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? 

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! 

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”