Do I Recommend a Mash-up?

Question: Would you recommend a mash-up of DMM, T4T and 4 Fields training approaches? What if it is an attempt at a call for unity?

Answer: I appreciate the call for unity and the desire to cooperate. I highly commend a spirit of understanding one another and working together whenever possible.

The piece of this discussion which doesn’t get adequate consideration, in my opinion, is the history of why Disciple Making Movement (DMM) strategies were developed. History can arm us against making the same mistakes over and over again.

David Watson was trained in the same non-traditional missionary strategies as some of the first folks who developed T4T, 4 Fields and some of the other CPM approaches. But ALL six of his first indigenous church planters were martyred by the Bhojpuri within six months of being deployed. 

David was understandably distraught over these traumatic events. After months of being depressed and eventually becoming angry with God, the Holy Spirit pushed him back to Matthew 10 and Luke 10. David was not happy to be taken there, since he had spent much time there already. Finally, he begrudgingly started writing out a list of the directions Jesus gave the people he sent out (both the 12 and the 72).

As he was making that list he recognized two things. First, Jesus’ directions are quite different than traditional evangelistic strategies, especially since they were not “confrontational” (this is my word, not something I have ever heard David or anyone else use). Second, Jesus deploys people looking for a special category of person (“worthy man” or “Person of Peace”). They did not go to confront a village of its sin (ala street corner preaching). They were sent with a message about the coming King, but they proclaim it where they are welcomed. 

When Watson trained his second group that is what he did differently. He got a very different outcome, as we now know. 

T4T was the write-up of what proved fruitful in China (as I understand the history). 4 Fields and other strategies were developed for different contexts. I get that and I appreciate what was accomplished in those other settings. 

But globally the least reached people groups are in resistant regions or closed nations. I want to carefully recognize that and use the approach that works best for the least reached because they are always the bullseye (at the center) of what I want to see ultimately accomplished.

T4T is training heavy on the front end because it is designed to take traditionally formed believers and re-train and re-deploy them to see lost people won. I applaud that. 

I am cognizant that we have to help people who come to faith through Discovery Groups to intentionally discover how to live as strong communities of faith. That is when it more naturally happens. After they come to faith through Discovering God, they are ready to begin discovering what living together looks like, unless denominations or traditional believers are super-imposing outside standards on them. Yes, there are challenges when this is happening in a context where lost people have been radically impacted by some interactions with “church”—whatever connotations they have for that word. 

I am not adamantly against attempting a mash-up. But ultimately we are always going to have to answer whether or not we believe people can be discipled to faith. Some very vocal Calvinists flatly reject such a possibility. If we say, “Yes, it is possible,” then we will be at least okay with using Discovery as our evangelism strategy. If we say, “No,” then we are left with the necessity of doing some kind of “confrontational evangelism.”

I cannot overcome this theological divide. I can attempt to reason with such Calvinists, but here is a chasm that will result in us needing to love, honor and accept each other, but also truthfully acknowledge we are going to evangelize differently. 

The biggest difference is whether you call people to “make a decision of faith” quickly (what I call “confrontational evangelism”) or look for Persons of Peace and work through them to get their household into a Discovery setting (which is going to be a slower call to faith).

Increasingly more CPM folks use DBS as a follow-up Discipleship strategy with those who make a quick decision, or with those who will not make a quick decision, but are still spiritually open (Discovery is not their first choice, but a Plan B strategy). With DMM some form of Discovery is Plan A.

If God miraculously brings someone to faith quickly, DMM practitioners likely will go straight to passages about Jesus and later circle back to any passages which were skipped. We generally want folks to go through the “Creation to Christ” scripture set because God uses it to create a Kingdom worldview for willing participants. Also, it equips those who come to faith in knowing how to lead others to faith in a path they can replicate. 

T4T was developed where confrontational evangelism was typically not deadly. DMM developed where it was (see my previous post). Since most international Movements are in restricted access nations or regions, I believe DMM is the wiser course of action. For example, while Muslim people who would come to faith in the US might not be persecuted for that decision, I know if they eventually return to their home nation, they will need to be equipped to reach others. Leading them to faith in a way they can replicate anywhere in the world has many benefits. 

Strategically and theologically, I lean heavily towards DMM. To me it is the wiser way forward because of the kinds of reasons I have shared. As a result, I will not invest time towards creating mash-ups.

Why You Need a Coach

A few years ago my job title at Final Command Ministries was changed. It actually happened while I was out of the country and I had no input on the shift. To be perfectly transparent I was a little miffed.

Regretfully my upbringing did not prepare me well for that kind of situation. I earned my strokes as a people pleaser for decades. This was surely a contributor to me staying in school for so many years. Read the assigned material, participate in group discussions, study hard for tests and then write papers–the path to academic success and educational strokes.

But most formal education does not really reward disagreeing. Yes, I know it should, but it rarely does.

My former job title was Director of Training and Strategic Access. It was long and I helped craft it. The first half fit a lot of what Western Christians get–the need for training. But the second half was a bit mysterious and if someone asked me about it, their curiosity gave me permission to peel back the onion layers at least a little.

But who needs a coach?

Sure, we all want our children to have the benefit of a good coach when they participate in sports. Ideally, she/he will have played the sport in high school or college and have a good ability to model and drill the team toward greater cohesion and improved abilities.

I had coached basketball and baseball for my son, since I had lettered in both at my small high school. Later I coached my daughter’s soccer team even though I really had no personal experience to draw on (thankfully a good coach of my son’s soccer team suggested the strategy is much like basketball).

Yes, we all want our kids to have good coaches. But what adult wants to admit they need a coach?

Global Coach, that’s my job title. It was picked because that is really what I try to do, regardless of where I am. Even when I hold training events I am really sifting through the group looking for the few who sense they will need a coach.

It takes a special measure and variety of humility to acknowledge the need for a coach. There is a vulnerability needed that most adults prefer to avoid by acting out our best two-year-old selves–“I do it myself!” Then there is the challenge of knowing whether or not a particular candidate is the right coach for me. Maybe I sense I need one, but I will feel foolish if I pay him lots of money, invest time and energy and still don’t succeed.

Global Coach sounds grander. But who is going to believe that? If I get these disciple making principles so well, then where is the proof? Where are the people who’ve taken my coaching and their fruit is evident? Those are the unspoken questions I always anticipate.

But how do you answer those questions with integrity and not “blow your own horn?” How do you tell the ways God has used you without taking credit for works he accomplished?

Why do you need a coach? That’s a great question. You don’t need one to start lots of first generation Discovery Groups–a half-decent trainer can get you started doing that in about two hours if you will recruit a group with whom to experience it.

But you will need a coach if your goal is generations of groups starting groups where some of them become churches planting churches.

# 200!

A recent comment notes that I have not addressed how to catalyze Urban Disciple Making Movements. In my reply, I noted that this is true and noted that there are no known urban DMMs, yet.

There are rapidly replicating movements that are happening near major urban centers, but most of these are still happening among people with more of a rural mindset/worldview. Social scientists have long noted that urbanization radically impacts the way people see life, themselves and their relationships with others.

Some believe that the strong multi-generational family structure is radically altered by urbanization. It is intriguing to watch the response to some of these challenges that has arisen in China. The efforts to ride the wave of opportunity have separated many of their young professionals from parents and grandparents who still reside in the rural regions. With wealth, responsibility and distractions, many of these young professionals are choosing to break the cultural expectations by refusing to go “home” during their breaks. Laws have been passed which allow their parents to prosecute such lapses.

Planting the seed of the gospel into such families will not follow the same route as the rural settings of many of the movements in Africa. Some doubt it can happen at all.

Any honest strategist will tell you that we have much to learn about launching movements in megalopolises. Reaching the adult grandchildren whose parents and grandparents lived their whole lives in New York City will look very different than those in Buck Snort, Tennessee.

It will still take meaningful contact where God’s nature is overtly discussed. It will continue to require a Discovery process whereby worldview is shifted into a kingdom of God outlook. Discipling people to trust Jesus will continue to be a process. The tactics will shift, though.

Why Change from CPM to DMM?

Multiple factors have produced this change in terminology. Some suggested it because Jesus directed “make disciples,” while he is the one who builds his church. Churches (communities of faith practicing the “one another” passages) will result when people are discipled to Jesus. Secondarily, the shift happened because CPM terminology was being hijacked by folks who are not seeing rapid, multiplicative and indigenous growth. When terms are used to mean whatever you want them to, they really mean nothing (sort of like the guy shooting the side of his barn and then painting a bull’s eye around where the shot landed).

Intentionally discipling disciple makers forces you to:

  • Use only resources, tactics and strategies that the indigenous people group can readily replicate.
  • Strip away all the catalyst’s cultural “over-hang” and trust the Holy Spirit to guide family/friendship groups to contextualize the gospel as they learn and obey it (since different cultures already have strong, deep views of the context in which spiritual activities transpire and how they are conducted, that will impact the kinds of gatherings they develop and eventually call “church”).
  • Model and train discovery of who God is and how he wants us to live at every level of growth and maturity. Jesus’ discipling of the 12, 72 and 500 was as much through the flow of life as it was what he said. (In traditional evangelism and missions we assume giving people new information will result in transformation. It won’t. On-the-job training and “just-in-the-nick-of-time” additional training is critical to DMM).

[NOTE: I originally wrote this as a comment on an article by Felicity Dale ( She moved it and a couple of other comments to her main page and there has been some interesting dialogue there. I decided to re-post it here on my site so that my networks could interact with it, also. You probably ought to check out the other dialogue.]

Renovation as a Means

Lately I have been watching the TV show, Income Property. An investment real estate expert shows would-be investors three properties which hold promise. Most often, these are houses that will be divided into two units–one the investor(s) will live in and the other will be rented out to help offset the cost of the purchase and renovation.

Each show follows a twin-conflict paradigm. The first conflict/challenge of the show is whether or not the investor(s) can visualize the renovate property. Then the second conflict/challenge is whether or not the renovated value (increased equity) and the anticipated income (rental value) will be enough to allow the new owner to succeed. Inevitably, there are hidden problems in the homes that are being renovated.

Starting Disciple Making Movements are sort of like this show. Inevitably, the way we attempt to produce change is by mobilizing, training and mentoring near neighbor Christians to plant the gospel among an unengaged people group. Note this is a two-phase strategy. First, you have to identify and train Christians to do whatever it takes to reach the people they have previously felt no compulsion to engage. Likely, many of the potential candidates for this “Mission Impossible” have already attempted (at least mentally) to reach out. Their early attempts were rebuffed and/or, they were ridiculed, hassled or persecuted for their efforts. Or, they have powerful stories of others who tried and paid a high price. This people group is unreached for good reason.

White Unto Harvest

In John 4:35 Jesus tells the twelve, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”

Little did they know that he had opened the heart of a Samaritan woman. They could never anticipate that they were about to spend two days watching many of these spiritual outcasts come to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Many believed because of the testimony of this woman. Many more came to believe because of their time spent with Jesus.

It is estimated that more Muslims have come to faith in Jesus in the last thirty years than all the previous centuries combined. Just like John 4, much of the sowing and harvesting is being done by people within the communities. Yes, they too are being visited by Jesus and some of his disciples. He is appearing to many through dreams and visions. Believers from Muslim backgrounds are leading the charge to get the Gospel out to those who have never heard.

Fear-mongers have too little faith in God to believe what is taking place. Their agendas are advanced by stirring up paranoia and hatred. What they call diligence is disobedience. Tragically, they miss the harvest God is providing.

Babies Birthing Babies

DMM counter-intuitives—“The best time for a church 2 plant a new church is when it is new.” Older churches want buildings, etc. (Ax 19:26).

In the text referred to above we find an angry silversmith named Demetrius railing, “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger that our trade will lose its good name…” (19:25-27).

No, this passage does not mention churches planting churches. But it indicates the gospel was spreading throughout the province of Asia (the Mediterranean coastal region of modern Turkey) and Demetrius blames Paul. How could this be?

We have found that when a Person of Peace is discipled through a process of facilitating his/her family’s discovery of God, they are learning to share the gospel as quickly as they hear it. By discipling an insider who is already trusted by the family/affinity group, we find many insiders realize they too are able to spread this good news. At every gathering they are asked who they know who needs to hear that day’s text. When they finally come back asking if they can bring their brother, cousin or friend, they are coached in starting a new discovery group. The process intentionally raises up disciple makers, not just learners.

Any evangelist realizes that the best time for a believer to reach family and friends is soon after coming to faith. The excitement and transformation are evident. It is likely that the contextual elements that created the opening for the gospel are also present in nearby friends and family. The longer this believer associates with other believers, the less capacity to reach not-yet-believers, unless evangelism is built into his/her spiritual DNA from the very beginning.

The Discovery process we utilize intentionally builds evangelism into every session. As those first people surrender to Jesus’ Lordship, they are reminded of the responsibility to make sure others are able to come to know him as Savior and Lord. Obedience to the Word of God has been an expectation built into their hearing from the very beginning. Exploring a passage that talks about sending Barnabas and Saul out produces a passion for sending some of the best and brightest out to nearby villages and regions. These new believers have a passion and zeal to spread the gospel to those they know and love.

The other advantage they have is the strategy that was implemented in reaching them is reproducible by them. Like us, they attempt to replicate what proved so powerful in them coming to know God. But unlike traditional missiology, the strategy they will employ has been stripped of the cultural elements that always appeared to be evidence of foreign oppression. Our approach is infinitely reproducible by new believers because it is simple enough to be implemented by not-yet believers who God has prepared.

Returning to Acts, Luke never mentions Paul leaving Ephesus during the three years he worked in that city. So why did Demetrius credit him with leading astray large numbers of people throughout the whole province of Asia? Read Colossians with an eye out for Epaphras.

Nothing Grows in the Desert Except…

Wow! It has been five years since I first went to the Rutherford County Jail! My regular visits there will stop at the end of April. It is hard to comprehend what God has done through those regular stops.

My first visit was late in 2005. Jonathon had been meeting Jeremy regularly and came to me to say that he was asking Bible questions that were too deep. He said I needed to schedule a visit. I had no idea what was about to happen.

The jail became my learning lab. It became the place where abstractions I was learning from seminars had to roll up their sleeves and put on work gloves. Theories were transformed into realities—hard realities. God blessed me by first calling me to this ministry through a true learner (teachers have to motivate students, but their challenge with learners is staying ahead of them).

David Watson (the brother who has discipled me for years) always stressed that discovery-based discipleship is messy. I got a rude introduction to that reality before my first visit to the jail. While waiting in the lobby to go up to see Jeremy I was shocked by the large list of rules for the family members who were arriving. Some made perfect sense like, “No weapons or drugs allowed.” Others were surprising like, “You must wear underwear.” I have seen why each of these rules had to be spelled out.

This jail is a hard place. No TV or internet. A small radio might play for a couple of hours a day with the news. There is no exercise yard outside and no weights inside. On good days a garage-type door is raised and lets the sun and fresh air into the thirty-foot cube called the ODR. Here the guys walk in circles around the perimeter or play volleyball or hackey-sack with a balled up sock for an hour. Others might sit in a corner to do a discovery Bible study. This facility has often reminded me of a Kevin Youngblood quote from a class on Jeremiah, “Nothing grows in the desert—except faith!” This jail is a desert.

Jeremy, Chris, Michael, Aaron and at least fifteen more became discovery Bible study facilitators during those years. Most of them were in the “hardest” of the sixteen pods. Here many guys passed their days playing cards–gambling for soap, shampoo and other items inmates can buy from the commissary with money their loved ones put on their account. The sharks loved displaying their winnings as though they were gold medals. But a small group of men prized themselves in hearing from God and finding ways to obey what they heard.

The toughest times were learning that a loved one had died and not being able to go to the funeral. Missing your oldest son’s graduation. Hearing the judge’s ruling denying your motion for early release, or being told you could reapply for parole next year. The guys grew to realize others were watching at such moments wondering whether a Bible would be slammed in the trash can and God’s name blasphemed for not answering prayers.

Several of these men grew by leaps and bounds. Their growing faith often amazed me. But none of them were blessed more than I was. God gave me this place to walk out one of the oddest of the CPM Counter-Intuitives—“Expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results.” Guys in this jail took the truths I was sharing to heart because they discovered them for themselves and they were certainly in a hard place. Little did I know that their story would inspire others in Europe and Africa to begin making disciples in jails and prisons. God’s ways are not our ways.

It was bitter-sweet to notify the current chaplain that my regular Bible studies at the jail will end on April 22. I will never drive by 940 New Salem Highway without thinking about how much my faith grew there. God is good. He often takes us on the strangest paths to get us where he wants us to go!

Applying Ephesians to My Life (cont.)

[NOTE: I will begin with my re-statement of the passage. Then I will present a list of “I Will…” Statements that I wrote based on that section. Reading these sections will give you some insight into what struck me as I studied through these texts, but your time would be better spent doing your own 3-column study first. After you have written your study then reading mine will give you another set of eyes and experiences that may help you with your efforts to hear from God.]

Ephesians 3:1-21

(1-5) Extending this amazing unity to non-Jews is why Paul was arrested. Haven’t you heard, God charged him to preach this amazing grace to those formerly excluded from it? Though this truth used to be hidden, God told Paul directly and he has just written about it some. Reading this pulls back the curtains so we can see too. You can trade on this “insider” information.  None of our ancestors had access to what we learned from the Spirit through his spokesmen.

(6-9) The shocking news is that the outcasts have been adopted and given equality with the natural children.  All who have this get it through Jesus—the Promised One. It took a mighty act of God’s grace to save Paul and entrust him with this newly revealed message. Nothing he had done earned him the right to tell this blessed news to the non-Jews. Only grace let Paul have the privilege of revealing this long-hidden truth of the Creator’s plan.

(10-11) Higher spiritual beings are amazed that God could pull this reunion off—nothing prepared them for this glorious maneuver. It was actually his plan from the beginning to save both groups in one body by Jesus.

(12-13) Jesus gives us the way to come to God boldly and without hindrance. Paul’s imprisonment shouldn’t depress his readers since they actually flow out of getting them this amazingly good news.

(14-21) Paul prayed to Father God for their encouragement. This whole family gets its name from Papa God. Paul asks that the Holy Spirit will empower them internally so that Jesus will reside in their inner self through their trust.  Also he asked that love will ground them so they, along with all believers, comprehend the vast love of Jesus so they can experience this love that’s deeper than they can intellectually understand, so they will grow up to God’s provision for them fully! Praise be to God because his power working in us is greater than we can conceive—he does so much more than we ask. He gets the glory from Jesus and his church—always.  Let it be!

“I Will…” Statements:

  • I will remember my old state.
  • I will keep Satan’s reign as a thing of your past.
  • I will realize my old lifestyle was really a death wish locking me into punishment.
  • I will praise God for his loving mercy!
  • I will remember I am alive in Christ and this is all by grace.
  • I will live consistent with my high standing with Christ.
  • I will let the fruit of God’s kindness shine through my life.
  • I will live in the free gift of God’s grace—walk by faith, not sight.
  • I will not boast, but proclaim, “God did this, not me!”
  • I will do the good things God prepared for me to do.
  • I will remember this place of honor hasn’t always been mine to enjoy—I was on the outside looking in.
  • I will remember how it feels to be excluded.
  • I will remember how marvelous it feels to have a way to God opened up.
  • I will preach Jesus’ amazing role as the unifier we needed.
  • I will value his sacrificial work of unifying the great divide.
  • I will value Jesus’ body and its function of ending hostilities.
  • I will accept Jesus’ message of peace.
  • I will accept the people Jesus is reconciling to the Father.
  • I will love others as family.
  • I will build consistent with Jesus as my foundation.
  • I will be holy—worthy of God’s presence.
  • I will keep spiritual peace consistent with Jesus’ life and place.
  • I will realize someone may have suffered for me to have faith.
  • I will learn God’s will for my life, especially to use me to bless others.
  • I will join God in telling the secrets.
  • I will read Scripture for insight into God’s mysterious ways.
  • I will appreciate the “insider information” I have through Jesus.
  • I will join in God’s work of breaking down barriers that we are too comfortable accepting.
  • I will serve the gospel by God’s power in me.

Two Remarkable Conversations

One was a young Jewish lady who is training to become a nurse. She said, “Africa is calling my name.” The other was a mother of a six-year old daughter who told me, with tears in her eyes, “No, I cannot picture myself in God’s lap hearing him say, ‘I am proud of you!'”

I traveled to Dallas two days ago to hear news of great things God is doing in Asia. While there I led a devotional for the group. We looked at Ephesians 1:15-23 and Ephesians 3:14-21. Both texts model great intercession and discuss the fact that being on mission with God requires divine power. Paul prayed that the churches planted through the Multiplying Ministry he launched from Ephesus, throughout Asia, would experience God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe” (1:19).

Paul also prayed they would grasp the vastness of Christ’s love so they would “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (3:19). Imagine that! Jesus’s love can produce the fullness of God in us. Then, Paul states a mind-blowing promise–God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (3:20). I am claiming that promise!

Claiming his promise brings me back to those two ladies I mentioned earlier. The first one was in her twenties and had a bubbly personality. She quickly said, “This is only my second flight! Are you a frequent flyer?” I briefly mentioned some of my international flights. She really perked up when I mentioned Africa. “Africa has my name!” she said excitedly. After finding out she was in nursing school, I told her she could do much good in Africa.

Eventually the conversation died down and she pulled out her book. I got out my Kindle and returned to Neil Cole’s book, Church 3.0. After a while I noticed she had fallen asleep. Later she woke from her nap as drinks were being served.

When we returned to our earlier conversation I said, “My first international flight was to Israel.” She really became animated. She told me she was a practicing Jew and was excited she would be able to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year. She started asking questions about my trip. I was able to describe some of the remarkably unique characteristics of the tiny strip of land we call Israel.

Before traveling there I did not realize you can stand on a high point in Jerusalem and see the borders to the north, south, east and west. I pointed out to her that this narrow land bridge connects Eur-Asia to Africa. Because of the desert to the east, all the land routes passed through this region. God had called Abraham and his people to this hallway between the largest landmasses of the world. “What an awesome way to put his people on display for the nations!” I praised him. She said, “I never thought about it like that.”

Then she turned to tell me that her parents were divorced and her mom had recently converted to Christianity. Her mom was baptized in Israel on a trip last year. Now she said that her mom wanted her to read the New Testament to be “well-rounded.”

I said, “Well, with the exception of Luke and Acts which were written by a Gentile, the rest of the New Testament is the largest block of Jewish writings from the first century.” I proceeded to tell her that the first four books tell the story of Jesus for the sake of communicating it well to four different people groups. Matthew writes for a more Jewish audience. Mark tells the story of Jesus for Romans. Of course, Luke writes for Gentiles. Then John seems to tell it for a more Eastern mind-set. She asked, “Now which one was for Jewish readers?” I told her it was Matthew, the first one and gave a few illustrations. She seemed intrigued. We were taxing into DFW airport, so our conversation ended.

On the return flight I noticed that the lady sitting next to me had on a jacket with a Belmont University logo. I said, “Oh, are you a student at Belmont?”

She said, “No, I have worked there for seventeen years!” So I asked if she was on the faculty and she said, “I am an adjunct faculty member, but I work full-time in the recreation department.”

She asked about my work and I told her that I had gone to a conference in Dallas because of my work training indigenous church planters in Africa. She seemed interested so I shared the four questions we train them to use when they facilitate Discovery Bible Studies. After she asked a question I told her that the third question about obedience is where inner transformation takes hold. When she showed and openness to hearing more I shared the S.P.E.C.K. questions that can help us discover how to obey any passage. As I got to the third “P”–“Is there a Promise here that I can claim?” I mentioned the promise in Ephesians 3:20 of God’s willingness and ability to give us more.

A question popped into my mind, right at this point. I asked it–“Can’t you just picture yourself crawling up in God’s lap to ask him for something and hearing him say, ‘You make me so proud!”?

As she fought back the tears she said, “No. I know he exists, and I know he is able, but I am not worthy of that. He is Sovereign and he can do what he wants. I don’t want to risk asking for something he does not want to give me and getting a ‘No.'”

My heart just ached. But I had solid confirmation that she is churched. Sovereign is a word you only hear from church people. It turns out she is a pastor’s wife for a church that has been shrinking from 70 to 50 since they have been working with them.

I reminded her of Jesus’ story about the Prodigal Son, pointing out that the younger boy was not worthy of Papa’s extravagant grace. While he’s practicing his “I’m unworthy” speech his dad is running to receive him back as his son.

I returned to finish the letters “E.C.K.” Then I asked, “Does that make sense? Can you think of somewhere you might do that kind of study?”

“Well, I was actually thinking about that and had begun to think maybe I could do it in a Bible study with some of the girls who work for me. We employ over 100 of our students. Up until two years ago I always did a Bible study with some of them. Maybe I can start one using this approach this fall.”

Our flight landed and we started to de-plane. Since I had an aisle seat, I stepped out and back to allow her and the lady across from my seat out. We walked through the plane, out to the concourse. She stepped aside to let the other lady go by saying, “I will wait on my co-worker.” As I passed, she said, “Thank you.”

I said, “I will pray that you find a Lady of Peace–one of those girls who works for you who will be willing to invite her friends for the study. That way you can harvest grapes and bananas, rather than apples and oranges.”

Wow, I have never had one conversation like those, let alone two. Isn’t it just like “The Impossibility Specialist” to give me these two interactions? I praise Papa for the Holy Spirit leading me through these conversations! I do pray the first lady reads Matthew and finds her heart burning in her. I pray the second one finds a Person of Peace and experiences the joy of God’s pleasure as she uses this awesome group harvesting strategy!