Loving Our Communities to Christ
Issue: #6 Promoting the Prayer-Care-Share Lifestyle
April 1st - Wednesday - Special Announcement!
The LC2C Learning Community reconvenes for 60 minutes of thought stirring, stimulating conversation. Leaders from all 17 LC2Cities are invited to call-in, think-hard and talk-up.
Lc2Coach Tom White will be interviewed (10-15 minutes) on a topic that came up in Boise during a February two-day prayer emphasis (hint: see the interview in this edition) ... followed by open discussion on what we are learning about sharing the gospel in a rapidly changing culture.
1-712-451-6000 -- Code: 268855#
Noon eastern / 11am central / 10am mountain / 9am pacific
Skeleton Notes for Pastors [1:72 ]Uncomplicating LC2C One of our coaches asked for my "skeleton notes" to help him prepare for a presentation to pastors in a new LC2City ... It made me think leaders and pastors in all of our cities might benefit from a skeleton review too - -
I am concerned that we seem to be more successful at exciting local leaders on the collaborative (mezzo & macro) possibilities than the congregational (micro) elements of LC2C. Macro events definitely stir action at the congregational level but we must seek opportunities to challenge pastors to integrate prayer-care-share into every aspect of their ministry:
Hope something here helps you,
- Permeate P-C-S into every believer's life (children, youth, adults)
- Saturate P-C-S throughout every ministry in the church (classes & committees, teams & groups, events & activities)
- Penetrate P-C-S into neighborhoods & sub-cultures trough dedicated and deployed Christians (individual witness plus affinity group projects)
The Elevator Speech
What is Loving Our Communities to Christ?
- Catalytic: think framework, not programmatic
- Culture Change: our goal is nothing less than a dramatic change of how the church functions; an internal culture change that results in community impact
- Prayer-Care-Share: congregations change as pastors/leaders model, teach & train, celebrate, restructure church life on the foundation and expectation of every believer praying for, caring about and sharing with people who need the faith, hope and love of Christ.
- Loving Our Communities to Christ: as we stir a change toward a multitude of Christians actively pursing and expressing a prayer-care-share lifestyle, we believe the community will recognize we are loving them for Christ, with Christ, to Christ.
How does the national LC2C team help a pastor?
- Your City Lead Team can connect you to your city's coach to discuss customizing Prayer-Care-Share to your congregation
- Your coach can help your leadership develop a prayer-driven strategy to implement prayer-care-share throughout every aspect and activity of your church
- You are part of the LC2C Learning Community which is currently 17 city movements:
- Don't miss the next LC2Conference Call with leaders from many of our cites
- Look for a Regional City Impact Roundtable later this year
- Ask your coach what he is catching in our team calls
- Your LC2C coach serves on a team of specialists who are available to coach/consult in:
- How to Design a Lead Team Meting
- Strategic Prayer-Driven Planning
- Training for Pastors:
- What is (and how do we get!) Culture Change?
- How do I Implement Prayer-Care-Share?
- Training for Church Members
- Gutless Evangelism
- Community Impacting Prayer
- Macro or Mezzo Event Planning and Production
- Prayer Summits for Pastors ... For Marketplace Leaders
- Measuring Progress in Churches and Across the City (City Faith Survey)
Our questions to the local collaboration:
- Have you assessed what God is doing in your city to determine who, what, where and when? (For example, do you know how many congregations are praying for lost persons? How many food pantries are serving hungry and homeless people (could they consolidate purchasing or distribution services to save expenses or avoid duplication?) Who is not part of our network but is passionate about or pursuing revival or justice or community development or evangelism in he name of Christ?)
- Who among those (congregations or ministry organizations) serving in the name of Christ has yet to be informed, invited or included in your city movement?
- Are pastors willing to "launch" an emphasis on prayer-care-share that will:
- Coordinate first steps (such as a Go To The Wall Sunday or agreeing to use Go Fish together on the same Sundays )
- Cooperate in training (a central training event or regional options to equip members in praying-caring-sharing)
- Collaborate in accountability (reporting results and meeting to prayerfully evaluate approaches and next steps)
Communication Tools - Click here
- The "Elevator Speech" ~ LC2C 101
- LC2C FAQs (.pdf)
- The Role of Coaching
- ( View Online | Download PDF )
- Appreciative Inquiry: Seeing Your City with New Eyes
- The Seven Questions ~ Staying Focused and Faithful
- Casting The LC2C Vision Citywide
- Measurable Objectives (.doc)
- Strategic Planning Grid (.pdf)
- Coaching For Your City's Prayer Movement
- Partnership Training - Steps Toward More Effective Collaboration
- How Pastors Develop A Prayer-Care-Share Culture
- Prayer, Care, Share Tools
- LC2C Blog: The Latest Stories, Stats & Strats
- LC2Connections - Impacting Through Communication
- Community Influence & Impact: Six Paradigm Shifting Articles
- Put Us To Work!
SHARE ~ Rethink The GospelPhil Miglioratti interviewed Todd Hunter, author of Christianity Beyond Belief
Inner~View #58: Rethink the Gospel
===>Click here to access information or to purchase the book
Phil ~ Todd, let's get right to it ... This book is your attempt to help Western Christians rethink how they think about the Gospel. You are not advocating any change to the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ but you are challenging us to communicate it differently. Agree or disagree? ...and if so, why is it so important that we rethink the gospel?
Todd ~ That all depends Phil-if someone thinks the Gospel has only to do with forgiveness of sins so that they can go to heaven when they die, then yes-I am challenging that notion of the Gospel. That reductionistic version of the Gospel is only a part of the Gospel according to Jesus-The Gospel of the Kingdom. The Good News of LIFE in the Kingdom through the grace of God in Jesus is what the Gospel is all about. Forgiveness and heaven need to be seen in that context. They are included in the Gospel, but the Gospel cannot be reduced to mere forgiveness and be expected to produce disciples as well. We only have to look back over the last couple of generations in America to see that this is obviously true.
We need to re-think the Gospel so that it primarily has to do with our life-of which death is just a part. Eternal life is not spatial-out there beyond the stars somewhere; neither is it chronological-out there somewhere in time. It is not about mere existence-even dead things continue to exist-just look out the window and see a dead weed, plant, etc. Eternal life is a qualitative term. It is about the kind of life described in John 17:3-"knowing" God and his Son. Eternal life describes an experiential knowing of God-a relationship with begins in this life and extends to eternity.
Phil ~ Several who endorse your book have made significant statements. Please comment:
Todd ~ It is a little hard for me to say for sure, but I think what most of them have in mind is the vision for what it means to be a Christian based on an understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Here is the problem: the Gospel of going to heaven when die routinely ignores life in the Kingdom. On the hand the Gospel of the Kingdom includes everything about Jesus: virgin birth, life, teachings, works, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and present day ministry...which naturally then brings our whole life into play.
Phil ~ Richard Foster believes your book will "stir your heart, engage your mind, enlarge your soul and reshape your imagination" ...
Todd ~ I am trying to give people a new imagination for what it means to be a Christian in this life based upon the Gospel according to Jesus...not just the Gospel about Jesus. We need both in order to make discipleship more natural and routine.
Phil ~ Brian McLaren speaks of your "radical commitment to digging deep to truly 'get' the good news of the kingdom of God" ...
Todd ~ This is an easy one Phil-but people seldom pause to think about it. The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God. It is the expression of his being, his will. It is the realm in which what he wants done is actually done. This is why Jesus taught us to pray "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done..."
Thus the Kingdom is preeminent. The church is secondary; it is created by the ruling and reigning of God. The church is the instrument or the means through which God does his work on earth. So maybe a good way to think of it is: Kingdom first, church second, denominations a distant third!
Phil~ Dallas Willard claims you "rethink the central concepts of Christian life in terms of contemporary experience" ...
Todd~ ~ Radical simply means to get to the root of something. I am trying to get to the root of Christianity: to be the cooperative friends of Jesus, seeking to live constant lived s of creative goodness, for the sake of others, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Phil ~ John Ortberg tells us you "are part of a movement to rediscover the true meaning of Jesus and how we are to respond to it" ...
Todd ~ Yes, I think there is a movement. It includes pastors, scholars, campus workers-anyone who preaches the Gospel and works in discipleship. The "movement", in my view is a reaction-a positively motivated reaction aimed at two things. 1) Have we been preaching, under the demands of marketing sound bites, a truncated version of the Gospel? 2) How can we understand and preach the Gospel so that those who hear it, naturally, as a consequence of it, become followers of Jesus.
Phil ~ You offer a new set of Four Spiritual Laws - Why is a new set/approach necessary? How are they different than the classic Four Spiritual Law first written in the early 1950's?
Todd ~ As I said above, we need a new way of thinking about the Gospel that leads to the holism inherent in the Kingdom Of God. What I offer is not really a replacement for the Four Spiritual Laws. Rather, I hope it is a new way to explain what it means to be a Christian. To do this I put Christians and Christianity back into its larger story. I show that God's intention with humanity (Adam and Eve), Israel and the church are the same: to be his cooperative people, living constant lives of creative goodness, for the sake of others, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Phil ~ Your initial engagement changes from "God loves you and has a plan for your life" to " Become a cooperative friend of Jesus." What is the difference and why it is important?
Todd ~Some how the part about "God having a wonderful plan for your LIFE..." has gotten lost in the pursuit of what happens when we die. I am trying to bring "life" back into the picture. "Cooperative friends..." is simply a way to explain, in an easy and straightforward manner, what the plan of God for humanity might look like.
Phil ~ One chapter subtitle immediately caught my attention: Maybe Jesus Didn't Intend To Start a World Religion. What does that mean and what are the implications for the typical or traditional church?
Todd ~ It is startling to say, but Jesus was not a "Christian". That word was only first used in Acts 11.26: "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." Even then the word did not refer to a world religion as we think of it. It was actually a very specific term used to describe a very specific group of people: disciples of Jesus-learners and apprentices of Jesus.
It is easy to see that Christianity as a world religion had slipped very far from being followers of Jesus. There are many followers of Jesus within Christianity, but not the majority by a long way. I only mean to point out that was calling people to follow HIM, not what hundreds of years later became "a religion".
Implications for the church: we are not trying to create adherents to a religion; we are trying to make disciples in the manner of the Great Commission. I love the way Peterson gets The Great Commission in The Message:
"Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life... instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you..."
This is a way of life...it is not the picking of a religion from among the various choices of world religions.
Phil ~ Just because we speak our message does not mean the culture hears the authentic, biblical gospel. How long / what will it take for the Church to change the way we present the gospel so the current culture can truly hear the message?
Todd ~ Because of the outstanding work of people like Tom Wright, Dallas Willard and others we are getting there. Those two men along with books like Missional Church are giving thousands of young leaders a new imagination of what it means to be the church.
I think we present the Gospel as a huge gift for LIFE! Yes; death is the last and greatest enemy. Yes-it is unspeakably important that our sins are forgiven through Jesus. But forgiveness is not the finish line-it is the starting line-the starting line of a new life. In receiving forgiveness and beginning to follow Jesus as his cooperative friends, we are given a brand new life-with more of the same life coming to us in the ages to come, a life which will never end.
But that life starts now. As we follow Jesus, which is the greatest invitation ever given to humanity, we become humanity as God intended. This message has much more potential on our current social climate. The vast majority of people out side the church cannot any longer abide the notion that you can say a sinners prayer, live like hell and then go to heaven when you die. Seekers instinctually know that to follow God has to include more than that reductionism.
I do not doubt that God in his love may accept millions of people who only say the sinner's prayer-in fact I hope he does! But that is beside our point here. Here we are talking about how to have Christian LIFE.
Phil ~ Todd, please write a prayer you hope each reader will pray along with you ...
Todd ~ May Jesus' announcement of the Gospel of the in-breaking of the Kingdom come true in our lives. May the rule and reign of God capture our hearts, minds and imaginations. May the Holy Spirit lead us to live our present lives as the cooperative friends of Jesus, in constant creative goodness for the sake of others.
PRAYER ~The Impact of a Prayer Summit
COMMENTS FROM THE 2009 BRANSON PASTOR'S PRAYER SUMMIT
"Phenomenal time of refreshing! So helpful to steal away from the business and recharge. This makes me a better leader for my church and the Lord."
"The powerful presence of God was amazing as we worshipped in unity.
"This was my 11th Prayer Summit. The presence of God, the openness of each one here, the intensity of the prayers all made for a time of spiritual refreshing. We sensed God's anointing!"
"A great opportunity to meet and spend time with church leaders, and to see their hearts for unity and a deep concern for our community. It was amazing to see how God continues to break the hearts of those who love Him and desire to see His hand move over our city."
"I've appreciated the Spirit led prayer and worship. I've been encouraged by the cross-denominational respect and affirmation. I believe our prayers and worship directly affects the spiritual atmosphere here. Thank you for including us."
"Since 1996 I have continued to be amazed at how God "shows up" when pastors come together in unity in His presence. This Summit was one of the top three for personal impact in me, and it feels as if a fresh "wind" of the Spirit is blowing through Branson."
During our small group the compassionate prayers of those who laid hands on me allowed me to experience a special touch from God. Awesome, awesome prayers."
"Being with other brothers and sisters in Christ in focused prayer is a real blessing. Most of all being touched with a fresh presence of the Lord brings great refreshing. Thank you for investing in the churches of the lakes area."
"Once again the Pastor's Prayer Summit was wonderful. Very touching one on one ministry. I was greatly touched by the Spirit of God. Great unity in the Messiah Jesus."
"Refreshing, cleansing. Wow. Thank you!
"Uplifting! Encouraging! Strengthening! Came out able to speak to dreams that seemed to have died but were brought back to life. It was great to be with fellow soldiers in the battle. It is wonderful to know you're not alone."
"Thank you for the time shared with fellow believers. This time has enriched our lives. We look forward to the next Prayer Summit."
International Renewal Ministries is a fountain head of information and provides facilitators for citywide or regionwide prayer summits. Click here to make contact.
CARE ~ Reaching Out to the 70%Students Graduate than Evaporate Phil Miglioratti interviewed with Pat Siler of inerlinc
Phil ~ Pat, statistics and surveys about graduates after leaving high school are alarming .. tell us about your passion to prepare and reach students with the Gospel during this period of transition...
Pat ~ Approximately 70% of high school graduates stop attending church. From my own family, here's a quote, "Dad, I would never have imagined doing what I have done these past years of living life my way..... instead of God's way! Now I have to undo these poor choices yet still live with the consequences that have caused great pain and shame." In the past six months my 27 year-old daughter and her husband have joined a church and are finding truth, grace and purpose. My 24 year-old son and girlfriend are now reading the Bible together and contemplating the church scene. Thank you Lord Jesus for your pursuit, grace and forgiveness upon my children and for all the young adults in every city in America.
My passion began long before these statistics. At the age of 15, I ran away from God and church, indulging in every thing that I could buy, use and abuse. In my early 30's a friend whom I used to party with, gave me a Christian music cassette, which challenged me to question my lifestyle. A few months later he invited me to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert where I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.....No tracts, no preaching, no telling me I had to attend church, simply loving me despite my foolish lifestyle, praying for me, caring enough to invite me and then turned it over for the Holy Spirit to do only what He could do through SCC and his music on October 17, 1991. Wow...transformation which continues today....
Phil ~ How can the interlinc initiatives help a citywide movement focus on students?
1. First and foremost by encouraging every city towards intercessory prayer, asking God to reveal His heart for those students attending schools in the city/region. Speaking a blessing upon each student, faculty member and administrator in every school in the city. (LC2C within your schools)
2. Encouraging the city youth leaders to start or get involved with networks of other youth leaders within their city. (Critical to the success of transformation of the schools).
3. Pray that God will raise up student leaders/ministers in each school.
4. Pray that God will bring forth spiritual fathers and mothers
5. interlinc's President Allen Weed is a 25+ year member of National Network of Youth Ministries and has developed long standing relationships with youth leaders over the past 25 years
6. interlinc's staff gets this generation!! We are a crazy group of youth leaders, very involved in youth ministry in our local churches and communities.
7. My personal commitment, to assist cities as needed: as a former youth pastor, city network coordinator, both locally and regionally, currently market place minister and serving on the core leadership team for Transformation Traverse City, MI
Phil ~ How can the Adopt-A-School initiative involve marketplace leaders?
Pat ~By engaging with the city intercessors, youth leaders, students and churches providing the financial resources needed to see the ConGRADulations CD/DVD/Gift Book given to every senior in every public, Christian, Catholic, and Charter School in cities throughout America.
As market place leaders receive the insights and affirmation for which they are being called as market place ministers, they will begin to see their companies, schools and cities as their mission field, thus bringing together the church of the city and Kingdom resources for Kingdom purposes, resulting in transformed schools in the city.
Sample Scenario:Graduating class of 1200 city-wide from four high schools(12) market place leaders/ministers adopt the schools to provide financial resources for the distribution of the GRAD project (less than the cost for a sub sandwich combo with fries and pop per graduate) ...Bringing the good news of Jesus Christ through the use of music/media/print. Note: Statistics show that the average teenager today spends 44.5 hours per week in music and media alone.1Phil ~ Explain the ConGRADulations! resource and how it has been used by youthworkers.
Pat ~ This year's CD/DVD/Gift Book project is titled iM4u and includes:A Music CD with 14 powerful songs dealing with success, money, failure, future, personal faith, life-long friends. Features the top names in Christian music: tobyMac, Relient K, Flyleaf, Hawk NelsonMedia DVD-over 50 minutes including Dave Ramsey, Francis Chan, student sharing insights and wisdom gained through both poor and good choices they have made.48 Page Gift Book- challenging questions from each song complete with scriptures, testimonies from artists and students, including all song lyrics.
Plus 30+ web links to Grad advice books, year in review video, an online Bible and Ministry-based transition web sites
In the past decade ConGRADulations! has been given to over 1 million grads by 25,000 churches, primarily through youth groups, parents and students.
Phil ~ If someone is interested in receiving more information or discussing how this might look in their city, how would they reach you?
888- 515-7127 // 231-360-1040
On the totally interactive site, leaders can listen to songs, view video clips, read pages from gift book - Click here
Click here to download a free PowerPoint presentation for your city.
Phil ~ Pat, please write a prayer for the students in our cities and we'll pray with you as we read it ...
Precious Father, Lord Jesus....You Oh Lord reign over the entire world. You Oh Lord are the Alpha and Omega...The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Who of us can say to the mountain to rise or fall, who of us can speak to the wind and command it to stop? Who of us can silence the storms of the oceans.....Only You Father God only You
Forgive us when we try to figure You out, forgive us when we spend countless hours days and weeks in meetings without inquiring of YOU....Yes Lord inquiring to you ....seeking You....listening to You through your Spirit, Your word and Your people whom You have prepared for this hour....Father God Abba Daddy....break us of our old ways of thinking, impart in us Your wisdom, Your revelations, Your compassion, Your peace....yes Jesus peace....peace hmmm...peace my friends...... receive this....................... Thank You Father ....Thank You Holy Spirit...Thank You Jesus......and as we rest in Your Peace.........................
........Bring forth spiritual fathers and mothers for Your young people, young adults who have been called, assigned, commissioned and anointed by You Father God......Bring forth these disciples to who will see with your eyes and hear with Your ears what You are doing, in these young people and young adults. Align these spiritual fathers and mothers to Your will.....to train, intercede and release this assembly of young adults....may we stand in the gap so that none should perish...Oh Lord impart in us the message in Luke 10, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4:11-17 may this burn deep within us....and may this be released into this young generation.....as they love deeply, pray fervently, care more for others than themselves and share through the authority given by you with the power of your Holy Spirit living within us.The Adopt A School Initiative.
We are working with Christian businessmen and market place leaders to give the ConGRADulations! Class of 2009 Gift to entire senior classes. We have had good response to this all across the country as an outreach ministry. We would like to partner with Mission America in 5-10 of your targeted cities to do an outreach using the ConGRADulations! Grad Gift to the entire senior class at multiple high schools.The Graduation Invitation Initiative.
There will be 3 million grads in the class of 2009. Each of them will send out 20 graduation invitations. We know that many of the invitations will land on the kitchen counters of Christians who are interested in giving a gift that will be used and appreciated and have spiritual impact. When Christians are unable to find a gift that meets the criteria, they opt for the gift card or cash option. We believe that the ConGRADulations! CD-DVD-Gift Book is the perfect answer for thousands of Christians. We would like to partner with Mission America to let believers know about this powerful, low-cost graduation gift.
If you've gotten this far ...
then I hope you realize how this edition can::
SO - May I ask you to add a note to the top of an message then forward this to your network of colleagues?
- Excite pastors about developing a prayer-care-share church culture
- Encourage marketplace Christians to participate in your city's collaborative efforts
- Explain LC2C and P-C-S to those who need to join the movementYour city will benefit and we'll be grateful,Phil Miglioratti
for the entire LC2C Team
Good Stuff Uncomplicating LC2C Rethinking the Gospel? Branson: Since 1996 70% Disappear Light! Action! Cameras! Pick-A-City Archived Gems The Big Three Whole to the Third Power
Quick Links Pastors
Your Year-End Report
God is at work in and through the 17 city movements which are loving their communities to Christ...
to read how prayer-care-share is changing the culture of congregations and impacting communities!
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LC2Connections Each LC2Connections Newsletter contains stories and strategies of how to implement a comprehensive, congregation-based, city-wide vision of prayer-care-share lifestyles that transform churches and impact communities.Click here for the newsletter archive
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===> Check out http://www.BlessYourBlock.org for a creative strategy to get your congregation out of their seats and into the streets ...
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