NOTE: I am coming at this as a typical white American. I cannot speak to KKK, hate groups, etc. because I simply do not understand that stuff. I am only addressing black and white issues because of what happened over the past couple of weeks. There is certainly racism towards refugees, immigrants, Latinos, Native Americans, … Continue reading CONFESSIONS OF A REDEEMED WHITE MAN-WHAT THE BLACK COMMUNITY WANTS TO KNOW FROM WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RASICM
NOTE: If you haven't done so already, please read the first blog post to this series- PRAYER CHALLENGE: THE KEY TO LOVING PEOPLE YOU DON'T LOVE Father, I pray we, as followers of Jesus, can love opposing political parties. I am guilty of not loving people I do not agree with. It hurts when political decisions … Continue reading PRAYER CHALLENGE: OPPOSING POLITICAL PARTY
NOTE: If you haven't done so already, please read the first blog post to this series- PRAYER CHALLENGE: THE KEY TO LOVING PEOPLE YOU DON'T LOVE Father, I know I have racism in my heart. I believe we all do. I believe all people from all races do, but let me focus on myself. Please find … Continue reading PRAYER CHALLENGE: RACISM
Something I have learned about prayer is that prayer usually moves and changes my heart. You see, when we pray for someone or something, God positions our heart where it needs to be. It is truly a miracle, and I mean miracle! Think about the miracle of loving your enemy that Jesus and the disciples … Continue reading PRAYER CHALLENGE: THE KEY TO LOVING PEOPLE YOU DON’T LOVE
Hello everyone, Like many of you, we are trying to figure out where to go from here in life and as a ministry to see how we can best help and reach people in this difficult time. Although nobody knows how long this country will be in this situation, we are treating this situation as … Continue reading ACTION STEPS DURING THE CRISIS
What a joy it has been to walk alongside our Insiders: Yadir, Ania, Danny, Sayo, Murama, and Grace! We are in year three since we started the Insiders Fund and we can hardly believe the fruit we have seen from it. In the first two years, our team saw well over 100 Churches started and we believe that … Continue reading HELP KEEP THESE FAMILIES ON OUR TEAM!
Note: I am not one who has the role of the Holy Spirit, the gifts, and the supernatural figured out. I have been on a long and difficult journey to figure it out, but I have learned some things along the way in regards to church planting. I had to confess to my Board and … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: THE HOLY SPIRIT AND CHURCH PLANTING
This is the most common question I have been asked in the last few years. I believe the answer is YES. Jesus says the harvest is plentiful, so I do not think he meant that only in certain countries. I have heard countless people say it cannot happen and when leaders share that belief, that … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: CAN A CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENT HAPPEN IN AMERICA?
If I could rewind almost 20 years of ministry, I would change one significant thing. I thought it was my job to recruit as many church people (usually white Americans) as I could to reach the people groups I was trying to reach. Not only was it mostly ineffective as far as church planting because … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: REACHING YOUR OWN OIKOS VS CROSS-CULTURAL WORK
To note: Insiders are internationals who we have trained or added to our team for the purpose of reaching their own or similar people groups here in America. Also to note: when I say Americans, I mostly mean white Americans because from my experience, this makes up the majority of church planters whom I know … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: AMERICANS VS INSIDERS
A major mistake that I see church planters making and I have made numerous times is being so focused on getting Discovery Groups started that we bypass what it really takes to successfully get groups started. Often times, we take the principles from the "methods" we have been trained in and try to start groups … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: DISCOVERY GROUPS ARE NOT HARD TO START!
One of the couples on our team met and started discipling a woman (believer) in Disciple Making Movements (DMM) who was selling pupusa's (a traditional Salvadoran dish) to make enough money so she could support herself in her own city and so she could travel to other countries to share the gospel and encourage other believers. … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: FINDING THE RIGHT PEOPLE
For most of my ministry life, I refused to even build relationships with believers inside the communities I was working in. Why? Because I thought I was simply obeying God and the Great Commission by reaching nonbelievers. I would have networks of believers outside of the communities I was working in, mostly white Americans (because … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: START WITH BELIEVERS OR NONBELIEVERS?
I always thought that it was unspiritual to think that I needed money to plant churches. I prided myself that I didn't need a building and office space (I still don’t have these things). There is wisdom in keeping it simple. I choose to use the money that we raise where it is most fruitful, … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: DO WE NEED MONEY FOR CHURCH PLANTING?
Lately, many people have wanted to know how in the last two years Loving All Peoples has planted 100 Discovery Groups, most of which were started in the U.S. and are now spreading to other countries and cities. So, I thought I would share these keys that have been so influential for us and then … Continue reading CHURCH PLANTING LESSONS: HOW WE PLANTED 100 DISCOVERY GROUPS
Last fall we sent out a newsletter stating that our Insiders had started 25 Discovery Bible Study Groups among African and Latino communities. Now that number is up to 80 groups! Over this past year we have been interviewing and training many different potential Insider couples and individuals to join our team so we can … Continue reading HELP US BY HOSTING A GATHERING
I cannot express enough how Melissa and I, along with Jeremy and Mindi feel about our Insiders: Yadir, Ania, Murama, and Grace. It has literally been life changing not only for us as a ministry, but as friends. It is a special thing when people from other cultures can bond like we have for the … Continue reading HELP US KEEP THESE FAMILIES ON OUR TEAM!
I had the opportunity to be be interviewed by Productive Ministry about Loving All Peoples. Thought it would give some of you an opportunity to hear my heart as opposed to just reading about it Click on Link: http://productiveministry.org/21-loving-all-peoples/
You may be reading this because you would like to see more people being reached outside of the church. First off, of course I do not mean stop inviting all people in every situation, but if you want to reach more people, instead of inviting every single person to church as your main method of evangelism, … Continue reading STOP INVITING PEOPLE TO CHURCH???
In the 6 months that we have had our 2 new Insider couples working with us, we have already started 12 new Bible studies (we call them Discovery Groups)! Five in the Latino community and 7 in the African community. To put that in perspective, we have been trying to start groups in these communities … Continue reading INSIDERS ARE KEY TO STARTING CHURCHES
Jeremy and I went to Cuba recently to visit Yadir and Ania's family (the Cuban couple on our team) and to see the work that is going on there now. Before moving to the U.S., Yadir was one of the main leaders who started a church planting movement that produced 3,000 churches in 2 years! … Continue reading ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE: IN CUBA!!!
On a recent cross outreach I got to meet this sweet girl who came up to me. Maybe she was just curious about what we were doing, but she didn't seem that interested in connecting. That is until I felt like God wanted me to tell her something. After I shared it with her, her … Continue reading CONNECTED BY A DREAM
I meet with a lot of people. Often times I meet with normal people with normal paying jobs. Sometimes I meet with CEOs or people who run their own businesses. I get asked this question all the time, "How can I get involved in reaching others or living for Gods will?" When I get asked … Continue reading YOUR ROLE IN MISSIONS. IT IS PROBABLY MORE THAN YOU THINK!
We were carrying the cross in a shopping center and people were all around us talking to us. A guy walks out of a nearby store and sees us and he kind of did a double take. He just seemed like a normal guy. I knew from the look on his face that he was … Continue reading BROKEN AND HUNGRY PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR US
Through our 17 years of working cross-culturally with people from all over the world in DFW, we have been focusing and building on the most effective ways to cut through the many cross-cultural and extreme language barriers that we have to face on a weekly basis. Below is an explanation of our newest project and proposal … Continue reading THE INSIDERS FUND
What a day on the streets with the cross. It has been our prayer for years to have some Latino partners. It has been very difficult to reach people in the Latino community because of the cultural differences and language barriers. These two couples in the picture came to help us. They have never carried … Continue reading FROM HATE TO LOVE ON A CROSS OUTREACH
The weeks after the death of the 5 police officers in Dallas I tried to write about race in this country. It is obviously a very emotional and highly sensitive issue for everyone. In fact, I wrote a really long blog post but never sent it. I never felt quite right about it. I know … Continue reading THE “RADICAL” WAY TO RESPOND TO RACISM
This day we were carrying the cross in an area known for drugs and prostitution. We saw a transsexual prostitute across the street. He knew we were there but he was purposely turning the other way. I don’t blame him for doing that. He had no idea what to expect from these crazy people carrying … Continue reading SIMPLE LOVE CAN GO A LONG WAY
Before I start out, I want whoever is reading this to know that I have struggled mightily with this issue for years. Struggled with what the truth is and if and how I should encourage others in it. I have devoured the scriptures because of it, sought input from others, and of course sought God … Continue reading HARD QUESTIONS: A CHALLENGE TO CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS
This is for those who knew Katie and Megan but can be for anyone who has lost someone close to you. My hope is that it can be an encouragment to you. For all those who loved Katie Findley and Megan Jones, we all have our stories about where we were and what we were … Continue reading HOW KATIE AND MEGAN CHANGED OUR LIVES FOREVER
I was walking though a lobby entrance to a grocery store. A woman was there literally cursing at everyone who walked by. This was a wealthy part of the city and this woman obviously didn’t feel comfortable there and felt that people were staring at her. I stopped after she cursed at me because I … Continue reading THE KEY TO AN ADVENTUROUS LIFE WITH GOD
This day was going to be another crazy day! We took the cross down to the Harry Hines area recently to love on and meet with addicts and prostitutes. We have learned that many drug addicts and prostitutes hang out early in the morning because they are either out all night or they are needing … Continue reading CARRYING THE CROSS AMONG ADDICTS AND PROSTITUTES
There are of course many reasons why we do not share the gospel. But there is one reason that is not talked about a lot, but it may be having the most significant impact on us for why we do not share. Could it be that even as Christians, we don't really believe in the … Continue reading WHY WE DO NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL
Look at this small group of people in this picture. These are church leaders we are training from a church here in Dallas which is made up of several different nationalities: Chinese, Africans, Hispanics, and many more. In the 15 years we have been doing ministry with internationals in Dallas, we have figured out something. … Continue reading PARTNERING WITH CHRISTIANS OF ALL NATIONALITIES
This is a very difficult issue for Christians I know. It is a difficult issue for me as well. But I do want to share my heart on this issue with the hope that along with truth, we can extend grace and love to all people for the sake of Christ. A much needed grace and love in … Continue reading THE CHURCH’S RESPONSE TO THE GAY COMMUNITY-THE WORLD IS WATCHING US
I would say that what I am about to bring up is my biggest heart cry for Christianity in America. I want to challenge you with this big and difficult question. Is the Christianity we are living even Christianity at all? It is a vital question that is beyond fair to ask. Our salvation could depend on … Continue reading IS OUR CHRISTIANITY EVEN CHRISTIANITY AT ALL?
This is for Christians. I say this again, this is for Christians. If you are not a Christian, this might sound crazy, but I do want to challenge you that you might find some reason from these thoughts. Surely most of us are highly concerned about radical Islam, especially since 911, the Boston bombing, the … Continue reading THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO RADICAL ISLAM
I think we can greatly take for granted all the “sinners” Jesus connected with in the New Testament. I mean its CRAZY who Jesus used to spread his message if you really think about it. All through the New Testament, Jesus is hanging out with “sinners” and he used them to spread his message. Can … Continue reading JESUS IS RECRUITING SINNERS
Two buddies of mine let me go along with them to the shooting range. Stephen is a Navy Seal and Jeff is an FBI agent (formally Army) and shooting instructor. This was only my 3rd time to go to the shooting range. To say the least I was a bit intimidated but at the same … Continue reading NAVY SEAL, FBI AGENT, AND A DISCIPLE MAKER
I'll never forgot this moment. We are carrying the cross down a busy street in Dallas and this guy in the picture just comes running down the street towards us. And I mean running. He had his shoes off so that he could run faster! Immediately it reminded me of Peter seeing Jesus on the … Continue reading THIS GUY IS HUNGRY!!!
Honestly, it is difficult not to tear up as I tell this story. I told a story a few years ago on one of our blog posts about a time when we carried the cross in a lower income African American community. We were getting the cross out of our truck and a few African American … Continue reading REDEMPTION!
Sometimes we question how often we are supposed to carry the cross. All we know is that God wanted us to do it. This week our team felt like we were supposed to prayer walk around the Vickery Meadows area but we weren't sure if we were supposed to carry the cross. We decided not … Continue reading AMAZING CONNECTION OPENS DOOR IN APARTMENT COMMUNITY
As most of you know, we formed a team of Asian believers because most of the brothels in Dallas are Asian. This makes it very difficult to connect with them culturally and therefore makes it extremely difficult to find openness. We have always had it on our hearts to create this team, but just didn't … Continue reading BREAKTHROUGH IN BROTHELS
We decided to walk the cross in one of the most crime ridden intersections in Dallas. What will happen when people carry a giant cross into this kind of area? Well, I cannot tell you how much excitement there was. So many people were waving and honking their horns. So many people came up to … Continue reading WALKING THE CROSS IN THE MIDST OF “DANGER”
We were on an outreach the other day carrying the cross in an area known for drugs and alcohol. We walked up to this group of men who were in front of a liquor store and just started talking with them. We were greeted very well and ended up talking for about 30 min, praying … Continue reading CAN GOD USE “UNQUALIFIED” PEOPLE TO REACH OTHERS?
We were doing some outreach around the Harry Hines area and we met this small group of people who live in a run down drug house. We have been to this place 3 times now. They WELCOME US WITH OPEN ARMS and have asked us back every time. If fact, I just got off the … Continue reading WHO WILL REACH THE ADDICTS?
Hey, I am excited to be back doing ministry! Our family is all doing great! Thanks for all of your help and support! So something crazy happened to us a few months ago that I wanted to share because I feel like God gave me a message through this incident. Melissa and I were at … Continue reading WE CAN RESCUE PEOPLE
1 Corinthians 4:10 "We are fools for Christ." I just want to show you what can happen when we simply do what God says to do, even if it sounds crazy. I believe God gave me a promise that He would lead me to people who are hungry for God. Now, how He said to … Continue reading LOOKING LIKE A FOOL PRODUCES FRUIT
Refugees come from all over the world to Dallas. Many have lost and suffered more than any of us could imagine. When they come here, many do not have anything or anyone. It is an extremely difficult and lonely situation. How would you want to be treated if you lost everything and were forced to … Continue reading BEFRIEND A REFUGEE FAMILY
I pray that you will grasp the unbelievable opportunity we have here in Dallas to truly affect other parts of the world. We are looking for people that will go and reach and love international students here in Dallas. There are around 800,000 international students who study in America every year. Twenty thousand alone in … Continue reading IMPACTING THE WORLD BY LOVING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Reaching out to Muslims is much easier than you would think. Many think that we have to be "trained" or come up with some plan on how to share our faith. We think that sharing our faith can only be done by going up to strangers and sharing our belief system and dismantling theirs! This … Continue reading IT IS EASY TO REACH OUT TO MUSLIMS!
Did you know that the DFW area is getting close to being 50% international! Right now it is 44% international and it is growing. Just take a minute and think about that. We are talking around 2,500,000 people of other cultures and faiths who live here! That is a lot of people. Is that a … Continue reading LOVING PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS
Although it is great if people end up in a church, the answer may not always be bringing people to our church. The population of the United States is around 313,000,000. How many Americans regularly go to church? I have studied surveys about how many people attend church in the United States and nobody can … Continue reading REACHING THE UNCHURCHED
We are looking for people that will go love and befriend people living with AIDS at a home for hospice and respite patients who are dying or are in the critical stages of their illness. The goal is simply to love them, be a friend, and share your life with them. One of the sad realities … Continue reading LOVING PEOPLE LIVING WITH AIDS
We are so passionate about giving someone an opportunity to know God and to experience love from another. There are so many people to love and so many people that need to know God in this city and around the world. In reality, only a very small percentage of people in this city have someone … Continue reading WE WANT TO HELP YOU REACH OUT TO OTHERS
I want to show you this short 5 minute video. But first, do you know that He is crazy about you? I know I struggle with this. At times it is a major battle for me. If I do not understand and accept that God is crazy about me, then I can forget about having … Continue reading DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD IS CRAZY ABOUT YOU?
We had a Muslim family over for dinner the other night, which we do often. We had a great time! We know this family very well and get together often. We really love each other. As we sat at the dinner table, we talked about new things in our life, funny stories, and shared with … Continue reading DO WE MAKE “SPREADING GODS LOVE” WAY TOO COMPLICATED?
What a great night at the drum circle. Just loaded with all kinds of people and unique stories. We have a friend at the drum circle who we always talk to. One night she started talking about religion. She comes from a Christian background, but does not consider herself one anymore. She is still seeking. … Continue reading EARNING THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD
I am not going to attempt to give a detailed explanation of what Hare Krishna is or what they believe. But basically, it is a form of Hinduism and they worship the Krishna deity. You can find lots of stuff on the internet about it. It is a religion that is pretty new to America … Continue reading MAKING FRIENDS AT THE HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE
One great way to make Muslim and Buddhist friends here in America is to go to their places of worship. I went to one Mosque for an entire year to meet people and to learn about Islam from their perspective instead of sticking with my outside view of it. This was a great help! Now, I … Continue reading GOING TO MOSQUES AND TEMPLES
I would say that at least half of the refugees whom we work with are Muslim. They come from all over Africa, Burma, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Muslims have become a huge part of our life. We love Muslims. They are some of the most hospitable and generous people that I have ever met. I know … Continue reading LOVING MUSLIMS
Our team does the best we can to hang out with people from all walks of life. We are not perfect at doing this by any means, but we are trying every week to do better. We hang out with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics, and Atheists. We hang out in temples and mosques and go … Continue reading ARE PEOPLE REALLY INTERESTED IN GOD?
Recently we have been receiving many Buddhist people from Burma. Believe me when I say this, Buddhists are fun! They are very care-free people. I have loved getting to know them, and I am learning so much from them. Before this year, I really didn't know about Buddhism or about their culture. They love when … Continue reading COOKOUT WITH BUDDHIST FRIENDS
Pardon the bad pictures. It's difficult to take good pictures in a dark bar. I also added some pictures from Flickr from the drum circle that we go to that were taken by someone else. I have been going to a drum circle at a bar for about two months now. I fell in love … Continue reading HANGING WITH THE NEW AGE CROWD
Working with prostitutes led our team to working with the gay community because we wanted to start working with men who are prostitutes. There is a huge population of men in Dallas who are prostitutes. And there is a huge population of men who are transvestites and who are prostitutes, and we want to love … Continue reading LOVING THE GAY COMMUNITY
Why did I get interested in the sex industry? It was after I watched a movie called "Trade" about sex trafficking. It totally broke me. At the time we were mostly working with refugees, and I didn't know why God so strongly put this on my heart, but I knew we were about to dive … Continue reading REACHING THE SEX INDUSTRY
Our team also does a lot of work outside of the Vickery community. We have been working in a lower-income apartment complex. This was a new experience for me to say the least. I truly didn't understand the "poor" in Dallas. There is an apartment complex that is one of the worst crime infested communities … Continue reading LOVING ADDICTS
I know I will get a lot of different responses to carrying a cross. First, let me explain the reasoning of why our team sometimes carries the cross. Our heart is to show an expression of Jesus to people that is pure; separate from religion, politics, and even American Christian culture. You might think that carrying … Continue reading CARRYING THE CROSS
The Vickery Meadows community is where Melissa and I started our ministry in February of 2003. Our heart was to go where we didn't see ministry happening and that was Vickery. For those who don't know about Vickery Meadows, it is about a 4 square mile lower-income area where over 25,000 people live. There are … Continue reading WORKING WITH REFUGEES- The Beginning of Loving All Peoples