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. https://www.navigators.org/staff/23817273. May I hear from you by December 31?

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.

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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. navstaff.org/give/23817273. Thank you so much.

 

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P.S. Also see …

What we are About 

Our Region by the Numbers

The best of my leadership training.

 

Why I like Life Coaching

One of the very fun parts of my week is the opportunity to walk with others in our Life Coaching process. I am grateful for the fantastic training I’ve received in the Navs. A lot of people use the word “coaching” to mean a variety of things. Let explain what we mean by coaching through the good things I’m seeing each week.

I like Life and Leadership Coaching because …

  1. DSCF1148.jpgIt’s a different tool to help others. Mentoring, Counseling, Discipling all are disciplines to aid people. Coaching goes at it completely different. I want to have as many tool on my tool belt. Coaching gives me one more.
  2. I’m not the expert but the change agent. I don’t have to know everything about their world or their vocation but by asking questions, I can help others understand their present situation and envision the desired future. They know much better what their deepest needs and desires are than I do.6cr6RbxEi.png
  3. Coachees are motivated to action. By hitting on what their motivations they are much more likely to follow through. They have a deeper desire to life out their dreams.
  4. People share, think and strategize at their deepest core issues. Inevitably on each call we stumble upon a challenge. Over the course of months we end on the pesky areas in their life they’ve just not gotten around to. It’s a privilege to help them look square into a challenge and think smartly about possible strategies to rectify it.
  5. You know you’ve helped them. I get lots of cues it is benefitting them when they say, “Ooh that’s a good question,” and we launch into another conversation about their topic. It also comes at the end of a coach call when they say, “Thanks that was so helpful today.”
  6. You know you’ve really helped them. A pastor I had been coaching was enjoying the
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    Coaching is about helping someone move to a better place, a better day.

    process saying, “I wish I had these kind of help 30 years ago when I started in ministry.” After he had said a few times he told me, “I want you to coach my young associate too.” After a year of coach that associate the pastor said, “Would you coach our youth director.” Six months after that this 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.

 

Here’s some links about coaching:

Pastoral Coaching

Discipleship is a complex endeavor to accomplish well. Navigators Church Ministries (NCM) of The Navigators helps pastors and churches consider how they can best build disciples in their context. Each church has unique opportunities to make disciples and hindrances to the process. It takes wise counsel to work through the obstacles to produce maturity. Additionally, because discipleship is not an urgent need, it gets pushed to the background in church life. Crisis, sickness, conflict, sermons, budgets are thrust forward on the church leadership. Building disciples remains under the stack of to dos. Yet it is an important need for each church. In fact, our commissioning as the Church is to build disciples.

I can assist pastors and churches in bringing clarity to the process of discipleship, formulating an individual plan for each particular congregation. His experience in a large church and in Young Life helps this process. Dane and NCM provide two effective ways to assist The Church: first with Life & Leadership Coaching and secondly with our Growing Intentional Disciplemaking Cultures. It starts with getting to know the need and finding solutions that will maximize growth in individuals and continue that process throughout the church.

Contact me for an evaluation that can help you begin considering disciplemaking in your congregation.