June 19, 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.
Church Planting Mobilizer
Where I’ve Been…
Ohio with the Congolese Churches
I had the privilege to sit down with Henri Ngolo and a half dozen Congolese leaders [Pictured with Pastor Nico Kinwa]. These pastors warmed my heart. They do so much with so little. I am praying that each of our diverse immigrant churches can connect with an established church and create a sister-church relationship. (Below I will suggest a way to begin this process).
North Carolina with Terry Hunt and the rest of the Pastors
From Ohio, I traveled to North Carolina and visited our Eastern District. Pastor Terry Hunt and Clyde Ferguson took me on a grand tour. The history of the Eastern District is fascinating. Churches were established over 100 years ago under extremely difficult conditions. Racial tensions, difficult locations, and incredibly limited technology did not prevent the work, and this gives me renewed hope that even in our tough times, God is still moving.
Maine with Pastor Kayamba
I also got to visit our Congolese church in Portland, Maine. Pastor Kayamba is a faithful leader for Jesus! Stephanie, my wife, got to join me for the first time and loved the worship and preaching!
Colorado with Pastor Mario Trujillo
We (SDC church planting board members) visited Mario Trujillo in Pueblo. Mario, if you’ve not met him, has a heart of a shepherd, and it was evident as we got to visit his congregation. Pray for Mario and City Church as they navigate facility limitations.
On the drive back to the airport in Colorado Springs, I observed my friend Jeremy Jordan (pastor at Cross Timbers) share the gospel with our Uber driver in a sensitive and relevant manner. Jeremy pointed our new friend toward Jesus. Pray for our Uber driver, Reuben, a former gang member, that he connects with Mario who had a similar background! This is why we plant new churches. The Reuben’s of the world need a safe place to connect.
Wichita with NextGen
Don Morris and I had a chance to meet with some of the NextGen leaders, Kyle Goings, Russ Klaussen, and Heidi Quiring. This meeting highlighted a huge need for leadership development. (More on that below). We should be so thankful that God has blessed us with these awesome younger leaders. Here is a link to the NextGen page.
Our Three Core Commitments
A few years ago, the MB family collectively concluded that we need to focus on three core commitments. The three core commitments are Disciple Making, Leadership Development, and Church Multiplication. If you’ve been following this newsletter, you know the four words I’ve been using: Disciple, Discover, Develop and Deploy.
Now notice that these concepts are essentially the same. We begin with Discipleship (Disciple Making). Then, we Discover spiritual giftedness and develop it (Leadership Development). Finally, we deploy workers into the mission field (Church Multiplication).
Disciple –> Discover –> Develop –> Deploy
Disciple Making –> Leadership Development –> Church Multiplication
Each core commitment is essential and they build on each other. You cannot develop a person that is not first a disciple, and you cannot deploy a person that is not developed (at least you should not).
Memorize the three core commitments. Then you can apply them in your setting. These core commitments are the foundation of our regional networks. Each network of church leaders gathers with the goal of strengthening these core commitments. This isn’t overly complicated. Hard? Yes. Complicated? No.
Perhaps your church isn’t ready for a full-blown deployment. But what about a short-term deployment? What if a few of you visited our immigrant churches for just a weekend? I would encourage you to speak with Henri Ngolo or me about an exciting opportunity.
Consider this: What if disciplining, discovering, developing, and deploying could happen together? Imagine taking a short-term trip to visit one of our plants or new immigrant churches. You could experience a micro-version of all our core commitments!
What I’m Reading/Listening to
Covid has impacted every person. If not physically, it has affected them socially. I’ve noticed two ways: First, it disconnected people relationally for an extended period of time and that has not been healed yet. Second, the pastors that I visit with are still feeling the loss of attendees, and this has had a toll on them. This is why I recommend books about filling the soul relationally. One is People Fuel by John Townsend. He talks about relational nutrients. We all need relational nutrients. In People Fuel Townsend lists four categories where we can deliver these nutrients and receive them. Excellent book. Perhaps you are relationally deficient. This is a good starting point for getting restored!
Mike Miller, pastor of the Heart in Tulsa gave out copies of How Good is Good Enough by Andy Stanley? Miller said, “We bought a bunch and gave everyone a copy on Easte I’ve had several tell me how helpful the book was. One lady said her husband who isn’t a believer wanted to read it. I’ve put extra copies out and every week someone takes another copy.”
The Core of our missional Networks:
Discover! Develop! Deploy!
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- CATEGORY The Field