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Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Admin on Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:54 pm

Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.
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Bethany Hutson: Part 2 Response for "Building a Discipling Culture"

Post by Bethany Hutson on Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:06 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

Mike Breen states, “Because above all else, Huddles aren’t a program; they are life-on-life discipleship.” I think we often forget that discipleship is about doing everyday life together and we often think it is about a program. I know many times where I would forget about letting the Holy Spirit lead a conversation or be so consumed with reading a book and just getting through the chapters that I would forget about the person I was pouring into. Successful discipleship is life-on-life and being a learner of Jesus. In part 2, Mike Breen discusses LifeShapes that help during the discipleship process and represent discipleship language. The first shape is the learning circle. This is about learning the voice of God and knowing Him. The second shape is the triangle, which is about relationships that are balance between our life with God, life within the church, and life with people who don’t know Jesus. The semi-circle is about the rhythms of life: rest and work. The square is about multiplying disciples. The pentagon is about personal calling and understanding how to be a missional disciple. Prayer represents the hexagon. The heptagon shows how to live in, participate, and contribute to the spiritual family in which you are a part of. The octagon shows how to identify people of peace and help them live in the spiritual breakthrough that God has prepared for them and it involves share the Gospel in a clear way. Overall, these shapes represent the discipleship language and serve as tools in effective discipleship.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by hstrelow on Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:55 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

This section of the reading gave me a bigger picture of how these shapes are to be implemented in our ministry. The shape I was the most familiar with was the triangle, but I had been informed of the concepts surrounding the other shapes before during my time in Chi Alpha. I would say the biggest takeaway from this section on shapes would be the hexagon. In all my years of being in XA, I have not received an outline for prayer quite like the hexagon. I remember a sermon on the Lord's Prayer early in my college education, but for some reason, the hexagon helped me connect the dots on how to stretch this prayer, not just recite it. For me, prayer has consistently been a place of struggle. I have not, until quite recently, begun to figure out the difference between simply talking to God and intentional prayer. I was great at talking to God, but horrible at prayer, and I never knew where to begin practicing this discipline. The hexagon provides a beautiful outline that is supported by the Lord's Prayer, but encourages us to stretch, stop, and expand in the places where the Holy Spirit leads us. For someone like myself who loves structure, but dislikes unpredictability, this outline is extremely helpful. It holds fast to a structure within the 6 points Jesus makes in His prayer, but it also encourages me to keep an ear to the Spirit's guidance and be flexible in that discipline. I am very much looking forward to watching how this shape impacts my prayer life!
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Katie Averitt: Breen Response

Post by Katie A on Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:22 pm

In the second section of, “Building a Discipling Culture,” Mike Breen discusses how languages creates culture. He developed LifeShapes because he believes that it is important for the church to have a shared language in which a Discipling culture can be created. Of the shapes that Breen discusses, my two favorites are the circle and the triangle. The learning circle suggests discipleship in such a way that we are not walking through life linearly, but rather in the form of a slinky, in which events (Kairos moments) occur in our lives that cause us to repent and believe, which ultimately grow us closer to God. I like the triangle as well, as it teaches us to go deeper in our relationships with the father (up), with each other (in), and with the hurting world around us (out). Breen then examines how Jesus lived upward, inward, and outward, and uses scriptural evidence to do so. An important claim that Breen makes is that “when one dimension is missing or suppressed, the other two do not work as they should.” (94). He then goes on to describe churches that lack of the dimensions and how that impacts their church. Later in the section, Breen discusses the five fold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher). I feel that it is quite important that we understand our spiritual gifts so that we can grow and mature in them, and also grow in the areas in which we are lacking. I took Breen’s online test and found that I am a Prophet/teacher. This was a very helpful section to read, I got a lot out of it.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Jacob Gulka on Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:13 pm

One significant point made was the talk of breakthroughs and kairos (opportunity) moments. We usually go through a trial and without reflecting or learning. We stroll through life and its trials waiting for the end of discomfort. In the Continius Breakthrough chapter the process of repentance (observe, reflect, discuss) and faith (plan, account, act) was illustrated in a circle. When one encounters a kairos moment, Mike Breen expressed that we want to study how to prevent these moments, but we should instead understand that “kairos moments are God-given opportunities to enter into the process of learning kingdom living,” (p. 78).

Further in the reading there was a section about Multiplying Life. This chapter illustrated the process of leading and discipling others. A square diagram was used to describe the process: for the disciple D1>D2>D3>D4 and for the leader L1>L2>L3>L4, with each phase being a side of the square. An encouraging point that Mike Breen brought to my attention was how the process D2 is natural. D1 and L1 has great enthusiasm and the leader is spearheading the mission. As the mission continues a time of unmet expectations and vulnerability arises. This is when the disciples need clear vision and a leader who can point them to God’s grace. I so relate with this as a Resource Leader. At kickoff my guys were so charged and excited and ready to win the entire campus for Jesus. However once approaching midterms and the stakes grew higher they became vulnerable and needed direction. I wanted to always be accessible to my Resource Team during this period.

Overall this book provides such practical model for discipleship and it is greatly encouraging as God works through me on the campus.

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Building a Discipling Culture

Post by Brenton Malnofski on Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:29 pm

Chapter 8 features a passage discussing the differences between introverts and extroverts, and how that pertains to the discipleship process. I’ve recently been torn at which category I fall into. On the surface, I think it’s easy to say I’m introverted because I’m quiet, sometimes shy, and do enjoy some time alone. However, the description given for extroverts in this chapter, I feel, also applies to me. It says that extroverts get their energy from an external source, other people for example. This is interesting because I definitely feel more exhausted when I’ve spent too much time alone, and find myself craving some socializing. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people are somewhere in the middle of introvert and extrovert. It’s a fine line to walk with discipleship and how to approach people.

Chapter 8 also discusses how it’s not our unending work and dedication that God calls us to. Rather, he wishes for us to have regular times of rest so that we can properly recuperate. This is a concept I’ve happily embraced. And it’s also great to see that Jesus did it first. He would actively find times to pray and be in solitude with the Father. When He worked, He did it intently and passionately. But He also did the same with rest and devotion. It’s important for us to remember as believers that we are not burdened with responsibility of endless work. Sure, the mission itself is ongoing. But we can and should take breaks too.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Marlou Peters on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:28 am

I am really enjoying this books. It has been very helpful, very clear and it makes me excited to be on the campus all over again.I have heard many times the triangle. The one that shows the up, in and out. Up stands for “ Walk humbly with your God”, in stands for “Love mercy” and out stands for “ Act justly”. In the book in said that we need to do all three of these thins. We need to abide in Jesus, so we should pray, we need to build community and we also need to reach out to the lost people of this world. If we don’t do all of these three things we are unbalanced. This book for sure makes me think how we can become more balanced. It helped me reflect on how my group is doing. I believe that there are seasons when one is stronger than the other. Currently with my group, we are in and up focused. We pray three times a week, which we still would love for more students to come. Also my group started to have community and like to hangout with each other but our problem is they don’t want to invite others. So it helped me to reflect where my group is currently at and what actions steps we need to take nextl It is also nice to know that we aren’t the only group that is unbalanced and that even churches aren’t perfect. This is a healthy model to reflect on every semester and see where the group is at.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by ryanelliff on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:32 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

In the second part of Michael Breen's book, Building a Discipling Culture, he starts by discussing the importance of using language to create culture. Language is a big deal that often times gets overlooked, especially in ministry. When I was at Sam Houston State University, the Chi Alpha ministry did a great job of using language to create culture. At the time I really didn't think much of it, but now looking back I realize how intentional it was (and how successful it was!). One of the biggest examples I can remember was how the guys would often great each other with something like "Hey man! What are you reading?". In response to this greeting, you would be expected to start talking about a book or part of the bible and something that you learned about God or Christian life. This may seem odd, but they had created a culture that had built in accountability! If I wasn't in the Word of God or reading some ODG (Old Dead Guy), I wouldn't have anything to say. Or worse, I would say the same thing I said the day before! This created a strong desire to pursue God with my mind. I wanted to know more about Him and how I could serve Him better, all because of the way my friends talked!

When addressing the topic of language creating culture in his own church, Breen created a series of shapes to help his community better understand and remember certain principles. The two that stood out the most to me were the hexagon and the triangle. The hexagon breaks down the Lord's prayer into 6 parts - God's character, kingdom, provision, forgiveness, guidance, and protection. I knew the Lord's prayer was a model to pray, but breaking it down like this and putting into the hexagon shape helps to visualize it and remember it. This is so important in being able to teach it to others. The second shape is the triangle which represents the balance of relationships in life. The three points of the triangle represent up, in, and out. The up is our relationship with Jesus, the in is our relationship with fellow believers and the out is our relationship with the rest of the world. Jesus modeled this (Luke 6) and as we are to be like him, we should live our lives with these three aspects in balance.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Carson Bledsoe on Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:24 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

I’ve really enjoyed this book so far and I think one of the reasons is because it is putting to words a lot of ideas that I have been thinking/praying about. In chapter 7, one thing that stood out to me was that Jesus went and prayed all night to God before calling the twelve disciples. God has recently been convicting. me that I need to be more intentional about praying specifically for the things I am doing in ministry. If I do not pray for the ministry God is doing through me, I’m simply doing “my ministry” as opposed to “His ministry.”

The triangle shape is very familiar to me in terms of my own ministry/relationship with God and applying it to aspects of Chi Alpha but I found it really interesting that Breen applies it to churches. I began doing this with different churches and it was interesting/worrisome to see that I know of few churches who are great at all three (up, in, out). Being able to apply the triangle framework to my own church and other local churches helped me to see the strengths of each church. Beyond this it got me thinking about how these churches could learn from one another in order to more effectively represent the body of Christ and share His Gospel.
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Building a Discipleship Culture Part 2 Response

Post by Alicia.O. on Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:51 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

After finishing part 2 of "Building a Discipleship Culture" I can tell that this will be a book I come back to throughout my ministry to refocus on what a healthy discipleship culture looks like. I already see how this book is helping the discipleship culture I have in my resource team as I have been teaching the wheel of repentance from Chapter 6 and asking my girls about what Up, In, and Out looks like in their core group. This book is helping me reset and have clearer goals and vision for myself and those I disciple.

The most convicting section of part 2 for me was in Chapter 9- Rhythm of Life. This chapter goes in depth to talk about the pendulum swing of pruning/rest and growing/work. I struggle with being a workaholic so much so that I feel guilt on days of rest. If I'm not working you can almost guarantee that I'm thinking about work, not just work related to Chi Alpha but also at home, with relationships, with myself, etc. Breen says " ... being a workaholic is, to God just as bad as being a murderer or adulterer" (pg 129). If that doesn't make me what to have a complete transformation of my life in this area, then I don't know what will. It was very convicting to read that and has led to a lot of prayer and discipline as I am craving transformation of my mind.

Later in this chapter Breen discusses discovering how you rest. I am still learning how I rest and have always been in awe of Jesus' knowing of when he needs rest and how he needs it. Breen gives examples of how extroverts and introverts rest, and as a person who scores near 100 on Myers-Briggs in extrovert, my extroverted husband and I were shocked to see how we related 100% with the introverts need for rest. Perhaps our people-focused jobs play into this reasoning. Either way I am learning what is restful to me and trusting that the Sabbath day has been made by God to set us up for success.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Caleb Nally on Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:55 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

In this section of "Building A Discipling Culture" I appreciated see all of the different shapes brought up in the section. Being in Chi Alpha for around six years now I've seen a lot of these things just naturally throughout the ministry so I enjoyed reading more on these things and understanding more of the culture behind Chi Alpha. The shape that stood out the most with me is the pentagon. I have always heard about the fivefold ministries from Ephesians 4 but now that I am in a leadership position I am faced with these different ministries all the time. I've had to really evaluate where my strengths and weaknesses are and make sure I'm always rooted in my strengths and allow that to give me a boost when I'm called into something that isn't necessarily one of my strong points. So when Breen spoke on finding our base and always staying connected with that base while we branch off into our phases. It also encouraged me that when I'm presented with opportunities outside of my base to still pursue those phases because it only helps me to grow more mature in my faith.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by ZachAmick on Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:21 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.
This section was very interesting. The idea of attaching various teachings to shapes is a clever vehicle of information which allows people to grasp and remember information quicker. I thought that was pretty neat and I haven’t heard of anybody using visual aides in quite that way before. The shapes that I found most interesting and immediately helpful were the square and the semicircle. Many of the other teachings I have hear before in some form and already have seen at work in my life and those around me. The square of multiplying life was perhaps the most helpful and encouraging part of this reading for me. While reading through these levels of discipleship and leadership I began to reflect on my own experiences. I was able to identify many of these experiences in my own life, especially in the D1 and D2 stages. It is comforting to know that the frustrations and anxieties that I have felt are not unique and in fact are so common that people have been able to identify and put words to patterns that emerge which can be used to help bring people through the difficult parts. An interesting thing that I discovered upon deeper reflection of the square was that Jesus has taken me through the first two stages to D3 in a very intimate and real way, yet strangely in my CMIT discipleship experience I think I am still in the depths and sorrows of D2. What a comfort to know that what the Lord has done before, He will do again!
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Kolten Turner on Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:17 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

The idea of looking at discipleship through different shapes isn't something that I really connected with. However, the concept of UP, IN, and OUT was something that I hadn't really ever spent much time examining in my own life or the lives of others. I find it interesting that we can choose which of those to be successful in and which to choose to leave off to the side. Many churches are blatantly following a certain path, but we don't realize that often that means they aren't always practicing all of them. In my experience, we're great at looking Up and looking In or we're great at looking Up and Out, but rarely do we ever really accomplish looking in all three directions in a certain period of time. Our minds are narrow. We tend to only focus on certain aspects of the ministry one at a time or a maybe a few at a time, but rarely do we truly get the whole picture correct. In order to successfully disciple someone, we must be teaching them to examine themselves, look to God, and look to reach others all at the same time. One without the others leads to an unbalanced leadership. I'm guilty of it myself. I just think it's important that we are constantly on guard and looking for opportunities to look Up, look In, and look Out. As Chi Alpha we're much better at looking Up and Out than we are In. There is so much need for the advancement of the kingdom that we can easily overlook our own sin. That is a dangerous place to be. We should never be willing to preach the Gospel without first examining our own hearts.
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by cjgalyen on Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:39 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

Mike Breen goes deeper into how to develop a discipling culture. There are two sections in particular that stuck out to me. Chapter 6 goes into what is breakthrough and how we should follow Jesus in the big events of our lives or the kairos event. When we approach an event that seems like it stops time (like a big birthday or anniversary or a death in the family) it teaches us how we are supposed to live in the Learning Circle. We are called to Repent which leads to a change of heart, mind, or lifestyle. The actions behind repentance are "Observe, Reflect, and Discuss". And then we are called to further Believe in something that God has set before us or to approach the situation or life itself with a more heavenly mindset. This is done through the actions of "Act, Account, and Plan". This was good insight on how to have continual discipleship within my own life as well as how to disciple others within the Learning Circle.

The second section that I like was Chapter 8 that goes into Up, In, and Out. Specifically in how all three sections need to be balanced within a church. I liked how Breen went in depth on how each church looks when one part of the Triangle is off. I think that is something that I am seeking within my resource team. I think we do Up and In well but we need to be growing in the Out section throughout the year. Really enjoyed this book and the help that it provided me.
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Kevin Stockmann: Leadership Reflection

Post by stockmannk on Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:38 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

I will be honest, part 2 was sort of overwhelming. In Chi Alpha leadership retreats we covered an incredible amount of material in 2-3 days about largely one topic -- forming core groups. And that was a lot. Part two felt like 7 times that. Mainly because of the diversity of things covered in the new "language". Don't get me wrong though, it was incredible and groundbreaking. I love just the different way of looking at it, creating a language to create a culture. I think it's all so brilliant! My favorite concept was the triangle (up, in, out). That is such a good concept, and reminds me a lot actually of the chi alpha anchor values; devotion, community, and responsibility. (Which tells me we're probably doing something right!) The Semi-circle is great to implement in everyday life, not just for ministry but also for life in general. I bonded with that one really well. I found the octagon to be the most confusing, looking for people of peace. I understand the concept, but don't necessarily understand how to implement it outside of just looking for people of peace and being bold in your pursuit of the mission of the gospel. One that I could really use and grow in was the hexagon. I've never had someone break the Lord's prayer down like that before, and have really tried to consider that my prayers should not just look like what jesus said, but to contain those elements.
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Breen Response - Stephen Averitt

Post by S.h.ave on Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:57 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

Mike Breen's definition of "Person of Peace" was intriguing to me. In the past, I've heard people say that a person of peace is someone who, although friendly, might not be receptive to the gospel at first; instead, they lead the evangelist to multiple people who have hearts ready for the gospel. In a way, they say "I'm not interested but you should contact these people. They would definitely be interested." In contrast, Breen's interpretation of a person of peace is someone who will welcome you, listen to you, and serve or support you (p. 120-1). He said that these people are those whose hearts are in the right place to receive the gospel at the moment you speak to them. Breen's focus was to instruct his readers to pursue people of peace instead of people with hard hearts so that the world can be reached quicker. Although I still think the first definition of person of peace is more biblically accurate, I will not discredit what Breen suggests. I think it is imperative to devote the majority of our time and resources towards those who will accept the gospel and grow in it, those who are Faithful, Available, Teachable. What I struggle to understand, however, is how to reconcile spending a lot of time on one believer. Take, for example, Arab Muslims. I have heard it said that on average, Arab Muslims typically need to hear a clear gospel presentation 30 times before coming to faith (whereas Americans typically need around 7 gospel presentations). If we want the world to be saved as fast as possible, would we not pursue those that are the easiest to reach? But if we do so, then would the Arab Muslims ever be reached? I have trouble wrapping my mind around the urgency of the gospel, coupled with wanting to reach even those that take much time. Even Jesus gave the disciples three and a half years. Where do we draw the line between what is strategic and the will of God being every tribe and every tongue?
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Re: Post your Leadership responses here

Post by Jessica Rodriguez on Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Building a Discipleship Culture" (Part 2) below.

Understanding Kairos moments and how to react to them is such an important way to allow room for change and growth. Surrendering to the process of change will allow Jesus to mold and shape us into a form that can be best used by Him, for His glory and for the Kingdom. In that painful process we find true joy and fulfillment in Jesus. Thinking about the Up, In, and Out of my core group really helps me to understand in a concrete, rather than an abstract way, what my girls need to grow in. On another note, page 99-101 were absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. They reminded me that it has been a while since I have seen “God’s smile,” and that God Himself is the greatest gift. This is so relevant to what we have been talking about on staff, at the minister’s conference, and what Todd Lucas preached on last night. God is really speaking to us and reminding us to go back to our first love. I would love to learn more about how to recognize and pursue people of peace. There are some people who I don’t consider people of peace, but who I feel God has led me to love and share Truth with. Should I share Truth with them but not invest in a deep relationship with people who are not POP’s? In addition, the order of working from rest, not resting from our work is incredibly freeing and empowering.
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