Time to give thanks!

Time to give thanks!

Praying you and your family have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

Thank you for your continued dedication to:

  • make more and better disciples

  • create environments to train leaders

  • plant healthy churches that reproduce

Imagine a world that had a local church in every community where apprentices of Jesus were living out their faith in every aspect of their lives.  I love the following quote by Timothy Keller that encompasses the reason why InFocus exists:

New church planting is the only way that we can be sure we are going to increase the number of believers in a city and one of the best ways to renew the whole Body of Christ.                                                             

I have the absolute privilege to work with amazing leaders who are striving to make the world a better place!

Remote DISCIPLEMAKING: 5 coaching questions to support people in their disciplemaking journey

Remote DISCIPLEMAKING: 5 coaching questions to support people in their disciplemaking journey

The photo above is at sunset after riding a gnarly uphill out back we call Jacuzzi Hill (because someone dumped their jacuzzi in the beautiful hills of Murrieta, CA).  It is a 25.2% grade (very steep), technical and challenging.  Since it had rained recently, I was able to navigate it successfully (which I have only done on 1-2 other occasions over the last 12+ years of riding this particular trail).

As I recovered I paused to take in the beauty.

As Christian leaders it is important to pause to reflect on how we can more effectively engage people in their disciplemaking journey?  Back in the spring when we pivoted to a remote small group via Zoom I thought this was going to be a difficult challenge; but then my perspective began to change.  Instead of seeing virtual interaction as a substitute for the “real’ thing, I shifted my perspective to engagement.  Regardless if we meet in person or virtually the question remains “How can we support  people in their disciplemaking journey?”

That question helped me realize that the debate between live, in-person vs. virtual is a secondary issue for disciplemakers.  I’ve read about trendy techniques to keep the interest of people using platforms like Zoom e.g. smile, lighting, sound, backgrounds, etc.  While these things are helpful I have discovered three invaluable lessons to engage and keep people engaged in their disciplemaking journey: BE FUN, BE AUTHENTIC and BE CHALLENGING.

The names of our small group leaders and participants has been changed for purposes of anonymity.  Let me unpack each of these aspects below:

BE FUN – How can our leadership team lead with a fun factor to open the discipleship conversation?

  • Note – don’t do this alone!  We have a fantastic leadership team.  Two couples who really love the Lord, each other and our small group.  If you are attempting to do this alone – stop whatever you are doing and invite others into your mission.
  • One way we express that love for our small group is through ice-breakers.  And I mean thoughtful, fun and meaningful ways of breaking the ice at every small group gathering.  This is one place we need to think of the unique challenge of meeting online.
  • Traditionally, at the outset of a new small group term we spend more time getting to know each other and then taper-off as we get more and more comfortable.  However, in this season where we are meeting socially distanced online we have made ice-breakers a high priority.  We have learned that every week is a new start, introducing people who have missed a week or two to the “regular” members of the group.  In fact, we have one of our leadership team members dedicated to creating engaging ice breakers every week.
  • Here is one fun idea “Marje” suggested for Halloween.  Three weeks prior, she asked everyone to come to the meeting just before Halloween with a decorated pumpkin – not carved, decorated.  This allowed everyone to participate.  Initially Gina (my wife) and I were very slow to get going.  But after we gathered our decorations and discussed ideas, our competitive instincts kick-started our creative juices and we were on our way before we knew it.  The next night, everyone was excited and showed-up with a pumpkin.  Each person presented their pumpkin and the materials used.  We laughed, we pointed at each others creation and we celebrated – then voted.  That’s right, we were given 15 categories to vote with the hope that everyone would be a winner.  And the next day, “Marje” personally delivered prizes to the winners!  It is amazing what that single event has done to connect people.

Our entry in the Pumpkin decoration contest

BE AUTHENTIC: How can our team be real and genuine in supporting our people on their discipleship journey?

  • When it comes to the technology challenges, the best advice I would suggest here is – “relax”.  Everyone is dealing with the same issue.  Be transparent and honest with those struggles.
  • As always whether meeting online or in person, lead with your struggles when it comes to your discipleship journey.
  • Before we even met for our fall term our team invited all of our people to meet in smaller groups (groups of 2-5) in backyards to reconnect or meet each other for the first time.
  • Because people are missing the human touch, I would suggest increasing your use of texting (or whatever medium you choose) to “touch” your people.
  • Beyond the regular meeting utilize text between sessions to encourage, pray and support each other.
  • Most important – pray!  Pray during the sessions, pray in prep for your small group meeting and following.  Moresoe than ever, people need to sense they are not in this alone but that the Holy Spirit is alongside them every step along the way.
  • We have a critically ill person in our group.  His journey is long and hard.  It is complicated by the season we are in right now.  We ask for and receive updates via text, our people are quick to let him know that he is cared and prayed for.

BE CHALLENGING: How can we challenge people to stay the course on their discipleship journey? 

  • I use a coach-approach in making disciples.  Leaning heavily into listening and asking questions is extremely effective in helping people engage in their discipleship journey.  Here are a few questions that I have found to be helpful:
  • Disciplemaking coaching questions:
    1. Where are you on your disciplemaking journey?
      • This infers people are aware of a disciplemaking journey like the Missional Discipleship storyboard – see below.
    2. What are you doing to move forward in your disciplemaking journey?
    3. Who are you engaging in their disciplemaking journey?
    4. Where are they on their dsiciplemaking journey?
    5. What questions can you present to challenge them to take the next step on their disciplemaking journey?

What does mountain biking have to do with disciplemaking?

What does mountain biking have to do with disciplemaking?

Let me share with you about my mountain bike journey. 

In 1993 my wife (Gina) and I decided to share a hobby we both had aspired to but never pursued individually – mountain biking.  Probably, just like you, we had bikes as kids and did all the normal things you do on a bike.  We understood the basics: balance, braking,  turning, etc.  But we wanted more.

Little did we know that would lead us into so many amazing adventures over the next 3 decades as we moved from thinking about mountain biking, talking about it to being about it.

We made a commitment.  That led us to research various bike options.  One of our friends from church was deep into biking and worked at a cycle shop.  So we asked him to help us purchase bikes that fit our goal of getting out on the trail and learning how to maneuver the desert terrain of Phoenix, AZ on a two-wheeled apparatus. 

Truth be told, Gina is a stronger rider than I am.  She is more daring.  More adventurous.  And significantly faster.  I have to work hard to keep up with her.  It is genuinely frustrating, but we love the challenge and joy of mountain biking.

What can we learn from mountain biking that we can apply to disciplemaking?

I am glad you asked.

Earlier I mentioned that we went through this process of thinking about mountain biking, talking about it and finally being about it.  These three stages were important and necessary.  If we had only thought deeply about mountain biking, it may never have crept into our conversation.  And if we had simply talked about the great times we would have riding mountain bikes; we might have never gotten around to actually getting our bodies on the two-wheeled piece of aluminum (or carbon fiber) and flung ourselves down bone jarring downhills or pedaled vigorously, climbing technical trails to ascend steep peaks with the reward of amazing views awaiting us.

If these three processes are important for mountain biking, is it possible that Christians in the West are stuck in a cycle of thinking and talking about discipleship to the neglect of being about discipleship?

Could this dynamic on an individual level be a systemic issue occurring in our churches? 

Here is you chance to move from thinking and talking about discipleship to being about discipleship. 

I know that this does not happen over night, so we are offering a combination of a 4-hour webinar followed by 4, hour-long coach triads over a 4 month period (December 2020-March 2021).  Each triad consists of a coach facilitator and two participants.

Below are the details for both opportunities!

 

4 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR DISCIPLES AND DISCIPLE COACHES:

WEBINAR + COACHING TRIADS

    • Description: Orientation + Implementation of the 4 Building Blocks for Disciples and Disciple Coaches
    • Dates:
      • 4-hour webinar – November 16, 2020 from 10amPST-2pm PST (1-5pm EST)
      • Four, hour-long coach triads over a 4 month period (December 2020-March 2021) – dates TBD with participants
    • Cost: Webinar + Coach Triads – $475

CLICK HERE to Register

 

 

4 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR DISCIPLE & DISCIPLE COACHES:

WEBINAR ONLY

    • Description: Orientation to the 4 Building Blocks for Disciples and Disciple Coaches
    • Dates: November 16, 2020 from 10amPST-2pm PST (1-5pm EST)
    • Cost: Webinar ONLY – $250

CLICK HERE to Register

4 DISCIPLE MAKING BUILDING BLOCKS WEBINAR + Coaching Triads

4 DISCIPLE MAKING BUILDING BLOCKS WEBINAR + Coaching Triads

Here are three common obstacles people face who earnestly want to impact the Kingdom by doing good and making disciples:

  • Obstacle #1: Staying true to your values
    • Oftentimes a disciple maker initially attempts to follow a prescribed disciple making process that good but not consistent with the values a disciplemaker embraces, for instance, the more relational a person’s temperament the less structured their approach might be to help a person process the next step(s) in their faith journey.
  • Obstacle #2: Not bearing the fruit expected
    • Oftentimes a disciplemaker has higher expectations than the apprentice of Jesus has for their life that can lead to frustration for both parties.
  • Obstacle #3: Connecting with a community of like-minded people
    • Oftentimes the disciplemaker is working alone and longs to be connected in a meaningful way with others who are on the same journey to.

Last Friday Micah Dodson and I hosted a 55-minute webinar to present the essential building blocks to build into your disciple making.  Here is the slide deck from that presentation – 4DMBB Webinar HO 10.30.20

Now we want to give you the chance to build these 4 Disciple Making Building Blocks into your church culture with an expanded version of what we presented last Friday.  We know that this does not happen over night, so we are doing a combination of a 4-hour webinar followed by 4, hour-long coach triads over a 4 month period (December 2020-March 2021).  Each triad consists of a coach facilitator and two participants.

Below are the details for both opportunities!

 

4 DISCIPLE MAKING BUILDING BLOCKS: WEBINAR + COACHING TRIADS

    • Description: Orientation + Implementation of the 4 Disciple Making Building Blocks
    • Dates:
      • 4-hour webinar – November 16, 2020 from 10amPST-2pm PST (1-5pm EST)
      • Four, hour-long coach triads over a 4 month period (December 2020-March 2021) – dates TBD with participants
    • Cost: Webinar + Coach Triads – $475

CLICK HERE to Register

 

 

4 DISCIPLE MAKING BUILDING BLOCKS: WEBINAR ONLY

    • Description: Orientation to the 4 Disciple Making Building Blocks
    • Dates: November 16, 2020 from 10amPST-2pm PST (1-5pm EST)
    • Cost: Webinar ONLY – $250

CLICK HERE to Register

FREE Webinar: How to add value in the first 20 mins of a coaching session

FREE Webinar: How to add value in the first 20 mins of a coaching session

As in the past, I want to pass-on opportunities for you to learn how to empower leaders through coaching from global thought leaders in the coach community.  If you are a pastor, church planter or missionary – see if this applies to you…

Yes, I do believe we as Christians have the advantage when we coach and equip leaders how to coach other leaders because we have the capacity to rely on the Holy Spirit that others outside the Christian faith do not possess.  And No, I don’t believe we know all there is to know about coaching just because we are followers of Christ.  You and I have much to learn from secular leaders on the topic.

The 5 Ways to Accelerate Your Coaching Impact Masterclass featuring former Director of Executive Coaching at Google, David Peterson and Coaching Industry Pioneer, David Goldsmith is starting soon!

Have you secured your spot?

In this complimentary masterclass, you’ll learn how to:

• Engage Faster – Give your clients real value in the first 20 minutes
• Make Leaders You Coach Want More – End your first meeting strong
• Coach Effectively – Ask key questions to progress quickly with your client
• Connect Quicker – Uncover client insights swifter than you thought possible
• Produce greater value per minute – Learn when to work fast for greater impact

If you’re ready to accelerate your coach development, join me at this session.

As a thank you for registering, you’ll receive an additional bonus – the ACE Coach Note-Taking Tool. This tool enables you to stay fully present while taking notes during coaching conversations. It includes tips on how to take notes effectively while ensuring it doesn’t get in the way of building rapport.

Register for the complimentary 5 Ways to Accelerate 
Your Coaching Impact LIVE masterclass today 

I hope you can join this FREE webinar!

Gary Reinecke
Executive Director
InFocus
MULTIPLY-FOCUS-EMPOWER-PLANT

991.473.4481
www.infocusnet.org
greinecke@infocusnet.org

 

 

FREE WEBINAR – 4 Disciple Making Building Blocks

FREE WEBINAR – 4 Disciple Making Building Blocks

Are you looking for ways to stay true to your values and make disciples who make disciples?

Are you frustrated with the fruit of your disciplemaking?

Are you looking to connect with a community of like-minded leaders who are raising the bar of disciplemaking?

4 Disciple Making Building Blocks

Join us for a FREE webinar on Friday – October 30 @ 10am PST

CLICK HERE

to register

DR. GARY REINECKE

Gary is the Executive Director of InFocus and trains leaders world-wide in the coaching process and skills.  He  has been coaching leaders for disciple-making, leadership development and church multiplication since 1988.  Gary co-authored the Coaching 101 Handbook and Developing Coaching Excellence.  He received the designation of Master Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation in 2018.  Gary and his wife Gina live in Southern CA – they have two young adult children, Joel and Zoe.

REV. MICAH DODSON

Micah and Kristen Dodson has served in church planting for over 20 years in the Northwest. Having served in Suburban, Urban, and largely post-Christian contexts, the Dodsons have experience in starting, leading, and multiplying a variety of church models. Additionally, as a couple they have over a decade of experience running Church Planting Assessment Centers. Micah’s strengths are in coaching, training, and assessing church planting leaders. Kristen brings a compassion for the church planting couple and family while leveraging her background in mental health to provide expertise in times of crisis.

4 Disciple Making Building Blocks

CLICK HERE

to register

FREE webinar on Friday – October 30 @ 10am PST

 

FREE Webinar: Learn LIVE from David Peterson – Former Head of Coaching at Google

FREE Webinar: Learn LIVE from David Peterson – Former Head of Coaching at Google

As in the past, I want to pass-on opportunities for you to learn how to empower leaders through coaching from global thought leaders in the coach community.

Yes, I do believe we as Christians have the advantage when we coach and equip leaders how to coach other leaders because we have the capacity to rely on the Holy Spirit that others outside the Christian faith do not possess.  And No, I don’t believe we know all there is to know about coaching just because we are followers of Christ.  You and I have much to learn from secular leaders on the topic.

With that backdrop, this month, former Director of Executive Coaching at Google, David Peterson and Coaching Industry Pioneer, David Goldsmith will host a complimentary masterclass called 5 Ways to Accelerate Your Coaching Impact.  I’d love for you to be my guest.

In this live masterclass, David and David will show you how to accelerate your path to more effectiveness in your coaching. You’ll discover how applying the right coaching skills in the right way can help you deliver huge impact quickly. Even for the most challenging leaders.

Get key concepts you can use in your very next coaching engagement!

Register for the Masterclass Here 

If you’re interested, I recommend that you sign up right away. Coach education sessions like these often reach full capacity quickly.

Feel free to share your thoughts with me about this session. Looking forward to hearing from you.

I can’t wait to see you there!

Gary Reinecke
Executive Director
InFocus
MULTIPLY-FOCUS-EMPOWER-PLANT

991.473.4481
www.infocusnet.org
greinecke@infocusnet.org

 

 

What does it cost your ministry to make a new disciple?

What does it cost your ministry to make a new disciple?

Have you been asked: “What is the fruit of an apple?”  It is kind of a trick question.  The expected answer is, “the seeds of another apple”.  The fruit of an apple is NOT just another apple; the fruit of an apple is an orchard.

Relating to Jesus’ commission in Matthew 28:18-20.  The true fruit of a disciple is a disciple who makes disciples – who makes disciples.  Another way of saying this is, the seed of a disciple-making movement are contained in every disciple.

If the fruit of a disciple is a disciple-making movement then a fair but more strategic follow-up question to ask leaders of leaders is: What does it cost your ministry to make a new disciple?  This may seem like an odd question to ask a pastor, church planter or missionary.  But is it really?

I was speaking with a colleague last week.  He mentioned a network of disciple-makers that had done the hard work to track and calculate the return of their investment so they could study the metrics that mattered most to them.  Note, these are conservative estimates.  To-date they have facilitated the transformation of approximately 830,000+ people who now follow Jesus at a cost about $35 per new disciple.  In addition, they tracked the following data points:

  • 2,400,000+ people reached with the gospel
  • 36,000+ churches started
  • 720,000+ people in small groups.
Back to the question: What does it cost your ministry to make a new disciple?

 

This question triggers a number of reactions:

  1. Defensive (We don’t track that sort of thing!) OR Curious (Why do you ask?)
  2. Closed (Are you kidding?) OR Open (I’ve never thought about it that way before.)
  3. Criticism (Aren’t you bringing business principles into the church?) OR Willing (That is an interesting question!)

One of the first things we will do in the Leadership Collective – Missional Discipleship is ask leaders to consider this question. It is a clarifying exercise and one that helps leaders grasp a number of insights.  See if you can relate to these.

5 benefits to asking the question:

What does it cost your ministry to make a new disciple?

  1. Clarifies the type of fruit a leader is harvesting
  2. Channels resources in the direction of making disciples
  3. Helps a leader know what opportunities to say “no” to
  4. Has the potential to align ministries to support the work of making disciples
  5. Empowers teams to celebrate “wins” along the way

Here are some of the reasons why we created the Leadership Collective – Missional DiscipleshipWe believe this is a strategic opportunity for leaders to re-think their disciple-making process due to the restrictions that are being opposed in our society.  See if you resonate with any of these:

  • Simplify your disciple-making process
  • Adapt innovative ideas that have worked elsewhere
  • Create new discipleship processes you have been envisioning

If you relate to any of the above and would like more information on the Leadership Collective – Missional Discipleship – watch the video below.  Micah Dodson and I share the vision for this 10-month learning community so that you have a clear picture of what you will achieve.  We pray you can join us in La Jolla, CA for the launch event November 15-17.Leadership Collective - Missional Discipleship: interview with Gary & Micah

CLICK IMAGE ABOVE

LEADERSHIP COLLECTIVE – Missional Discipleship

LEADERSHIP COLLECTIVE – Missional Discipleship

A real problem I am experiencing in leading our small group is keeping people engaged in the disciplemaking process.  Not just because we are doing this remotely but also because discipleship is hard work.  Can you relate to any of the following challenges that lead to Mission Drift:

  • busy schedules
  • family responsibilities
  • recreation
  • financial obligations
  • work pressure

Many times we stall-out in our development and it is easy to go through the motions and maintain vs. doing the hard work of making disciples, who make disciples.

How does that translate into the leadership roles of church planting, lead pastor or as a pastoral staff member of a church?  The problem of making disciples grows exponentially with increasing scopes of care.  It is one thing to disciple a small group.  It is quite another to be charged with discipling multiple groups.  Or an entire congregation.

The task of making disciples that make disciples is as critical today as it was 2,000 years ago.  In the midst of giving leadership in a local church it can be lost in the tyranny of the urgent.  I invite you to watch an interview with Ty Davis of Tulare Community Church below.  He highlights the challenges he faces in his role on church staff, the struggles he encounters as he reorients his focus on making disciples and the benefits of being part of the Leadership Collective.

Interview with Ty Davis Tulare Community Church

CLICK IMAGE ABOVE

If you would like more information on the LEADERSHIP COLLECTIVE – Missional Discipleship – please CLICK HERE.

Covid-19 UPDATE

InFocus will do everything within our ability to meet and exceed regulations so people are safe, remain healthy and have a peace of mind.  If we believe it is in the best interests of everyone involved we will move the live, face-to-face event in La Jolla to a virtual Zoom event.  We will communicate the adjusted cost and the modified agenda with all interested participants.