Countries Represented at CPx

I'm deeply honored to join about 15 staff as we host and train 38 students who came from the nations so that they can go to the nations to make disciples and plant churches.

Here are the 14 countries represented in this year's CPx student body:

South Africa

I get the honor of hanging out with these folks for three months as we prepare to take Jesus to the nations. Yippee.

A blog of blogs

Been needing to do this a long time. I often talk with church leaders and pastors and other curious Christ followers who have questions about what we are learning and where they can read about it. I have wanted there to be ONE PLACE where people could find it all. So, here we go.


Key Discipleship Posts:


Key Church Planting Posts:


Some other geneal posts:


Drug Dealing & Church Planting


Wanna hear a funny, but not so funny story?


For the last six months me and a group of men have been meeting with some brothers in Masiphumelele for church every Sunday morning.  We meet in one of the guy's rooms in Masi. It is a single rented room in a house. Not only did we meet each week, but we would swing in throughout the week and drop things off from time to time and visit him. 


Recently, my friend's landlord called him in and told him he had to vacate the property in 2 weeks.  He was shocked. After some prying he discovered that the reason he was being asked to move out was because she had concluded that he was running a drug ring out of his room with the white men.  Why else do several white men show up several times per week? Church?  Yeah, right!  Great excuse. 


My friend has moved and found somewhere else to live. 


This was a first.  Accused of being a drug dealer.  The truth is, I am just a Jesus dealer. 

How to use your church building the other 166 hours


There are 168 hours in a week.  Most church services are under 2 hours long.  Most churches have a building.  They may even call the building the "house of God" or the "temple" or the "sanctuary"-- all fine.  Just not New Testament biblical.  But neither is McDonalds. Anyway, many of those buildings are not used very often at all other than on Sunday morning.  This results in loads of wasted kingdom resource.  This is not ok.


I will not use this blog post to expound upon why I think that we are moving away from church buildings being the primary gathering place for Christians.  What I would lke to suggest are some ways to use your church building that might glorify God the other 166 hours of the week that it sits empty. Here are some options:

  1. Transform it into a center to love and care for the poor and needy. (Isaiah 58:6-7)
  2. Convert some of the space into small apartments for singles or families with a serious calling for missional ministry so that they can quit working to pay a mortgage and start serving Jesus in their communities full time. 
  3. Start a missional training center.  Train people all week long to go make disciples and start churches. Stop all other programming and just do this. Just an idea. (Matt. 28: 18-20)
  4. Start a homeless shelter. (James 1:27)
  5. Have small groups meeting in every crack and crevis of your building all week long. 
  6. Start a prayer or worship center where your building is used for prayer and worship every day.
  7. Launch a world missions lab.  Encourage and invite people from around the world in to strategize about global possibities for mission.
  8. Start and orphanage. (James 1:27)
  9. Open your doors to handicapped and physically challenged in your area.
  10. Open a widow/widower care facility. (I Tim. 5:3)
  11. Do something to bless children all week long. (Matt. 19:14)
  12. Share your space with several other churches. 
  13. Sell the building, give the money away for the Kingdom and divide up into many small churches meeting all over your community.(Luke 12:33)
  14. Sign it over to another church or mission that will use the snot out of it. Give it away. (Luke 12:33)


Other ideas?  What are some ideas that you either carry or have heard of?  Please comment. I would like to start a long list to share with longing churches that I may work with in the future. 


I love your church!

I love your church!  I assume that most of you reading this probably attend a nomal, traditional, typical, western, established church. And that is the church I am talking about.


I love the way you worship Jesus together each week.

I love the heart that your church has to reach and love people.

I love the ministry that your church puts its hands and heart to.

I love that you have a building with which to care for people and their needs. 

I love the history in your church and the legacy it is leaving.

I love the collective wisdom that the poeple in your church have.

I love the stories and memories you must share. 

I love the people in your church. They are the most amazing resource you have.

I love you.


And it will be so neat to see where God takes you all in the years to come.

Making Babies in Church


So, with Tricia 8 months pregnant now, what an appropriate time to discuss making babies and issues of reproducability. ;-)  I know you love the title of my blog. If you think that churches should reproduce into new churches, read on.  If not, move on to another site.


I think that God longs for us to make disciples that make disciples and to plant churches that plant churches. In order for churches to plant churches, they must have a certain reproducability feasabilty to them. Which is a problem, because most do not.


Remember this: We reproduce WHAT we ARE! When white human beings reproduce, they make white human babies. When Chihuahuas reproduce, they make Chihuahuas. When cows reproduce they make cows. We can only naturally give birth to what we are. 


How do you reprocuce the following?

  • A million dollar building or a rented Middle School.
  • A slick sounding name.
  • 501c3 status.
  • A Constitution and Bylaws.
  • A logo and letterhead.
  • Bank accounts.
  • Treasurer & a Secretary.
  • A Pastor (and maybe several) who makes a full time salary.
  • A Mission and Vision Statement.
  • A Worship Team.
  • A Projector.
  • A sound system and sound board.
  • A board or group of Elders.
  • And a whole lot more....

This presents a major tension.  Since we can only reproduce what we are, then churches that ARE the above can only reproduce the above. But, who can afford this? How many churches can manage to come up with all of this? And why would they?  Most of them are not truly happy with what they have....which is why (if they were honest) they would never consider reproducing it, anyway. So they don't. 


Bottom line is that I belive that our disciple making and church planting must be it can keep spreading....organically....because the harvest is too great for things to stall.  


What would happen if this was all you needed to reproduce church?

  • A small group of 5-15 people who want to follow after Jesus.
  • A living room, a bedroom, a boardroom, a soccer feild or a starbucks (anywhere that a small group of folks can meet for no cost).
  • A few Bibles or Mobile phones with Bibles on them.
  • Open and hungry hearts.
  • Willingness to love the lost.
  • Trust for the people you are launching out and some courage to overcome fear of something new.
  • Agreement to reproduce again soon.


I am not saying that one approach is better than the other.  I AM saying that one is more reprocable than the other. 


And remember-- we reproduce what we are. I want to see churches make babies!  But they are largely infertile.  I think that they need some medicine....maybe the Bible offers some prescriptions? 

A Story on Forgiveness


Yesterday, while traveling in Mozambique from Chibuto to Chokwe, we passed something strange. Along the side of the road there were four boys gathered around a fifth boy. As we passed, one of the guys noticed what was happening. One of the boys being punished and humiliated. He was being forced to squat rapidly and continuously.

At their demand, I stopped the car rather quickly and driving into the dirt, made a u-turn returning to the scene of the incident. John, Ernest and I got out of the truck and asked what was going on. Indeed, the boy was being punished. The cause: he let the cows eat too much feed. Since they were gonna get punished too, he was gonna get double. Here's the sad part. The boy was weeping as he squatted. The desperate kind of cry.

John immediately began advocating for mercy for the boy. "Think of the times you've been forgiven. It's clear that he gets the point now. Please forgive him and let him go." The ring leader stormed off into the field rather upset at our intervention. Then, within 30 seconds something happened in him. We think the Holy Spirit spoke to him. He turned around, came back and forgave the boy.

The pastoral love and care in John's eyes and heart as he fought for the boy to receive grace was moving. He held this boy like a loving Father and stood up for his release. One of the most powerful things I've seen in a long time.

I'm beginning to believe that there is almost nothing on earth more beautiful than making disciples who faithfully follow the Holy Spirit...and getting to watch them do it.

This moment was like a Luke 10 journey meets the story of the Good Samaritan. We could have just kept driving...but God spoke others plans and these brothers listened.

(Look closely at this picture- it's worth a thousand words.)

Off to Mozambique & Swaziland


Hello friends!   In 5 short hours (yes, I need to go to bed) me and 4 other brothers (one from Germany and 3 from Masi that we just baptized) head out for a pilgrimage to Mozambique (for a week) and Swaziland (for 3 days).  We are driving in a Toyota truck and are looking forward to an amazing journey.  It is about 24 hours one way. 


The purpose: to meet the family and friends of our Mozambican brothers, to show them the change in their lives and to share with them about Jesus and his saving grace.  We plan to also gather people and teach them about God's heart for church. Then, in Swaziland, I will be teaching for a few days on church planting with an organiztion called Acts of Faith (Mennonite work in Swazi).


This is a discipleship trip/missionary journey for these young followers of Jesus.  


They are pumped!  I am pumped!


Will you pray with us?  The dirve is long, the mosqitos will be bad, the weather will be hot, the money is tight, the borders can be a massive challenge, but our GOD is able and in control!


(You can look back through this blog for many stories about these guys- John, Ernest, Shawn.)