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

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…

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…

United We Stand

As we began our revival history tour, I couldn’t help but feel the minister at Park Street reminded me of George Whitefield or Jonathan Edwards (but without the white wig).  His message was from John 17

Whitefield & Edwards with wigs
George Whitefield & Jonathan Edwards

Rev. Kris Perkins-Park Street

…Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so He can give glory back to You” (Jn. 17:1).

The night before, our group gathered around a table and shared what brought us on the trip.  We each expressed a passion for prayer and a heart for revival.  Though from many different backgrounds, we were united in mission.

Park Street Church was founded in 1809 by handful of people, who united to address Unitarianism.  They were clear about their purpose, emphasizing biblical theology, revival and spiritual renewal, and worldwide mission.

Park Street Church

As a congregational church, they’ve consistently emphasized mutual accountability and the priesthood of all believers (1 Pet. 2:9-10).  As a church that loves the Gospel, they’ve hosted great revival preachers through the years like Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, D.L. Moody, and Billy Sunday.  They gathered 40,000 on the nearby Boston Common to hear Billy Graham.

Graham on Boston Common

As a missional church, they were part of sending some of the first cross-cultural American missionaries, who sailed to India in 1812.  In 1819, Park Street commissioned its first team of missionaries to the Sandwich Islands.

Sandwich Islands Mission

Living out their faith through social action, William Lloyd Garrison hosted anti-slavery meetings at Park Street, and the American Educational Society was founded there.  They were among the first to provide Sunday School for those without access to formal education, during a time when this was looked down upon as “working on the sabbath.”  This calls to mind Jesus’ question: “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath?” (See Luke 6:7-11 for His answer).

Bicentennial Quilt

Each week, 40-50 different nations are represented by those who gather to worship King Jesus at Park Street.  I was blessed to worship beside a brother in Christ from Nigeria.

How could a local church be true to her mission for over 200 years?

“I have revealed You to the ones You gave Me from this world. They were always Yours. You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” ~Jesus, John 17:6

As we worshiped with this biblical, Gospel, missional church, the minister spoke from John 17 on what Jesus wants for us.  The night of His betrayal, just before His suffering and death, Christ prayed for our unity.  Let’s not miss the significance.

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent Me.” ~Jesus, John 17:20-21

This was Jesus’ last prayer for us before the dawning of a new era.  The season of the Spirit was about to be inaugurated through His death and resurrection.

Jesus could have prayed for many things.  Just as Park Street’s message that morning could’ve covered many topics.  But Jesus prayed and the minister preached on unity in mission.

“I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me.” ~Jesus, John 17:22-23

Preaching at Park Street
“Let’s follow Christ’s example and pray for unity!” ~Rev. Kris Perkins, Associate Minister at Park Street Church

We so often allow differences to divide.
We underscore what makes us different instead of our Gospel commonalities.

We attempt all sorts of programs and expansions while neglecting Scripture, prayer, and mission.  And we wonder why modern religious methods fall so short…

Will we learn from a 200-year-old church who has stayed united and true to her heritage?

Memorial to God's faithfulness at Park Street

“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know You, but I do; and these disciples know You sent Me. I have revealed You to them, and I will continue to do so. Then Your love for Me will be in them, and I will be in them.” ~Jesus, John 17:25-26

Chime in.  I’d love to hear from you…

In what ways are you pursuing Gospel unity and missional priorities in your community?

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?

Daniel 9 – A prayer on behalf of our nation

Daniel 9:3-19,

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from Your commandments and rules. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To You, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which You have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against You. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, refusing to obey Your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against Him. 12 He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by Your truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that He has done, and we have not obeyed His voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for Yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for Your own sake, O Lord, make Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by Your name. For we do not present our pleas before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name” (ESV).

The Prophet Daniel turned his face toward the LORD, seeking Him in prayer and pleading for mercy on behalf of his nation of Israel. 

He prayed to the LORD and made confession for Israel’s sins.  Israel is a nation that is special to the LORD like none other, because through it He has sent the Messiah Jesus to suffer, die, and rise again to life to redeem sinners back to Himself.  Whatever your home country, you can pray a similar prayer of confession, repentance, and contrition as Daniel did on behalf of your nation.  In like manner, we also turn our faces toward the Lord Jesus Christ, seeking Him in prayer and pleading for mercy on behalf of our nation the United States of America.  We stand in the gap.  We make intercession.  Now, I pray to the Lord and make this confession for the sins of our nation.

O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from Your commandments and rules. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets and apostles, who speak in Your name to our leaders, our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To You, O Lord Jesus, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of America, to the inhabitants of Washington D.C., and to all of the United States, those who are near and those who are far away from sea to shining sea.

I confess that we have broken Your Ten Commandments, disregarding these vows of the covenant that You first proposed to Your beloved people at Mount Sinai.  I confess we have had other gods before You, worshiping false gods and making gods in our own image that better suit us; blasphemy, taking Your Name in vain; dishonoring and disregarding the Sabbath day of rest; disrespecting and speaking maliciously against our parents and those in authority; murder, hatred; adultery, looking with lust, fornication, pornography; theft, failure to give, hoarding; lying; and coveting our neighbor’s possessions and relationships.

I confess our deeds of the flesh: evil thoughts, sexual immorality, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly; impurity, degrading our bodies, shameful lusts, unnatural relations, indecent acts, perversion, depravity of mind, wickedness, strife, gossip, hatred for God, insolence, boasting, disobedience, inventing ways of doing evil, being senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless; prostitution, drunkenness, and swindling; debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and orgies; evil desires, anger, and filthy language; being lawbreakers, rebels, ungodly, sinful, unholy, irreligious, killing our fathers or mothers, human trafficking, perjury, and false doctrine; being cowardly, unbelieving, vile, immoral, and practicing magic arts.

I confess abortion, removing the Bible from the education of children, debt, dishonesty, poor stewardship, materialism, humanism, atheism, false religion, racism, and disregard for marriage.  I confess among professing believers hypocrisy, selfishness, pride, persecution, backbiting, divisions among and within congregations, focus on buildings and programs to the neglect of biblical values, favoritism of the rich, neglecting the poor, orphans, and widows, failing to visit believers imprisoned for their stand for Christ and ignoring the persecuted church, failing to preach the Gospel and take a stand for the truth; failing to fulfill the Great Commission around the world, trivializing Hell and the judgment of God; sloppiness and lack of precision in our study and teaching of the Word; loving politics and sports more than the Gospel of Jesus; loving arguments and debates more than the truth.

To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our leaders and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets and apostles. Our whole nation has transgressed Your law and turned aside, refusing to obey Your voice. And the consequences of our disobedience have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against Him. He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us great calamity.

O Lord, according to all Your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from America, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, the USA has become a byword among many peoples around the world. Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for Your own sake, O Lord, make Your face to shine upon this land. O my God, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations. For we do not present our pleas before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for Your own sake, O my God, because of the believers in this nation, Your people who are called by Your name.

In the Mighty Name of Jesus, our Lord and Messiah, AMEN!

 

(November 6th, A.D. 2012)

 

an old book with pages curved into a heart and flowers in the binding
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com