Friends on Mission with God

 

The other night we had some friends over who have come to mean very much to me.

These aren’t just any friends. We are friends on mission with God.

We laughed and spent some time catching up. We recalled some of the fun things we did together and the ways that God has worked in our lives. 

Ten years ago, I didn’t know any of them.

Since then, we’ve started a church that has started churches together. We’ve baptized people. We’ve apprenticed and coached dozens and dozens of leaders. One of us has even added a kid to the mix.

The first time I met Josh Jackaway as at Community when he was an intern. When I was wresting with the call to move to Kansas City to plant churches, Josh volunteered to meet me early – real early – at a local Starbucks. I peppered him with questions about church planting and ministry and even got his take on God.

Josh now leads Mission Students and is making a huge impact.

The first time I met Nate and Jill Williams was at Leadership Community. We became great friends through a common love of music. It was a great day when he and Jill joined our church planting team.

Nate is part of the lead team of Restore Community Church, the same church we started together. He’s using his passion, skills and leadership to help people find their way back to God.

We are friends but more importantly we are friends on mission with God.

In fact, there is no reason why you and your friends can’t start  movement. What if God could use our friendships to do great things?

We forget that God uses relationships to build his Kingdom.

We planted churches together in Kansas City. We served on the same staff team, invested in leaders and together did all we could to help start a reproducing movement of churches with the goal of changing the spiritual landscape of Kansas City.

While God has moved us to different cities, we remain on mission together.

That’s one of the coolest parts of being of the Jesus mission – doing it with friends.

God works through friendship. Jesus calls us friends when we are mission for Him:

You are my friends if you do what I command (John 15:16).

While I am bummed I don’t get to see this friends as much as I did, I am grateful we remain on mission together.

Who are some of the friends your on mission with? Have you thanked them for being on this great adventure with you? 

A Goal Needs a Plan, Otherwise You Have No Goal

A goal without a plan is just a wish. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I like to set goals and achieve them.

Yet, many of the goals I set, I don’t achieve.

Why? I am a better goal-setter than I am a planner. I’ve learned that if I have a goal and no plan to achieve that goal, I really have no goal. 

Setting a goal is great. Setting a goal without the plan to achieve that goal will only bring you frustration.

Remember, a goal is nothing more than a desired outcome. To get that required outcome requires a very specific plan. 

For example,  I have wanted to replace all of the closet doors in the bedrooms of my house for several years. This is the goal. I have failed to achieve the goal because I have no plan to achieve the goal. (Sad, but true.)

So most days I try to use one of those doors and remember I have a goal to fix them. (Frustration). Yet, unfixed they will go until I create a plan.

Here’s what that might look like.

GOAL: FIX  OR REPLACE THE CLOSET DOORS IN ALL BEDROOMS OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND.

PLAN

  1. Watch a Youtube video on how to fix a closet doors.
  2. Buy or borrow the necessary tools to fix the doors.
  3. Set aside an afternoon to fix the doors.
  4. Fix the doors.
  5. Dispose of the old doors.
  6. Celebrate the achievement of a goal!

Ready to achieve more of your goals? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is my SPECIFIC  desired OUTCOME? This is my GOAL. (Write it down.)
  • What is my VERY SPECIFIC PLAN to achieve this goal? (Write it down.)

Now, you might be asking yourself: well this is all very simple and obvious.

Well then, you should start achieving more of your goals.  You’re welcome.  🙂

I am on the path to sainthood

I wonder if I have what it takes to be a saint?

You see, I’ve just finished reading James Martin, SJ delightful book, My Life with the Saints and I think I have a shot.

Martin is a Jesuit priest and a darn good writer. His book is a fun and informative romp through the lives of saints that have influenced him throughout his life as a priest and Jesuit. It’s inspiring and you should read it.

According to Martin, saints are just regular people who have done extraordinary things for God. They aren’t super-heroes of the faith. They are men and woman of passion and courage who followed Jesus wherever he led them, sometimes to pain and sorrow.

One of the ‘saints’ who have influenced Martin the most was Thomas Merton. Merton was a Trappist monk, writer and speaker. Like Martin, Merton’s writing has influenced me for years. 

Merton was once asked about becoming a saint:

For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.  —Seeds of Contemplation

What’s clear to me know is that ‘sainthood’ is actually something worth pursuing. (I am not talking about becoming a Catholic saint — there’s already a great saint named Patrick.)

Sainthood is something different then I thought and Merton clarifies it for me. It’s not the status of super-Christian. Rather, ‘sainthood’ is becoming who I truly am in Christ.

In this way, I do have what it takes to be a saint!

Commissioning Our Global Leadership Residents to Plant a Reproducing Church

Last week I had the opportunity to commission our Global Leadership Residents at our Yellow Box Location.

These residents are planting a reproducing church in Johannesburg, South Africa, early next year.

Over the course of their 6 months in Chicago, we have become great friends. We have had dozens of conversations about cross culture ministry, church planting, and the global church. I have learned much from them.

Their courage to come to the US, their faith to pursue God’s call on their life, and resolve to plant a network of reproducing churches has inspired me.

And now, I can’t wait to see what God will do through them.

Thank you to all of the people at NewThing and Community that helped make this possible! It was truly a TEAM effort.

Do me a favor and add Charles, Chero, and Justin to your prayer list. They are starting a new thing after all!