Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Great Commission Pipeline with David Kaufmann

Having a #NoPlaceLeft vision for your location also includes a Great Commission Vision for the ends of the earth.


If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Path to Movement with Parker Green of Salt Churches

The path to movement looks like this: We need a big vision that only God could bring about. We need a clear path or process to labor in ourselves and train others in. Finally, we need simple steps that any believer can take. Listen for how this plays out practically in today's episode.

If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Friday, October 4, 2019

In the Harvest: LaSalle 10/1

Over about 2 hours myself and two teammates engaged 25 people.
  • We were able to pray with 12 of them and share the Gospel with 4 of them. 
  • We had one "Green Light": someone responded in faith to the Gospel message.  
  • In addition we have one follow up opportunity.  
  • We met two Christians, one who was interested in training.
It was awesome to be able to model and train a pastor who wanted to grow in his evangelism skills. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Leaders: Building an #NPL Team with Ed Kearn

What does it take to build a team of people pursuing #NoPlaceLeft?


If you can't view the audio player, click here to listen to this podcast episode.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Gospel: Two Kingdoms

"I've come to realize there are two kingdoms..." Check out this episode for a clear, simple way to share the Gospel.

If you can't view the podcast audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
  • Video of Two Kingdoms
  • Austin's training video
  • An extra note from Austin: "In Luke 23:40-43 we see the thief on the cross with Jesus say the only sinner's prayer we see clearly in the bible.  And we know He is with Jesus based on what He said/believed.  He says, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."   That's it!  And Jesus says "Today you'll be with me in paradise." So if you break down what he's saying it's really, "Lord" (I Believe you're King so I'm calling you Lord)  and "Remember me when you come into your Kingdom" (I want you to be my King because I want to be in your Kingdom).  Pretty amazing and simple."
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Gospel Conversation Training: Pekin October 14


Gospel Conversation Training
Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin
October 14th, 1-4pm (Columbus Day, no school!)
Learn how to start spiritual conversations and share the Gospel.
RSVP: 309 224 8297 (call/text)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Leaders: Iron on Irons with Kyle Pierson

An Iron on Iron is a simple tool to encourage and equip leaders.

If you can't view my podcast audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Leaders: M.A.W.L. with Mike Puckett

Reproducing leaders is the difference between a great personal ministry and launching a movement that spreads beyond you. M.A.W.L. is a simple way to train up leaders in the skills they need.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Giving Day Tomorrow (September 12)

Tomorrow (September 12) is a great day to support my ministry.

(Well, any day is really... )

But tomorrow gifts given to my support are worth about 20% more thanks to e3 Partners' "Giving Day."

You can give here: https://purecharity.com/peterlindell-e3partners

Monday, September 9, 2019

Reflecting on 40 Days in the Harvest

Spending an extended time in the harvest helped me quickly learn lessons in reality that I had previously known only in theory.

In no particular order:
  • An extended run in the harvest was a great way to see the immensity of the task. I remember specifically walking alone through a neighborhood in my own city (a small one of just 33,000) and it just became so clear, this task is too immense. We have to raise up leaders, we have to train others to join us. Of course I knew that in theory, but I needed to feel it in reality. It only took about 7 days in the Harvest for this reality to start setting in. It was more effective than anything else in driving me to prayer. 
  • Similarly, at one point I was scrambling to various follow up appointments (usually Discovery Bible Studies for Yellow Lights) and the reality hit me that simple, reproducible tools are so needed. It doesn't work to have a random list of things and guessing at what might be effective. You need a few simple tools and you need to work them consistently.
  • The sheer amount of brokenness can really hit you when you spend extended time in the harvest. I could share story after story of hurting people, some from their own sins and often from others. Brokenness seems to compound pretty quickly. The urgency of the task (as if hell wasn't enough) hits you: People's lives are falling apart and we have hope for this life and for eternity. Again, I knew it in theory, now I know it in reality.
    • A sad sidebar: Brokenness can keep spiritually interested from taking further steps. Satan is using drug and alcohol use along with homelessness to keep people from taking steps of faith.
  • This stands out from one of my last harvest times - 2 people within a block of my house had never heard the Gospel. This is in a county that is (allegedly) 25% evangelical. How is that possible? We've abdicated our responsibility to bring the Gospel to the lost.
  • Through my time in the harvest I also quickly learned what works in bringing the Gospel into conversations. I had to tweak my 'near/far' question to be ready to further the conversation when someone says they are near to God. Ironically with so much brokenness, most people will claim a nearness to God if they said a prayer in the last week. I've learned to use that claimed nearness as a launching point to get to the Gospel.
  • Time in the harvest is a great filter for laborers. If someone is willing to join you at a random place to share the Gospel with strangers, they are legit. They will have already been thinking of their own friends and family that they need to share the Gospel with.  
  • It's also a great place to build Jesus-centered friendships. I could name 3 guys who I didn't know before this began that I am good friends with now. And they are friendships centered on making disciples and sharing the Gospel. Teammates also make harvest times easier!
  • Previous to this harvest run, I was ambivalent and mostly scared of going door to door on a house of peace search. It wasn't that I disagreed with it in theory (again, the theories abound when you haven't done it) but I hadn't really practiced it. Now, I've seen how going door to door looking for a house of peace can both bring a house of peace AND effectively M.A.W.L. leaders.
  • There is a ton of value in tracking the harvest. We don't do it to wear as a badge of pride, but we need to celebrate what God is doing and need to learn from patterns and trends we find.
In case you missed them, here are a few of my favorite days/stories:
Lastly, what about you? If you're unsure of your next steps in pursuing the lost and a #NoPlaceLeft vision, then I would STRONGLY recommend you schedule a run of days in the harvest. I don't think you need to get to 40 (I only got to 33), but a minimum of 10 will help you learn lessons and clarify vision quickly. If you want to chat more about what this looks like practically or want some coaching in it, please contact me or another #NPL laborer.

If this was blog post was helpful to you in any way, could you pass it on to someone else?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Role of the Church with Jim Shannon

How does an existing, established church fit into a #NoPlaceLeft framework?  That might not be the right question. Try this: How can any church use a #NoPlaceLeft framework to reach the lost?

If you cannot view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

August Ministry Recap + Giving Day

What a great summer of ministry. Check out the letter below for a couple of stories, or click here to view it as a PDF.  

If you would like to support this work financially, Thursday September 12 is a great day to do it. Any gifts given that day are worth about 20% more! Go here to give. 


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Harvest Day 33: The last one

Tracking Day 33*
Teammates: 6
Places: Pekin & Peoria
Engaged: 24
Prayed For: 10
Gospel Shares: 7
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 2
Training/Discipleship: 2

Note: This was a combination of several harvest times.

Probably my favorite moment was a new disciple coming with me to knock on doors. He was understandably nervous (I still get nervous myself).  The first door we knocked on no one answered. The second door had a dog we were worried would break the screen door. The third door.... was one of his co-workers!  He took the lead sharing the Gospel! It was an awesome moment.

That same day we shared with another 2 people.  Of the three people we shared with.. two of them had NEVER heard the Gospel.  This was within 1 block of my house. It was a firm reminder of our need to be broadly sowing the seed!

Also, yes, this is the last of my 40 days.  I only made it to 33 due to a change in my fundraising.  I'll post some lessons learned and reflections on my 33 days soon.  If you'd like to help support my gospel-sharing and training work, you can do that here: https://purecharity.com/peterlindell-e3partners

Friday, August 30, 2019

Harvest Day 32: Moline Green Lights

Tracking Day 32
Teammates: 3
Places: Moline & East Moline
Engaged: 12
Prayed For: 9
Gospel Shares: 6
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer): 1
Christian: 2
Training/Discipleship: 1

In addition to the above we trained two believers.

One team knocked on a door and offered to pray. They immediately got a "pray for America" with a door shut in their face. They paused in the driveway and prayed for America.  A few minutes later, the same guy who had just shut the door in their face came outside and went across his lawn to have a conversation. He was thankful for their prayers, even if his initial response was very disinterested. As we debriefed it, we think that he was used to religious people being pushy, and he really noticed when they were just out caring through prayer (and actually praying!)


Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Church Circle with Matthew Thifault

When you boil it down, what are the basic functions of a church? The Church Circle is a simple tool, based in Scripture, to answer that question.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Harvest Day 31: How do you do that again?

Tracking Day 31*
Teammates: 5
Places: Peoria, Tremont
Engaged: 19
Prayed For: 14
Gospel Shares: 9
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 4
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 4
Training/Discipleship: 2

*Note: This was a combination of a few harvest times.

I was reminded of the power of modeling IN training over a workshop or classroom format.  I trained two people and then engaged visitors to a local thrift store for an hour and half total. Those two that I trained were able to see a few Gospel shares, practice initiating spiritual conversations, and see God who up in those conversations.  In an hour and half workshop with 50 people, the results are about the same, only 2 of them take it and do something with it.

As I wrapped up time with one young believer he said: "How do you do that again?" "Do what?" "You know, like ask 'em to a Bible study or something."
So I said: "How about I show you again, is there anyone in this park you want me to approach?"

So he pointed out a couple people... We walked through 3 Questions to get to the Gospel, and then set up a Discovery Bible study with one of them.
In the follow up harvest time, he showed up to the Bible study (which went great with the three of us!) and then, as we were leaving, we were approached by a 4th person who said "Would you pray for me?" We did and invited him to join us the following week!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Training: Harvest Day in East Moline

OUT IN THE HARVEST DAY (Door-to-Door Evangelism)
Tuesday, August 27

We will begin and finish at: Northcrest-Calvary Baptist Church, 3004 56th St, Moline, IL 61265.

10:00 am Training and Prayer
Peter Lindell from Peoria will be leading the training

10:30 am Out in the Harvest
Each pair will go to a neighborhood in the Quad Cities of their choosing

12:30 pm Lunch and Celebration Time
Lunch will be provided by the QCABA Missions/Church Planting Team

Door-to-Door evangelism is still an effective Gospel tool. This will be a great encouragement for you and anyone that you bring with you. This is for everyone!

If you have any questions about this training, please talk to Jon Sedgwick, 573-576-9380.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Abiding in Jesus with Austin & Lindsay Wilson

The one thing we need to do on our journey to No Place Left.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Day 28 Follow Up Story: Keep Praying

On Harvest Day 28 I was with a church-planter in East Moline. You can read about that day here. We were able to set up a follow-up Discovery Bible Study that day for a week later. He sent me this update:  (Note: "Jesus" is the Spanish pronounced "hey-seuss" :)

God is faithful.
I went back to see Jesus and family last Friday morning. I got there just before 10:30 and for the first 25 minutes it was fairly chaotic. Mom and family were in and out. So I sat on the couch and talked to Patrice, the other sister. I held Jesus' other child, a baby, for that 25 minutes. Patrice shared her story. The father of her 2 month old got out of her life after the baby was born. She has some knowledge, but not Christ.
Eventually Jesus came back in with his girlfriend (and mother of the two kids) and mom went off to work. For the next 35 minutes we talked. I shared the story of hope - The Pharisee and Tax Collector, went through the 3 circles again (they still did not answer the way back to God's design correctly), and then also shared some other scriptures of grace with them. Jesus is honest and asks great questions. Patrice was also listening strongly. Jenna, Jesus' girlfriend, seemed a bit skeptic, but was polite.
I am going back again this Friday and Jesus wants his mom to be able to get in on the conversation. He is going to wake her up earlier. 
Keep praying.

Join me in praying for Jon as he reconnects with this family.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Harvest Day 30: Gospel Conversation Training

Tracking Day 30
Teammates: 10
Places: Robinson
Engaged: 37
Prayed For: 25
Gospel Shares: 10
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer): 1
Christian: 9
Training/Discipleship: 3

Today we spent a bulk of the day training but then also sent out about a dozen of us into the Harvest. It was a great day and a reminder of how awesome a Gospel Conversation training format can be.

I learned a great idea from a few people that had done a similar training in California: Don't bring paper with you. Ask the person you're sharing with if they have paper or pen that you could use.  I haven't been able to put this into practice yet but I'm excited to try it soon.

We did have one person respond to the Gospel, and the local workers will be following up to affirm that decision and disciple her.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Will you join me in praying for the lost? [a prayer experiment]

I want us all to be focused on the lost through prayer. 

I'm test-driving this idea: Connect anyone interested into small #noplaceleft prayer groups using the app GroupMe. (You can also access just with text or email/web as well; no smart phone needed). The focus of the group will be praying for the lost. Click the link below if you're interested.

https://forms.gle/Y8YGvRh9xFjgQdU57

(FYI: This will be completely independent and separate from my weekly prayer updates.)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Disciple: Commands of Christ with Mary Roberts

We could also call this episode "Storytime with Mary" because she just keeps rolling with awesome stories. God just keeps showing up when we're faithful to share the Gospel and disciple the fruit.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Harvest Day 29

Tracking Day 29*
Teammates: 1
Places: Peoria, Pekin, East Peoria
Engaged: 12
Prayed For: 4
Gospel Shares: 2
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 2
Training/Discipleship:

*Note: This was a combination of a few harvest times.

It's so good (and necessary!) to get people out and doing the work of sharing the Gospel. It's not easy or comfortable, but when we hit the road two things happen:
1) God shows up.  Often in unexpected ways. (Today the youth pastor I was with made a connection with another ministry worker.)
2) We learn and practice the simple skills required to share, and then can apply those to our own lives and relationships.

We're not street evangelists seeking a spontaneous conversion. We're disciples called to share the Gospel wherever we go. We can do that as we walk around a neighborhood and we can do that in our own relationships.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Harvest Day 28: East Moline

Tracking Day 28
Teammates: 1
Places: East Moline
Engaged: 14
Prayed For: 8
Gospel Shares: 4
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 4
Training/Discipleship:

I traveled a short bit to the Quad Cities in Illinois/Iowa today. It was a great time with a church planter... who is starting with sowing the Gospel in his planting city before planning for buildings or services.

The first people we ran into were a potential house of peace. He'll be visiting next week with a follow-up Bible study.

One moment was me modeling a simple tweak to a Gospel share, and then him using it himself the next Gospel share.  I'll be headed back in a few weeks!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Harvest Day 26 & 27: Coming alongside a local church

Tracking Day 26 & 27
Teammates: 3 both days
Places: Galesburg (mostly)
Engaged: 18
Prayed For: 9
Gospel Shares: 8
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 6
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 6
Training/Discipleship: 4

The bulk of these two days was serving alongside a local church in their "mission week". They spent four days this week doing service projects around their community.  The last two days myself and three teammates got to follow up with many people they served: offering prayer and sharing the Gospel.  We also visited a local rescue mission where we had several conversations as well.

It was a huge blessing to see someone I had been training assist me in training and model several Gospel shares for another teammate... all without my help. (Full disclosure- She was my mom. Apparently I come from good stock.)

Disciple: Three Thirds with Ross Ramsey

Here's a simple pattern to help you disciple.


If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Gospel Conversation Training in Southern Illinois (Robinson)

Join us for a training on how to start spiritual conversations, share the Gospel, and nurture spiritual interest. We'll put what we learn into practice that day.

Topics covered:
- 3 Questions to get to the Gospel
- 3 Circles Gospel Tool
- 3 Responses to the Gospel
- How to lead a Discovery Bible Study for those with spiritual questions.

Register here.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Harvest Day 25: The Sinner's Prayer

Tracking Day 25*
Teammates: 2
Places: Galesburg, Peoria
Engaged: 9
Prayed For: 2
Gospel Shares: 2
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 1
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 2
Training/Discipleship: 2

*Note: This was a combination of 2 harvest times.

There is nothing more refreshing than having someone you have trained lead a full Gospel conversation.

The first half of this day was spent in Galesburg doing some research for where to bring a Gospel Conversation Team the following week. If you have a group of people willing to go share the Gospel, it's really important to have an avenue they can actually do it. We found a place at the local mission... where this crazy story happened:

We were about to leave when this young kid walked in and said "I need someone to help me pray the Sinner's Prayer." Due to our previous conversation with the staff I knew that there was no chaplain or volunteer to meet him, so I said: "I'd love to talk." We sat down and I listened to a bit of his story.  Then I shared the 3 Circles. It was evident that, while he felt some remorse for how his life was, he was not willing to trust in Jesus with all of his life. We left the conversation without having prayed "the prayer" but with a potential for further conversation when we visit next week.

The second half of this day I learned: Seeking houses of peace is slow but does seem to be working. We were invited to the family's cookout this weekend.  I need to pray more, but for less. (By that I mean, focus my prayers on specific families and areas, instead of casting wide "bless this town" type prayers. When I have a potential person of peace, pray for them until they become one or you completely lose contact.)

Adam's Story

This is an ongoing story that I wanted to use the 4 Fields to illustrate. (If you're not familiar with the Four Fields, here's a great overview.) I'll be updating this post as the story continues.

Field 1: Entry - How do I engage people that are far from God?
I had partnered with a local youth group to engage people in an apartment complex. We had an ice cream social that afternoon, so we went door to door in the morning. There were about 20 students that knocked on 400 doors! We had trained them to invite to extend an invitation to the ice cream social AND to offer to pray for those they met.

Field 2: The Gospel - How do I share the Gospel?
The students were prepared to share the Gospel with anyone who was open to prayer. We were able to do that 5 times that day. (Side note: There are more efficient methods of engaging the lost, but for several reasons going door to door was the best option that day.)
ONE of those five that we shared the Gospel with with was Adam. He told me a two things later on that are pertinent to the story: 1) He almost didn't open the door. But he said just felt that something compelled him to do it.  2) He had actually come to faith in Jesus about a year prior through reading Scripture on his own. He had attempted to find a church but the one or two he tried weren't a good fit. Just weeks before we knocked on his door he remembers thinking: "I just need someone to come to me. I'm not strong enough on my own."
The same day the students met Adam we came back and did a simple Discovery Bible Study. Through that time we were able to see he had a genuine faith, but also many questions. I offered to meet him again with another Bible story to see if it would answer more of his questions. God had prepared his heart because he was more than eager to meet!

Field 3: Discipleship - How do we train disciples to follow Jesus?
After our second Bible study I cast vision for going through a short term discipleship study to help him learn to follow Jesus. He was only available on weekends or evenings, so I invited him to continue our study at my church on Sunday morning. (Note: If there had been a group I would have stayed in his apartment context, but since Adam was alone bringing him to a wider body of Christ seemed like the right fit.)
After our first discipleship lesson (3rd Bible Study together) he wanted to be baptized. We waited a few weeks so his son could be there.

After our second discipleship lesson, he was talking about people in his life he had unashamedly talked with about spiritual things.. He kept on affirming his own belief in Jesus and desire to follow him. Walking him through Scripture and watching him obey has been one of the best parts of my summer.

Field 4: Church - How do we gather disciples into healthy church?
We haven't made a healthy disciple if they don't understand the importance of being a part of a healthy church. As we wrapped up our short term discipleship study we went through a simple but specific lesson on the church. It was really cool to see him apply in two places: 1) "I should probably stay for the church service" and 2) "We could also do these things as a group" (at this point a coworker had joined us.

Part 5: Leadership Development
Literally one month after we met him, Adam joined me out in the harvest. I modeled how to start a spiritual conversation, share the Gospel, and invite people to a Discovery Bible Study. Later that week he told me he had been practicing the Three Circles Gospel tool multiple times on his own.
Over the next few weeks he shared the Gospel with several co-workers, inviting them to join our Sunday morning Bible study. At one point I trained him in a simple Bible study process (the three thirds) and encouraged him to lead part of our Bible study time together. I've been able to coach him on simple methods and tools to start conversations and share the Gospel (which brings us back around to Fields 1 and 2).

Here's some irony: When I first met him, I didn't think he was a person of peace. He lived alone. He didn't have anyone to invite to his baptism. But he's shared the Gospel regularly and with people that he had distant relationships with.. all in less than two months from beginning discipleship. I'm not sure I should pre-judge persons of peace anymore. :)

I'll be updating this post as the story continues.

Disciple: The 411 with Ginger Mayer

Help a new disciple immediately start making new disciples through a simple tool: The 411. Listen as Ginger explains 4 questions that we train, on 1 piece of paper, in 1 hour or less.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Day 24 Report: Eyes to See

Tracking Day 24*
Teammates: 6
Places: Pekin, East Peoria
Engaged: 22
Prayed For: 7
Gospel Shares: 6
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian:
Trained:

*Note: This was a combination of two half-days in the harvest.

God's just been giving me eyes to see where the lost and downtrodden are located. We often think of homeless shelters or food pantries, but I feel like I better see places and people that are far from God and need his hope. (By way of example, in my days at summer camp I could walk into a room and instantly know what was going on, where the issue was, or what needed addressed... I feel like God has used these days in the harvest to develop similar skills.)

The highlight of this "day" was an afternoon I took about 6 people from a youth group I had trained out to share the Gospel. I had a friend join me. Just a month ago, a different youth group knocked on his door and shared the Gospel with him. Praise God for raising up laborers.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Day 23 Report

Tracking Day 23
Teammates: 2
Places: Peoria, Pekin
Engaged: 17
Prayed For: 9
Gospel Shares: 1
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 1
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 8
Trained: 6

At lunch today I trained on discovery Bible studies, which is 5 of the Engaged, Christian and Trained in the count above.

In the morning my teammate and I attempted a follow up Discovery Bible Study and the person wasn't home. But we still engaged others and ended up with another yellow light where we can come back and attempt to lead a Bible study the next week.

The afternoon was unsuccessful in one sense as we didn't have any Gospel shares. But it was exactly what God wanted for us in another sense: I ran into a couple of old friends that had just received some discouraging news. They welcomed prayer and we were an encouragement to them.

Disciple: Discovering & Obeying the Word with Steve Parlato

We often think better teaching is a key to making disciples. And while we should faithfully teach God's word, it's even more important to train disciples to discover and obey the truth in God's word for themselves. Said another way: If you teach a disciple the Bible, he'll grow for a day. If you train a disciple to discover and obey the Bible, he'll grow for a lifetime.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

More thoughts from Steve:
Let Scripture answer the question.  Questions always go back to Scripture. Ask, "Where do you see that in this Scripture?  A corollary to this is don’t put yourself as the center of authority.  If you are talking too much or giving out the ‘real’ answers then you are undermining the process.

Group discipleship is better than 1 -1 discipleship
- Group discipleship results in more powerful discovery and action steps than one on one discipleship.  If a leader does not know something about a person in the group there is a chance someone else in the group does know that about that person and there is less hiding of sin patterns and life issues.  
- The size of a group is a matter of personal preference and ability.  I recommend that new leaders lead a group of 3 to 6 people.  More experienced leaders will be able to manage up to about 12 members.  
- Just remember lots of people you invest in will stop obeying and stop following Jesus, so work with groups and after much time you will have many more ongoing faithful disciples of Jesus.  Discipling people in groups is also good stewardship of a leaders time.

Leader sets the example and set the expectation in obedience.   
As a leader you must craft good action steps and transparently share them with the group.   Each meeting the leader must report succinctly how they obeyed Jesus.  If you are not setting a good example, then do not expect anyone else to do this for you.  If your group has met three or more times and nobody is obeying or doing anything you have a problem - start by looking in the mirror at yourself.  Make any changes to your own life and then come back at the group.

Take people out to prayer walk and to share.  Take them along with you to see you in action.  You can never model everything in the small group.

Sharpen people's action steps. Make sure each person leaves with a “SMART" action step. (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound action steps) Honor and encourage any steps of obedience, but do not reward baby behavior when they can and should be doing more.  Sometimes people set small action steps as a way to avoid being challenged in a subsequent meeting.  Discernment is needed if you are overwhelming someone or if they are hiding and underperforming.

Start with new believers and seekers.  The more history someone has sitting in academically oriented Bible study groups where there was no expectation of life change or obedience the harder it will be for them to function in an obedience oriented Three Thirds group.

Rotate leadership.   Train up people who can lead all of the Three Thirds group process right away.  I begin assisting a new leader after only 3 meetings.  That new leader then begins assisting a new leader after 2 or 3 meetings that they lead.  Follow the Model - Assist - Watch and Leave process until all group members can lead the group.

Imitation before Innovation.  Lead the group 50 times, mastering the skills and having lived the process for a good long while before you innovate or conclude it does not work in your context. Then start looking at how to contextualize to your context.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Day 22 Report

Tracking Day 22*
Teammates: 2
Places: Peoria
Engaged: 10
Prayed For: 6
Gospel Shares: 6
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training or Discipleship: 2

*This was a combination of a few harvest times.

The COOLEST thing ever was a teammate I had taken into the harvest on Days 8 and Day 17 ran his own harvest time between Day 17 and now!  He casually let me know he took 3 people out to share the Gospel and had 2 follow-up appointments from it. I hadn't asked him to, told him to, or anything.

Also with that same teammate I had a crazy follow up visit. Seriously crazy. The two guys in the house were not the guy we had met before. It ended when a van pulled up with people yelling in it... but we mostly got the Gospel out, so we'll pray for a longer, smoother conversation when we return.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 21 Report: Aurora

Tracking Day 21
Teammates: 8
Places: Aurora IL
Engaged: 44
Prayed For: 24
Gospel Shares: 15
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 13
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 7
Scheduled Training or Discipleship: 1 (Trained on the Spot = 6!)

This was a fun day!

We gathered with a small team of laborers in Aurora IL and hit the harvest in some fearsome heat for about 3 hours. The best part was a large list of follow ups that the local pastor will be pursuing.


One team we sent out met a young man and clearly shared the Gospel with him. He was actually the son of a member at the church we were sent out from. While he had never shown interest in spiritual things before, this intentional harvest focus led to a great conversation and opportunity to follow up.

Another team went door-to-door and see a bunch of fruit from it! At one house they asked if they could bless the house before they left, and the mother proceeded to get everyone out on the front porch to be a part of it!

Finally, one teammate had never seen an offer of prayer as a way to start spiritual conversations. He was totally sold after watching it firsthand. This man was already an evangelist but it was great to give him another tool for his ministry tool belt.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Day 20: Simple Conversations

Tracking Day 20
Teammates:
Places: Pekin, Peoria
Engaged: 10
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 2
Scheduled Training or Discipleship: 1

What impressed me about today is that people are willing to have spiritual conversations, willing to hear the Gospel, willing to consider what the Bible means for them....

But often our programs and structures don't allow those to happen. I understand the tension after running a day-camp program for years, but the challenge in front of the church is: Will you share the Gospel with people and be willing to answer their questions? Or will you put on another program, that while potentially helpful, doesn't move people towards faith in Jesus?

Case in point: A lady at a homeless shelter responded to my simple offer of prayer. It led to a 15-20 minute conversation, that included the Gospel and a simple story to illustrate Jesus' love for everyone. She had plenty of Christian background, so nothing was brand new to her. But at the same time, no one had heard her express that she can't read the Bible because she doesn't have one at her reading level. So I set her up with a Bible app on her phone and pointed it to an easy to read version. She even claimed she was going to start reading.  Maybe she will and maybe she won't, but the chance of her reading the Bible on her own is much higher after that short conversation.

Three Responses to the Gospel with Matt Altizer

Anytime you (attempt to) share the Gospel, people will respond in one of three ways. It helps to know what to do with each response.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Day 19 Report: Let Scripture Teach

Tracking Day 19*
Teammates: 2
Places: Pekin
Engaged: 6
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 1
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up:
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training or Discipleship: 3

*Today combined a few follow up studies with a half day of harvest time.

There was a lower number of engagements today as I had several follow up Bible studies scheduled. I'm learning:

  • to keep things simple: Time in the harvest helps you see that complicated tools and or methods won't work.
  • Scripture can teach! It is one of the most refreshing things to see a young believer ask a deep question, and then answer it correctly from Scripture. (Maybe more correctly than your average church goer!)
  • to continue sifting for a person of peace. I was ghosted by a couple people today for a follow up. I'll continue to pray and maybe reach out again, but I've also seen those that when God is moving in someone's life they seek you out after that initial encounter. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Day 18 Report: Small Towns

Tracking Day 18
Teammates: 2
Places: South Pekin, Pekin
Engaged: 10
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 2
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up:
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training:

This morning a friend and missionary to another country joined me in small town America. We were praying for the town, meeting people, and asking God: What would it look like for a movement of disciples who make disciples in a small town? (He has a burden for small towns in his country, and while there are difference, there are many similarities too.)

We shared the Gospel once and met five people. We started with the police department, which while intimidating, was a great way to get an "okay" for two strange guys to walk around town asking people how we can pray for them.

We cannot fund enough pastors to reach every small town in America, but we can look for spiritually interested people in each town. If you want to chat more about reaching small towns by looking for a person of peace, let me know!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Day 17 Report

Tracking Day 17*
Teammates: 9
Places: Pekin, Tremont, Peoria
Engaged: 24
Prayed For: 10
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 1
Green Light (New Believer): 1
Christian: 4
Scheduled Training: 3

*Note: Day 17 was a combination of 3 harvest times on 3 different days.

The first harvest time we had two people join us who had never attempted to share the Gospel with a stranger before. It was a great faith builder. I took a team to one park and had 8 conversations with zero results. But the other team had one conversation that lead to a person responding to the Gospel!

The second time illustrated the value of modeling. I was at a local thrift store (I had already trained volunteers in starting spiritual conversations). It was fun and very helpful to show what it looked like to start a spiritual conversation.

The last time was two follow up meetings, both of which were encouraging. I don't know if it was an anomaly, but it was really intriguing that both were probably believers that need discipled to follow Jesus closer. They were both interested in more time together, learning to follow Jesus.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Day 16 Report: Recon Day

Tracking Day 16
Teammates: 1
Places: Galesburg, Peoria
Engaged: 10
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 1
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training: 1

Today was a reconnaissance day. My teammate (also my mom!) explored Galesburg for good place to meet people and engage in conversation. Our hope is to find a few places we can bring others from her church. To that end we think we found a couple of places that we're going to check out further.

In the afternoon I reconnected with the original group I started a Discovery Bible Study with in 2017-2018. Then I followed up with a Green Light from Harvest Day 11 and schedule a follow up Bible study with him. One thing that stood out to me is how much we are loners in America. I already know this, but it's another thing to experience it. I asked this man if he would have anyone else he would want to invite to this Bible study, and he said: "Ha, no." Many people have hardly any pre-existing relationships that the Gospel can spread through.

Fasting for Movement with Jeff and Angie Sundell

Can you imagine one million people fasting for #NoPlaceLeft? Maybe it's time to start. Jeff and Angie Sundell cast vision for three specific fasts when pursuing movement.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Day 15 Report: "I've got this."

Tracking Day 15 
Teammates: 5
Places: Pekin, Peoria
Engaged: 14
Prayed For: 5 Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 2
Scheduled Training: 1

I have continued to be surprised by lost people's interest in learning from the Bible.  God is using the prayers of his people and his word to slowly change hearts. I've had a follow up Discovery Bible Study with an agnostic and just today he proposed scheduling a regular weekday to meet. 


My favorite moment from today was in the afternoon. I trained 4 students and a youth pastor and then we visited a few parks in town. We were able to share the Gospel several times and pray for people as well. In the middle of our time one of the students saw a friend of his. He stopped, turned back to look at us and then said "I've got this." Then he went and shared the Gospel on his own! Praise God!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Day 14 Report: Brokenness

Tracking Day 14 
Teammates:
Places: Pekin, Peoria
Engaged: 10
Prayed For: 4
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up:  1
Green Light (New Believer):
Christian: 2
Scheduled Training: 2

Sadly the weather kept me form training a small group of students and sharing the Gospel during the evening of this day. We're hoping to reschedule.

I'm just continuing to see how much broken people are open to spiritual conversations, engage with you about the Gospel, and want to hear more.  BUT at the same time, that brokenness often keeps them from actually reconnecting with you.

I had a follow up Bible Study with someone we met on Day 12.  It was awesome. He's very interested in learning how to follow Jesus, so on Sunday we're going to start the Commands of Christ.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Abundant Prayer with Paul Watson of Contagious Disciple Making

This should have been the first episode. Pursuing a movement of disciple-making disciples and church-planting churches starts, ends, and is surrounded by prayer.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Day 13: Following Up

I spent this (really hot) day following up with people from Day 11 and 12.  There were several doors that didn't get answered, but also a few continued opportunities.

Tracking Day 13 
Teammates: 1
Places: Pekin, Peoria
Engaged: 12, (8 of those were attempts at follow up)
Prayed For: 1
Gospel Shares: 1
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 1
Scheduled Training: 1

One person our team met on Friday was open to a conversation today. He doesn't currently go to church but claims to be a believer. He was interested in a Bible study. It's crazy his current openness because he told me that he originally moved to town (many years back) to sell drugs. I'm praying God will use him to reach his neighborhood and family.

I also had one teammate join me as we attempted to meet a couple of hispanic guys. I'm 99% sure one of them is a follower of Jesus. He was interested in a Bible study, so we're going to attempt to meet next week. My goal is to teach him the Commands of Christ so he can pass them on to the people in his world.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Day 12 Report: The Power of Team Part 2

Tracking Day 12
Teammates: 27
Places: Pekin
Engaged: 86
Prayed For: 18
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 4
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 7
Scheduled Training: 1

Another awesome display on the power of team.  The same group from yesterday sifted through 86 engagements, 18 prayers and 5 Gospel Shares to find 4 people to follow up with.  There was also one believer I'm confident God had in mind for us. He had so many questions and has a very real but fragile faith. He gladly welcomed a follow up meeting to better follow Jesus.

As excited as I am about the people we met, 20+ high school students got to practice engaging people in spiritual conversation. Real life practice! I'm super excited to see how God uses that over the coming weeks and months.

We also weeded someone's garden that refused prayer and never gave the opportunity to share the Gospel. But she needed help on a 90 degree day, so we helped her. We pray that a small seed was sown, even as our attempts did not yield any fruit today.

I'm reflecting that I need to specifically invite Christians into the work by offering training. I didn't actually train these students in that so unfortunately that didn't happen with this day even though we met 7 Christians.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Day 11 Report: The Power of a Team

Tracking Day 11 
Teammates: 25
Places: Peoria
Engaged: 64
Prayed For: 25
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 5
Green Light (New Believer): 3 (1 with clear follow up info)
Christian: 5
Scheduled Training: 0

Nope, you didn't read that wrong. 25 teammates and in an hour and half we engaged over 60 people. I was working alongside a local youth group and we canvassed the neighborhood around an inner city Christian school. It was a simple invite to a cookout that evening, and while maybe none of the people we invited came, we have several follow up opportunities from that canvassing. Best of all, there was at least one new believer! It's amazing what a team can do!

At the cookout I was able to share the Gospel with those that listened (maybe about 75 people).

One story outside of that team: In the morning I met a young man for a Discovery Bible Study. We finished the first story of Creation to Christ and I was about to wrap up when he said: "Can we read the next story too?"  God's word is powerful. He had never heard the stories of Creation and was very intrigued. Pray our continued Bible studies will point him to Jesus.

God's been answering prayers for open doors and spiritual interest. A quarter of the way through my 40 Days there are numerous individuals I'm meeting with for Discovery Bible Studies. I'm praying for groups to form out of these individual meetings.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Day 10 Report: Prayer & Follow Ups

Tracking Day 10 
Teammates: 0
Places: Peoria, Pekin
Engaged: 10  (2 were believers, 3 were scheduled follow ups)
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 3
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer): 0 (but 1 oh-so-close!)
Christian: 2
Scheduled Training: 2

I had my prayer partners pray that the people I had meetings scheduled with would fulfill them and God showed up! Five out of five!

I had challenged an agnostic to read Ecclesiastes between our meetings and he did! He appreciated the cynicism but also applied it to his own life: "While things are pretty good for me, I still feel like somethings missing." This is someone who doesn't believe in the miracles of the Bible and sees everything as a metaphor.

I re-shared the Gospel with someone I had met on Day 8. He seems to comprehend the Gospel message and I asked what was keeping him from turning and believing in Jesus. He said, "I guess I still have some questions. Maybe I need a Bible study or to go to church."  I offered to meet with him for a Bible study and he said yes!

Gospel: Three Circles with Kenton Killebrew of Global Gates

Sharing the Gospel doesn't need to be complicated. The Three Circles is a simple Gospel tool that's being used widely in #NoPlaceLeft networks. Check out this episode for an awesome story of how God worked through the Three Circles.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
Remember to PRAY! On the next episode Paul Watson of Contagious Disciple Making crushes the topic of prayer.

If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Day 9 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

Tracking Day 9
Teammates: 0 (My main to-do tomorrow is track down more teammates!)
Places: Green Valley, Pekin
Engaged: 19
Prayed For: 5
Gospel Shares: 6
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 7
Scheduled Training: 6

I started my day in Green Valley. We were hoping to do some training over a Bible study and then head out to pray for the town, but rain kept us from heading out. I was able to train on 3 Questions, 3 Circles and a weekly prayer calendar. I left them with the challenge to pray every weekday for a specific person or family in their life. Next week their challenge is to ask those people how they can pray for them. I'll be checking back in 4 weeks to see how it goes. (Six of the Christians I met in the stats above were this Bible Study.)

The best part of the day was a follow-up Bible study with a guy from the apartments on Day 6. I still see an opportunity there and am praying one of the relationships I've built will be a person of peace with a desire to reach the apartment complex.

This probably started a few harvest days ago, but I'm starting to realize the immensity of the task, even in an area as "small" as 370,000 people. What's It Gonna Take to reach them all for Jesus? Being in the harvest forces you to ask and answer tough questions. You start notice people and patterns. What would it look like to have a disciple-maker in every society segment and neighborhood in the area?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Day 8 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

Tracking Day 8
Teammates: 2
Places: Peoria, Pekin
Engaged: 17
Prayed For: 7
Gospel Shares: 4
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 9
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 0 (maybe 1)
Scheduled Training: 0

God's been granting some great fruit in people being interested in follow up meetings.

Two quick stories:
My teammate and I were on the south end (inner city) of Peoria, following up with a couple of previous yellow lights from Day 3. We passed by an older couple cleaning up their yard. Instead of starting with an offer of prayer we just said: "We've got about 10 minutes, is there anything we can help you move?" After we moved a broken up couch and mattress we offered to pray. The lady was weeping and gave me a huge hug afterwards. They turned back to their work right away, but when we asked if we could visit again, they said yes. We'll be looking to return and share the Gospel soon.
Later that day in Pekin I was able to share the Gospel with someone at a homeless shelter. It was evident he hadn't really heard about Jesus before. I wasn't able to stay long, but I said, "Would you want to meet again to hear more about Jesus?" I'm excited to return and share the Gospel again.

I'm praying for a "Green Light," but also know that those will come with faithful sowing and follow-up

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Day 7 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

Today was a follow-up day in LaSalle from Day 5. To be honest, it wasn't as fruitful as the previous visit. We were able to connect with one person, but unable to actually meet with him. Unlike the previous time, the offer of prayer did not lead to many spiritual conversations.

As Jacob and I debriefed, he said something really helpful: The harvest is a filter for faithful Timothy's. People that are willing to join you in cold-call evangelism (even if they are terrified doing it) are showing a specific interest in the missionary task of reaching the lost.

We've also had some great conversations when leading with an interview format. "We're here learning the spiritual climate of the area, would you be interested in asking 5 questions?" It leads to some great conversations and people are very open to an interview (When you ask if you can record it, everyone says yes! I think they want to be a YouTube sensation).  However, offering prayer is a more reproducible way to engage the lost as it can work in many contexts (reaching your oikos, house of peace search, as you go interactions, etc.)

Tracking Day 7
Teammates: 1
Places: LaSalle, Pekin
Engaged: 15
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 3
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training: 2

Gospel: Share your Story in 15 Seconds

A recovering alcoholic walks into a bar... 

If this was a joke, you probably think you know it ends.

Check out this episode of On the Road to #NoPlaceLeft for how God used a simple tool called a 15 Second testimony... in a bar... to save a recovering alcoholic.


If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Day 6 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

Tracking Day 6
Teammates: None (I had planned today as a follow-up day).
Places: Pekin & Peoria
Engaged: 11
Prayed For: 4
Gospel Shares: 6
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 8 (no joke!)
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 2
Scheduled Training:

Story From the Day:
I started out the day wanting to prayer-walk a specific apartment complex. I had done a Discovery Bible Study with a friend who lived there and he said it was a pretty rough area, with the police visiting pretty much every night for one reason or another.

There was a couple sitting outside on the far side of the road where I was walking. I had intended to wait until I circled the complex before offering to pray for them, but the guy hollered out "Hey buddy, do you have a cigarette?"

I took that as a cue to walk over and chat. (Aside: I did not have a cigarette. :) After a little small talk I asked if they had anything I could pray about, and the guy said: "A whole bunch."  So I sat down and listened.  It was about an hour conversation all about the hardships he and she were facing, his addictions (he was drinking a beer at 9AM), and their spiritual beliefs. At one point I was able to share the Gospel with them using the 3 Circles.

I found out God had already been working: They had just had a spiritual conversation the night before between them and 3 other people in the apartment. And, they both had a desire for more spiritually, but felt that, without a way to "get to church" they couldn't do anything else.

I offered to come back and teach them how to learn from God's word for themselves. They were both interested! She said: "I would really like that."  Before I left, one of those friends came over, and I got permission to capture this interaction: (This is about as real as it gets).

If you can't see the video, go here: https://www.pheaney.com/2019/06/day-6-report-40-days-in-harvest.html

Pray for S, S, N, C, & A who are interested in a Bible study!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Day 5 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

The lack of understanding of the Good News of Jesus was very evident today. It is crazy how confused the simple message of the Gospel has become, and even more so because it's wrapped up in cultural Christian concepts. (We had a great/crazy conversation involving Joel Osteen that I'll save for telling in person.)

The sad part about it is that the Gospel is not changing lives because it has been confused and therefore not accepted.  Another sad thing that was evident was religion has burned people. (Again... Christian religion apart from a relationship with Jesus.)

I had a great teammate with me: Jacob Stafford of One Way Ministries. One bonus is he remembered to take a picture as we were debriefing the day! We're going to visit LaSalle again soon to follow up the Yellow Lights we encountered.



Tracking Day 5
Teammates: 1
Places: LaSalle
Engaged: 22
Prayed For: 6
Gospel Shares: 7
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 1
Scheduled Training:

Entry: Hello to the Gospel in 3 Questions

"Hello, this is the Good News of Jesus Christ."

Okay, so it may not be quite that fast, but here are 3 questions to move any conversation to the Gospel.

If you can't view the audio player, click here.

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Day 4 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

Tracking Day 4
Teammates: 2
Places: Peoria & Green Valley
Engaged: 20
Prayed For: 3
Gospel Shares: 4
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 1
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training: 1 maybe

A couple of stories:
I was praying at a coffee shop before I was going to head out in downtown Peoria in the morning. A barista who had seen me doing a Discovery Bible Study with a coworker the previous week interrupted me to ask what I had been meeting his coworker about. I learned that he had already been praying for his coworker and has had some spiritual conversations with him.  It was a great encouragement to meet another believer.

I was reminded not to pre-judge who will respond to the Gospel. There was a guy wearing an 'I have issues' t-shirt that I almost avoided. But I felt led to offer to pray for him. It turned into a 15 minute conversation where I was able to share the Gospel and a follow up story about Jesus. He was even interested in meeting again!

One thought:
My afternoon was in Green Valley. I was surprised by how it went, especially compared to Day 3.  We offered to pray for a dozen people and only got one off-handed prayer request. (And even then they moved on from us before we were able to pray.) We know God wants people in this small town to hear and receive the Gospel, but the receptivity to spiritual conversations was surprisingly low. I'll be returning their a couple of more times during these 40 Days, so I'm going to start regularly praying for that community to be open to the Gospel.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Day 3 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

Wow! Remember what I said last time about how it's better to share the Gospel with teammates?! Today we had 4 total teammates and the amount of conversations proves it! 

Tracking Day 3
Teammates: 4
Places: Peoria (From inner city to upscale and back again.)
Engaged: 25+
Prayed For: 18+
Gospel Shares: 14+
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 0
Scheduled Training: 0
(The + is because we had some bigger groups we engaged in the afternoon so not 100% sure on totals.)

Some cool stories: 
I ran into someone I had prayed for previously and their prayer request (for their grandkids) had been answered.
A friend joined me as a teammate and I offered to pray for people in an upscale area of town. I didn't think we had a ton of luck (4 engaged, 2 prayers) but my friend said "This was helpful." He appreciated seeing simple questions starting spiritual conversations.
In the afternoon the number of people we engaged, prayed for, and shared the Gospel with was nearly identical. Usually there is a funnel with less people hearing the Gospel than you engage, but people on the south end of Peoria were very open to conversation and hearing the Gospel. For one group of kids it was the first time they had heard Jesus had died for them.

Some free thoughts: 
We have some messed up versions of Christianity out there. Church is something you go to, Jesus life and death is something you give assent to, but it doesn't change you or mean anything different.  Of the 14+ people that heard the Gospel today, many of them would describe themselves as Christian, but I'm not confident that many of them have a personal faith in Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
The offer of a Bible study in a cultural Christian context often is met with "I already go to church." I'm working through better follow up questions. One I know I need to try is: "Can we come back and share a story of Jesus with you?"


Reply or contact me to join in a future harvest day! See the schedule here.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Day 2 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

I started this day with 4 Discovery Bible Studies on the calendar. One of them was a growing believer and the rest were spiritually interested.  The second two no-showed but the first two went great.
I had at least 6 prayer partners specifically praying for the day, and it was evident in those Bible studies. Both of them surprised me by wanting to read more scripture! The first (not currently following Jesus) said: "Do you want to read another chapter?"  And the second (a growing believer) said "Do you want to read it again?"

Two other thoughts:
1) It's way easier with a teammate. I didn't have one in the afternoon and it makes it much more difficult! (Jesus knew what he was doing when he sent out his disciples 2x2.)
2) It does not take very long to get into some messy stuff. I won't share the specifics on the internet, but seeing brokenness face to face is pretty heavy. (This reminds me of my podcast episode with Dale Losch, statistics aren't as powerful as hearing personal stories.)

Reply or contact me to join in a future harvest day! See the schedule here.

Tracking Day 2
Teammates: 1
Places: Inner City Peoria, Pekin
Engaged: 10 (one of them being a scheduled follow up Discovery Bible Study)
Prayed For: 5
Gospel Shares: 5
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 2
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training: 0



Start with your Oikos with Joleene Burts

Reaching the world with the Gospel starts with our own neighborhood. Hear how God used a simple tool called an Oikos Map and a funny game called Bunco to lead people to faith in Jesus.

If you can't see the audio player, visit here: https://www.pheaney.com/2019/06/start-with-your-oikos-with-joleene-burts.html

Show Notes:
If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Day 1 Report: 40 Days in the Harvest

In the morning, the most spiritually receptive person was weeding outside a church building. We were interrupted before we could fully understand her personal beliefs, but it was really intriguing that she was more open to talking than anyone else. 

Coming out of this day we have 4 opportunities for follow up. Three of the four were pre-existing relationships. People are interested in meeting, even specifically for a Bible study or for training to share their faith (Both of those happened today)!  The believer I met was a long-time acquaintance. After I prayed I asked a simple: Would you be interested in training to better share your faith? After it was a Yes I simply said "When? and Where?".

I'm still pondering how to respond to people that claim they are close to God but do not seem to have a personal and real relationship with Jesus. I'm learning to continue to press towards Gospel clarity, both in explaining it to someone, but also in their response to it.



Reply or contact me to join in a future harvest day! See the schedule here.

Tracking Day 1
Teammates: 1
Places: All Around Pekin
Engaged: 14
Prayed For: 6
Gospel Shares: 3
Yellow Light - Scheduled Follow Up: 3
Green Light (New Believer): 0
Christian: 3
Scheduled Training: 1