Archives For discipleship

I’m still learning.

Chilly —  October 9, 2014 — 9 Comments

Notes from my journal
(This Sunday we celebrate 10

years of ministry in Detroit.)

Things I’m learning today

… that I had NO clue about 10 years ago.
Part One.

It’s OK that everyone isn’t pumped about your passions.

  • 10YearsOfLearningWhen we moved to plant in Detroit we were certain God had sent us and therefore we expected that everyone else would joyfully and generously support us.
  • Some people discouraged us to even come to Detroit — especially with 3 small girls at the time.
  • Some people avoided me — probably because they knew I would ask to be their missionary (which means ‘I need some money’).
  • Some took a wait and see position. IF we didn’t give up, perhaps they would back us later…
  • Others had things that they were passionate about that I probably totally missed (because I was so focused on my assignment).

We have to learn that it’s ok that others don’t get all excited about the thing that we see as God’s highest priority. Don’t become jaded because they don’t cheer, or give or promote.

How you measure success could be totally wrong.

  • I had seen things (ministries) grow AMAZINGLY fast in my last two youth ministries prior to coming to Detroit.
  • Hundreds and hundreds were impacted weekly
  • We were winning & discipling teens all the time! Our city knew about us, the schools all knew about us, the media knew about us — we were rocking our world for Christ. We were growing so fast that it was like controlled chaos!

This didn’t happen quite so fast when we planted.

  • I guess the roots required to support the fruit we hoped for, would have to push through some concrete-hard soil. We would have to pray harder, wait longer, believe greater and remain faithful. This where is character develops. Intercession, fasting & perseverance are necessities.
  • Sure, we’ve grown and we’ve moved forward. New buildings. New communities.
  • People may not see the huge numbers (fruit) yet, but IF they could only see our roots, WOW!

You’re calling is connected to obedience and faithfulness. So, stick to it.

People who love you are capable of detesting you. Love them anyways!

  • Yeah, this one stings a bit. Always does.
  • I’ve never had a moral failure, I’ve never embezzled funds , I’ve never abused my kids, I’ve never been unfaithful to my wife, I’ve never split the church and I’ve never tried to hurt people.
  • Yet, I’ve hurt people, offended people and let others down.
  • Some can’t stand the mention of my name.
  • Most of these were those who were once close — very close — but, I pushed too hard, was indifferent to their struggles and challenged them to extremes in holiness.
  • I didn’t listen enough.
  • I thought out loud – became too vulnerable – revealed my kryptonite.

I don’t think you can question my love — I loved! But, imperfectly.

  • Some appeared to be loved more than others. He has ‘favorites’ or ‘a clique’ … this was never intentional but I also did not push away those that preferred being closer.

Ultimately, things changed with and/or in them. I missed it.

  • I was expected to know, embrace and follow a script that I had never been given. I let them down unintentionally (but that’s probably not how they saw it). “How could I be so clueless?” I am.

The pain is always more severe because it involves my wife and kids. They are rendered victims to misunderstandings and shattered expectations. They get cut-off & kicked in the stomach with no explanation. People who said they loved them, disappeared without a goodbye and after saying they would always be there for them (should we ever say ‘always’??)…

So, I simply try to keep the bridges from burning between us. I learn from each heart break. Apologize. Forgive. LOVE.

  • I pray that they will, one day, remember: the spiritual investment I have made — the good times — the adventures — the things that matter.
  • I pray that they will remember that we are not enemies. That we are fighting the same monster and these hurts & feelings are distractions from our mission.

And, I keep getting close to NEW people. This isn’t always easy. The door of our lives and home continues to swing open. We continue to believe in others. We continue to do our best to make disciples. We continue to love.

Miracles happen daily. Don’t miss them!

  • Oh sure, we all believe in miracles.
  • I pray for HUGE miracles all the time. But, here’s something I’ve missed SO often: ‘little’ miracles.
  • While seeking the jumbo offering, new church building, qualified staff, supernatural healing and other big-time miracles, FIGHT to see and revel in the little things!
  • People are changing, hearts or softening, doors are opening, someone is smiling, your spouse still adores you, friends love you, people are growing closer to Jesus, bills are getting paid, leaves are changing on the trees, you smell good coffee, the car started, God spoke your name in prayer today, you had milk for your cereal this morning, you remembered something and Hey! You’re ALIVE!
  • Shout, dance, sing and enjoy these daily miracles.
  • They are dress-rehearsal for the bigger miracles that ARE COMING SOON!

Never become so focused on the BIG — it’s gonna take a miracle — stuff that you miss the wonderful miracles happening constantly all around you. Find yourself praising God at various times and in unique places.

Glorify Him!

Be sure to check out Part Two next!

Not another Rant!

Chilly —  May 11, 2014 — 10 Comments

I’m SO pissed  ANGRY at the devil! I HATE him! I’m sick and tired of playing defense — it’s time to RISE UP and GO AFTER the VICTORY! Who’s with me?

thumbsupThe enemy keeps messing with my kids, my family, my team, my church, my city … MY WORLD! — and, here’s the bad news for him: NONE of these things are really mine — change “my” for “God’s!” BOOM! Oh yeah, the loser is in trouble! It’s PUNK’D time!

Hey listen, this is NOT some tough sounding Facebook RANT or Blog post … I think people are sick of being challenged, WE WANT TO CHANGE! WE WANT RISK and ADVENTURE!

I know I’m not alone but I’m also NOT waiting for others to join me. This is not recruitment or persuasion. It’s time to GO!

Don’t like this? Stop reading now. Go read something else. Please.

God never, EVER, called us to be ordinary; He made us to be EXTRAORDINARY!

This is where I’m going to live.

  • IF you’re called to the ministry of prayer & intercession, PLEASE pray for: the Chiltons, Courage Church, and Detroit.
  • IF you’re called to action & adventure. Feel free to join us on the ground here. There’s no pay or position. Just opportunity to serve and make disciples.

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 Msg.

I LOVE GOD. I LOVE OTHERS. I’M CALLED. IT’S TIME.

In the comments, say whatever you want!

Authentic Discipleship

Chilly —  May 7, 2014 — 2 Comments

This is a repost about something (always) stirring in my heart…

Discipleship101The isolated individual is not an authentic person. An authentic person is one who lives in and for others. And the more genuine relationships we form with others, the more we truly validate ourselves as persons. It has even been said that there can be no true person unless there are two, entering into communication with one another.

This idea of openness to others could be summed up under the word love. By love, I don’t mean merely an emotional feeling, but a fundamental attitude. In its deepest sense, love is the life, the energy, of God in us. We are not truly genuine as long as we are turned in on ourselves, isolated from others. We only become truly real and totally alive if we face other persons, and relate to them.

This is also why discipleship must be done with others. Yes, our relationship with God – alone – is key, but our interaction with others brings validity & vitality to this relationship. Proof is not in what we say but who we are and it takes others to define this…

So, being AUTHENTIC is a choice — a desire to be vulnerable, available and personable. It’s also an opportunity to move beyond you to others. This is God’s will.

Are you AUTHENTIC?

…maybe you need to ask someone else.

Continue Reading…

Family-Style Adventure

Chilly —  April 25, 2014 — 13 Comments

This blog post was inspired by reading some of the amazing comments on my post, When the Adventure becomes a Job <– click.  (this post set records in views, over 1,000 per day). You may want to read it BEFORE proceeding with today’s…

The past few days, I’ve really been thinking and praying about the ADVENTURE that God has called me (us) to live. And, obviously, my post about this really hit home with so many others.  I’ve been asking God, how can we have discipline, planning, and order without getting all business-like or turning my adventure into a job? Then, I said something in one of my responses to a comment, that began to help me understand – here’s what, in part, I said…

Courage Church

Courage Church Detroit, “4Days” 2013

My family would be chaotic without structure! Hmmm… Maybe I just stumbled onto something…

“Family” not business, organization or even church. Decisions created out of love not results.

I think this is brilliant (said best with British accent)!  Adventurous ministry is done best Family-Style! LOVE and LIFE are the keys. We’re doing life together with crazy, awesome, love!

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5

Here’s how the family-style adventure could be enjoyed.   Continue Reading…