in what works. And, I have to say that I have never found a tool that is this effective at facilitating community. As with any tool (ie, my example of a hammer), it's value increases with experience and training but even a "beginner" can employ it effectively."

Monday, March 21, 2011

"My 6 yr old is learning how to hear the Holy Spirit."

Apprenticeship Rhythms One and Two: Weekly Learning Assignments and CO2 (or CO3)

Here's another wonderful report of a household (with young children) functioning as a church.


"(The assignments in) Week 7 was awesome! We use sashet here at home with our 6 year old boy and 2 year old girl. Helps them identify emotions and helps them feel like we hear them and their heart. My 6 yr old is learning how to hear the Holy Spirit. Looking forward to this week's assignments and learnings."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Family flows from listening

Apprenticeship Rhythms One and Two: Weekly Learning Assignments and CO2 (or CO3)

The Apprenticeship is twelve weeks long and every week, members receive a new chapter in our eWorkbook. Each chapter has three Learning Assignments. This week, the focus is on family flowing from listening. See below for another example of a home functioning as a church.


"This being spring break, I was a bit tempted to skip out on Luke 10 for spring cleaning and a mini-vacation--can you believe that? But my heart leaped when I saw that the week was about 'Family.' I felt really encouraged by Sean's story and wanted to embrace a bit more detail for our family CO3 sharing, which most often happens at mealtimes.

Today (in our family time) we read about feeding 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish and listened to God around that story. It was a really fun time, especially to see (our five year old daughter) so tender and full of enthusiasm as she shared her thoughts, drew pictures and engaged us like a teacher with her questions!

Also, I am touched by the idea that listening to God, others and our own hearts can make us so much more receptive to God and each other. Not only can you 'go to church', sit in a pew, and go home again without really knowing others..or yourself...or God better, it happens at home too. We can go through our day with everyone busy in their tasks and not really know what each other is struggling with, challenged by, happy about if you don't intentionally stop and listen to each other.

I felt really washed clean and shined up and closer to my mate and child by spending this time together listening and sharing hearts. It really is a big deal.

Monday, March 14, 2011

14 year old prefers house church

Apprenticeship rhythm Number Two: CO2 (Church of Two)

The rhythms of a CO2 (checking in with each other and listening to God together) overflow very naturally into family life and into house churches. Below are two examples of this.

The first is a member of the Apprenticeship posting on his cohort's forum. Notice how delighted this father's heart is to see his 12 and 14 year old engaging with these rhythms. And, note how naturally mission flows from their listening together.

Below that is a video interview with another 14 year old, Nathan Duncan, here in Denver. Compare what you hear from Nathan with the typical approach to youth ministry which is a desperate attempt to entertain kids so that you can slip in a little spirituality. Feel the difference?


"Checking in as settled today, just feeling tender and loving towards my peeps & my honey & happy to have the Coach with us in our family check in this morning. Many fears and hopes were laid out & i feel that my 12 year old & 14 yr old are really engaging in the CO2 process. We had the joy of blessing some homeless folks today & it's becoming a matter of course for the children to see the poor & needy among us & they are beginning to have an expectation of opportunity in that area, which is cool. we're all listening for the Spirit today with regards to our future & I have this picture of us all standing at the throne, waiting expectantly :) "

Saturday, March 12, 2011

CO2s multiplying in Africa

The interview below is with Walt Hastings who is coaching our African Cohort. Here are three things that encourage me from the interview...

1. CO2s are transforming marriages.
2. CO2s are multiplying rapidly. Probably more than 50 now in Kenya.
3. CO2s are culturally transferable.

And, all of this is happening in a country where there are tremendous technological obstacles. Only a couple of people have their own computers - everyone else has to go to an Internet cafe. Often the connection is only dial-up, so they can't access our eWorkbook. (Walt puts the Learning Assignments in a simple word doc.) Electricity is only available occasionally. Etc.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My heart feels connect to you and we've never even met!"

The LK10 Apprenticeship requires a commitment to six rhythms.

Third rhythm: Check in daily on your cohort's online forum. ("Give me 10 minutes a day.")

Many people in the Apprenticeship have been surprised to see the level of community that has developed in each of our seven online communities (using either Facebook or Ning groups). The daily check-in is one of the keys to this.

See below for an example of the kind of comments being posted after only six weeks. The six rhythms result in meaningful relationships even with people on the other side of the world.


One cohort member responding to another member's post...

"Thanks for sharing this- my heart feels so connected to you guys and we've never even met! I am excited for your family and in prayer for your future ♥"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"A powerfully affirming daily routine"

Of course, we mean something different by CO2 than when the term is used in the environmental sense.

The CO2 (church of two) is one of the six rhythms of the LK10 Apprenticeship. At first, it's sometimes challenging to begin this as an every day rhythm. But, over and over, once people find that rhythm, it becomes foundational for their lives. See the quote below from one of the members of the Apprenticeship on her cohort forum.

What difference would it make if CO2s were to become global?


"I'm checking in excited. Today was a good day and it is Friday. My CO2 partner is traveling this weekend, so I offered to not do our calls for the weekend. It was very affirming that he said he wanted to continue them because they are very helpful. It is mutual and what seemed a little overwhelming to me when this (ie, the Apprenticeship) started 5 weeks ago, (a phone call every day) has become a very big blessing and a powerfully affirming daily routine. I am also excited about what I am learning from the E-book lessons and the way God is calling me to a deeper relationship with Him. I'm in!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why coaching is powerful

One of the key skills in leading an individual house church or in leading a network of churches is coaching.

Some of our LK10 coaches are very experienced (like Walt Hastings in the video below). But, even our beginner coaches are seeing God work powerfully as they come alongside (functioning as a parakalete) the coachee to help them hear God. (We are finding that many people are unfamiliar with this kind of coaching and are amazed to see what can happen.)

Here's a report from a session with a fairly new coach...

"When doing my coaching with (my cohort coach) this past weekend, I think we were both in awe and worship of how the Lord directed us to come to what He wanted me to hear. It was truly remarkable stuff about me being comfortable with the messiness of situations, being flexible to deviate from "my" plans so that I can receive the Lord's power and love to give power and love to others. Even to take risks to put me in this situation so that I can practice it. All this from a single coaching session!"

We're praying that the Lord will raise up an army of skilled LK10 coaches.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

"I am amazed how we have church on the phone!"

One of the six rhythms of the Apprenticeship is a conference call every two weeks with your cohort. Early on we wondered if a virtual community (phone, online forum, etc) could really become community. What we have discovered is that it really works! As people are faithful to engage all six of the rhythms, genuine community emerges.

Below are some of the forum posts after a conference call last week with the Central Texas Cohort.

(BTW, for you younger folks, that strange looking black thing is what phones used to look like!)


"I love you all! I am amazed how we have church on the phone!"

"Checking in as Happy. What wonderful testimonies by Valerie last night on our conference call. Also 11 out of 12 on the call. Faithful people!"

"Ya know, I'm checking in feeling pretty good. It's a beautiful day and Lacy's song last night was really powerful. I know it was only over the phone, but it really ministered to me and man, I feel peace. God is good!"

The Apprenticeship in Kenya

Many of the members of the Apprenticeship have chosen their spouses as their CO2 partners. The result has been numerous postings on the cohort forums about transformed marriages. Below is a posting from a church planter in Kenya who is part of the African Cohort.

"I'm checking in this morning scared, Its planting season and i have not ploughed,heavy rains are just about the corner and planting kicks off.Today the internet looks faster than most days,My family is happy and praying for our cohort that has made me happy.We are taking time to listen to each others heart and this has encouraged my wife so much and i feel blessed with teachings in week three.As we start week four my heart is refreshed that the past three weeks have tremendously changed both of us especially when dealing with each other.Today we create time for each to listen to our hearts and what God is saying.Im expectant because i know the lord has more in store.have beautiful week of listening to God."

Here's what his wife posted:

Im tender because my husband listens to me and im very very excited there is heart to heart conversation.I feel newness in the spirit.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writing on through the tears

Each week in the Apprenticeship, there are four Learning Assignments. These Assignments involve watching a video or reading a short article and then dialoguing with the Lord about the content. Then, people post what they heard on their cohort's online forum. Often these conversations with the Lord are quite powerful.

Here's one example...

"Checking in as happy after having a powerful encounter with our Father. After watching John's "Spontaneous Church" video, Assignment #1, I asked God how do I get to the place where I'm only doing what I see Him doing? I wrote what He said in red, which I thought was a really cool assignment....He said

"Lay aside your schedule, your plans, your urgings, and come to Me, you who are heavy laden and concerned with many things. Come be with Me and enter into My rest me. Let Me wash over you with My presence and My love. Let Me show you things to come. Let Me share My secret, let Me open My heart to you. Let Me heal your heart...so you can see what's important to Me. Then just follow Me, follow where you see Me going. Maybe we won't go anywhere today, maybe we'll just be together in My rest. Enjoy just being with Me, I love just being with you. I love you."

Well, by then I was blubbering and couldn't even see the page I was writing on through the tears. But I can tell you that after a while of just being in His presence, my heart is healed from some very painful things that happened today. His love reached down into the hurt places of my heart and washed it all out. Then He filled me back up with His joy. That's exactly how it happened. How powerful our God is."