Release The RURAL APE

I am in East Kentucky this weekend leading a section of pastors in evangelism training and I am captivated by the “rural” mission.

What I am learning in my conversations is that it takes a completely different strategy to reach rural areas (10,000 population or less) in a city. Obviously right!? But being around these guys and hearing their stories is inspiring. I also realize that many of our conferences, however APE in nature they are, do not help rural planters. The conferences are stoke the imagination of bigger and better and often use on stage speakers that have big churches and are in urban areas. A big church in rural space may be 50 or 100 people. There is not much imagination for these spaces – what if we could SEE and HERE more stories of people choosing rural spaces instead of big cities with the hope of growing big churches?

I want to be clear – I am not putting down big cities and big churches. I am more making the point that most of our apostolic imagination goes there and that is problematic.

One cool story is Mike – the guy in blue. He moved to Menifee County to plant a church. This county is considered one of the most unchurched counties in America – 87%. Thomas Rainer mentions it in this book. Menifee is poor and rural and was wiped devastated by a tornado in 2012. No one moves there willingly. During a prayer meeting a few years ago about reaching the various counties in East Kentucky, Mike stopped the prayer and said, “I’ll go to Menifee – someone has to.” Mike and his wife felt called to give their life to bring Jesus to this county. He was very inspiring to me today as I talked with him. He loves the people there and is doing life with the community.

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How To Interpret Spiritual Gifts

I was asked this question on Twitter today:

It is a great question and this is how I would simply answer it.

There is a difference between calling and gifts.

Think of the Ephesian 4 “callings” as vehicles and the “gifts” of the Spirit in Corinthians as accessories that trick up the car. 

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I Almost Quit

Since this blog is committed to encouraging planters, prophets and evangelists, I thought I would bring you into my process as a young planter over the last year. I have been severely tested and I almost quit my current mission! I have kept this off the blog because I wanted to go through the process more fully (although it is not done) and stay focused as well. I feel now is the time to let you in, and I hope this encourages you in your mission.

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Jesus the Refugee: Advent Day 1

As I started my devotional reading and reflection on Advent today, I couldn’t help but stop and pray for the refugees around the world and especially those in Syria. (Here is my devotional)

Advent is about waiting and preparing our hearts to receive the savior of the world – the one who is coming to us to restore and make things new.

You cannot read today’s reading and not face the reality that Jesus was a refugee. And this reality must shape the way we think, pray, talk and act right now.

Today, I can’t help but meditate on how we must wait, weep, and ask God to make things new for the refugees around the world. We are waiting, Jesus, for you to show up!

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Toward A Prophetic Youth Ministry

“Why is that Christianity seems so impotent to deal radically, and therefore effectively, with issues of discrimination and injustice on the basis of race, religion and national origin?” 

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited, 1949

2014 and 2015 will easily go down in history as two of the most shocking years of the decade. Immigration to Black Lives Matter, legalization of gay marriage and its ramifications on college campuses around the country and it places of faith, we have seen a lot. Do we respond to these issues? How do we respond to these issues? How are they to be included in how we disciple students and the people we lead? These issues are a part of and influence our lives, whether directly and indirectly. To ignore them, is to ignore context in which students live, and our words can quite easily become “word sown along the path” as it doesn’t translate to the practical life.

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Going Public: The First LBCC Outreach!

[This post is part of the “4 Hour Campus Plant” series. I am live blogging my attempt to plant a ministry at a new campus with only 4 hours a week. This is a continuous story that builds, so make sure to start at the beginning.]

Today was the activities fair at LBCC and our first time doing any public outreach. Well, today God showed up in a big way! We had over 100 students stop at our booth and fill out contact cards. In just under three hours of time! That means 100 students gave us their email and want to get more information about joining our new start up ministry on campus!

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Praying For An Hour

[This post is part of the “4 Hour Campus Plant” series. I am live blogging my attempt to plant a ministry at a new campus with only 4 hours a week. This is a continuous story that builds, so make sure to start at the beginning.]

This update about LBCC comes a few weeks late.

Way back on August 14th Kimy, Pastor Sean, Juan-David, and I got together on campus to pray and worship. Kimy brought her guitar and we prayed, worshiped, and interceded for the campus.

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The Administrative Side of Ministry

[This post is part of the “4 Hour Campus Plant” series. I am live blogging my attempt to plant a ministry at a new campus with only 4 hours a week. This is a continuous story that builds, so make sure to start at the beginning.]

Today it was just Sean and Kimy and myself and we talked almost fully about administration and getting ready for the Fall.

We have to become an official club so we talked about:

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