Welcome to new subscribers!
We’ve had lots of new subscribers to the LK10 Newsletter recently. 42 in November and 29 already in December. And, more than 150 people asking about our Church 101 Course since the first of November. So, I thought it would be helpful for you all to hear one person’s experience with Church 101.
I had asked Rob King to contact a new subscriber in the Northwest. He copied me on the email he sent to this person. I thought it was so helpful I asked Rob if I could share it with you all.
Rob’s experience with Church 101.
The truth is, I was roped into this thing they called Church 101, by an old friend I had reconnected with. My friend lives in San Diego and I live in the Portland, Oregon area, (Aloha to be exact). So, I got this email inviting me to a conference call with my friend and a bunch of people I didn’t even know. (JW: Notice how this spreads geographically.)
The first night was session one. I did the homework and thought, “Well, this is pretty simplistic.” but I got on the call, anyway. During the call, we did something called, “Checking in” where we shared how we were feeling and what was going on with us. After that we went over the lesson. We talked about what we got out of it and then we spent about four minutes of listening to God. After which we shared what we heard.
Now, like you, I have started and lead many small groups in the past 20 some years. I’ve lead worship, taught studies, and participated in some awesome times in God’s presence. Plus, I hear from God all the time, so I wasn’t expecting anything new. Even checking in was not that unusual. Except . . . we were on the phone. (JW: On the phone, on a video call, face to face… it all works.)
What I experienced was a very profound. First off, during the simple process of “checking in” with each other, I experienced open honest feelings and struggles and I was able to safely share mine. Second, the period of listening to God was intense. I have never felt the presence of God on the phone with total strangers! I kept thinking, “How is this possible?” Then I thought, “Omnipresence, dummy!”.
Here is what I got out of my experience with Church 101: First, these two rhythms, checking in and listening to God are really simple. In some ways, really basic. But very critical and very powerful. Which means really easy to teach; a simple approach to doing something that anyone can do and teaching something that anyone can learn. (JW: Only that which is simple can multiply rapidly.)
I have since led or co-lead at least five Church 101 courses since my first. Almost every time, I hear someone say they didn’t know that they could hear from God. I’m talking veteran followers of Jesus.
Another thing I heard several times was, “Is that all? I can do that.” Not only did they realize that they could do AND teach these two rhythms, but they could start their own simple church/small group and have no training, title or degree. You don’t need permission to meet with friends, share your hearts and hear form Jesus. But, that is church. (JW: Our definition of simple church… a way of doing/being church where any follower of Jesus could say, “I could do that!”)
Since then, I have become close to the strangers on the phone-even though I have yet to meet them face-to-face, (weird, huh? Well, we did start using Google Hangouts). I have also experiences a deeper walk through accountability with a CO2 partner and my phone/hangouts church friends. And-oh, I even started a simple/house church using, yep, the Church 101 course. (JW: Rob is part of our West Coast Leader Team.)
The bottom line on why I think this course and the LK 10 ministry are significant, is based on the whole idea that anyone can do church just by lowering the bar of qualification and education and raising the bar of accountability and commitment to following Jesus.
My suggestion to you is to find someone you can be a “church of two” with and go through the sessions together. If you have more friends or you want to approach your small group leader, that’s up to you. What have you go to lose, right? I mean, yeah, you could go apostate and become a fanatical cult . . . or not.
I hope that helps. If you have any questions/concerns feel free to contact me. If you want to experience the course before you jump in, I might be able to swing some kind of on-line Church 101. But it’s really not that complex. And that’s the point.
With Jesus, go for it!