Working under Covid In my last update I told you we planned to relocate to Oceanside, CA for the summer. We have done so and it has been much cooler – except for two weeks when we had hot weather. But, the “hot” was not frying-pan-hot like Phoenix. Here, we have only very old and very noisy window AC units. But they are better than no cooling at all and they help make the warm weather bearable. Fortunately, so far, we have been far from the west coast fires.
Our Days Judy has spent much of her time recently preparing to teach the Art History section of a Humanities course that she team teaches at Scottsdale Community College. She is now teaching remotely.
I spend my days doing administration (by phone and e-mail) and Zoom meetings for Harvest, Trinity Education, several discipleship groups, and World Evangelical Alliance. Last week I had 14 zoom meetings. I’m even teaching remotely. Before Covid I didn’t think virtual meetings would be as effective as face-to-face encounters. Thinking changed! I’m discovering that in some ways Zoom encounters are more efficient and encourage deeper communication. And they have led to increased levels of personal contact in which one can read body/face-language with colleagues in distant places. The shorter “drive time” to meetings and the absence of airplane food is an absolute plus, 😊.
News I have two news items to share.
First, Harvest Board approved Julian Gibb to raise his support to be my assistant. His title will be, “Assistant to the President.” We are planning his official start on October 1st. Julian has served as a pastor for a decade in the Phoenix area at Christ Anglican Church and at Camelback Bible Church. He and I have known each other for seven years and have worked together for a couple of months on Harvest’s Zoom-casts, “Jesus Hands and Feet.” And the radio broadcast, “The Kingdom and its Stories.” The Zoom-casts can be found on our website www.harvestfoundation.org under Resources, and the bottom tab, “Jesus Hands and Feet.” The radio program can be accessed in several ways. Listen “Live” on 1360 AM Faith Talk Radio in Phoenix, AZ on Monday’s at 5:30 pm MST., or go to https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-kingdom-its-stories-podcast/id1517415053. Listen (and Subscribe) to The Kingdom & Its Stories Podcast on Apple Podcast.
Second, Judy and I have decided that it is important at this stage of our lives to be near our kids and grandsons. Tasha’s boys are about to be launched but Barak’s are still in middle and high school and we want to be closer to them. Nate, who lives in phoenix isn’t married and has no children. So, we are in the process of selling our Phoenix home in order to move to California. (Yes, I know, most people are moving in the opposite direction.) We have found a workable location about 40 min from where Barak and family live just east of Santa Maria – about an hour north of Santa Barbara. If all goes according to plan we hope to be moved by the end of 2020.
Our experience with remote officing this summer has shown that working remotely and returning to Phoenix for Harvest business as needed is workable.
Discipleship I’d like to close with a reflection on discipleship. If you know me, you know I believe that the priority task of the church is to disciple its people. There have been many strategies developed since Jesus left us with his Great Commandment to disciple the nations.
This is why Harvest’s main purpose is to disciple church leaders to disciple their people to proclaim Christ’s love through practical and sacrificial demonstration of his love.
Several months ago I became acquainted with a strategy for discipleship which I have been personally implementing and found to be more effective and rewarding than expected. It is discipleship through soInmething called micro-groups. A micro-group is a group of 2-5 people who meet weekly.
After established, leadership of the group changes to a different member each week so everyone gets the opportunity to lead and grow. The agenda could include study – especially if the group contains new believers. In my micro-groups the primary agenda includes sharing. accountability and prayer. Our time together looks like this:
Sharing how you have been Jesus’ hands and feet since the last meeting
Sharing what God has been teaching you
Sharing key prayer requests
And, praying for each other
The multiplication element in this strategy is that each member of the group commits to start their own micro-group.
I’ve only been at this for several months. So far it is the most effective and realistic strategy for the multiplication of biblical discipleship I have encountered.
This week I will be starting my 4th and 5th micro-groups – one with my African namesakes, and the other with WEA associated pastors in the Caribbean.
Judy and I thank you, again, for your prayer and multiple expressions of encouragement.
For us both,