Spiritual Family…

This is a phrase that is becoming more popular among evangelicals in America. It is something that we, as individuals, and as an organization have been fascinated with and explored for a couple of years now. How do we promote the DNA of healthy disciple-making/church planting movements while fostering a sense of strong spiritual family? For the first couple of years we fell to an extreme side that neglected seeing healthy “spiritual families” fostered while attempting to see new churches multiplied – this is simply not possible. We are now moving into a season where our language is changing, and taking on more of a “familial” feel & practice…

Anymore, we try to focus much more on the well-being of the individual disciple, & health of the “spiritual family” that disciple is a part of (or has birthed) than we do “how many new churches have been planted”/how “sustainable” this or that “church” is. Families are made up of both genders, and reproduce quite naturally. It has been in God’s plan from day one in the garden. We now view “churches” more like families in our own lives, and in how we equip & release lay-people to live out their faith. It is only natural for an existing family to send out it’s kids to start new families. If a new family is birthed and remains healthy it will contain a culture that empowers and releases the “family members” to birth new families. They are sent out to start new communities of faith! Of course, the relationships with the extended family are still there, and have frequent “family reunions”! The key is that the new family is no longer dependent upon their “parents” anymore. This is a good thing. This SHOULD happen. Any “spiritual family” (church) that is not birthing new “families” (churches) must examine itself to see what has grown unhealthy in their DNA.

We have learned a lot about Spiritual Family from our friends, The Orme’s, in San Diego. Brian, and his family are who we partnered with this past summer to host Student CPx in SD. They equip students at UCSD to make disciples and start new simple churches on campus. At the same time, they place a HUGE value on healthy “Spiritual Family”. Check out the below video they recently posted about how they view this type of family in San Diego…

What are you learning about “Spiritual Family” in your current context? How important do you feel it is? Is it necessary to foster this sense of family in the context of Church Planting and “movements”?

Advertisements

Student CPx San Diego = Legit.

2 down, 3 to go. Student CPx in San Diego was incredible. Not sure if you followed the twitter/facebook feeds that were going out all throughout SCPx, but they were nothing short of supernatural! The way God is building spiritual family, and releasing ordinary followers to step into their destiny is like nothing I have ever experienced. Students are being set free to begin living out the works of scriptures that they once thought they were “not allowed” to pursue. Praise Jesus!

There are too many stories to tell. You can CLICK HERE & HERE to view some pics from the week.

There was a LOT of personal inner healing that took place as students were taken through SOZO sessions. Once they worked through some past baggage & junk they began stepping into their identity as ADOPTED CHILDREN of the LIVING GOD! It is unbelievable how many of us operate out of an “orphan spirit” throughout our lives as “Christ followers”. Once we step into our identity as sons & daughters of the King we are confident in who we are in Him, and who He is in us. We now know the authority we carry as His kids! We have the keys to His Kingdom! He gave them to us to unlock & usher in the Kingdom ON EARTH as it is in heaven!

Once our students begin understanding & walking in their supernatural identity we start equipping them in disciple-making & kingdom lifestyle formation. This is concluded by a time of commissioning students back out to their campuses & individual contexts to make disciples, Baptize new believers, & start new churches among those new believers!

Here’s a video of Tiffany, who stepped into her identity as a daughter of the King during Student CPx & got Baptized in the fountain on the UCSD campus!

On Friday night (Aug. 6th) we will kick-off Student CPx here in Austin, Tx. This will be the second Student CPx here in Austin. We are excited, & trusting that God will do even more this summer than He did last summer. As many of you already know we have seen several beautiful new student led house churches birthed here in Austin since SCPx last summer along with several new believers & Baptisms! Join with us in prayer for SCPx in Austin, as well as Phoenix & Kansas City!

“Why I Love Student CPx” Via Meghan-Says…

From a Student CPx Austin 2009 “grad”: Meghan-Says… (Watch Video Below)

Last August I went through a 10-day training called SCPx, Student Church Planting Experience. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and Jesus completely rocked my life during it. If you are college student, I strongly encourage you to look into this training. It is one the best things I ever did.

Why I love SCPx…

  1. SCPx is a hands-on training, not a conference.– I have been to many conferences. It seems that most end with a sore butt from sitting for 3 days straight and a headache from the information overload. Consumption, not always followed by action. At SCPx, you experience interactive teaching every morning and then immediately you are “sent out” into the city or campus to apply it that day! Fruit is seen instantly. No better way to learn than to trust the Holy Spirit and get your hands dirty.
  2. SCPx feels like family– Usually anywhere from 15-40 students go through SCPx. It is not large scale. You can imagine the deep relationships that are formed over 10 days of living, eating, praying, and loving people together. The SCPx I attended last year in Austin birthed a community that has felt more like family as we have continued to live out church over the past year. I have never felt closer to the church in Acts.
  3. SCPx is not just about the campus, but the nations.– After SCPx, I saw disciples made, new believers, baptisms, simple church lived out, and signs and wonders on the UT campus. But God also broke my heart deeply for the nations. Because of the church planting training I received at SCPx, I felt equipped and empowered to go to South Asia in January of this year. Now, some of the other SCPx “grads” and I will return there to train young people in the same way to reach their country!
  4. SCPx fosters an atmosphere of freedom.– God showed His power by healing me physically and setting me free of a life-long battle of allergies and asthma during those 10 days. Also, many bondages and sin struggles I had carried for a year were broken off of me at SCPx. This is because, more than church planting curriculum, SCPx is about knowing how much God loves us and our identity in Him. Then we were freed to love people radically. I have heard many SCPx “grads” say it was as if they received “permission” to live in freedom and walk in radical obedience.
  5. SCPx is a challenge.– This is the disclaimer I give to students interested in SCPx… this training will challenge you. It will challenge you physically. It will stretch you. It will cause you to trust the Holy Spirit in a way you have never done before. It will put you completely out of your comfort zone at times. It will probably challenge your theology at some point. It will confront your ideas of what “church” is. It will wreck you out in all the best ways possible. It will push you closer to Jesus and others. If your experience is anything like mine, it will be the best challenge of your life.

Check out this site for more info, or go to studentcpx.org for info and the registration application!

For all the Austinites, SCPx Austin is August 6-15. Registration is filling up and there are limited spots, so apply soon.

Jesus Healing People in Streets at SCPx Pitt!

From a post by Erik Fish:

The Pittsburgh University football player took off his sling and began swinging his arm around. “I couldn’t move it like this before!” Tears filled his eyes. “What’s happening?”

“Jesus loves you,” was the reply he heard.

Other football players began lining up, presenting their various injuries; a glint of faith was beginning to spark in their eyes toward Jesus. “Will you pray for me, too?”

The students began praying. As they did, they told them about Jesus and why they were out in the streets meeting people. Whether they experienced healing or not, they each encountered His love.

A woman walks by right then and asks, “What’s going on here?”

“These people are praying for people and healing them,” a football player informed her.

“Will you pray for me? I’m on my way to the hospital. I just recently had brain surgery. I woke up this morning and I can’t move my arm.”

She walked home, no longer in need of a hospital visit.

This was just one story from the Student CPx in Pittsburgh, PA last week.

The story above might sound crazy. Perhaps it’s a bit outside the norm of many of our Christian experiences. But it’s true. These things are happening. Crazy things happened in the Bible. They can happen today. Why do some people get healed when we pray and other times they don’t? I don’t know. Jesus just told us to heal the sick and live by faith. There’s a lot of mystery in following Him.

Students are simply taking Jesus’ commands and trying to follow Him. They lead people to Jesus – six people accepted Christ from the streets of Pittsburgh during Student CPx. New believers were baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Simple churches are starting on campuses.

This is a student movement we’re witnessing. When students are sent to represent Jesus among the lost and broken, He likes to go with them. That’s the heart of Student CPx: to release the potential in students to change the world.

I can’t say the fruit is just the quality of the SCPx training. It’s not just the hype that a well-implemented advertising and promotion plan produces (ours isn’t that great, anyway). These students love Jesus. They’re bringing that love to lost people everywhere they go. I’m amazed at the students Jesus is raising up.

To find a Student CPx near you this summer CLICK HERE!

To register online CLICK HERE!

Student CPx in San Diego…

We are ultra excited about Student CPx on the West Coast. We are working with our close friend Brian Orme to host SCPx in San Diego in a few weeks! If you are on the West Coast, know anyone in that area, or just cannot make it to one of the other SCPx locations this summer then make sure you GET REGISTERED for SCPx in San Diego by July 9th! Check out a quick promo video for San Diego…

I.G. Las Vegas at “Total Church” in San Diego

As some of you may know a group of us from I.G. Vegas went to the “Total Church” conference in San Diego at the beginning of August. We represented two different I.G. Communities in Vegas, and the potential birth of a new one as a result of the things we learned at the conference! The vision of Intentional Gatherings is that we would see simple expressions of the Gospel lived out by the people of Jesus in the context of tight-knit, Gospel centered, Biblical Community. We call these “missional communities” or “simple churches” for short. As an organization we seek to train, equip, and raise up young leaders to start MC’s in their neighborhoods, on their campuses, in their dorm rooms/apartments/etc.

This conference in San Diego was refreshing for all of us as we met others who are pursuing dreams similar to that of I.G. We felt very affirmed, encouraged, and better equipped in returning to Las Vegas to pursue the birth of sustain of MC’s all over the valley.

Seven of us hopped into a 15 passenger van that was donated to us by YWAM Las Vegas (Thanks guys!) and hit the road for San Diego…

Photobucket

Photobucket

From Left: Sam, Andrew, Dre, Rommel, Candace, Morgan, Aaron

Photobucket

Dre & Candace…them’s my “family”.

Photobucket

At the beach one afternoon following the conference…

Photobucket

Oh yes…swingin’ on the beach with my “fam”…can life get better?

Worship on the beach…Life CAN get better!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We had a blast together in San Diego, and learned a TON about starting new Gospel Centered Communities wherever we go. To learn more about “Total Church” read the book, or Click Here to investigate the conferences. You can also Click Here to go listen to the sessions from the conference.