by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) I marvel at how God mysteriously and paradoxically ties His will to our prayer lives. Our Lord is fully sovereign, able to accomplish His purposes without us, yet our prayers play a role in moving His hand. Consider the example of Samuel. As a Judge and Prophet for Israel, it’s recorded that, “Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines” (1 Samuel 7:13). Why was God’s hand so evident during Samuel’s lifetime? I believe it was more than his prowess as a leader. Samuel’s farewell speech provides a clue: “As for me,… Read moreThe Alongsider’s Partnership
By Bill Mowry (www.alongsider.com) I’ve always assumed that mature disciplemakers needed additional layers of sophistication, technique, and professionalism. I’m now discarding some of these layers and returning to simpler approaches. One simple approach is ministering from a life thesaurus. What is a life thesaurus? Ministry in the kingdom happens when, “Every teacher of the Law who has been instructed about the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old“ (Matt 13:52). The “storeroom” is from the Greek word thesauros, from which we have our word, thesaurus…. Read moreThe Alongsider’s Thesaurus
by Bill Mowry (www.alongsiders.com) “My business is circumference” wrote the poet Emily Dickinson. Dickinson’s poetry flowed from her private world, the circumference of her life. Like the poet, advancing the gospel is about the business of circumference. Alongsiders live on mission in the circumference of relationships. All of us have a life circumference, a circle loosely drawn around a diversity of relationships. Family and friends, coworkers and contractors, barbers and beauticians all live in our circumference. We are insiders, planted in this circle of relationships to naturally advance the gospel. The early church understood the power of circumference. We mistakenly… Read moreAlongsiders Know the Power of Circumference
by Bill Mowry www.alongsider.com The adventure of the alongsider begins with a good question. Have you ever noticed how God consistently engages His creation through questions? “Where are you Adam?” “Have you considered my servant Job?” “Whom shall I send?” When God asks questions, He’s not simply collecting information (after all, He is omniscient). I believe His questions are intended to draw His creation into a relationship where reflection and discovery takes place. Jesus understood the power of a good question. Our Lord exasperated his followers and critics by refusing to give packaged answers to their challenges. Instead, He would respond… Read moreStart with a Question
by Bill Mowry Can you picture Jesus having a water fight with the disciples as they traveled the Sea of Galilee? Do you feel theologically safe imagining the Son of God hanging out with his friends and having fun? Elton Trueblood, in his book The Humor of Christ, writes: “Anyone who reads the Gospels with a relative freedom from presuppositions [would] expect to see that Christ laughed, and that He expected others to laugh . . . . A misguided piety has made us fear that the acceptance of His obvious wit and humor would somehow be mildly blasphemous and… Read moreWho are you hanging out with?
By Bill Mowry All of us have a favorite Old Testament personality. One of my favorites is the leader and nation-builder, Joshua. Joshua’s impact was so significant that the author of Judges wrote, “The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua.” (Judges 1:7) But then comes one of the saddest verses in the Bible. When Joshua and his contemporaries passed away, “another generation grew up , who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10). What a sad commentary on a group of leaders. How did this happen? A clue is found in… Read moreWhat’s Missing?
by Bill Mowry In his presentation on disciple-making, Pastor Paul was challenged by a friend in the audience. “I could never make disciples,” the friend said. “I’m not a good public teacher like you.” Paul turned the question back to the audience, “How many of you are good at public speaking?” About four people raised their hands. Then he asked,“How many of you could befriend someone and then come alongside and read the Bible with them?” Nearly all the hands went up. What made the difference? The second question painted a picture of disciple-making that many in the audience felt… Read moreAlongsiders Hang New Pictures
Do you want to help guide people to experience a deep, ongoing connection with Jesus? Does the idea of equipping individuals to intentionally pass along their faith to others inspire and engage you? To help you engage those in your natural relational networks, The Navigators invite you to attend a Life-on-Life™ Discipleship Training Conference on November 9 and 10 in Hamilton, ON. This practical and interactive event will give you the opportunity to connect with fellow church leaders and give you the confidence to guide people to experience a deep, ongoing connection with Jesus and equip them to pass their… Read moreLife-on-Life Discipleship Training Conference
by Margaret Fitzwater Chris, the pastor of a church Roy and I were working with, frequently challenged the congregation to become disciple makers. But only a few people were catching the vision. Even for these precious few it was hard, because they were busy with all the studies and programs the church offered for their growth. Chris always felt that he was discipling because he loved to teach. The sermons were rich with history, and the classes he and the staff and volunteers taught were filled with content. But most of the learning stayed inside the building and inside people’s… Read moreHow to Create a Disciple-Making Church
by Al Engler When we moved into our home, we learned that our next-door neighbor was hosting an “open table” every Thursday evening at her place. We changed our schedule so that we would be free to attend these dinner parties. What did we do there? We engaged in delightful and quality conversations. We met people we otherwise wouldn’t have met. Over the years, we’ve seen people come to faith from those dinners. A few of the people we met there are currently reading the Bible with us. More than that, we love the people we’ve gotten to know as… Read moreHearts Afire