Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Before you drop the H-bomb ("heretic"): Fighting the right battles with the right spirit

I was walking in San Francisco along the Golden Gate Bridge when I saw a man about to jump off. I tried to dissuade him from committing suicide and told him simply that God loved him. A tear came to his eye. I then asked him, “Are you a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, or what?”

He said, “I’m a Christian.”

I said, “Me, too, small world. Protestant or Catholic?”

He said, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me, too, what denomination?”

He said, “Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too, Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Baptist.”

I said, “Well, ME TOO. Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”

I said, “Well, that’s amazing! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reformed Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist.”

I said, “Remarkable! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Eastern Region?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region.”

I said, “A miracle! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “DIE HERETIC!" and pushed him over the rail.


Yeah. It's funny. But it also makes a very good point.

Is someone really a "heretic" simply because he/she has a different view than you on some of the finer points of theology?

In this regard, I hear and see the word "heretic" abused more and more these days.

So before you gratuitously drop an H-bomb ("heretic") on someone, consider this saying that goes back at least 400 years...



In essentials, unity.

In nonessentials, liberty.

In all things, charity.






Of course, now the question is:
What are the essentials?

That's a worthwhile discussion.

I hope you and your friends dare to engage that question.

And if you find that you need Bibles, that's a good thing.

Invite your pastor/elders/small group leader to that discussion.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Your Title?

So unsexy, ain't it?

Ah, but so like Jesus.

Here's more to ponder if you're so inclined...
The modern array of ecclesiastical titles accompanying the names of Christian leaders ["reverend" "pastor"] is completely missing from the New Testament and would have appalled the apostles and early believers. Although both the Greeks and Jews employed a wealth of titles for their political and religious leaders in order to express their power and authority, the early Christians avoided such titles. The early Christians used common and functional terms to describe themselves and their relationships. Some of these terms are "brother," "beloved," "fellow-worker," "laborer," "slave," "servant," "prisoner," "fellow-soldier," and "steward."

Of course there were prophets, teachers, apostles, evangelists, leaders, elders, and deacons within the first churches, but these terms were not used as formal titles for individuals. All Christians are saints, but there was no "Saint John." All are priests, but there was no "Priest Phillip." Some are elders, but there was no "Elder Paul." Some are overseers, but there was no "Overseer John." Some are pastors, but there was no "Pastor James." Some are deacons, but there was no "Deacon Peter." Some are apostles, but there was no "Aposle Andrew."


Rather than gaining honor through titles and position, New Testament believers received honor primarily for their service and work [their way of life—see Romans 16:1-16, 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Corinthians 16:15-18; Philippians 2:29-30; and others]. The early Christians referred to each other by personal names (Timothy, Paul, Titus), the terms "brother" or "sister," or by describing an individual's spiritual character or work:
* Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5);
* Barnabas, a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith (Acts 11:24);
* Phillip the evangelist Acts 21:8);
* Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3);
* Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you (Romans 16:6).

—Taken from Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch (page 302)

Real power and authority doesn't come from a position or title. It comes from Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20) and learning to live all of life like Jesus (1 John 2:6).

What would it look like for you to live and lead like Jesus—as a servant?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Monday Funday: Someone please make it stop!

Another daughter goes to another school dance with another boy.

Will it ever end?

Please pray for me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Secret of Change

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
—Socrates

Think about this for a moment.

* How much time did Jesus spend fighting the old? 
* How much time did Jesus invest in building the new?

Ponder those questions.

If you spend your time deconstructing the old, you won't have time to build the new.

To only be known for what you're against doesn't make you a change-agent. It simply makes you a gadfly.

What are you for?

What are you building with your life?

And here's the biggie...
How can you join Jesus in building the new?


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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Ninja-disciplemaking-palooza: What if all of life is a missions trip?

(Click any image below to enlarge for viewing.)
Here's a little about what God is doing lately. This post is especially for those who pray and $ partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Ministries. THANK YOU for making all this below possible. We couldn't be disciplemaking missionaries with Cadre Ministries without friends like YOU who love us, pray for us, and $ partner with God and us. Scroll down and check out what God is doing because of you... and give Him thanks as you do!

Disciplemaking training with students and youth leaders, Districts 2015 in Green Bay, WI.
Students and youth leaders cram into the room where we are doing disciplemaking training. Once the chairs were taken, people simply sat on the floor near the front of the room! So. Much. Fun.

This year, I did these two disciplemaking training experiences. Love to bring these to you and your ministry. Contact me.

When we're not training students and youth leaders at Districts, we're usually investing in disciplemaking friendships with folks we have walked together with for years. There might be a little coffee involved too.

Or, if we're Bears fans in the middle of Green Bay, WI, all two of us usually huddle together for protection and encouragement.

The Peoria Area Leadership Community (PALC)
The heartbeat of the disciplemaking movement we are a part of has everything to do with studying the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and then seeking to live the disciplemaking genius of Jesus with others... who live it with others... who live it with others, ad infinitum. We also call it: Following jesus together. That's what PALC, Disciplemaking Learning Communities, and Cadre Ministries are all about.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love being a dad again?
Strawberry banana smoothies with Ivy. She's like a grandkid who never goes back home because she IS home already.

Evangelism Is Relationships retreat with students and volunteers.
This generation wants to change the world. We want to help them do it like Jesus did! That's exactly what the Evangelism Is Relationships training experience is all about. Here's one of the groups that participated in the retreat weekend at Dickson Valley Camp in Northern, IL.

Ivy and I did go down the tubing hill a bunch of times.

Stacy and I with our friend, Josh Calhoun, from the band, Citizen Way, who served as the worship leader for the weekend.


Turning Pew Potatoes Into Passionate Participators Training Experience
Our texts for the training experience were the Bible and Recruiting, Motivating, and Retaining Volunteers. We drilled down on chapter 1 which deals specifically with how to cooperate with God in turning pew potatoes into passionate participators.

About 15 church leaders from six different churches gathered together for the training in Bloomington, IL.

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." —Jesus in Luke 10:2

Four Wednesday Nights of the Evangelism Is Relationships Training Experience
For four cold and snowy Wednesday nights, over 70 people gathered at CrossPoint Community Church in Eureka, IL, to explore how to change the world one heart at a time via Cadre's Evangelism Is Relationships training experience. It was a blast—and the stories of how God is using these folks to help others follow Jesus is so encouraging to my soul.

How to Disciple People Without Them Knowing It training experience
Funny, right? But it's very true too. Want more info? Check it out here. I'd love to bring this disciplemaking training experience to you and your ministry/church. Contact me.

We had so much fun together—studying Jesus and disciplemaking as a way of life.

This particular training experience is built around the Disciplemaker's Journal—which requires small groups to read and wrestle the application of Scripture together.
One of these young women is my daughter. Loved having her at the training.

Superbowl party with friends...
Even though the team we hoped would win the Superbowl lost, thanks to Ivy and Puppy Chow, our Superbowl party was a success.

Thanks for tracking all the way to the end of this. That means a lot to me. So let me bless you back. Scroll back up and click a "contact me" link. Send me an email letting me know you read this post and said a prayer for us—and I'll email you a PDF of Cadre's first book: Grow, Minister, and Lead. Not joking.

We need you. We couldn't take any of part of this Jesus-like disciplemaking adventure without people like you who love us, pray for us, and give $ to Cadre. We need you. You make our ministry powerful and possible. Every expression of partnership breathes life into our souls… and enables us to do the same for many others! For more information about how you can partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Ministries, go here. To make a secure online tax-deductible donation, go here.  Cadre Ministries is a recognized 501(c)3 ministry.

For up-to-date ways you can pray for us, go here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Plans for World Domination

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

Helping someone follow Jesus is a great first step—this is discipleship. This is addition. And this is good.

However, when we help someone follow Jesus—AND help them help someone else follow Jesus—this is disciplemaking. This is multiplication. And THIS what Jesus did.

We call it D3 disciplemaking.

Jesus-like disciplemaking requires at least three generations: us, our friends, and our friends' friends.

We think disciplemaking happens best in friendships—like Jesus and his friends—and their friends, ad infinitum.

Our plans for world domination?

To take over the world one heart at a time exactly like Jesus did—via D3 disciplemaking.

That's why we say...
We haven't made disciples like Jesus until those we disciple make more disciples.

Please let me explain further...
Best D3 story ever
World dominion one small intentional step at a time
Be a disciple who makes disciples who make more disciples
D3 Disciplemaking: Step #1
Disciplemaking Is Relationships training that comes to you


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Monday Funday: Church Approved Dance Moves


If video doesn't appear, God just may be protecting you. If you still insist on seeing this video, go here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When Christianity Drifts Away from Christ

As a scholar and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, Thomas Linacre was well versed in both Greek and Latin, but he lived before the Reformation, when the Bible was restricted to the clergy. So he had never read it in depth. One day a friend who was a priest gave him a copy of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and he studied them in full and in the original language for the first time. Linacre thought for a while, and then handed them back to the priest with the remark, "Either these are not the Gospels, or we are not Christians."

This story raises so many pertinent questions—one of which is...
How is it possible for Christianity to morph into something so unlike Christ?

Here's a thought.

[Note: The true story of Thomas Linacre above was taken from Os Guinness' book, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times.]

Other Related Posts:
* The Rebranding of Jesus
Remaking Jesus in our image
The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus


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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Monday Funday: Little known secret to staying warm...

Now that's punny.


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