This video summarizes what I learned from CityTeam’s DMM training. It’s still easy for me to fall back on old habits (left column: evangelize), but I’m really trying to get myself towards the right side (right column: disciple).

My initial baby steps on the disciple-making side led me to meet regularly with a non-Christian friend at work. We’re discovering together what it means to apply the Bible to our lives. When we first met, I told him, “It’s not so much that we’re reading the Bible — more that it’s reading us.”

So, what do you think of the video?

Prayer Team Needed

September 2, 2013 — 1 Comment
prayer-team

I need a team of people praying

In the past six months, I’ve gone through two rounds of Cityteam’s training in Disciple Making Movements (or DMM, see http://www.cityteam.org/dmm). In a nutshell, the idea is to shift from evangelism (where the goal is “making a decision”), to helping someone start following Jesus daily (a disciple). The new disciple is trained to bring others into that daily obedience to Christ’s leading — all before any “conversion” occurs.

This process is totally dependent on prayer. At the end of the training, our DMM coach encouraged us to raise up our own networks of prayer support. That’s why I write this. If you want to pray, let me know, and I’ll add you to my email list.  Continue Reading…

Erin & Kay getting started on litter pick-up

Erin & Kay ready to begin picking up litter

Did we meet the woman at the well? In the course of picking up litter, Kay & I got to pray for a woman who told us, “The man I’m with, he’s not my husband.”

The project

“I’m a Christian, too. But I’m… backslidden.”

Our church is preparing to move into its own facility. As part of the preparations, a “scout team” was formed to pray through our new neighborhood, learning its needs, and finding ways to minister. We don’t want to be a church that isn’t actually part of the neighborhood. We want to be good neighbors, blessing the community in Jesus’ name.  Continue Reading…

Three-legged race

Running together, not solo

I’ve written about Cityteam before, and how they reshaped their entire organization around Church Planting Movements, where the good news of Jesus Christ spreads virally. We hear of such movements around the world, but they’re the only group I know of that has seen true viral growth here in North America. So when they take what they’ve learned in the past few years and turn it into training, I pay attention!

They changed the term from CPM to Disciple Making Movements. And they’re calling this training idisciple Seminars. These include Awareness Seminars (a brief introduction) and Basic Training (hands-on). Is your city on the list?

  • Lake Oswego, OR
  • Portland
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • San Jose
  • Philadelphia
  • Minneapolis

I’m clearing my calendar for the San Jose training! What about you? Check out their training events page. Continue Reading…

Why promote "safe Halloween" it's not dangerous?

For Halloween this year, I decided to dress up to make distributing candy more fun. But we only had a trickle of trick-or-treaters. With time to kill, I went to hang out with a spontaneous clump of neighbors.

The older couple next door who has lived here the longest said, “Oh, back in the day, we used to have lots of kids come through.”

“What happened to change that?” I asked.

“Well, churches and schools started hosting Halloween events, you know.”

And it hit me. In an effort to create “safe Halloween” events, these groups are sucking the life out of neighborhoods. Continue Reading…

Planting new churches & evangelism: the cart before the horse

[This is the conclusion of Starting New Churches: Is Our Focus Misplaced?]

“Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” You can’t read any church planting material without bumping into that quote. Repeatedly. Hey, C. Peter Wagner said it, so that settles it.

Or does it? Continue Reading…

Besides traveling to the Big Nerd Ranch (and catching the Dr. King Memorial in the process), what else did I do during my blogging silence?

Well, I did manage to turn 50.

birthday-50

I’m 5!

If you look closely, you’ll see the cake has a hill. Yes, as in “over the.” Continue Reading…

Sideways Sessions, formerly the Soliton Sessions

The Gathering Formerly Known As the Soliton Sessions

Nine years ago, I drove myself to Ventura, California for the first of the Soliton Sessions. I went at the invitation of an online friend I’d never met. I didn’t know what to expect.

It saved my faith.

The Sessions became an annual pilgrimage for me. I’d never experienced a “conference” that was really centered more on community, conversation, and opening to divine imagination. As I wrote for the Next-Wave e-zine, “It wasn’t so much a conference as a reunion of a family I never knew I had.”

The Soliton Sessions are dead. Long live the Sideways Sessions!

After a hiatus of a several years, I’m excited to learn that the Sessions are back! The name has changed to the Sideways Sessions, and the location has changed to Portland, Oregon. And I’m bummed that I can’t make it. …But maybe you can!

As with previous gatherings, the Sideways Sessions limit the number of people involved in order to promote conversation. I know it’s only two weeks away, but… pray about it. Does God want you there?

The Sideways Sessions
September 13 – 15, 2012
Portland, OR

For more info, go to the registration site. And let me know if you go. I’d love to hear about it.

My blogging went quiet between February 25 (What to Do for Lent in Silicon Valley) and May 25 (New Churches Stuck in a Christendom Box). “Jon, what did you do during those three months?” I’m glad you asked! :D Let’s start with my trip to Atlanta. It gave me an unexpected connection to the time my father was thought to be dead, killed while marching with Dr. King.

Big Nerd Ranch

In March, I flew out to Atlanta. There, I spent a week at Big Nerd Ranch for their Advanced iOS Programming class:

Big Nerd Ranch

A really great group of people

I’m a Big Nerd now! I even have a T-shirt that says, “Achieve Nerdvana.”

Dr. King Memorial

When the Advanced iOS class finished, my coworkers and I had a little time to before the return flight. We settled on going to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. To my surprise, the first person to greet us at the memorial was Mahatma Gandhi: Continue Reading…

Last month, America celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Bill Maher, that mocker of religion who created the mockumentary Religulous, had a few choice words for evangelical Christians:

New rule: If you’re a Christian who supports killing your enemies, and torture, you have to come up with a new name for yourself.

…But you see, I can say that, because I’m a non-Christian — just like most Christians.

If you’re easily offended: take a pass.
The rest of you: discuss.

Related: Osama bin Laden’s Death, and Dr. Who