This weekend (Saturday, February 17) was our second touch of Gospel Conversations Training in Boone, NC. Leading up to the training, Kelly had a sense that the baby could be coming soon, even though his due date was nearly 3 weeks out. I of course joked that she could have the baby any day – as long as it was Sunday, or preferably Monday. She didn’t think it was as funny as I did.
This little guy must be a Movements catalyst who knew what was happening, because he did exactly what I joked about. Kelly was up late Sunday night into Monday morning with early labor. We checked into the hospital at 9:30am Monday morning, and by 2:50pm Silas had arrived bewildered but healthy! Kelly was a superstar!
We have already had some sweet moments as a family with this little guy. His big sister was SO thrilled to meet him and was ready to jump in and hold him right away.
We expect to be released tomorrow and we’re really looking forward to getting Silas settled in to his new home and establishing rhythms that work well for all 4 of us!
Over the last 3-6 months, I’ve noticed that something new is emerging here in Boone. We have a campus team that has been going full steam ahead. We have a community team that has emerged from our training efforts. We are seeing the beginnings of a Spanish team forming here as well. There is now a church-based No Place Left church planting Residency in full swing as well.
Our campus team (functionally, “BCM” or “Church in the Harvest”) has become one team on a team of teams. Praise God! In hopes of mobilizing more laborers, developing more leaders, and multiplying disciple making and church planting teams, we have created a simple website to help unify these people and this work.
I did my best to capture these stories without getting in the way. Each story is beautiful and encouraging. I’m so thankful for the leaders and practitioners the Lord is raising up here in Boone.
We are truly seeing a #NoPlaceLeft Boone city coalition emerge.
This is our fearless No Place Left Boone training team – they will be facilitating the training all day here in Boone. I’m so grateful for all these brothers and sisters who are laborers on the team. Would you pray with us that God would multiply them?
Partnership is a beautiful thing. In a coalition like No Place Left where there is no leadership structure, no headquarters, and no money, vision, relationship, and partnership is all we have. And it is really powerful.
L to R: Steve, Haley, Baliey, Spencer, Paige, Caleb, Noah
The 5 on the left are a part of the NPL Boone team and the 2 on the right are a part of the NPL Charlotte team based out of FBC Charlotte. Caleb is also one of my grads. He and Spencer have become brothers to me. They are answers to prayers.
One of the best parts of training is the prep leading into it. This time as a training team is what builds trainers. The prep is the training. The training identifies new laborers and teams / team members.
It would be easy to downplay or skip over the prep time, but it is critical to a good training event.
It is amazing and so encouraging to watch new trainers take their first stab at it in prep and watching them soar during the next day’s training like Haley, Steve, and Paige all did!
When you prep well as a team, the training goes well. These guys and gals nailed it!
On Monday night Spencer and Bailey and I traveled down to Pineola, NC (a crossroads in neighboring Avery County) to facilitate a 411 Training for some leaders of churches in the Avery Baptist Association.
We started by casting vision for #NoPlaceLeft in Watauga County and Northwestern NC and then trained these folks in 411.
At the end of the training, I challenged each person to try to train at least 2-3 people from their churches each week. The very next day one of the leaders we trained had already trained two other people!
More often than not this is what it looks like when new No Place Left teams begin to emerge. I’m praying that we will see a #NoPlaceLeft Avery team emerge who will take personal ownership of getting the gospel to the 17,000 residents of their community by making disciples who make disciples and training believers to make disciples who make disciples until there’s No Place Left.
It may not look like it, but this was a productive day for our campus team.
We know it when we see it. The approach of a Luke 10 Entry Team. A gospel conversation. It isn’t the only thing we do or care about, but we do it all the time and care deeply about it. And we celebrate the heck out of it when we see it or hear stories of it!
We want to see and hear of thousands of gospel conversations happening in our communities all around us!
Anna and a new believer approaching a student on campus.
Anna and a new believer approaching another student on campus!
A couple of new believers sharing the gospel with a student in the Union.
Same new believers, sharing with another student.
One of our guys sharing with another student.
A new believer and an existing believer sharing with another student.
This is what Church in the Harvest can look like sometimes. Students provided the implements for Lord’s Supper, including the hat for an offering plate. I love seeing this level of ownership.
“See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” –Acts 8:36
We have baptized new believers in the river (sometimes in February!), in a hotel pool, in a church baptistery, in the university Rec Center pool, and now in a bathtub. That they identify publicly with Jesus is more important than where they are baptized.
Simple is more reproducible. This is my church family. I love living on mission with them!
There are 6,300 homes unengaged with the gospel in the 3 mile radius around Boone’s town center. Over the course of a few weeks somewhere around 15% of the entire membership of Perkinsville Baptist Church has been mobilized into the harvest at least once to offer prayer and share the gospel. There are other churches in the area that seem poised and ready to join the adventure. What if every church in this community took ownership of training every member to make disciples and getting the gospel to every resident in the community personally?
It is beautiful to see local legacy churches training and mobilizing their people to engage lostness in their own backyard. Any church can do this. Every church should do this. Perkinsville Baptist Church is just getting started, and I’m certain that it will only be one of a number of churches who will take ownership of the core missionary task in this community!
A lack of practical equipping can keep people from being mobilized. We can help with that! In fact, there are lots of trainings going on that can help, and one happening on February 17 here in Boone! They are free, fun, and really helpful!