Sunday, February 18, 2018

What If We Have Gotten "Leadership" Wrong?

Guest Post by Dave Garda


I am so grateful for the towel wearing leadership of John the Baptist, Jesus and Paul. 

Rather than focus on special vision and special leaders, I am excited to wake up each day to walk with friends and let the Holy Spirit (kavanah style) lead us.

The greatest leadership vision, action, and example of leadership is when you and I live Jesus’ GO MAKE DISCIPLES, together, starting with our families.

We’re not leaders when we gorge ourselves on leadership reading, more leadership workshops and more leadership copying.

We’re leaders when we help others lead in disciplemaking as a way of life.
* When we multiply disciplemakers at home and with our friends. 
* When we break out of our silo’s and walk alongside and not above.
Leaders don’t rise above, they crawl alongside others.

The gift of leadership is mentioned in only one gift list and that was to refer to it as a LESSER gift. Paul instead elevated hospitality, towel-wrapped-servanthood and friendship as leadership. He challenges us to learn to lead as a way of life and not a position.

I love how 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 calls each of us to be disciplemakers who live alongside (encourage, Thayer) in a mutual/reciprocal way (one other, Thayer) who mutually leave each other with more (build, Thayer).
11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.Paul’s Final Advice
Then Paul refers to ways we can honor those in the role of leadership for their example and hard-work (first-live-ers) who offer spiritual example and guidance through an accessible life (v.12).
12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
Next PAUL returns to invite each, all of us to lead in each other’s lives like positive, hard-working leaders have modeled.
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
From my understanding of Jesus—inflow, overflow, and multiply are a flat org chart we’re all called to live, share, own and release. We are disciplemaking friends not leaders… and it starts in our homes—and spends to all of life's relationships.

My vote: Let’s drop the leader, follower dialogue. Let’s erase our leadership boxes and layers, Then we can be kavanah-living, disciplemaking first-live-ers who lead by helping others multiply via friendships.

Used by permission from the CadreBlog

Related post: 
That Moment When Someone Becomes a Real Leader 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A 2 Timothy 2:2 Train-the-Trainers Gathering

In the spirit of 2 Timothy 2:2, we are convening a train-the-trainers gathering for a "cadre" of disciplemaking friends. Here’s the 411 on our train-the-trainers gathering...

When?
Monday, March 12 thru Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Where?
Sycamore, IL

If you're interested or have questions or need complete details, please contact us. (The links above will answer most of your questions so be sure to go back and click the links above for more information.)

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Adventures in Multiplying Disciplemaking Friendships in AZ, NV, and UT...

"The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught."
—Mark 6:30
Click any image below to enlarge for viewing.
I've known Derrick (above) and June Smothers for over 16 years. We first met at a missions conference at Pekin Bible Church, Pekin, IL—where we both were speaking. At that time in our lives, God was in the process of launching Cadre. And God, through the Smothers, was in the process of launching a Gospel-centered church in an area in Utah that had no such church. Derrick is now the Executive Director of E3 Connection. He's a missionary of encouragement and equipping. Does that sound familiar? This is God's story of our partnership in multiplying disciplemaking friendships.

However, this disciplemaking missionary adventure begins in Arizona. The three amigos (me, Stacy, and Ivy) spent a full day together with our disciplemaking friends, Ed and Pam Brockway. If Stacy and I ever grow up, we want to be like Ed and Pam in how they live and spread Jesus-like disciplemaking friendships. Ed wrote me in 2017: "Bill, thanks for pulling me close years ago and challenging me to live as a disciplemaker. I'm regularly investing in nine college students. We're studying Jesus and trying to make disciples like He did. Is there anything greater than this? Thanks for the push. Love you." See what I mean? They are beautiful followers of Jesus.

Then we headed to Mesquite, Nevada, where the Smothers live. Soon we were encouraging and training pastors and ministry leaders from Nevada and Utah at River Valley Bible Church. It was so much fun. In the words of Derrick, "You are so weird Allison. Hardly anyone comes to this part of the country to do ministry. We don't have huge numbers. Funding can be a challenge. And it's not cool or sexy." Well, we like to think of this part of the world as "Cadre Country." Here's why I love this type of challenge. A number of those pictured above are leading the only Gospel preaching church in their counties. In other cases, there might be one other Gospel-centered church in the county. Stop and think about that.

Being disciples, who make disciples, who make more disciples. We think of this as multiplying Jesus-like disciplemaking friendships. It's how King Jesus takes over the world one heart at a time. (Above left: Garreth (and his wife and another missionary couple) have started a church in a highly religious area of Utah that has never had a Gospel witness. There is one now! Tony (on the right) is an unpaid pastor who runs a landscaping business. Here's why I love this!

After the training, we immediately loaded up the car and headed out deep into the state of Utah—about a 5 hour drive. It was disciplemaking friendship all the way. (Car rides are always the excuse for more time together following Jesus.)

The next morning, we were guests on the Mike and Heather radio show on Key Radio in Provo, Utah. This Gospel-centered radio station is a beacon of hope and encouragement to believers—and an evangelistic seed for those who are not believers. We had a lot of fun and there were a lot of God moments. After our time on the radio, we had a great time encouraging Matt Gould, the new pastor at Grace Bible Church in Springville, UT—a church that the Smothers planted years ago. After that, we went to see the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The next day, we gathered with 30+ pastors and church leaders at Fellowship Bible Church in Lindon, UT, to encourage and train them in disciplemaking friendships. Since Derrick had already experienced this training a few days earlier, we did it together this time. I hope you get the idea we're serious about making disciplemakers... not just talking about it. :  )

How Jesus launched a disciplemaking movement that continues to this day.

 We explored Jesus-like disciplemaking values like simplicity, friendship, and withness.

 To be a "leader" like Jesus is to be a disciplemaker like Jesus.

 Rethinking what it means to be a healthy church.

Tapping into Jesus' "secrets" for a disciplemaking movement that continues to transform the world one heart at a time.

After this fun day of training, encouragement, and friendship, the Allisons jumped into Pastor Rodney Zedicher's van and we headed out another couple of hours deep into those beautiful mountains for Ephraim, UT. Rodney pastors the Ephraim Church of the Bible. He and his wife Deanna have seven kids—one boy and six girls. What's not to like about that? We were already bonded at the heart even before we got to know each other. Did I mention that their family vehicle is a 15-passenger van? I can't make this stuff up folks.

I had the honor of speaking in the morning service. 


If you're really bored, you can watch my message above. If the video does't appear, you can watch it here.

After lunch we reconvened for a disciplemaking training lab. Recently, Ephraim Church of the Bible birthed another church in a nearby community and some of those folks were able to join us for the afternoon training. Here's the short we received afterward: "Thank you so much to you and your sweet wife and daughter for spending time with us and for drenching us in God's inspired truths today!"


Here's a very cool thing. We're going to continue our disciplemaking friendship with Derrick and June Smothers and E3 Connection. Derrick will be spending five days with us at our house in IL this March and he'll be a part of our Ministry Is Relationships train-the-trainers gathering we're doing at Dave and Rennie Garda's house in Sycamore, IL. Plus, Derrick will be a part of this in Central IL. We're just going to keep slow-dripping Jesus-like disciplemaking friendships until people from all nations are being disciples who make disciples—who make more disciples. It's the only hope for the world. That's what Jesus said to do.

All that to say: Thank you for reading all the way to the end. You must truly be a friend. We thank God for you. Would you please pray for us? About 1-2 times a month, I'd like to send you a short email with details about how you can say a quick prayer for us. If you are willing to be on our email prayer team, please email me and put "prayer team" in the subject line. We'd be glad to pray for you too. I mean it. This is how Derrick and I have stayed in touch for 16 years. (For up-to-date ways you can pray for us, go here.) Can you help us? We couldn't take any part of this disciplemaking adventure without people like you who love us, pray for us, and give $ to Cadre. 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 Missionaries, go here.  Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 ministry and donations are tax deductible.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

When and Where Disciplemaking Friends Gather...

I'd love to get a morning with you and few others for Romans 1:12 mutual encouragement—and to wrestle the four questions below.

What?
Part 1    Heart: How Are You Doing?
             * Coffee, Community, and Check In

Part 2    Head: What's Your Definition of Leadership?
             * Why is this important?

Part 3    Hands: How Do You Find Time for Disciplemaking?
             * What are some best practices?

Part 4    Heels: What Are Your Top 3 Greatest Challenges?
             * In Life? In Ministry?

Part 5    Snap the Line
             * So what?

Part 6    Lunch with Peoria Area Youth Network.
             * My friend, Derrick Smothers from E3 Connection will
                be leading us.

When?
Thursday, March 15, 2018
9 AM to 11:30 AM—then a working lunch until 1 PM
(8:45 AM Coffee Time)

Where?
The Christian Center
4100 N. Brandywine Dr, Peoria, IL 61614
* We'll be in the Birthday Party room by the bowling alley.

Why?
Here's why.

Cost?
Cost will be $10 per person which helps covers expenses and includes lunch with the Peoria Area Youth Network from 11:30 AM to 1 PM.

RSVP?
Want to be a part of this? Please email Bill to RSVP.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Stuff I Love (and you might too)

Some silly and some serious—and some both silly and serious—in no particular order...

1. Irony


2. Laughing at Myself as I Get Older.
Yes, I still love Eysals Coffee. But I like ZuZu Coffee just as much. 
Now THAT is saying something. It's all in the roasting baby. ZuZu is some of the best coffee I've EVER had.


4. My Funny Wife


5. The Pandemic
This monster is called The Pandemic
(I'm referring to the pancake, not the child.)

For about $16 you can feed a large family like ours and still have some leftover. Not joking. Plus, what's not to like about a ridiculously overgrown pancake? Just in case one mega pancake isn't enough, there are actually TWO pancakes stacked upon each other. And how about all that butter?


6. News That Isn't Fake
Unlike the above picture, here's a link to my current favorite source of news that isn't fake. I encourage you to check it out.


7. Whitey's Ice Cream
Join me by getting some Whitey's Ice Cream!


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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2. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

That moment when someone becomes a real leader

That moment when... someone you're discipling starts discipling others! That is a beautiful moment.

Why? Because: We haven't made disciples like Jesus until those we disciple make more disciples.

These pictures capture a real leadership moment.

I know. There is so much talk about leadership these days. 

Here's a crazy thought on leadership: Whoever initiates disciplemaking friendships is a leader—even if he or she doesn't have a "leadership" title or position. Real leaders don't need a title or position. They live it. It's a way of life for them, not a job. 

So it turns out that...
All disciplemakers are leaders, but not all "leaders" are disciplemakers. 

Of course, Jesus is the ultimate leader. But he saw himself as a servant who made disciplemakers. Pardon me, but I'm a little suspicious of any talk of "leadership" that is not centered on servanthood and disciplemaking. I get those strange ideas from the life of Jesus and ministry of Jesus.

So where do you start if you really want to live a disciplemaking way of life—and lead others to do the same?

In other words, where do you start if you really want to experience that moment when someone becomes a real spiritual leader?
Here's a thought.

Related Posts...

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking 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. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

A True Story of Encouragement...


Below: We received this in the mail (anyone remember snail mail?) from our friends and ministry partners, Jeremy and Amber Stephens, who serve Jesus at Sky Lodge Camp in WI. 

(Click image to enlarge for viewing and reading.)

It couldn't have come at a better time. Ain't that just like God?

Here's my response:
"You have no idea how much this written prayer means to me and encourages me. I'm keeping it in my Bible forever. Thank you. Looking forward to bumping into you and your family again and again."

This beautiful note has the two critically important components for encouraging someone:
1. Specificity
2. Sincerity
Words—even hand written words—don't do much good if they lack one or both of those.

In other words, the words "You rock," are nice to hear but they don't penetrate the heart.

So please prayerfully consider...

How to Encourage Someone in Three Easy Steps
1. Identify a someone you know and love.
2. Write a few sentences of encouragement. Be specific and sincere.
3. Send it ASAP because I've never met a person who had too much encouragement.

I dare you.
"...encourage one another and build one another up...."
—1 Thessalonians 5:11

Why is this so rare?

How great would it be if just a few people actually lived like this—and encouraged others?

Where might someone find practical, biblical training for living this encouraging way of life—and spreading it to others?


If video doesn't appear, go here.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking 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. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The 2017 Top 10 Cup O Joe with Bill

When is the last time you did something for the first time? (Try that question at your dinner table tonight.)

I've never done a post like this before—a blog post about blog posts.

So here we go.

The Top 10 Posts from 2017

#10 Google Versus Fathers (Fun Video)





#5   The Sound of Crickets (True Story)


#3   Only God Can Change a Heart (True Story)


       (and it had nothing to do with the Packers)

Thank you for reading Cup O' Joe with Bill each week.
Thank you x 10 if you share Cup O' Joe with Bill with your friends.
Thank you x 100 if you subscribe to Cup O' Joe with Bill.

Cup O' Joe with Bill Trivia
* This blog began 6 1/2 years ago.
* My three goals for this pithy blog are to...
   1. encourage you
   2. make you think
   3. have fun (or at least make you smile in amusement)
* We've had over 570,000 clicks on hundreds of posts.
* That's an average of 7,300+ clicks per month.
* There are over 600 subscribers who get Cup O' Joe with Bill in their email inbox 1x stinking time a week. You should join them!

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking 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. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The 2018 Kavanah Read Thru the New Testament

For years now we've been talking about "the 15 minutes a day that will change your life forever."

Of course, we're talking about reading the Bible. But not just reading the Bible—as good as that can be. What we're talking about is reading the Bible together. Why "together"? Because reading the Bible by yourself is great, but reading the Bible together is exponentially more transformative. (Don't believe me? True short story here and another here.)

So this is your invitation to join us—and to invite others to join you—in this 2018 adventure through the New Testament twice.

Here's the plan Stan...

(The Youversion Bible app makes it possible to not only read the Bible online via your smart phone, iPad, or computer, but you also can read it in whatever translation you choose. Another bonus is that you can also listen to an audio of each day's readings for FREE!)

But Wait! There's More!
As we read through the New Testament together this year, we're going to be looking for 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 priorities 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.

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

So as we read this year, I suggest 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" = study God's Word to know and love God
* "P" = prayerfulness
* "L" = loved extravagantly by God to extravagantly love others
* "C" = a C323 (Colossians 3:23) life of worship

If you're really into crazy and fun, consider using 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?

BREAKING NEWS:
Join the 2018 Kavanah Read Through the New Testament Facebook page!

Orange (youth size) and Blue (adult size)

What might God do if you dared to pray the Disciplemaker's Prayer?

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bill's Top 10 Christmas Funnies...

That long and time-honored American Christmas tradition of...
 Breakfast with Satan?

Bill's Top 10 Christmas Funnies...
Best. Christmas. Music. Videos. Ever.
* Stressed-out Santa and the little angel
* How NOT to tell your kids about Santa
* It's a wonderful life IF you take this pill
* The four stages of Santa life
* Seven really bad Christmas gifts
* A Christmas message for men only
* How the real Santa punched a guy
* How I decide what to buy for Christmas
* I'm getting the original iPad for all my kids

Bonus: Real Meaning of Christmas Stuff...
* Why we all need Christmas
* Christmas is just a part of the story
* The truth about Christmas

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking 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. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Laugh with us... or at us... your choice

A wise person once said, "If you learn to laugh at yourself, you'll never cease to be amused." Let's just say we are often amused. This post is your invitation to laugh with us... or at us. Your choice. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas from our family to you and yours.

Click any image to enlarge for reading or go here.
If you'd be willing to pray for us 1-2x a month, contact us!

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking 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. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

YOU Make our Day! Here's why...

The fact that you're reading this right now makes our day! THANK YOU!  As you read the stats and stories below, please take a moment to thank God with us. (You can click on an image below to enlarge for reading or just go here.)
Would you please pray for us? About 1-2 times a month, I'd like to send you a short email with details about how you can say a quick prayer for us. If you are willing to be on our email prayer team, please email me and put "prayer team" in the subject line. We'd be glad to pray for you too.
Can you help us? We couldn't take any of part of this disciplemaking adventure without people like you who love us, pray for us, and give $ to Cadre. 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 Missionaries, go here.  Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 ministry and donations are tax deductible.
For up-to-date ways you can pray for us, go here.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking 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. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.