Friday, April 27


Change is coming...

This is my 'official' post to say that I will be transitioning this blog from a "HQ Spiritual Formation and Ministry" blog to my own personal blog to share whatever is on my mind as I lead Olivet Wesleyan Church

If you are tracking with the Spiritual Formation Department of the Wesleyan Church, you can keep checking their site for all of the updates and new initiatives in Adult Ministries. Dr. Jim Dunn is going to oversee Adult Ministries and he will have some very sharp people helping him.

I don't actually start at Olivet until July, but we most likely will be moving back to Canada in early June ***still praying our house will sell***.

Thanks to all of you who have been tracking my blog and getting a useful nugget here and there. If you are in love with the local church and believe that it is the hope of your community, stick with me...I think we will have some pretty sweet stuff to discuss in the future!


Thursday, April 26


2 weeks from now I will be in Israel with Dr. Wilbur Williams and a group from IWU.


Anyone been there before? Any tips for me?

Tuesday, April 24

Crossing the Atlantic

Yesterday Gayla and I had spent some quality time together over lunch: we both went to the dentist for a cleaning! Oh the joy.

Waiting in the lobby I picked up the copy of Nationl Geographic/Adventure and found a very interesting article on a young man who decided he wanted to be the youngest to sail solo across the Atlantic. When Michael Perham was at the grand ol age of 11 he informed his parents of his goal. There's a lot I like in this story...Michael's dream, his focus, his passion, his parent's trust, the way they supported his dream, the risk, the adventure, the commitment, etc.

In the magazine interview, Michael gives his lists of 'musts' that helped him reach his goal. They are fantastic!

Dream big
Get an early start
Be true to yourself
Don't get distracted
Keep in touch
Sleep tight
Stay the course
Savor the moment
Push the envelope

What if you and I approached our churches with this list? What if we saw even our biggest obstacles as merely oceans that can be voyaged, conquered, explored?

Oh yeah, the title of the article on Michael..."What It Takes".

Thursday, April 19

Missional Small Groups

I asked Mark Wilson if I could copy this from his blog

This is just awesome. Don't just do groups. Don't just meet. Don't just study. Be missional!
I'll let Mark's post say the rest...

In Minong, Wisconsin, a missional small group from our congregation decided to love their neighbors to Jesus. They were willing to step out of their comfort zone, and be the launch team for a new church. Last Sunday, 135 people celebrated Easter as a result of their dedication.

Tim and LeeAnn host a missional small group at their home. One day, three years ago, God gave them all a very clear sense that they were to lead a team to Guatemala. Since then, four teams have gone from our church, to do Vacation Bible School, build houses for widows, distribute shoes, and to sing in the choir at a huge evangelistic crusades. Last fall, almost 600 people responded to the invitation to receive Jesus.

A missional small group of young adults decided to host a "Trunk or Treat" here at the church. The whole church jumped in, and almost every kid in town showed up! It was quite an amazing outreach. The moms in our community buzzed about it for weeks afterwards.

Through a missional women's Bible Study at our church, God laid it on Pat's heart to start a jail ministry. Three of the women in this group are now actively involved in weekly outreach at the local jail.Jesse and Layla's missional small group of young couples volunteers once a month to watch the children of single moms in our Mentoring Future Families program.

Our missional senior saints are sending money to help a World Hope orphanage in Zambia.

Pandora's missional group of gals from last year's Alpha headed up the meals for Alpha this year.

Josh's missional "Band of Brother's" group drove north an hour and a half to Superior and put a new roof on Safe Harbor Church.

The Paint Daubers is a missional group of retired gentlemen who meet for breakfast every Thursday morning, and then go out into the community to perform various acts of kindness-- painting porches, chopping firewood, and fixing furnaces.

Ralph's missional small group is tackling a massive, GOLIATH clean-up project at the home of a former member who moved out of state. It's an overwhelming task, bigger than the group. Yet, love compels them to do it. "Are you sure you want to do this?" I asked Ralph. He replied, "Well, what would Jesus do?"

Our missional Knit One, Prayer Two Group makes prayer shawls for the sick and hurting. They meet together and have sweet fellowship while they use their hands to create blessing for others.

Some small groups meet only for study.Other small groups enjoy good fellowship.Our best small groups meet for study, enjoy good fellowship AND joyfully bring God's love to others.Great groups not only KNOW Jesus-- but they also SHOW Jesus by their deeds.

Monday, April 16

the Discipleship Project

In the May/June issue of REV! magazine, David Moody and Doug Schonberg explain how they were able to get the majority of their people in Chippawa Presbyterian Church, Niagra Falls, Ontario, into discipleship.

I'm not going to completely unpack the article here, you can read more at or at

Here's the teaser: They identified the barriers to discipleship (great starting point, look at your congregation and ask 'why don't people get involved in discipleship?'). Then they set out to remove the barriers one by one. Here are the barriers they saw in their church:

1. People are busy...remove the barrier with credibility
2. People are unique...remove the barrier with flexibility
3. People want to see results...remove the barrier with visibility

The 'tool' that they use to promote and track discipleship is really quite simple and doable for most churches. Check it out.


Monday, April 9

12 Reasons You Can Run Out of Gas

I borrowed this from Rick Warren (you might have heard of him and his little church on California). It's a great reminder for us as we come out of the Easter season and look to what's next...

See if you notice any parallels to being physically ..emotionally.. spiritually running on empty!

Unprepared: Not starting out with a full tank!
Leaks: Having an unknown leak that is quietly draining you!
Availability: Can’t find a filling station!
Finances: Can’t afford gas - so you keep procrastinating
Presumption: Assuming you have what it takes to keep going, Lying to self. Wishful
Inattention: Being distracted & not watching your gauges or don’t believe them(broken)
Hurry: Driving at high speed which causes you to run out faster
Pressure: rapid acceleration , putting the pedal to the metal
Ego: Trying to drive to far and not knowing the limits of your tank
Busyness: Being too busy to stop and refuel
Lack of Knowledge: When you don’t know how to fill the tank
Overload: When you’re carrying too much weight

Wednesday, April 4

Transformation Season

If transformation had a season, this would be it.

We had our monthly HQ chapel service this morning and Don Bray talked about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the basis for all of our ministries. Don reminded us that when we see a changed life, someone who has given their life to Christ, we are seeing the Resurrection power at work.

Nothing excites me more than seeing the power of Jesus Christ transform a life. It keeps me up at night and it gets me up in the morning.

Friday's descent is coming, and we will all remember the price that was paid for our ransom. "Sunday's a comin" (wish I could preach it like TD Jakes) and let's all pray that many people will choose to surrender to the Risen Savior and experience thier own resurrection.

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Monday, April 2

Spring Life - Passion Week

What are you passionate about? At your deepest, deepest level, what is it that you want to see happen? This is the week when we reflect on Christ's Yup. Jesus' greatest passion was and is you. There is nothing more important to Christ than you knowing him, serving him, and living his purpose for your life.

Passion week is also an opportunity for us to relay the meaning of Easter to those who don't know Jesus or the real meaning for the Cross.

Many Wesleyan Churches are engaged in a Spring/Easter emphasis called "SpringLife".

Here is a powerful SpringLife testimony we received today:

Thanks for sharing SpringLife with us. What a blessing! We have been intentional about preparation the last 6 weeks and now we feel as though we are prepared for Easter. Yesterday during our worship services we did the "cross" activity that was suggested in the SpringLife material. (The one where those who have a friend or loved one that they have interceded for bring their name on a card, dip their finger in red water, put it on the card, and pin it to the cross.) We had over 100 people participate and 80 different names were pinned on the cross. Praise God! We are expecting unrealistic things to happen in the coming days and especially with our Easter celebration. Just wanted you to know what a blessing this has been to our church and we are committed to remaining diligent in delivering Christ to the world in every possible way using every possible means.

Why Do We Do Discipleship

Here are a few reasons...

Adult disciples who are new Christians and/or new church members need ...
To develop relationships with other members
To know the church's vision and commit themselves to it
To know and begin to use their spiritual gifts
To develop a plan for continued growth in discipleship

Adult disciples who are growing in spiritual maturity need ...
To know and live out God's plan for their lives
To apply ethics in everyday life
To know how to make right choices
To know and use their spiritual gifts
To be able to share their faith with non-believers and unchurched persons
To understand biblical doctrines
To develop a disciplined devotional life
To understand and deal with personal issues and emotional problems
To understand substance abuse and learn how to overcome it.

Adult disciples who are strengthening their family relationships need ...
To develop positive parenting skills
To strengthen husband-wife relationships
To develop growing relationships with other family members
To help aging parents.

Adult disciples who are being equipped for leadership and ministry need ...
To know how their spiritual gifts can be used most effectively
To develop the mind and attitude of a servant
To develop skills needed to function effectively in a chosen ministry
To develop effective and flexible teaching skills.

20 Tips for Successful Small Group Leadership

Chances are, you are either leading a group yourself, or you are responsible for the small groups of your church. (Or maybe you are in a group and you wish your leader was doing a better job!)

This link is from Lifeway and it's an exerpt from Michael Zigarelli's book, "Freedom from Busyness". You might want to copy and paste the link and send it to your group/Sunday School leaders, or print the list and give it to each of them. Better yet, buy each of them a copy of the book as a thank you and encouragement.