NewThing is Partnering with the Explore God Chicago Initiative

I was watching two comedians talk about life. Each of them have achieved success and fame. They have everything. Yet during this discussion they each admitted that nothing ever quite lived up to their expectations. There always seems to be something missing.

I know this feeling personally. It haunted me for years and was part of the catalyst for me to start my search for God.

That’s why I am excited about the Explore God Initiative in 2019. This will be a city-wide effort to help people in Chicago explore 7 BIG questions about life. The genius of the effort is that this will be a community effort. 7 Big Questions. Does life have a purpose? Is there a god? why does God allow pain and suffering? Is Christianity too narrow? Is Jesus really God? Is the Bible reliable? Can I know God personally?

NewThing is a sponsor. After all, we plant churches to help people find their way back to God. I would love to see hundreds of churches in Chicago participate.

Do me a favor and take a moment to learn more about the initiative. Expect to be hearing about it here on occasion.

Let’s do this together…

What NewThing Does to Catalyze Church Planting

I think about this topic quite a bit as you could imagine!

NewThing is a catalyst. We are trying to overcome several challenges that we see in church planting, particularly in the West.

We are NOT trying to be a denomination. We are NOT a typical church planting organization that centralizes money and programs from the center.

We are doing our best to remain MOVEMENTAL in our structures.
These are the BIG THREE for me.

First, NewThing networks churches together so they can plant more churches together. Churches must plant churches. Yet most don’t. Of course church planting is a significant undertaking and many churches lack the resources and people to go it alone. Bringing churches together to so they can plant more churches…together is one of the ways to solve this issue. Networks are a better stewardship of resources.

Second, NewThing provides an accountability mechanism to so that churches plant the churches they say they will plant. Without a local network of relationships hold church leaders accountable to church planting, it’s not going to happen. Our My Reproducing (MRP) Tool is one of the ways we do this.

Third, NewThing brings churches together and aligns them around the Missio Dei (Mission of God) in the spirit of collaboration. Jesus started a movement. Yet, we don’t see movement in the Western context. We are convinced that only when churches come together to plant churches will we see movement and even then it won’t really be a movement. (I’ll explain my thoughts on this this in another post at some point.) Collaboration and partnership need to be catalyzed and fostered.

It’s true – together we are better.

I am still working on these ideas so stay tuned.

One Mission – One Body

I want to remind you (as I remind myself) that there is one body of Christ and that body lives as one in different parts.

We have one mission: to let everyone man, woman and child know they are loved and that there is peace and purpose in Jesus (John 3:16).

Whatever your context, church or ministry- it’s part of the larger, global body of Christ. This is important because so many of us are focused on becoming the best hand or the best foot when in fact we need each other.

Paul reminds us that to be the full expression of the Body of Christ all parts of the body are needed. This means the local church and it means the global church.

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

  • I need my brothers and sisters in India
  • I need my brothers and sisters in Africa.
  • I need my brothers and sisters in Asia.
  • I need my brothers and sisters in urban contexts.
  • I need my brothers and sisters in rural contexts.Etc. Etc.

Sometimes I get really bummed by how territorial the church can be; how we don’t seem to need each other.

I am convinced, the sooner the Church realizes we need each other, the better equipped we will be to achieve the Jesus mission…together.

What are you doing as part of the body? 

Celebrating a Great 2017

Wow! What a year 2017 has been at NewThing.

For reasons we can’t explain, God continues to do immeasurably more than we can imagine. He has continued to give us more opportunities to partner with leaders all over the world to plant churches. It’s been incredible.

My year began in Dahmo, India with our NewThing Global Team. NewThing leaders from Europe, the Philippines, Africa and North America joined us for several days to discuss how together we could plant even more churches.

More catalytic leaders joining our team. We commissioned the NewThing North American Team led by Dave Dummitt. Dave has been busy meeting with leaders all over North America (including Canada). He’s built a top-notch team that has significantly increased our bandwidth. Dave also organized our North American Advisory Team to help lead our efforts.

Rob Wegner joined our Global Team. Rob is overseeing our efforts to reproduce new churches and connect with potential partners. Rob brings great leadership and experience to our team.

You’re probably hearing more about NewThing these days. That’s because we have a great communication team, led by Haley Bodine, working hard to tell the stories and track the stats of all that God is doing throughout our movement.

Joe Wilson has been traveling the world conducting catalyst communities. This year alone our Global Catalyst Community Teams have traveled to Uganda, Albania, the Philippines and El Salvador. We are growing this team and scaling the content so we can start more catalyst communities in every country of the world. We are in active conversations with leaders in places like Poland, Germany and Brazil to conduct catalyst communities next year.

Speaking of Catalyst Communities: We conducted 3 more Catalyst Communities in North America: Atlanta, Indy and Chicago. We have plans to conduct them in more cities in 2018 including Columbus, Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

We finished another cohort of Leading a Reproducing Network (LARN) training. We’ve had close to 30 churches participate in these learning communities and they have goals to plant nearly 1000 churches.

At the end of 2017, I traveled to Europe for the Launch Conference in Manchester and then meetings with our friends from Norway. Finally, I attended the final Catalyst Community of the year in San Pablo City, Philippines. Over 250 leaders gathered to work together to plant more churches.

The list goes on and on.

NewThing catalyzes new churches for the Kingdom. We are a global partnership dedicated to remaining movement in structure and Kingdom focused. Everything we do is about helping leaders dream God sized dreams and helping them achieve their goals.

Indeed, God did it again in 2017. And what is even more exciting for me is that I know he’s got even more planned for 2018. In fact, I am convinced that we’re just getting started!

I am praying bigger and more desperate prayers as a result.
To the churches and leaders and residents all over the world who have partnered with NewThing I want to say THANK YOU! We truly help each other go faster and farther for the Jesus Mission.

And to all of our supporters: your prayers and financial generosity is mission critical. Your support directly helps us change the spiritual landscapes of neighborhoods, cities, and even countries. Thank you for partnering with us in the Jesus Mission and helping make 2017 great!

I can’t wait to see what God does through our movement in 2018!

3 Ways of Interacting with NewThing

I see three ways churches and leaders are interacting with NewThing.

The first, are churches and leaders INTERESTED in NewThing. They follow us on social media, come to our events, perhaps they’ve attended a meeting with one of our networks.

The second I call ALIGNED churches. These are churches that have aligned with our values (the 4Rs) as well as churches that are interested in NewThing. These churches are not yet participating in NewThing. While they might embrace the value system and focus on mission, they have yet to engage in an active network.

The third group of churches are COMMITTED or PARTICIPATING churches. These are churches that have our DNA of reproducing and are shifting their paradigms to achieve movement. These churches are focused on building cultures of reproducing at all lever. Reproducing churches have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NewThing, contributing to NewThing financially and they are fully participating in a local network. They are completing an MRP (My Reproducing Plan) each year. These churches are taking reproducing seriously and being intentional about it.

The distinction is important.

While we celebrate churches that align with NewThing, the work of multiplication is done by reproducing churches. Our goal is to help churches get into a reproducing network and start planting churches!

If you’re ready to talk about partnering with us, GO HERE.