"Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”
Rich prayed how God might use a man like him to put into practice what he’d been learning from The Ways of the Alongsider
, which we were processing with a church leadership team he was on. Rich wanted to make a Kingdom difference in his world. The Lord focused his attention on the military environment where he worked.
Really? How? What would it look like?
“Leadership training,” that’s the initiative Rich told me he had on his heart to launch during off hours. “I’ll take them through that study you gave us—Thirty Discipleship Exercises
.” You see, Rich explained, it would be leadership training in the area of spiritual development. Rich ran the idea by “the Colonel” and received a thumbs-up.
Sure enough, a handful of men and women expressed interest in the study, which went wonderfully the first couple sessions. Yet sure enough, there was pushback. “Isn’t this really a Bible study in disguise?”
Once again, Rich prayed. And the answer came: “Take it to the Colonel.” As he did, before he could even speak, the Colonel stated: “By the way, I ran that study by the chaplain, and he’s sanctioned it. You’re good to go.”
That was mid to late last year. “Things are going good,” Rich said when he gave the okay to tell this story. “We’re still having our small group, and it’s going well!"
“Please keep the group here at my job in your prayers,” Rich recently requested of his church’s leadership team and of me as he passed along a group picture he took after a recent meeting. “It actually grew today; we had five new people join us—two of whom have been heavy on my heart. God is so good and so faithful.
“I was flooded with engaging conversation afterward,” Rich added, “and I am so grateful for the opportunity. Glory to God!”
I was so encouraged to receive this update and see this picture. Rich took to heart and put into practice The Ways of the Alongsider
, one of the key resources we use in Navigator Church Ministries to help churches grow intentional
disciplemaking cultures that affect the community and advance the Kingdom. It's all part of our Growing intentional Diciplemaking Cultures
“You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me,” I responded back to Rich. I trust that what God is doing in and through Rich’s life and ministry both encourages and inspires you, too.
Perhaps it motivates you in some way as well. If so, let me know! Email me here
For now, here are a few questions for your consideration. Do you feel "qualified" to make a Kingdom difference in your world? If not, what's lacking? If so, what's God putting on your heart? In either case, what's your next step?
Dean Ridings is a Representative of Navigator Church Ministries and co-leads NCM in the Rocky Mountain Region. To contact Dean or to learn more about the Ridings’ Navigator ministry, please click here.