Archive for January, 2011
This week I have the privilege of traveling with some of my favorite guys to participate in the regional RCN meetings throughout the sunny peninsula as we talk about what it can look like for the city church to think and participate globally. For those that will be at these gatherings, I look forward to meeting you. For those that will not be able to participate, I ask for your prayer for God to bless these conversations and would encourage you to learn about the city church through an interview at the Upstream site as well as at the Reproducing Churches Network site.
In Lakeland on Monday, we had a great time of prayer, encouragement, and seeking to learn and meet where possible the needs of others. This group, the start of city church as it is being expressed here in Florida at present, was one of the healthiest groups of leaders living out the New Testament that I have seen in the U.S. It was a blessing to hear some of what the church is doing regarding orphans, the homeless, those living in projects and others.
Several shared with me that God is at work in the I-4 corridor which runs across central Florida. This is evident through what was shared and consistent with the reality that some 20 plus guys were meeting together in one group meeting this month and spread out in smaller groups most other months to pray for their city. These leaders have consistently lead their respective gatherings to be in prayer every week for other churches in their community whether or not they are participating as an active part of the city church group.
It is beautiful.
It has felt a bit like a soap opera of late. First I write a few posts back about what a difference she is making in a neighbor’s life and then suddenly she turns gravely ill. In fact, there were two different occasions over the course of a week that I thought she wasn’t going to make it.
Strangely enough, all of this drama was over our dog. We have since seen her come through parvo. As a family we prayed a lot and not just a few tears were shed. Thankfully she is back at home and doing well. The vet asked us to keep the pooch calm, help her not to bite or swallow foreign objects and not to let her run free in the yard. I have wanted to call the vet many times and ask her if she has ever been around a 12 week old dog. Sometime this weekend she is supposed to be given her freedom to go and run and explore and dig in the back yard.
Just wanted to let you know the latest as some have known about the illness as we were going through it. (At the same time I promise all readers here that this blog has not just turned into a dog’s tale.)
Also, a quick update on our neighbor is that we continue to have amazing and at times awkward opportunities to be involved in their lives. Good things are happening. Soon the missional pooch will be back in the back yard to wake Gus up at irregular times in the early morning so that he may have opportunity to read more of the gospels.
Here is an English band that has grown significantly in popularity over the last 2 years. Though not claiming to be followers of Christ, the band’s lyrics often, according to one friend, “drip with the gospel.” This is a great way to see into the thoughts, emotions and philosophy of those that are not followers but are searching for meaning.
Thanks to Shane England, who is starting resonatechurch in Madison just outside Nashville for pointing this out in his developing blog. He is seeing some good stories unfolding already in his journey there.
Over the past months I have spoken with a number of people that are looking to go on mission, advance a church plant or do some humanitarian effort. Many times a primary sticking point is the funding aspect. I am convinced that there are large numbers of people that are eager to invest their lives in a greater cause if only they can pay the bills. In my mind, this presents a number of options including fundraising, doing business as mission (now being referred to by some as business for transformation) and/or pursuing missional living in an existing or future employment opportunity.
With increased interest in finding ways to do what one feels called to, new funding approaches will be essential. In doing this, I believe it will be helpful for individuals and organizations to look for incremental sources of money. This approach would allow for raising a portion of the funds in conjunction with finding other income sources. For example, a person could raise 50% of their funding, take a part-time job that supplies another 40%, and then have investment income fulfilling the remaining 10%. This incremental approach minimizes risk to some extent in that if one source of funding is impacted, still others remain. This means future disruptions are less impacting and easier to overcome. (Of course it is important to remember that this journey remains a faith-walk with tremendous risk that is best placed in the hands of the Faithful One.)
One tool that is just now coming on-line that already has buy-in from a number of very well-known mission leaders is Moolala.com. Similar to some other social network buying sites, this opportunity is unique in that for every purchase someone in your “paymatrix” network makes, you and/or your non-profit can generate 2% of income. With this going out to four levels beyond yourself, there is significant potential to generate a sizable paymatrix network with those that choose to work this approach. For example, if a person were to get 1000 people in their paymatrix, and each of these were to spend $50 per month purchasing deals that they would have already bought at greatly reduced prices, then the monthly incremental income would be $1000.
This is not AmWay as you are not selling anything. However, friends and family would likely be open to saving money especially if in doing so they can help advance your effort to go on mission and/or plant a church. This incremental approach may deserve serious effort especially while this is in its infancy stage in order to generate residual incremental income by encouraging your network to be a part of your paymatrix. If they generate a paymatrix and choose to donate the funds they make from that to your benefit, then all the better. (smile)
If you poke around on the site you will see that there are not any daily deals available right now. These are expected to be going up in the next 30 to 45 days. Now would be an ideal time to let your network become a part of your paymatrix so that when deals do start coming a potential viral spread of interest could help you increase this as an incremental income source.
Click on the link to get started using Moolala as a tool for incremental income as you seek to be about His business.
With tail wagging wildly, our new Christmas puppy has found her place in our home (though not exactly inside it) and our hearts. She goes from a flutter of spastic activities before hitting the wall and crashing for a time only to get a full recharge. We have laughed a lot over the past days and tossed a few things that Super Pup bested.
Our biggest concern with getting a dog in the first week was the whimpering and whining at night and the resulting displeasure of the neighbors. Just separated from her mama, the new love of my children’s lives proved true to nature and whimpered intermittently through the first several nights. A couple days into it though, with no complaints from neighbors, all seemed well. But actually it was better than that….
On New Year’s Eve night, my father-in-law and I visited my neighbor who washes his Jesus to share some food and wish him well. Gus was broken prior to our arrival and often incoherent due to some amount of alcohol and large amounts of emotional pain over the last year and anger through recent events with others. Through our time together, he shared that he had been awakened by a whimpering puppy the previous morning at 4:00 AM. Then, for the first time, he began to read his Bible. We finished our time together praying a prayer of blessing over a man who was at first scared to be holding a bottle of Bud Light while we began to talk to God. By prayer’s end, he was deeply moved and thankful.
The story continues…now with Super Pup in the cast of characters.