As a young man I learned how to shave by imitating my father as he shaved.
I practiced driving by imitating whoever was driving.
I began singing by imitating others as they sang.
Imitation. It’s natural. It’s the way we learn a behavior.
How do people learn to follow Jesus?
Inviting a friend to join me on a trip to Lambeau Field to watch the Green Bay Packers comes naturally for me. It’s easy. No need to develop my invitational skills, or craft a creative invitation. No need to enroll in a class to learn how to engage, or learn how to invite. Why is that?
On the other hand, inviting people into a spiritual conversation or inviting them to join me in some church-centered activity can be very intimidating and awkward.
Why is that?
Three things I am learning about The Art of Invitation: (more…)
Cultivating spiritual friendships is about conversation and relationships. It’s about influence, invitation and companionship. Cultivating spiritual friendships is our challenge, our opportunity; it is something we are privileged to do.
The purpose of this guide is to assist and encourage you to be intentional about cultivating spiritual friendships. As we build friendships first, God provides opportunities to share the Good News about Jesus.
This guide will help you take your first steps in nurturing authentic friendships with those who are around you. You may be a conversation away from having an eternal impact on your neighbors.
Download Your Free Copy of The Spiritual Friendship Guide Here!
A missional summer is the best kind of summer! Unhurried conversations with friends, deepening relationships with neighbors, and life-infusing fun with people that matter to us are just a few of the benefits of a missional summer. And, experiencing it is easier than you ever thought. All these benefits can be experienced with two proven and easy moves.
Make these proven and easy moves and enjoy your best missional summer ever:
Move your activities from the backyard to the front yard.
Hang out there. Be visible. Resist the urge for “alone time.”
I’ve seen people move their gardens to the front, increasing impromptu stop-byes. I’ve witnessed elaborate fire pits in the backyard exchanged for mobile fire pits in the driveway; expensive landscaping plans trashed in favor of a few Adirondack chairs from Target; birthday celebrations with cake and candles brought out from the kitchen to the cul-de-sac and shared with neighbors–all creating an invitational posture. These proven, easy moves can automatically increase your relational capacity because they enlarge your visibility and your availability.
What do you enjoy doing in your backyard that you could with a little creativity move to your front yard?
As a result, what new opportunities can you imagine you will have with people because you were available?
Take a listening posture with someone in your circle of influence.
Take an interest in their story. Ask questions of them. Resist the urge to “share your story.”
People are drawn to others who take an interest in them. It is possible this summer to lay aside our need to be heard and take up a listening posture. Make it an enjoyable experience. Seek to discover all you can about the people who engage with you in your new front yard focus.
What things would you like to know about the people who surround you?
What new thing will you discover about your friend because you were attentive?
Share with me what moves you’ve made that has proven to be effective.
Share with me what you plan to do to make this your best missional summer ever.
My wife, Amy and I on our way to a fierce conversation had an awakening of sorts.
It was a conversation neither of us wanted to be in. We knew it would be hard. At the worst, painful. At the least, awkward. Yet, we went. Giving up our date night we were both angry as we made our way to the destination.
Halfway there Amy changed the dance. She began to pray. I joined her in asking God to help us. Specifically, we pleaded that He would help us show up with a spirit of curiosity; that He would help us find something in this visit to appreciate; that He would remove any lingering pain from the past, and let us experience the Divine connection of brothers and sisters communing together; that He would transform the conversation from awkward, and painful to enjoyable. Bold prayer.
As a ministry leader there are many times in my relationship with people my calling as pastor leads to a great sense of responsibility and duty. Sometimes this leaves me weighed down and burdened.
Is there more than responsibility and duty in my calling? Is there more than love and service in my life?
I think so. (more…)
We have more in common with the Old Testament Israelites than we would like to think: kicked out of Jerusalem, taken captive into a foreign land, thrust into an environment where they were no longer in charge, beholden to another king, uncomfortable, yearning for safety and assurance.
There may be value in US “rediscovering ourselves as exiles.” (Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-churched Culture, Michael Frost)
“Just like the Jewish exiles, the church today is grieving its loss and is struggling with humiliation. The ground has slipped out from under the church. It has lost its footing and needs to express a resentful sadness about what was, and now is not, and never will be again. The passing of Christendom might be compared to the fall of Jerusalem, and there is no going back. Exiles feel like a ‘motherless child’-abandoned, rootless, vulnerable, orphaned.” (Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-churched Culture, Michael Frost)
A couple of months ago, spending time with church leaders from around the country, I was reminded again and again how difficult a thing it is these days to lead an effective ministry that reaches people. I was reminded that we need to learn anew what it means to be the church in our contexts; contexts where the church has largely lost her voice and influence.
We wrestled with the reality of the answers to some of these questions: (more…)
Following Jesus is a journey taken moment by moment.
In order to help others follow Him we need to develop an attentive posture. Deepening an appreciation of the moment is the first step in being able to be truly helpful IN THE MOMENT.
These moments can be launching pads into a new day, a fresh insight, a deeper understanding of themselves, of their world, of their situation, of their learning edge, of their need for God. In order to seize these moments, we first need to be able to recognize them.My friend and coach, Lynn Schoener identifies 4 Moments and the cues that tip us off. (more…)
I had this huge revelation today.
Jesus is still alive. He is living. He will always be living.
I’m taking some time again today to sit in the empty tomb. Here’s a few things I’m pondering as I sit holding the empty grave clothes in my Savior’s tomb.
The empty tomb is the power for living missionally. The empty tomb…
1) Confirms that everything God/ Jesus has said is true.
If Jesus rose from the dead, He backs up everything that has been said about Him. He also confirms everything that He said about Himself. Check out all of His truth claims in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Get a red letter addition and check out His words. If He did not rise, Jesus is a liar in a long list of liars.
Because he lives, I can trust Him. I can believe everything God reveals to me in His Word is truth.
In a day and time when we are bombarded by relativism, I can know for sure.
2) Guarantees that we have nothing to fear and everything we need.
If death itself has been conquered, then what shall I fear? If the tomb is empty what need of mine will not be fulfilled? Paul says, “I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me…(and lives for me)” Romans 8:37
3) Delivers eternal life today. Jesus’ tomb is my tomb. Read Romans 6:3-5
I don’t have to linger and yearn for eternal life and its blessings to happen someday.
Ponder with me the implications of these three points for YOUR life today. I’d love to hear what God is revealing to you.