This has been a year we won't soon forget. Covid-19, a polarizing election, racial tension, the ongoing chemo treatment for our daughter Grace, and e-learning with our four kids at home. On top of that, we launched a new ministry in January called Groundswell, designed to help mobilize a growing wave of disciple makers and pioneer leaders.
As we approach 2021, God has shown me that it's time to expand the ministry, increase our impact, and keep pressing forward to mobilize hundreds of thousands of disciple makers and pioneer leaders. The harvest is ripe! I hope you read this to the end and consider joining our team! I'm so grateful for each one of you.
Focused Training (our #1 priority)
Pastors are the linchpin for mobilization, and the majority of our training focuses on helping local churches. God has given us more than sheep to be shepherded. He has given us an army to be mobilized!
In 2020 we launched two training modules, "Mobilizing Disciple Makers" and "Building a Discipleship Pathway", and God gave us the opportunity to train...251 pastors and 85 lay leaders! Wow!
By utilizing Zoom technology and an online training platform we've been able to offer training in partnership with districts and denominations. In 2021 we launch two NEW modules focused on "pioneer leaders". If disciple makers are the foot soldiers for advancing the kingdom of God, pioneer leaders are the special ops!
Inspiring Conferences (Mobilize the Church)
If focused training is our first priority at Groundswell, hosting inspiring conferences is the second. In October, I traveled to La Plata, MD where we launched our first ever "Mobilize the Church" conference in partnership with Dwight Nash (1000 Churches), and Mike Hilson (New Life Church). This was a pilot event with pastors from the east coast.
Future conferences will be built around our Mobilization Pipeline, a tool we use to help churches reimagine mobilization by moving people from friend of the church to disciple, disciple maker, pioneer leader, church planter, and finally a sending pastor. Our next event is slated in April at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a second is being planned for the Southeast.
Practical Resources (Simple to Use, Easy to Reproduce)
Our third and final priority at Groundswell is practical resourcing. To accomplish our mission of mobilizing a growing wave of disciple makers and pioneer leaders, we offer resources that can be easily reproduced in any context.
Banding Together leader's guide and journal is one of those resources. It's customizable for local churches and continues to gain traction. We are planning a version 2.0 for 2021. In March of this year we also launched a small e-book titled Pioneers in partnership with Dr. Ed Love, Church Multiplication Director of The Wesleyan Church. This simple resource is currently being developed into a larger book and we hope to have it available next year.
We're Going Global (Latino Ministries Director)
I'm excited to introduce Yamil Acevedo, an incredible pastor, leader, and academic who will be providing a focus on Latino Ministries and serving as intercultural advisor for our growing ministry. Yamil launched two new training cohorts at the end of 2020 with Latino pastors from Puerto Rico, Panama, Argentina, Mexico, and other regions of the US.
Our prayer is to continue to expand the reach of Groundswell around the world and specifically within the Latino community, the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. In addition, we are seeing a growing wave of disciple makers in Eastern Europe and we were in the process of planning an international conference in Budapest, Hungary prior to Covid-19. Please pray for God to open new doors in 2021 to expand this work globally!
Launching 2021 (5 New Initiatives)
First up is New Training (each picture represents one of our FIVE modules). In partnership with districts, denominations, and local churches, we will be launching five training options for 2021: "Building a Discipleship Pathway", "Building a Mobilization Pipeline", "Mobilizing Disciple Makers", "Mobilizing Pioneer Leaders", and "Equipping Disciples".
Second is Project 72, an R&D collaboration with The Wesleyan Church. We are praying to build on this initiative in 2021 to mobilize even more pioneer leaders around the country and around the world! We currently have 5 coaches, 30 churches, and 74 pioneers involved and the stories are inspiring!
Third is Mission 120, a multi-year initiative with Church of God Anderson to launch 120 disciple-making churches. In the midst of Covid-19, God is refocusing these church to prioritize disciple making as their first step toward multiplying.
Fourth is Digital Resourcing. In addition to our growing Facebook community, we want to offer other digital resources (video, podcasts, etc) to help mobilize the church and build a community committed to mobilization.
Fifth, is Strategic Partnering. Our desire is to build a team of 250 prayer partners, dozens of financial supporters and strategic partnerships with 5 local churches and 10 individual donors. I believe God desires Groundswell to expand to include a network of field staff and trainers as well as 250 prayer partners to continue to mobilize more people. Opportunities abound and I need your help!
Finally, we would ask you to consider a financial gift to Groundswell as we wrap up 2020. Your kingdom investment will help train more disciple makers and pioneer leaders! You can give by simply clicking here
Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement. There is much work to be done!
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