All Posts By

Justin Schuiteman

Day 30: Let’s Roll

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The 30 day challenge is over…But the real challenge is just beginning.  It is easy for us to watch the videos and do what we choose to do.  But what if we all joined groups who lived this out and challenged and encouraged each other.  I did not do a great job of doing this every day.  It actually took me close to twice as long.  What I learned from this is that there are times where life is busy and lots are going on but should discipleship take a back seat?  I have been challenged now not to just make it a program but a rhythm in my life.

 

This site has so many resources.  I am looking forward to going through more of them to see what else I can learn and obey.  Thanks so much More Disciples for your vision of this.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.  Thanks for allowing me to write about my journey on this.
I challenge you all to cast a wide net and ask a lot of people to do the discipleship challenge with the intent once it is done to start a movement.  Most people in the church just need to be asked to do something.  More disciples seems like a nice and easy first step for many.

Day 29:Go tell it…

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I didn’t learn about unreached people groups until 5 years ago when I took a missions class called perspectives.  That class totally changed my view of the world and even gave me a different perspective where I was at.  We are ALL called to go and be missionaries.  We need to hurt for those who don’t know Jesus but our heart should especially break for those who don’t ever have the chance of hearing.  The 10/40 window is where ⅔ of the worlds population is and where 70% of the unreached people groups are.  My heart still breaks for that area and I am trying to do my part right here about educating people about that.  Curtis also said an interesting thing “God has favorites and they are the last, the least, and the lost.”  I know in Christianity we don’t like to talk about God having favorites.  But God’s kingdom is an upside down kingdom.  It doesn’t make sense from the world’s perspective.  

 

Did you know out of every $100 given to the North American Church only $1 goes toward missions in the 10/40 window.  Does where our money goes as a church reflect God’s heart?  Did you know that only 1 out of every 10 missionaries go to unreached people groups?  I am not saying missions in reached areas is bad.  I just am saying if we understood that most people in these groups would be born, live, and die without ever hearing of Jesus our hearts should break.  What if it was a relative or family member of yours?  We are talking about eternity here.  Too many times we are so busy worrying about our small kingdom that we don’t see God’s Kingdom.
Even if you are not going to the mission field position yourself as a missionary here, like Curtis talked about.  Where are the non-christians?  Where can you bridge the gap?  Where are the hurting?

Day 28: Most Failings Train….

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I love the acronym of MAWL for making disciples.  I just sent an email to myself to remind myself about this same concept for work on Tuesday with my employees.  Most failings train…I mean most trainings fail because they are not modeled, they are just taught.  Most people teaching us to do things in the church are not doing them themselves.  Actually most of our trainings aren’t about doing but about knowledge.  Why is that?  It is a lot easier to teach some people just to learn than what to do.  If you want to teach people what to do it takes experience, failure, and time.  Most of us don’t want to put in the time because in the process we might not look how we want to appear.

 

As I have observed in parenting in these last couple of years.  My kids follow a lot more of what I do than what I say.  Yes they listen to what I say but they copy and imitate what I do a lot more than I realize.  A few weeks ago I was working in the nursery at church sitting in the comfortable rocking chair and I was telling my boys to go play with the kids.  But they just sat there.  I was getting kind of irritated that they just didn’t do that.  I mean they didn’t have to sit through church, the least they could do is play with the kids 🙂  Later once I got over what I wanted I just went and started playing with kids in the nursery and just having fun playing ball, trains, puzzles.  After a while of doing this I looked over and saw both of my boys playing with kids.  I was so encouraged but really made me think back.  Throughout the years my kids have been mirrors for myself.  When my 7 year old daughter was 2 she would always grab books and sit on the couch and say I am reading my bible.  She did that because that year in our life we got rid of TV and read our bible’s continually.  Fast forward a few years and my girls started asking if they could play computer or be on the phone.  Immediately an alarm went off and I recalibrated my phone and computer time until after they went to bed so I was fully present from them(I also minimized my time on them both).  Many people in the church want for their own kids this vibrant faith but don’t want that same faith for themselves.  They will do everything for their kids to get it but they won’t do it themselves.  If we want to have brave kids for their faith we need parents to start laying that foundation of bravery.  We don’t need to give them any more lectures we need to be showing them what it looks like by how we treat others and how we live.  We need to be telling our kids stories of how God is working in our lives.  God taught me this years back when my 2 boys moved in with us and didn’t believe in God.  They were 7 & 8 and I wanted to share with them how Jesus affected my life.  I shared how I prayed with customers, truck drivers, God-coincidences that happened, and feeling lead to talk to certain people.  I’ll never forget one day I got out to help someone who was having car troubles and my one son said to my wife, ‘I bet God told him to do that.”  We need to model this faith and that is the first step.  

 

Curtis in the video talked about the first step was the child seeing someone do it.  We need this in the church of Christians radically stepping out and taking the first step so others can follow.  Some good friends of mine are doing that this summer.  They are taking the first step toward going to Unreached People Groups.  This is hopefully planting the seed of modeling in others.  

 

This is a great challenge for today.  I am going to get together with a couple of guys from my discipleship group and talk about how we could do more of this to get to 4 generations.  This challenged me to Model and Assist so that the foundation is in place if I do leave.  I once read that we should all be re-evaluating our life to the question “Where would I spend my time if I was leaving in 3 years and there was no one to replace me?”  This question was directed mainly at pastors but we as the church need to be asking the question of that as we step into discipleship.
So let’s go MAWL some people.  Let’s be intentional and reorient our lives around this.

Day 27: Don’t Just Know..Obey

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Focusing is so hard for me.  There are so many different thoughts and ideas going through my head each day that can confuse almost anyone, including myself.  Lately I have been stuck on the subject of calling.  What am I called to do?  Today hit me right between the eyes with some other things I have been reading and listening to about calling.  Os Guiness said “Our first calling is to be close to God.”  So many times I want to figure out what my gifts are and then decide and tell God what I should do.  But what if it is and was as simple as listening to God and being in his word and then reflecting that to others through us.  It’s not about our gifts but about God’s giftings through us.

 

I had lunch with a friend of mine today who “gets me.”  I shared how I felt like I had failed at 3 things in the last couple of days and was just feeling like I was nothing.  He pointed out how hard I am on myself and I need to maybe slow down and not do so much.  In our Discipleship Group, where we practice something similar to three thirds, we identified 3 things that are our identity in Christ.  We looked at Jesus life and took the following 3 to focus on

 

1)Get Messy: Jesus didn’t stay on the sidelines.  He was a light in the darkness and with those in the darkness.

2)Love Sacrificially: Don’t just love in feeling but love as Jesus loved.  He did the dirty work from washing feet to healing, to dieing for us.

3) Serve Continually: Jesus constantly reminded us of the upside down kingdom and he modeled it.

 

Later in our conversation I told him there are three things I feel like God has put on my heart.  Global Missions, Discipleship, & Equipping.  He told me directly that he feels like I wouldn’t be able do all of them well but if I would focus on Discipleship the other 2 would probably become a by-product.  I feel like I have spiritual ADD and a lot of us do.  We try do so many things because it makes us feel important but we don’t do anything deeply and well.  2 years ago I focused on just discipleship with a group of guys casting vision and being very intentional and it was amazing.  I then got distracted and lost my focus with many other “good” things.  I believe God is leading me back to a heart of discipleship and a renewed focus.  It is “slow” by the world’s standards but the impact is huge.  Spending lots of time with a few to reach the masses is Jesus model he laid before us.  Today’s challenge, along with a conversation, and an email has left me with a new focus on discipleship.  
Discipleship needs to focus on spending time with God and obeying it.  Most mature Christians probably only obey 5-10% of what they know because we have not been taught to obey.  So as we disciple new believers we should be teaching them to obey everything they learn.  I once heard of a pastor that was going through Mark with his missional community and they stayed on one chapter for around 6 weeks.  Everyone kept asking why?  He said “We haven’t learned to obey it yet.”  What if we read the bible with this expectation and took time to obey what we learned instead of continually puffing ourselves up with knowledge.

Day 26: The Next Level

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I love the story he shared!  Wow!  It is amazing how God works.  How the mother and daughter both came to Christ.  The power of prayer.  It is just incredible how these young Christians have such faith in prayer we who have had it our whole life just take it for granted.  If we really understood the power we had in prayer and in Christ would we really treat it so nonchalantly.  I want to pray like this little girl with that kind of faith!

 

After reading the challenge I am already thinking how I can take my conversations with co-workers especially to the next level.  I have had many spiritual conversations but I want to share what God is speaking to me lately.  I have been struggling with my calling and what I am made for and as I was listening to a podcast tonight from Francis Chan he said try too hard to figure out what we want.  What we need to do is just draw as close to God as possible and he will show us what we need to do.
I feel like God has given me more boldness in many ways lately especially as I have read through this challenge and watched the videos.  I also have some buddhist friends I want to be more intentional with and start asking more questions and being intentional.  My goal is this week to have more of these conversations and am going to have the guys in my bible study hold me accountable.                 

Day 25: Persecution Here we Come

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When you ask many Christians or Missionaries who are in the midst of persecution or hardship they don’t ask for the persecution to stop.  Why is that?  I know when I am facing just a little persecution I want it to stop. Persecution I believe reveals you have made a stand.  In taking a class called perspectives one of the things we learned is that when persecution happens Christianity thrives.  Why is that?  Because it actually costs us something.  I feel like if something really costs something we truly live it out.  In America being a Christian doesn’t cost us much and that is why we are so nonchalant about our faith.  

 

If we are silent there is no need for persecution.  We need to prepare people for persecution.  Many times we tell people once they have Jesus everything will be better.  That is the prosperity gospel.  What we need to tell people God works everything out for good.  That good is not just right now.
I really loved his challenge when baptizing people  At baptism we should be ready to suffer and die for the Lord.  That would change a lot of things and make people think twice before they count the cost of what it means to be a Christian.

Day 24: One….Anothers

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I love the one anothers on the sheet.  Too many times we think our relationship with Christ is this individual thing.  I feel like when we have true community with others where we love one another and serve one another and help make each other better that is what Christianity is about.  When I have surrounded myself with people who have different gifts and we have all recognized them and encouraged them, we have all grown.  
Our “One anothers” we do in our faith right now is just in Church in a big group.  I feel like we need to get small and intentional again with our “One Anothers” in smaller groups who are on mission together so we can go a lot deeper instead of so wide. How many people do we truly know…I mean actually know deeply…not just know about.  I believe God is calling us all back to intentional community to help reveal to the world what Christian love looks like.

Day 23: Prayer

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The challenge for today was to work toward 1 hour in prayer everyday.  Prayer has always been a little more difficult for me and if most Christians are honest it is one of their main struggles.  We don’t know how to pray, what to pray, and we feel inadequate.  I heard a story of someone who wanted to go on the mission field once.  A missionary asked the person how much they prayed each day.  The person replied around 30 minutes.  The missionary then replied if you are going to be on the front lines of God’s work you need to be praying at least 3 hours!  That was a crazy story to me but a few months ago I met a gal who has been praying like crazy and God has been opening doors in amazing ways.  Many times we think prayer is inefficient but this gal stated that all of these things could not have come about if she would not have been praying.  Too many times for myself I would rather read another book or another article than really spend time asking God in prayer what he wants. 3 months ago God put on my heart to stop reading books for awhile.  In this time I spent time in prayer and scripture more and the fruit of that has been awesome!

A few other ways I am going to try to be more intentional are over my lunch breaks and throughout the day.  Over my lunch breaks I have tried to get away and park in the wal mart parking lot and just pray.  It has been a great time to listen to God. The other way I am going to focus on praying is to pray for everyone I come in contact with.  I tried this a few months back and was amazed how it changed my day.  I found that when I ran into people my first thoughts were usually judgmental but as I switched that to praying for people I had a whole different outlook.

Day 22: Useful tools

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I am really enjoying the tools that I am getting from this challenge.  I am doing a discipleship group using many of the same philosophies but I am always looking how I am going to tweak it.  I really think the worksheet is great that was given on this day.  I like how it is split into thirds and you have blanks to fill in.  I really think it is critical to put in writing what you are going to do and hold each other accountable.  I think it really challenges me to keep pursuing Christ when others are spurring me on.  

 

Recently I have had a lot of conversations on self feeding.  I talked with someone from our church today if sermons are equipping or not.  I challenged them a bit and said we could make them more equipping by helping people see what and why it is being said.  I believe we need to make a big push into equipping people in the church again.  Too many people are satisfied to show up on Sunday and just be at church.  It doesn’t seem like many people are as interested in being equipped.  But I think that could change if the church flipped and asked the people “How do you need to be equipped to be effective in your everyday lives?”  
I need other men around me to keep encouraging me and pushing me in my relationship with Christ.  If I don’t I become stagnant.  This takes intentionality and sacrifice.  I thank God everyday I have many men around me that do this for me.

Day 21: Chew the food yourself.

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Self feeding is hard work!  In a society that thrives on instant and “googling” everything we need to know.  Self feeding is at a premium.  We are constantly distracted by technology and many other things we have at our fingertips.  Self feeding takes time.  I was challenged by something I read that said we should work in 90 minute chunks.  So I thought let’s try reading the bible for 90 minutes.  After about 12 minutes I was looking for a distraction.  After about 45 minutes I was in the groove and really enjoying it and getting a ton out of it.  By the end I realized that this is the type of self feeding I need to do.  I need to solely focus on listening to God for larger chunks of time and scheduling that time instead of just fitting it in here and there.   

 

Pastors Jobs are to equip the saints, but that is not what most congregations want.  Most congregations want from their pastors so many things that aren’t even the pastor’s responsibility that they don’t even have time to equip the saints.   I totally believe this to be true and have tried to push our church and especially our pastor into doing more equipping rather than just preaching.  I truly believe if we just focused on equipping the church to do the work of the saints churches would explode.  I took a preaching class called the “Simeon Course.”  It was great and I understood how to go through scripture so much better.  We are offering more of these classes at church and trying to help everyone understand how to go through scripture.  The pastor should not be like a momma bird giving us pre-chewed food.  We should want to feast on the real thing, the word of God, and enjoy finding, chewing, and swallowing it whole ourselves.  Let’s self feed and help others to do the same.  We don’t need to leave it up to “professionals.”

Day 20: SOAPS with an S

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SOAPS is great.  I feel like the time I put into actually writing the verses that stuck out to me it helped me to focus a lot better.  Then when I had to write them over it made me think through them.  Many times I just quickly go through my devotions just to get done and 10 minutes later I don’t even remember what I did.  This helps me to “chew” on the scripture a little better.  I then like that what we learn we are going to obey.  The guys on this sight mentioned the book “Contagious Disciplemaking” so I chose to start reading it.  One chapter was about how we show love to God by obeying.  What if we were obedient to everything we knew?  Instead we are obedient to only about 10% of what we know because we thought Christianity was about learning.  What if as we discipled people we taught them to obey everything they learned?  That they thought it was expected and normal to obey.  I like taking action based on what God revealed to me in scripture that day.
If we are going to make disciples who make disciples the last “S” is very important.  The last “S” is sharing.  If we share we are having to teach and know what we are sharing because there might be questions.  We will learn things we have to teach a lot more that if we just learn them.  I really love this acronym and have been using it with my boys.  I want to challenge them to write down the verses now as we are doing this so they can think through these things on their own and write down what they mean to them.  ⅔ the way done with the challenge.  Really enjoying it.  

Day 19: Work on the Story

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Why do we not have something like this memorized to share with others?  What if we really spent time preparing and thinking through the story?  It would cause us to think through more clearly why we believe what we do.  In the community I am in it is very religious.  I grew up with people all around me who all thought similarly.  A few years back God challenged me to share my faith with others.  As I did that I ran into different people.  I remember sitting down with a salesman for lunch and I prayed before my meal quietly and after I was done he asked me “What are you catholic?”  That started a conversation where he said he was a universalist.  I asked many questions and he asked what do I believe.  I stuttered a bit and said I believe in Jesus and couldn’t get out more than that.  This lead me to really searching what I really believed and diving in the word more. Our conversations continued from there and we are still great friends.  As he has asked questions it has helped refine my faith tremendously.
I have went through the Story of God by SOMA and the Story of God for Kids by them as well with my boys.  These have helped me greatly.  So many times we see the stories of the bible as just stories.  We don’t see them connected together to form “The Story.”  What if we spent as much time preparing our testimony and the story of the bible as much as we spent watching TV, going on the internet, washing our cars, or any other things.  As I was mowing my lawn tonight I saw many regrets I have made in not taking care of my yard as well as I could have.  Should I have those same feelings toward some of the things I have not done in my spiritual life?  The reason we have regrets about our yard and house is we can see them.  We don’t have regrets in our spiritual life because the deficiencies don’t pop up until trouble or an opportunity to witness comes up.  Let’s take as much time preparing for the spiritual as we do the physical.  We might have some more trees and plants that die in our yard but hopefully we can help point some people to Christ with the time saved.

Day 18: 1 Down, 4 to Go

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My appointment came today!  I read the assignment this morning, actually I cheated, and peaked the night before 🙂  I love that we need to try schedule times to share our testimony with 5 other people.  We schedule so many different things in our life but hope spiritual things “just happen.”

 

 I had to give my oldest foster son who is 21 a ride to and from an appointment he had.  On the way back an opportunity presented itself for me to share what God has been teaching me this past year.  I used the theme of comparison in my life through my testimony to him.  And as I gave him my testimony I asked him questions to relate the story to him.  Usually when we have our conversations they are tough and go in circles but this one had a direction and started with me being honest about my struggles in life and how God is changing me.  He gave me some great feedback and we really connected.  The time together was great!  At the end of my testimony I told him how hard it was to stop this comparison habit.   To stop comparing myself with others I had to get in the word and be who Jesus wants me to be.  I told him the only way to find that out is through his word.  I felt God wanted me to give him my “The Voice” Bible with all of my great markings so I reluctantly did.  I dropped him off at work and now as I am writing this I am realizing I should have prayed for him.  This reminds of one of my friends favorite sayings:

 

“Experience + Reflection = Transformation”

 

I also have not been doing very good on praying for my 30 people.  And after reading another blogger say she liked what I was doing to put the people on my calendar to pray for.  I did just that today first thing in the morning.  I entered all of the people in my google calendar and had it repeat that day every month.  That way it makes it harder for me not to pray for my person of the day and easier to do it.  I might even set up the reminders to text me every morning.  

 

This challenge has really emboldened me.  I have realized how many times I have held back my faith for fear of offending others.  At work we send out a weekly email to our customers and I have been writing a column in it about our theme for the year “Growing Together.”  This week I laid out that my wife and I along with many of our friends have been doing the discipleship challenge on this site and it has been great!  
So many cool conversations are happening between many people and the 30 people prayer challenging has really been amazing.

Day 17: Tell em’

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That was a great video and a great challenge for us as Christians.  Too many time we just want to have our actions speak but we actually need to speak.  Teller made some great points such as how much we must hate people if we are not willing to tell them.  I think the bigger problem is that we don’t truly believe and go all in.  We don’t truly grasp what Jesus did for us.  If we did we wouldn’t feel guilted into doing things.  We would tell others about this great gift out of gratitude.

 

Yesterday I shared the story of us meeting some internationals on vacation and sharing Jesus with them.  The week before that God laid it on my heart and said “Why are you not being a missionary while on vacation?”  I was challenged that I need to be looking for opportunities all of the time.  Talking about Jesus and my faith isn’t reserved for certain times.  I need to be ready to share.  Tonight I went to Sioux City to the park for my boys’ biological mom’s birthday party.  While there I could have made it all about my kids and their family but at the park I ran into a couple with a thick southern accent.  I joked “You must be from Iowa, I can tell by your accent.”  They laughed and said they were from Louisiana.  As we kept talking out of the blue they shared of an accident that happened at work and after that they started going to church.  I said to them “It makes you think about what the purpose of life is and how short it can be.”  They nodded and we continued to talk I gave him my business card and told him to look me up if he gets to Sioux Center.  God is working all around us and we just need to be ready and willing to be a part of his plan.
If we had the same attitude as that of Paul where he was willing to lay down his life so lost people can be saved what would that do to the church and christianity in general?  What if we had that type of love for others?  I have been really pushed through this challenge to be more bold in my faith and to not leave people guessing what my purpose is in life and what I believe.  Thank you God for allowing me to be a part of your plan.

Day 16: WANTED: Person of Peace

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It’s 9:30 at night and I just sat down to listen to the challenge for today.  I was hoping to get to it this morning or over lunch but I woke up at 6 and read Romans since I need to read 10 chapters by tomorrow for our discipleship group.  I got to work around 7 and worked straight until 6 without stopping for lunch, got home had supper with the family and helped clean up.  Then spent time with the kids wrestling, playing dominos, and finished with Reading in Romans with my boys and ended up discussing “What is permissible is not always beneficial.”  

 

The person of peace is a concept I have read and learned about and even experimented  in finding.   Figuring out the person of peace can be tricky.  Just like in discipleship we hone in on one person to soon and end up ignoring the ones that are hungry and ready for it.  We can make the same mistake in looking for the person of peace.  We sometimes are so drawn to one person because of their personality when in reality they really aren’t that interested. One of those situations happened with some friends I made at a local restaurant.  I had my focus on the cousin of the owner the whole time that he was the person of peace and the one I should reach because he was fun and less intimidating than the owner.  For 6 months I was intentional to talk to him and have him over.  Then one day when I went to give him a chinese-english bible at the restaurant he had left.  I was crushed, I thought he was the person of peace.  3 months later I was at the restaurant and I saw a bible sitting up by the register.  I asked my friend at the restaurant “Are you reading this?”  She said “Yes it is very good.”  I had given the bible to the owner’s son a year earlier and the owner’s girlfriend had read the whole bible on her own!  God was still working, just not how I had planned or thought.  I have since realized the owner is actually the person of peace.  He was just a lot busier and more intimidating to talk about.  But in all actuality he was the one who held the key to the community of workers there.  

 

Another example of finding a person of peace is when we went on a vacation to a resort.  At the resort there were many different international students working there.  Before and during the trip we prayed for opportunities throughout the weekend to share Jesus.  During the weekend we had many different conversations with different workers and many of them were spiritual.  The last day I was there one of the guys “my person of peace” really opened up to me and invited me to their apartment where I met his 7 other friends and got to hang out with them all for a few hours.  He wasn’t the one I was initially intrigued by the most but he is the one who was the most open.  After the night they all invited me to their country to hang out.  I have kept in contact with him over facebook and continue to pray for him.  
I am going to prayer walk this week and hope for more conversations that could lead me to a person of peace in our community.  

Day 15: Discipleship is What????

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Discipleship is one of those buzz words in the church that has kind of lost it’s meaning.  We call bible studies discipleship, we call small groups discipleship, and we call Sunday school the discipleship hour.  When you truly look at discipleship as Jesus modeled, it did not look like any of these.  Jesus was constantly teaching his disciples because they were with him  A LOT.  In our culture it is tough to do that, but could we?  Months ago the guys in our discipleship group were saying it is hard to do this because we were living in different areas of town.   I agreed halfheartedly but thought “we still should be able to do this.”  Weeks after that discussion I was visiting some friends in Texas who are training people to go to unreached people groups and one of the gals said “For us to do discipleship well we need to live in the same apartment complex.  If we are across the street it just doesn’t work.”  That really got my wheels turning.  What if we gave up the comforts of our own house and the convenience of our own space for the sake of discipleship?  Discipleship wasn’t meant to just be another program because programs are optional. Discipleship was a command meant to be obeyed.

 

I did love this video so much because it kind of flipped the purpose of the church around.  The people weren’t meant to serve the church but the church was meant to equip the people to be sent out weekly to disciple.  Everyone in the church has a mission field where they work and the people they influence and we have to help everyone realize that and equip them to do something about it.
Around 8 years ago I had two young men start working with me at the garden center.  They were 15 & 16.  I made it my point to train them well the first 2 years. I was out there daily and taught them about plants as we put them away, how to talk to customers, how to water, how to do displays and everything else.   They became an extension of me and the place could run without me, sometimes more smoothly.  I patted myself on the back and thought I had done a great job because they were doing what I was doing.  Not until both of their brothers started working underneath them did I realize I had failed to make them reproducers.  I thought they would just teach their brothers what I taught them, but because I didn’t have that as the expectation it didn’t get done.  I from the beginning did not have the goal of them teaching the next people.  If I would have, they would have been able to do a better job training their brothers.  This taught me a valuable lesson about discipleship that from the beginning the expectation needs to be to teach others to teach others.  As a result of this experience I have switched my approach with my teenage boys I now regularly say to them;  “The reason we are praying, reading the bible, etc. is so that you can do this with your kids someday.”  We need to make sure the blessing doesn’t stop at us or the next person but it keeps continuing on.  If we truly grasp this concept multiplication will happen rapidly.

Day 14: A Lifestyle not a Program

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Discipleship as explained in the video today isn’t a program but a lifestyle.  This is why making disciples can be so difficult.  People are willing to commit to a program because they know the beginning and the end and the cost is very minimal.  True Discipleship is different.  You need to change your life and hour habits and those changes can be painful.  Those changes can cause some hurt feelings.  That change changes everything.  

 

We have such an abundance of choices and freedom in America these days.  We can watch whatever we want, eat whatever we want, do whatever we want, whenever we want.  The single greatest skill in this day and age that is going to help you is Self Control.  

 

I have tried to reorient my life around discipleship.  I have changed a lot.  I don’t watch TV, I have said no to being on boards of organizations, I have stepped down from other church positions, I have not done things I “should” do such as coaching or volunteering for other things.  I have said no to some opportunities for trips or other vacations because it did not further discipleship.  My friendships have changed in the process and it has been hard.  I care about what people think of me, more than I let on.   Last year I made the commitment to discipleship and I did great focusing on that for 4 months and then I got sidetracked by something new and shiny. You see the problem with discipleship is that it is not sexy, shiny, or quick.  It is a lot of work!  That is why most people don’t want to do it.  But as I have poured into those who are FAT (Faithful-Available-Teachable) the results have been amazing.  A friend challenged me once that our job is to scatter the seeds and provide opportunities to grow.  When you see a seed that is growing and wanting to grow you go help that seed grow.  He challenged me to scatter widely and don’t just ask the people you think are “qualified.”  Give more people a chance.  Some might surprise you.  This has been super-freeing for me.  I used to sit around a couple of seeds and just wait for them to grow and get so frustrated when they wouldn’t grow.  Now I spread seeds liberally and when they grow and want to grow I do everything I can to help them.  

The meaning and context of discipleship has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years as well for me.  I used to think it was one on one but a few years back a friend gave me the book “Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World.” by Bob McNabb.  Through that book and through my experiences in discipleship it has become clear to me that discipleship done in community is the most effective way.  You see I was discipleing a young man for a few years individually and I invited him along with others to be a part of our group.  I loved it!  He loved it as well!  He was getting a more full picture of Christ and able to learn from all of the different guys in our group based on their gifts than just me alone.  We call it “Teamwork Discipleship!”  

 

To end I love the verse shared.  In the verse there is 4 generations of discipleship going on.  That is awesome!  I want to be a part of that!  Have you seen 4 generations of intentional discipleship anywhere around you?  Who do you know who is great at making disciples?

 

Other great books on Discipleship I have read:

“Master Plan for Evangelism” by Robert E Coleman

“The Making of a Disciple” by Dr. Keith Phillips

“Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less.”  by Greg McKeown (helped me to focus on discipleship)

Day 13: Love is…..obedience

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In reading the verses today the Love described in the Bible is not the wavering, touchy-feely, optionally defined love we see in culture.  The Love Jesus described has teeth because it has a cost and is full of truth.  It is offensive in many ways.

 

“If you love me you will bear fruit.”  

“Those who love me will take up their cross and follow me.”

 

That doesn’t sound like the love we see today. The culturally love we see today does not make commands.  It lets someone you love do whatever they want because it is their decision. In culture today love is cheap and doesn’t have a whole lot of value because it is based on a “feeling” not a decision.  If my love for Jesus is based on a feeling I am not going to want to do the hard thing of taking up my cross and following him.  I am not going to love my enemies.  I am not going to do the hard things.  

You see in the church we get love and obedience wrong these days.  We think following God is this set of rules that robs us from our happiness.  When in all reality I have discovered that God’s commands and rules are their for our protection and following after God is the most exciting, truly joyful thing you could experience.  You see Jesus isn’t asking us to do something he wouldn’t do.  He showed us what love looked like.  It was not a weak, pushover, wavering love.  It was a commitment.  A commitment to love God after we truly grasp how much he love us.  He died for us!  Our love and obedience is not bread out of guilt but out of thankfulness.  It is in gratitude that he would die for us and then allow us to be a part of his plan.  After reading these passages and listening to the video I am really wanting to do a study on what love is by definition of Jesus and compare that to what the world says.  I think we would be amazed.
Love and obedience in our culture seem like they are on way opposite ends of the spectrum but in the bible they go hand in hand.  

Day 12: Just get it on Paper!

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The challenge is going decent so far.  I have not done good at calling and praying for people.  So Today I called one of my friends who lost a daughter at 8 months.  They have modeled so wonderfully what it means to trust in God.  The funeral had so many people they had touched and impacted.  I had the privilege of praying for him and it was such a blessing.  He shared a tough situation that I could pray for him with some friends of his.  God is giving him and his wife such a platform through this hard time to share Jesus too so many.  The other challenge today was to write out your testimony.  So beings that this is also our challenge when we get together for discipleship group I would throw an initial one on paper.  So here it goes:

 

“I grew up in a good Christian home and went to Christian School.  This was a blessing in my life but I thought the blessing was for me.  I also thought the Christian life was more about the list of do’s and don’t’s than following after God.  I had Christ in my heart from a young age but I did not start truly following after Christ until about 8 years ago.  On our way back from a vacation with my family we had heard a story of a man hearing God’s voice and acting on it.  It was a crazy story but it got us asking “Why don’t we hear God’s voice?”  We realized one of our first steps should be making room by clearing out time.  We realized one of our biggest time suckers was TV so we got rid of Dish and put the TV away.  Those next  years we dove in the word like never before, I read 52 books in one year, we joined a house church and really grew like crazy.  We also heard God’s voice and he lead us on some crazy adventures that have gone through these last 8 years.  6 years ago we found ourselves helping lead a perspectives class on world missions and taking foster classes at the same time.  We wondered why we were taking both because for the foster license to be valid we would have to live in Iowa, and in taking the missions course we had thoughts of moving overseas.  But like always when God asks us to something we just do it without trying to look too far in the future.  After getting done with perspectives we had an opportunity to possibly move to Turkey and do business as missions but that fell through.  2 weeks later we got a call for our boys to live with us, we then had a baby 3 months later, and had a 17 year old foster son move in with us.  We went from 1 to 5 kids in 6 months.  God was really stretching us.  But through the combination of foster classes and perspectives God gave us a different perspective on foster care and life in general.  Through opening up our home to our kids along with other people through these last 5 years we have learned that nothing is our own and that we truly need God because we can’t do good on our own.  We have had many different people live with us including our boys mom, another gal who struggled with addiction, and 4 college guys.  God has taught me so much about myself and how I need him.  God also has challenged me the reason he has blessed me is so that I can bless others.  After I started following God he has written a story far better than any story I have written.  He transformed me from a self-centered, pious “Christian”: to a broken Jesus follower who is in need of him daily.”
This is the first draft.  I am going to try refine this more as the challenge moves on.  It isn’t great but you gotta start somewhere.

Day 11: Fail Spiritually..then try again.

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Day 11

Today I didn’t get out to meet people.  It is Sunday today and we had been running too fast.  Today is a day I really took to sabbath.  I needed to physically rest but also get refocused on my mission.  One of the ways for me to get refocused on my mission is to fast and pray throughout the day.  Days like this help me unplug from the rat race of life and reboot.  I loved the challenge of asking people good questions and caring about them.  In my life there have been times in my life where I have done that very well.  When I look back in my life and see the times where I have had these conversations it is because I have “margin” in my life.  Too many times I am overscheduled and am stealing time always running behind and not able to truly love people.  The challenge for me is in the midst of busyness is to be present to people’s needs and look for opportunities to care for people and even pray for them.  The way to live this out for me is to fill myself with scripture and prayer in the morning so I can be poured out the rest of the day.   This week I am going to wake up early and spend time with God so that when I spend time with others throughout the day they are getting a glimpse of God through me.
The video was great.  Too many times we wait for the perfect moment or want the idealized time to evangelize or talk to someone.  I have learned the most through just trying things and failing.  I don’t like to use the word failing because failing means giving up and not learning from it, so I call it being challenged.  I have had many conversations with people on “How do I know if it is God’s voice?”  I ask them back “Have you ever acted on something you thought was God’s voice?”  Why are we so afraid to try spiritually?  If we believe God is in control he is going to use our “weak sauce” efforts to further the kingdom.  So why not just try?  A few years back I was in Walmart and I felt God telling me to pray for a cashier. I asked her “Can I pray for you?”  She replied “No.”  Talk about akward.  So after that I figured I would never try pray for anyone ever again….j/k.  There have been many times I have prayed or shared the gospel with people since because I chose to learn from that failure.  I have failed as a dad, a boss, a husband, a son, and a disciple over and over again.  Many times in my life I feel like God has worked in spite of me so he gets the glory and I don’t get any of the credit.  God wants to stretch us and leave opportunities where he has to come through because we can’t do it in our own strength.

Day 10: Don’t Add! Multiply!

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I did not get my assignment done yesterday….I could have fit it in but I didn’t. Work was super busy as we planted trees and educated local students at schools.   Almost  immediately after I got home we started the Secret Church Simulcast with David Platt for 6 hours.  Over 25 people showed up and we Got to listen David bring the word for 6 hours.  It was awesome!  I could try squeeze 2 of these in today but I am going to allow myself a mulligan.  I am going to try do this well.  As part of the challenge I did ask a younger employee of mine to do the discipleship challenge with me and he agreed to.  Also my wife and some of her friends are looking at starting it…..I really should have asked her to do this with me from the start.  In the last couple of years I have felt challenged to do more of the same studies and things with my wife so we can get a common vision.  It is too easy for her to do Beth Moore and me to do my guys study and for us to get excited but not be on the same mission together.
I loved the video and a few years back I read a book called “The Making of a Disciple” by Dr. Keith Phillips.  He made a similar point on how if he made one true disciple who discipled another after 30 years it would be around 6 billion people!  We need to think more about things like this.  Too many times I want a quick fix or a big show but God has layed on my heart that I need to stay the course with discipleship.  I love the challenge Curtis layed down that:   “The only way to do this was to focus on making disciples that multiplied and making churches that multiplied.”  We need to start getting rid jof some of the “good” things and focus on discipleship that multiplies.  Jesus model worked pretty well as he discipled 12 well and those 12 changed the world!

Day 9: Urgency

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Today myself and group of friends of mine did a chapel at a local high school.  We presented about God’s heart for the nations.  We shared about the 10/40 window and how 70% of the people groups in the 10/40 window are unreached.  Many of the people in these people groups will be born, live, and die all without hearing the gospel.  And like in Curtis’ video the reality is that people are dieing without Christ every second.  Does that affect or pain us?  It should.  We shared how God’s heart from Genesis through Revelations was “Enjoy my grace.  Extend my Glory.”

I am trying to reorient my life and say no to many good things.  The world offers us many good things and tries to get us to believe the lie that we need more “down” time or “thoughtless” time.  But I have realized that I receive more life from picking up the pace and focusing on ways to engage and inspire others to follow Jesus.  Tomorrow night we are having a wide group of people over to do a secret church simulcast with David Platt.  This simulcast video is 6 hours of David Platt plowing through scripture.  The pace of us taking in this much scripture is awesome.   To some this sounds boring and not fun but to myself this is life giving and purposeful, way better than 6 hours of Netflix.    We did this with 9 people last year and this year it looks like we are going to have around 20 this year.  I have been challenged to live life with more urgency for the gospel.  We lack urgency in what we do and we think we are invincible.  We are willing to waste time on trivial things and put off the lost.  I need to look at my list of 25 daily and pray who God wants me to talk to.  I have some buddhist friends that God is working on.  I need to keep praying and keep being intentional about interacting with them.  If they died tomorrow where would they go?  I know the answer and that should cause me to live at a faster pace with more urgency.

Day 8: Love is honest

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I have enjoyed having a prayer partner this last week.  I even got a funny email from him today:

“I will keep praying for you until the 30 days are up but that’s where I draw the line.  Kidding.”

It is good to have someone praying for you as you battle because the evil one does not want you to succeed.  I have really become more aware this week of how much I am not praying and I need to make that more of a focus.  I am limiting my facebook and ESPN but it is still hard to pray.  My thoughts wander, I want to be mindless, I am tired.  But when I pray I feel rejuvenated.  I believe Satan tricks us into believing that prayer is hard and not fun and I have bought into that over the years.  He also tells us it doesn’t matter and you can do more efficient things with your time.  A few of the guys in my discipleship group are getting up at 5 everyday and starting their day off in the word and in prayer and they LOVE IT!  I am slowly trying to get there.  Their stories inspire me to start the day off just like Jesus did as we have seen throughout the book of Luke.

In the video in talked a lot about coaching and having people in your life who truly love you and are honest with you.  This day and age love is a weak do whatever you want verb.  Love has no backbone and doesn’t stand for truth.  But when we look at the full picture of what love is in the bible it is totally different from the world.  It is loving people as you would love yourself.  I don’t want to waste my life.  I want to be as fruitful for Christ as I can be so I want others to point things out in my life that are hindering my witness.  I want my relationships to be a two way street where we do this for each other.  That is what true love is.  True love is wanting the best for the other, no matter what.  Speaking the truth in love is one of the hardest things to do in life.  I stink at it because I hate conflict, but in the past year God has opened my eyes to how this avoidance of conflict has kept me from truly loving people.  Many times I let things fester and don’t speak up right away and when they do come out there is so much frustration and anger in them that there is no room for love.

Day 7: Stories are Powerful

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I love stories!  Stories of others inspire me and changed life stories of how God got a hold of someone really inspire me.  Something we don’t do enough is share our stories.  We have been practicing in our discipleship group being able to tell our stories in under 3 minutes.  It has been a fun game.  Well, tonight I listened to the video and read what to do quickly as I was running 100 mph today.  At 8:30 I was supposed to go to discipleship group but my 7 year old daughter would not let me leave as the babysitter came.  So I ended up staying home helping my 4 & 7 year old girls go to bed until my wife got back at 9:30 with my teenage boys from their track meet.  I left in a rush and showed up at discipleship group.  As I sat down they guys said “Your turn.  We just got done telling our stories and critiquing them and it is your turn.”  I chuckled, but they were serious.  So I gave my testimony leaving out some details they had heard before and changing my story line back and forth.  I didn’t come prepared(shame on me!)  When I got done a few of the guys were honest and graceful with me on how I could make it better.  They stated that maybe you should work on 3 testimonies with 3 story lines and you should write them all out.  This was great advice as I sometimes don’t finish things well or think through things well enough.  I am going to work on that and get them done this week….stay tuned.  The stories I connect with most are well thought out and have purpose.  One of the guys suggested that next time we split into pairs and share our story but whoever you are sharing your story with gets to tell you about the person you would be sharing with.  You could choose someone who has been hurt by the church, someone going through a death, a teenager, etc.  I thought this was a great idea!  It is good to practice and be ready for different situations.

Why do we not take evangelism seriously?  We think planning makes us feel rehearsed and not real but I feel like God gives us tools to use.  I listened to a local pastor recently share about evangelism.  He asked the group “In farming who grows the crops?”  Everyone responded well duh “God does.”  He then said “So, do you just throw the seed out and have it grow?”  They stated “No, of course not.”  He then went on to explain that you use the tools God has given you such as tractors and GPS and other technology to do it well.  He then challenged us that God has given us tools for evangelism and we don’t prepare at all.  He then stated that he asked most people in his church if a non-Christian came to your door and asked why you lived the way you do what would you say?  A majority of his church could not give a response.  He then challenged everyone and said we should all be able to do share our testimony, that is like someone setting the ball on the tee ready for you to hit it out of the park.

As I have worked on my testimony in the last couple of years I have had many opportunities to share it.  I have got to share it with truck drivers at work, with sales people, with customers, with my son’s 6th grade basketball team I coached, and many other times.  If I would have not prepared I would have not been ready.

Another more seasoned gentleman in our group awhile made the emphasis that Jesus needs to be the hero and the main one in our story.  It is about what Jesus did in our life and not about what we did!

Day 6: Its 11:15 at night!

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It is late at night and my challenge today did not go well.  It is spring and I manage a garden center.  We had 7 trucks of plants arrive today and we got most of them unloaded, tagged, and put away.  I am looking at my activity tracker right now and it says I have put on 8.29 miles today.  That is just from work mainly.  I guess I don’t need to go to the gym today:)  I loved the duckling video and how we just need to be one step ahead of the person behind us.  I equate that to what I have read on customer service and what I tell my employees “The best salesperson is one line ahead of the customer on the sign.”  You don’t need to be an expert to sell something and you don’t need to be an expert to be a disciplemaker.  You just need to be teachable and willing.

In my head I started going through the list of 25 people.  Starting with people I interact with regularly at work.   Then I moved to places I visit frequently and who is there and then I just thought about people I know who are hurting and struggling.  I did not get to the Matthew passage as we have been dealing with some tough stuff in some marriages of people that are near and dear to us.  I also am trying to get through the whole book of Luke by tomorrow because that is the challenge for our discipleship group this week.  There is only so much time in the day and today was full!  In a good way.  A priest at the native american reservation told me once not to use the word “busy” but to replace the word busy with “many opportunities.”  Instead of doing Matthew I did devotions and went through Luke for a half an hour with my two boys who are 13 and 14.  We have been using the SOAP acronym when we do devotions together and after reading this I am going to have to add the “S” to the end and challenge them to share it with others.  Looking forward to the next day and what that brings!

Day 5: Don’t judge walk, prayer walk

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Today was the prayer walk day.  Well I didn’t get to prayer walking as we had people over to our house for lunch and had to spend much of my day preparing for a chapel we are doing at a local high school about God’s heart for the nations.  So I had a little time before our congregational meeting at night so I decided to prayer drive, partly because it was raining, partly because I was running out of time.  I started driving around town and ended up driving around the college campus praying for the discipleship groups going on, praying for the spiritual well being of the campus, praying that as my good friend takes the job as spiritual director that lives will be changed, praying what my part will be in all of this.  

I did something similar to this earlier in the year.  The challenge was to pray for everyone you come into contact with…..So I started doing that.  At first it was a big adjustment because I so used to having thoughts of judgement toward others.  When I did this my whole attitude changed as did my posture toward people.  Instead of getting frustrated I prayed for what might be causing. them to be grumpy.  I filled my head with prayers instead of wandering thoughts.  I caught my thoughts and turned them into prayers and it was glorious.  But at the end of the day my mind was tired.  It just taught me how much I don’t train my mind.

As I finished my prayer driver I did see people biking and running and prayed for them.  On my way home I prayed over each home and the people I knew who lived in them.  I am going to work on praying at work tomorrow as well for people again.  It made my days much more enjoyable and I was way more compassionate.

Day 4: Bless a Friend Each Day

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When I got this assignment I thought to myself “How am I going to think of 30 people to pray for?”  When I made my list I ended up with close to 60!  So I had to narrow.  I didn’t want to narrow, but knew I needed to.  I started with the guys in my discipleship group, I then chose those who had impacted my life and were impacting others, I then went through family members, people at work, and other close friends of mine.  I started making my list a week back when I was checking the 30 day challenge to see if it would work with my discipleship group.  I numbered everybody 1 to 30 and began to see who was on the day I chose.  So I emailed a prayer to my friend that day.  I thought it would be easiest and most “efficient” to pray this way.  The next day my Dad was on my list.  Just after lunch he walked right into my office and I totally chickened out.  A couple of days later we had discipleship group and I shared my experience with the group about not praying for my dad.  One of my good friends Chris piped up and said “I challenge you to pray for your dad tomorrow.”  The next day came and it was 8pm at night and knew I had to take this challenge on.  I called my dad and asked him how I could pray for him.  He was very thankful and gave me his few requests.  I got to pray with him and just thanked God for how I have seen God work in his life and how well he has loved and served people.  I thanked him for modeling what it looks like to share the blessings God gives.  I almost started crying many times praying how he modeled what a Godly man should be.  When I got done he thanked me.  Then it hit me, I had never prayed for my dad before!  Not in my 34 years of life!  How crazy is that.

 

It truly blessed my dad but it blessed me even more!  

 

We as a discipleship group of 9 guys decided to go through this together.  So today is the first day of the challenge this time and I have been mulling around in my head how I was going to do this.  Texting would be easiest but I feel like we should be praying out loud for each other more.  So I am going to call whoever is on my list on that day and ask them “how can I pray for you?” and then pray for them immediately.  Let’s stop telling people we are going to pray for them!  Let’s pray for them on the spot.  Outloud!  I have been doing this lately with my two boys who are in 6th and 7th grade as I bring them to school as well.  The other morning I prayed they would be filled with the spirit and you know what…it worked.  I want to make this a habit with all kinds of people.  Today I used voxer to ask a good friend of mine who is training people to go to unreached people groups what to pray for.  He responded back a few hours later and I prayed for him. Voxer is the way we communicate because we are both busy and we are rarely available at the same time.  It has worked great for us!  My list of 30 is done now and am going to put each person in my google calendar and have it repeat every 30 days so it becomes automatic.  By the way I am still having a hard time whittling my list of 60 to 30 so I am going to keep a spreadsheet of the other 30 so I can pray for them as well.

Day 3: Am I worth Reproducing?

By | Day 03 | 3 Comments

I loved the questions from Wesley today.  It is not your typical “church” questions but questions that have to do with the heart.  “Did the bible live in me?”  What a great question!  It’s not asking “if I crossed of the check of reading the bible” but did I live out what learned? I love out of the ordinary questions that cause me not to think religiously, but out of the heart.  Most questions we usually get in studies are more Pharisaical.  Today was super busy for me as it is spring season and I manage a Garden Center.  I printed it off and it sat on my desk until the end of the day and I just quick glanced at it.  At night I gave a more thorough glance and wish I would have done that to start my day.
It was also really challenging to think about if I was worth reproducing.  I love how Paul said to follow his example and do as I do.  Abraham is also a guy who really followed after God and was willing to trust him to the point of killing his own son promised by God.  Also God said to Abraham “The reason I am blessing you is to bless others.”  This challenge I learned in a Perspectives Course that rocked me and made me rethink a lot of my beliefs.   Am I worth reproducing?  I want to constantly be asking those around me who will speak the truth in love to me on this.  I need others around me to challenge me.  A few years back I read somewhere that you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with today 5 years from now.  I looked back and saw who I was with 5 years ago and who I have become today.  Those men believed in me and discipled me and were worth reproducing.  4 of those 5 have moved away in the last 3 years.  This made me realize  I needed to deliberately surround myself with people who were going to challenge me to be someone worth reproducing.

Day 2: Why add when you can multiply?

By | Day 02 | One Comment

Discipleship has been on my heart for the last 3 years.  I believe God woke me up to this through a lot of the books I had been reading.  One of the books talked about Multiplication of disciples and if we trained 2 disciples who discipled others each year it would be around 6 billion in 30 years.  I thought that would be a really cool legacy to have since I was 33 at the time to shoot for.   Over the last couple of years that has been my focus but it is hard to stay focused on the simplicity of that.  It seems like not enough, it seems like their should be a better way.  But what if we just simplified discipleship to this.  It would mean we would  have to get rid of many “Good” church things, and things in general, and really focus.  

I read through the first 4 of these before I started the challenge and decided to have our discipleship group go through this..  For the last year we have been doing “Discipleship Groups” based off the book by Bob McNabb “Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World.”  It has been challenging and encouraging.  I really truly believe so many people in the church want more but they are not sure what that more is.  So ask some people to try this with you and see if this leads to that more.  Try not to just ask the people you think are spiritual but ask those who you think are hungry to learn.  Believe me, it might surprise you and also encourage someone as you ask them to live this out with you.

Day 1: Prayer? I don’t have time for that, I’m far too busy

By | Day 01 | One Comment

Many times I start making a plan to do great things for God and end up using prayer as a last resort.  This is a good challenge to start with prayer.  I love it that the first day focuses on not only prayer, but prayer with someone else.  Too many times we as men(but also everyone in general) try to go about things by ourselves.  We need others to spur us on toward love and good deeds.  Many people around me, myself included, often say we don’t have time for prayer.  You see I thought the same thing 8 years back and that lead to a question my wife and I asked “How do we hear God’s voice better?”  That leads us to getting rid of TV and diving in the word and prayer like never before.  You know what happened?  God lead us on a crazy adventure. God wanted to speak to us, and we needed to create the space to hear Him.  Prayer should not just be a good thing we do, it should be, along with scripture, the fuel for our fire.  

In figuring out who my prayer partner would be I had a hard time deciding, a little indecisive I am, but I got an email from someone in my discipleship group.  It said

 

I started the 30 day challenge and I am recruiting a prayer partner (1st day assignment).  I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine.”  

 

I was excited because I know that this person WILL pray for me daily!  So pick someone you know WILL pray for you daily.  Pick someone who WILL pray bold prayers for you and will uplift you daily!  But don’t stop there.  Be the person who WILL be that same type of person.  I am going to email, text, and call this person a few times a week to pray and want to try get together as well to pray together.

 

So as I start this 30 day challenge I found myself a prayer partner but I am also realizing I have to say no to some things.  Months back I used a time tracking app called Toggl.  I tracked every 15 minutes of my week and at the end of the week I looked at my time report.  Wow! It really showed my priorities and I realized I had the time, I just needed to be more disciplined.  So as you start this look at how you spend your time.  Figure out the one thing or habit that is keeping you from experiencing God better and try to not do it, or limit it for these 30 days.  My time sucker can be Facebook and ESPN so I am going to limit them to a 30 minute window at night.  Here we go.