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We live in a world with many different concepts of what is normal, but maybe thata€™s a good thing. Of course, there are obvious cultural differences of which we are vaguely aware, but even people whom we think are like us, can be surprisingly different. As an educator for 32 years, I had to learn to respect the different environments in which my students were raised. About this same time a kindergarten teacher gave me a classic example of how cultural biases can affect standardized testing. Even as hip as Ia€™ve always been (not), language has sometimes been problematic in communicating with students. It sometimes boggles the mind how different a€?normala€? can be for people from different cultures.
These are trivial examples, but we live in a world torn by civil wars and conflicts largely due to a lack of tolerance for people who violate someonea€™s sense of a€?normal.a€? Personally, I think variations in economic standing create greater differences than race in this country, but we also have difficulty with people of different religions, cultures, and languages. The original Star Trek series had stories that taught valuable lessons amid the crude special effects and over-acting.
We live in a world with many different concepts of what is normal, but maybe thata€™s a good thing.A  It would be a boring existence if we were all too much alike. People with a different a€?normala€? do not have to come from different cultures.A  It can happen to different generations, even in the same family. Maybe we all need a little more of the Cub Scout Motto attitude.A  Thata€™s not too weird, is it? We crowded into the hotel conference room for our final session at the end of a long week searching for people and houses of peace.
All of this happened in Moss Side, notorious for its high rate of drug and gang related murders. Thanks to our hosts, Anthony Delaney and Ivy Church, and to Don Waybright and the team from Sugar Creek which included their lead pastor Mark Hartman.
The notorious Moss Side neighborhood of Manchester UK is recognized as the most diverse neighborhood in the world. Day One: 56 people received prayer, 48 people heard the gospel (3Circles), 11 yellow lights (I want to learn more), 4 green lights (turned and believed). Steve Wright talks about how a multi-site mega church can reach it’s community through multiplying disciples and churches.
Each touch of training has two components: one is the event and the second is the weekly rollout. We went in to Tulsa in September-October, and it was just a soft touch of training with the pastors and elders and a few key people in the church. They started going through the Commands of Christ on Wednesday nights, they started taking a training team out in the harvest on Thursday nights, and next thing you know you’re seeing out of this church led by pastors and elders, people come to Christ and stories start bubbling out within the community.
So we show up in January and I meet with their fruitful trainers on the ground the night before, and we run through the training and practice and we get up there and their people did 80% of the training. So second touch of training, we did the event and then they did the 4-6 week rollout of the Commands of Christ afterwards. At this training one of the trainer’s second-generation disciple was there and that person baptized a third-generation disciple at the training. Our whole goal is to come in to help get it started, then we remove ourselves and just continue on in a coaching and mentoring relationship, so that it’s the local leaders and teams that are the ones rolling this out. The 3Touches are three training events on sharing the gospel and making disciples, two-three months apart. At the last event (2-3 months later) the swarm team watch while the local practitioners do all the training. Adopt a NoPlaceLeft radius around church to share gospel with every household within a time-frame. Recently I spoke to Troy Cooper about how he finds churches that are ready to become mobilisation centres for multiplying disciples and churches. One is disciple-making—they’re usually exploring different evangelism and discipleship tools that are totally unrelated to one another. The second is church planting—hey we’re interested in planting churches—and they’ll typically outsource this to somebody. The third one is missions mobilization; they’ve got a heart to mobilize people to the nations and they’re usually looking to outsource that too. When I look at the Bible and see what happened in the book of Acts, if you start with disciple-making, it leads to church planting, which leads to missions mobilisation. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
In New Zealand, as in Australia, Britain and Europe, we’re still a long way from multiplying movements of disciples and churches. The biggest barrier to the spread of the gospel, resulting in new disciples and multiplying streams of churches, is our unwillingness to share the gospel up front and early and teach new disciples how to obey Christ. Theirs is the story of gospel advance as Phil is facing a life and death struggle with cancer.
Phil and Monika Clark talk with Steve Addison about their story of pioneering movements in New Zealand.
Last time we checked in Russell Godward was out searching for houses of peace in Gisambi, Kenya. If you want your Mondays to be different maybe we could come and train with you, your church or a group of churches in your town?
I got comfortable and settled in to switch off and watch a movie before the busy two weeks ahead and noticed an older Asian man sitting next to me. Part way though the flight (at and my movie!) the gentleman next to me tapped me on the shoulder. I talked about how in the Koran it says Jesus was sinless, born of a virgin and did miracles. So, there, at 30,000 feet we prayed and Salim from Sri Lanka asked Jesus to forgive his sins and said he wanted to follow Him. Please pray that the seed that has been planted in Salim’s heart will grow and that he will become a strong follower of Christ.
David Broodryk talks to Steve Addison about the place of groups, gatherings and teams in pioneering movements in urban environments. God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed.


But if influence reduces merely to terms of human flourishing and the Common Good, we are not preaching the gospel.
According to Pew Research, among Christians women are more religious than men, but among Muslims women are rarely more religious than men. The poll, published in the liberal daily L’Unita, challenges long-held perceptions that Italy is a ”Catholic” country, despite the popularity of Pope Francis and the historic role of the Vatican City State in the heart of Rome.
Of the 1,500 respondents, 4 percent said they were Orthodox or Protestant, 2 percent were Buddhist, 1 percent were Jewish and 1 percent were Muslim. A surprising 20 percent said they were atheist, while 8 percent said they were religiously unaffiliated.
Italy has witnessed a weakening of religious faith over the past 20 years and a growing trend toward personal spiritual inquiry. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion, mostly because Muslims are younger and have more children than any other religious group globally. Its ancient cities are cradles of Christian art and learning, and Catholicism is in many ways the country’s raison d’etre.
But Belgium’s devout heritage has been traded for secularism and Islam has stepped into the void.
Among all respondents, levels of active adherence to Catholicism seemed to diminish dramatically with age, while the practice of Islam increased correspondingly. The percentage of avowedly “practising Catholics” far exceeds the numbers who actually turn up at mass, as any cleric will confirm.
Chuck Wood discusses what it takes to move beyond making disciples to multiplying churches.
When Jesus announced the arrival of the kingdom of God, he was announcing the beginning of the end times. Somehow people think that because the kingdom has arrived in the person of Jesus, his death and resurrection, the world will be transformed in this age.
The one thing he did promise was that repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). This month Mission Frontiers magazine published an extract from book on Pioneering Movements. The Jim Muir’s extensive report on the rise of ISIS and why it’s not going away anytime soon.
Articles by Jeff Sundell, Nathan Shank, Troy Cooper, Stan Parks, David Watson, Fred Campbell and some bloke called Steve Addison. UPDATE: you can download the whole edition free, but some of the articles online are web only.
There are people who look different, people who think different, and people who act differently than I do. Even within seemingly homogenous groupings, we argue over different politics and theologies. In the episode a€?Let That Be Your Last Battlefielda€? the Enterprise encounters a planet that has been nearly destroyed by its own inhabitants.
When I became a math teacher, I was working at a school in a neighboring town.A  One day another teacher and I had our classes in the computer lab and one of her students, a black girl, asked me, a€?Mr.
Our son Thomas was an only child, so his upbringing differed significantly from mine, one of four siblings. In the episode a€?Let That Be Your Last Battlefielda€? the Enterprise encounters a planet that has been nearly destroyed by its own inhabitants.A  The last two survivors are still fighting. We encountered Muslims from around the world, Rastafarians, Gnostics, drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, gang bangers and more. We really believe it’s the week-to-week rollout of the training that really gets to movement, but the event training becomes an on-ramp for people and an opportunity to help raise up trainers. So we were scheduled for January, April and July—three touches—but the January training was now a second touch because we’ve already got people on the ground that can train. We just went back for the third touch and just watched them at two campuses, and now they’ve got a solid training team on several campuses, and now those teams are helping train other churches in the city. After each one 3Thirds discipleship groups are launched to practice the skills, begin sharing the gospel and learn how to disciple others.
So we went in to talk about church planting but we immediately went back to let’s talk about how to make disciples.
We pray together as a young 19 year old guy turns his life over to following Jesus, and we make plans to start meeting to disciple him!
Broken people are not put back together overnight, but why would you want to do anything else? The Spirit stirred him, then a slow realisation showed on his face and he acknowledged that Jesus must be greater. Salim’s son-in-law in Sri Lanka is a Christian and when he returns to Sri Lanka he is looking forward to talking with him. A flourishing culture that likes the trappings and benefits of Christianity, but not its kernel, isn’t biblical Christianity. Here’s the inspiring story of how disciple making movements are spreading in the prison system.
Of those, some said they believed in destiny, horoscopes, reincarnation, Tarot readings and miracle cures. All other faiths, except Islam, have plateaued or are declining in their percentage share of the world’s growing population. When it was created in 1830, the kingdom offered a political home to Catholic Dutch-speakers who preferred to unite with French-speaking co-religionists than with Protestants with whom they had a common tongue. Among respondents in the city, practising Catholics amounted to 12% and non-practising ones to 28%. Thus among respondents aged 55 and over, practising Catholics amounted to 30% and practising Muslims to less than 1%; but among those aged between 18 and 34, active adherence to Islam (14%) exceeded the practice of Catholicism (12%).
I soon discovered that I had been keeping medicine in the wrong room, my standards for cleanliness needed upgrading, and dona€™t even get me started on the toilet seat issue.
Kindergarteners were especially interesting because a large part of their education was learning the difference between a€?normala€? at home and a€?normala€? at school. The kindergarten teacher administered her test orally, and students chose answers by selecting the correct picture. However, the roommates were curiously quiet until one of them asked, a€?Whata€™s the crunchy sweet stuff in this?a€? Brother and I shared a bewildered look, and then I asked, a€?Doesna€™t everyonea€™s Mom put apples in tuna salad??a€? Our a€?normala€? was different than theirs.


Tune, where do you stay?a€? I had no idea what she was asking until my teacher friend clued me in. Thomas was a sophomore when Tania lived with us, and for the first time in his life, he had to share his sanctuary with another person, a girl even!
Both men are half-white, half-black, but on opposite sides.A  Each hates the other because of this a€?obviousa€? difference. The challenge was that because this was coming from pastors and elders in the community, we had seven churches there, with seven lead pastors! They know NoPlaceLeft—that’s the banner they’re flying under—and they know there’s a number of pastors and churches in the area that are doing this.
When we find a pastor that’s broken for lostness, hungry to learn, then we can come in as catalysts, serve them like crazy through training and coaching, and praying for them like crazy. Letting the lead pastor and elders see that we come to serve and that we’re willing to go at the pace of the Holy Spirit through their leadership.
Even more, God is glorified that whether Phil lives or dies, Phil and Monika live in Christ.
He needs to leave, but before he does Dapo asks him if we can meet again to share some more?
We begin to share more with him; we ask if he feels near or far from God and he talks a little about this. I love that the explosion of Christianity led to a revolution in human dignity; in hospitals and university.
A true gospel will be met with resistance because it overturns the accepted patterns of the world.
Some 19% were active Muslims and another 4% were of Muslim identity without practising the faith. If anything holds Belgium together through its third century of existence, Catholicism will not be the glue. I have learned over the decades that the art of compromise is essential to a healthy relationship. One of the questions asked, a€?Where is the best place to display your schoolwork?a€? The pictures from which they were asked to choose included things like a bulletin board, the wall, a window, a door.
I hope we can learn to tolerate the differences of our fellow man before we end up so consumed by hate that everybody loses. It was actually just supposed to be a vision meeting; it wasn’t supposed to be a training, but they took what I gave them and they began to roll it out. We had over 250 people at this massive training, getting trained, going out in the harvest…this is awesome, but the challenge is, if this thing continues to blow up, how many people are comfortable training in front of 250 people?
I want a renaissance of high culture that produces aesthetic wonders emanating from Christianity. New Testament Christianity assumes that a follower of Christ is well acquainted with scorn (2 Tim.
But if this trend continues, practitioners of Islam may soon comfortably exceed devout Catholics not just in cosmopolitan Brussels, as is the case already, but across the whole of Belgium’s southern half.
Ia€™ve also learned that compromise means listening carefully to both sides before doing it her way. One morning just as we were approaching the train tracks one block from school, the lights began to flash, and we had to stop and wait for a train. Unfortunately, this teacher taught in a room that had no bulletin boards, so she routinely posted the kidsa€™ work on the walls. We did some advance research on the Bulgarian culture and learned that their head-nods for a€?yesa€? and a€?noa€? were opposite ours. I know this is not easy, maybe not even natural, but if we could make tolerance the new normal, wouldna€™t we all be better off?
It can seem like it’s just one church that’s doing this, so that’s why I just dropped the idea hey what if we rolled this out at multiple campuses next time? So these newer believers are training other believers how to make disciples, and what gave them such credibility to do it is, for the last 4-6 months they’ve been out in the harvest every week, engaging lostness, sharing the gospel, discipling the fruit and starting groups in homes, and they’re already seeing third generation disciples. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. The important thing to remember is that Ia€™m still the one who a€?wears the pants in the familya€? a€“ at least, thata€™s what Bev says.
As the bus slowed to a stop, everyone heaved a sigh of disappointment except for one little boy who unashamedly said, a€?Shit!a€? Guess what was normal language in his home?
At that moment the guy changes, the bravado falls away and he visibly warms to the idea of prayer.
As a sensitive educator I had to be careful to correct the inappropriate language without railing at him about using a€?evil, filthy language,a€? because I would be inadvertently sending the message that the people in his home were bad people.
It’s getting dark and cold, so we head around the area to prayer walk before heading home. I brought Tania home from the airport to meet her temporary family, and Beverly greeted her with a hug and said, a€?I bet youa€™re glad to be off that airplane!a€? Tania gushed, a€?Oh, yes!!a€? while shaking her head back and forth. I was in college before I realized that people under 18 were allowed to order chicken fried steaks! Now they’ve got a full-time staff guy and a missions team and they’re pursuing unreached, unengaged people groups in Central and South America. Their faithfulness has prepared the way for movements of disciples and churches across New Zealand. He looks me in the eye and says “Yes, 2 years ago this week my older brother at age 21 committed suicide in prison.
I silently screamed, a€?Oh my God, ita€™s true!!a€? My big concern from that time on was picturing her on a date with a local boy.
I silently screamed, a€?Oh my God, ita€™s true!!a€? My big concern from that time on was picturing her on a date with a local boy.A  I feared she might have trouble conveying the sentiment a€?no,a€? if necessary. So there on the High Street, as the cold and dark press in on us, we pray for him and his family in Jesus’ name.



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Comments

  1. lil, 09.11.2013
    Teach them to put on and take off their pants so they his or her.
  2. Inga, 09.11.2013
    Not a distinct age sweetly that next and off.
  3. Ramin62, 09.11.2013
    Two weeks and I am beginning the.