Sunday, September 27, 2020

Encouraging Your Pastor(s): Why and How

Here's WHY you must encourage your pastor(s).

Here's HOW you can encourage your pastor(s).

Only for Cup O' Joe with Bill readers—and for a limited time: When you go here and add TWO to your cart, you'll get one free when you check out. Who loves you? I do.

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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Since you've read all the way to the end, here's a freebie just for you! Thanks for reading Cup O' Joe with Bill. Please share with you friends.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Can YOU Help Us with $18?

This month, Cadre is celebrating 18 years of making disciples who make more disciples—who make more disciples, ad infinitum.

For 18 years, God and you have made it possible for us, as Cadre Missionaries, to give our lives to multiplying disciplemakers here and around the world. Thank you.

And make no mistake:  We still need your help!


In honor of our 18th birthday, would you please prayerfully consider donating a special gift of $18 or more?



We're hoping and praying for 300 of our friends to respond with a special gift of $18—which would bless Cadre with $5,400 much-needed dollars for our disciplemaking mission. (UPDATE: As of 9/30/20 we've had 88 people partner with us!  We are so thankful! However, that means we still have need of 135 friends to partner with us at $18 each.)

Will YOU be one of our 135?
* Mail a check: Cadre Missionaries, PO Box 278, Sycamore, IL 60178
* For questions or more info, contact Rennie at 815.501.3132.
Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you for investing in disciplemaking!

And look at what God is doing...

Click the images below to enlarge for viewing, reading, and praying!
If you've read to this point, you really are a friend! We thank God for 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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

What could happen if volunteers really believed they weren't "just volunteers"?

 
The words we use are full of connotations.

Would you rather buy a “pre-owned” car or a “used” car? See what I mean? It’s the same car, but, depending on which words are used, the connotation is different.

While I love the concept of someone freely giving their time and talents to serve without pay, the term “volunteer,” when used in ministry, often seems to carry a connotation of “second best” or “not really that important.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a wonderful, committed, effective non-paid servant in a ministry refer to him or herself as “just a volunteer.” For whatever reason, non-paid workers in the church have subconsciously picked up on the very unbiblical connotation that they are “ just volunteers.”

This should bother us because it's a big, fat lie.

Why?

I contend that the Bible clearly teaches that every Christian is a full-time minister. (Do your own study on the "priesthood of the believer" or keep reading for more info below.) Therefore, I don’t like the term “volunteer” when used in a ministry context.

I think we need a new term for volunteers—one that doesn’t contain the second-class baggage.

When speaking of someone who generously gives time to serve Jesus but doesn't get paid for it, I propose we start using a term like "ministry leader" or _____ (fill in  your idea here). If enough of us get on board with terminology like this, we might be able to exchange the word “volunteer” along with its less desirable connotations for a much more biblically accurate and dignifying term.

Who knows what could happen? 

People who graciously serve in ministry without compensation might quit acting like "just volunteers" and might start acting like, well, "ministry leaders." The potential ramifications for mobilizing the latent volunteer power sitting (literally) in our churches could be revolutionary.

Once we’ve replaced the term "volunteer" with something like “ministry leader,” we can move on to changing the term “committees” to “teams” or perhaps to my personal favorite, “cadres.” This, too, would be revolutionary. 

However, for now, let’s take one revolution at a time. Way too many great people of God see themselves as “just volunteers.”  

I contend it's the biggest lie in ministry.

The revolution begins here. Starting with YOU. And YOU spreading it to others.



Here's how YOU can do it.


<—Click image to enlarge for viewing. 





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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Hey, you've read all the way to end! Email me and I'll send you a FREE PDF of this post that includes the training session. You can use in with volunteers in your ministry. All for FREE because you read all the way to the end. Don't tell anyone else.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Why Disciplemaking?

You may have noticed that it's a crazy world out there. And it feels like it's getting crazier. Doesn't it?

In North America, it seems like paganism is displacing Christianity in the public square.

Ironically, in the first 300 years of the church that Jesus started, Christianity spread so effectively that it actually displaced much of paganism in the Roman Empire. And it all happened in a context that was often hostile to Christianity. Think about that. 

How did the early followers of Jesus have such a huge impact on a pagan culture?

In his book, The Triumph of Christianity, Dr. Rodney Stark writes, "...the  spread of religious movements is not accomplished by dramatic events and persuasive preachers, but by ordinary followers who convert their equally anonymous friends, relatives, and neighbors."

That sounds like "disciplemaking friendships that multiply" to me. If you really know us, you know that's who Cadre Missionaries is—ordinary folks who share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Jesus' disciplemaking way of life with our ordinary friends, relatives, neighbors, etc.

What if disciplemaking like Jesus is our only real hope for turning the tide?

This month, Cadre is celebrating 18 years of making disciples who make more disciples—who make more disciples, ad infinitum.

For 18 years, God and you have made it possible for us, as Cadre Missionaries, to give our lives to multiplying disciplemakers here and around the world. Thank you.

And make no mistake:  We still need your help!


In honor of our 18th birthday, would you please prayerfully consider donating a special gift of $18 or more?



We're hoping and praying for 300 of our friends to respond with a special gift of $18—which would bless Cadre with $5,400 much-needed dollars for our disciplemaking mission.

Will YOU be one of our 300?
* Mail a check: Cadre Missionaries, PO Box 278, Sycamore, IL 60178
* For questions or more info, contact Rennie at 815.501.3132.
Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you for investing in disciplemaking!

I invite you to ponder this one more time: 
What if disciplemaking like Jesus is our only real hope for turning the tide?










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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

What God Did in NE, CO, and SD...

We've just returned home from our 16-Day Disciplemaking Mission Trip to NE, CO, and SD. If you prayed for us and/or $upported us—THANK YOU! We couldn't have done it without you. Here's a pictorial report back to you on what God did in and through us for His glory.

"It's always a joy to see the Allisons on their disciplemaking journeys. It reminds me of what the churches in the book of Acts must have felt when Paul and Barnabas came to visit. It's a joy-filled time of encouragement that brings life. I can't wait until the Boal and Allisons get to be together again in 2021 to encourage and equip pastors and church leaders from around the nation at the General Council gathering of the C&MA."
—Dan Boal, National Director of Youth Ministries
Christian and Missionary Alliance Denomination, Colorado Springs, CO

"Thanking God for the Cadre moments in our lives."
—Pastor Jeff Jensen and family
Geneva Evangelical Free Church, NE.

"We treasured the time together. Thanks for the pizza, the chocolate bread, and for blessing us with so much conversation and friendship."
—Jake and Ali Bland
Vice President of Youth for Christ, USA, Denver, CO

"Pure joy being with you guys. Thanks for the encouragement to be among brothers who are running hard after Jesus—imperfectly but faithfully. Much love."
With Pastor Joel Wood
Lighthouse Church, Parker, CO

So much fun with our dear friends, Jarrod and Ky Briggs, in Cotopaxi, CO. Jarrod works with Youth for Christ, USA in CO, and Ky is a counselor.

"Bill, Stacy, and Family: You blessed our youth leaders by reinforcing the movement of disciplemaking friendships that multiply. Your energy and thought-provoking questions sharpened my leaders in our mission of making disciples—who make more disciples. Our senior pastor participated in this training experience and was impacted by our time together. We are looking forward to seeing God's disciplemaking fruit—not only in our youth ministry—but also in our entire church as well!"
—Carson Greenhaw, Pastor of Students Ministries
New Life Community Church, Aurora, CO

"Kim and I were so encouraged by our time together with you and your family. Our whole staff is now reading The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus book together! We are looking forward to have you do some training with us soon."
—Pastor Jeff Schwarzentraub
Founder and Lead Pastor of Brave Church, Englewood, CO

“Bill, these disciplemaking training experiences have been the perfect way to continue growing a disciplemaking culture at our church! People always leave better equipped and empowered to live out the Great Commission on a daily basis. I am recommending Cadre to other churches as a part of their discipleship strategy.”

—Paul Welch, Discipleship Pastor
Christ Place Church, Lincoln, NE

It was on this mission trip that we learned how to socially distance, wear masks, and still do our disciplemaking training experiences! Here we are leading Cadre's Ministry Is Relationships training experience with 100 volunteer and vocational ministry leaders in the sanctuary of Christ Place in Lincoln, NE. It was my joy to preach God's Word in the weekend services as well.

Disciplemaking is NOT a seminar, workshop, program, books, or a curriculum. It's a simple Jesus-like way of life that starts with you and your family—and then multiplies out from there—to everyone, everywhere until the entire world has Jesus as their King. More on this here.

On the last leg of this disciplemaking mission trip, we traveled to Aberdeen, South Dakota, where I spoke  to students from about 10 different local churches who gathered together to focus on how to live on mission with Jesus for the 2020 school year. The next day, we did disciplemaking training at First Baptist Church in Aberdeen. Our friends, Pastor Josh Matthews and his wife, Katie, made this time in SD happen—and we are so thankful for the Gospel partnership we share with them!

Here we are 3,500 miles later. Thank you for every prayer you pray and every penny you invest into our "Jesus-like disciplemaking-as-a-way-of-life" mission.

 "He traveled through that area speaking many words of encouragement..." Acts 20:2

Did I mention the nacho table in Cotopaxi, CO?

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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

When is the last time you invested a morning encouraging and equipping VOLUNTEERS?

BREAKING NEWS: [See pic above.] We just got back from doing training in three different states. We figured out how to socially distance, wear masks AND still do training experiences together! Note: All pics below are pre-Covid.

So when is the last time you invested a morning encouraging and equipping volunteers in your ministry/church?

Is that the sound of crickets I hear? Not sure where to start?

We can help you—like  this... click any image below to enlarge for viewing...
Cadre training is engaging and experiential—not a lecture.

Cadre training is always centered on the Bible.

Cadre training is communal—friends following Jesus together.

Cadre training experiences are fun, practical, and life-giving.

What are you waiting for? Go here

More here...

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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Kavanah: Cool Idea or Way-of-Life Conviction?

"All the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking and listening to the latest ideas."
—Acts 17:21

When we read books, we get ideas.

But...

When we wrestle the Bible together, we get convictions.

I like books and ideas. I really do.

But here's something I love more:  Deeply rooted biblical convictions.

Why?

People with ideas are fascinating conversationalists (like the Athenians), but people with convictions change the world—regardless of their education, social media platform, or oratory skills.

Think about it.

Jesus' disciplemaking movement has never been built on ideas alone.

Jesus' disciplemaking movement is built on regular people who get totally captured by Jesus—and then share His disciplemaking way of life with others. It's a 1 John 2:6 conviction: "Those who claim to live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."

There's always another new book of cool ideas coming down the pike. And I find some of these interesting—but not compelling; informative—but lacking in their ability to transform.

And make no mistake about it: The need of the hour is not for just information—but for transformation.

I contend that we'll never get there unless we start doing the hard work of wrestling the Bible—not just books—together.

It's the people of God wrestling the Word of God empowered by of the Spirit of God.


We call it, disciplemaking friendships.

The What, Why, and How of Kavanah Conviction

I challenge you to move beyond good ideas to a conviction about Kavanah.

What's Kavanah? That's a great question.
Kavanah is a Hebrew word that helps us understand how God empowers us to live as disciplemakers. 

In its simplest form, Kavanah means “to aim and hit the bullseye.” In disciplemaking, it describes the place where my disciplined actions meet God’s active presence in my life.

If disciplemaking is about following Jesus together, every day, we need his power to do it. And Kavanah helps us see how.

We find the roots of Kavanah in the Babylonian Talmud. Berakoth 32b says, “Our Rabbis taught: Four things require to be done with Kavanah, namely, [study of] the Torah, good deeds [loving others and showing kindness], praying always, and one’s worldly occupation.”

Kavanah is how we hit the bullseye as a disciple. It enables us to be filled up by Jesus, anticipating what God is going to do in us, through us and around us.

We practice these four intentionalities with others, depending on the help of the Holy Spirit to hit the Kavanah bullseye...
1. Studying God’s Word to know and love God.
2. Prayerfulness
3. Loving others as an overflow of God’s extravagant love for us.
4. Living a Colossians 3:23 (C323) life of worship where we live, work, and play.

Why is this so important?

As we study, pray, love and live together, we hit the bullseye as disciples—who makes disciples—who make more disciples.

How do we move from "Kavanah as a cool idea" to Kavanah as a way-of-life conviction?

Open your Bible to the Gospel of Luke—together with a friend—and every time you come across one of the four Kavanah priorities in your Bible reading, you make a note in your Bible like so...
* "W"[blue] = study God's Word to know and love God
* "P" [yellow] = prayerfulness
* "L" [red] = loved extravagantly by God to extravagantly love others
* "C" [green] = a C323 (Colossians 3:23) life of worship

Use four different colored pencils/highlighters—one for each of the four Kavanah priorities. When you're done, you'll have a fun and simply way of seeing just how much Kavanah is in the New Testament.

Well, there are only two questions left to ask:
1. Are YOU in?
2. Whom will you invite to join you?

The better, stronger relationship with God that you've always longed for will not happen accidentally.

With whom do you need to share this post?

What are you waiting for?

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...
2. Check your email to confirm.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

All the Cool Kids are Wearing the Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus T-Shirt

Order deadline is Friday, August 14, 2020
I was quietly working on my computer at a Starbucks in Rockford, IL. I was wearing this shirt. A man who was seated near me pointed to my shirt and politely asked me, "What does that mean?" 

He was intrigued.

I said, "I'm an aspiring follower of Jesus. This is how Jesus taught all of his followers to live." Then I very briefly explained what TW, K4 and D3 meant. It all took less than a minute. He smiled politely. My heart smiled.


The order deadline is August 14th. Shirts ship on August 24th.