Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I can't believe it...

I can't believe I will be 50 at midnight (today) January 30, 2008.

My favorite birthday card (my only one so far -with the promise of more today).

In dog years, you'd be 350,
but in Giant Redwood years, you'd only be about 3 1/2

SEE turning 50 is all in how you look at it. -Mama Lou sent 50 things for 50 years which should not be published here.

The neat thing about turning 50 is that everything still mind is puttering a bit, but I can still think. Isn't that exciting?

If you wish, you may send birthday cards to: I may even post yours.

Global Prayer Network

Disciple Driven Church Project - Coordinator, Midwest District
Missionary Church, Inc

We are thrilled that there is such a thing as the Global Prayer Network. It is our privilege to pray for the Missionary Church and her role fulfilling the mandate to "Go into all the world to make disciples". Michelle and I are also honored to lift others before the Lord who need intercession before God.

For us 2007 was a year that brought us to our knees in utter dependence upon God as Satan presented obstacles in our ministry and personal path. As we look back over the loss of my brother Glenn's suicide, our house fire that nearly took my life and the losses, my severe burns on my hand and left arm requiring skin grafts, then catching lyme disease, and 2 elbow infections that required two surgeries and the fight against staph infections the end result is that God brought us through much better on the other side of it all.

The most valuable lesson learned is that God needs me to wait for Him and then realize that if the Disciple Driven Church movement is to happen it will not happen because of me. God doesn't need me, I need Him to lead me without me getting ahead of Him. He showed us that while being laid up He would continue what He started here in St. Louis. God took me back to Moses and the fact that when the battle was being lost it was because his hands were not lifted up and when his hands were lifted the battle was being won. God allowed my left arm to be injured and then my right arm (elbow) and through it I could see my need to have my arms lifted up to Him through His warrior's of prayer. You did just that for us. Thank you!

Michelle and I are back in our home which is built better than it was originally and my health has been restored.

As for the ministry of building Disciple Driven Churches where all disciples learn to make disciples who make disciples, 2007 was the year of the greatest victory and harvest. True Vine Missionary Church, our base church, just 1 1/2 years ago has 2 other congregations in the birthing stage. These emerging congregations are also committed to rapid Disciple Driven Church expansion. God has raised up and released a small army of disciples who are committed at all costs to fulfilling the Great Commission. Now God has led us to go beyond St. Louis in various places we have been privileged to train disciple making servants who are being raised up by God. What some have said cannot happen in America is now happening in St. Louis and is spreading as God prepares people willing to sacrifice whatever in order to experience a life transformation that can only come through the Holy Spirit.

Michelle and I continue to serve in the work God has birthed in many ways as we continue the hard work of raising our own support and resources needed to keep fueling the Disciple Driven Church Project which in addition to praying for resources we ask you to pray for Pastor Terry and Suzette Goodwin as they lead sacrificially along with the entire team of servants we are privileged to serve with.

While God continues to call us to risk even more in 2008 we are unusually at peace as we walk by faith and utter dependence upon God.

Visit Global Prayer Network

Directors Note:
You may contact Bob Carder by e-mail at:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Have we left Him out?

I know there are ministries out there who are Man-lead rather than Spirit-led. I'm not going to figure out who is or who isn't, that's not my job and I admit I have been very guilty here myself. This truth was recently taught to me by a dear missionary at Keystone and my own pastor who teaches logos -the Truth in the full power of the rhema -revelation of the Holy Spirit. The result is that the word of God has resulted in many more rhema ("AHAH") moments of revelation I have never seen in the scriptures before. I am reading with new eyes and a hungry heart for the next rhema.

Along with others, we have made the mistake of putting people into Bible reading too soon. (I'll be labeled unkindly here) But as you read on, if a person is not a believer reading logos could do them spiritual set backs. What I mean is that word brings condemnation to those who do not know Christ. To those who come to Christ we are giving them a logos that cannot be clear without the Holy Spirit's revelation. I am pondering over these thoughts. We mistakenly think the truth revealed is man's job when it is the role of the Holy Spirit. Man can teach to others the revelations of God only after they receive the rhema of the Holy Spirit, but make no mistake the Holy Spirit can also reveal truth to new believers in ways we may not have ever seen before.

You have heard of dead churches? They are likely logos without rehma churches. Or how about bored people sitting in a pew or stadium, they are likely logos without rhema churches. Or then,other churches who have to entertain with bigger and better - run the risk of being logos without the rhema churches. The point is not an indictment, if it were, I am the first to stand condemned. These are thoughts to pray over. Many churches across America welcome the teaching of logos and rhema "a must" working together in our hearts and lives and they are giants in reaching the world for Christ, however large or small.

Have we left Him out? New and older believers alike must learn the truth of the logos and the no-negotiable need for Holy Spirit revelation of such truth. This means as we make new disciples who make disciples they must learn that logos and rhemas must be together if we are going to understand the Word of God by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Now for your thoughts.

My prayer thoughts this morning

My prayer thoughts for this morning:

Prayer is truly the Body of Christ in action and our efforts to lead a movement are in obedience to the leading of God's Spirit.

*Please pray that more will pray out of a desire to deepen their relationship with Jesus and less out of an expectation to fulfill.

*Please pray that more believers will learn how to listen to the "rehmas" or revelations of the Holy Spirit as we pray. We must stop doing all the talking when pray, it's time to listen, speak, listen. It's a two way conversation.The Holy Spirit will even tell us what and how to pray. Therefore, prayer is more about listening to what the Spirit is saying and less about our own personal directives.

As God leads others to pray for others and as we pray those God led things, He continues to prompt us to pray even more. The result will be a movement of those who know how to pray and listen who take the battle field fully armored in order to take Jesus and His work to the world, where the world is hungry for Him.

The world has yet to see what God can and will do if we will pray. We must p[ray because we want a deeper relationship with Jesus and because we want to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to His Church. We must encourage others to learn to listen to the the "rehmas" or revelations of the Holy Spirit when we pray. God will do the work as we keep the two priorities straight.

We must listen more and be careful to talk less about our agenda.
We must learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit in order to receive the "rhemas" of the Holy Spirit. As we do He will always guide our prayers. When I pray I seldom have a list unless God gives me a list to pray over, which He does. I enjoy praying the requests of those who have heard from God and who is prompting us to pray those things.

Give me your thoughts.

Prayer is the most important work. Without prayer and relationship deepening with God and learning to listen to Him, we will never fully engage the Great Commission in complete obedience.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Missions and...Why not the and?

Missionary efforts are funded and they do work as we "Christians" are programmed to respond.

But Missionaries are now being sent from here and other countries to America. We are now the mission field needing missionaries.

If I have heard it once I have heard it too many times when pastors say, "We have adopted ministries in our cities so we cannot support other U.S. ministries.

Whoever came up with the idea that caring for lost people was only a local thing? Lost people are lost people and wherever they are, they matter to God and should matter to us.

Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea and the world is our priority. Sell out Judea and America loses in our ability to reach the world because we will predominantly be lost ourselves.

Why do local churches and leaders in America miss this?

Do we have the right to pick and choose our priorities? Jesus made it clear: Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea and the world. We do not have a release by God to pick which ones. We must invest in all of them.

Why can't we see the Word as the Word of God was intended. We have grown cold and calloused to the truth of God's Word. That grieves my spirit but not as much as it must grieve God.

If you leave out the beyond your local church in other needed areas of America, you and your church will suffer in ministry effectiveness. Do you know why? God's Spirit is grieved. Look it up and see for yourselves.

Do we have the right to fund our own ministries in our own local areas alone at risk of losing America? Oh, why not do our local thing and world thing? Why America? What will it hurt? It will hurt because God clearly addresses this issue and to not obey is the result of leading your church in disobedience. Does that bring joy? NOPE! And yet reaching Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the world always bring eternal reward, peace and joy.

When a pastor says we are just going to do our local outreach and overseas outreach they cease to be obedient ministers of God in line with the mandates of God's Word. Give up America and lose the world outreach as the end result. America needs investment ALSO in AMERICA. Can anyone see this as a priority?

I am pessimistic and saddened by the answer. I did not say negative.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Something to read and think about...

"Do I have the right to cross an ocean if I won't cross my street?" Read this article written by Bob Rasmussen. You'll have to scroll 4+ articles on the link to see it.

Read the entire article

Does God need you?

If the Great Commission is to be accomplished through us, does God need you? Of course He does.

But does He need you? Does God desire that you pray, give resources, encourage those who are doing it, does God need you?

He needs you ONLY if you are willing to be used and needed by Him.

If you are resisting, do not apply. If you trust then join in, we need you, God needs you. God needs and welcomes the willing to participate in His work of redemption.

As is always the case, if your heart is not in it, keep it.

But then again, is that God's will for you and me?

The church, the Body is good at:
*Fulfilling Selfish Passions (selfish)
*Gaining and Keeping Resources (greed)
*Living or Striving for Positions (pride)

You and I must break the cycle.

How much like the world are you? How much of you is like Jesus who was a Servant with not possessions and no position either. The world? Jesus?

I have more to say about this also, ask me.

Any thoughts?


Sources: WorldWide Religious News, USA Today, Baptist Press

A new study of unchurched U.S. residents conducted by LifeWay Research reveals a majority of Americans are turned off by the institutional church and don’t have a biblical understanding about God and Jesus. Yet the same group tends to believe Jesus makes a positive difference in a person’s life and would enjoy an honest discussion with a friend about spiritual matters. The results of the study, which polled 1,402 adults who had not attended a religious service at a church, synagogue or mosque in the previous six months, have important implications for Christian churches and individuals who want to reach unchurched people with the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, said Ed Stetzer, LifeWay’s research director. “A full 72 percent of the people interviewed said they think the church ‘is full of hypocrites,’” Stetzer said. “At the same time, 71 percent of the respondents sa id they believe Jesus ‘makes a positive difference in a person’s life,’ and 78 percent said they would be ‘willing to listen’ to someone who wanted to share what they believed about Christianity.” Non-churchgoers “lean to a generic god that fits into every imaginable religious system, even when (systems) contradict one another,” he added.

HUMMMM, any thoughts? If this is really true, how and why is this the case?

Speak to me, o courageous ones.

These articles are NOT..

These articles are not for the faint of heart nor for those who have it all figured out. These articles are for those who are searching for Truth (the Logos written Word of God) and (the rhemas or the revealed Word of God).

May this blog raise questions and cause us to evaluate why we do what we do. If you will do this, the other side will look differently than it does now.

Give up being filled with fear and or defensive and grow or stay the way you are. You get to decide.

Now read on....

Is it, really?

Is children's church or Sunday school really best for your kids?

I know it is good for them, no problem. I asked, is it best for them?

Speak to me....

There is always more to the story.

Parents are often...

Parents are often lazy....

Yes you heard me right.

Parents are lazy when it comes to dealing with the teachings of God with their own children. They not only do not want to teach them spiritual things but they don't want to live Jesus before them either.

We have Sunday school and children's church, but that will never do the job mom and dad can do with deep spiritual fruit.

Parents are lazy! Parents are also sinful when they pass on to Sunday school teachers their own authority and responsibility to disciple their own children.

It takes work! Parents and children are most often never together at one time. Then they worship God and they are not even together. We need to get together with our children and it is your job as a parent to disciple your own kids. If you think a Sunday school teacher or a youth pastor will be able to do it successfully --- you are wrong. It always works when you do it. You teach them about Jesus and then you live it consistently before your children and your children will grow up to be giants of faith in God. I promise!

If you don't believe me, maybe you should should get off of the couch and turn off the TV and tuck in your kids and try me by keeping your God-given spiritual authority.

There is time! Be lazy and pass your children off to others to provide spiritual authority or JUST DO IT YOURSELF, you decide! Spiritual leadership takes time away from TV among other things. Will you do it? Do it or risk losing your children. You have a choice! What will you choose?

I have even more to say, ask me!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What happens when we....?

What happens in a disciple driven church gathering as we worship...

Too much to write about is a good answer. But on Saturday all three groups, True Vine, Gamaliel's Counsel and the Race shared in worship about God's work among us this past week. We sang, we prayed, we worshiped and adored the King of Kings and Lord of Lord's. The Word of God was broken open before us. The Holy Spirit broke in. We celebrated communion. Nothing we did focussed on us, everything we did focussed on Jesus. But something was different. Something is always different.

God led someone(at the last minute) to gather the children in the center of the room. As all the children were gathered the question was asked, "Why do we pray?" The children answered: "For people who are sick, for those who need Jesus, for people who are hurting."

The children were asked, "Who is the most important person you know?" They answered, "God"!

Now let's pray, you pray to God, you pray out loud to the most important person you know, the leader commented. Several prayed. One prayed for lost people, another prayed for the sick and others prayed...!

Later in our worship gathering, Levi almost 6 (the oldest among the children who gather) raised his hand and asked if he could pray again. Of course you can, the leader stated. Levi bowed his head and prayed for his great grandmother who is far from God and then he asked God to send more missionaries around the world. Levi learned in our worship that he can also pray in the service and that is what he did. He also take scommunion because Levi knows Jesus.

In a Disciple Driven Church, the children are present along with the youth and adults and in that gathering the kids are hearing the praises of their parents and others and all about what God is doing in the world and all about why we gather to worship. We are teaching the parents to disciple their own children and we are showing them how to do it. Levi is almost 6 and already he is demonstrating more faith fruit that most kids his age. All this, while Levi's parents refuse to give to others their spiritual authority over their son.

Is it possible that children know the difference between those giving spiritual food and those who do not? When parents disciple their own children -their own children grow up honoring their input and recognizing their spiritual authority over them.

It is wrong to offer ministries that subtly take away from the parents their spiritual authority and God given right and God given expectation that they lead their own children to Jesus while daily discipling them to follow Jesus. When we pass our children off to someone else to provide the spiritual aspects of life it is in that moment that we subtly give away our spiritual authority over our children. What a tragedy! We do what we think is right and best, and, we could never be more wrong as we sacrifice of the souls of our kids. Parents must be committed to disciple their own children by being shown how to do it. They must be the ones their children look to for spiritual things.

You know I have more to say about this!

Ask me about it.

check it out....

The Spirit of God was moving in each session as people were challenged to own responsibility for fulfilling the Great Commission. There was worship, repentance, healing, praise and a new commitment to be obedient to all God has commanded.

You can view the entire article at Pastor Terry of the Disciple Driven Church Project.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My mother in law strikes again...

I sure love my mother in law. Not to many can men can say that, I think. For many "I glanced over at my mother in law and ran my car right into a ditch", if you know what I mean.

My mother in law has great wisdom and creative thought. She tells and she tells me to write short articles, they are too long, they are too long. So I must heed her advice at least this time.

In the Body of Christ we have a distorted view of what happens when the Holy Spirit comes upon the scene in our times of worship. Far too many believers think the Holy Spirit blesses them and shows up when they experience emotion in a song. Such a small view of the Holy Spirit. I have an emotional experience when I hear some country song or when I sing on the toilet. :) Sorry - NOT! Emotion does not equal Holy Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit visits our times of worship we are in awe of His presence and the result is that we receive a New View of God and a New View of Ourselves. And, those two things happen in conventional and unconventional ways. These ways make us nervous and fearful.

This experience of the Holy Spirit is commonplace in The Disciple Driven Church, but not just in our worship gatherings. It has become commonplace in our daily lives.

I just cannot seem to keep it short - it's my past preacher life in me. I should feel sorry for those who sat in hard pews for so long, but I do not! God bless those dear enduring souls anyway.

Enemy deception...beware

Along my faith journey God reveals interesting things to me along the way. Some of those things brings overflowing joy and others bring heartbreak. What I am about to share with you is heartbreaking. It involves the church, those of us who profess to belong to Him. So many have been duped by the enemy.

In America we have our rights, and those rights have become life-pursuits in the church family.

We have made three pursuits the priority of our lives: Passions, Possessions and Positions.
Far to many have been duped as there lives revolve around the pursuit of these three things. *By the way it will take an entire lifetime of searching and feeding these pursuits only to end up empty handed in the end.

We have been duped in our pursuit of selfish passions (selfishness). We want to be entertained, we want to feel good, we want to experience all the world has to offer.

We have been duped in our pursuit of possessions (greed). We are more worried/focussed on getting more and laying up for ourselves treasures on earth than we are willing to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven. We easily spend money on our wants while at the same time it's like pulling teeth to get us to release it to God and His kingdom work.

We have been duped in our pursuit of positions (pride). We just want to look good. Our pride drives us up to the top so that we can become the king of the hill. It all about our desire for control.

Are these thing present in the Body of Christ?

The ways of the world have become the ways of the church...
*Feel goodism brings in a crowd. People leave the service feeling great about the service or the sermon with very little mention of Jesus if any mention at all.
*Possessions are the desires of our hearts and the church needs more and more for the more and more of what they have and seek to have individually and corporately.
*Positions are all about power and leaders (lay and clergy alike) seek it. Many church families are destroyed because of it. Many lost people are sick of it.

Jesus was passionate about redeeming a lost world.
Jesus had no possessions and the little He may have had was given to others.
Jesus had no hunger for position and those who follow Him must be servants too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

5 generations

Our five generations: Grandma Meyer, Mother Sharon Crist, Mother Michelle Carder, our son Matthew Carder and his son Silas Dean Carder

Monday, January 14, 2008

while I'm on a roll...

First let me say that I served the flock in some of the finest places filled with people who were second to none in their honest pursuit of God as best they understood what that means.

As I look back I now realize where I failed them. Of course I am human and at the time I gave my life to leading the Body of Christ as I best knew how. For the rest of my life I will lead/serve differently.

But I failed big time when I allowed the people to separate believing in the Great Commission from obeying it. I failed because I let people off the hook by allowing/making the work of Great Commission obedience a church corporate thing rather than a believers personal responsibility.

I believed that sermons, classes and programs was all that was needed to make disciples. One of my staff members charged with discipleship ministries often said, "everything we do in the church involves making disciples". Nothing can be further from the truth. The Great Commission is NOT a corporate mandate, it is a personal mandate for all believers. If it is not personal it will not get done.

I now believe that planting more and more churches will never fulfill the Great Commission in America. I believe this because everyday in America 10 churches close their doors and 8 news ones open their doors. Planting more churches doesn't mean we are raising up an army of disciples who disciple others to disciple others. We must teach the Body of Christ to believe the personal Great Commission mandate, and then we must insist on (their/ our) repentance for not obeying what (they/we) have said we believed and then we must equip the body on how to do it by also holding them personally accountable to do it. If we can pull this one off, the Great Commission will be fulfilled in America. If we don't many more American churches large and small will close their doors.

By the way, how can a church close their doors when the church is a people. The last time I looked people do not have doors. Well, come to think of it, men do have barn doors that need to be zipped shut to keep out the cold.

Let's dialog together for further clarity.

Another mini sermon...

The work of ministry to make disciples and the work of leaders to equip the church to make disciples is happening through the Disciple Driven Church Project. People (church leaders) have told me that rapid expansion of disciples and churches cannot happen exponentially in America of the likes of that which is happening every minute in other parts of the world. I'm hard headed enough that when someone says "it can't happen" I want to strive to see "it can happen".

Here's the lesson: God will see that His life-mission of the Great Commission will be fulfilled in America. He will give us all a chance to get on board or He will raise up a new harvest of leaders who will give their lives in obedience to this God-given mandate. We get to choose. Will we choose to only believe in the Great Commission or will we choose to believe it, repent for not doing it and then OBEY by doing it?

I have discovered after 25 or so years of ministry that there is a huge chasm between saying we believe in the Great Commission and that of obeying it. In America we are great at saying "amen" to those proclamations of the Great Commission mandate and then those same "amen-ers" who refuse to obey what they have "amen-ed" to. In the end what we say we believe is not obeyed. How is this possible? As we stand before God He will remind us that true belief is an active one. But then, it will be to late for us and those we did not reach for Christ because of our disobedience. We lose and so do they. The stakes are higher than many believe them to be.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What I am for..

I am for the Church, the Bride of Christ! Why would anyone like me or you who knows Jesus ever be opposed to the Church Jesus died for? We cannot! How could I be against myself, I am part of the Body of Christ?

Remember the Church is never a place - it is always a people. The Bride of Christ is referred to as the Church. Are you part of the Church, the Bride of Christ? Jesus died and was resurrected for a people, His creation, not a location!

How did we ever get this so messed up? How did we mess up the world on this? When people think of Church they most always come to the wrong conclusion of a place and not a people.

I am filled with joy to be in the Body of Christ. Christ is the head of the Church, His people, the body of Christ. Isn't this great preaching?

Barna and Viola have gutts!

Barna and Viola rock the boat in "Pagan Christianity". Here is a snipet from Barna's website. You decide!

Book Description
Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday morning? Why do we "dress up" for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, choirs, and seminaries? This volume reveals the startling truth: most of what Christians do in present-day churches is not rooted in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Coauthors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence in the first-ever book to document the full story of modern Christian church practices.

Sorting Out Truth From Tradition
Many Christians take for granted that their church's practices are rooted in Scripture. Yet those practices look very different from those of the first-century church. The New Testament is not silent on how the early church freely expressed the reality of Christ's indwelling in ways that rocked the first-century world.

Times have changed. Pagan Christianity leads us on a fascinating tour through church history, revealing this startling and unsettling truth: Many cherished church traditions embraced today originated not out of the New Testament, but out of pagan practices. One of the most troubling outcomes has been the effect on average believers: turning them from living expressions of Christ's glory and power to passive observers. If you want to see that trend reversed, turn to Pagan Christianity . . . a book that examines and challenges every aspect of our contemporary church experience.

Are We Really Doing Church "By the Book?"
Why does the pastor preach a sermon at every service? Why do our church services seem so similar week after week? Why does the congregation sit passively in pews?

Not sure? Pagan Christianity makes an unsettling proposal: Most of what present-day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Authors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of our modern Christian church practices.

In the process, the authors uncover the problems that emerge when the church functions like a business organization rather than the living organism it was created to be. As you reconsider Christ's revolutionary plan for His church-to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role-you'll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.

The Planter: Remember I have not read the book, nor did I write it. But I will be reading it.

What are you doing about this?

Some Startling Facts

If an exceptionally gifted evangelistic ministry averaged winning 1,000 souls to Christ every day, it would take that ministry 16,438.36 years to win the world to Christ if there were no additional babies born and no deaths (there are over 200,000 more births than deaths each day).

If you were a gifted, powerful and famous evangelist, and you filled a stadium every day with 50,000 unbelievers, and they all received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as a result of your preaching, it would take you over 356 years to win the whole world to Christ (and that would be only if no new babies were born during that time)!

Now how would you go about reaching our world for Christ? How did Jesus show us or tell us how to do it?

Whatcha think?

Whatcha think about these two statements?

1. The work of ministry is the make disciples.

2. The primary job of church leadership is to equip the saints to make disciples.

I am often amazed at how simple things really are and how we complicate the simplicity.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Did you ever think that we or you could ever say that we would not want to change anything that has ever happened to us? Can you say that?

Whatcha think?

Another article:

NEW ORLEANS — Pastor and author Rick Warren has signed a deal to purchase the New Orleans Saints football franchise for $320 million from current owner Tom Benson, and has pledged to pour his time and energy into helping the city and team rebuild.
"This is the start of the Saints' turnaround," a Warren spokesman said. "America is going to see what a purpose-driven team can accomplish."
The Saints have desperately needed a home and a vision since Hurricane Katrina devastated their season. They were keenly disappointed with the NFL's response to their plight.
But Warren took an immediate interest in the team on visits to the damaged city, and he surprised his church in November when several Saints players joined him onstage. The church prayed for the team, which won its next game. Warren took this as confirmation of his plan to buy the franchise.
"I like the guy," says one player who met Warren at a practice in San Antonio. "I was skeptical about a minister owning a team, but he wants to win, just like us."
The centerpiece of Warren's purchase will be Purpose-Driven Field, to be located just north of New Orleans. Stadium construction will create thousands of jobs for the local economy, and will give Warren's ministry a foothold in the South, where he hopes to gain greater influence. During the week, Purpose-Driven Field will host conferences, outreaches and short-term missions groups stopping over on their way to Central America, or helping to rebuild New Orleans. Warren already refers to the New Orleans location as Saddleback South, friends say.
The Saints will now operate differently than most NFL teams. Players will be required to go through the 40 Days of Purpose program. Alcohol will not be served in the stadium, and every attendee will receive a copy of the Purpose-Driven Life. Halftime shows will offer "edgy, cool" evangelism and worship concerts, says a spokesman. Warren intends to be as visible as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who often walks the sidelines during games.
"We're marching into New Orleans," Warren told partner churches recently to rousing applause.• article

The Planter: What will they think of next?

THORNTON, Colo. — Last month, the people of Big Valley Church noticed their pastor dressing nicer, giving more passionate altar calls and making more frequent appeals for volunteers.
What they didn’t know was that the church board had quietly begun using PayPerform, a program that determines how well a pastor is performing in ministry, how much he should be paid, and at what point he should be fired.
"Carrying out the Great Commission is a quantifiable activity," says PayPerform creator Kevin Dolan. "Public companies don’t tolerate sub-par performance. They oust bad CEOs and reward good ones. Why should churches be any different? Our mission is vastly more important."
Programs like the PayPerform Accountability System use in-depth demographic studies to set targets for a specific church’s attendance, conversions and "capture and retention" rates of visitors. It even determines what the average tithe level should be, based on local giving rates.
"We love it," says one church board member. "It gives us something to stand on instead of the soft and mushy goals we used to make up every year out of thin air."
Though Dolan says PayPerform was created to replace "scattershot efforts at evangelism" with hard data and give people a sense of confidence in their mission, PayPerform has hit some churches hard. Pastors don’t like being monitored so closely. Some say it promotes numbers over discipleship, and that the conversion targets are too aggressive.
Some pastors won’t even interview at a church that uses PayPerform.
"How can you build community when you’re looking at everyone as a number and every visitor as a bonus on your next paycheck?" asks one pastor.
Like many pastors, he hasn’t made a public fuss because "it looks bad to oppose accountability." He also admits that he is more deliberate about winning converts and discipling believers than in the past. "It’s like having the sword of Damocles hanging there," he says. "Save people or die."
Jerry Rolloway, pastor of Glen Ridge Church in Leavenworth, Kansas, for the past 13 years, says it was "a little scary when the board adopted a PayPerform system. I thought the targets were too high."
But, desperate to keep his job, he started a new evangelism effort to nearby neighborhoods. Now "I kind of appreciate it," he says. "It lit a fire under me."
PayPerform will soon offer a new program for youth pastors, associate pastors and worship leaders. It will show churches "which staff members add value and which don’t," says Dolan. "People probably will be surprised." •

The Planter: What do you think about this "Payperform system"?


Friday, January 04, 2008

Serving the Disciple Driven Church(TM) Project

Hey blog friends, the disciples making disciples venture (what many said could not happen in America) is happening here in St. Louis as well as other launches in other strategic places. Our base Church (my church) "True Vine Missionary Church" led by our first leaders, Pastor Terry and Suzette Goodwin, has been in existence for just over one year. Already they have released trained disciple multiplying leaders to begin two other Disciple Driven Churches(TM) bursting with disciple making life. When Michelle and I came to St. Louis by faith we longed for God to do something that only God could do. We asked God for exponential disciple making much like what He is doing in other second and third world countries. We could not and still do not fully comprehend what God is doing for America in the fulfillment of His Great Commission.

Having said all of that, I have resigned my U.S. Ministries position with the Missionary Church, home office to coordinate the Disciple Driven Church(TM) Project by serving in a kingly role of raising the resources and financial support for emerging leaders in order to fuel the movement of training and releasing 100+ new leaders to launch Disciple Driven Churches(TM) across America. While still serving as a missionary raising my own support I am delighted to serve under the umbrella of True Vine Missionary Church leadership while serving as coordinator for the Disciple Driven Church(TM) Project.

All of the above is a venture in faith for all involved. Pastor Terry has resigned his full time and lucrative job to take a huge salary reduction to be used of God to see Disciple Driven Church(TM) expanded across America and other team leaders are sacrificing as well. I pray for God to bless the faith and sacrifice of our lead team to see this through at whatever cost.

This is a huge vision coming out of walking in the Spirit and listening to His heart to see the Great Commission of Jesus as evidenced in His life actually being fulfilled in America much like that experienced in 2nd and 3rd world countries with exploding disciple making growth.

Will you pray for God's redemptive plan to be fulfilled through servants willing to give it all up in order for God to be glorified. Pray that we will decrease and that Jesus will rise way above us for His glory? Disciple Driven Church(TM) Project is proving to be led and blessed by God as a way to reach the lost to find Jesus and reach others for Jesus.

The commitment we expect from our new disciples is huge and is a non-negotiable. They are taught to follow Jesus so closely (to use the analogy) as disciples following Jesus on a dusty trail, they must follow Him so closely as to breath His dust by stepping into His very footprints. This is what Jesus meant by "take up your cross and follow me". We teach disciples to believe what Jesus says and do what Jesus tells us to do. In America we have seen a disconnection from believing and then doing what Jesus tells us. Many professing believers profess to believe His words/instruction but far too many times their actions prove otherwise.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our grandson's first Christmas!!

Silas Dean Carder
2 1/2 months young

He is the happiest baby and we love him so much. We had our best Christmas ever with our kids/spouses, Chel's parents, great grandma, and Chel's brother's family. We were blessed to spend Christmas with awesome joy.

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