Kingdom Impact in Your Community

Walking in His Footsteps with Gerrylynn Ferguson

On Monday, I had the great honor to chat with two dear friends: Myles Hanson & Gerrylynn Ferguson!

The second hour with Gerrylynn Ferguson, we focused on making a kingdom impact in our communities.

Gerrylynn also shared insights on clarifying God’s call for your life and how to leave a lasting legacy in your community:

THIS Monday, Oct. 26, 7-9 PM Central Time, I’ll have Tom & Sue Rice of Great Marriages for Sheboygan County, sharing their wisdom and experience from 50 years of a joyful marriage!

Tom & Sue Rice on their wedding day (a few years ago) — I’m sure it feels like yesterday!
Tom & Sue Rice on their wedding day (a few years ago) —
I’m sure it feels like yesterday! 🙂 

Tune in live at Praydio.com!

You can catch videos of past episodes here:

Aerial photo of a neighborhood in Haiti
Aerial photo of a neighborhood in Haiti
by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

Walking in His Footsteps on Praydio.com

On October 12, I began hosting a new radio show called Walking in His Footsteps on Praydio.com!

Mondays, 7-9 PM Central Time

The first hour, we focus on stories of how God is at work in our lives and in our world, interspersed with inspirational music.

The second hour, we share bite-sized, actionable training content to help us grow as disciples of Jesus who make disciples that multiply!

Here are some of our Walking in His Footsteps guests:


~Oct. 12, Kurt Olson of the International Disciple Making Initiative ~ what are the marks of a true disciple?
~Oct. 19, Myles Hanson & Gerrylynn Ferguson
~Oct. 26, Tom & Sue Rice — the joy of a Jesus-centered marriage!

In November, we’ll focus on the Power of Testimony:


~Nov. 2, Liz Kohli, Perspectives.org
~Nov. 9, Jim Egli, newgenerations.org —
Disciple Making Movements around the world
~Nov. 16, Ross Nelson — intercessory prayer that births movements!
~Nov. 23, Dave & Rennie Garda, cadremissionaries.com
real life disciple-making friendships
~Nov. 30, Christine Jacobs — effective prayer & spiritual warfare

You can catch videos of past episodes here:

We’d love to have you join us LIVE for Walking in His Footsteps on Praydio.com!

footprints left in the sand
Photo by Min An

The Reverend

“Satan fell through force of gravity.”

~G.K. Chesterton

My Dear Hognut,

I’m certainly glad that our exchange has taken place via private electronic messages and not posted on an open forum.

Your questions and line of reasoning, in your email response to me, were nothing short of stupid!

It’s disgusting how much you need me and my guidance!  We can only be grateful that I’m here for you for such a time as this.

How wonderful, on the contrary, to hear that your client highly regards the clergy-laity divide!  

It exquisitely limits the Enemy’s workforce when the majority of “Christians” view themselves as passive pew sitters, punching a weekly time clock of church attendance—while the leadership is busy knocking into one another with puffed-up heads, useless debates, and endless divisions.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Reinforce this concept of spiritual hierarchy wherever it may be found, whether in church structure or personal relationships, as it delightfully divides, discourages, and disheartens.

Overall, protect your client from recognizing the strategy of Jesus, who sought to revolutionize the world by creating a level playing field where any average persona non grata can become a public enemy of concern to our organization.

Arguments about titles, roles, and rules are to be strongly encouraged!  Emphasize and even overemphasize non-essential topics.  

“Overall, protect your client from recognizing the strategy of Jesus, who sought to revolutionize the world by creating a level playing field where any average persona non grata can become a public enemy of concern to our organization…”

Revise and re-revise the bylaws and policy manuals until the cows come home.  Underscore any religious pattern of thinking or behavior that will keep more players on the benches and little to none on the field.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Your client seems a miniscule threat in terms of equipping, training, or mobilizing people to pray or work for the Enemy.  He’s securely self-focused.

His own theological training and experience nearly guarantee he will be looked to as an authority.  His personality is winsome enough that he will shepherd the flock in our direction without the sheep being any the wiser.

You will also do well to ensure that any passages, referencing humility or unity are relegated as compulsory for others and applied only to his personal advantage, while your client holds tightly to his own self-righteousness.

Another hilarious thing in the religious sector (if one is given to laughter) is that with one well-placed fear, doubt, or unnecessary concern one can spin an entire conversation, conference, or series of meetings out of focus into total disarray and ensuing chaos!

Photo by Trinity Kubassek

Lest you doubt me, I will cite a case study.

I heard from one of our colleagues who inspired a group of church leaders to fully dissociate from one of their own and disregard this other’s so-called “success” because of his unconventional use of untrained “lay leaders” in public ministry.

This individual was part of a divergent movement, which I recognized as one of the blips of concern on the map.  He was gathering everyday believers for prayer, training, and deployment in what he termed “disciple-making,” which dangerously upset the religious applecart.

Our esteemed colleague, playing on the other leaders’ fears of becoming obsolete and further underpaid, inspired a discussion on traditional ecclesial titles and roles.  Those mentioned previously, like pastor and reverend, came up but even more like elder, deacon, bishop, overseer, et cetera.

This “friendly” conversation soon became a full-fledged debate with tempers flaring and increasingly more words flying.  Of course, this came with the inversely proportional amount of time spent actually listening.

As they heard one another less and less, their argument became more and more heated.  Lines drawn in the proverbial sand became deeper and deeper trenches between them.

Photo by Rafael Serafim

The division and distraction that ensued was delicious!

This pairs well with what I urged in a previous post about inspiring our clientele to focus on their differences and to quickly take offense.  In short, train your client to be quick to speak, slow to listen, and quick to outburst in anger, for this is near sure as Hell to bring about the outcome we so deeply desire.  

That turn of phrase has a ring to it!

“As they heard one another less and less, their argument became more and more heated.  Lines drawn in the proverbial sand became deeper and deeper trenches between them…”

In closing, be sure to keep on the forefront of your mind the fact that you are easily replaceable.  And if you fail or your initial attempts suggest that you might fail, I will recommend your immediate termination.

Photo by Andreas Fickl on Pexels.com

There is a long line of underlings, who would be overjoyed to step into your strong-smelling shoes.

Tenderly yours,

“The Reverend” P. Sophresh

(honorary, self-awarded title included just for the dramatic effect of it) 

P.S. Those credentials are so easy to acquire online these days that as I wrote the closing words of this memo I went ahead and registered myself for one!  The official certificate I printed is prominently displayed on my home office wall.

Oh, what irony and hilarity!  You might well do the same if you think it would help you see from behind your client’s eyes. And who says our work isn’t fun?

If you’d like to talk more about disciple making that multiplies, reach out to us...

Roy Moran
roymoran.com

Marcus Constantine
livingtruth2.wordpress.com

Alarming Spiritual Trends

“We must picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment. This, to begin with.”

~C.S. Lewis

Dear Hognut,

I cannot tell you how elated I am that my previous posts cast a long enough shadow, creating the buzz necessary to reinstate myself into a supervisory role in our organization.

It quite surprised me—as I am sure it did you when you no doubt heard—that I was to be removed from my post for an undesignated period.  

My theory, more well-informed of course than most, is that there was a jealousy brewing among some higherups regarding my capabilities and potential qualifications to be promoted to their rank (please keep this tasty tidbit to yourself and refrain from sharing it vertically or horizontally).

I have my finger on something that few others in our organization are aware of.

While some supervisors have their heads deep in the weeds of particular cases and others get bleary-eyed looking at the grander scheme, I have noted some dangerous blips on the map, spiritual trends you might call them, which if left unaddressed could present significant problems for our overarching initiatives and long-range organizational goals.

Photo by energepic.com

When my findings are fully recognized, I will no doubt be promoted to a rank much higher than you could ever dream of attaining.

You may have heard it explained that the ranking system our organization employs was uniquely designed for us.  Of course, humans have attempted to implement our structure everywhere from their families and corporate org charts to their religious institutions.  

It is quite humorous (if one is given to humor) to observe the ensuing disunity, mistrust, and inequality that results.

Some have falsely attributed the origin of our organizational ranking system to the Enemy.  Of course, it was our Chief Operating Officer, our Father Below himself, who arranged the levels and ranks for us, with himself firmly fixed at the highest office.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro

To say the least, I was elated, while reviewing your client’s file, to discover that he is a reverend.  And not just a member of the so-called clergy, but one who insists on being addressed by exalted titles like “Pastor,” which he finds ever so much satisfaction in.  What’s more, he revels in discussing his rank, experience, and education ad nauseum.

Your weak ramblings in your initial briefing and the lack of clarity in your client plan speak loudly and clearly that you have failed to grasp how simple this assignment can be for you!

This may very well become a backburner account that provides rich dividends, requiring only minimal maintenance—while you can give your attention to taking on additional clientele.  In this case, your perceived enemy can very easily become your ally.  In fact, he already may be an asset to our cause!

I hope you will soon wake up and smell the coffee in the fellowship hall!  Realize, my pea-brained compatriot, you have nothing to fear just because your current client is “religious.”  

The world of human religion is an opportunistic playground for us, as it often inherently embraces several foundational pillars, which our organization prizes.  A few of which are the love of power, manipulation, domination, control, wealth, rank… need I go on?

Photo by Gratisography

If you have done your homework—which would be hard to believe—you may remember that our Enemy addressed this very matter during his incarnate years on this earth.

The Enemy instructed his disciples they were not to be addressed by honorific titles like Rabbi, Teacher, or Father.  This was important to him because he, dangerously, knew what was in a human heart.

He recognized humankind is given toward pride.  Thus, they jump when the opportunity presents itself to find identity or a sense of worth in position, power, or personal accomplishments.

“The Enemy instructed his disciples they were not to be addressed by honorific titles like Rabbi, Teacher, or Father.” ~Preptor S.

Photo on Pexels.com

Each of these pitfalls have the potent allure of quicksand, pulling hard and holding fast any who would stumble or stride into them.

Make sure that portions of the Book, like those aforementioned, are hidden from your client.  Of course, he can read and even teach them, but ensure they remain veiled.

He is free to explain them away by complicated reasoning, suggesting they are only applicable to the earliest disciples or via some other convoluted theological or, otherwise, logical arguments.

Photo by Pixabay

If he is completely convinced in his own mind, those who hear his profound explanations will equally be either thoroughly convicted or confused.  Either is our delight!

More on this soon.  Keep me updated on your progress.

“If he is completely convinced in his own mind, those who hear his profound explanations will equally be either thoroughly convicted or confused.  Either is our delight!”

Breathing down your neck and looking over your shoulder (at times, quite literally),

Preptor S.

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com
If you’d like to talk more about disciple making that multiplies, reach out to us...

Roy Moran
roymoran.com

Marcus Constantine
livingtruth2.wordpress.com

Disciple Making Movement Resources

Click to download a PDF that includes:

  1. Discovery 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 story sets: with various lists of Scripture passages to use over time to discover what God has to say about life on a few important themes

Click to download a PDF with Disciple Making Movement Resources.

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…

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…

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 dangers of becoming a "professional" Christian

Yesterday was my sabbath, the day I chose this week to rest from everything that feels like work and to refocus on the LORD.  Because I have the privilege of serving full-time with our church, I work on Sundays.  Though it’s usually a blessed day, it’s far from a rest day.  So this week, I chose Saturday to sabbath.

As I drove to the grocery store on my chosen day of rest, I saw two young men on the sidewalk, dancing as they walked to the beat booming from a cell phone that one held (their version of a “boom box on your shoulder,” I suppose).

I heard a whisper, “Tell them about the destiny I have for their lives. Call out the treasure I’ve deposited in them. Invite them to use the gifts I’ve given them for Me.”

I smiled and waved as I drove by.  I did this so quickly, I didn’t see if they even noticed.

“Hmm… not exactly what I had in mind,” Holy Spirit whispered.  I drove on.

Down a busy road, I saw a minivan parked in an industrial lot with kids peeking out the open doors.

Two adults stood outside with a sign: “Help us get home. God bless”

The whisper: “Stop. Hear about their need. Bring a taste of My Kingdom.”

Wonderings of a calloused heart: “Scammers who go from city to city? A family truly in need? I’ll stop to find out, if they’re still there when I get back from grocery shopping. After all, it’s my sabbath.”

I never found out, as they were gone by the time I drove home.  I even excused myself, thinking: I would’ve stopped if I’d had a friend with me.  I sensed a sadness in my heart but shook it off to continue on with my sabbath observance.

Today, as I drove from the church building to the beach for our student event, I passed a worn-down house with a woman standing outside in the sun wearing a thick hoody and jeans.  The temp was in the high 80s.  Her face looked, in a word: “hopeless.”  I didn’t have a full word of encouragement to deliver to her, but I was prompted to stop and had one word: “HOPE.”

Was that her name?  Was that what she needed to hear?

I slowed down as I drove by.  While I stalled like a child delaying bedtime, she began walking toward a side door and entered the house.  I deliberated turning around to knock and share some “hope.”  I didn’t.

At our beach event, the sister who shared an anointed message spoke on stepping out in faith and listening to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to work through us to speak to and touch others.  Ouch… “I’m listening, LORD.”

I returned to that house after the beach.  When I knocked, I learned firsthand the importance of timely, immediate obedience.

A man gruffly asked, “What do you want?”

“This might seem out of the ordinary, but I felt God…”

“Not interested.”

I didn’t get to see the lady who needed hope.

Holy Spirit, draw her nearer to Jesus and bring other Christ followers into her life who will share Your hope!

Jesus worked miracles on the sabbath, and it triggered the religious crowd (Matthew 12:9-14).  He didn’t stop to touch everyone or fix every problem.  But He did stop every time His Father asked Him to (John 5:19).  No matter what day it was.

Followers of Jesus do need regular rest (Mark 2:27-28).  But, we take no break from obeying Abba, from following the promptings of His Spirit.

Following Jesus is not my “job.”  I refuse to become a “professional” Christian.  If you minister to others for your livelihood, you might be tempted to think of your service as your source and yourself as a professional.

I am not a “professional” Christian, however.  It is not my day job to follow Jesus.  It is not even my duty.  It is my honor and privilege.  He died for me.  I live for Him.

“Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.”

I willingly choose, in response to His love, to live for Him.

I need to repent.

I am not a 9-to-5, punch-in/punch-out “Christian.”  I live on mission.

I am not part of the religious crowd.  I live in relationship with Holy Spirit.

I am not a duty and obligation, “have to” kind of guy.  I get to serve the most wonderful Master!  Living for His glory is my joy!

I’ve learned recently from a friend that repentance is much more than feeling sorrow over my sin or even just asking for forgiveness.

In Acts 26:18, Paul retells the mission that Jesus gave him:
“…to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

Paul says he obeyed this calling by preaching “that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (v. 20).

All the facets of verse 18 fulfilled in preaching repentance!

Peter shared that repentance brings times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).

I’ve discovered: repentance is turning from sin to face Abba, declaring, “This old pattern is not who I am. I embrace You! I believe what You say about me is true!”

We are called to live lives of repentance.  We are ambassadors of His Kingdom, ministers of reconciliation, those who run with the good news of His love!

Lord Jesus, tenderize my heart.  You died and rose again, so we can live in relationship with You, be filled with Your Spirit, and demonstrate the reality of Your resurrection.  You rose from the dead and so nothing is impossible for You!

I am a student, a learner, an obedient follower, walking in the footsteps of my Master, led by His Spirit.  I rest: daily and weekly.  I can’t fix everything.  I’m not the savior or messiah.  But I do know Him.  And I follow Him.  What He says goes.  As a disciple of Jesus, I will obey Him without question or hesitation.  I love Him, and I trust His heart that much.

I am not a “professional” Christian.  I am following Jesus.  How about you?

 

Be fully dependent

“Dependence is a dirty word.” That summarizes several comments posted on my Facebook status. My status read, “In life, you have two choices: either become independent or fully dependent on Jesus.”

The unbelieving world deems the college years a period when youth should become independent. As usual, the world is wrong.

I, a dependent college student, wager the college years are an opportunity to become utterly dependent on the Lord Jesus. Yes, students usually leave home and family; In Chicago, I’m 600 miles away from mine. Sure, they often become self supporting, more responsible and mature. Of course, battle plans and personal goals are refined. However, independence should never be the aim of a Jesus-follower. He calls His disciples to complete reliance on Him.

Christ-loving students should expect college to be a stretching, painful experience wherein the Lord of Glory trims the fat from their lives. I propose God does this on purpose. That way, absolute surrender to Jesus and connection with the Body of Christ arise as the only antidotes to our need.

Let’s euthanize the myth that students should church hop and sample as many local assemblies as possible. Plug in. Be dependent on Christ’s Body. Be faithful. Commit yourself to a local church family as soon as possible. You’ll be obedient to Jesus and set yourself up to experience the operation of spiritual gifts in the context He intended.

If I aim to become dependent on Christ, I must learn to redeem the time for “the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5). Every second two people die, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Unless of course, I surrender to Jesus and in the power of His Spirit declare the Gospel in and out of season, making the most of every opportunity (Acts 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:2).

A dependent disciple of Christ is driven by the will of God and not the needs of man. One who attempts to meet everybody’s needs commits ministerial suicide. Those who depend on Jesus must be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s voice minute to minute and do what He says.

I am dependent on the only Source, who can always provide (Take that, the world, the flesh, and the Devil!). And I plan to keep growing in that dependence until the day I see Him, Face to face.