I love blogging mission updates because I get to show what God has been doing in the in-between times. I have learned a very important lesson. Obedience even in the smallest of ways is rewarded by God. We talk about stuckages often in church planting. Stuckages are barriers or challenges that we are facing in moving through the fields from entry, gospel sharing, discipleship and then church formation. I do not want to give that a negative light because in reality, we wouldn’t be talking obstacles if we weren’t actively being obedient in the going. So, stuckages are a part of movement. We face them. Learn from them and move on. We also embrace and celebrate the fact that we encountered them. It means something is happening!!
Since we practice the Four Fields as our strategy, field 2 and field 3 are often the hardest transition points for us. These are the fields pertaining to gospel sharing and initial follow-up and discipleship. My local team is awesome. They all have jobs, but also a heart to be obedient to the Great Commission. They each have different entry points into sharing as well. They use the creativity that God has given them and the particular life and job situations in which they work to be entry points into gospel conversations. This might be with their Lyft drivers, out in the park, the coffee shop, their workplace, neighborhoods, wherever. And God is blessing that obedience. As I am writing this, Alex who is a young man on my team, texted me to let me know that he has followup with a group this Wednesday and another one Sunday to train some individuals in the 411 and begin discipleship. This happened as an act of obedience in the sharing and then in the intentional setting up of followup. We often let fears or apprehensions keep us from the next step. Many on our team are beginning to see generational growth because of these intentional acts of obedience.
Meet Cami. She is the young lady in this picture getting baptized by Emile and Alex. The Bible instructs us in the Great Commission to make disciples and baptize them. Cami took this first step of obedience and now meets weekly in one of our church gatherings. She has also already started sharing her faith with others and has also trained others in 411 discipleship.
Connections happen in some unique ways. Victor who is pictured here in the green and white plaid shirt and hat is someone I met from the harvest and we gather for church each week. Victor had not shared his faith before and went out with me one day and that is where we encountered Cami. Victor shared the gospel with Cami which was the initial connection with Cami that led to her baptism and subsequent discipleship training. This is about releasing people to be the Ambassadors that they have been called to be. Disciples making disciples!
The above picture is the format we use for our church gatherings. The Commands of Christ discipleship follows a 3/3 format. The goal is to provide a discipleship format which is biblical and transformative. We begin with looking back on our week and sharing highs and lows of the week as we care for each other. We hold each other accountable for the COST goals that we shared the previous week. We offer worship through observing the Lord’s Supper, Praise Songs, Harvest stories etc. We cast vision for what a healthy church is to look like based on the Acts 2 model. We then move into our new lesson for the week and hold a discovery Bible study and bring out of the Word what God is calling us to obey. Practice is done each week as we share the gospel tools and get practice sharing these to increase our comfort level with them. We then set COST goals for the next week and close out in prayer and commissioning us to do the work we have been called to. There is an intentional emphasis on accountability and obedience.
I love seeing people from many different backgrounds coming together each week to gather and learn more about who Jesus is and how He is the only answer to our brokenness. This is one of those groups I get to meet with on a weekly basis. We learn together as we open God’s Word and discover its truth. Since we all come from many different backgrounds, that provides for many entry points into the gospel sharing. We train ALL to share and be lights out in the world.
We train in churches as well and offer training in gospel conversations. We partner with churches who has a heart for the broken, a God-sized vision and desire tools to help equip their members to make disciples, plant churches and mobilize missionaries until there is #NoPlaceLeft. This training at First Baptist Church Port St. Lucie provided tools for the harvest and they got to put those tools into practice that very afternoon as we hit the streets to share.
Meet Mrs. Voida. 91 years old and getting trained. She also went out in the harvest and shared the 3 Circles. Obedience is the key and she was very obedient to the Great Commission. She shared with me how she shares often with people. She also receives red light responses from people (NO’s) but that doesn’t stop her. It is about being obedient to share. The response is out of our hands. The sharing isn’t.
Sharing 411 training is a huge part of our initial discipleship. New believers from the harvest as well as existing Christians that we encounter are trained to be disciple makers using this tool. And as you can see children to adult can learn to share. Pompano shared with these young people while he was in NJ. Abbie trained Marina one afternoon and Johnnie is getting trained after church service at Common Ground Church. Common Ground Church is one of our new partner churches that are receiving training.
- Continued healthy abiding in Christ daily (quiet times, prayer, WORD).
- The team remains obedient to share and train which leads to new disciples and church starts.
- Continued partnership and training in local churches
- Harvest obedience weekly
- Existing church starts move towards ‘healthy church’.
- Generational growth begins. Stuckages addressed.
- All those in the NoPlaceLeft network will move forward in the task we have been called to.
I want to thank as always those who are my ministry partners. I pray that these updates help you to see and be encouraged by the work that you are a part of. I can not do this alone. Also, I pray that the tools I mention here can be put to use in your own areas. If I can mentor you in their use or you have questions about making disciples, please let me know. I would love to train you! If you would like to join as a mission partner with me please click the link. All of your donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. https://www.purecharity.com/kevinmaxwell-e3partners