A Day in the Life of NewThing

Yesterday I was scanning Facebook and came across several events that were happening at NewThing. What struck me is the breadth and scope of what God is doing through our movement. Here’s what I saw:

NewThing Leaders in Indiana

NewThing leaders in Indianapolis met to work on plans to plant new churches all over Indiana. They are dreaming BIG and partnering on a number of levels. This group started with a Catalyst Community.

NewThing Leaders in Kansas City met for their monthly movement / network leader huddle. This is an opportunity for them to check in with each other about their plans to plant churches together. They also take tine to pray for one another. The KC network has been one of our most inspiring networks for a long time. They haven’t let up on the throttle at all.

NewThing Leaders in Kansas City
Dave Ferguson Meeting with German Leaders
Dave Ferguson in Germany

Our fearless leader, Dave Ferguson, is traveling through Germany meeting leaders who want to plant new churches. He’s speaking at conferences and talking about ways NewThing can help fuel movements.

Our Global Catalyst Community team led by Joe Wilson is helping leaders in El Salvador start new reproducing networks. God is truly doing some incredible things through this platform. We have plans to scale this training and help apostolic leaders across the globe reproduce new leaders and churches.

NewThing Catalyst Community in El Salvador

In fact, there was lots more. We’re working with pastors in Chicago to start new networks. Our partners in Michigan are meeting to talk about how they can work together.

All of this really took me by surprise. I mean I am the Global Director of this fantastic organization (just sayin’) and I know all of this stuff is going on. But it doesn’t mean all of this reproducing stuff has gotten old. Nor does it mean that I don’t lose my breath when I actually get to see and hear about all that God is doing.

I’ll admit that sometimes it’s hard to lead an organization like NewThing because I don’t always get to see what God’s up to.

So I want to THANK YOU for all of the leaders all over the world who have said yes to NewThing and are now catalyzing church planting. (And thanks for posting photos so I can see it all! ) Your leadership is why our movement is literally exploding.

Together, we truly are better!

#KINGDOM

May we continue to give God all the praise and glory for all that He’s up to in the world. Amen.

don’t listen to the critics

It can be scary to create (or start something new).

When we start to create, the critic starts squawking:

What’s this good for? Why do it? Why are you wasting your time? It’s not going to work out. This will go nowhere. Do you really want to expose yourself like this? Do you really want to waste more time. Who do you think you are? Why don’t you try doing something useful? Others have done it so much better. You have no talent etc.

Maybe you’ve heard this before?

Continue reading “don’t listen to the critics”

what if in 2017?

I wrote some questions in my journal the other day that have been bugging me so I thought I’d share them with you.

What if you did things differently in 2017?

What if you did one thing that really helped one person? What would it look like to do ten things that helped 10 people?

What if you really put aside your agenda and really listened?

What if you were more generous this year to your local church with our time and treasures?

What if I really took care of my body?

What if I read the books that would expand my understanding of other people and the world?

What if I did something to address to root cause of poverty and injustice in my community?

What if I made new friends by reaching out to people to people who aren’t like me?

What if I really tried to consume less of everything?

What if I made decisions to live in ways that aren’t so harmful to the environment?

What if I  really tried to live out the teachings of Jesus in tangible ways by loving God and loving others more than myself?

What if I really devoted myself to prayer?

Asking what if questions is hard.  But asking them is one way I can change things. What if enough of us asked what if?

hope for tomorrow

The older I get, the more the years start to blur together. Despite my best intentions, it’s getting harder to keep track of what the uniqueness of each year. I mean I remember 2016 just fine. But 1996, well that’s another question.

Speaking of 2016 – what a year eh? Continue reading “hope for tomorrow”

Help People Play Big in the Kingdom

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” –Mark 1:15

We Christians believe the Kingdom is near. With the incarnation of Jesus, God’s plan to redeem the world is now in motion.

Now there is hope. releasing-lanterns[1]

God will reconcile all things to himself and that will take all of his people pulling together and executing their part of the mission. God asks ALL of his people to play BIG in the Kingdom.

See, the gathering and scattering of God’s people is the essential rhythm of the Jesus mission. We gather to scatter as ambassadors of for the Kingdom.

So I gotta ask—are you helping people play BIG in the Kingdom?

If not, why not? Is your ecclesiology or tradition or even your fear stopping them? Worse, is your bias toward your kingdom holding them back?

Those of us who God has called to be leaders in his church, at whatever level, need to get something straight. It’s not about us. It’s never been about us and will never be about us.

It’s about helping the people we serve play their part in the Kingdom. This is servant leadership. This is the essence of our call to serve others.

So how do you release people to play big in the Kingdom?

  • Be serious about it. Don’t use them to build your kingdom. Be honest here. We all have a bias towards our thing. And we need reminding (and repenting) so that we can combat our bias.  Instead, build a culture that not only encourages but equips them for Kingdom work:
  • Give them permission. Don’t pay them lip service. Send them—commission them; encourage them; support them.
  • Challenge them. To find their unique gifts and calling in the Kingdom.
  • Give them real opportunity. And be sure to build in real accountability.
  • Support them. When you create a culture that encourages people to take risks, there will be hardship and failure.
  • Pray for them. 

When we release people to play big in the Kingdom everything changes. Everything!

So what about you? Who is it that you must release to play BIG in the Kingdom today?

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