India Update: Sunday Morning Worship!


picSunday morning we had an opportunity to worship with one of the larger churches in the area, with over 135 believers! We had a little trouble finding the church as the address brought us to a rather large Sikh temple. After sitting there for a while, one of the leaders walked from around the corner to get us. The church was in the same complex next to the temple!

As we walked into the service, they were just finishing up one of the last songs before each of the children would come up to share a verse they had memorized the week before. Imagine my surprised when one little girl, who was only fives years old, starting reciting word-for-word the entire Psalm 91. Wow.

This church was a more established church with a congregation of about 35 strong believers, and Pastor Solomon had been there for over 6 years.  Pastor Solomon had been praying about the opportunity to grow and multiply churches when he heard about TTI, and sent 25 men through one of the training centers. Those where some of the men we met at the training center on Friday, the church has started multiple small groups in the community, and two years later his congregation is 135 strong.

We had an opportunity to hear stories of life change, healing and boldness for sharing Christ, and an opportunity to pray for several people and family after the service. It was such a privilege to come together with this local Body of Christ in spirit and truth, to worship God and learn together as we looked at God’s word.

I trust your morning of worship was rich and fruitful, and grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from around the world!

Richard

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India Update: On Mission Together


Baptism Area

Baptism Area

I had a big part of the training time today, Thursday. I had covered the topic of purity the day before and most of the men were still talking about that. I have absolutely enjoyed these guys and really feel connected to these kindred church planters!

The topic today I was teaching on was “The most important relationships,” namely Jesus, spouse, family, and ministry mentoring. These sessions were absolutely a blast! I had some handouts, gave away some books, and the men really engaged with the topics. This day was the highlight of trip for me so far. I was really able to share from the heart the lessons I have learned in ministry.

My little stomach issue is on the backside, and I’m sad not to be pounding down some of these wonderful meals. After the training was over, I passed on dinner and playing cricket with the guys and headed off to bed for a 12 hour good night sleep. I’ve been getting 4-5 per night, and think it caught up with me. I’ll probably adjust just about the time I come home and get to do it all over again!

We are leaving Bangalore for Chandigarh Friday morning, and I’m looking forward to visiting some of the training centers there. Thank you for praying!

On the journey together,
Richard

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India Update: A Passion for God’s Word


Bangalore CP

Bangalore CP

I was talking to several district leaders at our training session Wednesday about their districts, and the training centers they have setup using The Timothy Initiative (TTI) material. These men travel from all over the area to work through 10 different studies to learn about the Bible. I don’t think I have ever seen so many men talking about discipleship and thirsty to learn about the Bible – it was refreshing.

The TTI material covers topics such as hermeneutics, homelitics, Old Testament survey, New Testament survey, and a host of other topics. Each study takes several weeks to complete, and the entire series might take up to 9 months finish. The discipleship process requires starting a church to finish with a certification, and in several cases some of these men are starting more than one!

Each of the 30 district leaders I was working with had 5-45 churches that they are working with, and each church is praying about multiplying a new church with the next year – that would be almost 300 new churches! To top it off, there is no “church shopping” or “what do you have for me here,” these are new churches that are staring up with new believers! It was amazing to see, I felt like I was walking through the book of Acts.

We finished off the day with a visit to a local established church plant in Bangalore and had a great night of worship. Only 4 of us were allowed to go because of the need to keep the number of foreigners visible low. It’s wired because we are dropped off at the door and quickly ushered inside. We have to take our shoes off when entering, which always makes me think of Moses taking his shoes off at the burning bush. It definitely feels like holy ground.

Thank you for your continued prayers. I absolutely love India food and typically have a cast iron stomach. The last 24 hours have gotten the best of me and most of the guys. It appears as though the water bottles at the hotel have been refilled. Wow, we should get a discount!

On the journey together,
Richard

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India Update – God is moving!


Local District Leaders

Local District Leaders

Well, it’s after midnight in India. We got back late last night and I was to wiped out to write up a summary. I was going to wait until tomorrow to write up today’s summary but then thought if I don’t do it now, it won’t happen! Isn’t that always the case.

I got into the hotel at midnight Tuesday night. The rest of the Converge and TTI team came in Wednesday morning and we met for an overview of our time together. The team was broken up into regional and district leader team trainers, and I am working with the district leaders. More on that later.

The first half of the day was administrative and relational, and then my team headed out for a 7 hour round trip excursion through Krishnagiri and Burgoon to visit and encourage local church plants and leaders. The weather turned bad and we did not get to meet with the first local congregation, but we had a fantastic time with their leadership team.

There were several people at the next church who had just committed their lives to Christ, so the village was really a buzz. Because foreigners (like me 🙂 standout so dramatically, they did not want to draw too much attention, so we weren’t able to meet with the open-air congregation. Again, we had a fantastic time with the local leaders.

The trip was long, but I had some very fruitful conversation with my team while we were traveling. The relational dynamics can be very complex, so I was grateful for the time to process through my list of questions.

My internet connection is cutting out and I’m about to pass out, so I’ll update today tomorrow morning. The spirit of God was moving today and we were all blessed beyond belief. I can hard wait to share with you! Thank you for your continued prayers.

On the journey together,
Rich

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Lord, I need you.


So, I’m sitting at the airport waiting to depart for India. Funny thing is I am already standing out culturally! As I look around I am reminded that one does not have to travel to have a cross-cultural missions experience – our mission field starts right at home!

I’m continuing to work through my teaching outline for the leadership gathering where I will be leading several sessions. I’m torn between be “prepared” and just waiting to see what God gives me when I get there. It is a great mystery being prepared and waiting, and somehow think it is a combination of both. Be prepared, but wait on God.

I enjoy the wait most of the time, but somehow that goes against our nature, especially here in the US. There is a tenancy for us, and by that I also mean me, to want to be in control. It feels exciting to be in a position of “not knowing!”

Carolyn asked me what time my flight got back on the way to the airport, and I chuckled and said, I’m not sure! This past week, I must have been asked hundred times if I was ready for my trip, to which I replied, “Well, I have my passport and visa, my Bible, a ticket and clean underwear, so I guess I’m ready!”

Of course there is more to it than this, but it sure feels good stepping out to wait on God and what he has in store. Psalm 73:28 says, “But for me it is good to be near to God, I have made The Lord my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” This passage gives me strength today, and I pray it encourages you, and our Springbrook Church family!

On the journey together,
Richard

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India Count Down


Only 12 days before heading off to India! It was a little nerve-racking waiting to get my visa back from the consulate. I sent it in early, just to allow some extra time, but due to process changes, just got it back. I’ll be posting updates later, but in preparation, here a few items I’m praying for:

  • Preparation: I’m preparing to teach two sessions at a regional gathering of church-planting district leaders on the topics of Purity, Integrity and Humility in the Christian Walk and Growing In Our Key Relationships.
  • Travel & Safety: Our group will be moving through many areas of southern and northern India. A lot of traveling through major cities and in remote locations.
  • Leadership Training: We will be learning from and training regional leaders, church planters, and local leaders.
  • Church-planting Network: A portion of our Springbrook DiscipleDriven initiative will support starting 100 new churches in northern India, connecting new and existing churches to Springbrook and our conference.
  • Communication: Keeping our church family up-to-date on progress, sharing and applying lessons learned, strengthening the Body of Christ and glorifying God.

Thank you for your prayers and support. If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please share them. On the journey together!

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What My Dog Trainer Taught Me About Leadership | Michael Hyatt


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We all influence people around us. Sometimes it’s a positive influence and sometimes, well, it’s not so positive. When it comes to influence, or leadership, how would you characterize your influence, and is it accidental or intentional?

Ran across this post on leadership form Michael Hyatt this morning; enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d share!

What My Dog Trainer Taught Me About Leadership | Michael Hyatt.

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