About 75 participants in the church planter training converged on Frisco Texas January 14th Weekend 2011. Trainers for the session were longtime friends Neil Cole and Ed Waken from Los Angeles and Phoenix respectively. Host for the event at the Hampton Inn and Suites Frisco was Ryan Hairston of Waken Ministries.
Neil and Ed wasted no time moving right into the training on Friday night after a session of worship led by Laura Hairston. There was a marathon session on Saturday with a nice lunch intermission on our own. Sunday session started at noon and ended at 4PM. We were on the road within half an hour and made it back to Arkansas in about six hours even with strange car issues and being pulled over by an Oklahoma trooper for blown tag lights.
If you have read these books by Neil you are quite prepared for this training: Organic Church, Search and Rescue, and Church 3.0. Organic Church lays out the broad idea of making disciples in order to plant churches. It also touches on the small discipleship groups called Life Transformation Groups. Search and Rescue develops the LTG’s in greater depth with the stories of success gleaned from the harvest.
Even if you’ve read none of the books and someone with an open heart toward God attends, they will come away with a great appreciation for the hard work of the servants presenting. The depth of scripture and the living out of the great commission, plus the heartfelt sharing of the stories from the harvest will grab their heart, as it did my son Warren who was with me.“The presence of Jesus among his people called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission on this planet.” Neil Cole
Here are some of the session titles: 1. Foundations for Organic Church Planting 2. Cultivating the Soil of People’s Hearts 3. Sowing the Kingdom Seed 4. Growing the Life of the Kingdom 5. Conclusion to Greenhouse Story 1 Here is a quote from The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers: “It’s like the great stories of old, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Folks in those stories could have turned back but they didn’t.” also…. “There is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.”
The powerpoint presentations were excellent. It was very helpful to have these nice graphics and photographs depicted full screen. An occasional moving clip demonstrated powerfully some of the points of organic church planting. The quote: “Ride out with me,” sticks in my mind. It related to the job we all have to do in the kingdom of doing exploits for our King, or we have the alternate choice of cowering in the cave and doing nothing.
Seated at my table the first night were: Carmen, Paul, Blake, J. G., myself, Warren, Ken, and Jan. It was a packed house. Her name didn’t come up in conversation, but one of my favorite house churchers was named in the material on page 1-7, Felicity Dale. Here is a quote from her on that page regarding organic church planting: “No empire building. No controls. No personal glory.” Amen sister, amen!
Here is a quote from Morpheus to Neo, “This is your last chance. After this there is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember that all I am offering is the truth.” clip from the Matrix.
Oikos is the social web of relationships. We were taught three things to reach people in their oikos: 1. Drink what they drink and eat what they eat. 2. Play games 3. Listen to them. Somehow I felt they must have left out a dozen steps or more but they said these three are the ones needed for success. I think number three is likely the step that challenges most church settings.
My son and I headed into Dallas to visit one of his college best buds on Saturday night. We arrived to find Zack, Allie and three month old Abby ready to go out to eat. Zack is a student at Dallas Theological Seminary and he works at Chuy’s a Mexican Restaurant. Great food and Zack got a 50% discount which was amazing. We had enough carryout for lunch Sunday. Thanks Zack and Allie, Abby is a gift from God and it was wonderful meeting her, oh and their other baby, they had a Bichon pup.