Tuesday, June 27

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting & Heaven Week

So you'll know where I'm coming from, when I was a Sr. Pastor of a Wesleyan church I always looked forward to the annual mailing from the department of Evangelism and Church Growth on "40 Days of Prayer & Fasting". I thought that it was a well laid out lent emphasis that could assist my congregation in focusing on spiritual disciplines with practical applications.

Have you used the program? Did you like it? Why or why not?

Same with Heaven Week ( Remember when it was 'Salvation Sunday'? ) I used Heaven Week to get everyone on the same page - "let's pray and plan and prepare...and see how many people will come to Christ during Heaven Week". Sure, we did a lot of other stuff during the year too, and yeah, I've heard a thousand people say heaven week should be every week ( most of them haven't seen a conversion or baptism in years! )

Did you use Heaven Week? Why or why not?

Where's this going? Glad you asked! Evangelism and Church Growth and the Spiritual Formation Department are working together on a brand new emphasis that would bring the best of both of the above mentioned programs together in one lent-Easter-Spring package.

I'd love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on either of these, what you would like to see in a new program, and what would be helpful to your church especially during lent or in leading people to Christ/inviting people to church.

Wednesday, June 21

Family pics

A very focused Hope ( our almost 10 year old ) at Chuckie Cheese
This is Autumn's 6th Birthday party at, where else, Build A Bear!!
This is Autumn ( our 6 year old ) and her cousin Chanika

Time to put up some pics

Great friends! Renee with new baby Kaylee and Dale with Kolin.

Monday, June 19

Developing a Discipleship Strategy

Would you rather have a bad strategy or no strategy at all? There is no perfect strategy to discipleship and any strategy needs to be tailored to a specific church, it's needs, and the people who are in need of discipleship. Too often I see churches that would like to see people become more like Christ but they won't take the time or effort to sit down and ask, "What does that look like in our context?" Here is a simple discipleship strategy ( not original ). What do you think? Will it work? Do you have a strategy?

1 Establish the pastor as the primary discipleship leader
2 Organize a discipleship leadership team.
3 Know the purpose of discipleship and use that purpose to create a
vision statement for discipleship in your church.
4 Determine the specific spiritual disciplines that will form the
foundation for the discipleship strategy.
5 Determine the people groups in your church and community in need
of discipleship.
6 Discover the discipleship/ministry needs of the identified people
7 Establish discipleship study approaches relevant to the needs of the
identified people groups.
8 Assimilate new church members into the life of the church.
9 Provide opportunities for disciples to develop leadership and ministry
10 Choose resources for disciples to study in a closed group setting.
11 Provide personal enrichment and devotional resources.
12 Guide all disciples to develop an annual spiritual growth plan and
create a process to track and evaluate the plan annually.
13 Communicate the vision and complete strategy to the church. Set a
date to launch the study element of the strategy and begin promotion.
14 Enlist and train leaders for your small group studies.
15 Launch the strategy.
16 Evaluate the plan regularly and make necessary adjustments to
improve effectiveness.

Stayin' Alive

Phew! Yes, I am still alive and yes, I'm still blogging. Where have I been? Let's see...Ottawa, Fredericton, the cottage at Beulah ( leaky roof :-( ) Saint John, Moncton, back to Indianapolis...

We loaded down our wagon -- Gayla swore that she would never own a wagon after all of her years as a child and teen being carted around in her father's station wagons -- with two large luggage bags on the roof, and just enough room in the back seat for our kids eyes to peek out once in awhile -- we drove from Indy to Ottawa 14 hours and then from Ottawa to the cottage 12 hours! The only thing that saves us is that our kids travel extremely well.

We were the car that you stare at on the interstate and think, "I'm glad I'm not those people..."

So if you haven't given up on this blog and you are checking in once in awhile, drop me a comment. Love to hear from ya.