Give it Away

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My first step into the world of movements started with a single tweet. One of my key influences connected me with a new key influencer. He saw something I needed to see and sent it to me. The tweets turned into a Skype call which followed with a second Skype call for a simple training. The ball was rolling and it hasn’t stopped yet. It hasn’t cost me a penny. In fact, I’ve been invested in a great deal. But it changed the course of my life and I can’t go back.

Because we have freely received, we give it all away.

The picture above is one of my alumni/friends/Timothys – Jonny. He is training the leadership team of a collegiate church east of Montreal in Quebec during a short visit. I love training, but I love to see people I have trained become trainers even more. I received it all freely. So I’m passing it along to as many people as I can. And now Jonny is too. We’re praying that those he trained will do the same.

What we do is free. But it will cost you your life.

If you’re interested in simple, reproducing disciple making training, email me

Storming Sin Hill

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From way up here you can see University Highlands across the highway, Caldwell Community college across the town, and Grandfather Mountain across the county. Some students refer to this community as Sin Hill. 

“Nothing good happens up there,” they say.

“You’re in the wrong place for this.”

“Good luck up here.”

There’s nowhere else I would rather be.

Every week I’ve been spending time in this neighborhood going door to door offering to care for people by praying for needs they have and offering to share the gospel in a simple picture. It is good for me to have a consistent time to be out in the harvest engaging people and sharing the gospel, but it is an excellent time to train trainers while doing it.

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This team came out with me tonight. The two guys are alums from the last 5 years of our ministry. The gal lives in the neighborhood – we found her a month and a half ago. She was new in her faith but ready to be trained and join us in Jesus’ adventure! All 3 of these people are really new to this whole process and strategy, but they are getting after it with me. I’ve taken each of them with me individually to model this for them and have them help me. When they are confident and competent, I can release them to take others with them.

 God is breaking up hard ground as we continue to share the gospel with broken people and he is raising up laborers as we identify and train them along the way. It is an amazing thing to be a part of. 

Baptism Celebration

Today I had the pleasure of joining with my extended family to celebrate the new life in Jesus of John! A couple of our freshmen students (one is a new believer herself) shared the gospel with John on campus, led him to Christ, and baptized him! When we raise the bar of discipleship for Christians, so many will meet that bar.


These students (college freshmen) are disciple makers and church planters. This is fruit of their obedience and the natural outcome we expect. When they asked John what is next after this moment, he simply said, “Obeying Jesus and sharing the gospel.”

Thank you, Jesus, for letting us be a part of your work! This is one step closer to accomplishing the #NoPlaceLeft vision!

Reclaiming Attention

It was immediately clear that vigilance was required, some set of rules. And so here are mine:

The internet goes off before bed.

The internet doesn’t return until after lunch.

That’s it. Reasonable rules. I’m too weak to handle the unreasonable.

What would it take to reclaim our own attention? It is so easy to be always-on. It might be a good idea to give some consideration to how and when we use our devices and what healthy parameters would look like.

(via Backchannel)

Memorizing Extended Scripture

First Corinthians takes about 60 minutes to read aloud. It took me about 14 months to memorize the whole letter, and I’ve been spending the last several months reciting the entire letter each morning to lock it in.

Andy Naselli shares some wisdom on how to memorize an entire book of the Bible. I’m not undertaking 16 chapters, but I am starting the process of memorizing Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13-14; Galatians). Just in the first couple of weeks of memorizing the opening verses, I’m starting to see things I’ve never noticed before.

(via The Gospel Coalition)

Bullet Journal

I enjoy using technology – especially when it helps me work more efficiently and effectively. I have noticed that I have the tendency to jump from one task manager app to the next. The grass is always greener, apparently. As I jump back and forth, I tend to dump anything and everything into the task manager, and when I eventually make it back around to the app, it is filled with the fires of overdue tasks and projects. It’s not that I’ve forgotten to do everything – I just have a big mess of cluttered and unmanaged digital work to deal with. The set it and forget it nature of these apps can get the better of me more than I’d like to admit. Sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) I am more interested in working on the task manager than I am working on the tasks themselves.

For the last month I’ve been trying out the Bullet Journal as a way of staying a little more connected to my work. It is forcing me to be more in tune with everything and it is easier to see when I am allowing too much onto my plate at one time.

The official Bullet Journal website has some basic instructions.

This video offers a simple presentation of how to get started. It’s surprisingly fun to set up. It is simple and effective.

Smart Phones – Pavlov’s Little Box

The smart phone (so called in honor of the profit-seeking companies who were smart enough to make them) is an optimized, tested and polished call-and-response machine.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I use my devices with screens, especially my phone. I’m not always pleased with when and how and how often I use them, either.

(via Seth’s Blog)

Next Steps for the Open Web

I believe the next step for the open web and Twitter-like services is indie microblogging.

I am super interested in where the open web is headed in light of tools like these. This trajectory is one of the reasons I am putting more focus on my personal blog than on proprietary services. Note his linked Kickstarter for Indie Microblogging.

(via Manton)

Two Kinds of Goals We Set at BCM

Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.

–Jesus (Mark 1:17)

Setting goals is a great way to move yourself or your ministry (or both) forward. As a part of a part of a 4-Day 4 Fields training I attended last summer, I was challenged set 90-day goals for my ministry to help me work toward accomplishing a much greater 3-year plan. Over the last few years I’ve made a practice of setting ministry goals each semester, but what helped me tremendously was refocusing my goal setting on the 2 highest value activities in a movement, sharing the gospel and training disciple makers. We would usually set goals in keeping with the vision and focal points of our ministry, but we would set too many goals, and often they would be about keeping the machine running smoothly – but we weren’t really making disciples.

As I rediscovered this simple little verse in the opening chapter of Mark’s gospel, I saw the profound simplicity of two major domains for goal setting as it relates to ministry and leadership.

  1. FOLLOW Jesus (Abide)
  2. FISH for Men (Make disciples)

Follow Jesus
In John 15 we are commanded to abide in Jesus and the expectation is that without abiding in him, we will lack fruit and be lopped off. That’s pretty high stakes.

Make Disciples
We are all aware of Jesus’ command to make disciples.

Because these are such critical areas, we would be wise to set goals around them. For us, each week in our meetings we are setting new goals for the coming week about how we are going to Follow Jesus and Fish for Men and we’re holding one another accountable for following through on those goals. This is critical for moving forward in both areas.