Sunday, July 14, 2019

Please pray RIGHT NOW...

At this very moment, two of our beloved daughters, Sadey (17) and Aubrey (24), are on a mission trip in Belize. (They are not wearing coats in Belize right now, I can promise you that : )

Would you please join us in praying RIGHT NOW for them and their teammates?

* For health and safety.
* For wisdom and love for the people of Belize.
* For teamwork and flexibility.
* For the hearts of the people of Belize to be open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


They left today and they plan to be back this coming Sunday.

Thank you for praying for them RIGHT NOW!

Our son, Bill, and his fiancé are investing their lives this summer at a Christian camp in Iowa that is focused on reaching at-risk youth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discipling them. Let’s just say that some of the stories they have shared with us have made us way better prayer partners. We love that they are sharing Jesus (the only hope for this world) with these kids.

Would you please join us in praying RIGHT NOW for them and the other summer staff?

* For health and safety. (Not joking)
* For wisdom and love for these kids.
* For teamwork and flexibility.
* For the hearts of the campers to be open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


FYI: Bill and his fiancé are getting married next month, August 10th. (Yes, we’re getting another daughter! And we couldn’t be more excited!)

Thanks for praying for our adult children… RIGHT NOW.

Bill for all of us
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Sunday, July 07, 2019

What God Did on Our Summer Mission Trip of Encouragement...

"Bill, what a huge blessing it was to see you, Stacy, and Ivy! It was so good for all of us. I'm committed to pray for your family each time Lisa and I pray together. We love you, we really do." 
—Tim Kurtz, AZ

We're back from our summer mission trip of encouragement

From our hearts to everyone of you who prayed and $upported us—THANK YOU! 

Check out what God did—and join us in giving all the glory to Jesus!
"He traveled through that area speaking many words of encouragement…." Acts 20:2
Above in Missouri:
Our first stop was with our disciplemaking friends, Rick and Shirleen Pilcher. Rick and I have known each other since we both were new followers of Jesus as teenagers. Rick invited his family and friends who had read The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus book to join us for an evening of iron-sharpening-iron community and disciplemaking.

Missouri was a favorite stop for Ivy because Rick trained Ivy to twist balloons and share the Gospel and Bible stories! We go to give encouragement and God uses our friends to encourage us. Beautifully ironic, ain't it? Ivy left with her own balloons and pump :  )

"Judas and Silas... said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers" Acts 15:32.
Above in Oklahoma: 
I've known and loved Levi Carter since he was 14-years-old (that was a long time ago). Many years later, Levi has been a pastor, ministry leader, and is now an aspiring church planter. We were blessed and encouraged by Levi, his wife, Lizeth, and their four beautiful children.

Above in Texas: 
The further west one journeys... the more critically important it is to wear your cowboy hat. Not really. But I did anyway.

"...Paul and Silas.. went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them…." Acts 16:40
Above in Arizona: 
In my 20s I played in a Christian band with youth pastors and volunteer youth leaders in the Peoria, IL, area. Tim Kurtz was our drummer and then our singer. We haven't seen Tim and his family in many years. So you can imagine our reunion when we stayed with the Kurtz family! 

"We sent Timothy… to strengthen and encourage you in your faith…." 1 Thessalonians 3:2
Above in California: 
So much fun to stay with our disciplemaking friend Phil and then be at Sanctify Church!

So much fun with friends from Sanctify Church over lunch.

"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints." Philemon 1:7
Above in Nevada: 
We spent then night at Derrick and June Smother's place. You may remember our disciplemaking friendship with the Smothers from here, here, here, and ,most recently, here.

Above in Utah: 
Meet our friend Vern. He runs Gourmandise in Salt Lake City, UT. Absolutely delish! We highly recommend.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...." Hebrews 10:25
Above in Minnesota: 
Time with (TW) Mark and Rachel O'Brien—some of our favorite part-time Cadre Missionaries.

"But encourage one another daily...." Hebrews 3:13
Above with friends who live in Minnesota: 
Time with (TW) Shane and Heather Stacey and family. Shane is the Adult Equipping Pastor at Hosanna Church.

And in Minnesota Yet Again: 
Time with (TW) Ken and Kathy Castor. Ken is Professor of Youth Ministry at Crown College (Christian and Missionary Alliance). We couldn't resist the invitation to join Ken and Kathy to this HUGE crazy candy store in Minnesota. He had me at "candy."

Above in Iowa: 
On the final leg of the journey home to IL, we were out in the middle of nowhere when we came across Allison, IA. I kid you not. Couldn't resist taking this picture. 

We couldn't be Cadre Missionaries of encouragement to so many people without friends like you. Thank you for every prayer you breathe on our behalf and for every penny you give. You really are God's wind in our Cadre sails—and we will continue to do everything we can to multiply disciplemakers so that your investment in us continues to roll out through disciplemakers who make disciplesmakers—who make more disciplemakers. Only Heaven will be able to tell just how you are making an eternal difference.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Intersection of Children's Ministry and Disciplemaking...

My disciplemaking friend, Andrew Lindell, trained the summer staff of Camp of Champions USA (COCUSA) to live and share a Jesus-like disciplemaking way of life with the next generations of children. (In case you're wondering, Andrew did this training. And you can too.)

Looks like it's going to be a disciplemaking summer with kids at COCUSA!

How beautiful and strategic is that?

Ponder this for a moment:
Wouldn't it be CRAZY if the kids being discipled make more disciples—and then those disciples make even more disciples?

Yeah, crazy like Jesus.

Making disciplemakers who make more disciplemakers: It's the only hope for this country and the world.

Here's why.

Please pray a quick right-now prayer for God to use the staff of Camp of Champions in making disciplemakers with the next generations—for extension of God's kingdom and His glory!

p.s. Join us for this disciplemaking training experience on August 1st at Community Free Church in Mahomet, IL. Contact me for details.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

It's not called "The Great Suggestion"

It's not just a good idea.

It's not just a suggestion.

It's not a program.

It's certainly not optional.

And it's NOT just for paid pastors, ministers and missionaries.

It IS a command from Jesus himself to ALL of His followers

THIS is what God made YOU for.

YOU are a disciplemaker.

And here's the kicker:
Living as a disciplemaker isn't so much about changing the world as it is changing the way you live in the world.

But what might this look like in your everyday life?

Here’s something you may want to explore.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Our Summer Mission Trip: We Need Your Help...

As you read this, we're on the road. 

We're out and about being missionaries of encouragement to our disciplemaking friends in MO, OK, AZ, CA, NV, and MN. Plus, we'll be introducing Cadre's disciplemaking ministry to pastors and volunteer ministry leaders as we travel west and then back home.

Like the Apostle Paul said about his disciplemaking friends, "When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." (Romans 1:12, emphasis mine)

So make no mistake about it:
We need encouragement from you.

Would you prayerfully consider giving a $ gift to send us out as your missionaries of encouragement?

We need at least $1,000 for travel, expenses, and disciplemaking materials.

Summer can be a financially challenging time for missionaries like us, so a gift of any size at this time would be a huge encouragement to us.

If you are willing and able to help us, go here. 
(Please attach note: "Allisons")

If you can't help, we still love you and we're trusting God to provide in some other way.

From our hearts to yours, THANK YOU for every prayer you pray and every penny you give!

Your prayers and financial support really are God's wind in our missionary sails—and we thank God for you.
Bill, Stacy, and Ivy
p.s. Please take a moment to see how God is using you via Cadre for His glory!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just in case you're wondering...
This post raises a good question: Is "encouragement" really enough of a reason to hit the road and get time with disciplemaking friends? 

Fair question. Read below and decide for yourself...
· He [Paul] traveled through that area speaking many words of encouragement…. (Acts 20:2)

· Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers. (Acts 15:32)

· After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them…. (Acts 16:40)

· Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by.…(Acts 20:1)

· I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. (Ephesians 6:22)

· My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart…. (Colossians 2:2)

· We sent Timothy… to strengthen and encourage you in your faith…. (I Thessalonians 3:2)

· Therefore encourage each other with these words. (I Thessalonians 4:18)

· Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (I Thessalonians 5:11)

· Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (II Timothy 4:2)

· Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 1:7)

· But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)

· Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

We really are your missionaries of encouragement.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. You must be a hardcore disciplemaking friend!
“Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers…. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” —3 John 5-8

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Fathering IS Disciplemaking...

Warning. You're about to encounter satire. If you don't like to think or have fun while making a salient point, turn back now. You have been warned.

LOUISVILLE, KY—Stating that he had been feeling a sense of purposelessness and melancholy for some months now, local father of three Andrew Harbaugh recently began wondering when he would ever get a chance to impact anyone for the sake of Christ, sources close to him confirmed Thursday.

Harbaugh reportedly spends his days working ten hours at a desk job and his nights talking and playing with his three children.

“I just wish God would place a few people in my life for whom I could make an eternal difference,” Harbaugh told reporters, his head in his hands. “I just don’t have time to do anything for the Kingdom of God while I provide for my family and spend time with my three boys.”

“Surely the Lord will have something important for me to do someday,” he added sadly.

He further stated that every second of his day is taken up with “mundane” tasks like instructing and caring for his children, leaving him little to no time to evangelize or influence others for the gospel.

“I’ve just got my hands full with these kids. When will I ever get to do some important Kingdom work for God?” he lamented.

* This came from the Babylon Bee.

Happy Father's Day to fathers everywhere because fathering IS "important kingdom work for God."

On a serious note...
* Babysitting or Fathering?
* Disciplemaking Dads?
* Dads Who Pray?
* Google or Dad?

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

In a world full of overwhelmingly negative news, here's some good news...

Look at What God Is Doing! 
Click images below to enlarge for viewing and reading.
We need YOU to join our 2x-a-month email prayer team!
Just a reminder: You're God's favorite.
Special Note: 
Summer can be a financially challenging time for missionaries like us. Can you help us $ this summer? A gift of any size would be a HUGE encouragement to our souls. If you are willing and able, go here
THANK YOU!

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Are you only organizing volunteers for ministry?

A Baptist, a Nazarene, and a Methodist all walk into a Starbucks. (Insert your own ending to the joke here.)

My disciplemaking friend, Crazy Pastor Steve (on the left), took this picture and sent it to me. (From left to right is Benny the Baptist, Josh the Nazarene, and Trent the Methodist.)

It turns out that these three disciplemaking youth pastors in Central IL were gathered together to prepare for a collaborative time of equipping students and volunteers to live and share disciplemaking friendships that multiply to others.

Pause and re-read the italics and bold lettering above one more time.

I know and love all three of these youth pastors. We've study Jesus together in our Disciplemaking Learning Community. I've preached in each of their churches. I've enjoyed numerous lunches and lots of coffee with these guys.

But there is more to this picture than meets the eye.

I think this picture is remarkable on a several levels.  

Ponder the following with me...

First, many ministry leaders organize volunteers for their programs. Way fewer ministry leaders actually encourage AND equip volunteers to live and share disciplemaking as a way of life with others.

Second, their friendship with each other is big enough that it doesn't matter that they are from different denominations. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is enough reason to partner together for making disciplemakers with the next generations.

Last, they totally left me out of this meeting. I wasn't even invited. And I couldn't more filled with joy about it (see Luke 10:21).

So what does this have to do with you?

Possibly nothing... and maybe everything. That all depends on you.

The big question is this: Are YOU only organizing volunteers for ministry?

Answer that question. Be honest. I dare you.

If you only focus on organizing volunteers for ministry, you're using volunteers to build your ministry —when you should be using your ministry to build volunteers.

If you REALLY want to train volunteers but don't know where to start, then THIS IS FOR YOU. (It's a FREE downloadable book I wrote that will help you help others. Feel free to share it with others who are only organizing volunteers for ministry.)

Here are some more germane questions for you to explore and reflect upon...
1. Need help finding, developing, and retaining volunteers?
2. What training are they doing?
3. How can YOU bring this training to your church/ministry?
4. What is a Disciplemaking Learning Community?
5. Who else do you know that is making disciplemakers?
6. Who is Crazy Pastor Steve?

"We haven't made disciples like Jesus until those we disciple make more disciples."

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

What God Did in Utah via Your Prayers...

Why were you in Utah?

What were you doing in Utah?
We encouraged and equipped those who encourage and equip others—a.k.a, we sought to make disciplemakers who make more disciplemakers. (We stole that from Jesus.) We partnered with God and our dear disciplemaking friends, Derrick Smothers and Steve WaggonerAnd here's the beautiful thing: Derrick will continue his disciplemaking ministry and do what he has always done: engage, encourage, and equip the very same pastors and volunteer ministry leaders.

Where did all this happen?
All over in and around Utah for eight days straight in the following places...
* Colorado City, Arizona
* Hildale, Utah
* La Verkin, Utah
* Ivins, Utah
* Las Vegas, Nevada
* Garden City, Utah
* Fish Haven, Idaho
* Ephraim, Utah
* Ogden, Utah
* Lehi, Utah
* Tremonton, Utah

What disciplemaking training did you do?
This and this.

What did God do?
He answered your prayers for us. Check it out...
Hey Bill! Thanks for coming down. It is still exciting to see the effects of the training in our church. People are buzzing! I'd love to stay in contact. Thanks to all three of you guys investing into our field! 
—Pastor Matt Moore

Friends of Cadre,
I just returned from a powerful mission trip to Utah. Your generous support allowed me to partner with Bill and Derrick in equipping dozens of pastors and ministry leaders. I was overwhelmed by our time of mutual encouragement. Having been blessed personally by Cadre's disciplemaking ministry over the years, it was a joy to pass on what I have received to others. The brothers and sisters we served have followed God's call to make disciples in a very difficult environment. Thank you for sending us to come alongside and spur on these faithful servants. God is on the move to replace the lies of religion with the truth of the gospel! All for King Jesus,
Pastor Steve Waggoner


Bill, you, Derrick and Steve rock! You are a blessing to our church family and to my family! Thanks for serving Jesus and us in disciplemaking as a way of life! 
—Pastor Rodney Z

Why are we so thankful to God and YOU?
We couldn't have done this disciplemaking adventure in Utah without folks like YOU who prayed and gave $ to make it happen! Not joking. We really are your disciplemaking missionaries serving King Jesus with Cadre. We thank God for you.

What about you? 
Yep, I'm talking to you... the person reading this right now. If you're an aspiring follower of Jesus—you ARE a disciplemaker! Not sure where to start? Start here. Then go here. And then let us know if we can help you in any way

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

No wonder people hate meetings...

Are you sick of wasting your time in useless meetings?

Would you like to learn how to conduct meetings so that people will actually attend?

Here are ten rules-of-thumb for conducting meetings people will actually attend.

BTW: People who enjoy meetings shouldn't be in charge of anything.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and make you think ONE time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
2. Check your email to confirm.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

More on meetings here.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

On Simpletons, Mockers, and Fools


Lady Wisdom Shouts in the Streets

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
    She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
    to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons,
    will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
    How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
    and make you wise.
24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
    I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice
    and rejected the correction I offered.
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
    I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
    when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
    and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
    Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
    and chose not to fear the Lord.
30 They rejected my advice
    and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
    choking on their own schemes.
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
    Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
    untroubled by fear of harm.”
—Proverbs 1:20-33, (bold mine)

From verse 22 above...
* Simpletons: 
Those who are "easily influenced, enticed, and misled. They tend to believe everything they hear (good or bad), and lack moral prudence" as defined in the Bible.

* Mockers: 
These people are "cynical and defiant freethinkers who ridicule the righteous and all for which they stand."

* Fools: 
This term "refers to the morally insensitive dullard."

"Each of these three types of people is satisfied with the life being led and will not listen to reason."

[Notes taken from the translator's notes in the NET Bible.] 

p.s. I took the above picture many years ago when I was in Jerusalem—outside of the Church of the Holy Sepulcre.