By Jim Moon, Jr., Vice President, CMM
Most of you know that through CMM, the ministry where I serve, I’ve been very involved in a church planting and renewal movement in a big island south of Florida. I can’t say much for security reasons, but I wanted to share a little in word, picture and a quote.
My last trip was amazingly good! I was super encouraged by how the national leaders are expanding the work (see stats below). Three more key towns and cities receive training this month – in spite of the challenges of transportation issues. How is Gospel Coaching impacting this island?
One key pastor told me, “I’m using Gospel Coaching in all kinds of conversations now. I’ve learned to listen better and I always have the gospel tools in mind whether it is an intentional appointment or an informal conversation. I want to train all of our pastors and wives in Gospel Coaching. Their ministries are hard and they are isolated, so we need to develop networks of Gospel Coaching all across our city, province and the whole country!”
My last trip was amazingly hard. Would you pray for my friends/colleagues who endure daily difficulties? It breaks my heart to hear their struggles in health, personal economics and powerlessness. But they challenge me when I see them trusting the Lord in ways that I/we do not. These believers on the big island depend on Jesus in prayer. They live inter-dependently. They obey the Lord. They suffer well. Lift them up!
As CMM trained leaders in the US and other countries, the Lord is moving. How? Men and women were learning the heart of Gospel Coaching – confessing sin and their need for Jesus and being empowered by what Jesus is doing and has done for them! To varying degrees, the Spirit of God wrecks and rebuilds the hearts and minds of the trainees and trainers too!
Please pray for me to trust Jesus and not my own abilities! Pray for safe travel, for my wife while I’m gone and for powerful Holy Spirit transformation of the people I encounter. And me too!
Here are 8 of the 10 fully trained, equipped and certified staff-level trainers on the big island. This photo represents 5 years of profound love, language-learning in our 50s and joyful, life-changing labor together. This year, these trainers directly impact more than 20 cities and towns with the gospel of Jesus! And they have plans to transform people in every province! Dear friends! Thank you for your prayers and support of us and them!
Below are 30 of the 55+ currently certified trainers and gospel coaches! There are another 150+ in the training process!
In the US, Gospel Coaching is growing into so many other denominations, networks and churches! In this picture of a recent training in Atlanta, there are eight groups represented from Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, and the PCA in Canada, SE Asia and Mexico. What an answer to prayer!
Remember, you don't have to face the challenges of your ministry alone. A #churchcoach #ministrycoach can help you face your struggles in a gospel-centered way. Learn more about Gospel Coaching today!
The purpose and plan of discipleship in many churches is unclear, unfocused, and unreliable. Programming will change constantly and the themes we emphasize vary wildly. It leaves people confused or exhausted, and leadership flabbergasted. What we propose is not complicated, but it does require the hard work of clarity, discipline, and consistency.
But first, let’s go back to basics and re-imagine discipleship by asking three simple questions adapted from the book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. The questions are WHY, HOW, and WHAT.
Paul May is a pastor/church planter in metro Washington D.C. Here’s what Paul said recently about having a Gospel Coach:
“My coaches didn’t just give me advice, but came alongside me as older brothers. They walked with me through hard conflict and painful losses, and celebrated with me at personal successes and when we saw God do big things. While I’ve been blessed by many godly pastors generous with their prayer, friendship, and counsel, I’ve found that having someone walk with me and remind me of the gospel continually is what has kept me married and in ministry, and I’m convinced it’s had a significant role in the fruit produced in our first and now second church plant.
“The main content of CMM coaching is how to apply the gospel to the heart of the planter. So being coached was the beginning of a journey for me of learning the A-Z part of the gospel and applying to my life in ways I didn't know I needed. Kind of like when you buy a new vacuum and you realize how much the old one sucked--or didn’t, rather. My wife and I have learned that we need these kinds of relationships in our lives continually, and it’s opened new pathways of conversation in our marriage, with our children, and with those we disciple. Gospel Coaching has helped me grow more and more towards being the spiritual leader I’m called to be, both of my household and over the household of God."
Remember, you don’t have to be alone in ministry. At CMM, we believe every pastor, church planter, ministry leader, and missionary is created to thrive in ministry. Click here to download your FREE eBook “Gospel Centered Discipleship” today!
Back when I was leading a church we did a series entitled, “What?” We spent weeks answering questions such as: “What makes a man a man?”; What makes a woman and woman?”; “What makes a marriage a marriage?”; “What makes a dad a dad or a mom a mom?”
The last topic of the series what “What makes you, you?”
Months before the series I approached people in our city—mostly wait staff, grocery clerks, bank tellers, random people in the park— and said, “May I ask you a question”…and then would pose one of those questions to them. Even though it was years ago, I still remember the fun I had asking and the varied answers I received. If we were to ask those questions in the public square today, I suspect we would get the similar answers.
The reason I bring this up is because we are in the midst of a devolving revolution and if you are a gospel-centered follower of Jesus Christ you are in a minor minority, with no accepted voice in the public domain. The chief view of our origin is material or natural. There is no God, we all originated in the Big Bang. Flowing from that belief is the greatest moral value which is dominating the cultural consensus: “You are your own self—you decide who you are—you determine what makes you, you.” The oppressive voices proudly shout, “Do not let anyone tell you who you are—not your mom, dad, friends, teachers, courts” etc. “If you are true to yourself you can be anything you want to be.” In essence, you are the hero of your own story.
Let me state it plainly: If you and your church are going to do serious gospel disciple-making with the young adults, teens, middle schoolers, and grade schoolers, you will have to tackle those predominant lies in their story with the greater Story.
As we remind one another of what makes you “you” (and we do need others to help us interpret the Story and our own stories so we know our core identity) and to the degree you remind yourself by hitting the ‘refresh button’ of your personal hard drive (soul), it will deepen your ability to live and thrive while our society continues in its devolving revolution.
The first active reality is that you were created by a good, all glorious, all powerful, and all beautiful Tri-Personal God—God the Father, God Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. You were Created by community for community. All things, everything we see and all who exist, were created by him and for him. But we know we are not right and everything around us in our world (relationships, cultures, races, ecosystems, etc) is not right. Nothing seems to be what it was designed to be. We need Someone to come, outside of the mess we live in, to rescue us.
The second active reality is that you have been rescued by Jesus Christ. He is the Hero of your story. His rescue is one of substitution (He took on the curse of our rebellion against our Maker); one of reconciliation (He made Peace with our Creator); one of adoption (We have been made sons and daughters of our Maker).
The third active reality in having an identity to live freely and endure the hostile revolution is to remember we are now, at the very same moment, completely forgiven yet still a sinner. They are both happening realities at the same moment day by day. “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” is present alongside, “The very things I don't want to do, I do…Who will rescue me?”
It is only after the people (adults, teens, and children) understand and accept this greater Story in their lives can you truly cultivate deep, meaningful relationships with those you’re in ministry with. Are you missing the Gospel Story component in your ministry today? You don’t have to face the challenges alone.
CMM can help you find a Gospel Coach and even train you to coach other high-capacity leaders. We believe every leader needs coaching that involves intentional gospel conversations with focused discussions about one another’s relational, personal, missional, and spiritual life. Learn more about ministry coaching and church coaching today!
Dr. Tom Wood
I've been in the Church Planting business my entire career. I want you to know, you don't have to plant a church alone!