Hello Family & Friends:
What a year 2019 has been!
At the beginning of 2018, the Lord deeply impressed upon our hearts the word “Forward” – that we needed to move forward as a family in faith to the new work the Lord has given us in M3 Ministries.
At the beginning of this year, 2019, the Lord began to form within us the idea of “Fruitfulness” – to bear fruit – that the moving forward in 2018 was all about doing the things we needed to do to really blossom and grow in 2019.
And fruitfulness is exactly what we experienced throughout this year…
THE WATER TO WINE NETWORK
The heart behind our initial ministry – the Water to Wine Network – was to connect people who share a common journey to a caring community. We continue to watch in amazement as this network expands and grows.
The place where most people initially connect to the network is through The Water to Wine Facebook Group. This group currently is made-up of 1326 members with 45 countries represented. It is designed to be a safe space for people searching for a more Christlike Christianity to experience the love of Christ from the body of Christ.
It is through this group that we make more personal connections with people from all over the country and all over the world. We simply make ourselves available as a resource and a relationship for those who need someone to walk and talk with them through whatever they may be going through. In many ways there is no limit to how far-reaching this network could go, as our conversations range from personal and pastoral issues to long-term church partnership and planting opportunities.
In June we participated once again in the second annual Water to Wine Gathering at Word of Life Church here in St. Joseph, MO. It is surreal to think that the vision the Lord gave us for bringing people together who are on a similar journey and helping them connect to a caring community has now come to fruition for the second year in a row!
At this gathering of around 250 men and women we were able to meet new people, reconnect with relationships formed over this past year, discuss new possibilities and partnerships, promote M3, and find great encouragement and renewal through our time together.
And it is through this Network that came one of the greatest fruits of 2019…
THE JESUS COHORT
In September we launched our most expansive project to date: The Jesus Cohort – a one-year journey into the story and significance of Jesus in the 21st century.
Even though we had been working on and eagerly anticipating the beginning of the Cohort for well over a year, the group of people the Lord brought together has gone far beyond anything we could have imagined!
We were praying for 12-15 participants for our pilot year. We were blessed with 20 amazing men and women from all over the country – from the west coast in California to the nation’s capital in Washington D. C. – from the Deep South through the Midwest to the North – and a contingent from Canada.
Our yearlong journey together began September 6-7 with a face-to-face gathering around Brian Zahnd’s Prayer School at Word of Life Church here in St. Joseph. This is one of those experiences that will stay with us forever. We were in awe of the level of intimacy, transparency, and vulnerability a group of people meeting for the first time were immediately willing to show each other. This time together built the relational bonds that set the stage for our weekly online gatherings.
Each week we meet for our online conferences. During these two hour sessions we center our discussions around how Christ and His kingdom form us into faithful followers of Jesus in the whole of our lives – in our character and conduct, in our communities and culture.
These online times become the basis for personal conversations throughout the week about specific issues, family matters, pastoral leadership, and future church partnerships and planting (two of the members of the Cohort are in the initial stages of starting new churches). To say the least, these meetings are one of the highlights of our week.
PARTNERING FOR PROGRESS
So many good things have been happening through M3. We are experiencing fruitfulness from the Lord. And we anticipate even more as we head into 2020.
The progress that we have made over this past year has been made possible through your partnership with us. We cannot tell you enough how thankful we are for you and for your willingness to join us as we…
(1) prepare the next generation of church leaders to learn, live, and lead others in the Jesus Way – through THE JESUS COHORT,
(2) provide a caring community for people who share a common journey – through THE WATER TO WINE NETWORK, and
(3) promote an ongoing conversation about the health and vitality of the church – through the (upcoming) “FOR THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH” PODCAST.
May the Lord continue to richly reward you with the fullness of the light and life and love of Jesus our Lord!