Who Are You Eating With?

You want to start new things for the Kingdom? Then you’re going to need to eat…a lot.

This is not just about putting food in your mouth. It’s about spending time with people; getting to know them over a meal.

See, if you really are serious about starting something new then you will need people. And the best place to get to know people is over a meal. Eating

There is something intimate about sharing a meal together. The table becomes a sacred place where great conversation can take place. Ideas are exchanged; stories are shared.

We love to eat. But we also struggle to make time to meet with people who can help us change the world. A meal is a great place to do both. It forces us (in a good way) to sit down and listen and share.

So who did you eat with last week?

Who are you breaking bread with this week?

Who do you need to share a meal with in order to advance your cause?

The BIG Difference Between Quitters and Finishers

Both quitters and finishers start new stuff.

But quitters don’t finish what they start. Their projects stack up in the closet or the garage or wherever they find their first spark of inspiration. And soon that place becomes the graveyard of good ideas.

Finishers – well that’s easy – they finish stuff.

But here’s the key: finishers don’t finish everything they start.

Instead, they are selective about what they finish. Furthermore, they have a process for finishing what they start. It’s not just that they have a plan to finish – they do. They follow-through. They have a plan AND a process to finish. They crush the resistance. When they meet it, they find ways to push through.

What I’ve learned is that we are all capable of finishing and quitting. What seems to distinguish finishers from quitters is not luck or ability or more willpower.

It comes down to habits and process.

I am not going to spend too much time on habits. There are great books about habits that you can read. I just want to make the correlation.

Any of us can increase our finish ratio if we do a few things.

  • Have a plan BEFORE you start.
  • Know where you’re going BEFORE you start. (Have a SPECIFIC goal.)
  • PUSH THROUGH the resistance. (The resistance is everything that prevents you from finishing.) Yes, finishing comes down to doing the work.

Like I said. Not rocket science.

But it does take some time and effort to figure it out for yourself.

Denying Jesus with Our Lives

We cannot profess Jesus with our mouths and deny Him with our lifestyle.

An unbelieving world finds this not only disingenuous but hypocritical.

Brennan Manning called it the chief reason for the rise of atheism in our time. Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls it ‘cheap grace.’

Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls this ‘cheap grace.’ It’s a grace that is spoken of by Christians. Yet there is nothing of substance behind the words.

The world needs to know that Jesus is real. And that will only happen when our lives testify to his love and grace.

2015 NewThing by The Numbers

We had our annual NewThing Gathering in Chicago last week. It was awesome. Almost 300 people from NewThing churches joined us. Another 1o0 leaders joined us for our 1 Day. Churches from as far away at Africa and Europe sent leaders.

During our Gathering, I shared some of the highlights from the year…

2015 started with a bang in January in Africa. A group of us gathered in Nairobi to discuss how we can partner together to catalyze movements all over the world.  Our teams left Africa inspired and encouraged. We divided the world into 9 regions. Each of those regions will have two apostolic leaders who use their influence and leverage relationships to start more movements.  We also developed an operations team that would meet once per month.

We left Nairobi with several goals..

  1. to have 10,000 reproducing churches in our movement by the year 2020.
  2. We want to work together to ensure that every site and every location would have a leadership resident.
  3. We also agreed to create and start a global residency exchange program. We call these people the Jason Bourne’s of our movement. These residents will train cross-culturally and learn the best practices from across the world so they can plant a new movement. Imagine a new thing church being planted in Berlin, led by an African who has trained in the US and India. Or an American, trained in Africa and India so they can plant in Southeast Asia. Our goal is to train 40 global leadership residents each year. Awesome!
  4. We agreed that we would pray and fast together. Our first global prayer and fasting day was June 9th. We are planning another day of Prayer and Fasting on Pentecost Sunday, May 15th.
  5. We formed a global operations team, led by yours truly, that meets once a month to work on those objectives.

Here are the numbers…

  • There are 27 networks in NewThing in North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Southeast Asia
  • We have Apostolic leaders for 3 regions: North America, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa
  • Right now we have 260 churches in NewThing
  • We have 230 residents.
  • Our first Global Residency Cohort will start training in Africa in 2016. We have a goal of 6 residents.

Other things going on at NewThing that I know you will find interesting include…

  • Matt Millar joined me in Chicago to apprentice as our first Regional Director (Africa) for 1 year.
  • We have begun a Leadership Residency Matching Fund. This fund will match residents up to 20k. This is a matching fund and we are asking residents to pay it forward to another resident in the future.
  • Joe Wilson continues to travel the world starting new networks. I went to Thailand with him in September and we trained 100 leaders from Lao. Since then he’s been in El Salvador and back to Albania
  • We kicked off another Leading a Reproducing Network Training in November.
  • In January, we launched the first NewThing Leadership Training Center in Chicago with 12 residents. Our next cohort starts in January and we will have residents joining us remotely from other networks.

Well I hope that helps you understand where we are as a movement. 2015 has been a great year. 2016 is shaping up to be even better!

Here is the video: