Thursday, August 08, 2013

Tales of Disciplemaking Adventures in Denver, CO

If you're a subscriber to Cup O' Joe with Bill, then you know our great passion as Cadre missionaries is to relationally spread Jesus-like disciplemaking everywhere we go like a good infectious disease. (Note: Click any image below to enlarge for viewing.)
So when our friend, Jeff Schwarzentraub, Pastor/Church Planter of the three-year-old Harvest Bible Chapel in Denver, CO, invited us to bring Cadre's disciplemaking-as-a-way-of-life training to the staff and volunteer leaders at Harvest Denver, we said, "YES!" Besides, we thought partnering together like this would be a good excuse to get time together as friends. (Stacy and I had the honor of walking with Jeff and Kim as they walked through their premarital counseling.) And make no mistake about it: This adventure was about disciplemaking friendships—the kind Jesus and Paul had.


So we packed the van with stuff and 4/7ths of our kids, and headed out to the wild west. Yep, it was me and five girls allllllll the way to Denver and back. By God's grace, we're all still talking to each other!


Ivy, a true flat-lander Illinois girl, had this appropriate reaction when she saw the beautiful Rocky Mountains for the very first time.


While we were in Denver, we enjoyed another important disciplemaking friendship: Jake and Ali Bland. Jake was in one of the earliest Disciplemaking Learning Communities Cadre did in the Peoria area (called the Peoria Area Leadership Community) years ago while he was working with Youth for Christ in Peoria. Stacy and I had the honor of walking through the Song of Solomon with Jake and Ali as a part of their pre and post marital adventures. Thus, they've become very dear to us. Jake and Ali now live in Denver where Jake is an Associate Vice President with Youth for Christ nationally, and Ali is a certified life coach. Despite their muckety-muck titles, we love them. Jake and Ali are also part of Harvest Denver. Like I said, it's all disciplemaking friendships—like Jesus and Paul had with other disciplemakers.


Friday: We had a great disciplemaking training experience with the Harvest Denver staff. We were so on the same page. It was like we were reading the same Bible or something. (Hope that made you smile. Just making sure you're still reading.) First we spent some time rethinking the definition of "great leadership." Then we look at the nuts and bolts of finding, developing, and deploying volunteers in ministry.


Friday Night: One of Jeff's friends from church had a couple of spare tickets to the Rush concert in Denver. This old rocker can now cross that off his bucket list! I know. It's only rock and roll. But I like it. And I loved being their with Jeff and friends from Harvest Denver. (It's that disciplemaking friendship thing, again.) Did I mention the free ticket? And friends?


Saturday: The next training experience we did was for volunteers leaders who oversee volunteer small group leaders. That's right. These folk's job is to encourage and equip small group leaders. So in our training time together, we drilled down into Seven Biblical Ways to Shepherd Volunteers. Then each Flock Leader received the Disciplemaker's Guide as a practical, biblical tool to walk alongside the small group leaders under their care.


Sunday Morning: We all went to Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, CO—where Harvest Denver currently gathers. While this young church is growing at a steady and healthy rate, there is a passion for making disciples who make more disciples.


Sunday Morning: After a great time of worship and celebration, I had the honor of preaching in the morning service. Here's what I preached.


Sunday Afternoon: Disciplemaking training with Harvest Denver small group leaders. Together we explored how to become disciplemaking small group leaders. Each small group leader also received the Disciplemaker's Guide as a practical, biblical tool to walk alongside the folks in their respective small groups.


This Cadre missionary journey provided lots of opportunities for reconnecting with previous disciplemaking friends from the Central IL area who are now a part of Harvest Denver.


And—only the way God can—He also added new disciplemaking friends to our lives!


The Allisons gathered with the Schwarzentraubs one last time to pray and hug. After waving good bye, we began the long van drive home. Only one major argument ensued in the van on the way home. But by the time we got through Nebraska, we had all made amends. Just keeping it real people.


And in the spirit of full disclosure, we may have stopped for Whitey's Ice Cream in Iowa on the way home.  May have.

If you've read this far, you really are our disciplemaking friends! THANK YOU!

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