5 Keys to Releasing The Sacramental Jesus in Others
Jul 26 2017

5 Keys to Releasing The Sacramental Jesus in Others

If I spent a day with you, what would I discover? If I took a 3-day train ride with you, how would I describe you when we arrived at the station?

Sacramental identity is the unique presence of Christ in you, a God-combo of your Psalm 139 knitting together and your baptism-day-Holy-Spirit washing. It is the predestined, divinely patented you, ordained by your Creator Father for His purposes in the world. In sacramental terms, it is the sacramental Jesus in you, the real presence of Jesus wrapped in your bread and wine.

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Community Development, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Christian Entrepreneurs
A Focus on Baptism
Jun 22 2017

A Focus on Baptism

Four years ago, as I was sitting at the O2 Conference (then called the wiki conference), I was struck as speaker and founder of FiveTwo, Bill Woolsey spoke about baptisms.  He stated that his church always had goals for baptisms, and prayed that God would use them to baptize 10% of their average weekend service attendance. 

This launched a conversation around our Leadership Team about our baptismal prayer to the Lord each year. We too, boldly pray that we will be able to baptize at least 10% of our attendance at weekend services.  But, we also then began to pray as Lutheran’s that 10% of all our baptisms each year would be adults. 

Read More By Greg Griffith, Lead Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church & School-Macomb, MI in Community Development
The Critical Step of Partnering with Your Community
Jun 15 2017

The Critical Step of Partnering with Your Community

When we teach the Business Model Canvas process in our incubator, we stress how the “Partners” box is one of the three most important boxes.  Why? Because we believe in the power of team, because we believe your cause ought to be bigger than just you, and because your Kingdom impact is multiplied when you partner with others outside of your organization.

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Community Development, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Startups
Coffee & Worship in Michigan
May 24 2017

Coffee & Worship in Michigan

What would it be like to have to drive 2 hours to get to church?  Would you make it every Sunday? Now, add 5 feet of snow to your drive.  Would you be in the pew?  That drive is what faced many Lutheran’s in St. Ignace, MI.  It was that drive, or meeting in a local hotel conference room.  

Read More By Amanda Herr, Marketing & Communications Director, FiveTwo Network in Community Development, Christian Entrepreneurs
My Name is B.
May 11 2017

My Name is B.

OUTREACH REPORT-Elli's House 313
"We saw another young girl walking on the side streets. When we approached her, she immediately put her hands up, and said she didn't want anything from us. She appeared very nervous and was always looking over her shoulder. A man pulled up in a vehicle, beeped at her, and she immediately left our vehicle. About 10 minutes later, she saw us driving, and waved us down. She told us she could take the food now. We gave her a coat, food, and hygiene items. I asked what her name was, and she wouldn't tell me. When we drove away, I told her "Jesus loves you." She looked back at us and said, "My name is B."

Read More By Amanda Herr, Marketing & Communications Director, FiveTwo Network in Community Development, Christian Entrepreneurs
Repositioning for New Growth
Mar 23 2017

Repositioning for New Growth

One of my great joys of 2016 was being in Austin, Texas with all of the FiveTwo Network leaders - hearing the joys and challenges of planting and renewal in your movement.   It was an honour and privilege to share with you the story of the over 8,000 closed churches in our Anglican 'Church of England' and also the way in which we saw Alpha become our key church planting tool in re-opening some 50 closed, historic churches in that context.  Writing to you now from Montreal, Canada I am renewed in my faith that these lessons may indeed provide some key tools for us here in North America.

Read More By Rev. Graham Singh, St. Jax, Montreal, Quebec in Community Development, Christian Entrepreneurs
Creating Small, Impactful Groups for Your Community
Feb 22 2017

Creating Small, Impactful Groups for Your Community

It happened week 4 of our small group meeting together at a next door pancake house. Near the close of our meeting we asked our waitress, who had been serving us the past few weeks, if there was anything we could pray about for her. It was a simple question, but it made an impact.

She first stepped back, cast a surprised look, and then quickly replied, “Yes. I have a couple things you can pray about.” Later she enthusiastically asked if she could share a third request. Of course we said, “Yes!” After the first exchange she left our table with a tear in her eye. She also expressed, “You’ve made my day!”

I’ll never forget the look on our faces. We were all somewhat stunned at our waitress’ response. We then talked about how amazing it would be if we could have more groups from our church meeting in restaurants/public spaces throughout our community, building relationships with guests/patrons/staff, all-the-while sharing the love of Jesus.

Read More By Craig Mattes, FiveTwo Network Catalyst Coordinator in Community Development
4 Practices I Do To Deepen The Presence of Christ in Me
Feb 2 2017

4 Practices I Do To Deepen The Presence of Christ in Me

It’s one of the most difficult Christian tenets for the non-Christian to believe: Jesus is really present in you and me. Yet Paul says clearly: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) This verse depicts the depth of sacramental faith. Jesus is really present in the life of the believer.

It shouldn’t be that difficult to grasp, I guess. You’ve heard the truism – “You become who you hang with.” When I spend time with you, you rub off on me. Or as Carl Jung said, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

Read More By Bill Woolsey, Executive Director, FiveTwo Network in Community Development
Reaching the Atheist in an Urban Setting
Jan 26 2017

Reaching the Atheist in an Urban Setting

Is there a reason to stay in relationship with people if they don’t, or won’t, think like you? Is it a waste of time? Are we “casting the pearl before the swine?” 

We don’t continue to serve people through relationship to convert them; we continue to serve people through relationship with them because we are converted. The average city dweller is likely to believe something about spirituality, politics, sexuality, and any other controversial topic. If you are a Christ follower, it gets even more complicated. Now, where there are differences in beliefs, there is a never ending, relentless ulterior motive- save the lost! Unfortunately, this has been translated into “get them to think like me.” And as long as believing what we believe means a person is saved, then we will never see a lasting bridge built from the heart of the Christian to the atheist.  Reaching the atheist in the urban setting does not mean the radical left become more conservative, the gay become straight, or the doubts and questions go away. The atheist and the Christian will continue to live separate lives as long as we think in these terms. The key, I believe, is understanding what the ultimate goal is, and never making the ultimate goal our ulterior motive. 

Read More By Preston Ulmer, Lead Pastor/Founder of The Doubters Church in Community Development