But First - From Nebraska to Guatemala!
In our last update I was packing my bags for a 10-day excursion to Nebraska. Today, I'm still packing. I head out in the morning for Guatemala!
Before I say more about that, I want to express how grateful Bill and I are for our many friends in Nebraska who let us come over to share and get to know your places of ministry. Special thanks go to Greg and Kendi Boller, Joel and Linda Wentworth, Dave and Sandy Gideon, Tom and Joyce Huffman, Rex and Deb Kelley, Lawrence and Sue Turner, and Ransom and Britney Wentworth for putting us up in their homes during our stay.
Many Nebraskan hearts were opened to the idea of going on mission trips to Guatemala and the mission of making disciples through spiritual friendships with people in their neck of the woods.
Back to the Three Vital Behaviors...
In the last update, we introduced you to the idea that in the PSE method, we emphasize 3 vital behaviors for being a "fisher of men" or a disciple of Jesus that makes disciples. We only talked about the first one.
#1: Initiate Spiritual Conversations. We shared how simple questions can get a spiritual conversation started. (See the last update for that discussion.) But after the conversation is started, what then?
Vital Behavior #2: Be "Story Ready." - Make a Life-Giving Connection.
During college basketball's recent final four playoffs, Bill was listening to a coach talk about how he trained his players to be "shot ready." He wanted his players to be ready to shoot the ball at all times--knowing that if they were not ready before they got the ball, it would be too late.
In a similar way, we can be "story ready."
...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,... 1 Peter 3:15
Together, we can prepare several true stories of God at work in our lives. When God creates an opening in our spiritual conversations, we will be ready to "take the shot." We can share a key story and connect with another person in a life-giving way. In our PSE training and spiritual friendships, you begin to see how your life events can serve each other. You start to develop your stories and learn where and when to use them.
Here are four types of personal tales that we can share to connect in life-affirming ways:
- salvation story - when, why, and how we said yes to Jesus as Savior and Lord
- defining moments stories - where & how God worked at key times
- current reality story - real-time response to a command of God
- family/community stories - sharing others' needs with the goal of engaging others to help meet them
We believe that there are people in your world who will respond to God if they hear your story of what God is doing in your life. We know that happens in our mission work in other countries. But most of us haven't even scratched the surface of what we could do with our friends and acquaintances at home.
And that leads us to vital behavior #3. I hope to share that with you next time!
10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)
Pray for Ray Gurney, Mark Welch, Tim Tucker, and me as we head to Guatemala Thursday, May 3. We will be doing a scout trip to assess the possibilities of helping our Christian Rancher groups meet community needs like trash problems and water problems. We have some crazy ideas of creating "trash games" that would be both fun and motivating for communities to clean up their towns and villages while using trash as a metaphor for a gospel message. If it works well, we will tell you about it. If it doesn't, we may share that too!
Also pray for Bill this weekend as he travels to Dodge City, Kansas, for another KNCSB Church Leadership training event like we did in Topeka and in North Platte, Nebraska.
Thanks, Nebraska, for letting us be with you last week! Thanks for your partnership in helping us respond to the increasing opportunities to do mission work both in the US and Central America. Muchas gracias!
If you would like more info on how you can get "Story Ready," contact us about it or try to make the upcoming PSE training event May 19 at LifeQuest Church in Belton, Missouri. As always, if something good or noteworthy is happening in your life and ministry, let us know!
Talk to you soon!
PS...Here is our itinerary
- May 3-10...Guatemala...Steve
- May 5...Dodge City, Kansas...Regional Kansas/Nebraska Church Leadership Conference...Bill
- May 19...Belton, MO...The PSE Experience @ LifeQuest Church