Cadre Missionaries: NO Small Potatoes

[Bill] Very early in our marriage, my wife went grocery shopping. Though I was employed in a full-time job, our income at that time was considered poverty level. Yes, we lived on love and a very tight budget—like lots of young couples.
When Stacy came home from the grocery store, she said, “I was able to buy everything we planned except potatoes. I wanted to stick to our budget.” 
I said, “Thanks for sticking to the budget. We can do without potatoes. We’ll be fine.”
Those words were barely out of my mouth when someone knocked at our door. It was a dear friend from our church who lived across the back alley. Holding a large bag in her arms she said, “I bought too many potatoes at the store today. Would you like some?” 
That true story is a microcosm of how God has provided—and continues to provide—for us, our larger-than-normal family, and our ministry with Cadre Missionaries to this day.

Make no mistake. We need your help.

September 2019 marks the 17th birthday/anniversary of Cadre Missionaries!

For 17 years, God and YOU have made it possible for us, as Cadre Missionaries, to multiply Jesus-like disciplemaking friendships here and around the world.

“Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” – 3 John 1:5-8

From our hearts to yours, thank you for doing your part of 3 John 1:5-8!  And make no mistake: We still need your help.

> In honor of our 17th birthday, would you please prayerfully consider donating a special gift of $17 or more?

Those of you who know us know that we don’t often ask for financial support like this. However, on our 17th anniversary as a ministry, we need your $ help, so we’re asking God’s people—like you—to join us in this disciplemaking adventure.

We’d love to see 300 of our friends respond with a special gift of $17. That would bless Cadre with $5,100 much needed dollars for our disciplemaking mission.

> Will YOU be one of our 300 friends?

To donate $17 securely and immediately onlinego here.

* Mail a check: Cadre Missionaries, PO Box 278, Sycamore, IL 60178

Other giving options…

* To give more than $17 securely and immediately online, go here.

To support a Cadre missionary on a monthly basis, go here.

And of course you can ship potatoes, coffee beans, or practical missionary hugs to: Cadre Missionaries, 916 Foxpointe Dr, Sycamore, IL 60178

* For questions and more info, please call Rennie at 815.501.3132.

Note: Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all gifts are tax deductible.

If you’ve never financially supported Cadre Missionaries before, this would be a great first step. If you’re already a $ partner with God and Cadre, then please prayerfully consider an additional $17. In a ministry like ours, every dollar makes a huge difference. Each gift—no matter the size—is a huge encouragement, much needed, and greatly appreciated.

Because Cadre seeks to make disciplemakers, only Heaven will reveal the full impact of your partnership.

We are your Cadre Missionaries. You are God’s wind in our Cadre sails. Thank you for celebrating 17 years of Jesus-like disciplemaking with us and to God be the glory!

Bill Allison, Executive Director, for the Cadre team.
Bill & Stacy Allison, Dave & Rennie Garda, Mark & Rachel O’Brien, Laura & Craig Slezak

What are you doing THIS FALL to encourage and equip volunteers and students in your ministry?

What are you doing THIS FALL to encourage and equip volunteers and students in your ministry?Note: I didn’t ask if you are organizing volunteers. I asked what exactly you’re doing to encourage and equip volunteers (including students). 
If you’re like most ministry leaders, you’re probably not doing very much in the encouraging and equipping departments. 

No wonder your church/ministry is having such a difficult time with finding and keeping great volunteers.
Consider the DANGER of not encouraging & equipping volunteers.
Consider the HIGH COST of not encouraging & equipping volunteers.
Here’s the good news: We’d love to help you!Right now is the best time to schedule Cadre for a time of encouragement and equipping for the volunteers and students who serve in ministry!We’d love to bring one of Cadre’s disciplemaking training experiences to the volunteer leaders and students who serve in ministry. Carefully consider the following…
Ministry Is Relationships!
Evangelism Is Relationships!
Disciplemaking Is Relationships!
Your Next Steps…
1. Click each of the links above and carefully read about three of the core disciplemaking training experiences we can bring to those in your ministry.

2. Share this post with those who serve in ministry with you. 

3. For complete details or more information, email us.

So you’re still not sure the volunteers and students at your church or ministry need encouragement and equipping?
Think again!

Copyright © 2019 Cadre Missionaries, All rights reserved. 

EQUIPped for Gospel Reflection

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Billy Graham Library. While I have know the name Billy Graham and have heard many stories from his life, I was amazed at his heart and desire for people to know God and to walk with Him. His passion for the gospel and genuine love for people often put him in the position to bring the light of Christ into previously thought dark and impenetrable areas.

This got me thinking… How well do I really know the gospel? Does an overflowing gratefulness for the gospel of Christ overflow from my life? How about our students?

Shortly after visiting the Billy Graham Library, I was with a group of middle school students for Cadre’s Equip for Middle School Disciplemakers. Among other things, we spent time together writing out our story, looking at the five parts of the gospel, and sharing the gospel with each other.

What about the upcoming school year? How do we build times for gospel reflection throughout the year? What if we peppered into the rhythm of youth group – Gospel Nights. Three or four nights in the upcoming school year to creatively and actively remind each other of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To celebrate the gospel together.

First, we let’s start with the gospel itself. There are a variety of ways and resources to explain / communicate the gospel. I personally like the five parts that we use in Equip. Here they are:

  1. God loves me and wants me to live with him forever. (John 3:16)
  2. My sin separates me from a relationship with God. (Romans 3:23)
  3. I can’t fix my sin problem. Being good can’t save me. (Titus 3:5)
  4. God fixed my sin problem through Jesus’ death on the cross. (Romans 5:8)
  5. God invites me to believe and receive his gift of forgiveness. (John 3:16 | John 10:10)

Through Jesus, I can experience love, joy and peace in my life now and forever.

There are many other ways to communicate the gospel. Dare2Share uses 6-words: God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life. Others use 4-words: Creation, Fall. Redemption. Restoration. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association uses four steps: God’s plan – peace and life, Our Problem – separation from God, God’s remedy – the cross, Our response – receive Christ.

You can also use one verse and some stick figure art: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Yup, do you remember the bridge illustration? 

Now get creative. What experiences can you come up with that will help your students engage and articulate their story and the story of the gospel?

  1. Key Word and Scripture Search. Split the gospel into each of its parts, and then have students search key words to find verses from the Bible that explain or relate to that part of the gospel.
  2. Linking the character of God to the gospel. Ask the question: what does each part of the gospel tell us about the character of God? Then have the students come up with the answers.
  3. Gospel scavenger hunt. Have students search for images or take photos for each part of the gospel. Have them share with each other the images and how or why it reminds them of the gospel. 
  4. What is God’s heart for people who do not know him? Read Luke 15 together or other intersection moments from the Gospels – moments when Jesus interacts with someone who does not know God. What is God’s heart for people who do not know him (Hint: John 3:16)?
  5. Share your intersection stories. How has your life intersected with the story of the gospel? Walk through each part of the gospel and ask each other questions:
  • Have you ever come to a point where you know God loves you? Tell me about that. What has made it hard to believe God loves you?
  • What do you think about the statement that, “my sin separates me from God”? Is that hard to believe? Have you ever felt a longing or distance from God – or something?
  • “I can’t fix my sin problem.” Is this true? Are we able to handle the consequences of life on our own or do we need God to step in? Have you had a moment in life where you’ve experienced this?
  • “God fixed my sin problem through Jesus’ death on the cross.” What does this mean? Do you believe this? If you do, tell me the story of how or why you believe this. If not, what prevents you from believing this?
  • What does receiving God’s forgiveness look like? What does it look like to walk through life with Jesus?

When it comes to the gospel, we often think about it in a confrontational context – a weapon to defend our view of life or to win an argument with someone who doesn’t believe the same thing that we do. No wonder talking about the gospel – even among fellow christians – stirs anxiety and causes our hearts to race.

This should not be. Let’s help the gospel to be the good news that it really is. Let’s celebrate it together. Find times to share the stories of how the gospel of Christ is intersecting our lives. The more we personally and our students know the gospel and celebrate the intersecting of Christ and our lives, the more we will see evangelism accidentally happening out of the overflow of our hearts. Use these ideas to get you started in being friends who celebrate the gospel of Jesus and its impact on our lives.

What If Disciplemaking IS Leadership?

One of my friends who is a leader in his denomination asked me, “Do you do any leadership training?”
 
I said, “Yes. We call it disciplemaking training,” and then I winked at him. (We’re still good friends.)
 
There is so much talk about “leadership” in ministry these days—and yet, so little disciplemaking.
 
Here’s a crazy thought on leadership: 
What if disciplemaking is leadership? If that’s true, then whoever initiates disciplemaking friendships is a leader—even if he or she doesn’t hold a “leadership” title or position. Real leaders don’t need a title or position. They just live it. It’s a way of life for them, not a job. 
 
While I’m jumping off a cliff, let me say this: 
All disciplemakers are leaders, but not all “leaders” are disciplemakers.
 
There. I said it. But before you reject it, run what I just said through your understanding of Jesus’ life and ministry. Think with me: Jesus doesn’t just make disciples, he makes disciplemakers. Jesus doesn’t simply collect a large group of followers and call that success. No, Jesus seeks to transform every follower into a fisher.
 
Hence, Jesus is the ultimate “leader.” But he lived as a humble servant who made disciplemakers. Pardon me, but I’m a little suspicious of any talk of “leadership” that is not centered on Jesus, humility, servanthood, and disciplemaking.
 
The more I study Jesus the more I question current conventional wisdom on leadership.
 
We really need to pause and rethink what it means to be a ministry leader or church leader in light of the biblical Jesus. I contend that making disciples like Jesus is the fullest and truest expression of what it means to be a spiritual leader. And if that’s true, then whoever initiates, lives, and shares The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus as a way of life with others is a leader. 
 
What if instead of defining leadership as “influence,” we defined it as initiating disciplemaking friendships that multiply? What might happen if every paid and volunteer leader in a church or ministry actually led—not just with their lips—but with their lives like this
 
I dare you to try to find out.
 
 
[Note: This post has been excerpted from The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus, (c) 2018 CadreMissionaries.com. Used by permission.]

Jesus Sends Me… As He was Sent.

Are you ready and willing to be a living exhibition of what life with God is like? Jesus invites you to join him in this adventure. Connecting in our World is the contact of the eternal with the mundane—and it can be a transforming adventure that we unwrap everyday.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” —Matthew 28:18-20 

The command here is to “make disciples.” The context expects us to be out in our world accomplishing this ultimate priority. While going, we are to multiply ourselves by making new disciples, baptizing them and guiding them until they are living out these truths in their own lives—making disciples themselves! Jesus demonstrated his own commitment to “going” by his birth and life among us. He identified with those he loved as he sought to make disciples. I wonder if instead of following Jesus’ example, we practice a “Great Omission” today—we post a sign or run an ad and wait for the lost to find their own way to us. As shepherds, let’s go meet the sheep where they are. 

Scriptures emphasize going. John 15 focuses on going and bearing fruit. In Mark 16 Christ says, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” In John 20:21, Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Yet we often say, “Come, come, come. Come to our ___________ program. Come to our beautiful facility. Come to our activity.” We even have it turned around so that we find ourselves getting mad, disgusted and discouraged with our friends because they don’t come—yet Jesus told us to go. We have no right to expect others to draw close until we have been faithful in going. 

HUNGER FOR GOD

The Bible teaches that our lives are “letters” read by those people around us (2 Cor. 3:2). The disciplemaker must take time to cultivate the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, evangelism and spiritual breathing (confession of sin and complete yielding to the Spirit). We should be able to say, as Paul said to the Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Students can sense the intensity of my relationship with God when they spend time with me. My personal time with Christ spills over and affects people around me more than any other time investment I make—students know when my quiet time is going well, and they can tell when it isn’t. 

COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE

Jesus lived in a world of hurting and needy people. Matthew 8:14-15 describes an instance when Jesus was at Peter’s house, and he saw Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed with fever. Jesus touched her hand and the fever left her. The teen years are hard. The challenges students face are only intensified by struggles with self-image, acceptance and meaning in life. We must compassionately understand the basic needs students have if we intend to minister to them. In Five Cries of Youth, Merton Strommen details these basic needs and how we as disciplemakers and even youth workers can deal with them.

Strommen surveyed more than seven thousand teenagers about their values, beliefs, opinions and concerns about themselves, their friends, their world, and their God. He writes, “If you listen, you can hear cries, rising out of the data with compelling insistence: sobs, angry shouts, hurrahs, protests and jeers.” Our love for hurting students should come from an overflow of our personal relationship with Christ.

Mark 1:40-45 refers to this principle: “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees… Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.” 

Likewise, we need to let compassion come alive in us as we interact with students. 

Leaders must be prepared to confront the questions students are facing: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? In Leadership, Barry St. Clair describes a leader’s role in the lives of students:

Webster defines leadership as the ‘ability to show the way or guide the course of action of another by going before or going beside.’ As you examine that definition, one thing becomes apparent about being a leader. You can’t show someone else the way to go unless you have been there (or are going there) yourself. In other words, the quality of your life will determine the quantity of your influence. As you minister to students, you must catch hold of the concept that, ‘If I take care of the depth of my spiritual life, then God will take care of the breadth of my disciplemaking adventure.’ Simply stated, leadership is a life-style. God can use you to influence others, but your influence will be in proportion to the type of lifestyle that you lead. 

My connecting skills are only valuable when they are supported by a meaningful relationship with God. 

RELATIONAL ABILITIES OF A DISCIPLEMAKER 

Because of the significance of the connecting intentionality, we realize that disciplemakers need to develop several convictions: 

WILLINGNESS TO SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE (for example as Youth Workers with Students) 

Many students today lack significant relationships with adults due to the breakdown of the family, economic pressures requiring both parents and teens to work, and the development of a youth subculture that tends to breed mistrust and misunderstanding between generations. If people only see us on Sundays, and we are “phantom” Christians the rest of the week, they may easily conclude that we don’t really care about them as individuals. We must earn the right to be heard and show our concern for them by learning about their interests and becoming involved in their lives. 

SENSITIVITY TO PEOPLES’ DEVELOPING IDENTITIES (for example as Youth Workers with Students)

Like many of us, students are people in transition. As disciplemakers and youth leaders, we need to be aware of the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual makeup of our students (and our friends & neighbors) and their various stages of development. Be careful not to stereotype or categorize others—each deserves individual attention and care. This individual love means accepting students even with their imperfections. It’s common to know students, family and friends who are struggling to form their unique identity—and to see them undergo personality changes and try new fads. We must strive to accept each individual as God’s creation rather than condemn or judge their self-worth.

Our sensitivity should include speaking the truth in love when a student’s new individuality infringes upon the rights of others. Remember that discipleship and discipline are as closely related as they sound. 

A DOSE OF AGGRESSIVENESS 

Growing up, my mom and I used to go fishing. We never just sat in the boat waiting for fish to jump in. Of course not! We aggressively went after them, making an effort to find out where the fish were, and then caught them. “When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.’” —Matthew 9:36-38

Jesus called us to join him in fishing for men, not waiting for fish to swim up to us. We must aggressively, but lovingly and tactfully, go after them. In John 4, Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes. Look into the fields. See that they are white unto harvest.” Often we are so busy planning our own programs and looking at our own problems that we fail to see how ripe the harvest is. That’s why Jesus urged us to look around and see how ready the harvest really is. Compassion should lead us to vigorously pursue Christ’s example and commission. 

WILLINGNESS TO IDENTIFY WITH THE ANOTHER’S WORLD

For example, Teenagers can easily develop a dichotomy in their minds—the church world, and the “real” world. What goes on in the church world is good and valuable; but it doesn’t relate, in their minds, to the real world. When we penetrate the real world that students live in by going on their turf, the dichotomy breaks down. Our teaching has new value as they realize that a daily walk with Christ does relate to them. A side benefit of entering the world of students is that we gain a better understanding of what life is like for them. Too often we teach from theory or old personal experiences rather than dealing with the real issues this generation is facing this month. 

CONSISTENCY IN CONNECTING

We must have the conviction that connecting is as important two years into our friendships and ministries as it is during the initial months of our friendships. We must guard against the “sigh of relief” syndrome that says, “I used to do that, but thankfully, I’m past that stage.” Connecting is a continual process that expresses the value we place on people. Threats to consistency: 

Connecting takes time and effort. Building relationships and penetrating circles of friends does not come naturally. If we fail to take the time or encourage other leaders and students to make intentional contacts, we soon will become an ingrown group without any non-Christian friends or fringe students close enough to impact. 

Connecting takes courage and boldness.

A problem that we face in maintaining a connecting intentionality is what Pat Hurley refers to as the stomach problem—visiting a high school campus, students’s homes, local hangouts, etc. all require a certain amount of guts. 

Perhaps this is what Paul was experiencing when he wrote to the Corinthians: “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3). Fear is a natural response as we leave our own spiritual and peer comfort zone to “cross-culturally” contact teens. But if we are afraid to go to them, isn’t it easy to see why they would be terrified to come to a church or church-based group? Remember Christ’s promise: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). 

Results may come slowly. We must face the possibility that we will not see the impact of our connecting intentionality for a long time. I remember my first contacts well. Not only was I nervous, but I felt awkward and out of place; yet I was always praying and asking God to help me know what to say. I wanted students to know that I was truly interested in their lives and cared enough to spend time with them. Connecting is slow and often discouraging, but trust develops over time. 

Remember the wisdom of Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

—by Dave & Rennie Garda, Cadre Missionaries, dave@cadremissionaries.com