Categories
Support Raising

E3 Partners Giving Day 2020!

I know from talking with many friends, family, and ministry partners in recent weeks and months that 2020 has not been what any of us expected. None of us could have guessed how it would go, either. Has anyone else gotten tired of the phrase “in these uncertain times?” Me too!

One thing I have not gotten tired of is watching God work in beautiful ways. In the last 2 months alone, we have seen 12 baptisms in LA, including a 3rd generation baptism! We have seen many discovery Bible studies start with non-believing friends and family, multiple new churches start, and leaders mobilized to global cities and to the nations! Jesus is moving powerfully in 2020!

It’s Tomorrow – Thursday, September 10 is e3 Giving Day! Every donation that is given to our personal support will be enhanced by a $100,000 pool of bonus funds. This means that tomorrow your dollar is worth more than $1.

Won’t you consider making a special donation to invest in our family and the work the Lord has entrusted to us in Los Angeles and North America? Every gift helps fuel our family to give our lives for the work the Lord has called us to!

To give, simply copy our case-sensitive account code below, then click the give button to make your donation. Thank you for your prayerful consideration and your desire to partner with us to spread the gospel. It is such a joy to be a part of what God is doing and to do it together!

PcktsOnAMsn.MKP

Categories
My Life NPL LA

Rest and Work

Last week our family flew to Northern Michigan for a family vacation. There aren’t a lot of places in the US so markedly different from Los Angeles than this rural area outside a town of ~500. Just off a long and isolated county highway is one of a handful of dirt roads. And just off one of those dirt roads was an enormous house on the shore of Lake Michigan.

We celebrated some mile marker dates in our extended family as the reason for gathering, but mostly the 8 kids ages 7 and under played together and with aunts and uncles and grand parents. It was a joy to be together, especially since we came together from 4 cities in 4 different states. These days it is a real challenge to get everyone together, so these few and far between moments are precious.

Even as we ate well, played hard, and laughed a lot, I received updates about things that were happening in the work back home in LA and elsewhere. Troy and Rick were off in Utah leading a Midlevel Retreat. A new believer in Orange County who was baptized just a few weeks ago baptized her mom. One of our leaders I have been walking closely with confirmed their first baptism. A person I just trained in the last week reached out to initiate the next step in training for the sake of bringing others along with him. I received introductions to 3 or 4 new leaders who want to connect to start multiplying disciples and churches.

I love it when I see the Lord moving when we are out of town and on vacation. That means the work isn’t dependent on us – we get to participate with Him as He works!

Categories
Baptism NPL LA

First Baptism in the Valley!

Just over a month ago, I baptized Rian (left) and Ricky (center) came down from the Valley with our local leaders who live there. At that time, Ricky was interested in Jesus but he wasn’t sure following Jesus was for him. In the last couple of weeks Yann (our leader in the valley) led Ricky to Jesus!

Yesterday Rian and I drove an hour and a half from Long Beach to Malibu to celebrate Ricky’s baptism. Ricky wanted to have his baptism at Zuma Beach, so that’s where we met!

We gathered to eat lunch, worship together, share the gospel, hear Ricky’s testimony and baptize him, and take the Lord’s Supper.

Yann and Mike served the Lord’s Supper to Ricky for the first time and then to the rest of us. Shortly after the baptism, Ricky’s friend he brought with him decided she also wanted to follow Jesus! She also wants to be baptized in the ocean soon! Ricky was the first person to be baptized in the Valley network and now there are at least 2 others to be baptized in the coming weeks!

Categories
Leadership Development NPL LA

4 Fields Intensive in the Valley

In early 2019 I had the joy of training this family and helping them start a church in their home. Since then, they have led a number of people to Jesus, trained other leaders, and connected deeply with our local group of network leaders. Jesus is moving in the Valley!

At the beginning of this month we facilitated a 4 Fields Intensive training with our team in the San Fernando Valley. These Intensive trainings are anywhere from 2-4 days long. They can be really disruptive. The reason for this disruptive effect has everything to do with the posture of the training. We spend a significant amount of time digging deep into the Bible discovering principles for multiplying disciples, churches, and leaders. We get back to the Word and build everything we do from it.

Yann & Janet are our local leaders in the San Fernando Valley. They embody the heart and mission of Jesus and leverage their professional lives for Him.

As we dig deeper and deeper into the word for our motivations and our methods, we come away challenged to reevaluate the things we do based on the Bible itself. It is beautiful to see our hearts, minds, and practices shift in response to the Bible itself. I have been a part of quite a few Intensives and every time I come away with new insights.

Where some of our Intensives are large events gathering anywhere fork 30-100 people, since Covid we have been doing smaller events of 8-15 people in homes where we can still socially distance as needed.

In this particular training we gathered 12-15 people for 2 full days focusing on the patterns of Jesus & Paul and looking closely at church identity, function, and health in pioneering settings.

Much of our intensive training revolves around small groups of highly participatory discussion.

Some of the trainings we do are focused on helping believers begin to make disciples with simple tools. As intensive is much more focused on biblical principles for multiplication. It is common in this setting to see new leaders emerge and existing leader grow in vision and calling.

Categories
Media NPL LA

Movements Podcast – No Place Left LA

I’m thankful for the opportunity to be on Movements Podcast with Steve Addison to share about how God is moving here in Los Angeles and what we are learning along the way.

via Movements.net

Categories
Baptism Discipleship NPL LA

Our First Baptism!

Two Sundays ago our church and two other NPL churches gathered on the beach to celebrate our first baptism! Our new brother has walked through broken family, prison, addiction, and more. Jesus has set him free and is transforming his life!

Categories
Entry

Prayer Template

I shared my NPL Los Angeles Prayer slides and it struck a chord with a number of people. My hope in sharing that post and the slide deck was twofold:

  1. I want to mobilize more prayer in my city and for my city.
  2. I hope to mobilize others to do the same in their own cities.

I took that initial slide deck for Los Angeles and turned it into a template anyone can use. You can view the slides below and click the link to open the document for your own use. Take it and make it your own. The only rule is that you have to gather a group of people and pray through it together.

No Place Left Prayer Template

Categories
Church

Church

COVID-19 has in many ways reshuffled how we view and engage the things we do regularly. Grocery shopping holds a different place in my mind and schedule now. Gas prices fluctuated up as high as nearly $5.00/gal in LA since we have lived here, but during COVID-19, they have dropped to barely over $2.00/gal – yet I hardly drive farther than 5 miles away from my home now. “Meetings” are now Zoom calls. I’ve been kicked off our local beach twice now, because we showed up on the wrong days when it was shut down. The world is doing a lot of reevaluation based on what we are and are not allowed to do. Church is one of those things.

Whether ancient and ornate, simple and spartan, or somewhere in a utilitarian middle-ground, most of the world thinks of church like this building. Even as Christians, we often think of church as what church can be and do. That isn’t equal to a building, but the building often represents that “maximalist” idea. Church can be so much.

Church can be simple too. We have space in our minds to see missionary outpost churches in distant, rural, impoverished communities like this. Minimal, but still qualifying as church – especially when there are no alternatives to choose from. The pioneering nature of the field forces additional clarity on what church must be when it has to start in the harvest, out of lostness.

This is what our church looks like. Well, it used to look like this before COVID-19, and we long for the day we can again gather in person. For us, church is family at its core. These are the people we spend the most time with each week. We are regularly in each others’ homes and lives. We hold each other accountable, and we both weep and rejoice together when someone is weeping or rejoicing. Our church is a church of missionaries, but it is still just a church. And it is simple enough that just about anyone can reproduce it themselves with the people in their lives. That’s actually the point.

Since COVID-19, our family is still our family, but how we gather has changed some. Now we gather virtually, but we still use the same participatory format. In fact, even in the midst of this shutdown, we have seen some new churches start! The pandemic and the shutdown have served as a filter forcing us to clarify even further what we do and how we do it. Jesus is still building His church, and we are still commanded to gather and pursue “the one anothers” of the New Testament. We simply have to approach it differently for now.

One of my most favorite stories I’ve heard in the midst of the pandemic from a church is Bridges Church here in Long Beach / North Orange County. The week before the shutdown started, they represented 1 large gathering of about 300+ people on Sunday mornings, and 4 simple churches of ~10-15 people each throughout the week. The next week in LA County we could only gather in groups of 10 or less, and they were able to shift from their 5 church gatherings to 12 simple churches, all meeting in homes. The following week we couldn’t even meet in groups anymore, and that Sunday they had closer to 19 simple churches meeting all over the city. You can read more about that here.

I long to gather in person with my church family again. I earnestly desire to break bread, sing, pray, and learn from the Word together. But I am also seeing Jesus unleash his Church and his people in some beautiful ways. When we are forced to simplify church, it can magnify the places of health and unhealth in a church. Every disciple of Jesus was meant to be a disciple maker, and many of those disciples would ready and able to start gathering the people in their lives as simple, biblical, healthy churches – they just need to be released to do it, and equipped to be able to.

Categories
Gospel

No Place Left in Health Care

I love to hear stories of believers sharing the gospel with the people in their lives. It is encouraging to hear how the gospel is going out in the health care system through people like Nicole – especially in light of COVID-19. The gospel is always relevant, and with a little intentionality and creativity, you can share just about anywhere.

Categories
Leadership Development NPL Boone

Growing Leaders

L-R: John, Scott, Matthew

Four years ago these guys started their freshman year at AppState – Matthew and John as students, Scott as new staff with our campus ministry where his wife Anna and I both served. We were just starting to pursue movement on our campus. The question that was driving us was, “What is it going to take to get the gospel to 19,000 college students before they graduate?” We didn’t have any idea what the Lord would do, but we were trusting Him to work. These men went to battle toward that end and are continuing to lead even as our family launched to Los Angeles a year and a half ago. Scott began to lead his family on mission like never before. Matthew and John each found their wives in Church in the Harvest and matured from boys into men, while leading peers to follow Jesus and fish for men.

These men are good, godly leaders. In the next year or so, one will be headed to a global city in North America, one will be headed to a global city in the Middle East / Central Asia, and the other will carry on leading the work locally from a bivocational platform. I’m so thankful for these brothers and how the Lord is working through their families. I am eager to see the army of leaders these men leave behind as the Lord sends them out. It has been said that movements rise and fall on leadership development. These men and their amazing wives are the kinds of people to whom God would entrust a movement. May it be so, Lord!