From Lizz M. in Tulsa;
Annual Mayfest/Blue Dome Arts Festival in Tulsa – They let people do chalk drawings all over the square in the middle of downtown Tulsa. I drew 3 Circles today. The irony was not lost on me that my mom’s favorite song, “Nights in White Satin,” was playing as I was drawing it. She had us play it at her funeral, & her death 10 years ago is really when my journey with Jesus started coming alive.
From Tim Scheuer;
Tony J, from NZ met Pana & Salome while on a short-term mission trip to Fiji in October 2014. At that time Pana was a CMF pastor in the village of Nagado. The church consisted of Pana and his family and a few other families, a total of approx. 25 people attending. They began with a village mission.
Tony J cast vision for a multiplication movement through generations of disciples and churches and trained Pana in the basic Skills of Following Jesus and Fishing for people (T4T).
After the initial visit and training due to other pressures, Tony only had occasional contact with Pana. Just prior to Tony’s second visit I met with him in Auckland and spent several hours talking through the Fiji work and helping Tony prepare for further training including generational mapping.
Tony’s second visit with Pana was 10 months later in August 2015. Tony spent time with Pana and Salome modeling several aspects of T4T including inductive bible study, and the 3 thirds meeting format.
Tony sat down with Pana to create a generational map and found that after 10 months God had been at work powerfully. Here is what they discovered:
• 8 groups in 8 different villages
• 5 of the 8 identified as Church
• 187 total attending
• 16 existing believers
• 130 newly baptized
• 14 new believers
• 27 enquirers/pre-believers
Tony continued to connect with Pana on Skype after returning to NZ for weekly and sometimes twice weekly skype or phone meetings. In February this year Tony made another quick visit and led further training with Pana, Salome and some of their leaders, including – celebrating the Lord’s supper, healing as part of our approach in spreading the good news and the priesthood of every believer as there was still a strong religious spirit amongst the groups i.e. there was a feeling that only senior men or a Pastor could lead in the Lord’s supper. Tony has just returned from visiting Pana for the fourth time last week. When they sat down to map what God has been doing it was quite astounding. This is just 7 months from the last visit (18 months since first visit).
Here is the current status:
• 88 groups (4 more not recorded)
• 916 attending (30 not recorded yet)
• 50 existing believers – all leaders of groups
• 38 newly baptized believers leading groups
• 679 new believers
• 187 enquirers/pre-believers
• Spread over 18 villages or settlements
New groups are forming in new villages and also in villages where groups already exist.
• Pana & Salome were pastors with the CMF, a denomination that uses largely an attractional strategy. They have now moved away from this strategy.
• As leaders they are very humble.
• They visit new people most days. Pana and Salome initiate many
relationships and groups.
• Pana thinks in terms of expansion and has great compassion for the people of
• They cast vision by explaining what a disciple really is.
• They release ministry to others along with authority to baptize and conduct
the Lord’s Supper.
• Pana and Salome have taken on board the need to keep things simple.
• They understand the need to lead groups using discovery bible study.
• They effectively track new believers, baptisms and group membership
through a system of decision cards.
• Pana will hang out at the market in Nadi, meet people he knows from the
villages, cast vision for being a disciple and get an invitation to the village. Pana and Salome will then spend 2 or 3 days in that village as a result of the invitation sharing the gospel and casting vision.
• Tony connects with Pana for support, coaching, and prayer on a regular basis.
• Tony has been very protective of Pana and not let others distract Pana from
his primary calling.
• Tony has taught them the authority of every believer. That they don’t need an outsider, a pastor, an elder, or a male to pray for someone. They just need Jesus and to understand he has commissioned each of them!
• Groups range in size from 5 to 22 members. Groups are very much family groups.
• Every group has at least one enquirer/pre-believer.
• Some gen growth of groups, more gen growth of disciples.
• Some groups are combining for bigger gatherings on Sunday but informal
using the three-thirds process.
• Some groups are more than a year old. Some groups meet on Sundays.
• People are joining groups from existing churches. Pana does not discourage
anyone from attending any Sunday service and is careful not to say anything negative about other churches
• Giving – Tony has introduced biblical giving to meet needs, particularly of cyclone victims emphasizing “freely and as they feel in their heart” and has
• Addressed the unbiblical tradition of cheering & clapping those who give a large gift (remember the story of the widows tiny gift!).
• Leader development – they have recognized the need to invest deeply into the leaders of groups.
• In one village a denominational church has told their people not to go to these groups. They anticipate as the work grows so will opposition.
From Charlie P. at West Point
Everyone! Just wanted to tell you it’s been 1 week since the NPL training. Saturday night when our church met was a sweet time. Nick and Ben had already started a church. Countless gospel shares throughout the week for many of us. A renewed vision for the importance of obedience to our King. Jonah wants to lead the church when I leave; he believes he and everyone there can be an elder in the churches they start. A couple of the biggest takeaways from the church that were very evident from our time together Saturday evening were the realization and desire for everyone to start a church
who hasn’t yet and a renewed heart for the lost around us. Almost every high and low had to do with gospel shares. They really appreciated how simple and to the point the training was. What was sown last weekend will reap huge fruit over the next year. Saying “Thank You” is not really sufficient, but we receive it all from God and are thanking Him. God first loved us, and His love is compelling us now.
I believe in #NoPlaceLeftUSMAbyMay2017