No more New Year’s resolutions!

Are you sick and tired of making New Year’s resolutions you can’t keep? Why not try something different this year? Why not resolve to do something that you can actually accomplish? To get you started right this new year, we’re offering you…

Seven New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep:

1.  To gain weight-at least 15 pounds.
2.  To stop exercising
3.  To read less.
4.  To watch more TV.
5.  To procrastinate more…starting tomorrow.
6.  To get further into debt.
7.  To spread out priorities beyond your ability to keep track of them.

On second thought, you may want to read the rest of this article before you make any more New Year’s resolutions…even easy ones!

A Prayer for January 2nd
For the overwhelming majority of us who will make yet one more New Year’s resolution that starts on January 1st, I offer you the following prayer for January 2nd:

Dear God,
I want to thank you for being close to me so far this year.  With your help, I haven’t been impatient, lost my temper, been grumpy, judgmental or envious of anyone.  But I will really need your help soon because I’m about to get out of bed.
Amen

piqca1resgu-elizabeth-lies

Resolve Doesn’t Mean Results
We make resolutions on New Year’s Day to become better people. Our hearts are often in the right place, but somehow, our resolve doesn’t quite translate into results. Research on New Year’s resolutions indicates that:

  • Within the first two months of the new year, 25 % of us will break our promises.
  • By six months, nearly 40% will have failed.
  • By the end of the year, approximately 82 % will be unsuccessful.

Think about your own life. Haven’t you ever made a New Year’s resolution to diet…only to gain weight? Okay, I might be projecting my issues onto you with that example, but haven’t you ever done something similar? We all start out so well, but most of us don’t finish well. As the great poet/philosopher Homer Simpson once said: “I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. Then it was every other day. Now I’m lucky if I can find a half an hour a week in which to get funky.”

Resolve Not to Make Any New Year’s Resolutions!  
While there is something in the human psyche that gravitates to new beginnings, if you really want to start this new year right, forget about making New Year’s resolutions. Don’t waste your breath huffing and puffing about how YOU are going to change yourself.  Instead, do something REALLY life-changing this year.

And this is your invitation to take a life-changing AND guilt-free Bible reading adventure together in 2017.shutterstock_370508654-1

 

Would you like a better, stronger relationship with God in 2017?

By far the single most important thing I did in 2016 that helped my relationship with God was reading through the Bible—with some friends.

News Flash: A better, stronger relationship with God will not happen accidentally.

This is your invitation to gather your friends to take a life-changing AND guilt-free Bible reading adventure together in 2017.

1. Here’s WHY you probably won’t do this. (Just keeping it real.)

2. Here’s HOW you can pull this off if you dare to go for it.

3. Here’s an online community for sharing what we learn together.

4. Here’s a story about what God can do if you dare to try in 2017.

15777093_1201560783243316_3255770318892394434_o

Here’s our Bible reading plan for 2017…   

   * January 2017

   * February 2017

   * March 2017

   * April 2017

   * May 2017

   * June 2017

   * July 2017

   * August 2017

   * September 2017

   * October 2017

   * November 2017

   * December 2017

[Note: This 12-part reading will take us through the whole Bible in 2017. Each month is a new onramp. So it doesn’t matter if people start with us in January or not! It doesn’t matter if you skip a month. No guilt. No pressure. I’ll say it again: Each month is a new on ramp. So please invite friends to join you each month.]

So, WHO needs to do this with you this year?

Share this post with them right now.

Help Cadre Missionaries end 2017 strong and launch us into a new exciting year of disciplemaking!

How to choose your next best curriculum

People often ask me for curriculum recommendations. Since Cadre writes, publishes and offers a lot of training, people sometimes think we do curriculum.

But…we don’t.

I get why people ask. Choosing what to teach is a pressing, felt need many of us have as we plan to teach week-to-week…to week…to week.

lightstock_97579_medium_david

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-curriculum. But Cadre doesn’t write it because we believe disciplemaking is a way of life, and that’s our focus—helping you, as our in-real-life friends, follow Jesus with the people in your life, living sent to make disciples who make disciples. Disciplemaking isn’t meant to be a topic for us to teach for 8 weeks every other year as part of our Christian education rotation.

But wait, don’t close out the window yet!

We can still help.

The truth is, there are many great kinds of studies and resources you can use to cultivate disciplemaking values in your ministy. This is the best one. And I’ll share a few more at the bottom.

But let’s back up for a minute.

While I can share a few resources with you, I’d much rather equip you to choose your own curriculum well. In fact, this won’t be my only post on the topic. But today, I simply want to challenge you to think about the big picture.

Instead of picking a curriculum based on how well it’s designed, how easy it is to teach without much prep, or how many of your friends use it…stop and ask:

  • What does a disciple who makes disciples look like?
  • What head, hands and heart understanding do we want to help develop in people as we seek to make disciples?
  • What are our goals as we aim to make disciples who make disciples?

There are plenty of good studies out there. But unless you have clearly defined goals, you’re probably going to fumble around looking for “the next best thing” to teach every 3-6 months.

Here are some sample “exit goals” to show you what I mean.

By the time children finish Kindergarten, they should…

  • Know the Bible is God’s Word
  • Be able to pray a simple prayer

By the time kids finish 5th grade, they should…

  • Know God helps us overcome our fears
  • Be able to name the books of the Bible in order

By the time students finish high school, they should…

  • Understand God’s design for us to live in biblical community with one another
  • Be able to choose personal priorities based on their relationship with Jesus.

Once adults have experienced this class or group, they should…

  • Know how to lead someone to Christ
  • Be able to live out the one another verses with family and friends

Note that these are just EXAMPLES—they’re NOT mean to be exhaustive. You can view a more extensive list of goals and find practical help as you teach for disciplemaking in Cadre’s Teaching Genius of Jesus.

teaching-genius

If the ministry you’re a part of isn’t ready to come up with goals for all ages, spend some time prayerfully identifying a few simple goals for the group you’re teaching or leading.

Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can find studies that will help people grow as disciples in the areas you’ve identified.

But if you’re still looking for Cadre-style “curriculum,” start here…

  • You can break down our Equip middle school training into weekly bite sizes and plan a lesson around it. There are lots of ideas and creative ways to engage, but there’s no script. You’ll have to be willing to study and share the Scripture together with those you’re teaching.
    equip-logo-2013-b

And finally, since I told you I would, here are a handful of additional resources I’ve found helpful in cultivating a disciplemaking way of life:

For kids:

Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible studies

The Jesus Storybook Bible (and curriculum)

252 Basics

For students:

Dare 2 Share’s Field Guide to Sharing Your Faith

Sticky Faith: 10 Lessons to Nurture Faith Beyond High School

For adults:

Let’s Read the Bible Together YouVersion plans

Prayer that Makes a Difference by Martin Sanders

A Righteous Brood by Hugh Halter