FREE! A Disciplemaking Manifesto.

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What does a disciplemaking way of life look like in 2020? It looks very similar to life in 3A.D. This Disciplemaking Manifesto is our free gift to you, your family and friends. Read it. Live it. Share it. Together. Access your free digital booklet (28pp) and a more detailed description by clicking the the cover below:

ETERNITY – The Joy of Overflowing with God’s Hope.

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” Isaiah 57:15

Before the kids of Jupiter Florida or Banksy, there was Arthur Stace. From 1932 to 1967 the streets and sidewalks of Sydney Australia were tagged in chalk with the word “Eternity.” Arthur had been gripped by the gospel and compelled by God to write a single word. For thirty-five years he anonymously pointed people to the hope and reality of a God who draws close to the humble.

How will we overflow with the love of Christ during a pandemic?

How will we actively love and care for others when we are asked to socially distance and use disinfectant wipes on our groceries?

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

  1. Motivate: Take a clue from Arthur Stace. Let your motivation be the love and hope of Christ. Not a burden to “do good.” There were moments when he tried the words “obey God”, “God”, or “Sin”, but ultimately the word “Eternity” is what he stayed with.
  2. Relationship: Who are the people God has placed in your life? Reach out to them. Check in and see how they are doing. Let God use you as a beacon of hope. Pray 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 before you contact them. Let God prompt you.
  3. MatrixTalent, Skill, and Passion: How has God wired you? If you are an introvert or an extrovert—what skills, talents, abilities, and passions do you have? How could you use them? 3-d print face shields. Paint Rocks. Offer to shop for and deliver groceries. Open your windows as you play your instrument. Play games or watch movies together virtually. Message a verse of hope. Again, let God do the prompting.

One quick side note. Make sure that your plan is helpful under the current systems and guidelines that your community has in place. Matt and Destin from No Dumb Questions have some great thoughts on this in their most recent podcast. Sometimes our desire to help and solve problems can actually get in the way of what is already being done. Take steps humbly, but take steps.

Praying with you as you overflow hope with God’s love.

Binge Disciplemaking?

Because of the Coronavirus, it looks like we’ll all be a little more sequestered for the time being. And if you’re like most people, you’ll spend much of that time binge-watching Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc. (Or, maybe you’re the person who loves watching funny cat videos on YouTube.) When you’re finished binge-watching, consider this: How can you make the most of this situation?

What if I told you that in the middle of this world-wide concern about the Coronavirus, God has given a gift to you—a window of time with your family and closest friends. And right now, none of us know how long this will last. 

Where can you start in making the most of this opportunity? Step #1 of The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus is Time With (TW) people. Think about it. You can’t make disciples like Jesus if you don’t strategically invest time together with family and friends. Under normal circumstances, we’re all so busy, we don’t have time to be with people. All of a sudden, our various gatherings are being canceled. Many of us now have unexpected time together—at least for the moment. 

As I write this, Stacy and I are at Dave and Rennie Garda’s house for two days enjoying their friendship, sharing Scripture, praying, drinking great coffee, sharing meals, and working together on Cadre stuff. We are having so much fun too. Normally we’re out doing disciplemaking training experiences around the country on weekends. And it’s not just us. We just called home to our three daughters to check in. They are playing a board game. On Saturday morning—what?

How long will this window of opportunity for engaging in disciplemaking friendships with family and friends last? No one really knows. But let’s agree to NOT be like funny man Dustin Nickerson:

All that to ask this: 

How can you seize this window of opportunity for disciplemaking friendships?

To that end, we’d like to do something fun and practical especially for our friends like you who track with Cadre Missionaries. Here’s a FREE four-page PDF download that you can print and share with your family and friends.

Hint: See page 4 of the cadre 2020 corona pdf for your special CV19 discount code.

Who loves you? Jesus and your Cadre Missionaries—that’s who…

Tools to help you make the most of unexpected time together… Click here to get our free 4 page PDF—LINK: cadre 2020 corona

Shepherd Your Students By Leveraging Seasons and Rhythms.

Project, papers, and presentations. Final exams and labs. The students in our district are consumed with the end of their semester. You can almost feel the levels of tension rising. The other day I spoke with one of the school counselors who was in her office late after the final bell. She had a tired smirk on her face when she said that some students are handling things better than others. She said that everyone is feelings the stress of the end of the semester… students and staff alike. But things will slow down in a week or two.

How about you and the families that you serve? What are the rhythms and experiences that your community regularly goes through? Take out your calendar and map out the times of year when routines change, semesters begin or end, and other things that regularly impact the families you serve. What could it look like for you to be an agent of God to dispense his grace and peace during these times? How could you adjust your schedule during these seasons to encourage the parents, students, school staff, and others during these times?

Would you block off some time today to pray for people you know – by name? Would you take the extra step in sending them a message to let them know you are praying for them and thanking God for them? Would you take a minute to overflow the grace and peace of God to those you shepherd?

“God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.” 1 Peter 1:2

What other ways could you reach out in friendship by overflowing with the grace and peace of God? For several years, we would recruit a team of home schooled students to help us deliver freshly made cookies and an encouraging note to the homes of the other students – on the first day of school. Have fun and get creative in overflowing with the grace and peace of Christ – with others.

(And if you think about it, be praying for Mehgan – she’s a little stressed about her upcoming science project and the AP Spanish exam.)

Do you need someone to help you brainstorm ideas for your local context? Send me an email – mark@cadremissionaries.com – I would love to help.

You Have More In Common with Gen Z Than You Think.

There is a lot being said right now about Gen Z (Gen Z: The Hand They Have Been Dealt | Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs, and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation). But we need to be careful as we do a deep dive into what makes this generation tick. Our preoccupation with the uniqueness of this generation, might actually isolate us from them instead of drawing us to them. You probably have more in common with Gen Z than you realize.

I believe each generation must travel along the same path in their engagement with God or estrangement from Him. They are navigating the reality of sin, brokenness, relationships, their own internal wiring and development, and the culture they live in. This is often referred to as the human condition. While each generation will have a unique twist to this journey, I believe there is more in common between the generations than there are distinctions.

About a year ago, I was having a conversation with a group of veteran youth leaders – whom I highly respect. One of them, who does ministry on the west coast, was asked, “You’ve been doing ministry with middle school students for a long time. What new issues / trends are you seeing in this generation?” The question seemed to catch this youth leader off guard a little. He thought for a second and then responded, “Yes, I suppose there are some new issues these kids are facing, but after eighteen years of working with middle school students I’ve realized that the kids today are dealing with the same issues that the kids eighteen years ago were dealing with.”

Last week, I spoke with a science teacher in our public high school. This teacher said to me, “After thirty-four years of teaching, I’ve noticed that they are still the same kids. The only difference is their earbuds. They are lonely. They retreat into their screens.”

What can we can do for this generation? How can we connect with them:

  • Pray through a list of the teenagers in your life. Ask God to give you compassion and empathy toward them. Ask him to help you hear the beat of their heart.
  • Take a genuine interest in these students. What are their passions, talents, and interests. What do they think about? What do they worry about? 
  • Part of being a teenager is navigating a sense of loneliness – help them to realize they are loved and known by God and by you.
  • Use your favorite App to jot down notes about them and remind you to message them.
  • Pray for them and the important things in their life – let them know you are praying for them.

God designed this life around relationships – with him and with each other. Lean into this journey of becoming friends (with your teenagers) who follow Jesus together.

We would love to encourage and equip you in this journey of building Christ centered relationships with teenagers.

Training: Ministry is Relationships | Resources: One Another Living Guide | You can even email me with your questions: mark@cadremissionaries.com

Virtual Youth Group 2020

In this article your Cadre Missionaries friends (including Mark, Rachel, Dave and Rennie) are going to frame out a plan to keep youth ministry running during this COVID-19 crisis.

Our world is scrambling to figure out how to convert their business and lifestyle onto a digital platform. A lifestyle that includes the requirement of this new reality—social distancing, isolation, and sheltering in place. This is also true for churches and youth ministries. Regardless of your position on live-streaming youth group or church services, we must think beyond simply re-creating what was and look to what is…

Our role has not changed from what it was two months ago. We are shepherds. We are to live, model, and multiply a disciplemaking way of life. Jesus modeled for his disciples the identity of a servant. The identity we embrace impacts what we multiply.

Live, Model, and Multiply a Disciplemaking Way of Life.

1. Live disciplemaking with those you are sheltering with today.

2. Model for others connected to your ministry. Remember this includes students, youth leaders and parents—help them to lift their eyes above their current circumstances. Help them to see how they can leverage this new reality to become friends who follow Jesus together. Invite them into your disciplemaking way of life and find ways to stay connected.

3. Multiply a disciplemaking way of life as we step out of the spotlight. Encourage, resource and support students and their families to follow Jesus together in the new patterns of their COVID-19 life. This includes both their shelter in place buddies as well as those they can reach out to digitally.

Here are a few ideas for living, modeling and multiplying a disciplemaking way of life even in a season of “shelter-in-place.” Pick one that fits you best—then model and implement this as a disciplemaking strategy. Then pick a second one and repeat the process. Begin spreading your own disciplemaking virus.

Learn from your students: What are they already doing? Let them teach you. A teenager’s drive for community and ingenuity can be an amazing resource. Discover what they are already doing and help them to connect this as a disciplemaking friendship.

Connect with your students: Don’t miss the daily opportunity to reach into a virtual connection with one or more of the students Don’t underestimate the power of a phone call not just a text or message app.

YouVersion Bible App: Start a new reading plan. Listen to it with your shelter in place community. Invite students, volunteer leaders and families to join you. Utilize the comment and prayer features.

Breakfast & Bible Study: Start inviting people to join you for a virtual meal. Use FaceTime groups, zoom, or your favorite video messaging platform. While eating and catching up, share a verse or two that God is using in your life right now. Pray together. Encourage them to invite someone to join them for a future meal.

Pray: “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Philippians 1:3). Pray through your contacts. Message them—tell them you are praying for them. Share with them your prayer. Ask them how you can be praying for them. Encourage them to pray and reach out to their contacts.

Group study sessions: School is hard enough for some students, shifting to online classes has made things even more difficult. What if you were to host a digital study hall. This allows students to get help from each other on assignments. What if your students were to host virtual tutoring sessions? They could FaceTime with families who have middle school or grade school kids, and help them with their assignments. There are parents out there would would appreciate some extra help with teaching.

One Another Secret Missions: Each day take a one another command from the Bible and text it as a secret mission to your contacts. Tell them to be creative, and to come up with ways to overflow with God’s love through this one another command. Ask them to report back. How did it go living this out with their family and digital friends?

Don’t forget to have fun: Years ago, Rachel and I dated long-distance. We played boardgames, watched movies, got McDonald’s ice cream together – over the phone. What could it look like to do this today? Be creative, have fun, and encourage students and families to host long distance gatherings.

What additional ideas has this list sparked? Add them to your list by writing them down and sharing them. More importantly—give them a try.

Remember, your role has not changed. You are a servant-shepherd who is to live, model, and multiply a disciplemaking way of life. Keep following Jesus with your list of contacts and circle of influence. Equip them to see this world through Jesus’ eyes. Send them to follow Jesus together with their shelter in place community and their circle of influence. Yes, we can spread disciplemaking even as we shelter-in-place. Thanks for joining us, as we follow Jesus together.