The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned About Church Planting Through the School of Hard Knocks!

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Feb 132013

10 tips for church plantingI get excited whenever I hear about new churches starting up. As far as I’m concerned, there is always room for more churches of every stripe and type to be planted in every neighborhood, town, and city. Over the years I have had the honor and delight of planting a few churches as well as being a birthing coach and cheer leader to a number of new missional communities. By virtue of my personality type and gift mix as a persistent, and yes at times bull headed and stubborn pioneer, I must confess that I have had to learn some of what I’m about to share through the application of the two by four method. In other words by doing things the wrong way and wondering why my nose is so raw, I’ve come to realize that perhaps this is simply the nature and learning style of most church planters, catalysts, and pioneers. With that in mind, I hope that through the hard lessons I’ve learned backwards with a few bumps,bruises and scars to show for it, I can help a few pioneers not repeat those mistakes and possibly help prevent some church planting disasters or shipwrecks.

1. Start with a team of faithful, forgiving friends who have complimentary gifts and a shared vision!

Plant a missional community with some faithful, forgiving, friends!

Plant a missional community with some faithful, forgiving, friends!

  • Ask the question who would you want to ‘be and do’ church with?
  • The two tests of true friendship are conflict and time. Look for friends who have passed these tests to be part of your team.
  • A good team has a mixture of pioneers and settlers, gatherers and nurturers.
  • Keep clarifying and coming into agreement with your team around your core values and practices in living out mission and community.
  • Have fun together and don’t take yourselves too seriously.
  • Be in each others homes eating and sharing life together.

2. Set the DNA for missional living right from the get go!

  • Become friends with the poor.
  • Form community around the friends you make.
  • Be present and make time to form authentic relationships with your neighbors.
  • Find the ‘third places’ in your community and hang out there. These are the places that people gather and are neutral such as cafes, pubs, the library.
  • Volunteer to serve in your community through coaching a sport, getting involved in your kids schools, forming a book club, or by starting a parenting or marriage course and then advertising it in the community
  • Take people on a missions trip to the developing world or on a ministry trip where they get to do the stuff at least once a year. Forming a hospitable missional culture will keep the community healthy.
  • Be cognizant of your ‘spoken versus your unspoken culture’ – what we say versus what we actually do.

Spoken values need to be translated into feet values!

3. Go slow to go fast!

  • Resist the temptation to go to a public Sunday morning gathering as long as you can. Going public to quickly will draw the malcontents, and those looking for the the ‘next big thing’ to attach themselves to.
  • Remember that a crowd does not a community make!
  • Prioritize small groups right from the get go. The rule of thumb is to have 3-5 small groups before going to a Sunday service.
  • Pace yourself. The temptation as a visionary is to go so fast that those following you can’t keep up, and then unknowingly the community or your leadership will burnout or feel like they are constantly getting whiplash.

Remember that what you as a visionary consider to be a 3 degree slight shift of direction will feel like a 90 or 180 degree jolt farther down the tail.

Relax in the rest of God by living His unforced rhythms of grace.

Relax in the rest of God by living His unforced rhythms of grace.

4. Keep the mission simple: “Love God and Love Your Neighbor”!

  • Practice the unforced rhythms of simplicity, silence, solitude, and prayer on a daily and weekly basis.
  • Encourage your team to move into the same neighbourhood together, or encourage clusters of folks to consider moving into other neighbourhoods in your city.
  • Practice the “art of neighbouring”.  There is great little book written by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon that has the same title and well worth having your community read and apply!
  • Bake some cookies and go meet your neighbours who you don’t know by name yet.
  • Have block parties.
  • Give and receive from the people living right next to you with no strings attached! When we put ourselves in a posture to receive we get out of the power position, and the relationships with our neighbours become mutual and authentic.
  • Don’t try so hard to convert people that’s God’s job. Simply tell your story and watch for who the Holy Spirit is drawing into the Kingdom.

5. Prioritize One To One Apprenticing!

Making babies is the fun part of parenting or apprenticing, yet it also comes with the hard work of changing diapers!

  • Get our of your office and spend a good chunk of your week in ‘one to one mentoring’.
  • Look for who is hungry and teachable and spend lots of time with these folks.
  • Be organically intentional or deliberate in the process.
  • Remember that church planting is just the natural byproduct of apprenticing. The making of disciples is the accidentally on purpose strategy for church planting. Once you have a few disciples you have the core team for a church plant.
  • Pass on the Jesus way of life by having people live in community with you or shadowing you.
  • Spend time surfacing and walking out healing for the family of origin wounds that we all bring to and project on the church. If someone has unresolved ‘mommy or daddy owies’ these wounds will impact how that person relates to you as the church planting couple. Spiritual health is directly connected to how emotionally healthy a person is. Suggested read: The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship that Actually Changes Lives by Peter Scazzero

6. Lead from your sweet spot!

  • Relax and don’t over grip your club or racket!  When we are stressed or trying to hard we will not be fruitful. Live in the pocket of God’s peace and rest.
  • Resist the temptation to copycat models and methodologies that work for someone else and don’t compare yourself to other churches or leaders.
  • Be yourself and don’t fall into the trap of trying to live from the ‘ought self’ – what you internally and others externally expect you to be.

7. Keep Casting a Vision for Jesus and the Big Story of His Kingdom while calling out the song of the Kingdom in each person. 

  • We are part of a grand narrative that needs to be told afresh to each generation.
  • God has dropped the song or seeds of the Kingdom in each person. This is the longing in each person for intimacy and the desire to make a difference on this earth through the gifts and passions they have. We as leaders are to call this out and cheer folks on to live the Kingdom dream!
  • Give room for the mystery of the ‘already not yet of the Kingdom’.
  • Teach and live the themes of justice, peace, righteousness, joy, mission, reconciliation, and healing.
  • Do the stuff of praying for the sick, deliverance, caring for the poor, and loving your enemies.
  • Train others to do likewise – watch what I do, go do it,  and then let’s debrief.

8. Do a few things well.

  • Learn to say no to the good things that are not the best, especially the good ideas that people bring to you, but want you to execute.
  • Focus on those things that people are willing to commit time, energy, and money to.
Look for life and nurture it.

Look for life and nurture it.

9. Find life and form simple structure around that life.

  • God is the initiator of life. What we need to learn is to see where God is birthing life and put some simple structures around that life.
  • Look for circles of 3 people who are already friends and doing something together. Simply bless that and come alongside and coach it.
  • Start your small groups by asking these two questions: Who do you have faith for? Who would you go to if you had a struggle in your marriage, or if you had an hidden addiction that you can’t kick on your own.

10. Discern the seasons of your life and community.

  • When it is winter season there will be some culling and pruning of activity and people. Don’t panic or try to start new things in this season. Ask the question what and who do we need to let go of even if it is painful? God is wanting you to go deeper in your roots and character.
  • Practice lament when there is loss.
  • Celebrate when it is a season of growth such as when with new babies are being born in the natural, and into the spiritual family.
  • Throw great parties and remember to have fun!


By Tim Schultz





Pulling Together or Pulling Apart: Is Shaping a Shared Vision Together Even Possible?

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Feb 012013


Seeing and working at a preferred future together.

Seeing and working at a preferred future together.

One of the ‘bold ideas’ that has peaked my curiosity, challenged me, been the source of some of my deepest sorrow, and yet continues to be one of my core passions, is my pursuit of healthy community, marriages, and team reflected in the dance of real unity with diversity. After years of some successes, and a few failed attempts, here is the seminal question I keep asking: “Is  it possible this side of heaven for a group of individuals to not only co-exist, but start and sustain a journey of living a shared mission, cause, or vision together where every person is valued, and every person takes full ownership for the vision? This haunting question has been at the heart of many of the ‘irreconcilable’ conflicts in marriages, teams, and communities that I have observed or been a part of. On the other hand, I have tasted of the joy and pleasure found when a couple, a community or a team accomplishes a vision or goal that they could never have achieved on their own.  This quest to explore how real unity with diversity works has become a life long mission for me.

Here are the two default choices I have been guilty of, or seen repeated over and over again in other groups in the pursuit of a shared vision.  The first alternative is when a few who hold the power, either by position or in a defacto manner, decide what the ‘shared vision’ should be for the marriage, team, or community, and then use various and sundry means to get compliance from the group, community or partner to make the vision a reality. This is simply a contrived form of shared vision. There is no real ownership down the line, and when push comes to shove people will not voluntarily sacrifice to see the vision become reality.

The other option is when the group decides that they are too diverse, and instead of plunging into the hard, yet rewarding work of shaping a shared vision, the group fragments to become a bunch of individuals doing their own thing. They are held together loosely by a name or relational connection that is fuzzy in nature. There is rarely any dialogue, discussion, or decision making around a common vision. Neither of these choices is very rewarding or results in a true shared vision.

I would like to share with you a few practical principles, skills, and practices that I am slowly learning in my journey of shaping an authentic shared vision with my wife, my family, my community, and as I coach other teams in any culture. I have in no way arrived or fully mastered these skills, but whenever I see them demonstrated, I see a healthy dynamic in marriages, families, teams, and communities of whatever nature. Below are some pointers, tips, and exercises to help you on this messy, yet fulfilling journey of living a shared vision in your marriage, team at work, church community.

We can do more together than we can apart!

We can do more together than we can apart!

To Shape a Shared Vision:

  • Start with a circle of 2-5

Often we try to bring too many people to the table at the beginning of the journey in exploring a shared vision. The bigger the initial group the more diversity there is, and the harder it is to come to consensus without someone imposing their version of the shared vision on the group. The other reaction to having to many people trying to shape a shared vision is the group giving up on the experiment because it takes so much energy to agree about anything. There is a lot of talk, but very little gets accomplished. Look for some folks who have a common conviction and are convinced that they can do more together than they could do apart. Beware of ‘takers’ who want to get the benefits of a shared vision without paying the cost, and ‘whiners’ who would rather complain about everything that is wrong without doing anything to bring about change.

A healthy shared vision is shaped around being for something not just being against something!

The greatest sign and wonder is when 2 or 3 different people can not only get along, but actually accomplish something together!

Here are a couple questions to get the ball rolling: What is it that we want to create together? What does the preferred future or dream that you would like to build together look like?


  • Cultivate a culture that moves from Compliance to Commitment

Commitment is when everyone owns the vision as their own, and is willing to voluntarily sacrifice time, energy, and money to see the vision become a reality.  The difference between commitment and compliance is that the primary motivation is privilege not obligation. When there is a culture of commitment in the team people talk about it being our vision versus your or their vision. People will commit to a shared vision if it reflects their own personal vision. What people own they will wholeheartedly pay the price to see happen.

Shared vision is when My vision is fulfilled in Our vision!

Shared vision is when My vision is fulfilled in Our vision!

In his book The 5th Discipline, Peter Senge describes on page 203 the varying attitudes people have towards a vision.

  1. Commitment: Wants it. Will make it happen. Creates whatever “laws” (structures) are needed.
  2. Enrollment: Wants it. Will do whatever can be done within the “spirit” of the law.
  3. Genuine Compliance: Sees the benefits of the vision. Does everything expected and more. Follows the “letter of the law”.  “Good Soldier”
  4. Formal Compliance: On the whole, sees the benefits of the vision. Does what’s expected and no more. “Pretty good soldier.”
  5. Grudging Compliance: Does not see the benefits of the vision. But, also, does not want to lose their job. Does enough of what’s expected because he or she has to, but also lets it be known that he or she is not really on board.
  6. Noncompliance: Does not see the benefits of vision and will not do what’s expected. “I won’t do it; you can’t make me.”
  7. Apathy: Neither for or against vision. No interest. No energy. “Is it five o’clock yet?”

Here are a few questions to help cultivate commitment: Does our vision reflect your personal vision? Are you  serving this vision out of obligation or privilege? What would help you move from compliance to commitment? Are we all willing to give time, energy, and money to see this vision become a reality?


  • Give Space and Time for Conversation to Understand and Translate the Vision and Values:

The difference between aligned vision and shared vision is when we think we mean the same thing by a common word we both use interchangeably. Yet in reality we are lost in translation. If we describe in practices or by tangible experiences what we mean by the word, we would find out that though the end goal of our vision may be the same, how we would achieve the vision is quite different. For example, if we ask each other if we believe in the word ‘community’ most of us would give an emphatic “yes!”  If I then shared my expectations of community whereby I longed to live in the same house or neighborhood with some people where we ate meals together, we pooled our money, and we all committed to the mission of stopping the injustice of human trafficking, your mouth might drop open with shock. What you expect from community is simply getting together on Monday night to watch football and have a beer and wings.

Here are some essential tools for translating vision and values:

  1. Translate your abstract values into everyday practices and habits that are concrete and easily applied. For example if one of your values is ‘mentoring’. Take the time to go around the table and have each person share a life changing or positive and negative story of their experience of mentoring. Then go around the table again and have everyone share a practice of mentoring. Resist the temptation to jump in to sell your point of view, to make value judgments, or to prematurely make decisions about direction.  Simply listen to each other and try to understand one another.
  2. Make decisions that flow from a consensus around your common values and practices that you have agreed on.
  3. Keep coming back to and asking the question “Why do we exist?”.  Then check to is if everyone is still on board.
  4. Take time to surface ‘unspoken expectations’ around the vision. What is the ‘spoken culture’ versus the ‘unspoken culture’ of the team? Often we speak out values that we hope to practice, but in reality the real values are the ones that are deeply ingrained and demonstrated in our daily living. For example, if a church community says they value hospitality, yet when a new comer shows up at one of the church gatherings they are not greeted, people hover in their cliques, and the visitor leaves without a regular member speaking to them no less inviting them out for a meal.  The reality in this community is that hospitality is a ‘head value’ not a ‘foot value’ yet.
  5. Keep demonstrating by action your agreed upon values.


  • Nurture a Climate of Trust that Transcends the Cycles of Conflict and Change:

Trust is the glue that holds people and the shared vision together. It takes a long time to build trust, and it can quickly be lost.  Teams and marriages will go through cycles of ‘high trust to low trust’ because of normal conflict and change. Shared vision is not stagnant. People change as they discover more clearly who they are and what they are about. Where they once had a shared vision with a team or another person, they may now have aligned vision. Here are some questions to help process conflict and hopefully move from low trust back to high trust:

  1. Are you for me?
  2. Will you be honest with me?
  3. Are we going in the same direction? (clarifying shared vision)
  4. Will you do what you say? (over promising and under delivering)
  5. Do you have the resources to do what you say?

The result of working through conflict and change may result in some people needing to move on and the team morphing. The challenge is to do this without the collateral damage of destroying the relationship. In marriage, the hope is that both sides will be willing to compromise and discover and a win/win or 3rd alternative to their conflict.


Accepting Bounded Chaos.

Learn to Embrace Mess, Paradox, and Chaos:

The reality is that as much as we think we are in control, we’re not. Life is messy. Change is happening at a rapid pace all around us. The way forward is not always a straight line. That means our shared vision together will go through shifts and will need to morph. The way forward is to be at ease with, and to learn to surf the waves of seeming chaos to reach order on the other side.  This is what we call bounded chaos.

This does not mean giving into anarchy where everyone does their own thing, or on the other hand reverting to forms of command and control to reach a contrived shared vision through rules and fear. The skills needed for navigating the waves of chaos are complex communication, a shared commitment to one another and the vision, living with the tension of paradox while giving time for the emergent creativity to bubble to the surface. Continued risk taking, and the morphing of structures to serve the life of the vision are essentials to shaping a shared vision in this day and age.

Have fun as you dive in with a few to explore and experiment what it would look like to build something together that you could never achieve on your own!


By Tim Schultz



Finishing Well: A Long Obedience Of Practicing Some Rhythms In the Same Direction

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Jan 232013

Finishing well is the best legacy one can leave!

This week I was both riveted and stunned as I listened to the news about two successful athletes who have garnered lots of media attention and notoriety for their prodigious sporting accomplishments only to face the real possibility of their character being forever tarnished, and their reputations sullied. To add insult to injury their athletic achievements will  be stripped away or called into question because of  blatant cheating to win at all costs, bald faced lying, or the purported hoax around a fantasy online girlfriend. 

It was painful to watch a clearly uncomfortable Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who won 7 Tour de France races, squirm in his chair as he admitted to Oprah that he had been guilty of doping, and that his cycling career had been “one big lie”. Here is an individual who did so much good like starting a wonderful charity called Livestrong, a charity to help inspire and empower people affected by cancer, on the one hand, yet lived a life of duplicity on the other hand. How could he do that?

Then there is the case of Manti Te’o, the outstanding linebacker from Notre Dame, who was expected to be selected as one of the top 10 picks in this years draft. The heart wrenching story that he shared earlier on this year about the death of  his girl friend to leukemia just 6 hours after his grand mother passed away endeared this young man to many. Yet this week the whole story has been exposed as a hoax. What has surfaced is that the supposed girlfriend named Lennay Kekua did not exist and was an imaginary person online. The facts around the story are confusing and murky. It is not clear whether Manti was duped by some woman he met online, or whether he made the whole story up. How could he be so easily deceived?

We have all heard of other athletes, C.E.O’s, religious leaders, and even friends or co-workers in whom we put our trust, and who were touted as rising stars, crash and burn due to moral failure, lapses in judgement, and giving in to their dark side. Others we know have not finished well because of burnout, premature deaths, or the collateral damage and carnage of broken relationships. This has often been the result of not heeding the red lights going off on their physical, emotional, and spiritual dashes.

Good friends help us see where we are living in denial to our blind spots.

There are some pernicious rationalizations that rear their ugly head when one allows fame, success, position, or hubris tell us we are invincible, and get to play by a different set of rules than everyone else. A couple examples of these deceptions are:  all the good we do makes up for, or justifies our breaking the rules, or everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t we. Another example is: I’m to busy to exercise or I don’t have time to reflect, rest, and replenish. These forms of denial or not paying attention to where we are all flawed or broken is what’s most dangerous.  The point is not to judge Lance or Manti, but to take stock of our own lives. As I have been reflecting on these two recent examples and other cases, it has caused me to do some soul searching around the question: “How do I finish well and not flame, burn out, drop out, or get taken out?”

 “It is not how fast we start that counts, but how well we finish.”

Here are some rhythms that if we sustain them over a life time will help us finish well:

1. The Rhythm of Reflection: Taking time weekly to take stock of our lives by asking ourselves the tough questions.

We all need to get in touch with what are the internal positive and negative ‘Drivers’ or motivators behind why we do what we do. Some of our motivations such as the desire to contribute, to make a difference, or to serve are good while other motivators such as fear of what others think, always trying to please people, or fear of failure, and narcissism are negative. We will never be able to know exactly to what degree our motivations are pure or not.  Usually there is a mixture. It is simply through being self-aware, allowing close friends to speak into your lives, and learning from the failures in our lives that we become more healthy. Below are some questions to help surface these drivers.

  • Why do I do what I do?
  • Where did I take steps towards living my dream this week?
  • Am I being true to myself or am I trying to be what other people want me to be?
  • Do I need to be the center of everything?  Do I have an unhealthy need to feel important or needed. Do I have an unhealthy need to be validated for what I do?
  • Where did I allow the fear of failure or rejection to hold me back from acting this week?
  • Where do I need to say no to some things that are good, but not the best for me?
  • Where did I fear being out of control this week? Where do I need to accept some circumstances that are out of my control, and where do I need to accept some people I would like to change?
We also need to take time to reflect on the unhealthy default habits and defensive reactions we have when we are tired, bored, and stressed. Below are some questions to ponder weekly or monthly.
  • What activities or substances do I indulge in when I am tired or stressed such as overeating, too much alcohol,  T.V., porn, video games?
  • What activities do I turn to for excitement or an adrenaline rush when I’m bored?
  • How did I respond to people or situations that irritated me this week?
  • Was I edgy, impatient, irritable, and grumpy with people or situations that frustrated me this week?
  • Do I lack compassion when I see people in need?

To finish well we need to care for our body, mind, and spirit!

2. The Rhythm of Regular Exercise: Plan in your schedule 3 times a week some form of aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

  • Be creative in this rhythm by finding a form of exercise that suits who you are and start slow.
  • Here are some ideas: walking with a friend or a spouse, swimming, joining a recreational sport team like soccer or hockey if you are social in nature. If you like to workout alone then get a membership at a gym or going hiking in the mountains.
  • Try to find a family activity that all enjoy to help your kids catch this value.
3. The Rhythm of Replenishing Relationships: There are 3 types of relationships in our lives. There are relationships where we are the ones doing all the giving. There are neutral relationships, and then there are replenishing relationships. We need a healthy balance of all 3 in our lives.
  • Did I spend time this week with some friends who I had fun with, who gave to me, and who I have given permission to speak into my life?
  • Do I find myself surrounded by relationships where I am always in the giving role and find it hard to receive. Why?
  • Did I give to and receive from my family this week?
4. The Rhythm of Rest and Recreation: We all need to take some time weekly and yearly to re-charge our emotional, spiritual, and mental tanks.
  • Weekly carve out some time where you are away from you smart phone, people, or other media to soak and shut off your brain from work stuff. I find getting into nature is restful for me. I also like to take some time weekly to read.
  • Once a year go on a 1-3 day retreat at a place where it is quiet and where you can practice some spiritual disciplines such as solitude, silence, and yes sleep!
  • Take up a hobby like guitar playing, sewing, dancing, fly fishing, or some other activity that would replenish you.
  • Once a year if you are in people work such as teaching, counseling, nursing, pastoral work, and such you need to get away on vacation. It takes one week to decompress, the second week to begin to recharge, and the 3rd week to fill up your tanks to go back and give.
5. The Rhythm of Resiliency and Redemption: How we respond to failure, loss, and our own personal screw-ups will be a true test of whether we finish well or not. Our responses to adversity will make us either a bitter or a better person.

Bending but not breaking!

  • Am I sidelined or stuck by holding on to bitterness and offense from some hardships or injustices that happened in my life?
  • Am I owning my stuff that surfaced through my failures?
  • Am I choosing to allow adversity to shape me into a better person and clarify my dream?
  • Am I choosing with humility to get up and try again?
  • Resist the tendency to prematurely judge your good attempts or risk taking ventures that go sideways as complete failures. Some of your greatest failures as you look back in the future will be the pathway to your greatest successes!

What Does Food and Fun Have to Do with Discipling?

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Nov 132012

Finding a Friend while Hiking!

My second story is about Yoshie – a Japanese designer who loves the outdoors. I met Yoshie when I went hiking on Manly beach. We were both lost and trying to find our way back to the main road from the bush. Since finding each other when we were lost hiking, we have been texting each other about going hiking in other places in Sydney, but busyness in our lives had kept this from happening. Finally we re-connected when I invited her to my friends’ Halloween party. We left early to go search for food. In the midst of our conversation about culture, boys, work, and studies, the story of God and His Community came up. Yoshie was exposed to Christianity when she was in the States for few years, but some of her questions never got answered such as: “I don’t mind going to my friends’ church, but why don’t they come to my events? Why do Christians love me, but hate each other? Can I get to know God without going to a normal church?”

Trang's friend Yoshie enjoying food.

That night God taught me the lesson that everyone is curious about God (could be other Gods) and community.  Our job is to listen and ask right questions. How do we do it? We have the joy of walking with God everyday and asking Him what He is doing. I can’t wait to start forming a community with Yoshie around food, hiking, and beach volleyball. In the midst of working with God, He wants us to have tons of fun as well. This is my story of how the Kingdom of Heaven is happening wherever we go for fun and relaxation.

On the other hand, postgraduate school has been pretty intense. One of the requirements of my studies is that we have to do group projects with another person. I was praying for a good partner who would be hungry to learn and also have fun. God answered my prayer by sending me Adriana – a girl from New Zealand with Brazilian roots. Adriana has an amazing work ethic, and is very intelligent. We have pushed each other to achieve high quality work in school. After working on 15 projects together, we haven’t killed each other. This is a good sign. We have learned how work together and trust each other. In the midst of school projects, we take time to be each other’s therapist, and we have learned about each other’s family, culture, dreams and beliefs. I started sharing with Adriana about Jesus and what it means to be a Jesus follower. Through the trust that we have built over the last eight months, Adriana has opened up to me and shared with me her desire to seek out His Kingdom. I cannot wait to walk with Adriana through this journey next year over good food, wine, gardening, and business.

My last story is how the Kingdom of God is happening at work. Neil is my industry mentor for my consulting project at an organic certified business here in Australia. One day in the middle of our normal discussion about work the story of Jesus just came up. I found out that he has been curious about God for a long time, but disillusioned with Christianity because of how other Christians have failed him. To be honest, I am always nervous before having a meeting with Neil, because he is so intelligent and successful in the field of psychology and business while I am just a kid with a burning heart filled with God’s love. However, I could not keep myself from sharing with Neil about the love of Jesus, and telling him my story of what Jesus has done in my life. My hope is that God will reveal Himself to Neil in the language that he will understand.

Through this relationship I have learned that Jesus is not a math problem. Jesus is like a poem. A poem can be simply words every time we read it, but the layers of its meaning are only revealed when we spend the time meditating on it, and experiencing it. Poems speak not only to the head but also the heart. The only way we can experience the poem is to read it together through fellowship. This is how it is with Jesus. To really know Jesus, we need to experience Him through an encounter we have with Him personally and through His community. It is not enough to just know information about Him.

Yummy quiche that me and my posse of friends cooked up!

I hope that my four chosen short stories will encourage you to see how simple church, fellowship, and discipling can be. If you start looking to build relationships with not-yet-Jesus followers in the community that God has already put you in, you will be amazed at how many opportunities you will find. Relationship is the starting point of your journey with God and His community, because none of us live in a silo. Food is a great stimulus for relationships to flourish. If you don’t like food, you can find other things that you have in common with the people in your circles. When trust is established and when the Holy Spirit urges you to share; you need to obey and respond. “…To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1Samuel 15: 22)

This is when the beauty of partnership with God shines through. I cannot put it in words how wonderful this feeling is when it happens. Start with simple acts of love, then practice listening, responding to what you hear, and praying together for and with your friends.  Pray simple prayers. Pray like you would talk to your father, mother, brother or sister. Please don’t use jargon and church language, because it doesn’t make any sense to your friends. Pray with the language of the heart which will powerfully connect with the spirit.


Working along side Jesus is definitely fun and rewarding, but you need to pay attention and do it intentionally. You need planning to be able to be flexible and spontaneous when the opportunity comes.

I cannot wait to hear your stories. Please share them with us when you can.



Application Questions to Practice:

Have you ever asked yourselves when would be the right time to become a spiritual parent? How long should we walk with Jesus before we reach out to others and disciple them? I hope that my experience can encourage you to go and search for the answer.

Discipling As a Lifestyle of Intentional Relationship

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Nov 062012

It is an honor and privilege to have our spiritual daughter Trang share with you some of her stories of her journey into a relationship with Jesus and His Kingdom, and how she is experiencing the joy of inviting some of her friends to meet Jesus and discipling them in the Jesus Way of living. I hope these stories encourage you that inviting and apprenticing our friends into the Kingdom is not just for the ‘super Christians’, the ‘jedi mentors’, those that have been Jesus followers for umpteen years. or those who are the ‘elite or wild, crazy evangelist types’, but the wonderful privilege and call of every Jesus follower.

As you will hear in Trang’s story, the journey of obeying God through intentional relationships is the slow way to disciple, but we believe is the most lasting and fruitful way! It is attainable for all if we simply listen to what Jesus is saying and obey. The Trinity is passionate about relationship, and placed this longing to belong, and a heart cry for community in the hearts of people of every tribe, stripe, and type. It may take a little re-organizing of our lives and priorities to simply be present where we work, play, live, and study! If you and I so choose, we will trip into some awesome adventures in seeing our friends where we live, work, study, and play trip into the Kingdom! We will by accident, yet on purpose, end up planting simple Jesus communities all over.

I hope to visit Trang and her simple Jesus community, and posse of friends who are on a journey to know Jesus and His Kingdom in the next year. Any of you out there want to join me? Let me know. You would be more than welcome to go see and learn together how Jesus is forming His Mosaic around the world.

Tim Schultz


Dear friends,

Trang doing what she loves!

As a daughter and a sister in Christ, I’d love to share with you my journey with Jesus, Tim & Esther (my spiritual parents), and my movable church. There are two parts to my story. The first one is how my discipleship journey began, and how God has trained me for the last ten years to be ready for His kingdom. The second part is the how the harvest is happening in Sydney after ten hard years of training.

I will start with my background first. I wasn’t born and raised in a Christian home in Vietnam, but I believe that God has known me from the beginning. He “created my inmost being”, and He “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalms 139: 13).  He has given me an earthly family along with a love for cooking food, culture, and business. My search for the meaning of life started when I was 18. but it was not until I turned 19 that I got to know Jesus personally by living with Tim, Esther and through the Faith Vineyard community in Calgary, Canada

For ten years, Tim and Esther have been faithfully and gracefully coaching me, and walking with me through the process of how to create and build healthy community. For the first four years of living with them, I watched, copied, and asked questions about Jesus, the Kingdom, and how to form a Jesus community with my friends. Then I practiced by inviting my international non-Christian friends at school to come to our house for dinner and talk about Jesus and His Kingdom on Friday nights; as well as hanging out and having fellowship with them in their community. Some of my friends entered the Kingdom during this time in Calgary.

Then I went back to Asia working in different business projects in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. It was a desert time with no Christian community around me, but I learned to get closer and closer to God because He was the only Christian community that I had. Getting on the phone and praying with Tim and Esther was not the same as praying face to face with them, but I survived and got through the desert. I started simple communities around me with non-believer friends wherever I was in Asia. Through that time God gave me confirmations about my gift: the gift of connecting with people regardless of their culture, ethnicity, education, language and social status. He also blessed me with the skills and knowledge in business in different industries.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to do a Masters of Marketing in Sydney with the intention of connecting with the business network here to advance in my career, as well as partnering with Jesus in His Kingdom work. I did not know where my journey with God would lead me this year, but I knew that we would have a fun adventure together working and connecting with the people He placed in my life here in Australia.

Trang with one of her new friends!

Here is a picture of where I was in February of this year to set the stage for the rest of my story. I knew nobody in Sydney. It took me two weeks to see around 30 houses to find a place to live. I was the only international in the marketing post-graduate program. I had no friends except some connections that Tim gave me in the Cabramatta Vineyard who live on the other end of the city. I had no business contacts or connections, but I had God with me and that gave me so much confidence to start my adventure “… surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Now I want to paint a picture of what is happening in my life right presently. I have many friends who come from different backgrounds, countries, ethnic groups, age groups, social statuses, and languages in all the situations that God has plugged me into. I have gained a good reputation among the professors at school as well as in some of the business communities in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. There are at least three simple churches (of two or three) that I am involved in every week. Yet I know that I am not the most successful person or on top of the world, but I have to say that by responding to God and working closely with Him everyday, I do mean everyday, God has given me a part of His harvest here to work on.

Here are some of the stories of how God has given me opportunities and how I have responded to Him. There are four places that I am in at the moment: studying (the university), working (business community), having fun (what I do for pleasure), and living (where I physically live in 2 places): my house and my neighbourhood).

Trang and Susan cooking together!

Let me start with where I live first. This is a story about Susan and her friends. Susan and I first met when she came to rent out my room in my old place. We had our first conversations about the challenges of living as a foreigner in this country, and also chatted about cooking and baking. I was looking for friends as well, so I thought we could encourage each other and be friends. We started our friendship around a baking and cooking lesson. Susan was amazed how easy it was to bake.  As well we would sometimes go out for supper together. After the first few weeks of hanging out, she asked me if I could be her older sister here. I was thrilled. Then one day God told me to talk to Susan about Jesus. I was excited and a bit reluctant at the same time, but God had a plan. Susan had heard about God from Morman, and she had been confused for a year about God, her culture, her previous beliefs, but she could not deny that Jesus was real. This is what Susan said when I asked her if we could start our discussion about God every Friday night:  “Trang, I knew that God would take care of me. Whenever I have questions He would send someone to me and you are that person now. Thank you.” I cried that night. I cried because God had done everything, and all I had to do was to obey by becoming a friend with Susan, listening to her story, and asking her questions. Our friendship has been growing since that point. Susan has taught me about her culture, her country’s history, Chinese ancient poems, and shared her passion to reach out to and care for other Chinese girls. Susan is still searching, but I believe she is already in the Kingdom and starting to work in the harvest without realizing it yet.

Susan inviting her friends into community.

Before I send this story out to you, there is another amazing story about Susan that I cannot wait to share. On her own initiative she has invited other girls that she knows to come cook and find out about Jesus. Yesterday I met Charlie for the first time. Can you imagine how many people Susan could reach out too? That’s all happened by just a simple act of being Susan’s friend.

I have more stories of what God is doing in Sydney to share with you in the next blog.

Trang – part of our Mosaic family in Sydney, Australia

The Who, What, and How of Apprenticing: Part 2

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Oct 082012

Who do we apprentice? 

This is the chicken or the egg question. Which comes first? Does the mentor choose the apprentice, or does the apprentice choose the mentor? The answer is both. Ideally the mentor initiates with the apprentice. Yet in Star Wars the ‘jedi mentor’ Qui Gon Jinn finds his ‘padawan apprentice’ Anakin by accident. Either way, I encourage folks to initiate. Go after what you are looking for, or be what you have never received!

The systemic problem that we have had through the ages is that there are never enough mentors, or as Paul calls them, spiritual moms and dads. In I Cor. 4;15 Paul says, “There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers or mothers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up.”   That means that we need to become what we are looking for. If we wait around for a mentor in our work place or a spiritual mom and dad in the church to apprentice us, we may be waiting a long time and never find what we are looking for. That is why I am so passionate about apprenticing. I am committed to investing in a few people and places for a lifetime.

Healthy apprenticing starts as an organic or relational journey between two people. So often we have an epiphany that we need to disciple or apprentice people, so we quickly default to the implementation of an ‘apprenticing program or system.’  We assign people to one another for mentoring,  recruit people for mentoring classes where we tell people how to mentor, or try to mass produce apprentices through meetings where we dispense information. This is backwards, hard to sustain, and will not produce the desired results.

Another obstacle to apprenticing is that most of us feel like we are not a ‘jedi’ mentor, so we think we don’t have much to offer, no less the confidence to invite a ‘padawan’ into an apprenticing relationship. Yet the truth of the matter is that we don’t have to be an expert or have it all together to apprentice. A good mentor is simply an available friend who is a few steps farther down the road and is willing to pass on the little that he or she has learned.

Many folks have been hurt by overly authoritarian leaders who abused them, or absentee types of leaders who abandoned them, the consequence being a disdain and avoidance of any forms of mentoring or apprenticing. Leading in any fashion is like a rash, and the distrust of leadership is high.

Healthy apprenticing is not a hierarchical relationship in which all the advice and wisdom flows one way from the guru down to the apprentice. It is a relationship of mutual learning. Neither is it a relationship in which the leader controls or manipulates their apprentice to puff up their ego or use the apprentice to accomplish their agenda. A good mentor comes alongside his or her apprentice to coach them to be all that they were created to be and do.

The first step for leaders is to observe where people are already connected to one another in their business, church, or organization. We don’t need to force relationships. In every community, church, or business, there is a tapestry of relationships where people are connected in circles of two or three. It is not hard to spend time with people you like. This is the starting point for developing an apprenticing culture. Here are few questions to help people discover who to mentor or who to be mentored by:

  •  Who do you have faith for and who would you be willing to spend time with to mentor?
  • Who in the church or company do you admire for their character and because they have a similar calling, career, or gifts/skills that you would like to be mentored in?
  • If you were struggling in your marriage or with an addiction, or needed input on a major decision, who would you feel safe going to for counsel or coaching?
  • Look for people who are hungry, available, teachable, and want to spend time with you.
What is apprenticing?

Find a Few to Apprentice in a Way of Life.

Apprenticing is investing in a few people that you love, by passing on what you are passionate about and living a way of life that is caught, and then passed on to others. Real apprenticing starts with God putting some people in your heart or gut – the stomach was the Hebraic understanding of where the heart is. Paul says in Galations 4:19 “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth, until Christ is formed in you.” Apprenticing is a journey of formation, not just giving people information.  Love is what changes people, not first and foremost a program of apprenticing.

Apprenticing is the journey of seeing a person come into maturity in both their character and their calling, and that person then walking with someone else to do likewise. It is a relational yet intentional process. I’ve identified five key practices in the full cycle of a healthy apprenticing relationship, or one could apply this to parenting as well.
  1. Calling the person out: This is inviting a person you have faith for to enter into an apprenticing journey. It also means affirming the God-given gifts, calling, and potential you see in them.
  2. Caring: This is the constant encouragement that we all need to hear that someone believes in us.  Caring is learning to communicate in that person’s love language. It means being there for that person in the hard times as well as the good times. Celebrating birthdays, having fun, going on trips together where the apprentice can watch what you do, and living life together.
  3. Coaching: This is modeling to the person how to do things, letting them go and try it for themselves, and then giving them feedback. This is the intentional part of the process where we adapt to the person’s learning style in helping him or her grow in life skills, leadership, and how to mentor others.
  4. Correction: This is earning the permission to speak into a person’s blind spots and giving correction out of love, especially in areas of character development. Often we avoid healthy evaluation, but constructive input is necessary for growth. To the degree people know that you truly care for them, they will receive your correction even if it hurts.
  5. Coaxing out of the nest: This stage is when the person we are mentoring needs to go and apprentice someone else. The person will often feel like he is not ready and will need to be nudged out of the nest.
How do we apprentice?
  1. Demonstrate what you are trying to pass on – We need people to show us the way, not just tell us the way. When our son Jonathan was around two years old, he came with us to some meetings with our church leaders. He loved playing (or pretending to play) the guitar, so we let him bring his miniature guitar with him. When we walked into the meeting there were about 4 or 5 guys in a circle having a jam session on their guitars, with one foot propped up on a chair and their guitars resting on their knees. Immediately Jon saw this and looked up at me with a great big grin and this look asking, “Could I join them, Dad?” I nodded down at him, and he walked over to the circle, put his foot up on a chair and started strumming his guitar. At that moment I caught a glimpse of apprenticing!  Paul says in I Cor. 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

    Learning by doing what we see!

    Learning by doing what we see!

  2. Do the stuff – Most people learn by practicing what they have seen demonstrated. This summer at camp I had the joy of apprenticing some of the counselors in deliverance. After one of the chapel sessions, a counselor asked if we could pray for one of her campers who was quite distraught and could not stay in the chapel because she was so agitated. I said, “Sure!” As we started to pray for this girl, she started to exhibit the signs of being under the influence of the demonic. I called a few other girl counselors, and we took the girl to a side room. Instead of doing the deliverance myself, I coached them on what questions to ask to get to the root of how this girl had become terrorized by the demonic. After getting to the root, they then prayed for deliverance for this girl. What a joy to mentor others in doing the words and works of Jesus! For most of these counselors this was their first experience of deliverance.
  3. Debrief – We need to have followup after doing, to see what worked and what didn’t work!

The fun of catching fish together.

I believe the most effective way to apprentice is to have a person shadow you. The ideal would be to have the person live with you or in close proximity, so that he or she can be immersed in a way of life. Most things in life are caught, not a theory that is taught. This is how we apprenticed our spiritual daughter, Trang who came from Vietnam to study at the University of Calgary, with no church or Christian background. She lived with us for four years and became a Jesus follower in our home. She became a part of our family. We had been afraid we might scare her away from Jesus if she saw our imperfections and weaknesses, yet as we tried to live the Jesus way, talk about the Kingdom around the supper table, and then encourage her to welcome some friends to learn about Jesus and His Kingdom, we saw a few of her friends become followers of Jesus, too.  She understood right from the get-go that as a follower of Jesus she was called to be an apprentice that makes apprentices of Jesus. She is now doing this in Sydney, Australia, where she is studying to get a masters degree in Marketing. The outcome of Trang living a life of apprenticing in Sydney is that a simple community of people who are not-yet Jesus followers, new Jesus followers, and a few ‘older’ Jesus followers is forming around her.

Stay tuned next time as Trang shares her story of apprenticing from Down Under. There is no greater joy than to see one of your apprentices go and do likewise. You will be so encouraged by her story of apprenticing friends in the Jesus Way!

Why Apprenticing is the Heart of the Matter: Part 1

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Oct 052012

Do as I do!

Over the years I have had the privilege of traveling around the world to coach leaders and their communities and teams. Again and again in every culture and context,  I have heard leaders lament over the dearth or lack of people who are willing to lead. Even Jesus said in Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  Why is it so hard to find leaders? Whether in the business world or the church, we can get sidetracked by the discussions and debates around what are the right models,  programs, structures, systems, leadership styles and philosophy, and miss the heart of the matter.  These are important discussions, but they need to be preceded by addressing a couple more important questions: Why do we exist, and how do we pass on our way of life to others who pass it on to others?

For example,  Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 28:19 that the raison d’etre for His followers is “Go and make disciples or apprentices of all nations.” He didn’t say go plant churches, or run meetings, or simply make converts. These things simply are the by-products of apprenticing people in the Jesus way of life that they then go and pass on to others. As I often say, leading people to Jesus is like having fun making babies. The long haul work is the journey of nurturing babies and investing in them till they reach  maturity. The question we need to be asking is: How are we doing at making apprentices that go and make apprentices?  I will be using different words such as mentoring, discipling, coaching, and apprenticing interchangeably to describe the same one on one journey of passing on a way of life.

As a pastor for many years, I put an inordinate amount of my time and energy towards planning a Sunday meeting, running the organization of church, and crafting 52 life-changing messages a year that I hoped would produce mature apprentices of Jesus who would go make other apprentices.  I kept doing the same old thing getting the same result, which some would call insanity! Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in and enjoy preaching and teaching as one small part of the continuum of  how we apprentice people in community. What has changed in me is that I believe that the deepest forms of transformation happen through an intentional relationship of one-on-one mentoring, where we can dig in on the core growth issues as we live out life together. The Sunday message or speaking to groups at conferences is no longer the locomotive driving how I disciple, but simply one of the train cars.

Many of us leaders need to go through a radical overhaul to re-calibrate and shift our priorities. Our priorities are revealed by where the majority of our time, energy, and money is going in a typical week. Thus my primary metric or measuring stick for evaluating my success as a leader is no longer how good of a preach or talk I gave to a crowd, though this is one of my gifts which I still value, but rather how many hours of a week I have invested in one-on-one intentional apprenticing relationships, to pass on the Jesus way of living.

Watch and learn.

My conclusion after years of coaching, leading, and pastoring is the following transferable, ageless, cross-cultural, and transcendent principle: Healthy organisms or organizations grow when they develop a culture of apprenticing where a way of life or the genetic code/DNA is passed on. Where there is a healthy mentoring culture there will be a multiplication of leaders who have caught the vision, values, and practices of that church or business, and are passing it on to the next generation of leaders. To develop an apprenticing culture will require a re-prioritizing of where we put our time, energy, and money! The seduction of rapid numerical growth, or the insecurity around being small and looking for the panacea to fast track growth, so quickly de-rails us from apprenticing. This initially is the slow way and is time intensive, but paves the way for multiplication that lasts.

In my next blog I will address the questions: Who do we apprentice? What is apprenticing? How do we apprentice people in our churches, businesses and communities?





Living a Life of Freedom

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Aug 072012

Freedom From All Forms of Slavery

“The freest people I know realize that they really own nothing and no one. They realize that everything they have is on loan! They choose to let go and not hold on to offenses by practicing forgiveness. They are comfortable in their own skin and have no need to prove themselves, or conform to what others would like them to be. Those who are truly free are rooted in the fact that they are loved, accepted, and that they belong. They are free from living a life of fear. Through experiencing the relentless love of God, they are able to give and receive love out of a full reservoir rather than looking to others or to things to fill the black hole. I believe that following Jesus, and His way of life offers us the real freedom to live life fully both now and for eternity!”

 Galations 5:1 says “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”

A couple of weeks ago I had the honour of speaking at a camp for 8-15 year olds on the subject of Freedom. Below are the principles I shared with them on the way to live a life of freedom. These principles and practices of walking out a life of freedom are applicable for all of us know matter what age or stage of life.

1. To Be Free We Need To Receive The Love Of Our Perfect Papa. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

You Are Loved by a Perfect Father!

  • Our Heavenly Father loves us dearly with no strings attached. The above verses state that He thought up the idea of making us the focus of His love even before He created the world!  His love for us cannot be earned. He simply wants us to receive it! Incredible!
  • Our Dad in Heaven chose to adopt us into His family, not because He had to, but because He wanted to! We belong!
  • Nothing can separate us from His love!
  • We all have a love deficit that only God can fill. Otherwise, we will look to other people to meet this need to be loved and end up disappointed or in some cases abused.
  • Have you ever had an experience of God’s love for you?
  • Take a moment and ask God, the only perfect dad, to soak you in His love!
2. To Be Free We Must Choose to Receive and Extend Forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • We need to Receive God’s Forgiveness: There is no sin to big that God will not forgive if we simply humble ourselves and become honest with Him!
  • We need to Forgive Ourselves.
  • We need to Forgive Others that have hurt us! Let go of offenses so that you don’t become a slave to bitterness that will eat you up!
  • Who do you need to Forgive?

Courage is Overcoming Our Fears

3. To Be Free We Need to Overcome Our Fears (I John 4:17-18)

  • God’s love gives us the power to overcome fear.
  • Do you fear abandonment or rejection?
  • Do you fear failure?
  • Do you fear what other people think of you?
  • Ask God to fill you with His love!
4. To Be Free Become a Follower of Jesus (John 8:35-36)
  • Jesus is inviting you to have a relationship with Him
  • His way of life will free you from all the dead-end life of slavery to sin which destroys our lives
  • All you have to do is let go of being in control and say ‘Yes’ to Jesus!
  • Jesus will change you from the inside out! His desires become your desires and vice versa.
  • Start living from your heart!

5. To Be Free To Fly We Need to Discover and Live Our God-Given Destiny! (Deut. 32:10-11)

We are called to soar like an eagle!

  • God is inviting us to join Him on His Mission Impossible to bring a little bit of heaven here on earth!
  • He is in the business of redeeming this world, and restoring it back to His original idea of a place where there is no more pain, poverty, death, disease, divorce, destruction of the environment, division between ethnic groups, economic and gender injustices, sex-slavery, and war!
  • Should we accept the invitation to join Him, we have the amazing joy of welcoming others into a free relationship with Him.
  • He is asking us to invest the passions, talents, gifts, education, and resources He has given us to steward in His Kingdom Enterprise. Through partnering with Him, we have the privilege of restoring all of creation back to His original plan.
  • What is your purpose for being on planet earth? (Jer. 29:11-14)

6. To Be Free Find a Few, Faithful, Forgiving, Friends! (John 15:12-13)

  • FEW: We can only really dive into deeper friendship with a small group of friends.
  • FAITHFUL: These friends have stuck with us through thick and thin. They are people who we can trust to cover our backs.
  • Here are 2 litmus tests to help us discover who these true friends are: The test of time and the test of being able to resolve conflict.
  • FORGIVING: These are people who know our faults and weaknesses, but are still for us!
  • Who are these friends in your life?

5 Tips For Achieving Your Purposes In Life With Passion

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Jul 202012

Setting Clear Purposes Gives Us Focus

With the Olympic games just around the corner, I thought I would share with you the 5 tips I spoke about in a recent hockey camp with a group of around 30 kids between the ages of 8-15. The same principles that work for achieving one’s goals in a sport are also applicable for any our life pursuits.


  • The obstacles to setting goals are the fear of failure, the fear of not having what it will take, and the fear of what other people will think.
  • “If you aim for nothing you will accomplish nothing.”
  • Set SMART goals: Specific, Motivational, Accountable, Realistic, and Timely.

Pure Passion

  • Other words for passion are energy, motivation, zest, intensity, and charisma.
  • Your passions are the things you love to do without being told.
  • They are the talents you have been given.
  • They are the interests or dreams you have.
  • PASSION KILLERS IN YOUR LIFE:  Apathy, Naysayers in your life or Negative voices, Disappointment, Mediocrity and Grumbling or Complaining.

Seeing Through the Pain to the Prize


  • “Pursuing your purpose with passion will mean pressing through pain.”
  • “Anything worth doing will cost you something.”
  • What are the problems, obstacles or hard things that you are facing right now that you think are keeping you from going for purposes or goals?
  • We need mentors and heroes who have been through some pain to reach their purposes
  • We need people who will cheer us on when the going gets tough and tell us that we have what it takes.
  • List 5 people that inspire you and the 5 qualities about these people that attract you to them.
  • These same characteristics that you like in your mentors or heroes are resident within you.
  • Mentors or Heroes will: Call us out, Coach us, Correct us, Comfort us, and Coax us out of the nest.

    The Posse of Dads and Sons Pursuing Our Passion Together

  • Other words for perseverance are tenacity, finishing strong, resiliency, and determination.
  • “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Malcolm Gladwell
  • It takes 10,000 hours or 10 years of practice to become proficient at a skill or talent.
  • “Practice is those things you do when know one else is watching.”
  • “To the degree we prepare and practice, we can improvise, be spontaneous, and intuitive in a sport and the game of life.”
Go For It.

Betwixt and Between: Sojourning Through the Borderlands

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Jul 062012

The In Between of the Borderlands

Caught between two worlds; belonging to this earth, yet feeling like strangers, misfits, or aliens from another planet .

This is the nature of life in the borderlands. Pilgrims passing through, yearning for a city and country to call their own.

Satisfied settlers living in the neighborhood; ever-seeking sojourners looking for home, so close, yet so out of reach.

One foot in heaven and one foot here on earth; a tug of war rages for the affections of our souls.

The ever present allure of sex, stuff, and status tries to draw us into its seductive web; temporary fixes that are fleeting.

Loving the pulsating life of the city, yet longing for the peace of the country.

Stuck between the city and country

Content but ever restless, happy on the outside yet gripped by the haunting on the inside.

No experience or relationship can satiate this gnawing sense of despondency, discontent, emptiness, longing, and hunger.

The promise of satisfaction found in penultimate vacations, dream houses, gold plated pension funds, and the perfect relationship only leaves us wanting more.

What will fill the hole, and what will satisfy the unending haunting? What is the purpose of this holy discontent?

Beneath it all is an unquenchable thirst for lasting peace, deeper intimacy, exquisite beauty, real justice for all found in relationship with our Creator!

Heed that homesickness for a world with no pollution, poverty or pain; groan for a little slice of heaven here on earth.

Slow down and listen to that inward still small voice calling you homeward.

Seeing Another World Dimly

Gaze more deeply, and though faint, you will see a vision of a better city and country that is just over the horizon.

Travel lightly as you move from the borderlands into that promised land you have been waiting for.

Dive into the Grand Adventure of partnering with God to usher in, here and now, a little bit of heaven on earth!