Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I think this pic answers most of those questions.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Christine's interview after arriving home in Orlando on January 16 is an incredible story of faith and living sent in the marketplace. Watch Christine as another reporter interviewed her in the Orlando airport: New Missions Return to Orlando. Wow! Now, that is living sent.
Update: Christine did an extended interview along with Tim Detellis from New Missions. Included in this video are clips from their trip to Haiti. They had the camera rolling when the quake hit. There is also incredible video of their rescue by the US military: Christine Webb and Tim Detellis
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Jason's Book, Live Sent: You are a Letter is now available on amazon.com.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Click here to watch the video, and then jump back to leave comments and questions. I will ask Neil to stop by a few times to respond.
If you want to learn a little more about living sent, please visit the "LIVE SENT" website for the book coming out in September entitled LIVE SENT: you are a letter.
Can't wait to see you in September!!! Spread the word.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
John Grosshans is living sent among college interns who work in Orlando theme parks. These students live in secluded communities with little interaction with the outside world. Check it out at: http://www.firstorlando.com/Students/College/CPOutreach
Monday, April 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
spur: To give heart or courage, To urge or encourage to action, or to a more vigorous
pursuit of an object; to incite; to stimulate; to instigate; to impel; to drive.
spur: An implement secured to the heel, or above the heel, of a horseman, to urge the
horse by its pressure.(aka) a sharply pointed prod used to make a horse do what he’d rather not
So someone told me a few weeks ago that "ministry is a series of hard conversations" and it scared me because I felt the prophecy of that looming overhead. And in the same month I also feel like it has tried to start eating me-not the kind of fuzzy all consuming excitement-but the chew you up spit you out-no one is safe kind of eat. It’s scary and heavy.
My pastor says that nothing shapes you and refines you more than your job. I think this must be true. This month has been full of things that I'd never expected and absolutely abhor. The worst of these things I have found within myself. (It is much easier to deal with (and fight valiantly) the evil that dwells outside of you-rather than that which is deeply embedded in your very being.)
Initially when things got hard this go around my brain began thinking of ways to hide or better yet leave. But again with the calling. It’s not that I have to be here, it’s that I'm supposed to/meant to be here, this is enough for the times when i don't want to be here. This go round it's not so much even fighting the location, although that never hovers too far away, but more the mode-facing what ministry here really means-staring the hard stuff in the face.
Last January visiting a wise friend I was vomiting all of the horrible things about being called to a place in the states, to a job i was not even good at, to a role I didn't want, to something I was not well equipped for. He started speaking hard truth into my life and I finally burst out, "This isn’t what I wanted. This isn't what I signed up for" He answered with something that hurt so much because it was true. "It's a good thing you didn't sign up for it, then you could quit whenever you wanted" and then he continued with something like "No you're called and that changes everything.”
As I've thought about that this month I think about Saul/Paul's calling as he describes it to King Agrippa, when Jesus shows up and knocks him down and says "Saul, Saul, It is hard for you to kick against the goads" (aka pointy cattle prods-spur) and I sense such ironic and deep compassion in that phrase....almost as if he’s saying, “Oh, honey child, it’s hard for you to defy me, I know it hurts.”
The life Jesus called the newly renamed Paul to was not "better" in the sense of easier, no this was confirmed from the beginning. God told him who he was, a chosen instrument-to carry His name before the religious, the pagan, and those in power, but it was followed by "I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name" and Paul embraced this calling to suffer- to embrace his cross ie his death-the death of himself.
Paul wears this calling well. Gladly “spend[ing] and being spent” on the souls of those for and to whom he was called. His calling was more than just about him. He was shaped by his calling-but it was for more than him."But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you [take you into my hands]".....that I might send you to people..... to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.
There's a song that asks: What you gonna spend your free life on?
And the question keeps echoing in my head, but here’s the kicker. It wasn’t free, it came at great cost. Perhaps I can choose how to spend it-but at the end of the day-that’s not really what I want either. My feet are bloody. I’m tired of fighting. I’m not giving up, I’m deferring. What I want is to hear that ironic compassion even when I resist the spur. What I really want is to live out this calling even if that means years of conversations I don’t want to have (with some prods in the flank that impel and embolden.)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
"What I Really Meant to Say" encapsules all those little things that sneak out through our teeth and spill the beans on what is Really going on inside our skulls.
Today we have called in a crack team of decoders, decipherers, and various wind talkers. I asked them to translate the expression "I am bored" and this is what the team came up with" "I am selfish."
Dang team, like a jury that is deciding if someone should get the chair, shouldn't you guys at least spend a coupla hours arguing both sides before rendering a verdict?
The team says, "Nope. The translation should read, "I am selfish."
The only follow-up tips the team had to offer:
There are over 6 billion people on this planet. If you were to engage their plight in any way, shape or form you would not be bored. This planet is many things, but there is NOTHING boring about it.
Over 6 billion people and none of them needs ANYTHING?
I guess if all the humans are taken care of then there is nothing else to do and you can frolic in your state of Selfish.
If there seems to be at least one human need out there then you'd better get going.
If you are totally bedridden, broke ill-equipped and powerless to get moving then you should especially be eager to leave boredom behind. Pray for others.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
According to research conducted by Lifeway and North American Mission Board, people seem to like Jesus, but not His church...
- Seventy-two percent of the people interviewed said they think the church is full of hypocrites.
- Seventy-one percent of the respondents said they believe Jesus makes a positive difference in a person’s life.
- Seventy-eight percent said they would ‘be willing to listen’ to someone who wanted to share what they believed about "Christianity".
Our challenge is being the relational Church to people without looking like the "church" that turns them off.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Okay people, let's back this thing up for a minute. Start from the beginning and make it all crystal clear for me. Here is what you are saying:
-Jesus came and redeemed and for a couple hundred years his followers turned the world upside down and inside out. His last instructions where to "go to church" until He comes back.
-When people don't "go to church" they are being bad.
-If they do "go to church" then His Truth is Marching On.
Alright, now that you said it plainly to me in your words (above) I now know that it is not just my imagination. You should expect a lifetime of tears, mourning the loss of some Thing that was a faulty idea to begin with.
Tears aside, here is where it might get real ugly for you: The above assumptions about this Thing called "going to church" have enmity with Jesus Christ.
If you are weeping over the destruction of your idea of church then please be prepared for a lifetime of weeping. It was a bogus idea and bogus ideas deserve to die.
If you are interested in embracing Church as a Who and not a Thing then welcome back to Jesus! I gotta warn you my friend. This Jesus (not the invented one) is radical and wild. IF you were to listen to his Truth on this matter then you might have to throw away your old measuring sticks.
Does He measure attendance or hearts turned inside out? Care to see it His way?
Does He measure idle observers or does He reproduce disciples? Why did you decide to change His plans?
More and more people are less and less interested in "going to church". This is Good News!
The Kingdom is Here! He Lives Among Us!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
1:00 PM (Thursday) to 5:00 PM (Friday)
"A convergence for praying, conversing, partnering,
churches that reproduce churches contextually."
@ Windermere Community Church
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
Jesus speaking to those who follow him – the Church. Matthew 5:14 (NLT)
We are Living Sent. Choosing to work and play and love and laugh among all the people of the earth. Letting their stories collide with God’s divine Story for humanity. We enjoy eating and drinking among our fellow man, and we expect intense collisions between who they are today and who God desires them to be tomorrow.
The Church is a “Who”. She is not a place or an event. She is not a special hour once a week. She is a being unto herself. You and I combine to make up that being. As Church, you and I make decisions, demonstrate values and offer Hope in hundreds of ways throughout each day to those we meet.
Our Lord Jesus, who we aim to please, is disappointed by anything that keeps us from hiding and not dispensing His wonderful traits within us to others. Often, we, the church, hide behind
If a religious building were to somehow empower and unleash She, The Church, to be Living Sent among the people, then we would find it to be a powerful Training Center. Too often the facility is a very expensive way to apply our time and money. A building or a campus can quickly divert the church from those who really need us.
If religious structures are fluid and flexible in order to expand our ability to interact with humanity, then we would find them to be refreshing in helping our missional cause. Too often we have roles and titles that simply exist to prop a sick bride. There’s plenty of busy work to keep an organization existing at the expense of unleashing God’s organic intentions for reproduction.
Fortresses are designed to thwart attackers. But to live in fear within a fortress mentality is for us to quit on the assignment He gave us: to enjoy living among the people He is drawing to Himself. We are the light, an inviting presence to those far from God.
God never intended or relegated His Bride to “just once a week” living. His intention was for The Church to be 24/7 among the lives they were to intersect. Today, there is a genuine restlessness in the hearts of many who know Jesus – a desire to Live Sent into culture. Corporately, when the church gathers, she should use the time to train, equip and empower a lifestyle of Being The Church at all times and in all places understanding that a one hour gathering event per week falls grossly short of what Jesus intended his Church to be.
We desire to restore Her as a who. She takes on her new, known personality – impacting all that she meets. New spiritual families are born. They are blessed with children in order that they may train, equip and encourage those children to one day grow up and leave home and live sent. As The Church understands its mission, her influence grows and impacts every niche of our society.
Together, we seek to influence leaders.
Together, we seek to influence cultures.
Together, we seek to influence communities.
These influences of The Church cannot happen from a distance but rather happen in the context of relationships - which are often messy and filled with heartache. But we must allow our pathways to cross the pathways of those He seeks. We must never retreat but rather engage those who need Him.
As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.
Titus 2: 1-15 (NLT)
Monday, May 19, 2008
“Teaching…fellowship…breaking of bread…prayer. AWE…All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:42-44. (NIV)
If someone from the first century church could speak to us today, I believe they would do everything in their power to help us see the importance of doing life together. I honestly believe they would reprimand us for living split apart and clinging to our rugged individualism. And at the core of their message, they would emphasize generosity as the key to binding us all together.
God has hardwired each of us with the longing for togetherness, yet we consciously cling to our lonely path. The greatness of the first century church was the fact that they never saw themselves as individuals but rather as a group of brothers and sisters working together.
Many of us today have chased our individualistic ambitions. We have scaled the heights of teaching. We have eaten casseroles and some unknown dishes by well-intentioned elderly ladies in fellowship halls. We have prayed on our own. But in the end, something is missing. What’s missing is genuine relationship with others. What’s missing is the opportunity to generously love and be loved in return.
At ReproducingChurches.com, we covenant in relationship with each other:
We will listen, be there, and as often as God prompts us.
We will serve each other with resources.
We will share everything – people, money, creativity, and resources.
We have found that the NEEDS of our brothers and sisters is what the Holy Spirit uses to create an environment where He can work His wonders and we are in AWE. Those who are outside of the faith are in AWE because they long for a community in which people freely give and share what they have. That’s a community the world does not offer. It’s about giving it away…it’s not about what you can get but rather how you can help your brother and sister.
A Word of Warning Before You Sign-up For The GravyTrain
Sometimes, I’ll go to a conference where they will tell me that if I don’t have billions of start-up funds, I can’t plant a church and I’m destined for loserville. So I travel the world asking all my fair-weather friends that said money must come from them asap. I even threaten to send my denomination into hellfire itself if they were to be so cold as to ignore my needy neediness. (This is of course silly because one cannot send a denomination into hellfire because it is an organization immune from such a fate. So if you are going to be misguided I guess a more theological approach would be to ask God if he would be willing to send certain INDIVIDUALS of said denominations into hellfire. There now, that’s much more Christlike!?)
Well, come to find out, my fair-weather friends don’t enjoy giving into such neediness. They didn’t give near enough money. But that’s okay. I’ve gotten even by speaking bad about them every chance I get.
What I think is that I need money so I try to wrestle it out of everyone I know. But what I really need is some brothers and sisters who will come alongside of me in the journey to help me – and I might need more than just money.
Consider the responses to the following question:
My wife is often curious about how we are going to pay bills. Her faith is encouraged daily as…
A) we learn together what life is like when we share our needs together with like-minded followers of Jesus.
B) she nags me about it every now and then because she lacks the faith of almighty me.
C) she doesn’t even bring it up anymore because she has learned that Jesus wants us to suffer in silence
How much better it is, when we do this together. When we are able to rely on others and they are able to rely on us. Listen:
We offer ourselves to you.
We want you to consider how we can share our resources in the spirit of togetherness.
We ask that you not treat us like an organization.
Don’t seek handouts and don’t take handouts.
Covenant to do life with us.
Ask the Holy Spirit to make known how we can mutually serve each other.
The early church experienced many wonders and miraculous signs (Acts 2:43). I believe that’s what happens when we get Together.
Monday, May 12, 2008
“Never stop praying” I Thessalonians 5:17
Prayer is ongoing. Prayer never stops! As you breathe in and out, so your prayers to God should be uttered. Prayer is THE foundational element of what we do at Reproducing Churches. As a network, we understand that without prayer our work is in vain. Prayer must be at the centerpiece of all that we do – whether apart or together.
In the early morning, as I lay in bed, I typically ask God these two questions:
“God, do you have anything to say to me because I’m listening.”
“God, is there anything you need me to do because I’m ready to do it”
And for the rest of the day, I’m trying my best to listen and respond to God’s voice. My desire is to speak with Him all through the day. The reason I pray these two prayers is because God often changes my plans.
As a group of pastors at Church of the Highlands Lakeland, we took 21 days to fast and pray. Our goal was to continually pray throughout the day and ask God to show us what He wanted to do. Each morning we met, asking each other what God might be saying to us as a group. We had over 50 items on our specific prayer list that we were praying about. At the end of the fast, there was a clear message – and it wasn’t on our prayer list – we sensed God telling us to start churches (that’s right churches in the plural) along Interstate 4 in Central Florida.
That was an incredulous message to all of us since our church was 9 months old and about 40,000 dollars in credit card debt as we were financially floating the church. How could God give us that message? It seemed impossible but the message and the mandate were clear. As a result, we changed our plans and within a few years, a number of new churches were started out of Church of the Highlands, Lakeland.
Prayer allows me to listen and to respond to whatever God is asking me to do.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are preaching the gospel from city to city. They have made plans but the itinerary is not working out. One night, God speaks clearly to Paul: Go to Macedonia. The next day, Paul and Silas are on their way. They heard God clearly and were able to change plans and respond to His instructions.
God’s desire is to discover people who are finely tuned into Him. Most of the time our reception to God is fuzzy. My 60 inch television is the envy of most red-blooded men but there is one catch: I don’t have cable or satellite; I only have rabbit ears! Sometimes I have to twist and contort my body in such a way (like my arm raised up in the air) so I can get a better signal on my television.
Prayer gives me a clear signal.
We know what God is saying and we can then respond to Him. With certainty, we can engage into his mandate for our lives and for our church. Making plans without prayer is foolishness. It’s trying to think up what God wants you to do rather than reacting and responding to His mandate for your life.
Prayer is the foundation of revival and spiritual movement.
Can you name a movement of God that was not first preceded by prayer? You’ll have an impossible time identifying one. When people pray, God’s heart is moved. His Spirit is unleashed in the world and he causes people to respond to God. Read the book of Acts and you’ll discover that prayer was the foundational element of the move of God.
Prayer is the best recruitment of spiritual, reproducing leaders.
Jesus gave us clear instructions about how Kingdom work would be accomplished. It would be done in prayer, asking God to send many leaders for spiritual cultivation and harvest. There is a tendency to recruit spiritual leaders through organizational methods (and there is nothing wrong with that) but in the truest sense, God raises up the leaders.
“So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:38 (NLT)
So as a part of His instructions, we are constantly seeking God for the provision of leaders. We know the work cannot be accomplished by a few, extraordinary leaders but by a multitude of spiritual harvesters who gather people to Jesus. The work must be delegated and decentralized so that the Gospel can spread to all people.
Prayer opens the door to mutually working together.
Often times, I have an agenda to fulfill but when I am in community with others who are living sent, my agenda broadens and expands. My attention focuses on others. My prayers include their hopes, dreams, and needs. I begin to understand that my calling finds completion when I am true fellowship and partnership with others in God’s work.
For me, there is nothing more satisfying than being on my knees in heartfelt prayer with others. There is a joy, a sense of team, a sense of unity that brings us all together.
Monday, May 5, 2008
by hal haller
“Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.” Philippians 4:9 (NLT)
The foundation for reproducing churches lies in the raising up and sending out of new leaders. Leaders don’t magically appear. Leaders are cultivated, developed and sent. Leaders are forged and developed in mentoring relationships.
We can find an intentional leadership development strategy from the Apostle Paul to the Philippian church that makes use of formal learning (heard from me – that’s teaching) and informal learning (saw me doing – that’s modeling). In leadership development, you need both. The Apostle Paul said ‘listen to me’ and ‘watch me’ as you put your learning into practice. Our goal at Reproducing Churches is to establish these very kinds of relationships that will increase our ability to develop and send out more leaders.
There are several key ideas tied to developing leaders:
We trust that Jesus will always answer our prayer for leaders by sending leaders for His harvest.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)
Ultimately, we know God is the one who will provide the leaders we need. So we spend a great deal of time on our knees asking God to divinely raise up leaders for the harvest.
We trust God for the future leaders to come from those who will one day trust Him.
Paul said to Timothy:
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1st Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT)
Over the years in starting a number of churches, I have discovered this principle: the best leader opportunities come from those that I have led to Christ. I used to pray that God would send me Christian leaders. After God answer that prayer, I begged him to send me lost people that I could develop for Him.
We believe that a true leader exists for the success of others rather than the promotion of self.
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
I Thessalonians 2:8 (NLT)
We pour our lives into others selflessly. We don’t hold back but freely share what we know and what we have. We purposely invest in others. That can be exhausting and tiring but we do it because we love them and want to see the gospel spread.
Leaders are interchangeable, mobile, and “position-less” and will be shared among the network for the greater benefit of the Kingdom.
“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28 (NLT)
If we are looking for a title or badge, we remember that we are first servants of Jesus Christ. Titles and positions of authority often get in the way of being a great, reproducing leader because we are looking to be served rather than to serve. I remind myself that I can lead up front or I can take the back seat. It doesn’t matter, whatever my brother or sister needs from me, I’m willing to serve them. My first question is, “How can I help you?”
Leaders will be developed within the context of relationships through the process of mentoring and internship, challenged in their very construct of church as a “who” and in practical methods of execution, and then unleashed to live to the fullest of how they are wired and gifted in their specific context.
“Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord.” Acts 19:10 (NLT)
Our goal is provide specific guidance and instruction to those who desire to live and lead out for Jesus. We want to engage in their dreams, passions, abilities, and giftings and help them on their journey to being the church where God has called them. It’s not cookie cutter teaching but a customization plan for each person. Why? So the Gospel can go out to all peoples…so that all can hear the word of the Lord.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The purpose of this post is to introduce ReproducingChurches.com and further explain our values. We hope that the content herein will provide a thorough understanding of what we think matters most about the local church committed to reproduction. We hope this will serve as a guide and a foundational piece for network discussions, both locally and regionally. Without info like this, false assumptions can often be drawn about a group or networkʼs intentions. We believe that the content here will help to avoid those false assumptions. Finally, we foresee this blog as a
practical tool that will increase conversation, effectiveness, and efficiency with regard to the everyday efforts of the network strategies and participation.
Reproducingchurches.Com officially began in January 2007 when 2 existing networks united to become a sentence in the grander story of the reproduction of churches across Central Florida and beyond. Some very diverse approaches came together around a kindred philosophy to attempt to communicate a DNA reproducible in any context, to coach leaders who emerge toward a contextual strategy, and to call local churches to partner together to support and send those leaders to plant and water Godʼs message into peopleʼs lives while God blossoms His church in that specific community.
To inquire further about ReproducingChurches.com, please visit:
http://www.reproducingchurches.com/ (our central network site) or
http://www.rcn.wikispaces.com/ (our wiki site).