Archives For Dave DeVries

Engaging CultureMany Christians know that it’s important to engage those in the culture around them with the message of the cross, but they often don’t know how to start. It seems a little intimidating to hang out with those who aren’t followers of Jesus. It’s much more comfortable to do things together with Christian friends.

To start engaging those around you who don’t believe in Jesus, you have to overcome your complacency. You need to get over any fears or discomfort. One way to do this is to focus on 1 John 4:4 – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” Recognize that the power of God in you is greater than the power of the enemy.

You have to begin by overcoming your commitment to do nothing!

8 Ways to Engage Those in the Culture Around You

1. Start conversations – just talk to people: your neighbors, the person in line with you at the grocery store, the person pumping gas next to you, or the person ordering coffee or enjoying a latte next to you. Just talk to…

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Prayer“Prayer is not preparation for the battle – prayer is the battle.” Oswald Chambers

Even though many church planters pray personally and believe in the power of prayer, rarely do they invest in developing a prayer base before starting out to plant a church.

Developing a prayer base is critical!

8 Ways to Develop a Prayer Base

1. Personal prayer – You cannot ask people to pray daily if you aren’t committed to daily prayer. It starts with you. “Speed of the leader, speed of the team.” Start praying and ask God to raise up prayer warriors to pray with you.

2. Develop a prayer book – Write out prayer requests for your city and your church plant and compile them in a booklet. Consider a different prayer request for each day of the month. You can then give the prayer book to all of your prayer partners.

3. Offer a prayer workshop – Invite your prayer partners to join you for a workshop on how to pray effectively. Encourage them to bring friends along.

4. Daily prayer points – Send 3 prayer points every day by email or text to your prayer partners.

5. Virtual prayer walk online – Post pictures and prayer requests…

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DisciplemakersIn the simplest sense, a disciplemaker needs to make disciples who make disciples. That’s the nature of a disciplemaker. They are intentionally making disciples. And those whom they disciple are intentionally making disciples. Disciplemakers are committed to multiplying generations of disciplemakers.

Jesus was a disciplemaker. If you want to make disciples, follow Jesus and do what Jesus did. He spent time with His disciples. He trained them. He showed them how to pray, to trust God, to serve, to meet needs, to cast out demons, to teach the Scriptures, and so much more.

The list of what a disciplemaker does could be very long. However, I think it’s important to focus on the main things that a disciplemaker needs to do.

3 Things Every Disciplemaker Must Do

1. You Need to Follow Jesus (and Train Others to Follow Jesus). This almost goes without saying but it’s so important that I am going to state it first. You can’t teach others to follow Jesus if you aren’t following Jesus. This means you learn from Jesus. You spend time with Jesus. You love Jesus. You obey Jesus. Whatever He says to do – you do…

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GraphI was intrigued by a recent post I read by Seth Godin. He writes…

Avoiding the false proxy trap

Sometimes, we can’t measure what we need, so we invent a proxy, something that’s much easier to measure and stands in as an approximation.
TV advertisers, for example, could never tell which viewers would be impacted by an ad, so instead, they measured how many people saw it. Or a model might not be able to measure beauty, but a bathroom scale was a handy stand in.
A business person might choose cash in the bank as a measure of his success at his craft, and a book publisher, unable to easily figure out if the right people are engaging with a book, might rely instead on a rank on a single bestseller list. One last example: the non-profit that uses money raised as a proxy for difference made.
You’ve already guessed the problem. Once you find the simple proxy and decide to make it go up, there are lots of available tactics that have nothing at all to do with improving the very thing you set out to achieve in the first…

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Dream, Inspire, Laugh

What does it take to be a great coach?

Dr. Steve Ogne says,

 “Coaching is the hands-on process 
 of helping people succeed.”

To be a great coach you have to cultivate the habits of great coaches. What do great coaches do? Do that!

hab·it noun
1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street. 

I first experienced great coaching over two decades ago as I was planting Lake Hills Church in Castaic, California. Coaching helped me focus on what was most important in ministry.
It wasn’t long before I started coaching leaders around me. I wanted them to experience the benefit of someone coming alongside them to help them succeed.
I’m grateful that Steve Ogne coached me and helped me to see firsthand the habits of great coaches. He both taught and demonstrated these habits.

7 Habits of Great Coaches

1. Listen

2. Care

3. Celebrate

4. Strategize

5. Train

6. Develop

7. Challenge

If you want to be a great coach – practice these things. But don’t stop there, get a mentor/coach in your life that will help you to develop these 7 habits.

If you are looking for…

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I received an email this morning from my good friend Phil Peterson asking about resources for a church planting initiative.
I’d appreciate your help.  The short-answer is I’m looking for recommended contacts, resources, ideas on church-planting models, criteria for candidates, and whatever else you think would help me coordinate our church-planting initiative. 

Here’s my response to Phil with links to this blog. I hope you find it helpful…

Plant ChurchesI had a phone call yesterday with my friend Paul Madson. Paul and I both planted churches in 1990. I was in Castaic, California planting Lake Hills Community Church. Paul was in Peoria, Arizona planting New Life Community Church. Both of us were blessed to be part of the Missionary Church Western District.

Yesterday as we spoke, Paul said, “One of the hardest tasks in ministry is church planting. It’s not for the faint hearted and not for who aren’t called and gifted.”

I agree with Paul – yet how do responsible leaders in churches, networks and denominations discern who should plant churches. What about those who are very passionate but not skilled? What about someone who says, “I feel God has called me to start a church. Whether you send me or not, I’m going to do it?”

Tonight I was speaking with my friend Wladimir Navarro, pastor of worship at Mountain View Community Church in Fort Collins, Colorado. He shared with me from I Chronicles 25:7 how those who were selected to lead in music ministry at the house of God…

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CoffeeRecently someone who participated in the Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program asked for some insights on coaching in a cross cultural context. I shared some basic concepts that are helpful in any coaching context. Let me know what you think…

7 Basic Coaching Insights

1) Relationship is key! (This is difficult to establish in a 20 minute conversation. It takes time to establish trust.)

2) Visual connection can be helpful. (There are certain things that you cannot pick up as readily with only a voice to voice connection.)

3) Study the background context. (When you establish a coaching relationship, do some research to better understand the client’s background and context — especially if they are from a different culture.)

4) Don’t rush. (It takes time to gain understanding. Take the time to first understand and then to be understood.)

5) Keep your expectations realistic. (One coaching conversation rarely is life changing. Life change often comes in a series of conversations.)

6) Don’t work so hard. (Trust the coaching process. Let the client do the work. Your job is to guide the process.)

7) Become comfortable with not needing to know and understand. (This takes time….

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I met Pastor Jason Lane in Little Rock, Ark. several months ago. He attended The Multiplication Workshop and then headed back to lead his church in Palmetto, Fla. to engage in making disciples who make disciples. To discover how they are doing this, feel free to contact Pastor Jason, or read this story of serving their community:

PALMETTO — Despite the rain Saturday, families left Skyway Community Chapel in Palmetto with full stomachs, new backpacks, and bags of groceries.

The church gave away 500 backpacks full of basic school supplies, more than 600 pounds of meat, fresh produce, bread, non-perishable foods, and hygiene items. Free hotdogs, popcorn, and snow cones also were provided.

“The biggest thing about giving to the community is knowing the need,” said Pastor Jason Lane. “We understand some difference is better than no difference. This is a blessing to our church just to be able to love people.”

“Giving back to the community is giving to Christ.”

The Back to School Bash, which took four months of planning, raising money, and forming partnerships with the St. Petersburg Dream Center and Manatee County Food Bank, is something the…

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Six Ways to Say No

By Dave DeVries

One of the struggles that many Christian leaders have is in the area of time management. It’s important to be disciplined with how you use the time in each day.

As my friend John Smith told me many years ago:

You only have enough time to do the will of God. 

John challenged me to be selective – to choose to use the time God has allotted me wisely. I don’t have time wasting time on those things that aren’t aligned with God’s will.

I’m often convicted by Jesus words in John 17,  “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Jesus only had enough time to do the will of God!

I often coach church planters and leaders who are over committed and overwhelmed. I help them to focus on those activities that matter most to God.

But I have to admit that I’m not a time management expert (just ask my wife). But I am continually striving to improve and prioritize my weekly activities. One of the ways that I do this is by setting an appointment with myself each…

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Listen to the words of Jesus on being sent…

  • Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” John 4:34
  • “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30
  • “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38
  • “I know Him; because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” John 7:29
  • “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” John 8:29
  • “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.” John 9:4
  • And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me. And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me.” John…

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PainI’ve been tweeting off and on for awhile now. I don’t have a big following so far – about 800 or so people. And I’m approaching about 2,000 tweets now.I’m still trying to figure out how useful it is to share my thoughts, blog posts, activities, hopes, dreams, etc. on twitter. Of course, I hope whatever I choose to tweet will have some level of impact.The simplest way for me to measure impact is to consider which tweets are favorited or retweeted by others. As I look at my list of favorites, I possibly find about one tweet a month that I choose to favorite. In terms of retweets, I probably retweet something about once each week.Recently I retweeted tweets from my friends Deb Beddoe and Bob Logan.Today, my colleague Ben Morrellfavorited, tweeted and blogged about one of my tweets. I’d love to reveal to you that he did this because I was so profound – but that’s not true. He was impacted by a quote from A.W. Tozer that I had read and tweeted.

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