We love that you are helping to fulfill the Great Commission. This quarterly report is evidence God is moving in many far away places. As we partner and link arms with our brother and sisters literally around the world we are a part of our prayer, "thy kingdom come". This post is much longer than our regular posting, but I wanted you to see our whole report, because as you partner with us YOU are making a difference.
Perhaps you've read Stephen Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. It is a best seller and has circulated for years. One of the seven habits is called "Sharpening the Saw." Stephen noted that successful people have a habit of developing themselves in order to keep themselves fit for their tasks. We took two days as a team to sharpen our saw by working our way through a training we call Building Powerful Ministry Teams (BPMT). For me this was the best team training I have ever participated in. It addresses the foundational areas that must function well if you are to be a powerful team. And we want that. You have heard me say this before, and I know you believe this too, because of your partnership with us.
Every day the Cru family (that includes you) awakes knowing that billions of people are deeply loved by their creator, but their sin separates them from knowing Him. We know that we are uniquely positioned to lead them to Jesus, under which there is no other name in which they can be saved. We can introduce them to Jesus, show them how to live with Jesus and train them to make disciples just like Jesus did. Win. Build. Send. If everybody did this we would see the Great Commission fulfilled. For us there is no other option.
We must work well as a team for our task is so great. Thank you for being on our team and helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
Homecoming is a tradition on college campuses dating back to 1911. The tradition includes the invitation to alumni to return to their school for celebrations that often include a parade, banquet and/or football game. High schools picked up the tradition and inserted it after their team's longest "road" game. They normally take place at the end of October or early Novemember. This week Timber Creek High school, the school Cole and Keegan attend, held their homecoming week. It was a week-long celebration, including a pep rally, a football game and a dance. Cole took it all in and had a ball. The pictures are of his "squad."
A few days ago I learned of a "
Our oldest son turned 18 this past week. For his birthday dinner, we celebrated him with giant burgers and homemade fries and spoke words of life into him in celebration of who he is. We could not be more proud of the man Keegan has become. God has graciously taken our diligent, yet "falling-so-far-short" parenting offering and interwoven it with His brilliant colors of grace and is forming a stunning young man. A friend of ours, who couldn't be with us in person, sent Keegan this letter.
I couldn't have said it better.
They wanted to come to warm weather and the beach...she felt like there was a reason they were led here.Read More
Gliding over the mountains of Turkey at sunset. Remarkable. Jesus’ words again ricochet around my head in God’s commission to all followers of Jesus Christ, “Go out into all the nations…” We land shortly and then we will embark on a four day journey with 90 others who are gathering together to learn, discuss, pray and look to God to inspire and give us faith to go after the task of telling everyone everywhere about our triune God, his practices and his posture and show them how to obey the commands he laid down for us.
One posture and practice that we will discuss thoroughly is praying for our daily bread. We have to do this individually and we must do so to carry out plans and strategies to be faithful to God’s commission. As leaders in helping to fulfill the Great commission we need fully supported staff, fully supported teams to carry out strategies, offices that have the tools and systems in place to meaningful invite, thank, report and repeat so that others can join us with their gifts, and to be constantly on the look out for a network on generous givers who want and need to be about the task of reaching the world for Christ.
All of our international leaders already are so courageous in embarking on this mission. They live daily so dependent on the Lord to protect and provide for them. Pray for us as we encourage one another to believe. To believe that God will supply what we need to do what He has asked us to do. Our verse that has inspired us to even gather as we have is this:
Pray that we we believe this with all of our hearts, minds and strength.
Go into all the world" He said. I love how you have responded to that commission as you partner with Lisa and I in this mission. It will be more literal this week and next. I leave for Turkey this week to go and prayerfully inspire international ministry leaders to believe God when he says,
Many of them are in challenging areas of the world economically, spiritually, and/or politically, but to mature and become all that God designed them to be and go after the visions He gives them they must learn also trust Him to provide and even fund His plans. By God's grace other countries like ours will have the privilege of helping them, but to be faithful in making disciples, we must also teach them to pray and ask God to supply their daily bread. Many do this already, but they don't know how to expand to believe God for even a larger vision for what He would do in them and through them. We hope to share with them some things we have learned.
WKLM are letters that remind us that partnering with others is a journey and it is more like farming than hunting. We have learned that our donors want to engage and stay engaged through an inspiring relationship.
- W (winning represents asking or inviting (winning) a person to embrace the Great Commission with us.
- K (keep) represents our intent to inspire an enduring relationship together as we obey and "go".
- L (lift) reminds us that staying at the task of telling others about Jesus will require increasing commitment.
- M reminds us that we want to scale our involvement and the involvement of others as we continue to invite and ask others to join with us (multiply).
We have another acronym that captures the people we want to inspire our international friends to trust God to provide and that is L.I.F.E. We hope they will look for and find partners who will share their leadership, influence, finances and expertise in helping them reach their part of the world.
This week and next you and I will be about the work of making disciples literally around the world. We meet for four days. Pray that we can all be great leaders, learners and lovers as we follow Jesus Christ.
A few days ago I was attempting to imagine how radical it was to hike up to that mountain and meet Him one last time? Had I been one of Jesus Christ's disciples, I wouldn't have known what to think or how to act. I would have arrived there on the mountain in
And there He
Then he speaks, "I am here speaking with all the authority of God..." Oh,
Jesus goes on, "who has commanded me to give you this commission..." I begin to kneel.
Here it comes, "Go and make disciples in all nations."
Really, all nations? Samaritans, Greeks, Rooooomans!? "But, I thought we were the chosen ones," passes through my mind.
Jesus says, "Ceremoniously wash them through baptism in the name of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit".
I am beginning to get this, but will they? Will they ever believe He is a perfect community--separate yet equal? Do I even get this? How will they get this? You are sending me to do this? Really? These are just some of the many thoughts crashing your brain. I'm almost dizzy with shock, awe, and fear.
I hear Jesus say again, "Then make disciples".
He is sending me to make disciples. I am not a rabbi. I would not even be considered an elder. I am making disciples? How? I wrestle to accept the charge.
Jesus says, "Form them in the practices and postures that I taught you and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you."
Practices, postures, and commands... really? Do I know these? Have I even lived out these? Jesus, how? His final words drop into my soul with this promise, "And I will be with you day after day, to the end of the age."
Then he just lifts up off the ground and ascends into the clouds. I strain to see him go. He's left me speechless.
Imagine. Since that day, too many to number have been living Christ's commission to His followers. It is a gift beyond measure to have the privilege of playing some small role in His kingdom partnering with you.
We were all commissioned and we are making disciples. Thank you for your faith and commitment to the task.
And as much as I adore this guy, Iam so relieved to have retired from homeschooling this past May.Read More
Remember moving on campus. Wondering what your roomate(s) will be like. Your head spinning with details with so many new things. Already missing the familiar like family, food and friends, but filled with the excitement of everything being new. A new place, people, routines. There are about 40 million new freshman this year, welcome the class of 2020.
Imagine what it would be like if the first book the freshman got was a bible, or the first friend they made was a follower of Jesus Christ, or their first teacher was a believer, or their first college discussion was about Jesus. You that partner with us have been making that a reality for thousands of freshmen (and
We just began our second year as parents of a college student. We moved Madison on campus this past weekend where she is set to begin her sophomore year.
You may have a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson, or granddaughter heading to campus this fall. Click here to discover if Cru has a ministry on that campus. You will also find a letter there from one of our staff titled Every Freshman Girl Needs to Read This. It is excellent. If you read it, I think the Spirit will clue you into all kinds of prayers you can pray for this beautiful strategic class of students.
Don't forget to pray for the class of 2020 during these life-shaping first few weeks of the semester.
We appreciate you!
Our July was full of movement. We started by joining Lisa's family in California for a family reunion.
Our family is stretching up there. Look at the height of those boys. They have caught me.
I left the family in California and traveled to Colorado Springs to help host a conference, we call the Cru World Briefing.
Lisa and Madison joined me in Colorado and the rest of our kiddos enjoyed time with their fun grandma who made sure they saw Las Vegas, Zion and Bryce Nationa Parks on their way home to Salt Lake City. The kids loved time with family in Utah while we attended our biennial staff conference.
Can you spot us? We had 10 challenging days at our conference where we talked about partnering with the body of Christ to help reach the world for Christ, diversity in our ministry and keeping our love for Christ first. There are nearly 5,000 of us working from the United States, while more than 10,000 more work internationally. Only the US staff is required to engage with this conference while our international staff have similar conferences closer to them.
After our conference Lisa, Madison and I were able to drop down to Colorado Springs to visit my mom and my sister and brother-in-law.
So, when this news of what God is doing right now in Thailand came across my screen yesterday (6/25), I read with gratitude and excitement that you and I have played a part in the building of God's kingdom in Thailand. I had to share this with you.Read More
She chose me. To share in that moment of glory with her
Meseret is a very focused little girl.Read More
Dan, our Vice President of Global Advancement, and my director and friend closes our 2nd quarter report.Read More
Check out the results of MC (squared) training.Read More
We are doing work with
Our digital strategies are not limited to hours or days of the week and they are borderless.Read More
Eyptian lawyers share Christ despite dangerRead More
This is the first part of a multi post report on this quarter's activity with one of four priorities God has lead us to focus on in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. This reports on our God, our staff, volunteers, you, Lisa and me partnering together in God's harvest and kingdom expansion.Read More