Movement “Nuggets”…

There’s a lot of talk about “movements” these days. Whether it’s  “Church Planting Movements“, or a youtube video that goes “viral”, there’s no question there are some “Kingdom principles” to glean from current happenings. There are many faith based organizations pursuing and contending for a “Gospel movement” that surpasses anything we can make happen through our own man-made efforts. These movement characteristics often cannot be explained outside of being described as “miraculous moves of the Holy Spirit”. Many missional strategists have gotten together years AFTER a movement has begun to study the various steps that were taken leading up to the movement.

I have been fascinated by these studies for several years now, and have made it a personal/organization goal to pursue practices that have “movement principles” within their DNA. I certainly do not have anything “figured out”, and there is definitely NOT a formula one might “plug in” to produce a “movement”. However, I can’t help but think that some of the things we are beginning to see happen here in the states as a result of our various organizational practices contain some powerful movement “nuggets”. Lots of people are labeling what they are doing a “movement”…I can’t say that we are “there” yet, or ever will be. (Or, for that matter, that we would ever be a self-described movement, but rather allow outsiders who look in to describe what they see as “that”) What I do feel confident about is that these things we are seeing happen are heading in the right direction, and are rooted in the multiplication of individual disciples in the context of new Spiritual Families being birthed. What you will see in the below video is something we have the pleasure of seeing take place on a regular basis all over the country…Praise Jesus.

Cameron is a student who went through SCPx in Austin this past summer. He lives in DFW and is back there living out the training he received at SCPx. Cameron is one of MANY students who are being equipped and RELEASED to live out their faith in “movement” ways.

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”?

Reaching Campus Dot Com

I was recently asked to write an article for a new website launched by Campus Renewal Ministries. The purpose of the blog is to stimulate dialogue around the topics of unity, prayer, and missional communities on college campuses. Of course, I was excited at the opportunity to share what God has been doing around the country through students who are stepping out to make disciples and start new local church communities in their context. I shared a quick story, specifically about some things taking place currently here in Austin, and then a brief note about what it would look like if we started fostering “new discipleship environments” in our lives. CHECK IT OUT, and leave some input in the reaching campus comments section…

Student CPx Austin 2010…

“We had our first Baptism last night. He was a gang member and has been hanging out with me and my friends”, was the text message I received from Cameron, an 18 year-old student from SCPx Austin 2010 a few days after he got home. This is one of many stories that we get to hear all throughout the year as ordinary followers of Jesus step out in faith to live out the teachings of scripture. Yes, we are training EVERY believer to Baptize new believers. Yes, we are equipping EVERY believer to make disciples, and start NEW CHURCHES. (Yes, “real” churches. YES, it is their “HOME church”-meaning they don’t ALSO go to another one. =)

There was a lot of freedom being experienced in Austin during Student CPx. Many people were, for the first time, experiencing the love of the Father, and uncovering their true identity as children of God. As this reality hit home they began realizing the most basic commands of Jesus found in scripture. When all the “extra stuff” that has been added to “being a Christian” is removed, and students begin walking in confidence in who they are in Jesus the sense of freedom becomes tangible. You can see it on their faces…

After our session on Baptism and Communion several students decided to get Baptized! So, we did what anyone would do…we went down to the river and had one of their friends Baptize them! Check it out…

Thanks Caryn Werner for taking some LEGIT pics for us!

We spent lots of time in the prayer room worshiping and praying. We encountered the Spirit in fresh new ways all week! The Holy Spirit ISN’T the “black sheep” of the trinity anymore! It’s so cool that we get to “soak” in His presence.

Part of the DNA of SCPx is creating a culture of honor everywhere we are, and everywhere we send students. One of the ways we start creating that culture during SCPx is to pray and impart blessings/prophetic words over each guest who comes to pour into us. This is the students praying over Neil who joined us from Long Beach to teach us about Church Planting Movements and Multiplying Disciples.

We met for dinner one evening at Jon & Cherie Werner’s house where we got a real taste of what “house church” might look/feel like. We worshiped, prayed, & talked about sabbath rest & communion as we celebrated the Baptisms from that day.

Overall, this is definitely a group of world changers. I am super excited to see how God uses them in their individual contexts this next semester, and for the rest of their lives. Stay tuned for more on what God is doing directly in the city of Austin as a result of SCPx. Also, feel free to watch the short slide show of pictures from Student CPx below…if you are inspired by what you see here, and want to sow into what God is doing through Intentional Gatherings and Student CPx then CLICK HERE to give.

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!

Student Church Planting Manual…

This is an incredible resource for anyone who has a desire to make disciples, and allow for new churches to birth from the harvest on their campus. It’s also great for those who have a desire to mobilize others, lead, and resource them to do so in their context. We use much of this stuff in our Student CPx Training (Of course, nothing beats the real-deal experiences from actually being a part of one of these hands on trainings) and know of others all over the world who have gotten a hold of it, applied many of the principles, and seen some incredible things happen for the kingdom.

It is a bit long, but feel free to download, save, print, copy, distribute, etc. as much as you like. Our heart is to see this information get into the hands of anyone and everyone who has a heart to see ordinary followers of Christ released to live out the teachings of the Scriptures. Enjoy!

Click Below to download, or go to the box.net widget to the right to download from there…

StudentChurchPlanterKit

“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.