Have you ever learned a new language? I’m no linguistic guru, but my experience is that I tend to go through three distinct stages. Let me explain these stages, then share how this discussion is apropos to the process of making disciples.
Ben Armacost's blog
I am presently in Greece, just outside Athens, near the ancient city of Marathon and overlooking the Aegean Sea. It is a gorgeous location with a great history, but my trip is far from being a vacation.
One of my favorite video clips features comedian Bob Newhart who plays a psychologist with a quick fix to every problem. A patient comes to him revealing several concerns, and he replies with just two words: “Stop it!” While this is a very humorous piece, it does remind us that there are certain things we should just stop doing.
In August 2013, Carlos & Josephine moved to the Philippines to continue the work of multiplying disciples. They had a wonderful and effective ministry in Tasmania, but God had called them to move to this new place. They started new groups and were making wonderful headway in just a few weeks, having baptised 12 people in October. But tragedy struck the central part of their country as Typhoon Haiyan wiped out their city on 7 November. The following is the first report from Carlos & Josephine concerning their ordeal (a version of this story appeared in the Mercury [Hobart, Tasman
Oh, the Christmas memories! In the 60s and 70s when I was young, my dad and his five siblings would all gather at their mother's house on Christmas day. It was such a highlight for me to see cousins who lived far away and to enjoy the festivity, a huge meal, and countless gifts.
When my grandmother died, Christmas day changed. In the 80s and early 90s, the Christmas day gathering was centered on our immediate family. My four siblings and I enjoyed wonderful times together. Add to the mix new nephews and nieces in a growing tribe which quickly filled our old farmhouse.
As a boy, I remember watching a movie called The Incredible Shrinking Man. This was the story of a man who was afflicted with a substance that caused him to gradually shrink in size. Day by day he got smaller and smaller, and by the end of the movie he was able to crawl through one square of flyscreen! While this sci-fi flick from the 50s may not be realistic, it reminds me of something that is not only real but very dangerous: shrinking vision.
On May 24, I said goodbye to my very best friend.
Buhendwa, more popularly known as Fred, is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who came to Australia in 2007. I met Fred just a few months after he arrived and involved him in a Reboot disciple training group (our first not-Australian group) and his life has been in high gear ever since.
Fred has led over 60 people to the Lord, started numerous groups (including a church in his home), trained countless believers, and participated in mission trips in Tasmania and on mainland Australia.
I have always enjoyed reading John Maxwell's wisdom on leadership. One of my greatest aspirations has been to finish well, and after 17 years in Tasmania, I have faced just that challenge! Over the past three months, I have poured my heart into doing all I can do to prepare workers for our departure: training, encouraging, equipping, and praying--with as many people as I can. I had envisioned taking some last-minute trips to see our favourite sites and enjoy Tasmania's beauty one final time, but I've opted instead to invest in people as much as I can.
Greetings from Hobart! For a year we have been quietly contemplating a move from Tasmania to the mainland, and Sydney was our primary target. We felt the need to be in a place where we could have increasing influence to train disciple trainers and accelerate the movement. This move would come after living and serving in Tasmania for 17 years--almost exactly one-third of our lifespan--and would naturally be a very hard thing do to.
My apologies for not writing for such a long time! I've just returned from an extended trip to Germany, London, and the USA. However, this trip wasn't part of my plan. On January 29th I received a call indicating that someone was needed to lead the T4T (Training for Trainers) conferences in Germany. The man who was slated for the job was sidetracked by a family matter and could no longer be there. I got the call just 2 weeks before having to leave, so as you might guess, those 2 weeks involved a mad rush in preparing for a big event.