Archives For Missions

Peanut“When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well, George, that’s more nearly your size.’” George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver was born into slavery in the mid 19th Century in Missouri. He went on to become a world famous scientist. Because he was frail and sickly as a child he worked as a gardner. As a result he had plenty of time to investigate, wander the woods and fan into flame his natural curiosity for all things scientific. Although his ambition was much bigger God gave him one thing to focus on…the peanut. As a result of his relentless experiments on that shell covered protein bullet he discovered over 300 uses for the peanut, including peanut butter (Praise the Lord!)

Too many times we as Christians want to conquer the world but God is calling us to something seemingly much smaller. But when we apply laser like focus onto our God calling in the power that He provides, the results can be…

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There is a formula for launching a church in America. Collect lots of money. Spend lots of money getting the word out. Turn the big crowd of strangers into a church. It’s easy… if you have lots of money. But c’mon, church planters are hackers by nature right? It’s possible to get the word out in a better way, especially today.

When we began planting Grace Hills, we didn’t want to drop a ton of money on massive but impersonal means of announcing our arrival – and we didn’t have a ton of money anyway. So we used Facebook. We’re still using Facebook. And it’s working.

  • We started with two couples (including the Cox’s). We spent $0 on traditional advertising but had 35 at our first gathering in July of 2011.
  • We grew to approximately 80 within six months by word-of-mouth and while spending $0 on traditional advertising.
  • We launched with 176 on our first Sunday, mostly gathered through Facebook, word-of-mouth, and search engines.
  • Today, we’re the most “liked” church in northwest Arkansas and an estimated 75-80% of our first time guests found us on the web.

Why Social Media…

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Birthing a Church 101

By Kyle Searcy

When my wife and I decided to start a family, we thought we were “ready” to become parents. We had read the best books, asked for advice from our most auspicious relatives and mustered our prayer life around what God had in store. And He didn’t disappoint us!

Last weekend, I spearheaded a new church in a different state. It reminded me of the exhilaration I experienced while waiting for our first child to be born. And the process to create a successful beginning to this baby church paralleled some of what we had to do to prepare for our own progeny. Conception begins the baby’s life; vision for the new church had to be conceived and defined. Babies take nine months to grow through strategic and intricate design modules in order to have the necessary parts to support life; a new church must work through a strategic plan so that the outcome matches the original concept. The DNA of both babies and churches integrates the function of the body in a cohesive manner. The anticipation is exciting but once the new one (baby or…

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It doesn’t take much imagination to find ways for small group members to connect with their neighbors.  Sometimes all it takes is a crisp fall morning or a spooky October evening.

Here are my top 10 ideas:

  1. Movie night outside for kids and families.  Easy to do with a video projector.  Pick the right movie, circle up the lawn chairs, and bring on the popcorn.
  2. Drop in for waffles and bacon on a Saturday morning.  Again, everyone’s kids will love this idea.  3 or 4 waffle irons make it easy.  Add-ins like blueberries, chocolate chips, and pecans make it fun (and tasty!).
  3. Invite neighbors over for a potluck theme dinner night (Italian, Mexican, etc.).  Go all out with music and decorations.  Make it fun and it will be easy to connect.
  4. Garage sale for a local cause.  Gather up your merchandise.  Pick out a great local cause or charity.  Be ready to talk about why you’re doing it.
  5. Pull a fire pit or chiminea onto your front porch or driveway.  Bring out the patio furniture.  Be ready to offer a warm cup of cider and a s’more to neighbors passing by.
  6. Join in the…

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My Hope AmericaNike Ladapo shares a birthday week with Billy Graham, and the soon-to-be 50-year-old Texas woman is following his lead on the most fulfilling way to celebrate a milestone birthday.

For his 95th birthday on Nov. 7, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is kicking off a weeklong endeavor to reach the country with the Gospel. From Nov. 7-10, more than 22,000 churches are participating in “My Hope America with Billy Graham,” reaching out with the love and Good News of Christ in homes and other venues across the country.

Nike, a member of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church, signed up after a Sunday service (Oct. 6) to host a “My Hope Party” at her home. She said she cannot imagine a better way to celebrate her birthday than by inviting family, friends and neighbors to her home and then sharing what Christ has done in her life and how He can transform their lives.

“Matthew 28:19 tells us that we are to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth and help fulfill the Great Commission that the Lord has given us,” she said. “My Hope America is a great opportunity to…

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Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 9.42.09 AMIn the historic Filipino city of Caloocan, a team of six will watching 10 hours of almost continuous programming on discipleship. In Poland’s fourth-largest city, Wroclaw, a group of five will be listening to Rick Warren, hearing the music of the Reunion Worship Band and watching the same videos aa a group of 12 on the Southern Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, a group of 14 in Western Australia and a team of 25 people in Wadsworth, Ohio.

The free high-quality webcast from Exponential West affords leaders the opportunity to join hearts and minds with disciples worldwide and bring these speakers and programming for you staff, small groups, whole church and community. The free webcast will be streamed live over three days from Tuesday, Oct. 8, to Thursday, Oct. 10. Anyone with an Internet connection can watch it on their computer or mobile device.

To register for the FREE Exponential West webcast, click here

The webcast is fueled by Exponential’s goal to see as many as possible church leaders, small groups, church planting launch teams, individuals and even full churches participating in the discipleship conversation,

“This webcast…

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It’s a waste of time to fish in a spot where fish aren’t biting. Wise fishermen move on. They know that fish eat at different times of the day in different places. To apply this to ministry, you need to focus on the most receptive people in your area.

This is not a marketing principle. It’s a basic New Testament principle. Jesus told it in the parable of the sower. When you sow seed, some of it falls on rocky ground, some on stony ground, some on hard ground, and some on good soil. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what the good soil was and sowed all your seed there? Why waste seed, time, effort, energy and money? It’s God’s job to prepare the soil. It’s our job to sow the seed. You don’t do the soil preparation. God uses all kinds of sovereign things like divorce, crises, death, economic problems, government shutdowns, being out-of-work, a new baby, and a new job to prepare the soil. But God uses you to sow.

The fact is, receptiveness to the Gospel varies widely at different…

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Anyone who has written a book knows the feeling of satisfaction when you finally see your long, hard hours of work make it to the printed page. (It usually takes about a year even after the completed manuscript is turned over to the publisher before the book finally arrives!)

So, I am particularly excited about a book I have been working on for nearly ten years which Wesley Publishing House will soon be releasing—Side Door. It’s my effort to share with church leaders a powerful missional process that has a proven track record in almost every larger growing church today. But the strategy of building church side doors is definitely not limited to larger churches. In fact, it has tremendous potential for medium and smaller sized churches that want to “break the mold” of traditional (and often ineffective) outreach methods, and begin a strategic new missional ministry in their community.

I have reproduced a conversation that recently appeared in the Wesley Publishing House blog about the idea of side doors. I hope you find it instructive in learning more about the principles behind the book, and that you will be encouraged…

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What Crossroads Church in Hinesville, Ga., is doing to obey God and penetrate lostness in Toronto seems crazy. They are, you might say, at a bit of a crossroads and have decided to take the path less traveled.

Crossroads Church is selling their church building and its 16 acres, setting aside more than $1 million and — with no solid prospects of where they’ll meet — continuing to call themselves a church and make plans for future ministry. They have hopes a local school will let them use their space.

The church has designated the funds from the building and property sale for church planting work locally, throughout North America and globally — and has no plans yet to start building anything new. To top it all off they’re sending their pastor, Danny Eason, to another country to start a church just as things were getting good.

Eason and his family are leaving where they’ve been their whole lives and moving to Toronto, a place they’ve been twice. He admits this is a miracle in itself.

“Sometimes I think I am nuts for leaving,” Eason said. “The church is a great church. They’re willing, with…

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New Word: Evange-cipleship

By Greg Stier

evange-cipleshipEvangelism + Discipleship = Evange-cipleship

Okay, the word is kind of corny but it communicates my point. And what is that exactly? Simply this: When teenagers are equipped and unleashed to share their faith it is the ultimate discipleship accelerator.

It’s exactly what Jesus did with his disciples in Matthew 10 immediately after he appointed them as apostles. He chose them as leaders and immediately deployed them as evangelists. What they learned on the road sharing the gospel was infinitely more than any rabbi could ever teach them sitting in a synagogue.

But Jesus did more than deploy them, he trained them along the way.

He taught them to trust him (John 14:1.)

He showed them how to deal with persecution (Matthew 5:11,12.)

He trained them not to be impressed with the “sizzle” of miracles but to be more in awe of the “steak” of salvation (Luke 17:10-20.)

He gave them a crash course in systematic theology as they launched on a 3 year long evangelistic campaign together. He fed them doctrinal meat in bite-sized pieces. It was just the right amount of spiritual protein to fuel their evangelistic efforts and transform them personally at the same…

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100 LargestOutreach Magazine just released their Outreach 100 issue for 2013. LifeWay Researchdoes the research for this issue. I was particularly encouraged to see the list focus especially on fastest growing churches. You can subscribe to the magazine here. Here is my article with a bit of analysis of some of the fastest-growing churches in America.

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Each year at LifeWay Research, we work together with Outreach Magazine to create the Outreach 100 listings of the country’s Fastest-Growing and Largest Churches. On one hand, these lists are one of the most anticipated things we do each year. People seem to eagerly await the lists so they can learn from these churches about what God is doing to build his kingdom across the United States. On the other hand, there are those who complain about the lists. They seem to think this is a way of exalting “big churches” in an effort to make them look better than the churches that are not on the list, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember folks: facts are our friends.

I love to learn. I have spent a significant portion of my adult life in the…

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When we planted Grace Church in a local movie theater two years ago, we assumed that one day we would have a more permanent location. Meeting in a theater is not without challenges, and we assumed we’d eventually have a place for offices and more permanent meeting space, etc.

We also had plans (which are currently in process) of sending out a planter and were excited about planting a new church. We think it is essential to plant and to do it early so that multiplication is part of the life of our church.

We think it is essential to plant and to do it early so that multiplication is part of the life of our church.

However, we did not expect that we would be multiplying our local campus so soon.

None of us could have expected how that would happen. But last week, we announced the launch of a new second campus of Grace Church after Indian Hills Church voted to dissolve and transfer their assets to Grace Church. Their desire was for Grace to start another campus there—and we are glad to do so.

So, now we are launching a new campus. In other…

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