Feb 5, 2013
Look What We’ve Done Together!
Wow! When taking a look at this last year, I am truly amazed at everything God has done and everything He has allowed Laura and I to be a part of. Our family continues to live as missionaries here in our own local context in an effort to help the people take steps towards Jesus. Also, through Waken Ministries, the non-profit entity we established 2 years ago, we continue to help waken all Christ followers to their full kingdom potential and to their own missionary calling and identity. When we first started out on this journey, we could have never imagined all that God would have done in just a few years’ time. While there are so many wonderful things I could share with you, I would like to share a few highlights from 2012:
Our Partnership With Forge America
Waken Ministries has been blessed with the opportunity to partner with FORGE America, a mission training organization, to bring missionary training to individuals across the country. At its core, Forge seeks to train individuals to live as missionaries in the places that God has already placed them. This past year, both Laura and I joined the Forge America Team. Each member of the Forge America team, including us, raise support so we might play a part in seeing this type of training continue to spread. Laura and I assist Forge America in replicating the missionary training and residency that we have done here in Dallas to other locations across the country. This training is now happening in El Paso, Joplin, Raleigh, Portland, Huntsville, New Jersey, Sacramento, & Knoxville. In each city there are anywhere from 6-18 individuals being trained to help the people in their everyday life take steps towards Jesus. Our hope and prayer is that we will see a movement of Christ Followers who fully embrace the God given potential for world transformation that is already in them. Serving alongside the men and women of Forge has been a humbling experience for both Laura and I.
Forge Dallas & Waken Ministries
Forge Dallas is a DBA of Waken Ministries and serves as the training arm of Waken Ministries. In May of 2012 we completed our first residency. The Forge Dallas Residency exists to train individuals to live as missionaries in the places that God has already placed them. Nine people walked through this 9-month training and as a result, have begun to connect with people who may never walk through the doors of a church building. Also, 2 of our residents have decided to move to East Asia to be missionaries to an unreached people group. In September of 2012 we started our second cohort of residents. We are half way through this residency and can not wait to watch how God will use these individuals to impact their neighborhoods, businesses, play groups, apartment complexes, and sport fields.
This past fall, in conjunction with our Forge Dallas Residency, we launched a Church Transition Residency for church leaders and church staffs. This residency is designed to assist church leaders in guiding their faith communities to develop a more missional mindset. We are honored to walk 3 churches through this residency and we are already blown away by the shifts these faith communities are making to better communicate the gospel effectively to those in their community.
Within Our Faith Community
Laura and I continue to journey alongside the families in our missional community. We continue to gather weekly to learn from the Jesus of the Gospels and to encourage one another as we all live on mission as missionaries in the places we do life. Over the last year, we have had several new families join our faith community. Also, there been individuals in our faith community initiate faith communities with those they live alongside. We have learned so much from one another and we look forward to what God has in store in 2013.
As we look back over the last year, there is so much that we have to be thankful for. We are so grateful for the journey in which God has taken our family on and we are so thankful for all that He has allowed us to be apart of. We are also very thankful for those of you who have journeyed alongside us in this last year. None of this would be possible without the prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts of friends and family. Thank you for your partnership in the gospel. You fill our hearts with joy and have blessed our family beyond imaginable.
Dec 4, 2012
written by Laura Hairston
I’ve always been a huge fan of Christmas music. It doesn’t matter what time of year, but I’ve been known to pop in a bit of Mariah Carey Christmas & rock out! Tonight as I was coming home, I turned up “O Holy Night” (yes, from the Glee Christmas Album – don’t judge me! J) but, this is my all time favorite Christmas song, and anything sung by Lea Michele is a thumbs up in my book. But, I was drawn more to a specific verse that for some reason jumped out at me more than ever before – it says,
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease…
I sat in my car with tear filled eyes imagining the day that everyone (especially The Church) would truly embrace these words and live them out in their every day lives. What does it mean to truly love each other, the ones who may be like us and those very different from us? To live out His gospel – helping bring peace where there is strife, dissension, broken relationships, poverty, the list could go on and on. I was really intrigued as to the story behind why this song was written.
The first article I came upon said “Declared 'unfit for church services' in France and later embraced by U.S. abolitionists, the song continues to inspire.” Of course this immediately caught my attention. The song was actually written by a wine merchant in a small French town who was as the article said, “known more for his wine than his church attendance”. In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was asked by his parish priest to write a poem for Christmas mass. He was honored to share his talents with the church.
In a dusty coach traveling down a bumpy road to France's capital city, Placide Cappeau considered the priest's request. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, Cappeau imagined witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Thoughts of being present on the blessed night inspired him. By the time he arrived in Paris, "Cantique de Noel" had been completed.
Moved by his own work, Cappeau decided that his "Cantique de Noel" was not just a poem, but a song in need of a master musician's hand. Not musically inclined himself, the poet turned to one of his friends, Adolphe Charles Adams, for help.
The son of a well-known classical musician, Adolphe had studied in the Paris conservatoire. His talent and fame brought requests to write works for orchestras and ballets all over the world. Yet the lyrics that his friend Cappeau gave him must have challenged the composer in a fashion unlike anything he received from London, Berlin, or St. Petersburg.
As a man of Jewish ancestry, for Adolphe the words of "Cantique de Noel" represented a day he didn't celebrate and a man he did not view as the son of God. Nevertheless, Adams quickly went to work, attempting to marry an original score to Cappeau's beautiful words. Adams' finished work pleased both poet and priest. The song was performed just three weeks later at a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
The song became embraced by the Church in France and sang in the Christmas Catholic mass. But, when Placid Cappeau left the Church and joined the socialist movement & church leaders found out Adolphe Adams was a Jew, they declared the song unfit for church services because of it’s “because of its lack of musical taste and total absence of the spirit of religion."
Soon after the church attempted to bury the song, an American writer, John Sullivan Dwight, felt this song should be introduced to America. Being a strong abolitionist, he was drawn to the same verse I was, especially the part “Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother”. It truly identified with his view of slavery in the South. He published it in his magazine, the English version “O Holy Night” and it became embraced by America especially in the Northern part during the Civil War. You can read more of the story here.
It is so interesting to me how a song, which was declared unfit for church services, could be so prophetic and timely today. It seems to me that just like Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, words that are truly inspired can transcend time and still have so much meaning in our present lives. So, today I would challenge you to answer the question, right now, am I living out His law of love and gospel of peace? And, do I love my neighbor, even those who are unlike me? Those are just a few things to think about this Christmas season! Thank you, Placid & Aldoph for writing such a beautiful song!
Aug 17, 2012
At the time which Shawn joined the Forge Dallas residency, he was considering starting a Christian centered support group for alcoholics and addicts. For years he had attended both AA groups and other Christian recovery groups but as of recent had only been attending the Christian ones. As Shawn walked through the Residency, he began to ask the question, “God where are you at work and in light of my gifts and resources, how can I join you?” From this, he began to realize that God was already at work in the traditional non-religious AA meetings that he once attended. As a result, Shawn decided to join God in His redeeming work by participating regularly in local AA meetings. Since this, Shawn has built many relationships and friendships with those in AA who are broken and hurting. He continues to ask what the good news of the Gospel is for these people and how can he continue to show the love of God to those he meets with. Shawn has said,
“The beautiful thing about AA is that it is a group of people that are brought together by their brokenness to help one another. Being connected with AA groups has given me the opportunity to connect with people, learn from others, and has given me the opportunity to bless and help those who are hurting who might never walk through the doors of a church building.”
Tony decided to participate in the Forge Dallas Residency and has since been on a journey to understand his calling to follow Jesus in daily mission. After a time of reflection, Tony realized he had been spending most of his time in church activities and had very few friendships with people outside the church who might be far from God. Knowing he would need to invest relationally
Jul 5, 2012
We are so excited about what God has been up to in the last several months and we would like to share with you some highlights.
Waken Ministries/Forge Dallas Residency
We're so excited to celebrate our first group of residents with you! Waken Ministries, in conjunction with our partnering organization Forge Dallas, has recently finished our first Residency! The Forge Dallas Residency exists to train individuals to live as missionaries in the places in which God has already placed them. Nine residents walked through this 9-month training and as a result, they areseeing themselves as missionaries where God has already placed them and are connecting with people who are far from God who may never walk through the doors of a church building. Tony's story is just one example:
Tony decided to participate in the Forge Dallas Residency and has since been on a journey to understand his calling to follow Jesus in daily mission. After a time of reflection, Tony realized he had been spending most of his time in church activities and had very few friendships with people outside the church who might be far from God. Knowing he would need to invest relationally in those outside his Christian circles if he was to follow Jesus into daily mission, Tony joined a local fitness program/gym and now exercises with the same thirty people five days a week. Instead of relying on inviting his friends at the gym to church activities as he might have in the past, Tony is asking God where and how He is at work in the lives of gym members, how God is calling him to join in God’s mission, and what the good news of the Gospel is for the people he now sees five times a week. These questions have led Tony to join other members of the gym in regular outings, to share meals with the owner of the gym, and to introduce his new friends to God by inviting them to participate in social justice projects in which he was previously involved.
We truly believe that the Forge Dallas Residency is an incredible opportunity to catalyze a movement of ordinary Christ followers to join God in His mission to redeem the world. In the Fall, we will launch our second cohort of residents, as well as a Church Transition Residency to help church leaders guide their faith communities to develop a more missional mindset. We are excited to see how God will use both of these residencies to transform our community! For more info on both of these residencies, you can visit www.forgedallas.org.
Forge America Role
In January, I joined the Forge America team as the Director of Training. In this position, I assist in taking the missionary training and residency that we have done here in Dallas to other locations across the country. Just recently, I came back from El Paso, Texas and Joplin, Missouri and will soon travel to San Francisco, Chicago, and Tallahassee, Florida. Our prayer is that we will see a movement of Christ Followers who fully embrace the God-given potential for world transformation that is already within them. In turn, we pray that every avenue of their lives, the communities they live in, and our country will see a tangible shift toward the mission and heart of God. Serving alongside the men and women of Forge has been a humbling experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many who give their lives to follow Jesus courageously into mission, wherever that may lead them.
Local Partnerships Through Waken Ministries
Over the last several months, Laura and I have been able to come alongside and serve a number of faith communities and churches in our area. Laura has been able to assist many local congregations through leading in musical worship and I have had the privilege to teach and share in many local congregations. We also have the opportunity to coach and consult some church leaders, and others have asked us to offer training to their faith communities. It is our heart’s desire to serve the local church in whatever way we can as they seek to waken and activate their congregations to live as the missionary people God has called them to be.
Within Our Community & Neighborhood
Laura and I continue to be intentional in our calling as missionaries in the very neighborhood and community in which we live. We try to stay focused on building relationships with those that God has placed around us. God has really transformed the way we see people. People are not projects, but rather individuals with incredible value whom God created in His image. We continue to ask how can we, the sent people of God, live like Christ in the community he has placed us. A lot of our time is spent listening to people and then asking, “What is good news to this community and what does the reign of God look like in this community?” I have been blown away by how God is working in people’s lives and how we, ordinary individuals, have the privilege to join Him.
Our Financial Need
Our ability to lead Waken Ministries and Forge Dallas, serve alongside Forge America, live as missionaries, and serve the local church is based upon the support we are able to raise. At this point we have not yet raised our full support and are only 60% funded. We are praying that God will bring men and women alongside our family & Waken Ministries to partner with us as we waken all of God’s people to His mission and then train them to embrace and embody it in their everyday life. Would you and your family prayerfully consider supporting our family and this ministry through a one-time or regular financial gift?
In our attempt to raise support, we need 10 to support us @ $100 a month, 5 people @ $200 a month, 3 people @ $250 a month & 2 people @ $500 a month. Would you be 1 of the 20 people who believe in us & our commitment to God’s mission to our community and the world?
We are humbled by your willingness to consider supporting the ongoing work of Waken Ministries. Thank you! If you so choose to support us through a financial gift you can make checks payable to Waken Ministries (they can be sent to: 13970 Salmon Dr, Frisco, TX 75035). Gifts are also accepted via PayPal. To access PayPal, visitwww.wakenministries.organd click the support link. Waken Ministries is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donors will receive a year-end statement of contributions.
Jan 19, 2012
Our Partnership with Forge America & our launch of Forge Dallas
Waken Ministries has been blessed with the opportunity to partner with FORGE America, a mission training organization, to bring missionary training to the North Texas Area. At its core, Forge seeks to train individuals to live as missionaries in the places that God has already placed them. In conjunction with this partnership, Waken Ministries launched Forge Dallas and a nine-month residency program that trains individuals to live as missionaries in their everyday life. We started this residency in September with 9 residents and already, these individuals are beginning to see themselves as missionaries and they are connecting with people who are far from God who may never walk through the doors of a church building. As these residents are sent out into every domain of their life, as missionaries, we pray for, hope, and expect to see a movement of God take place.
Our Partnership with Dallas Theological Seminary
We have also been working with Dallas Theological Seminary and as a result, Forge Dallas / Waken Ministries residents will be able to receive up to 14 credit hours for their participation in our nine-month residency. Also, Dallas Theological has asked Laura and I to present at DTS’s first missional class that took place this January. They asked us to share our learning’s in missional living and missional communities. This was a wonderful opportunity to help shape and train future graduates of DTS. We were honored to serve DTS in this way and we look forward to future partnership opportunities.
Our partnership with local churches and faith communities
By God’s grace, Laura and I have been able to come alongside and serve many churches in our community. Some churches have asked us to speak to their staff, others have asked us to speak in their weekly worship gathering, others have asked us to offer training to their congregations, and others have asked us to serve as consultants. Because of the financial support of many individuals, we have been able to come alongside and serve these faith communities at no cost to them. It is our heart’s desire to serve the local church in whatever way we can as they seek to waken and activate their congregations to live as the missionary people God has called them to be.
Within our missional community
Laura and I continue to journey alongside the families in our missional community. We continue to gather weekly to learn from the Jesus of the Gospels and to encourage one another as we all live on mission as missionaries in the places that we do life. We have learned so much from one another and we have been humbled to watch God work in the lives of those we are journeying with. As of now, our one group is on the verge of multiplying into 3 separate groups. This is happening as a result of families living as missionaries in the places that God has already placed them (i.e. neighborhood, workplace, & community) and by building relationships with those who may never walk through the door of a church building.
Oct 5, 2011
As of recent, Waken Ministries has been blessed with an opportunity to partner with
FORGE Mission Training Network, an international organization, to bring missionary
training to the North Texas Area. At it’s core, Forge seeks to train individuals to live as
missionaries in the places in which God has already placed them. We are very excited
about this partnership; and more specifically, Waken Ministries is excited to launch
FORGE DALLAS this fall. In conjunction with this launch, we will be starting a Residency
Program. We currently have 10 residents signed up to participate in this learning
opportunity. We have been also working with Dallas Theological Seminary and as a result,
residents will be able to receive up to 14 credit hours for their participation in the residency. They
have also asked Waken Ministries to put together a panel of local missionary practitioners, including Laura & Ryan Hairston, to present for their first missional class in January of 2012.
Through Waken Ministries, Ryan and Laura, have also had the opportunity to come alongside many local churches as servants and consultants to help them begin to think about what it would look like to release, empower, and train their congregation to live as missionaries in the places they already live.
Waken Ministries and those that are in network with Waken Ministries have also began to have an impact with those living in the Frisco Housing Authority and McKinney Housing Authority. Please be in prayer about how God will continue to lead us in these locations.
We are so grateful for God’s grace and provision in helping us become the educating, paradigm shifting, empowering and releasing, and training organization that He had in mind.To learn more about Waken Ministries and Forge Dallas, I would invite you to visit www.wakenministries.org & www.forgedallas.org. If you have any questions or if you are interested in supporting this ministry, please contact Ryan Hairston at email@example.com.
Jun 20, 2011
Before we get into the Missional Conversation...
by Markus Lloyd
The American church is starved of the gospel. We don’t really even know what it is anymore. That is why people don’t share it! The "Missional Movement" is another attempt to bring the Church back to the gospel, and for it to succeed, the gospel is where the movement must live. We have some amazing leaders for this movement but we must be careful not to make the same mistake that other movements have made and turn the leaders into the source for the gospel.
The wonderful men and women who are speaking and writing books on Missional living are not to be worshipped. They are, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians, merely servants of God. (3:5) Their ideas are not original or their own, but rather they received all knowledge and insight from the Holy Spirit for he is the source of all wisdom.(1 Cor. 4:7) So, let no man boast about another man's "wisdom" for all of it is from God.
The gospel has never changed nor will it, so that is why IT and not another man’s words has to be the foundation for our lives for “no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11) “Do not go beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. “ (1Cor. 4:6) The Bible points us towards this gospel. So, if you want to quote something, quote the Bible not something out of another man's book. If you want to draw your neighbor to Christ, then use the gospel given to you in God word not some perfectly worded phrase you heard from a speaker at a conference so that their “faith may not rest in the wisdom of man but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:5)
The gospel i.e. Christ's Love must have the first and last word on everything we do and be the lens through which we view all things. If we can stay in the center of that place then we can truly see the church complete it’s movement back to the Gospel.
There. Now we are ready to talk about this Missional movement....
Jun 16, 2011
Recently, I finished reading The Leap of Faith, a book by Alan Hirsch & Michael Frost. Towards the beginning of this book, Alan & Michael write,
“To learn, to grow, to mature, requires a journey from where we are now. And it is only after journeys of exploration that we will return to our most basic of beliefs and really know them personally. Without such movement there can be no real learning, development, or maturity. Whatever knowledge we might retain in the safe, self-protective space will end up being merely secondhand, dangerously depersonalized and depersonalizing data—nothing close to the way the Bible sees faith.”
This is one of many great quotes from this book and as I read it over and over again, I cannot help but wholeheartedly agree. The journey that my family and I have been on has definitely led us back to our most basic beliefs and has led us to know them in a more personal way. Each day our faith continues to grow as we are truly being molded into the Christ followers that God has called us all to be.
As we are hopefully being molded into the good news people of God that Jesus designed us to be, we are also seeing, by God’s grace, Waken Ministries molding into the organization that He had in mind.
Seven months ago, we began with a simple desire, “To waken the people of God to the mission of God.” We have wanted to help all Christ followers see their full potential as active agents of God’s Kingdom. We have wanted to empower the “religious nonprofessionals” and help them see their calling as God lays out in His Word, as missionaries in the places in which He has already placed them. This, in itself, has been so rewarding. Just recently, my wife and I received an email from a young lady. In her email she writes,
“I loved talking with you last week. It blessed my heart so much, as well as got me to start having some good conversations with God regarding how I want to spend each day of this one and only life….
I was all excited about getting on another team at church, and I still am, but God stopped me cold and told me that loving my neighbor through her hard time, mentoring her and helping her and loving her without expectation or strings, to get messy with her, and to do all of that while staying connected to Him is what I am truly called to do. That is my calling. That’s what love looks like. As you can probably guess, I’m overwhelmed and humbled and thrilled all at the same time…So, that’s where I am. And, it’s actually our talk last week that helped me get perspective and energy to help stand with my neighbor. Thank you for that.”
We are so thankful that God is allowing us to play a part in his mission and we pray that He would grant us the grace to be a part of more and more stories like this.
While we have taken every opportunity to waken the individual, and will continue to do so, we also want to disciple and train them to live as missionaries, empower them, network them together, and release them to be the good news people of God in the places God has already placed them.
To help us with this process, we have been blessed with an opportunity to partner with FORGE Mission Training Network, an international organization, to bring this type of missionary training to the North Texas Area.
Forge, founded by Alan Hirsch & Michael Frost, seeks to be a midwife to the missional church, helping give birth to the missional church anywhere it is appearing. Forge brings together denominations, seminaries and faith communities of all kinds as it trains people to live on mission, lead missional communities and create missional movements. We are very excited about this partnership; and more specifically, we are excited to launch FORGE DALLAS in partnership with Waken Ministries early this fall. To learn more about Forge Dallas I would invite you to visit www.forgedallas.org.
We are so blessed by God’s provision in helping us become the educating, paradigm shifting, empowering and releasing, and training organization that He had in mind.
Also, we are so blessed by your ongoing support and prayers. Without your partnership, we would not be where we are. Thank you! We ask for your continued prayers for God's wisdom, grace, and leading in the ministry in which He has blessed us. Please also be in prayer for financial support so that we may continue the ongoing work of Waken Ministries.
Finally and more specifically, we are having a “Coffee and Dessert” Informational this Saturday. If you are able, we would love for you to be apart. Laura and I will take time to share stories of what God has been doing in & through Waken Ministries, as well as provide more details about the newly established Forge Dallas Hub and its Residency Program starting this September.
We look forward to visiting with each of you in the near future.
Apr 21, 2011
Mar 3, 2011
What are we known for? More specifically, what am I known for? What is my life characterized by? What do I want it to be characterized by? What does God want me to be known for? As a Christ follower, what should characterize my life?
As of late, these are the questions that I have been asking myself. At times in my life, I thought that I had a handle on how I should live as a Christ follower; but with each new day, God blows me away and leads me to my knees, only to repent from my distorted self-absorbed Gospel and lack of love.
Just recently, I had a dear friend share a passage from the Gospel of Matthew with me. At first, it was just another passage I had read a 100 times before; but for some reason or another, I had this desire to re-read it over and over again. In doing so, I began to see something that I had never seen before. This passage is found in Chapter 25, verses 31-46. This passage says,
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Jesus is teaching and describing what will take place when He returns. He says that He, the Son of Man, will come in all His glory and will begin to separate the sheep (the Christ follower) from the goats (the one who was not a Christ follower). He then calls those who followed Him, the righteous, to take in their inheritance and enter into the kingdom (verse 34).
The next portion, verses 35-40, is what blew me away. Like I said, I have read this before; but, I have never made the connection that at the “grand finale” Jesus Christ describes His followers in this way:
They fed the hungry…
They gave water to the thirsty…
They were hospitable and inclusive…
They clothed the naked…
They looked after the sick…
They visited those who were in prison…
WOW! Out of everything that Jesus could have said, He said this about those who followed Him. This is what His followers were known for.
I love what Jesus went on to say. The Message Version paraphrases verse 40 in this way:
“Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”
The remaining portion of this passage is in regards to those who did not acknowledge and help the least of these; they were guilty for their sins of omission (see James 4:17).
Oh how I pray that my life would be known for the former and not the latter. I pray that my life would display the character of Christ - His love, justice, and mercy-through my words, actions, and behaviors.
I pray that Christ would continue to shine His light over me and help me to see the overlooked, ignored, and needy. I pray for the faith to obey, take risk, and demonstrate the Gospel (God’s good news) to these people.
May that begin to happen in all of our lives and may we begin to be known for our love and care for all people, especially, the overlooked and ignored.
Feb 17, 2011
Over the past few months, we have seen the truth behind this statement: When people are wakened to God’s mission in this world and their ability to join Him in it, things do begin to change. Already, God has allowed Waken Ministries to be a part of the change that is taking place, and we are so grateful to Him for it!
For over a month now, our first missional community has been meeting together. We have spent our time focusing on the person of Jesus Christ and have continually asked the question, “How can we live as Christ in bringing about life, wholeness, blessing, hope, and value to all people in the places in which God has placed us?” As we have done this, we have begun to see change in each of our own lives, as well as those we rub shoulders.
One gentleman in our missional community recently said to me, “For the first time in a long time, I feel alive. I did not know that I could play such a vital role in God’s mission.” Other members in our group are asking the question, “God, what are you doing in my neighborhood and how can I join you in it?” As a result, several new relationships are being formed with families that may never walk through the doors of a church building.
Also, about a month ago, Waken Ministries was able to host its first three-day conference in which 72 people were in attendance. We partnered with CMA Resources to help the attendees learn how to live on mission and make disciples with the result being the formation of new organic churches. It was an amazing weekend that left no-one unchanged. As a result, Waken Ministries has developed a network of church planters in the North Texas area. Our prayer is that through this network, we could join with one another to bring about blessing, restoration, and hope to the communities and cities in which we live.
We are so thankful for what God has allowed us to be a part of, and we look forward to many exciting things to come.
In one week, we will start an Online Learning Course that focuses on learning to live a missional lifestyle. This course will start February 21st and will continue for ten weeks. Throughout the course, there will be weekly reading and threaded online discussion. In addition, we will meet together on three separate occasions to discuss, in person, what we are learning. If you are interested in being a part of it or if you would like to find out more, please visit www.wakenministries.org/learning-together. Please pray for those who are participating and pray that they will be wakened to God’s mission in this world and their ability to join Him in it.
Also, in a few weeks, we will be having our first Waken Worship Gathering. On March 5th, from 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM, we are providing an opportunity for many organic/home churches, missional communities, and faith communities to gather to worship corporately. We are looking forward to having the “church” gather to worship our God. Our prayer is that this time would honor God and serve as an opportunity to encourage one another on to “love and good deeds.”
We want to thank each of you for your prayers and support, and we ask for your continued prayers for God's wisdom, grace, and leading in the ministry in which He has blessed us. Please also be in prayer for financial support so that we may continue the ongoing work of Waken Ministries.
Jan 5, 2011
It is hard to imagine that another year has passed and that a new year is already here. For many of us, not a lot changes from December 31 to January 1. And while this is a reality for most, those who are coming alongside the efforts of Waken Ministries are undergoing a big transition. This transition is a change from seeing church as an event in their Christian faith to seeing church as their Christ given identity. WIth this new identity, there is a great realization that everywhere we are, the church is there also. This means that the new question for every Christ follower to ask is, "How do I, the church, begin to bring about life, wholeness, value, restoration, and blessing to the people I rub shoulders with?" With the ones that are making this transition and who have already started asking this question, much life change has already begun to happen.
We believe that bringing life, wholeness, value, restoration, and blessing to people's lives is synonymous with God's great mission in this world. Wakening the people of God to this mission is the very reason in which Waken Ministries exists. In this new year, we have already started to create environments that help individuals gain a better understanding of God's mission in the world and the part they can play in it.
On January 2, the first missional community was launched. This is a community of Christ followers who are committed to sharing life with one another and learning from one another on how to better live on mission. Please pray for our new missional community as it begins meeting weekly. Pray that we would be open and aware to God as he leads us to live as a "people of blessing."
In one week, on January 14-16, Waken Ministries will be hosting its first conference. This conference will focus on missional living resulting in new organic expressions of the church. Please pray that through this conference, people will be wakened to God's mission in this world. Pray also that these same people will be better equipped to waken others to God's great mission.
And lastly, starting February 21st, Waken Ministries is offering a unique opportunity for individuals to "Learn Together." "Learn Together" will be an on-line, web based course to help waken individuals to God's great mission. Our hope is that this course will also equip and train individuals to live out that mission in their everyday life. For more information on this course please visit www.wakenministries.org/learning-together.
We are very excited about what 2011 holds for Waken Ministries. We ask for your continued prayer for God's wisdom, grace, and leading in the ministry in which He has blessed us with.