This is a spiral bound paradigm shifter… A review of The Gospel Fluency Handbook

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This is a spiral bound paradigm shifter... A Review of The Gospel Fluency Handbook

Somehow, I have far too often treated knowing and living the Gospel how I approached going through high school. I had a great time, but it wasn’t something I took all that seriously. High school was fun. High school had some great moments. High school didn’t change my life.

I’ve tried the Gospel as an elective, which required little and got little. Remember those days when you tried to find the easiest class requiring the least amount of thought and effort? There have been times when it felt like just another thing in my life. It turns out that is a revealer of unbelief in my heart.

I have treated the Gospel as an exercise, where I would go to my “gospel gym”, sweat for a bit, then back to eating what I wanted. If I could just pack on a bit more spiritual muscle then it would all make sense or I would be a better person. Unbelief.

I’ve attempted to approach the Gospel as some core-curriculum to be studied then put on the shelf, diagramed and dissected. I have piled up a significant number of facts and verb tenses, but too often missed the relevance and beauty of this good news. More unbelief.

I have tried to turn the Gospel into a pep rally, bringing massive amounts of energy and enthusiasm, but not much more. No one needs a pep rally gospel of cheerleaders and silly games. There have been times when I’ve even approached the Gospel like a sport, training and sweating to perfect my technique. Unbelief building upon more unbelief.

And I have been in full time ministry since college... Sad. I know. Yet, my experience and my gut tell me there are plenty more, with stories just like mine, out there who don’t even realize they can so easily just go through the motions.

The gospel, of course, changes everything. The Good News of Jesus Christ and what He has done, is doing, and promises to do is not an elective or a sport, but rather the life-rescuing good news of the King who has come and will come again.

Approaching the Gospel as a language to become fluent in, to speak with ease, applying to all of life, to recognize my areas of unbelief and to address them with grace and truth, well that was like seeing with kaleidoscopic vision.

My first reaction as I started this handbook was, “This might change a few things.” and it has. This handbook is such an easy read which packs an unbelievable punch. Whether you are familiar with the book or you are coming to the Handbook fresh, this guide offers so much for the soul. The Gospel Fluency Handbook is more than a collection of facts, more than a few exercises, and certainly more than a pat on the back. The Gospel Fluency Handbook is a spiral bound paradigm shifter.

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This Handbook is thoughtful and brief, challenging and accessible, while also being thoroughly enjoyable. One word of caution though: This is coaching. And just like my high school coaches who push their team further than they think they are capable, The Gospel Fluency Handbook is likely to push you in areas you would rather avoid. It is for your good and ultimately for the glory of God, but not always fun in the moment.

Get this handbook. Work through it with some people who will love you enough to tell you the hard things. Take a week or two and then do it again. Get some water. Wipe the sweat away and then apply what you have learned to the everyday places of your life.

Note: I received a pre-release copy from the publisher for the purpose of review. This did nothing to shape my feelings on the Handbook. (That was the Holy Spirit convicting me.)

What is HEALTH?

Let me give you a glimpse of the typical church planting playbook.

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  • Step 1: Get a storefront.
  • Step 2: Get an awesome band.
  • Step 3: Skinny jeans.
  • Step 4: Set a launch date and tell everyone you have ever met.
  • Step 5: Put on the biggest and best production you can.
  • Step 6: Repeat for the next week hoping there will still be people when your friends and family go back to wherever they came from.

This plan does not strike me as leading to health. It may produce a service. It may even draw a crowd. My concern is that it does not necessarily lead to health.

More than anything I want to be a part of a church more concerned with intimacy with the Lord than hitting a certain number, more concerned with bringing hope to the hopeless than filling a room. My interest is in developing a culture of community and not just pulling off a program.

The reality is we are already feeling the push in each of us to what are "religious cultural habits we have seen and had modeled for us. If you have felt/wondered/asked the "When will we get **?" question (as I often do) then you have felt the pull, the tractor beam, the black-hole tug to "religious cultural habits". If you have been in the Bible Belt for any amount of time you have felt it and been influenced by it. It being the unintentional confusion of a crowd gathered as opposed to a real depth of community. My guess is that most of us have never really had the latter.

Culture, whether of a company, a church, or a family, is the by-product of consistent behavior. What you do always wins against what you intend to do. It has been said that "culture eats strategy or breakfast" and I am here to tell you that is true. It is for this reason I feel so strongly we have to fight for health, for a culture of real community bringing light to darkness, and living/walking/sharing in the everyday stuff of life.

A gospel-centered community is a community of people who are incrngly orienting their lives around God’s mission. They are moving toward others as God has moved toward them. They are looking for opportunities to bless and serve others so that more and more people might become worshipers of Jesus. They are talking about both the heart foundation of mission (their joy, love, delight in Jesus) and the practical implications of mission (how they will live on mission together). They are becoming disciples who make more disciples.

Church is the great leveller. We all come broken, hungry, empty. Yet we are all children, priests, kings, joyful & triumphant. The Church does not exist for the sake of its members; it exists to continue the mission of Jesus.

So, may we be people staying laser-focused on making disciples who make disciples . May we be people (and not just the Puckett's) fighting the temptation to plant a service, but planting a church.

There is this amazing moment in the Lord of the Rings where the wizard Gandalf drops a wisdom bomb on his dear friend Bilbo. (If you are unfamiliar with the story stop reading this email right now and pick up the books. (img) I want to plead with you to believe that what the Lord has brought you through is not intended for your glory, your shame, your pain, or even your flourishing, nearly as much as it is for the building up of the body and the health of the church.

So, in my definition, a healthy church is one grounded in the Gospel, growing in our worship of God, and going to the world around us.

With all of this in your mental crock-pot, let me give you a few questions. This s of a test, but rather a barometer. If this were a test we would currently be failing. The real fruit of this is to help diagnose what we are becoming as a culture, as a community.

A Few Heart Questions

  • Does each person in our group have genuine friendships with non-Christians? (The mark of this is not whether you would call particular non-Christians your friends, but whether they would call you their friend.)_
  • Does our group create space to engage those relationships together? *Are we a group of isolated Christians living individual lives or are we living on mission together? Do we know each other’s non-Christian friends?”_
  • “Are we praying together for specific non-Christians in our lives and neighborhoods?_
  • Do we pray big, kingdom-oriented prayers—for conversion of unbelievers, for conviction of sin, for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done in our city, for the nations? Or do our prayers tend to be focused on our own needs and problems?_
  • Would our prayers give the impression, to an outsider, that we actually believe in a sovereign, gracious, glorious, beautiful, holy God?”_
  • Is our language accessible to outsiders? Or do our conversations tend to be sprinkled with Christian lingo, inside jokes, or church references that only make sense to our “tribe”?_
  • Do we speak positively of our city and of those who don’t know Christ? Do we have appropriate gospel humility—not taking ourselves too seriously, admitting our weaknesses, not being defensive or rude toward our critics? Are unbelievers glad to know us, even if they don’t believe the gospel?_
  • Do we talk about the need for gospel work around the world, giving a voice in our community to those who may otherwise go unnoticed?”_
  • “Do we gather in a place that non-Christians find hospitable and welcoming? Is there anything about our place of meeting, our time of meeting, or the dynamics of our gathering that would make it difficult for an outsider to enter in? Are we actively engaging the neighborhood in which we gather? Or do we drop in, study the Bible, and head out again? Do non-Christians see us working for the good of the neighborhood or only furthering the needs of our own group? How are we involved in the mission of God to other places and cultres—either sending or going?”_

Excerpt From: Robert H. Thune and Will Walker. “The Gospel-Centered Community.” New Growth Press, 2016-03-26T17:55:03Z. iBooks.

The gospel is not about choosing to follow advice, it’s about being called to follow a King. The church is to be a place of God's love in a dying culture. So, having a get together, having good people gather, even having community but just for community sake is missing the point. As Tim Keller puts it, "Community without mission is cancer."

A few hours together every other week won’t be sufficient to give our worldview depth and durability if we soak in popular culture the rest of the week. We have to long for the day when we can fling the doors open for our family, friends, and neighbors who don't yet know the Lord. We also have to be longing for those rich times of walking in depth of relationship together. It cannot be one or the other. Like sailing a boat and finding the wind, we have to keep both working together.

What is FAITHFULNESS?

Stakes in the Ground

When you hear/read the word “faithful” what comes to mind? How would you know it when you see it? If we expanded it to “faithfulness” then what? Would you be able to quantify this concept to anything remotely close to clarity? 

You could tell me what a cloud is even if the scientific specifics are not your specialty. You could give me a working definition of a spider well enough that if I were to see some 8 legged something crawling around I could know, based entirely on your description, to freak out. 

My go to wordsmith-ing stuff gives words like “constancy”, “dedication’, “loyalty”, and “trueness” to help make sense of our word “faithfulness”

Churches are no better… You could do a survey of church websites from a wide spectrum of theology orthodoxy only to find them to be indistinguishable. It would be difficult for you to know the difference between the heretical televangelist and your hero based solely on the way their websites use these terms.

 It is for this very reason we are spending so much time defining terms. As the pictures below indicate, we have put a stake in the ground by defining "Church", "Community", and "Disciple". (Articles to follow in the days ahead.) 

All churches everywhere toss around the idea of “faithfulness”. It seems right to use the word, but so rarely do we get it to the point where if it was crawling on the floor we could spot it. 

The dominant NT term for faith is the Greek word pistis, usually translated “faith.” It conveys the idea of trust, a firm internal conviction regarding the truthfulness of someone or some claim. The verb form, pisteuo, is usually translated, “I believe” or “I trust.” Pistis and pisteuo in the NT correspond to the OT terms aman and yareʾ. Pistis also appears in the NT with the definite article to describe particular Christian beliefs, termed “the faith.”" But even this definition doesn't get us to specificity. 1

How are we to to determine if I (as an individual) and/or we (as a church) are faithful? 

Full disclosure: This picture/barometer is not all encompassing, it does not say everything that could or should be said about faithfulness. This metaphor is simply a quick diagnostic for us, some handles for us to be able to grab hold of the murky concept of faithfulness. 

Faithfulness as a River.

Faithfulness has a source, it is going somewhere, there is movement, and it has banks. Without a rivers banks we would have a mess of water, a swamp or some stagnation of water. Without both banks the river loses its strength, loses the momentum, ending up going anywhere and everywhere. 

So, if faithfulness is like a river and its source is our sovereign God, through the finished work of Christ, by the empowering presence of The Holy Spirit what are the banks? The answer is The Great Commandment and The Great Commission. Both… working together… by the empowering presence of our great God… to move with power. 

“And [you shall] [love the Lord your God] [with all] your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Mark 12:30-31

And 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

For a church to be faithful (and churches are only faithful as the people are growing in grace and faithfulness) they must be ensuring both banks are present and accounted for. If not, something is terribly wrong. 

We need to face a sobering reality: far too often, we (the church) have reduced faithfulness to attendance and energy. We (the church leaders) and we (the church attenders) have too often settled for being entertained and comfortable and somehow thought this was being faithful. Keeping people entertained in our church buildings is not at all synonymous with forming them as dynamic members of the body of Christ. 

James K.A. Smith, Professor of.... puts it this way,

"What passes as youth ministry is often not serious modes of Christian formation but instead pragmatic, last-ditch efforts to keep young people as card-carrying members of our evangelical club. We have confused keeping young people in the building with keeping them “in Christ.”

 But the problem is not just in Student Ministries. The students learned this somewhere.... Smith goes on to say, 

”In many cases we have already ceded their formation to secular liturgies precisely by importing those liturgies into the church under the banner of perceived relevance. So while young people might be present in our youth ministry events, in fact what they are participating in is something that is surreptitiously indexed to rival visions of the good life. The very form of the entertainment practices that are central to these events reinforces a deep narcissism and egoism that are the antithesis of learning to deny yourself and pick up the cross (Mark 8:34–36). While we might have many young people who are eager participants in all the entertaining events we stage for them, such participation is not actually forming their hearts.”2

A church focused on faithfulness will be doing the internal, messy, often painful work of soul formation as the BELOVED / COMPANIONS (Great Commandment) and the external, difficult, frustrating, uncomfortable work of the BOND-SERVANT / AMBASSADOR. 3

Faithfulness will Require MAKING ROOM.

The reality of faithfulness is that we have to make room… This is going to be a paradigm shift for many of you, and (full disclosure) it's going to be uncomfortable, and messy at times, and also necessary, and beautiful. 

There I said it. Take a deep breath and that hard swallow and wrap this up. 

Picture your ideal meeting place for a church to gather and worship. Got it? It may be a cathedral with breath-taking stained glass, someone’s living room, or the most modern facility with all the bells and whistles needed for projections, intelligent lighting, fog, and comfort. 

It really doesn't matter what you are picturing. Just get some clear picture of what you think is ideal, realizing every other person reading this will have a different picture of ideal. 

Now, picture with me, this ideal worship environment is that raging river of faithfulness banked by the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. 

Beautiful right? 

People gathered, worshipping the Living God. People who have been far from God, brought near, rescued by God, The Tremendous Lover who has taken to the chase, who through His church walking in faithfulness has thrown open the storehouse and gone to the community to shout of the kings’ great feast. 

Do you have the picture?

Can you feel it?

Is this what we want? 

It cannot happen if we are not willing to multiply…

Because even if you have the biggest, baddest church in all the land it is not enough. And, maybe even more important, the biggest and baddest on one corner still leaves hundreds and hundreds of other corners. 

Faithfulness Will Require MULTIPLICATION

For years I travelled to a nearly 100% Muslim country for the purposes of seeing the Name of Christ glorified. We worked to develop a plan to reach the people with the Good News. I still think about this each and every day and long to see the Lord move in this land. 

There was/is a local Pastor who was/is FAITHFUL and bold. Check. We needed that. We had numerous Missionaries pouring their lives into the area and loving the people FAITHFUL-ly. And, I was part of a stateside church that was moving mountains (resources and people) to serve the cause FAITHFUL-ly as a partner and tool to extend their reach. 

It was uncomfortable, messy at times, hard, and also necessary, and beautiful. And not enough…

We had a great team and fantastic resources, but we didn't multiply and ultimately stalled out. 

That area didn't need one more missionary family living there or one more church coming. And it certainly did not need another massive building. It needed the church living faithfully as people filled (BELOVED) and sent (AMBASSADORS) to be seeds in their fields, on the paths they walk daily. 

And our city does not need one more church building trying to pull a crowd or a service. This city, like all cities, need hundreds of new churches scattered as BELOVED AMBASSADORS sent with the hope of the gospel to every  community. 

Multiplication > addition

Jesus often used allusions to seeds, soil, harvest, famine and drought in His teachings and parables. In Luke 8:1–13, the seed is “the word of God” and the soil is different kinds of people. In the parable, seeds that are planted in good ground, protected from birds, and kept free of weeds will produce well. 

One seed may yield 30, 60, or even 100 seeds. It was important to maximize the yield of grain because the harvest needed to: replenish what was used to plant the previous crop so that there would be enough seed for the next year, and provide enough grain to feed those who were depending on it. If a crop produced enough, the extra could be sold. Multiplication always beats addition. 

J.D. Greear puts it this way, 

”If you looked at every one of your blessings as “kingdom seeds,” how many of them are you planting in the fields of God’s kingdom, and how many are you keeping in storehouses to use as “food”?" 

”How many of the seeds God has blessed you with are you planting into kingdom fields —fields that have great potential but yet may contribute little to the “bottom line” of your organization?" 

”Too often, we church leaders measure the success of our ministries by one criteria and one criteria alone: How large is it? How large is the attendance? How big is the budget? And so we spend all our money on things that will increase our attendance, our budgets, and our capacity. But if John 12: 24 is true, then Jesus measures the success of our ministries not by how large we grow the storehouse, but by how widely we distribute its seeds. Jesus’ measure of the church is not seating capacity, but sending capacity. To church leaders and individuals alike, Jesus presents a very clear choice: preserve your seed and lose it; plant your seed for his sake, and keep it through eternity (John 12: 25). The Future of the Church I believe that every church, every ministry, and every follower of Jesus Christ ought to be devoted to planting —giving away —what they have for God’s kingdom.4

Now How are we going to LIVE / WALK / SHARE in faithfulness? I can almost feel the questions and what that looks like practically. We look at that in the next post. 

  1. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary 
  2. Excerpt From: James K. A. Smith. “You Are What You Love.” Baker Publishing Group. iBooks. Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/kR9b9.l 
  3. If the words in ALL CAPS are confusing to you or you are not sure why the seem to be prominently displayed it is because they are the four identity pieces we want to always be growing in as believers. More on this in future posts. 
  4. from "Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send (Exponential Series)" by J.D. Greear, Larry Osborne 

Elevator Pitch

So... Not all ideas are worth the time it takes to type this. Others are just missed because we fail to take a look at things, life, habits, goals, etc... from other angles.

Imagine we are on an elevator together and you had to / got to listen to me tell you what we are up to. The doors are closing and we are about to have the awkward dance of deciding to talk or stare at the mirror. This is that fantasy scenario you didn't realize you were longing for.

We are putting together the PATH Church to be a place of hope in a crazy world which disappoints, to be a place of reconciliation for those feeling broken, and a place characterized by joy.

The PATH Church is made up of broken people and not one person will ever show up perfectly put together. We are wanting to be a place where no one feels like a project, but rather, a deeply loved child of God, full of potential and possibilities. We are wanting to be people loving those around us, even, if not especially, those who disagree with us.

We just want to be people LIVING , WALKING, and SHARING the love of Jesus in all aspects of life. We want to be doing this with everyone we come across, and as much as we can because everything else leaves us wanting.

Ding... It's hard to tell if that was a light bulb being lit in your head or just us arriving at the floor, or both.

Something about a forest & it's trees...

At the risk of mixing far too many metaphors, it seems good to me and the Holy Spirit to share with you a bit of the forest we find ourselves in.

The trees are tall. Day turns to dusk which turns to darkness with lightning quickness. We are not really on a path right now, but we can see more than a few signs in the distance. Some of these routes have bright and busy signs announcing them. A few look tricky. And then there is one that looks as if it is only a tightrope.

Standing in the forest can be confusing, overwhelming, terrifying, and yet there is a sense of being really alive. Your senses are heightened. Your antennae are up. It's those moments when you hear your heartbeat and wonder if it is bothering those around you. It's raw, unrefined, and awesome in a literal sense. Those feelings. 

Scientific American describes it this way. "One minute, you're going through your daily routine, only half paying attention. And the next you're sucked into a vivid, intense world, where time seems to move slower, colors are brighter, sounds more perceptible, as though the whole universe has suddenly come into focus... Under acute stress, the body's sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for sustained, vigorous action. The adrenal gland dumps cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream. Blood pressure surges and the heart races, delivering oxygen and energy to the muscles. It's the biological equivalent of opening the throttle of an engine."

Thus, "How are you doing?" is an unanswerable question. I continue to come back to two words: Perspective and Tension. 

In the forest looking for the right path can mess with ones bearings. In navigation, "dead reckoning" is the process of calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course. And guess what? I hate the name. Dead reckoning is a terrible name and it's only accurate in that it might leave you dead. Perspective is of enormous importance to find your spot, where you are going, and the best places for your feet. 

Tension is about holding the conflicting items in their proper balance. From fear to joy, chaos to plans, the crowd and the isolation, all need to find their proper tension. Like learning to drive a standard, you have to find the tension and hold it appropriately. And just like learning to drive that clutch, it can be a painful process. 

So... today, in this forest. Life is good. We pray for perspective and healthy tension. We know there will be scary moments, but God is so good and this ride is great even if at times terrifying. 

1000 Hills...

For years I sat in a meeting with a group of people trying to figure out how to make God’s Name known from the neighborhoods to the nations. Whenever we would run up against some obstacle one guy would always remind us of what the Psalmist boldly announced: Our king is not lacking.

Psalm 50:10 saysFor every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills”. Later, the Apostle Paul speaking with certainty to the Philippian church declares, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

We are praying big things. Will you join us?

We are praying 1) for God to SUPPLY property, 2) for God to USE SOMEONE(S) to provide space, and 3) for God to wonderously SHOW His steadfast love in meeting all of these needs.

God led us to this place and purpose.

The Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of people to come alongside in prayer, in service, and in funding.

All of this is for the purpose of making Jesus’ truth and love reign in hearts.

God will supply both the micro and the macro.

Something about forests and trees seems appropriate at this point.

The Jesus COMFORT/CONFRONT Combo

Jesus lovingly comforts /confronts His followers with this truth, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). All of us have to work to remember and believe.

Then, Jesus pushes them further, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).

God know our needs, and He desires to give good gifts to his children. Not because we are deserving, but rather, because He is great.

From the text we see, God does not wish for his laborers to be anxious, worrying that they will not have the means needed to carry out the task. His desire is that his children would see him ready to satisfy their every need. He is willing and able to provide.

However, God desires much more than providing “daily bread” for us. Jesus promises (John 6) to be bread for His followers. In feeding the thousands, Jesus put His power over the material world on display. He showed the crowds in an unforgettable way He was the source of all their physical needs. And even more than satisfying their hungry bellies with food, He would promise to satisfy their hungry hearts with himself.

When God becomes our greatest treasure, all our deepest needs for security and comfort are met. It is easy to believe being fully funded will fully satisfy. Hitting some financial number is a regular distraction. The truth is we are promised something far beyond full financial support.

We are not hungry. We are not in want. We are going to survive. Yet we have not raised nearly enough support and if God is putting something on your heart we would love to meet with in the days ahead.

We are so thankful and grateful for all who are praying and for those who have given BUT…

Our prayer is for God to bless an entire community through this work. We are asking for God to reach far more than a family, but a city, for God to use someone to provide land and space, and for God to wonderously show His steadfast love in supplying all of these needs. We are asking for God to multiply believing communities throughout this area to live as light in their neighborhoods.

May God raise the funds for one of those afforementioned fields where there may, even right now, be actual cows.

Something Tangible

In a busy season of abstract, there is one thing I would like to share with you as both a building block and a beautiful picture. We ARE giving to church planting.

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints  “ — 2 Corinthians 8:1–4

While at the Advance Conference we spent a great deal of time praying for new plants around the world. Four hundred plus people praying new plants in Asia, Europe, Africa, California, Nebraska, North Carolina, and numerous other places. One got our attention and squeezed our hearts, a plant in Provo, Utah reaching a largely Mormon context.

Just over a year ago several families moved to Provo to start a new work. For various reasons, only one family is left. What began as a team of planters is now one young family with small kids plodding along. The husband has been working a full time job at UPS and trying to plant in what remains. To make a long story brief, the host pastor felt led to meet their needs, asking those in attendance if we could raise $18,000 for this couple on the spot.

Well… if you have given to this church we are trying to plant, you are now a part of a church in Provo, Utah as well. We are committed to giving to churches planting other churches and are baking that into everything we are doing. So from the first fruits we have received, we gave to this work.

Pause for a moment of raw honesty: I knew the Lord was leading me to give, but it wasn’t easy. Looking at our own numbers and knowing what lies in front of us, gave me pause, but the conviction of churches planting churches that plant churches made the giving obvious. Paul tells the Corinthians, “But as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you — see that you excel in this act of grace also.” (8:7)

Over the next thirty minutes, we prayed for this couple, the work in Utah and their provisions. The final count amounted to nearly $30,000. Needless to say, the family fell apart in tears of praise and the rest of the room followed accordingly.

God is amazing! In a moment, this family, this work was set miles ahead. They woke up the next morning knowing they could step away from UPS and plant with all their energies. To God be the glory. Again, Paul goes directly to giving as a ministry to the receiver and a blessing to the giver, “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” (9:12)

Their story is very real and tangible. Our commitment to be a church planting other churches to plant other churches is just as tangible and I want you to be a part. I don’t know what that looks like, but I want you to be part of launching not just one church, but too many to count.