Thursday, May 3, 2018

411 Disciple-Making Training | Thursday May 17 1130-1

What do you do once someone in your ministry has decided to start following Jesus?

What we usually do is say: Hey, that's great! Come to church with me.

And that period signifies the end of our early discipleship of a new believer. Of course gathering with believers is important, but should it really be the end of our discipleship?

Ryan Anderson (Peoria Youth for Christ) and I are going to be training a great tool to kick-start that disciple-making process of a new believer. It's called the 411 Disciple-Making Tool and it trains you to train others to answer four basic questions:

  • Why do we make disciples?
  • Who do we reach?
  • What do we say?
  • When do we do it?

Thursday, May 17th at 1130-1 at the Christian Center in Peoria. I'd love for you to join us! Let me know if you want details. (Lunch is included for $5).

(If you're interested but that day/time doesn't work, let me know and we can schedule another time.)

PS: The 411 also works great for existing believers too.

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Each blog post = one Gospel share

When I was brain-storming for my "Who do we reach?" I thought of Mitchell.  I hadn't talked to him in a few years, but a simple text that said "How can I pray for you?" ended up with a coffee meeting where I was able to share the Gospel with him.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Save the Date: Gospel Conversation Training Saturday June 9

In the greater Peoria area there are 250,000+ people living without Jesus in their lives. At least half of them will never set foot in a traditional church. What's it gonna take to bring the Gospel to them?

This one day training will equip and challenge you to share the Gospel and make disciples with everyone in your world.

Learn how to:

  • Naturally take a conversation from "Hello" to the Gospel. 
  • Share the Gospel in a simple and effective way. 
  • Help people take their next steps towards Jesus. 
  • Start a simple discipleship process. 

Saturday June 9, 9am-4pm.

RSVP through Google Calendar (below) or send an email to pheaney2[at]gmail.com



Other details: 
  • Bring $5 to cover lunch. 
  • Specific location TBD based on how many people register.

A quick Gospel Share story, which I was able to do thanks to training like this!

Karl is one of those guys I see every time I go to the coffee shop. Every. Single. Time. We've gotten to know each other through friendly conversations, even touching on church and religion. I finally was brave enough to say: "I've been wanting to show you something, do you have a couple minutes so I can draw you a picture of what I believe?" He said Yes and I shared the 3 Circles.  It's really that simple.

Friday, March 16, 2018

411 Disciple-making Tool - Monday at 1

What do you do once someone has decided to start following Jesus?

What we usually do in American Christianity is say: "Hey, that's great! Come to church." (And that period that I just typed signifies the end of our early discipleship of a new believer.)

I'm going to be training a great tool to kick-start that disciple-making process of a new believer.

The 411 trains you to train others in 4 basic questions:
Why do we make disciples?
Who do we reach?
What do we say?
When do we do it?

Monday, March 19th at 1pm. I'd love for you to join us! Let me know if you want details.

(If you're interested but Monday doesn't work, let me know and we can schedule another time.)

PS: The 411 also works great for existing believers too.

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Each blog post = one Gospel share
Using the 3 Questions over text messages and the 3 Circles in person I was able to share with Earnest. He had some spiritual interest (a "yellow light") and I'll be following up with him again.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gospel Sharing Training - March 23

On Friday March 23rd, 6-8pm we're going to hold another Gospel Sharing Training.

If we want to see our area reached with the Good News it starts with the people God has put in our lives. We'll be learning how to start a spiritual conversation, how to share the Good News, and what you do after that.
Other details:
- You're welcome to bring people along. We've got space for about 15 people so let us know who would be coming.
- Eat before you come.
- Kids are welcome, if they've decided to follow Jesus we'd love for them to participate in the training too!

Let me know if you'd like to come and I'll get you more details.

(If you're interested but the day/time doesn't work out let me know that too. We'll hopefully schedule more trainings soon.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Friends

Earlier this year I shared the Gospel with two different members of my extended family. Sadly, neither of them decided to follow Jesus.

Here was the surprise: We're still friends.

Not only that, we're probably better friends than we were before.

We think that a spiritual conversation or sharing the Gospel will immediately brand us as fanatic and we'll never get to speak to that person again. And while it is true that the Gospel can divide (Jesus said so in Matthew 10:34-36), my experience is that sharing the Gospel as part of a thoughtful conversation doesn't need to lead to a rift, especially with someone who is exploring what they believe.

The good news about this Good News story is it's not finished yet. The next step if someone is spiritually interested but not ready to believe (a yellow light), is to invite them to a Discovery Bible Study to learn more about who Jesus is. 

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Gospel Sharing Training - Sunday March 11

Sunday March 11th, 6-8pm we're going to hold a small Gospel Sharing Training.

If we want to see our area reached with the Good News it starts with the people God has put in our lives. We'll be learning how to start a spiritual conversation, how to share the Good News, and what you do next.
Other details:
- You're welcome to bring people along. We've got space for about 15 people so let us know who would be coming.
- Eat before you come.
- Kids are welcome, if they've decided to follow Jesus we'd love for them to participate in the training too!

Let me know if you'd like to come and I'll get you more details.

(If you're interested but the day/time doesn't work out let me know that too. We'll hopefully schedule another training soon.)

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Each blog post = one Gospel share.
I shared the Gospel with a guy at the Christian Center a few weeks ago. There's not much of a story as the conversation got really weird really fast. (I think he wrapped up 3 other religious beliefs into his version of Christianity.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Church Matters

Many of the people I know who are far from God fit into the "used to be near to God" category.  They formerly had a close relationship with God, or at least seemed to, and now they don't.

I was sharing the Gospel with one of them recently. It was sad to hear him admit that he used to believe but now he had fallen "back into brokenness". (We're now doing a Discovery Bible Study. Pray that God's word speaks to him!)

The thought hit me: Community matters. It is important to have people around you that will challenge you, help you, and keep you focused on Jesus.

What do we call a community of people following Jesus together?  We call it a church. It can be big or small, formal or informal, meet in a building or out on a lawn.

Whatever it looks like, church matters.

(For the record, you can also go to a building every Sunday and not be a part of a church. Attendance does not equal community.)

I've probably stepped on enough toes. See you next time.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Training Church- Are you in?

We're praying and seeking a team to bring Jesus to the lost in Pekin. Would you be interested in joining us?

We're hoping to find a small team that can commit to a few things for a year:
  • Step back from the normal weekly church commitments (with the blessing of your current church.)
  • Meet twice each week as a team.
    • First: Each week, gather as a church: Bible study, fellowship, communion, training. This would probably be in a home. The point would be to function as a simple church.
    • Second: Each week, go together to engage the lost. We'd choose an area or neighborhood and meet people, start spiritual conversations and share the Gospel.
Are you interested? Reply or comment to let us know. We'd love to talk more in depth about it!

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Each blog post = one gospel share: I took advantage of some downtime at COCUSA's Winter Camp to share the Gospel with a camper.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Leave the veil

We've let an attractional model of ministry slip into everything we do.

What do I mean by that? We spend most of our time and energy figuring out how to get a lost person TO a physical place.

The problem is that we spend barely any time and energy on getting the Good News to those same people. We think if we get them in the door we've won.

Here's an idea, and it's not mine. Lead with a spiritual conversation. Lead with the Gospel.

We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  - 2 Corinthians 4:2-3

Don't veil the gospel today. Lead with it.


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Each blog post is a Gospel story: As part of a Discovery Bible Study at the Christian Center I shared the Gospel with Debbie & Jerry.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Where do you think I am?

Here's one of the most surprising things I've found as I've sought to share the Gospel more:

People are way more open to conversations about spiritual things then we assume.

I've only met Roberto once. He was outside the Christian Center bowling alley. But I struck up a conversation using the Three Questions as a guide.

When I was able to share the Three Circles with him, it actually became a conversation. Not me preaching, but a conversation about the truth of the Gospel.

After we discussed where he saw himself (near to God and seeking to follow him or far from God and in brokenness), he turned the tables and asked "Where do you think I am at?"

I had to be honest that I didn't know, but I invited him to join the Bible study we would be doing.

Who should you start a spiritual conversation with today?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Actually Pray

If we want to see the lost in Peoria reached with the Gospel, we need to pray.  Not talk about praying, not meet about praying, but actually pray.

You can do it on your own, but here are a few reminders I've found helpful:

1) Set an alarm at 10:02 everyday. When it goes off, pray Luke 10:2"The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields."

2) Fast one meal a week. (I don't like this one, but it's really helpful.) Skip one meal each week and when you get hungry, use that feeling to remember to pray for people without Jesus.

3) Get a reminder. You can sign up for a weekly email reminder here: join.noplaceleftpeoria.com.

Let us pray. Actually pray.

If you decide to do any of these, let me know at join.noplaceleftpeoria.com.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Show up. (Repeat).

I  have a new evangelism strategy. It's profoundly simple, yet amazingly difficult.

Show up. (Repeat).

So simple, yet so difficult.  Here's what it looked like for me:

Last April God put a group of people on my heart.  They had been outside my office window for years (smoking at a picnic table every Tuesday and Thursday.) But it wasn't until 9 months ago that I opened my eyes to the harvest that was right in front of me.

Walking up to them the first time was amazingly difficult. But I did it. I asked a couple of get to know you questions, and then I asked how I could pray for them.

The next week I walked up to them again. It was easier. I followed up about their prayer requests. I shared the Three Circles Gospel presentation.

The next week I did it again. It became easier and easier to walk across the parking lot, start spiritual conversations and share the Gospel. Something else became more difficult:

(Repeat).

There were so many other things I could do besides hang out with a bunch smokers. But I kept at it.  About 4 months in I was about to give up, when Jerry came and found me. He sought me out with spiritual questions. Why did he come to me? Because I repeatedly showed up for one reason: I was there was to pray, start spiritual conversations, and share the Gospel.

I shared the Gospel with Jerry. He understood it but also had more questions. I invited him to start a Discovery Bible Study the next week.

What's going on now?  This picture sums it up:
A group of people learning from God's word about what it means to follow and obey Jesus.

Where do you need to...  Show up. (Repeat). ?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

From Discovery Bible Study to Gospel Share

I told you Jim's story earlier. I was able to go to his apartment and lead a Discovery Bible Study with him two times. Both times "his girl" Elizabeth was there. The first time she sat apart from us, but the second time I invited her over to the kitchen table as I reviewed the Three Circles with Jim.

Elizabeth listened to the Gospel. She told me that she believed in what Jesus had done, but wasn't following Him. (This seems to be a fairly common answer.) I told her that I would be coming around again to study the Bible with Jim, and she was welcome to join us to learn more about how to follow Jesus. She seemed interested and I was pumped for my next visit.

...Unfortunately the story fizzles out there. Jim (and his girl) had to move out before the next week. I've exchanged a few text messages since then but haven't been able to connect to restart a Bible study.

Here's what I learned though:
Start with the Gospel
Go to a person to lead a Bible Study (instead of inviting them to you)
Engage others that are there in that Bible Study... with the Gospel

I can't wait to try it again.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Training Opportunity - Wednesday Mornings in Pekin

Save the date for Wednesday morning trainings in Pekin this winter and spring! 

This coming Wednesday January 10th, we'll meet at 8:15-930AM at Grace United Methodist Church.

We'll be training on starting spiritual conversations, sharing the Gospel, and making disciples.  At later days we'll go out and practice what we learned by engaging people at coffee shops, restaurants, or outside the high school.

Note: While we're meeting at a time that's great for Pekin High School students, this training is open to anyone. Let me know if you're planning on coming and feel free to bring a friend along with you.

Late Start Dates Spring 2018
January 10, 24
February 7, 21
March 7, 21
April 11, 25

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Start with the Good News

I hadn't seen Jim at church in years. And if even half of the stories I had heard about him were true, he had been on quite the prodigal journey over those years.

Jim had been in the youth Sunday School we taught and just disappeared during his sophomore year of high school. But he showed up at church recently and when he did I used the Three Questions to guide my conversation.

After a short greeting, I asked: "So, is there anyway I can pray for you?"

He dodged the question completely. I wasn't sure where to go but I eventually came back around:
"Right now, would you say you're near to God or far from God?"

He actually gave me a straight answer.

"Could I show you how to be close to God?"

He said yes so I shared the Gospel using the Three Circles. Jim had heard the Good News before... hundreds of times... but despite that he actually listened. (The brokenness of life really resonated with him.) He wasn't ready to change how he was living, but he was willing to study the Bible with me in his apartment.

My "norm" would have been to strike up a conversation, keep it friendly and light, and then see if we could grab coffee later in the week. (At coffee I would have attempted a "How are you doing spiritually?" type question.) 

But instead I started with the Good News and through it I was able to go to his world and share more of God's truth through a Discovery Bible Study.

I dare you to try this. Start with the Good News today and see where God takes it.