2011

THE 5 DECISIONS REVISITED

Jesus is the greatest leader in history. He is God in the flesh and He humbled himself to die for us. One of the most powerful scriptures in the Bible is Philippians 2: 5-11. Here it is:

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Over 10 years ago, I preached a sermon at the church I pastored that impacted a number of people. I have preached that message around the world to leaders. It was called “5 Decisions that will Change your Life” …..or something like that!

I had an experience where one day I declared these 5 decisions. When I told others, many told me how inspired they had been by them. Here they are:

1. I will not Quit!

2. I will not Fail!

3. I will not Die!

4. I will not Fail Morally!

5. I will not Slacken the Pace!

The message was not unbalanced even though some of the decisions seem to be, because I balanced some of the phrases with other concepts. Nonetheless, this set of decisions has helped encourage me and others to keep going through tough times.

Now however, as the years have passed, I think that I need to put down some corollaries that I have been learning the last 10 years or so. I think these are the result of new experiences and more mature reflection.

Jim Collins has written 2 business management books that have been very impacting to me. I recommend them both. They are “Good to Great” and the brand new “Great by Choice”. In them he talks about a model of leadership that is characterized by both Passion (my words, he calls it professional will) and humility. The greatest leaders are people who have unfathomable drive and passion, but also tempered with a humility that truly never focuses on self. That combination (lots of people and leaders have some of 1 or the other) is truly rare in most leadership circles, regardless of the context.

This combination has never been seen in any human being to the degree that it was in Jesus Christ. He is our model of leadership, servanthood, purpose, mission, and life. In light of all this, here are some additions to the 5 decisions.

1. I will Not Quit: Except for the wrong things. I will quit those. I will stay open to change and new learning. When I discover that I am pursuing a wrong goal…..or even a “good” goal that is not a “God” goal or a Great goal….I will quit. I will be willing to follow God toward His mission. But on that mission….I will Not Quit!

2. I will Not Fail: That is ultimately…..I will make mistakes, many of them, and be willing to change when I discover them. There is much trial and error in my life….I am far from perfect. But when I fail in something, I will go back to the drawing board and “fail forward”. I will learn from failure and go forward!

3. I will Not Die: That is prematurely! I trust in God’s power to protect and heal me. I will take wise precautions and not live recklessly. But I will be willing to lay down my life for Christ and His mission, knowing that He and His Great Commission are worth dieing for! One day, should the Lord not return in my lifetime, I will die and see Him face to face.

4. I will Not Fail Morally: I will keep this as my decision, but I also will be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and many times He shows me that I have words, attitudes and actions that do not please Him. His standards are far higher than mine, and I have failed him countless times. I will confess my sins and He is faithful and just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I will also repent of a “morally superior attitude”. I will devote the rest of my life to helping people who have fallen morally to get back up. I will be a restorer, not a judge.

5. I will Not Slacken the Pace: But I will definitely take times to withdraw for a season, as Christ did. I will seek Him and His wisdom. I will take time to learn and counsel with others. I will need His refreshing Spirit and His Word’s wisdom to infuse my life. I will enjoy the journey!

For what its worth, I think these refinements on the decisions may be of help to some.

Passion and Pacing.

Drive and Humility.

Focus on the goals with unrelenting commitment, and forgetting self and a sacrificial spirit.

Leadership the Jesus way.

THE ROAD TO BREAKTHROUGH

In 2008, when I started this blog, I wrote a timeline of the launch of the project. I am reproducing part of that blog here and have added to make it up to date. Breakthrough is happening, but here is a story of the road to breakthrough. God is doing a wonderful work, and any progress is only to His glory and power. We have done a lot of trial and error in the last few years, but the Lord of the harvest has been working His plan all along, through, with and sometimes in spite of us!

Here is a timeline of what has been done to launch this project.

September 2006: David Parish and Randy Travis take intensive training in C.P.M. principles from David Watson in Dallas. The H.C.P.M. concept is born.

October 2006: Randy does research on C.P.M. principles.

November-December 2006: Randy Travis, Keith Travis and Richard Crowder make exploratory trip to Honduras to assess the need and geographical place for H.C.P.M. project.

January 2007: Randy develops initial strategic plan and presents it to David Parish. It is presented to the Board of Directors and the project is approved. Initial launch is projected for the middle of 2007.

March 2007: The decision is made to send Randy and his family to lay the foundation of the project while funding for project is developed.

April 2007: W.M.E. hosts C.P.M. training for missionaries. David Watson trains several missionaries and examines H.C.P.M. strategic plan and gives recommendations which are very helpful.

June 2007: Randy, Linda, Keith and Juanita Travis move to Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras. Residence is established and they begin developing training curriculum and preparing the base.

November-December 2007: Randy, Linda and Keith travel to the United States for the World Missions and Evangelism Conference. While in the U.S. a water well drill is obtained for access ministry. This, along with clothes and other supplies, are shipped to Honduras by missionary Darrel Dakin. The final strategic plan (budget and timeline) are decided.

January-April 2008: The Travis family travels back to Honduras. The base is prepared and the Church Planting team is chosen after extensive interviews and prayer.

April 29, 2008: Church Planting Team arrives at the base.

May-June 2008: Intensive training of church planters. They are taught to ride motorcycles for access into mountain villages. All C.P.M. principles are taught and the team prepares spiritually with much prayer. David Parish visits the team near the end of June and training is finished.

June 25-July 2008: Team does survey trips to plan outreach and then takes a week-long break to visit families. The teams reassemble and deploy the week of July 21.

July 23, 2008: Team enter villages searching for persons of peace. The project begins in the field.

August-November, 2008: The team works very hard. Wells are drilled. Potential persons of peace are identified. Discovery Bible Studies begin. October brings devastating floods to Honduras and the team works in very difficult conditions.

December, 2008: Approximately 25 Discovery Bible Studies have begun, but they are struggling. David Parish comes to Honduras as do David and Paul Watson, who travel to Honduras to meet and train the team. During the training, the team is taught a better way to see the Bible studies organized, and begins to understand some of the CPM tactics in a better way. After the training Parish and the Watson’s return to the US, and at the end of the month, Randy and Linda Travis come back to the US. David P. and Randy meet for a few days to process what they have now learned from the Watsons and to make some tactical adjustments.

January-February, 2009: Randy and Linda Travis return to Honduras and begin to implement several tactical adjustments in the strategy. This leads to both a major rearrangement of the team, as well as experimenting with recordings to aid the DBS studies because of high illiteracy.

March-May, 2009: The tactical changes begin to prove successful. 1st and 2nd generation DBS studies begin. By the end of June, there are 73 studies in the 5 departments where the project is working.

June, 2009: A short term team from Cave Hill Independent Church of God, as well as Daniel Slayden, Ben Holloway, and David Parish, travel to Honduras and conduct a series of access ministries including well drilling, school supply distribution to children in a variety of places, and painting a poor school. The outreach is very successful and the members of the team are blessed. The group returns home excited about what God is doing. By month end, it is discovered that the number of studies are now 73, having tripled since beginning of the year.

June 28, 2009: The government of Honduras is overthrown. The nation lives on the brink of civil war for the next 5 months and full stability is not reestablished until the next president is installed in January 2010. Curfews, riots, conflicts, road blocks and violence become both a danger and a reality in different parts of the country. June 30, the Travis families are chased by a mob and escape only by a gracious deliverance of God. David Parish tells the Travises to leave now. July 1, Randy and Linda, and Keith and Juanita Travis cross the border into Guatemala. Keith and Juanita stay for the next several months in southern Mexico where they spread the cpm vision. Randy and Linda drive to the USA.

July-October, 2009: 2/3rds of the Honduran team are stuck on the eastern side of the country, because they were there on a short break when the overthrow occurred. Travel restrictions hinder a lot of the work during this time. Randy tells them to spread the concept of cpm where they are. Meanwhile, David Parish learns of a new kind of technology called the Megavoice machine that may be useful for the recorded studies. The decision is made to not waste the time, but to use the Travis’ time in the USA to get the studies professionally recorded. A Mexican believer who has been involved in gospel recordings and who Randy had discipled years before, flys to the US. Tommy and Linda King in Mayfield, KY open their hearts to the project and the recordings are made at Tommy’s studio. Almost the entire month of August is devoted to editing the studies which end up being the 24 Level 1 DBS studies and also the Level 2 studies. In September, Randy travels briefly back to Honduras by plane and Richard Crowder drives his truck from the US to Honduras carrying much recording equipment to mass produce the recordings for use in the DBS studies. These begin to be used widely. In a short few months hundreds of the recordings are distributed and many DBS studies begin. However, we would later learn, that because of the problems in travel and follow up, the team was not able to really mentor the new groups and most of the new studies did not endure.

November, 2009: A pivotal moment. Randy flys to Honduras again. This time he conducts a training in the eastern part of the country where the 2/3rds team had been working a great deal. At this training a key leader receives the teaching with eagerness. We call him, “Beto” and this man will prove to be one of the most effective implementers of cpm strategy we have ever met.

December, 2009: “Beto” begins his first DBS as a training DBS for leaders. 8 new leaders are trained who will be very effective workers.

January-February, 2010: The government situation in Honduras completely stablizes and Randy’s and Keith’s families return. When they get back they see the toll that the last few months have had on the project. The difficulty in travel and the lack of ability to mentor has reduced the project to less than 40 DBS groups in the west. Reports from the east with “Beto” are better, but the project seems to be in a difficult and uncertain position.

March-June, 2010: The team dusts off, regroups, learns about mentoring in more effective ways and pushes forward. David P. spends much of June in California with the Cityteam organization and learns key insights on mentoring which can be passed on to the team.

July, 2010: David leads a small team back to Honduras and they encourage the team and are encouraged to see the progress being made. Reports at this point show that there are nearly 90 DBS groups in the west (and possibly 70 DBS groups in the East). (Also due to Keith’s work in southern Mexico and a January training trip there there are some DBS groups in Mexico….this work has continued on and off and we are not counting any of them in our current reports….this may change later).

August-December, 2010: The team tenaciously works the process of CPM strategy. Some areas experience religious persecution. By end of the year, 2 people connected with the overall work have been killed, for unknown reasons. 1 is a worker who was trained in Mexico….killed in Guatemala. Another (killed during this period or not long into 2011) is a participant in one of the DBS groups. The reasons are not, to our knowledge, the connection to the project, but rather just an example of the spiritual warfare involved.

January, 2011: David P. returns to Cityteam in California and receives some additional advice from David Watson. Then he travels to Honduras. He brings with him David Hunt’s dissertation describing the Church Planting Movements happening in the Horn of Africa since 2005. Randy, Keith, and David spend extensive time studying this document to glean new principles or tactics and certain areas are addressed to insure that the project is not overlooking critical elements of CPM.

February-March, 2011: CHURCHES!!!!
It is at this time that we learn of emerging breakthrough. Some people are accepting Christ, willing to form into churches. The first baptisms in the project occur.

April, 2011: David and a small team travel to Honduras. A training for 2 groups occurs in the state of Olancho. A leadership seminar for the primary team follows in Santa Barbara, and then another training for 3 groups happens in Trujillo. The trainers are Randy, Keith and David, along with the Honduran team. Those who have been workers in the villages (and they continue in this role) are now becoming trainers of others.
The progress is assessed.
There are 61 churches and over 100 DBS groups ongoing in the entire nation as a result of the efforts. The area where churches are multiplying is very encouraging. It begins to appear that CPM level could be reached by end of year.
“CPM LEVEL: 100 CHURCHES, 3 GENERATIONS DEEP, WITHIN 2 YEARS”

May-October, 2011: Work continues and progresses. This year the primary team is decentralized into different parts of the country (This began earlier this year).
Randy, Keith, and David spend a good deal of June in California at the Cityteam consultation on CPM with leaders connected to 54 countries. Work begins on a 6-7 year strategic plan.

In late June, the 300 Prayer team is formed, and prayer begins to increase for the work!

In July, 3 more men are killed. 2 are pastors who were to be trained in CPM that very day by “Beto”, gunned down in shootout between criminals and the police. Another was what appeared to be a key contact in a new department.

Persecution and religious pressure is directed toward many groups and people that are in the DBS groups.

During this 6 month period there is a combination of Planning, Prayer, Persecution, and Pressure. AND MULTIPLICATION OF CHURCHES!
Assessment begins to take place to see what is happening.

November, 2011: Reports of what God is doing are coming in and we stand in amazement.
A Church Planting Movement has begun.
Today we believe that there are 159 Churches. Churches and DBS groups are touching over 6,000 people we believe. Hundreds have been baptized.

131 of the Churches represent a downline of church multiplication 3 generation deep and track back to the training in November 2009. Just 2 years ago.

98 Churches have been planted in the last 6 months, since April!

There is much to do…..it is only the beginning. We are praying and believing for thousands of churches and hundreds of thousands of obedient disciples….but breakthrough has begun!

Please Keep Praying. Please Keep Supporting.

God is doing a great thing in Honduras!

God is Moving!

This year, 2011, WME has set the phrase “MOVING FORWARD” as its theme. The Lord impressed this to my mind, I believe, very strongly and I wrote about it in the first blog note of this year.

It is hard to believe that the year is now drawing toward a close. Can it really be just a couple of weeks till Thanksgiving? And Christmas and the New Year is just around the corner. And as the year is winding down, we are getting amazing reports from the Honduras Church Planting Movement Project. We have called this the year of “Moving Forward”, but all I can say right now is “God is Moving” and praise Him for all that He is doing.

This month we are doing an assessment of what has happened this year and will be reporting some wonderful things on this blog before year end. But as an example, let’s just talk about what happened yesterday!

On the home front, I shared about the work at one of our partnering churches, and more than 20 people signed up to be a part of the Prayer Team that we call the 300 Group. (You can join the prayer team by sending me an email at dparish9@cs.com and saying that you want to join the team. You will then get prayer requests from the Honduras work sent to you each week. Pray 5 minutes a day for the work……together, hours of prayer are happening each day for God’s Kingdom to advance in Honduras).

In Honduras, HCPM team member Mario was leading a new Discovery Bible Study and 5 people decided to follow Christ! A new church was being born in a Honduras village!

People are praying and others are being saved and becoming disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ!

GOD IS MOVING!

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