One of the first things that you will learn very quickly when pursuing any type of church planting movement is that it takes a team. We use terms like bandwidth to describe the available time and energy that we have to devote to the task. We cycle through the Four Fields of Entry, Gospel, Discipleship and Church and we devote time and energy to Leadership development as well. Each of these is important, but each demands time and time as we know it is one of the most important of resources. We want to and need to spend it wisely to gain the greatest effect on movement. In order to do this, we need a team and we need to devote time to that time. When bandwidth is low, a team can step in and help with the load. So that means your team needs to know what you know. That is why we MAWL them. M-Model A-Assist W- Watch L- Leave. We take them along with us through the Fields you might say so that they gain confidence and competence in each area of church planting from Field 1 Entry to Field 4 Church Formation. In this way, we are increasing impact because more boots on the ground is a great thing!
This February was a great time of investing in co-laborers. Common Ground Church in Lake Worth has been a blessing to me almost since day 1 of me arriving in S. Florida. They remind me so much of my sending church The River Community Church in Fayetteville, NC that I immediately felt at home. They meet in an old bar and reach out to the surrounding community. They are nothing fancy or showy but they love and present the gospel and that is what matters. I have been harvesting in their immediate area for months and have held many discipleship gatherings in the coffee shop they operate across the street from the church. This February, we got the privilege of training the church and to begin going out with some of their members into the harvest. One family in the church has even offered their home as a house of peace to strive towards reaching their neighbors and beginning discipleship. Johnnie is one of their church members and he has become a welcomed laborer to me. He already was actively engaging his community and now we go out into the area as well as into the areas of Pahokee and Belle Glade. I am looking forward to many new adventures with Common Ground Church as they roll out the Four Fields as part of their Great Commission strategy.
February also saw me going to San Francisco with Troy to assist in a Four Fields Intensive Training. I was greatly encouraged by all of the young adults that are now laboring with #NoPlaceLeft. Their energy and passion for seeing those far from God enter into a relationship with Him was a beautiful thing to see. I was also encouraged by Pastor David Kim who is laboring there in the Bay Area. His heart for equipping his church to reach his area and his humility was what spoke to me the most. There were other legacy church pastors attending the training and he was quick to help them to see how they could roll out the Four Fields in their churches to empower their people to reach others for Christ and to disciple them to be disciple makers. During the training, I presented my generation map which shows the work going on in my personal network. It is always helpful to have other people speak into what is happening with me and my team. They help encourage, but also help see ways to deal with possible stuckages and with keeping a healthy rhythm so that the work is not negatively impacted.
Another great addition in February was the beginning of a Spanish speaking team that I encountered in the harvest. These three have been a blessing to me. They encountered us during one of our church gatherings in the coffee shop. They had been praying for a way to share their faith and God put us in each other’s path. We have started meeting each Thursday afternoon going through the Commands of Christ and training in the Four Fields. They have also engaged in the harvest with us and have allowed now for us to enter into the Spanish speaking communities. I love how God brings people of vision together in this way.
Things are continuing to go well with the church gatherings in the recovery community. They have my heart and I enjoy being with them and doing life together. In addition to our weekly discipleship time, we sometimes gather together for worship at Common Ground and for coffee time afterwards. We learn from each other about the struggles of life and the hope that is found in relationship with Jesus.
The local team here has also started to move from Field 2 Gospel sharing to Field 3 Discipleship. This happened due to continual and persistent harvesting and God brought the fruit. It is like a proud parent seeing his kids venture out for the first time. It is exciting seeing them take ownership of discipling new and existing believers. Beautiful multiplication. I also love hearing them share how they are discipling new people and about how they are dealing with their own stuckages.
I am also headed to Madison, Wisconsin March 16 to hold a Gospel Conversation Training at a church there. God is opening up more and more doors both locally as well as across the nation and internationally. Since this is the beginning of year 2, I am now encountering more of these opportunities and am in need of mission support partners to help with funding a ministry budget so that I can continue to say yes to these opportunities. I would ask that you prayerfully consider coming on as monthly support partners with me. My mission support page is Maxwell on Mission Support Page All mission donations are tax deductible. You can also make one time donations from this link as well. It is because of my support partners that I can devote all of my time to this work. Thanks to all of you and may God bless your ministries as well.