How I Did Training in WI with a Bunch of Packer Fans and Lived to Tell About It

On February 28th through March 3rd I, along with my wife and our three youngest kids, packed the car far greater than its capacity, and headed up north to WI to take The 2013 Disciplemaking Training Tour behind the cheddar curtain.

[Click any image to enlarge for viewing.]

Cadre Ministries worked in partnership with the Forrest Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church of America to bring the Disciplemaking Is Relationships training experience to four different locations in four days.

Day 1: LaCrosse, WI
I was immediately encouraged—even before the training started—by this young woman below. She walked up to me and said...
"You were the speaker at the district youth conference in Green Bay in 2010. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior then and there. I want you to know that I went home from that conference and was immediately discipled. Now I'm senior in college, I volunteer in the youth ministry at this church, I'm discipling two other friends at college, and I'm getting married to a great Christian guy this Spring."

It's moments like that I totally understand we are all along for God's ride!

Day 2: Rice Lake, WI
In Rice Lake we were greeted warmly by our friend Tony Nord and everyone at the training was treated to several different kinds of homemade soup and desserts. The people who participated in the training were eager learners... and I suspect many of them were living a Jesus-like disciplemaking way of life and that my job was to encourage them to continue on!

Two days in, and no one has even mentioned the Green Bay Packers—or that I am a stubborn and mouthy Bears fan. (Have I mentioned that Da Bears are undefeated so far in 2013? The Packer's can't say that!) So far so good. I just might make it out from behind the cheddar curtain without any sort of trouble from the green and yellow. (Hey, isn't snot also green and yellow?)

Day 3: Mosinee, WI
In Mosinee, Rob Weise, Student Ministries Director for the Forrest Lakes District, told everyone I was a pistol of a Bear's fan. For a moment, I wondered if I would ever be able to do the training with these cheese heads. But, it turns out that Jesus is bigger than the most significant football rivalry in NFL history! Who knew, right? We had so much fun together during the training that at one point, we all just went outside and took a group picture. No, we didn't sing Kumbaya, but I dare say that if someone would have started it, we all would have joined.

Day 4: Madison, WI
When I got up to do the training in Madison, I immediately noticed two full tables of Packer's football jerseys. Yikes! Remember, football season has been finished for well over a month now. Then I recognized these folks as people I had talked smack to on Facebook every Sunday during football season. They were coming to get me.
On breaks, they tried to surround me and make me drink green and yellow Kool Aide, but I would have none of it. One lone Bears fan stood by me... God bless her. At the end, one of these guys came up to me and said, "You're my favorite Bear's fan. But you're the only Bears fan I know, so don't get a big head." In all seriousness, it was a lot of fun and God did a lot of great things... keep reading below...
The ripples of disciplemaking... for God's glory!
It was great to hear from you this weekend! My team was very encouraged and it is great to get everyone on the same page. I've been trying to get them to catch the vision of disciplemaking ever since I started here and this will do a lot to get us moving forward. Not just in youth ministry but as disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus, etc. etc. Thank you for loving Jesus and letting that spill over to me.
I just wanted to send you a note thanking you for the great training last night. It was such an encouragement to see a man passionate about loving Christ and making disciples
Thanks for taking time yesterday at Door Creek to teach from your heart for Jesus! I appreciate your sense of humor, wisdom, and most of all love for God. It truly is contagious and what will set this world on fire for Christ! Keep going brother!!!!!

It was great having you do this training. I am excited to follow up with my leaders again this year and see how God spoke to them about who they need to be pulling close and rubbing off on in Jesus-like disciplemaking. Blessings on you and your crew.

I recently just attended your Cadre training session this Saturday in Mosinee. I just wanted to thank you for the time you invest to help and disciple people. God has given you a gift, and you're totally allowing Him to speak through you to reach thousands of people. The training helped me realize a little bit that even though I don't know where I'm going or if I'm in the right place, "as I go" I can invest in the lives of students I interact with on a daily basis and make a positive impact for God. Also, big thanks to your family for supporting you wherever you go and doing things together as a team.

It was awesome to be part of the training last Sunday in Madison. Your passion for disciplemaking is contagious. Thank you for your ministry! It was also great to meet your wife and a few of the kids in your brood! IVY is a real sweetie....she will keep you young (Well maybe not). Be well and I anticipate some good conversations via facebook with you next fall - GO PACK!

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