Big News! The Pucketts are Moving to SoCal!

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The Pucketts are Moving to Southern California!

We are continuing our full-time missionary role and moving to Southern California in October 2018. Below is a list of common questions and answers.

What is our vision? To establish teams of local leaders who take ownership of the core missionary task — to make disciples, start churches & mobilize missionary teams to areas of greatest need until every tribe & tongue hears the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How will we accomplish this vision?
-LOVING the local community by praying, sharing the gospel and investing our lives into people
-TRAINING believers to make disciples, start churches and mobilize missionary teams to areas of greatest gospel need
-MENTORING leaders so their teams thrive as they multiply

Note: We use The 4Fields strategy. Click Here to learn more about our training and tools.

Where are we moving to?: Long Beach, CA — a community just south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego. From this central location we can drive to much of greater Los Angeles and San Diego within 2 hours (depending on traffic). We also have access to several major airports. Additionally, there is a solid team at Bridges Church who are committed to the #NoPlaceLeft vision. We see Long Beach as a strategic location for our family & team to be strengthened and encouraged in the work God has called us to.

When are we moving?: October 2018, once we have raised our needed support and taken care of some critical logistical needs. We will settle in slowly and transition our family into life out there. We will dive back into training and coaching once we are are all settled into the community.

Why are we going?
–Calling: God’s clear call from extensive times of fasting and prayer.
–Counsel from mentors, peers and leaders we respect
–Need: 19 million lost people in Southern California. The biggest gaps in #NoPlaceLeft North American cities are out West from Colorado to California.
–Opportunity: The nations are in Southern California. We are praying for God to ignite gospel movements there from which we can mobilize church planting and missionary teams to the gaps across North America and the 3,179 unengaged people groups around the world.

What we’ll be doing: We believe the labor force for reaching Southern California, the Western United States and the nations is already there. Thus, we posture ourselves to learn from and serve the existing teams and churches who are faithfully laboring on God’s mission. We will spend the majority of our time laboring with the Coopers and the Preatos to start new teams and strengthen existing ones (we have 6 now and are praying for 500). We also have a vision to establish a strategic global hub of training residencies across Southern California for church planters and missionary teams. With 21 million people within a 2-hour driving radius, this means Puck will not be spending as much time traveling on an airplane away from home. Puck really believes God’s calling on his life is to serve and support the emerging generation of leaders whom God is raising up to complete the Great Commission task.

Who are we serving with?
–Core Teammates: Troy & Rachel Cooper (and family) and Rick & Jenny Preato
–Team Leader: Troy Cooper (North American Region Director, e3 Partners)
–Global Leader: Jeff Sundell (Chief Strategy Officer, e3 Partners)
–Missionary Organization: e3 Partners
–Sending Churches: #NoPlaceLeft Boone Team, Perkinsville Baptist Church
–Local Partnering Church: Bridges Church / Pastor Jeff.Timblin@e3partners.org
–The #NoPlaceLeft network of leaders, churches and organizations in California & Western part of North America.

Note: We are postured to serve multiple churches and networks across Southern California but will be based out of Bridges Church in Long Beach, CA

What about Boone? After 5 years of leading BCM we believe our task is complete as 3 teams of local leaders and a Church Planting Residency have been established in our area who have the character, calling and competency to accomplish the vision. They are a solid team of local servant leaders who are taking personal ownership of the core missionary task to make disciples, start churches, mobilize teams and train others to do the same. After much prayer and fasting, we believe it is the right time for our family to be sent out by the Boone team and Perkinsville Baptist Church. We will continue in a coaching role with the Boone team leadership.

How do Kelly & the kids feel about this? They are so so excited! While it will be very difficult for us to leave our family, teammates, friends, students, and our local church, God has made us for this work. We are a family of missionaries who pray, labor and serve together. We are also excited that the Lord has provided new friendships and support with the emerging teams. We love to practice the “one anothers” together.

Any changes in financial support for the Pucketts?
–Financial Need: We need an additional $6,000 in monthly support to cover the current monthly support gap, increased cost of living (+56%) and increased administrative costs (+11%).
–How to give: Because Puck will be moving to a new role in a new organization, you will need to shift your giving from BCM of the High Country to e3 Partners. If you would like to join our support team or increase your current amount, you can find simple giving instructions at PuckettsOnAMission.com/give.

Does this change your role and organization?
–Role & Responsibilities: Puck will continue in his role of starting and strengthening catalytic disciple-making and church planting teams. He will shift his pioneering efforts to the Western part of North America (from the Rockies to the Pacific). He will continue to serve and coach teams across North America, Middle East, and Asia. We will work hard to mobilize missionary teams from North America to the 3,179 remaining unengaged people groups of the world.
–Organization: Puck will begin serving with e3 Partners with the role of the Director of Coaching for North America. We are active participants in the #NoPlaceLeft and 24:14 Coalitions of movements.

Are we selling our home? Yes. Due to housing costs in CA, we’ll be renting but believe it’s the right time in Boone to sell so if you know anyone interested in a newly updated 3BR, 2BA home with great schools and only miles from downtown Boone, Appalachian State University, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, let us know. Our plan is to list it in August.

Prayer Needs:
–That we will grow in love for Jesus and and our desire to serve and obey Him at all costs each day. We want to know Him more. We want to love Him more. We want to serve Him more. We want more of Him and less of us.
–Lostness: 19 million lost in Southern California; 3,179 remaining Unengaged People Groups
–The amazing Boone team as they take local ownership of the core missionary task. We believe God will use them to accomplish greater things than we could dream of.
–Transition for Kelly and Emily to new friends, church, etc
–Teammates Rick & Jenny Preato: strong start to their marriage (12.9.17), support raising, solid finish to the work in Gainesville, FL
–Financial Provision: $6,000 additional monthly support, PuckettsOnAMission.com/give
–Selling our home and finding a home in CA to rent
–That God would prepare laborers in Southern California and Western USA for us to serve & learn from.

NPL

e3partners

Kingdom Partnership

Pictured above are 3 of our Appalachian State students surrounded by the #NoPlaceLeft team based in South Florida. One of our students has family in that area and the 3 of them were visiting them over Spring Break. During their in South Florida, they visited the SFL NPL team church. This team has blessed me in many ways, and this took it to another level. They welcomed our students in to their church, gave them responsibilities during the meeting, and laid hands on them and prayed over them.

One of the challenges and opportunities in doing #NoPlaceLeft movements work on a college campus is that we have a limited time with every student who comes our way. We have to have a vision for them that exists before they arrive and doesn’t end when we launch them off from graduation. One critical component in this vision is how we launch them when they leave. There are many #NoPlaceLeft teams across the U.S. and we want to mobilize kingdom laborers to embed in local strategies in cities all across the country.

We represent separate #NoPlaceLeft teams, but we are running after the same vision in different places. We are family and I’m so grateful for this family.

The 1-5-25 Principle

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“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 ESV

The image above is what we call the 1-5-25 principle. I picked this up from Jeff Sundell. Basically stated, each person should aim to have 5 Timothys (or Lydias) and he or she should coach each of them to find their own 5.

Paul might not have used the same terminology, but I think it fits what he was trying to reinforce to Timothy.

We will never multiply without a vision for multiplication. A vision for multiplication will drive us to build systems that empower multiplication. There is expectation for multiplication all over Paul’s command to Timothy. His command is that Timothy should pass on what he’s heard from Paul. His expectation then is that the people Timothy will pass it on to will be faithful men who have the ability to reproduce it themselves.

I can’t help but think that Paul’s vision for Timothy was bigger than Timothy’s vision for himself. And in this way, Timothy’s capacity grew as he struggled with Paul’s vision for him.

Here’s an overview of what we aim to do with our Timothys each week:

The Cost of Movement

Survival is one thing, but reaching a city is quite another. When it comes to missional effectiveness, our model is just too expensive. The math is there for any who would have the courage to push the buttons on the calculator.

I repeat often: We must lower the bar of how we do church and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple if we want to reach this world with the good news. We need to be about the reproduction of healthy disciples, leaders, churches and movements––in that order. I am not suggesting we shut down churches or sell off all our property. I am suggesting we invest more energy and attention to simpler and more profound opportunities all around us. We cannot focus on complex and expensive systems and try and reproduce them if we do not first reproduce the simple and more basic entities first. If reproducing disciples is too much to ask, then certainly reproducing churches full of them is impossible, right? Don’t start churches to make disciples. Make disciples…and churches will start far more easily. It doesn’t cost a dime to make a disciple; it only costs your life.

I was infected with this idea 6 or 7 years ago when I first read Neil Cole’s book, Organic Church. I’ve done the math as he suggests and it is shocking. It is also hard to square it with the New Testament. Let’s do the hard thing and wrestle with this reality. It’s too important to let it slip by and just keep working on reinforcing the familiar.

Via: Neil Cole on 100 Movements

What is a CPM?

A Church Planting Movement (CPM), according to David Garrison is:

a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment.

From: Garrison, Church Planting Movements, 21

Tracking Harvest Engagements

The more time we spend out in the harvest, the more important it is that we work hard to track the hard work we’ve done. We never want to let any of the fruit the Lord provides slip through the cracks, so we need a system.

This is a simple tool for tracking weekly harvest engagement that I got from Josh Reed (NPL RDU). It’s the size of a business card.

The blanks refer to the following:

  • Homes/people engaged
  • Received prayer
  • Gospel shares
  • Red lights
  • Yellow lights
  • Green lights
  • Christians
  • Discovery Bible Studies

The back is for recording follow ups and location information.

I love how simple this is.

The Caged APE

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GIFTS & BOXES

I used to think I was a teacher.

As I wrestled with a calling to ministry, I naturally looked for positions where I could Teach and Pastor. Over the years I’ve taken lots of spiritual gifts inventories (and here and here and more info here). My “number one” gift was always Teacher followed by Pastor. I loved the energy and possibility of planted churches and thought maybe I should Pastor a church or plant one.

The existing tradition of established churches sometimes felt like a box to me. Questions nagged at me, “Why are we in this box? Why can’t we break out of this box? Why does no one else see that we are in a box?” I would fluctuate between frustration and pride – frustration that we were content to be held down – prideful that I saw things more clearly than everyone else.

Both of these attitudes were coming from something much deeper that I hadn’t yet been able to identify. Years passed by and I still didn’t know why I felt the way I did. Over the last year or two I discovered a passage of scripture that I knew about, but had never really understood.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is a the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
(Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)

SURGEONS

Since Teacher and Pastor always showed up on my spiritual gifts inventories, I had no reason to entertain anything else. The neurosurgeon keeps focus on the brain while the cardiothoracic surgeon keeps focus on the heart. There may be some benefit in cross-pollinating, but if I need a surgeon, I would rather that they each keep their noses down focused on their specialty. That’s how I thought about my gifting. Why give attention to gifting that I didn’t have? They are important to the Body, but not to me.

What I couldn’t see was that I was a part of a system that leans heavily toward Shepherds and Teachers. Our churches, church planting networks, missions agencies, and seminaries are training people to lead in and from the legacy church setting. Even the most front-line engagement work being done in legacy church settings didn’t speak my language. It turns out, I’m not a Teacher or Pastor. I’m actually an APE.

ape 2

WOLVES, DOGS, AND APES

A baby wolf is basically a puppy. For a while, you could even keep a wolf cub in your home like a pet. Sooner or later, this scene will turn from kid’s movie to horror movie and the only one not at fault is the wolf. It is in its nature to do what it does. When it is small, it could be confused for a dog, possibly. But as it grows, the similarities will shrink and its true identity will become more apparent.

In every church there are likely some people who might be categorized as a different species. In fact, we might call them APEs. They see the world and the church a little differently than others. For many pastors and church leaders, these APEs may be frustrated and frustrating. They can often be identified by their discontent about the right things.

There are plenty of people in the church who are discontented troublemakers, but what I’m talking about is frustration that we are not reaching more people, that we are not getting outside of the walls of our churches, that we have lost the missionary heart of our faith. These people often long for something bigger. In the worst-case scenario, these people are treated like nails that have worked themselves out of place on a staircase. Standing out is harmful and they need to be pounded back into place.

APEs are simply one segment of gifts God has given to the church. They are Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists. We can cage them or we can release them.

ape 3

In the church at large, we haven’t always done a great job recognizing important differences in the giftings of our people.

When people are misunderstood, they are also usually mistreated. This situation is good soil for dissension and division to emerge. But as we remember the passage above, all five gifts are just that – gifts from God to his Church. Their purpose is equipping the church for the work of ministry, building the Body, attaining unity, and maturing and growing up into Christ. The intended result is hefty and we ought to see in that the importance of understanding and making room for these gifts in the church.

The cornerstone of the church is Jesus Christ. The foundation of the church are the Apostles and Prophets. The Evangelists are the hinge between the Apostles/Prophets and the Shepherd/Teachers. The Shepherd/Teachers are what we know best – and we all know about Evangelists and feel guilty that we aren’t all Evangelists or better Evangelists than we already are. If that rings true for you at all, then you, like me, have lived with an incomplete and unhealthy view of the gifts God has given to his church.

What could happen if we committed to broadening our view of God’s gifts to the church, looking for those gifts, and then doing everything we could to empower them? This is the difference between caging APEs who are already in our churches and releasing them for the good of the church and the expansion of the kingdom.