Feb. 23, 2023

What is THE FIELD newsletter?

This e-newsletter is designed to inform and energize all of us for the work of the harvest. Jesus told us to pray for the harvest fields and for all those working in the fields. I hope you will join me in this exciting adventure.

Brian Harris
Church Planting Mobilizer

Oops…It’s SouthLife, not South Lake!

Yeah, I messed up. Our church plant in South Wichita is SouthLife. Last month I called it South Lake- why? I don’t know. But this gives me a chance to practice humility and brag on Kevin Friedberg and Andy Owen as they get ready to launch this spring. In fact, RIGHT NOW…[pause here] and pray for SouthLife… I’ll wait… Pray for the core team. Pray for the first guests. Pray for the salvation of the neighborhood. (Thanks!)

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going

The USMB family has five districts. The Pacific, Central, Southern, Latin American, and Eastern Districts. I am making my way around the Conference visiting them. What if we pray for a district each day of the week? I’ve been in the Southern District in Oklahoma and Kansas: Meno, Lawton, and Newton. Next month I am visiting the Central District in Nebraska. Pray that we can get our third network launched. I will be at the world’s largest church planting movement conference, Exponential, early in March. Pray for the people going along that they will gain great encouragement.

The Harvard Business Review Agrees With the Bible: Together We Are Stronger!

Starting in January I’ve been getting some great coaching. My coach, Dave Reynolds, has helped me craft a working definition for our USMB church planting movement. To see churches that work together for the gospel by discovering, developing, and deploying workers. In this newsletter, I want to begin unpacking that vision in five parts. This month I will cover the first two and conclude in March.
The first phrase is “to see churches that work together.” In his book, Stronger Together, Dave Harvey said it best: “Churches can achieve together what no one church could accomplish alone.” Well said. Developing missional networks are important and biblical. This concept is readily seen in the Bible, whether you look at Ecclesiastes 4 or 1 Corinthians 12, any of the “one another” passages, or the best New Testament model church, The Antioch Church (Acts 11 and 13).
The concept of working together is even found in the business world. Sounds strange. Working together in the competitive business world? They call it “co-opetition”. The Harvard Business Review says, “Co-opetition”—cooperating with a competitor to achieve a common goal or get ahead—has been gaining traction for three decades.”[i] If this is true in the business world how much more important is it in the Church?
Churches that work together. From the beginning, the Antioch Church was deeply connected to the church in Jerusalem. Even though the Jerusalem church was older, the Antioch church supported them when they were in need. This was a mutual working together because the Jerusalem Church sent Barnabas to encourage the newly formed Antioch Church. Antioch also had a heart to start more churches and those churches continued the example of partnership. The Philippian church was a partner for the gospel. “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.” Phil 1:4-5
Look back at that Harvard Business Review quote. Did you notice the purpose of working together? They work together to achieve a common goal. Our common goal as followers of Jesus is glorifying God by making disciples.
This leads to the second part of the vision: For the gospel. The focus in the Antioch Church was clearly on the gospel of Jesus. Acts 11:20 says they were “preaching the Lord Jesus.” Jesus was at the root of the movement. When we flip the root for the fruit of the gospel, we eventually lose the gospel. Think of it this way, the root of our message is reconciliation with Jesus and the fruit of our message is all other kinds of reconciliation. J.D. Greear, in Gaining by Losing explains it like this: “The gospel is fundamentally about God’s reconciliation of us to himself in Christ (a vertical reconciliation), and the fruit of that reconciliation is reconciliation with everything else (horizontal reconciliations), including racial reconciliation.”
Many today have lost sight of the purpose of the church. But when we have the right focus, together we can do more. When churches work together for the gospel the potential for amazing things can be realized. Next month we will unpack the rest of this vision.

My Multiplication, Discipleship & Evangelism Book Suggestions

Gaining By Losing, by J.D. Greear
Why the future belongs to churches that send. This is the book our missional networks are reading and studying. The essence of this book is, “How can we be a sending church?” Greear compares a church to an Aircraft Carrier that sends people on a mission.

This would be an excellent book for a church leadership board to discuss. It might be in my top ten favorites for church leadership. My kindle version is highlighted so heavily it looks like a coloring book. If you are a pastor and would like a copy to review for your leadership I will send it directly to you.

Stronger Together, by Dave Harvey
Harvey shares 7 virtues and vices of working (or not working) together. One great quote is “Just as people wither and perish in isolation, so does the local church.”

Here are the seven virtues vs vices:
  1. Conviction against Consumerism
  2. Gifted Leadership against Isolationism
  3. Collaboration against Radical Individualism
  4. The Dynamics of Renewal against Institutionalism
  5. A Kingdom Mindset against Tribaliam
  6. Humility against Egotism
  7. Modesty against Triumphalism

Movements only happen when churches work together. In fact the definition of a movement would REQUIRE us to be in partnership. This book nails the need for partnership and gives us these seven elements to embrace.

Best book for a seeker…
Need help in sharing Jesus? Give a book! One of the best books to give a seeker is Andy Stanley’s “How Good is Good Enough?” I buy it in a bulk 3 pack for under $6. Here’s a link.

B.L.E.S.S. A Powerful Book on Evangelism
If you need a good resource for guiding you and your church into loving people to Jesus, this is it. Love the simplicity and practicality of the 5 ways:

  • Begin with prayer
  • Listen
  • Eat
  • Serve
  • Story


“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2



I need to raise support to continue the work of church planting.
You can give by clicking here!

8703 N 127th E Ave. Owasso, OK 74055 580-772-4292 brian@usmb2stg.wpengine.com

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