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Entry NPL LA

Praying for Los Angeles

When God called our family to leave our small town in the North Carolina mountains and move to Los Angeles, we knew we were embarking on a major journey. We had aspirations and assumptions, but we knew there was a lot we couldn’t know yet. That’s the way it always is. We have tried hard to posture ourselves as learners. We are joining the work God is already doing – we are not the answer, we are just a part of His answer here.

Engaging a diverse mega city is complex and difficult. One of the greatest challenges can be knowing where to start when there are peoples, languages, cultures, and unique districts everywhere you turn. Our city, metro Los Angeles, never ends. It sprawls and sprawls and sprawls. If you don’t pay attention to the small changes on street signs, you might not even know you’ve crossed from one town or city or county to another.

The sprawl looks the same at 10,000 or 30,000 feet from an airplane, but this sprawl is full of incredibly diverse life. There is tremendous beauty here, but there is tremendous brokenness here as well. Reaching this city will require an army of laborers sharing the gospel, making disciples, and multiplying churches in a vast number of languages, cultures, and religions. We start with what is in front of us, but because we want to reach our city, we are begging the Lord to send out laborers into his harvest – among every peoples and in every place (see Luke 10:2).

The slide deck below is an attempt to help focus my own prayer life, as well our prayers as a team. It is also for anyone who wants to labor with us through prayer. Just like our work in the city, this slide deck is a work in progress. I’ll be curating it as we collect more and better data. If you would like to pray over some or all of these prompts, you can either pause the slides below, or click the link to access the slides for your own use. If there’s a particular people group or other prompt that you want to adopt for prayer – I’d love to know that!

Please pray for our city and pray for the Lord to send out laborers to every part of the mosaic that we call Los Angeles!

Pray for Los Angeles

Categories
NPL LA

Problem Solving During a Crisis

In the midst of the COVID-19 shutdowns, our team has been trying to make the most of the days. For us, one of our highest priorities is the leaders we are working with. One thing that has been especially helpful for us is walking through what I’ve been calling a Next Generation exercise.

The essence of the exercise is visualizing the work that they are currently stewarding while addressing which people or groups/churches are closest to getting to the next generation, any barriers they may be facing, and some action items to take some next steps. We sprinkle in some encouragement, clarifying questions, and practical suggestions as well.

The facilitator is usually using an iPad and Apple Pencil and the whiteboard mode in Zoom to draw a simple representation throughout the conversation. Sometimes it is done on paper with a screen-share.

We aim to have at least 3 voices present in addition to the person presenting their work. Below is the basic outline for this exercise.

  1. What is God doing now?  (Tell the story as you/someone else draw)
  2. Who are your 1-3-9?  (or what are you looking for as minimums in potential leaders)
  3. What are you believing God for?
  4. What are your current barriers?
  5. What are some actions you can take to move things forward?

Others:
• Who are the ones close to multiplying?
• Ask about each of the 4 fields

Categories
Training

Training in Maine

In my role with e3 Partners as North America Region Director, a key part I play in our work is “holding up the gaps.” That means I always have an eye to the places where we are not. There are 2 areas in particular: the largest metropolitan areas and the least reached peoples and places. Near the very top of the least reached places list is Portland, ME. Barna details this list here.

We were scheduled to train a church in person in Portland 3 times in 2020, starting this month (May). Once again, COVID-19 prevented this from happening. At first I was frustrated that these in-person events couldn’t happen. There’s something powerful about being together in-person, but we no longer had that luxury. Thankfully, we were able to shift to online-based training and carry on.

Our team of 3 trainers shared stories from the harvest, the brutal facts of lostness in Maine (pictured above), biblical vision for No Place Left, and a simple tool to equip believers to start sharing the gospel and making disciples. We trained over 20 people from 4 different churches around Portland.

The most encouraging aspect of this whole thing is that even in light of lockdown orders and a late spring snow in Maine, God allowed our team of trainers from California, Alabama, and Kentucky to serve these believers in one of the highest spots on list of the Least-Reached-Places in the US. The kingdom cannot be contained.

Categories
Family Life

Our Private Beach

Before COVID-19, we used to go to the beach every week. Now, all the beaches are closed or highly restricted. Emily thought it was high time to get our own private beach.

The blue couch cushions are the ocean. The blanket is the sand. There are seashells and beach chairs too. Creativity goes a long way in this season.

Categories
Church NPL LA

Simple Churches in Long Beach

“Imagine that the pandemic swept through your part of the world, and that all public assemblies of more than three people were banned by the government for reasons of public health and safety. And let’s say that due to some catastrophic combination of local circumstances, this ban had to remain in place for 18 months. How would your congregation of 120 members continue to function – with no regular church gatherings of any kind, and no home groups (except for groups of 3)? If you were the pastor, what would you do?”

Collin Marshall & Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine, 165 (2009)

I read this book 10 years ago and really enjoyed it. Truth be told, I don’t remember reading this quote. It isn’t even underlined in my copy of the book. At the time, there were signs of a potential swine-flu pandemic coming. I remember that, but it never affected my life personally. Re-reading this section now feels like Marshall and Payne were looking into the future. Of course, the reality is that these things will continue to happen this side of eternity. What seemed like an interesting but far-flung thought process now resonates prophetically. Whether we are prepared to endure the storm or not, the storms will come. We are in the midst of one now. I have heard many stories of churches courageously enduring, I haven’t heard many stories of innovative advance.

I have been tremendously encouraged by the way God is working through our dear friend JT (Jeff Timblin) and Bridges Church. In this season of COVID-19, this church of 300+ has shifted completely to releasing all their members to do church in a simple format. This overnight shift couldn’t take place overnight, so watch the video below or listen to the podcast to hear the story and be encouraged with us! Jesus is moving powerfully here in Long Beach!

If you would like training for your church, let us know!

Categories
My Life

Family Adventures!

This season of life and work in Los Angeles has been busy, life-giving, fulfilling, stretching, encouraging, and tons of fun. Here are some snapshots of a few family adventures we have been able to enjoy recently. We are grateful for your prayers and support!

Downtown LA from Griffith Observatory
There are many flavors of untruth in our city.
Family Beach Adventure to Crescent Bay
We explored some amazing tide pools!

This little guy has gotten to be so much fun!

Breathtaking view with my favorite people!
Prayer walking in our neighborhood
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Uncategorized

LISTEN: Puck’s Interview – On The Road Podcast

I was really thankful to get to share about the heart of our leadership development process we call MAWL (Model – Assist – Watch – Launch) on the “On The Road” Podcast with my friend Peter Lindell. He has done an amazing job of getting into the Big Vision, Clear Path, Simple Tools framework of No Place Left and has a wide variety of interviews so far.

Click here to listen.

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Uncategorized

Today is Giving Day!

Greetings from the Pucketts in sunny SoCal! We need your prayers and consideration as we work to raise tax-deductible gifts in preparation for 2020 ministry.

Today is a special day – e3 Giving Day is a day when every dollar you give is worth more than $1! Our organization is enhancing every dollar given to staff support accounts from a $100,000 pool for today only! Would you consider giving a special gift, or going above and beyond if you already give, to help us fund the work God has called us to?

Current needs:
-$3,000 monthly giving
-$15,000 year-end gifts

www.PuckettsOnAMission.com/Give

Our family is so thankful to get to serve Jesus together, multiplying healthy disciples and churches in Long Beach, Los Angeles, and to the ends of the earth until there’s No Place Left!

Love, the Pucketts!

Categories
Uncategorized

We Need Your Help!

Greetings from the Pucketts in sunny SoCal! We need your prayers and consideration as we work to raise tax-deductible gifts in preparation for 2020 ministry.

Current needs:
-$3,000 monthly giving
-$15,000 year-end gifts

Our family is so thankful to get to serve Jesus together, multiplying healthy disciples and churches in Long Beach, Los Angeles, and to the ends of the earth until there’s No Place Left!

Love, the Pucketts!

Click here to give a tax-deductible gift.

Categories
Harvest Story Uncategorized

NPL on Campus in SoCal

A Dozen Welcome Weeks

Yesterday was the first day of class for the 2019-2020 school year for many of the college campuses in California. It is a season I’m intimately acquainted with after 11 years of collegiate ministry! I really didn’t think I would be doing anything with the college campus once we moved out to SoCal, but the Lord wouldn’t leave me along about it. He released me from the work in Boone, but he didn’t take the burden and vision for collegiate away from me.

LB City College / Cal State Long Beach

Yesterday my teammate Alex and I spent some time at both of our local campuses sharing the gospel. We started at Long Beach City College and then went over Cal State Long Beach. Alex and I shared with a dozen students and we found two who may be interested in some training.

Cal State Northridge

At the same time Alex and I were on campus in Long Beach, the team I have been training in “The Valley” in North LA was on one of their campuses – Cal State Northridge! They got 10 interested contacts in their time tabling!

The local leader for this team is bi-vocational on this campus and when we first met, he told me that in a given week, you were more likely to be engaged spiritually by a Muslim than by an evangelical Christian.

They are turning the tide.

Fishing for laborers now helps with fishing for the lost over the long haul.

There have been a few major differences in our work with college campuses since we moved to SoCal. Now, we are seeing the college campuses as what we call “strategic villages” within the city. If we reach these, we will more effectively reach the city and beyond. Second, we are catalyzing new works on other campuses in our region.

We currently have NPL teams at LBCC, CSULB, CSUN, Biola, Cal Baptist, Pasadena City College, SDSU, Fresno State, with many others emerging! Would you pray for these teams that they would see fruit that lasts, and pray for new NPL teams to emerge on campuses across California?

If you want to pursue #NoPlaceLeft on your campus, or start from scratch on a campus near you, I’d love to help you get going!