Good things in 2018

December ended with a bunch of opportunities to serve. There were four workshops in a week and a trip to meet with our national directors. I was out of breath.

As the month closed I had a conversation with Pastor Bob Quaintance. He has been wanting to reinitiate some disciplemaking practices in his church. He also, has been contacted by another church about our process. As we talked, we were playing with these two ideas. What Bob is considering is being a hub church for disciplemaking in his city and his denomination. We were both excited about the idea. Bob and I will talk again after the new year to see how God opens doors for our little idea.  2018 could be fun!

This idea of having a church serve as disciplemaking catalyst for other churches is one that we have been praying in our region for a number of years. For me this is my first one to see unfold.

My friend Pastor Amjad has been leading this way since we first started his discipleship process. When we began he quickly pulled in Pastor Ken. In our third year he has invited other community lay leaders from around Shelton, CT.

I’m now praying for two other possible locations. I’ll be touching base with pastors from Akron and from Ashland. This hub church strategy could be a way to influence larger portions of a city.

The second good thing is our upcoming Navigators Church Ministries national conference. Our regional has been asked to direct it. We will have all the details of coordinating rooms, website, themes, workshops and keynotes speakers. There is lots to do for our November conference.

What makes this a great event is that it gives our region a big project to work together on. All fall we talked about teamwork. Now we have the project that can help us practice it. This being my first year as the Regional Leader I’ve known that I needed a way to pull our team together around one task. I think we have found it.

I’ll be intrigued how these two work themselves out in 2018.


P.S. Help launch me into the new year by becoming a ministry partner.

Books I benefitted from this year.

Every time I read I always enjoy it. Yet it does takes a choice to pick up a book. So I am to reminding myself how I’ve benefitted and I’m remembering the good ones this year.

  1. Martin Luther, by Eric Metaxas. This was a great book on a number of levels. As I read it I began to feel like I was in the Middle Ages. The author helped pull me into the culture, the theological premises of the age and the people themselves. The book does a great job amplifying the theological battles that were present during  the Reformation. On a side note, it was interesting to see the team that surrounded Luther, that also very much made the Reformation possible. Cranach was an artist, who sold pictures of Luther throughout Europe, Gutenberg produced the printing press that allowed Luther’s ideas to spread quick. Frederick the Wise protected Luther, even though they may have spoken once. Spalatin was a friend and go between Frederick and Luther. Wycliffee died way before Luther, yet his writings said many the same things. A number of others helped Luther personally, theologically and spiritually.
  2. Failure Is Not an Option, by Gene Kranz. This is the story of our space program from Mercury to Skylab. Gene Kranz was one of the mission control directors in NASA. He tells great stories behind each launch. These folks were gutsy, creative and had to battle mistakes and failures. There really wasn’t a perfect mission. They constantly had to reengineer, solve problems. And they lived out a huge dream.
  3. Leadership Coaching, by Tony Stoltzfus. Ok I’ve read this before, but I learn and am reminded of the importance of a coach-approach to life and ministry. As read I recall that coaching: helps build leaders, helps others solve their problems, helps others clarify the real problem and helps others live out their dreams. This book has a lot of wisdom and tips. I’m enjoying taking Pastor Bob through it as he works to get certified at coaching with us this summer.
  4. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, by Peter Scazerro. This is a great devotional. It’s so different than other ones I’ve used. The author encourages silence as a part of the devotional. I find it maddeningly difficult to quiet myself for even two minutes. He also incorporates a twice a day habit of connecting with the Lord. These aren’t necessarily long time with the Lord. It is a great help for me to check back in with the Lord in the afternoon. That helps me put my thoughts a bit more on his thoughts. The author also continues as he has in his other books by raising the issues of Sabbath, Silence, Limits. That’s another reason I enjoy them because it stretches me spiritually.


My December NCM Update


Christmas Letter: Good News & More

Christmas ushers in a dramatic series of events that Jesus came to fulfill. One of these was thirty years later to preach the “Good News.” Think of the adjectives we could substitute here …hopeful news …valuable news …rich news …best news …wonderful news. Add yours.

There is such great power in what this baby, what this man, came to bring us.

And don’t we absolutely need hopeful news? Look at the horrific news we see every day from our world. Don’t we need this valuable news?

Christmas begins the story of Jesus restoring the world to what it once was. We celebrate and anticipate the fullness of his Good News in our troubled world.

In the meantime we join Him in publicizing this rich news. That’s one reason I love my job. It allows me to walk alongside pastors and churches as they strengthen disciplemaking in their people.

The past six years I have personally helped churches build a culture where spiritual maturity and multiplication occur. Now as the Regional Leader of the Great Lakes, I have the opportunity to also assist our Navstaff to do the same. Our Great Lakes Staff is working alongside 75 churches! They are a gifted group.

Amjad and Mollie surprised me in this picture when they were in town. We’ve worked together equipping his church to live out the Great Commission. We are in our third wave of folks from his church!

Here is one of the seventy-five, a story from Pastor Amjad Samuels, whom I first met in Akron, who serves in Connecticut.

Two-and-a-half years ago we started our discipleship process with Dane. The first wave “graduated” last spring, and two more waves of people are in process.  We worked to equipped them to understand the significance of lay leadership; but more than that, their calling to work alongside people seeking Jesus.  It was impressed upon us the need to engage with the Scriptures as a daily discipline and how to build and sustain relationships. Many of us have moved from fellowship to true Christian community wherein we commit ourselves to praying and caring for those around us. 

How has his work impacted us? Today we have six small groups with 60 people meeting regularly to pray and study Scripture together. This is in addition to a 24+ people group that meets every Thursday, and a men’s group and a women’s group, each attracting 10-15 people. Now the Scriptures are being embedded in our staff meetings, our Vestry meetings, and so are the 24 people in our Discipleship program.  All this at a church with an average Sunday attendance of 107—and an Episcopal church, too!  We are truly grateful for the Lord’s work and transformation in our people. 

Most months we do a webinar with his team through our training. Once a year I’ve headed out to lead it live.

Amjad and I are thrilled with what the Lord is doing in midst of his congregation. It is what Isaiah 58:12 says, “Your people will raise up the age old foundations.”  It is an honor to do the work rebuilding what God wants for His Church.

I want to continue being available to serve the churches I’m assisting, and additionally, now as the Regional Leader of the Great Lakes to help our Navstaff do the same.

Will you invest in this important work financially? Thank you for your partnership in the past years. It is a big honor to have you on my team. I am trusting God to provide an additional $819a month or $9834, the projected amount needed for the next 12 months. Would you prayerfully consider a monthly gift of $75 or a special gift of 750 this year?

Your partnership will allow me to proceed unimpeded to build cultures of disciplemaking in the Church. I will be contacting you soon to chat about the good going on in my ministry, and to see how the Lord may be leading you to be part of the provision for this work.





Dane Allphin

Navigators Church Ministries

Great Lakes Regional Leader

P.S. Here’s a link to give online. May I hear from you by December 31?

Equipping transforming coaches

How do you tap someone’s deepest motivations? How can you best help someone take


Kirk Thomsen leading one of our sessions from The Deep Dive. Six different churches were represented that day. All went home considering how the can coach instead of tell.

smart steps ahead?

These answers were revealed in our coaching workshop called The Deep Dive.

Coaching is an often used word in the world of leadership and business. Some use it as a synonym for mentoring. Others use it in the sense of someone needing readjustment.

In our Deep Dive we spoke of it this way, “Coaches are change experts who help leaders take responsibility and act to maximize their own potential.” *

So our day involved helped the folks gathered to understand these different patterns for helping. We worked on our listening skills, our skill in asking questions and how to allow others to talk. By the end of the day we were pulling all these skills together in what we call the coaching conversation. It starts with someone’s current reality and helps them achieve a path for their intended future. Sounds simple, but it is so hard and even awkward we begin to practice these skills.

I knew the group was connecting when one of our question and answer session kept going on and on. Everyone had great insights and thoughts about what they were learning! That’s great fun when you’re leading it.

Here’s a few comments from three pastors:

Deep Dive really helped our team go to the next level in helping people move forward in their thinking and their lives. I’m grateful for the tools it has given us to offer more competent coaching. – Joe Hunt, Compass North
The deep dive session led by Dane Allphin was very help. It helped me think about how to encourage some of the folks at Hillside Church. It also helped my relationship with the other folks from Hillside deepen. Definitely worth the time spent. – Randy Nickel, Hillside Church
The Deep Dive Coaching Seminar was one of the best leadership seminars I have attended. Not only did I walk away with practical tools necessary to be a better coach and lead other to do the same, I also discovered some new insights into my giftedness as a leader. – Sean Homan, Freshwater Community Church

*Joseph Umidi, quoted by Tony Stoltzfus in Leadership Coaching


Why lead a Coaching Seminar

I am gearing up for our Coaching Seminar called The Deep Dive. I am sold on the coach

Deep Dive Cover copy

Click on the link below to find out more about The Deep Dive Seminar.

approach to leadership. Some of it is because of what I’ve learned. Some because I’ve seen the effect in others. It can be transformative. That’s why I’m running The Deep Dive this October 28th.

Here’s one story..

A pastor I had been coaching was enjoying the process saying, “I wish I had this kind of help 30 years ago when I started in ministry.” He had said that a few times over a number of months, when he told me, “I want you to coach my young associate too.” After a year of coaching that associate the pastor said, “Would you coach our youth director?” Six months after that this senior pastor was taking a call to another church. If anytime he could have easily moved on from coaching it would be at this point. Yet he told me, “Would you continue coaching me during my first year at the new church? I’m going to need another voice, an outside voice to help me think smartly.” I’m grateful to help my friend that way.

Join us on the 28th. You’ll gain leadership skills in listening, asking questions and helping people move towards their deepest desires and dreams.

Why I like Life Coaching


The Best from my Regional Leader Prep

September 1st I add to my role in Nav Church Ministries. In addition to equipping pastors and churches I’ll begin to lead the other Nav Staff in our four state region. As they asked me to consider the role I began my training for it. I has been a great learning experience for me. Here’s where I benefitted most.

  • Each chapter in 1 Samuel contains strong leadership principles from the life of David. It’s a book of contrasts: Eli & Samuel, Saul & David …or bad example leadership compared to a good example. Chapter three has a verse that has echoed in my mind since last November. Samuel speaks to the Lord for the first time by saying, “Speak Lord your servant is listening.” From that time on Samuel knew the voice of the Lord. That’s where spiritual leadership starts.
  • From a completely different angle on leadership I read “It’s Your Ship.” by Abrashoff. He was a captain of a Navy ship. The leadership principles are so powerful: listen aggressively …believe in people …build up your people. Among the best quotes is listen like, “Every encounter, every opportunity was the most important conversation I had that day,” in chapter four. I am reviewing my notes from the book regularly.
  • Another leadership book I’ve benefitted from is the “Emotionally Healthy Leader” by Peter Scazerro. He addresses many of the difficult emotional areas we ignore or bury. You cannot plow through the principles he’s written without some careful thought. In his chapter Facing your Shadow is about becoming aware of the natural weaknesses or wounds that many of us carry and lead from. These are destructive patterns that hurt not only us but those who serve with us. Another great chapter is on power. He pushes us to consider the power that each of us has. Sometimes we are aware of it. “And the more power we have, the greater impact we exert – intentional or not -on those around us. …We must learn what it means to use our power and then how to establish wise and healthy boundaries.” p. 247

I’d love to hear your favorite leadership book.

Here’s more about the Great Lakes Region…

Regional Numbers &  What We are About

Our Region by the Numbers

As I step into my new as the Regional Leader of the Great Lakes. Here’s a way NCM Logo singleto look at our team.

GLR by the numbers …

  • 4 States: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio
  • 11 Navigator Reps
  • 8 Nav Life Coaches
  • 8 Church Disciplemaking Coaches
  • 76 Churches being influenced
  • 24 Leaders being Life Coached
  • 122 disciplemaking laborers equipped


My announcement letter

What we are About

This September I start my new role in the Navigators. Much remains the same but now I’ll also serve the Navstaff as they work to build disciplemaking cultures in churches.

I’ve been a part of the team since I started in 2011. Now my duties will expand to lead our team to continue building The Church.

Isaiah 58:12 says a lot about what we are involved with churches. “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age old foundations. You will be called repairer of broken walls restorer of streets with dwellings.” ESV

The church unfortunately is broken down, walls need repair, foundations need to be relaid. You’ve probably seen and heard about it too. One recent stat that came out from The Barna Group’s “State of Pastors” survey that startled me was that the average church attender now come 1.14 times a month. Wow. How does a church have any kind of impact in a life once a month?

Another stat I saw as I was reviewing a church’s Reveal Survey that 34% of the congregation believed in salvation by grace. Yikes! How can we miss this core truth in the gospel? This church also only had 12% of its people engaged in the Bible everyday! You may think I’m picking on this church. The sad fact is that’s not out of the norm with the churches I serve.

We’ve have lots broken walls.

Core Four

Our Core 4 helps you proactively decide how you’ll live out all areas of your personal life. We then assist in setting ministry vision & its implementation.

That’s why I am so enthused about the role we have in our region!

Three areas we work at to rebuild The Church are: Life Coaching, Growing Intentional Disciplemaking Cultures & building laborers.

  1. Our life coaching is a fantastic tool to create whole and intentional church leaders. One of my pastors says all the time about it, “Where was this 30 years ago when I started in the ministry.” This pastor has not only gone through the process but has had his staff at two churches go through it too. To learn more see my post on Life Coaching.
  2. Growing Intentional Disciplemaking Cultures (GiDC) is our three year process that helps a church or organization build a disciplemaking culture. Pastor Jerry is almost finished with his church’s process. He is thrilled to see the Bible being read and discussed, discipleship triads being formed AND he knows there are new leaders within the present triads. See the post on the GiDC.
  3. Building laborers comes from Matthew 9:37, 38. Jesus notes that the harvest is abundant and we were told to pray that the Lord would send out laborers. This is people like you and me to work in his harvest, shedding light, speaking truth, building up strong roots of faith. As a region we each will be discipling others, helping them take strong steps of transformation. The big dream is that many of these would also become one of Jesus’ laborers too propelling others to join in the harvest.

GiDC Process

Expanding My Role

As I look forward to the fall, I will have new responsibilities with The Navigators. I have been asked to be the Regional Leader of the Great Lakes. Much of my role will remain the same. I will continue serving the eight pastors and the seven churches that I am coaching.


What will be different is that a portion of my time will be given to assist, equip and train the Nav Church staff in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. This group formerly was led by Bill Mowry, who has passed the baton to me. Bill has been preparing me for the new role. I am intrigued by the role and curious how these two aspects of my ministry will unfold. I am very honored by Bill and the national leadership asking me to take this step. I’ve already learned a bunch about leadership, particularly from 1 Samuel. There are tremendous leadership lessons in that book that have encouraged and challenged me. Learn more about the Region.

With this new role, there are some changes. The additional time to serving the region means that the two churches finishing up their disciplemaking process won’t be replaced. That will ensure that I am fully available to the staff.

That being said, in order for me to continue unhindered, I need to raise $776 a month. I am trusting the Lord to provide twelve new financial partners: four folks for special gifts of $776 and eight others for monthly gifts of $65 or an amount as the Lord leads.

Would you prayerfully consider being one of the 12 for this new season of expanded ministry?  You may use this link. Thank you so much.



P.S. Also see …

What we are About 

Our Region by the Numbers

The best of my leadership training.


In good company in disbelief

Not believing really is part of it.

From the very start everyone struggled with thinking Easter was true. The disciples did not start there. Just look at where they were at immediately following Jesus’ death.

Luke 24 brings out disbelief in the closest of Jesus’ followers. We see it first in the women who went to the tomb. Mary, Joanna and another Mary they were going to anoint the dead body of Jesus, as was the custom. They saw him die on the cross. They saw them put the body in the cave and the stone rolled shut. There was now no belief in him being the Messiah.

Yet as they encounter the angel he retells them what Jesus had numerous times told them, “The Son of Man must betrayed, delivered into Pilate, crucified and on the third day raised to life.” The women had missed this each time he had told them about the cross.   It hadn’t sunk in to their souls and begun to form into faith.

“Then they remembered his words.” NIV. At that point they moved from disbelief to belief. They recalled the moments Jesus had foretold them about these events and chose to consider it true.

However, they were hardly the only ones not believing. They were in good company with the Apostles.

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had given up the dream. They were walking when under stealth Jesus came alongside and engaged them in conversation. In their dejection they stated, “But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:21 NIV. They surmised their was no reason to continue with fantasies of Jesus’ greatness. They too had sunk into disbelief, joining the women.

That’s not the end of the account because when Jesus breaks bread with them he opens their eyes and they recognize him. Pumped they run to the other disciples to attest what the women had told them!

There’s one more group that was holding on to disbelief. The very night that all these encounters happened, the other Apostles were in doors when Christ appeared before them. You might think that would be enough for them to move from disbelief to belief.

It wasn’t. At this point, they had the word from three women that an angel said Jesus was alive and they had the two Emmaus hikers attesting they walked with Jesus that day.

So the other disciples that night first think Jesus is a ghost. Still unconvinced they weren’t able to get to faith when Jesus showed his hands and feet. Touching him was not going to get them there.

Finally, Jesus proves it to them by eating a fish.

The women and the men’s testimony didn’t help, the appearance of Christ himself didn’t, Jesus talking to them didn’t and the nail holes in his hands and feet, all these could get them to believe. But eating a fish did. Weird.

All this tells us how hard it is for us to move from disbelief to belief. We stubbornly hold on to only what see and of what we are convinced. Christ’s words to us are the same one he spoke then, “Why are your troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” Lk 24:38 NIV

We all start together by not buying in to the faith. If you don’t believe the truth of Easter, you are in good company. Everyone starts there. Some folks move on.

Where are your doubts? …that Jesus existed? …that he rose from the grave? …that he truly took care of all your sin? …that there is purpose for you today?

May the Lord Jesus continue to remove all of our doubts so that you and I can have the kind of Easter Sunday these men and women on that day. Happy Easter!