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:

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

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:

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:

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.

(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:

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

*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

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:
  • L1/L2 - Ross casually mentions "L1/L2". For a video about the 5 levels of movement leadership, go here.
  • Three Thirds
  • Oikos - If you missed it, here's a great episode on Oikos.
  • Here is a list of Bible passages to use for casting vision:
    • Mark 1:17
    • Luke 19:10
    • Mark 4:1-9
    • Mark 26-29
    • Luke 10
    • Mark 4:17
    • Matthew 28:18-20
    • Mark 16:15
    • Luke 24:47
    • John 20:21
    • Acts 1:8
    • Acts 4:31
    • 2 Corinthians 5:20
    • Romans 1:1
    • Romans 10:14-17
    • Romans 15:23
    • 1 Corinthians 15:3
  • If you have a question to ask or a story to share, go here and Jump In!
  • If you're interested in a transcription of this episode, check out this link.

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: