I enjoyed a phone call yesterday afternoon with a new friend that leads a growing ministry on the west coast called OCNWTR ("ocean water" minus the vowels).
The ministry concept is a combination of coffee, surfing, church planting, and providing fresh water to people in need. I have to admit, watching him live stream his sermons on a sunny beach in San Clemente, CA and hearing more about his vision makes me wonder why I decided to permanently settle in the Midwest.
While we were discussing organic discipleship on his podcast, he asked me a few questions about the ministry of Groundswell and why we chose the name.
I suppose when most people hear the term "groundswell" they think of a growing grassroots movement. People talk about "a groundswell of public support" or a "groundswell of activity". But there is another definition that my friend was more familiar with.
A groundswell is also a specific type of wave in the ocean.
Most waves are short-distance waves but a "groundswell" travels a very long distance, sometimes a few thousand miles from the coastline and transfers its energy deep into the ocean floor. By the time it reaches the shore, the waves provide incredible conditions for surfing.
We chose the name of our ministry strategically. Yes, we hope it becomes a grassroots movement of churches, but we also pray God would use this ministry to create a growing wave of disciple makers and pioneering leaders.
Mission "Groundswell is a global ministry mobilizing a growing wave of disciple makers and pioneering leaders to plant hundreds and thousands of churches."
We are a mobilization ministry. Our motto is "mobilize the church" and our desire is to activate the body of Christ for ministry.
It is our conviction that congregations are filled with an untapped "kingdom force", a phrase many in my tribe are now using to describe the local church. To that end, we want to come alongside denominations, networks, districts, and local churches to help them build the two most important systems for mobilization: a discipleship pathway and a mobilization pipeline.
Here's a quick definition of each.
Discipleship Pathway "A discipleship pathway is a strategic, comprehensive, and clear process for making disciples in your church."
Building a discipleship pathway requires a strategic and prayerful look at the ongoing relational environments in your church, onramps for getting people connected, and one-time events and experiences to draw people closer to Christ. Most importantly, a discipleship pathway ought to provide clear training on how to effectively disciple others. Helping churches build a discipleship pathway is one of our primary goals as a ministry.
The second core system for mobilization is something we call a mobilization pipeline.
Mobilization Pipeline "A mobilization pipeline is similar to a leadership pipeline but with greater emphasis on equipping leaders for the mission field"
The Groundswell Mobilization Pipeline moves people through six stages (friend, disciple, disciple maker, pioneer leader, church planter, network leader) and the purpose is to raise up more workers for the harvest. If the "harvest is plentiful" then we must pray for more workers and mobilize them to serve. It is our belief that when we focus on these two systems, the natural result is the multiplication of new disciples, leaders, and churches. To put it another way...
"We believe the church-planting movement of tomorrow begins with a disciple-making movement today."
I've spent a large chunk of my ministry planting churches and I have a strong conviction that if we are intentional about raising up a groundswell of disciple makers and pioneering leaders today, we will see a growing wave of new churches tomorrow.
Do you have a vision to mobilize your church, district, or network?
Do you want to empower more disciple makers and pioneer leaders?
Looking for a strategic partner for your district, network, or local church?
I would love to chat more... firstname.lastname@example.org