Disciple Making Movement Resources

Click to download a PDF that includes:

  1. Discovery Bible Study questions: to use with a group of friends/family to help us understand, apply, and share any passage of Scripture together
  2. Three-column Bible study: to help you understand, obey, and share Scripture when discovering on your own
  3. Discovery tracks: with various lists of Scripture passages to use over time to discover what God has to say about life and various important themes

Click to download a PDF with Disciple Making Movement Resources.

The Gift & Call of Singleness

I’m blessed to be sharing a message this Sunday in Junction City, WI on “Making Disciples Who Multiply!”  Praying through the Scripture I’ll be sharing from this weekend reminded me of themes I touched on in a message on “The Gift & Call of Singleness.”

No matter your relationship status or your season of life, I pray these thoughts will encourage you to be a multiplier who gathers others for Jesus-like disciple making friendships!

Disciple Making Movement Resources

Click to download a PDF that includes:

  1. Discovery Bible Study questions: to use with a group of friends/family to help us understand, apply, and share any passage of Scripture together
  2. Three-column Bible study: to help you understand, obey, and share Scripture when discovering on your own
  3. Discovery tracks: with various lists of Scripture passages to use over time to discover what God has to say about life and various important themes

Click to download a PDF with Disciple Making Movement Resources.

Your Mission… (if you choose to accept it)

I recently heard about a local church with financial problems that looked to their mission budget as an easy target for cuts.  

Sweet Bridget and I served for a time in Africa.  Having made such meaningful memories in South Africa, Malawi, and North Africa, part of our heart has been planted there (1 Th. 2:8).  It’s heartbreaking to think global mission could be viewed as a low priority.

Last month, we heard Larry Osborne of North Coast Church teach from his book Mission Creep.  Jesus gave us one mission (Matt. 28:16-20).  But Larry explained the process of drift.  When we consistently miss His target of multiplying disciples all over the world who obey Jesus, we tend to shift our aim toward whatever we think we’re good at.

Insert: _______________ …programming, music, food, ad nauseum.

Larry acknowledged North Coast won’t be around forever.  He soberly stated, once it’s reached its lifespan, like any human organization, it will cease to exist.  Its meeting space will likely be used for another purpose.  But the kingdom of God, which they sought to advance, will live on… eternally.  Toward kingdom unity, Larry charged church leaders to consider a local missional gift to a neighboring church in need, even one of another denomination.

Unless the Lord returns first, the day will come when every local fellowship–even the historic Park Street in Boston–will have run its course.

The question is:
Until that day, are we living to advance our own castles or His kingdom?

Jim Cymbala, who we were blessed to hear the final Sunday of our American Revival Heritage Tour, explains the identity of the people of God and our purpose when we gather: Jesus called us, “a house of prayer for all nations” (Mk. 11:17).

Prayer + Mission → Our Focus

Jim Cymbala & the Music Conference choir ~ Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York City (10-7-19)

I was in an elder meeting once where a slight mission budget cut was proposed, which would’ve eliminated support for some of our faithful missionaries.  I’ll always remember the words of a seasoned elder:
What message do we send to our church and to our young people if we defund our mission?”

For local churches:

  • Consider your missionaries an extension of your staff.  
  • Partner based on shared mission and kingdom values.  

We developed these mission partner criteria questions to help guide our team.

  • Invest in your partners’ development and fruitfulness.  
  • Communicate well and regularly with one another.
  • Be faithful in prayer for one another.  

If we want to leave a legacy that outlives us, let’s live to advance kingdom purposes that are truly eternal.


Feature image credit:
NASA, “On October 7, 2018, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) shot this photograph while orbiting at an altitude of more than 250 miles over Australia” (
Earth Enveloped in Airglow).

Sent: Living on Mission

I recently heard a talk about a dangerous enemy that seeks to demoralize and disarm any who have the heart to make a difference.

Miller calls this enemy, “narrative void.”  It looks like attempting to live without a story that’s larger than ourselves.

I find myself more susceptible to discouragement and drift when I fail to keep my eyes fixed on our mission.  Living for kingdom purposes has eternal ramifications and allows us to leave a legacy that will outlive us.

I recently had the opportunity to share a message on living each day on mission.

May our lives be forever changed as we discover and apply the missional strategy of the greatest difference Maker who ever walked the earth…

To Walk In Another’s Sandals

Have you ever tried to take a walk in someone else’s shoes or to see from behind another’s eyes?

I try to do this whenever I’m involved in drama (whether on or off the stage).  It’s the best way I know to emphasize, to feel another’s pain, to suspend judgment, and to listen well.

In preparation for a 40-day journey leading up to Resurrection Sunday, I saturated myself in the Gospel according to Mark.  Trying to get into the heart and mind of John Mark was a powerful experience for me.

I pray you’ll discover much as you hear and see his story unfold in the first person.  May you get a taste of the sweet fruit that this walk in another’s sandals culminated in for me.

As I Go…

Sept. 29Oct. 7, I participated in the American Revival Heritage Tour led by the Sentinel Group, a ministry focused on equipping believers to pray for transforming revival in our communities.  

This experience–a prayer journey immersed in church history–was life changing.

Among many takeaways, I was impressed with a sense of responsibility to steward what’s been entrusted to us by those who’ve gone on before.  With the Spirit’s help, I committed to obey Jesus by applying what He taught me. Over the next weeks, I’d also like to share with you some of what we discovered.  I’d be honored if you would take this journey with me…

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 2.02.32 PM

The morning I left for the Milwaukee airport (9/29), I woke up with a phrase in my mind and a song in my heart.

The prophetic song was the classic by Don Moen, “Thank You, Lord.”

I come before You today
And there’s just one thing that I want to say
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord
For all You’ve given to me
For all the blessings that I cannot see
Thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord…

The phrase was “As I Go…”

Although I’ve already returned, that phrase birthed this post, compiled from audio recordings as I drove (I’ll omit the Google Maps directions).

As I go… I go as a student of church history, asking questions to learn from heroes of the faith.  

I take a problem-centered approach to historical theology, which acknowledges we each come to the table with specific questions and issues we’re looking to answer.  In this case, our communities are desperate for revival and God’s transforming nearness.

I seek to respect characters from history as “voices with whom we enter into theological conversation,” Colin Gunton’s phrase.  This space at the table allows us to chat on common ground and dialogue about differences.

As I go… I go as a systematician.  Say what?  

I employ the systematic sense of a scientist, asking questions and hearing whatever answers may come.  I seek to do this removed from bias, to learn with a humble and open heart from the data that stories of the past offer us.  We all get off the plane with biases from our upbringing, our spiritual experiences, and what we’ve heard in the past.

My goal is to be aware of my own history but not allow it to discolor the new stories I’ll hear.  Behind our tour guides, we’ll hear voices, who like Abel, through their faith still speak (Heb. 11:4).  This is the great cloud of witnesses, gone on ahead, and I couldn’t be more excited to learn from their perspectives (Heb. 12:1).

As I go… I go as a person of prayer.  

I so love being in relationship with Jesus!  Since prayer is the primary avenue He has graced us with for connecting with Him, I love prayer too!  Prayer is also the most powerful way His people change the world.

A friend prayed with me over the phone the day before my trip: “LORD, give him eyes to see the things that only You can help him see!”  What expectancy a faith-filled prayer like that stirs in my heart!  It sets my spirit ready to be watchful (1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8).  I’m on the edge of my seat excited for all He will reveal.

As I go… I go as a friend of Jesus.  

This means I’m a disciple who obeys my Master and shares what He teaches me with others.  Jesus said we show our love for Him by obeying Him (Jn. 14:15).  In His final commission, Jesus calls us to teach others “to obey” all the commands He’s given us (Mt. 28:17-20).  We pass on what He shares with us, inflow-outflow personal conversations.

This means… I go as a disciple-making disciple, seeking to equip, encourage, and impart to others even as I receive life myself.  It’s never a stagnant swamp that ends with me but always a living channel, an ever-flowing river.

As I go… He’s with me (Mt. 28:20).  

And we go with others.  I’m not alone.  Though I haven’t yet met them, I go with brothers and sisters from various streams in the Body of Christ with similar hearts for revival and prayer, for learning from our Lord Jesus and the voices of the past.  I’m sure we’ll become fast friends.

May all the streams flow as one river…
~to wash away our brokenness
~to heal our land (2 Chr. 7:14)

Revive us again, LORD, for the glory of Your Name!  We ask for awakening, transforming revival, and reformation in the wonderful Name of Jesus.

I’d love to hear from you!

What have you been praying for your community lately?

The Sovereignty of God in World Mission & Prayer

I recently experienced a time of personal revival at the Multiply DMM Summit in Wheaton, IL.

I was especially impacted by Jerry Trousdale’s message on the kingdom of God based on his new book The Kingdom Unleashed.  Jerry’s excellent teaching reminded me of themes in a message I shared in 2014.  I recommend the links above and my message below to discover more… May Christ’s Kingdom come and His will be done (Matthew 6:10)!

Leaving a legacy: the cloud of witnesses

Henry “Butcher” Varley, the British revivalist, gave a charge that gripped D.L. Moody’s heart. Moody recalled Varley saying, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” Moody replied, “By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”

As students of the Bible and followers of Jesus Christ, consider the legacy we have inherited. Believers throughout history, who pressed to make their Lord Jesus known, have entrusted it to us: witnesses like Moody, Varley, Torrey, Noah, King David, Mary, Lazarus, Peter, Paul, and John.

This great cloud of witnesses spurs us on (Heb. 12:1). Their histories bear continual witness to the Gospel of Jesus. Their testimonies exemplify surrender of self to the declaration and demonstration of His full Gospel. The great cloud calls to us, urging us to walk in their footsteps, follow their examples, and build on their foundation.

“Imitate us as we imitate Christ!” their lives beckon. Someday soon, those serving the Lord Jesus will join that cloud of witnesses. Their legacy urges, “As the Lord tarries, call future generations to Gospel-centered lives through your faithfulness today!”

Moody heard that call from his friend Varley. In 1873, Moody asked Varley to repeat his words that had spoken so powerfully to him just a year earlier. Varley looked at him blankly. He did not recall uttering any such charge.

 

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” ~Henry “Butcher” Varley

“By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” ~D.L. Moody

According to Paul Gericke’s Crucial Experiences in the Life of D.L. Moody, Moody responded to Varley, “Ah, those were the words sent to my soul, through you, from the Living God. As I crossed the wide Atlantic, the boards of the deck of the vessel were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with [them]. Under the power of those words I have come back to England, and I felt that I must not let more time pass until I let you know how God had used your words to my inmost soul.”


What are you preparing for those who will come behind you? Like sewing squares into a patchwork quilt, you can choose each day to add beauty to your legacy. What are you forging that you plan to pass on?

When believers stand before Jesus, our works will be tested by fire. Only treasures stored up in Heaven, the precious metal and gems of work done for Christ, will endure (Mt. 6:19-21; 1 Cor. 3:13-15).

Leonard Ravenhill advised an evangelist, “Make sure when you die that you aren’t standing knee deep in ashes.”

As we proclaim the Gospel and run this race with perseverance, the ripple effect of our legacy may touch nations. Our calling is to bear witness by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). As we faithfully serve, we remain unaware of the full extent of our legacy until we arrive in glory.