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The Big Mo!

By Wayne Pierce

Acts 1:4-8-“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'”

Act 2:39-41-“For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

From 12 disciples, to 120 praying in the upper room, to 3,000 added in one day. That would be what we call momentum. Was what they had different? Was the message of Peter that powerful? Or did they just believe what they saw?

The early movement of believers had just received the gift of the Holy Spirit and what many believe was a true Jesus encounter after He had ascended. We as believers have that same gift and may not have had a Jesus encounter. So how can we experience Jesus and see that same growth and momentum? 

One way of experiencing a true Jesus encounter is by participating in a Short Term Mission trip (STJ). This can be to another part of your city, your state, your country, or what is even more valuable, a trip abroad. 

When we get out of our comfortable daily routine and see both the needs, but also see needs being met, our spiritual eyes are opened. We see the work of others spreading the Gospel of love to what Peter called, “a crooked generation.” We open our hearts to receive power, and we participate in spreading that love along side those that God has called to that particular region or place. Thru this we find ourselves experiencing Jesus, by His spirit without even speaking their language, just as they did on that blessed day written about in Acts. I am not implying that going on a mission trip will have you speaking in another language. What I am saying is you will experience God in a way that only you can explain because of His spirit. 

When you return back to your “comfortable daily routine” your spiritual eyes cannot remain closed. Sharing the good news of what you saw, did, and encountered during that STJ will change you, empower you, and drive you to prayer. That prayer and sharing can only lead to God moving among you (and those that went with you) in your local church. We at H2T know prayer is essential. We also know that prayer led by passion gained on mission leads to momentum. Connect with us before your next STJ so you and your church can experience momentum that leads to growth.

The Strategy for RESOURCING Your Ministry Part 1 – Personnel

by Wayne Dinsbeer, Church Partnership Lead

One of the most important factors which plays a major part in the accomplishing of ministry goals and objectives is to have each aspect of the goal properly resourced.

Nothing kills the excitement and momentum built by the promotion of a great ministry initiative than to have it fail to get through the approval process due to lack of resources.

Just as critical as the vision and passion behind the plan is the strategy to resource the plan with the right people. We have all seen situations where someone is trying to do something for which they have no training or knowledge. It is usually a disaster.

Many times the enthusiasm to move a project or ministry forward causes leadership to make wrong selections for people to do the work. I have been a Christian Ed Director and know that putting just anyone in a class of Elementary Boys does not work out for the good of the Boys or the Volunteer. This is not a formula for “Burn Out” but for “Run Out”.

The key to the success of any ministry endeavor is getting “The Right People in the Right Seat”, a phrase from the book Traction.  One of the ways to accomplish this is to know the people who God has placed within the ministry. You see, God does not give  the Pastor or Missionary a Vision for which He does not Resource His ministry to fulfill.

How well do you know the people working with and around you? Do you know their Strengths and Weaknesses? Are you aware of the Passions and Abilities? Have you discovered their Experiences and Expertises? Much of this knowledge comes from having a relationship with people.

Another great tool to use in discovering the talents others have with whom you serve is to conduct a Spiritual Gift Survey. Their responses to a battery of questions asked in it will help guide you to a better awareness of how God has most likely gifted them. From experience I know that it is better to ask someone to serve in an area where they are gifted and have a desire and passion to be, as opposed to just the opposite being the case.

Personnel is one of the most critical components to proper resourcing of any ministry and work endeavor. It can make or break the success of the task. Be sure you get the right person in the right seat as you resource your work.

Boxes or Spaghetti

The Mindset of Partnership by Stefanie Nicholson

Not too long after I got married, Bryan and I watched a great marriage seminar from Mark Gungor, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”. In one of the sessions Mark very humorously explained the way men and women’s brains are wired. Men have a box for everything: A work box, a family box, a sports box, even a nothing box. While women have spaghetti brains where everything is related and connected like a plate of spaghetti. Our brains have done a similar thing to missions. We have created a completely
different box for that, separate from the rest of the church’s strategy and vision.

Whether we have done it intentionally or not, there is an understood ‘US vs THEM’ thinking when it comes to missionaries and missions. “The local church work is for ‘us’ and the global work is for ‘them’”.

As we continue to develop our partnership mindset we need to be more like the plate of spaghetti; connecting every piece of missions to our entire church. How do we create a ‘Spaghetti’ plan for missions in our local churches?

Having a ‘spaghetti’ mindset church begins early by creating clear expectations and providing avenues of learning and practice as a regular part of who they are. Every area of ministry feeds into the idea that we are learning in order to serve, both in our everyday lives or as a profession. This type of ministry execution allows everyone to understand their role in evangelism and discipleship both near and far.

Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have when it comes to matters of the heart and the mind. If we ever want to have completely changed habits, we must ask God to  *‘[transform our hearts] by the renewing of our minds, so that we can discern what is good, pleasing and perfect will of God’.

*Matthew 24:14 lays out exactly just how big the task at hand is, “This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  A vision this big requires everyone to be involved, not just a fraction of the church body.

Let’s begin to ask God where we can switch from the BOX mentality to the SPAGHETTI model of missions.

*Romans 12:2 CSB edition

*Matthew 24:14 CSB edition

The Importance of ‘GO’ing During COVID

By Bryan Nicholson

During these days of COVID when the world has been turned upside down I’ve noticed something somewhat precarious, although completely understood, in the church. With all of the uncertainty, new rules and just plain trying to figure out how to keep the doors open, missions has almost been completely forgotten. There is no doubt that a whole load of new issues has been dumped in the lap of every church’s leadership and I certainly commend you all in your ability to “roll with the punches”. However, it seems as though it was just a little too easier for our churches to shut off and shrink back into themselves.
So, how can we do better going forward? Step one in these new times and as much as I hate to say it the “New Normal” it will be difficult to find answers to all of our questions. God is still sovereign and so seeking His guidance is always the first step. We know that COVID didn’t catch him off guard so it’s very likely that we can depend on God to guide us through these new challenges.
I think Paul helps us to remember step two.

“…as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Paul was going through a difficult time as it appears he wasn’t getting much support from any churches other than the Thessalonians. What we see is a mutually beneficial relationship. I really like Paul’s reasoning for why it’s important that the church continues to partner and support him though. “More credited to your account.” “God will meet all your needs.” This reminds me of the woman who gave all she had to the church. We think of all of these different reasons about why to give and I’m sure they are all valid in some way. But, she gave out of obedience. Our reason needs to be the same. We continue to focus on missions out of obedience not convenience.

Do you want God to meet all your needs according to His riches? Paul gives us the recipe. So let’s not neglect this fundamental aspect of the church because it’s hard or we don’t know how to do it. Seek God’s direction and ask us to help you figure it out. Let’s do this together.


Several years ago a friend registered to compete in a local marathon. She spent hours and hours training, eating correctly and working with a team to better her time. I can remember after her race, she was exhausted and sore. What I didn’t expect was the emotional and mental ‘high’ she was on from completing this feat. She couldn’t stop talking about the race and the feeling of accomplishment and immediately started looking for her next challenge, which was a triathlon. She invited me to join her in the training and competition. I laughed and walked away. Well, she didn’t stop asking me and telling me that I would love it.

I finally gave in … and she was correct. I LOVED IT. It was hard work, early hours, crazy training sessions, better eating habits. But, when I crossed the finish line, and realized I was still alive and breathing, I FELT IT! I knew exactly what my friend was talking about. THE HIGH! After I crawled to the car, put ice on everything and took a nap, I started looking up my next race. For the next 5 years, I trained and competed on repeat. (and came in second once)

I strongly believe partnership between churches and missionaries are the same. To work hand in hand with the missionary or ministry is far different than watching them do it. To get to know the people they serve changes your understanding of what they do. Your participation in the work helps you see how difficult, but amazing it is. Your personal relationship with the team helps you see the stress and emotional struggles their location or ministry brings and their need for greater support.

YDKWYDK – You don’t know what you don’t know.

Your missionaries may have invited you to come visit them, join in on a special project, connect with a specific team leader, take lead on a program or ministry… but it seemed like too much work or something you weren’t too sure about or even scared of. Can I challenge you to just TRY IT? IF THIS IS YOU, or your church, God has positioned you for ‘such a time as this’ to see Him at work in a new way you’ve never known. Start your journey in prayer, asking God to give you a vision to see His plans and His ways. Ask God to give you a burden for what he’s calling you into. Ask Him for faith to follow his invitation. Pray that your church would also catch the burden for the lost, for the hurting for the needy. Pray that your church would see their part to make disciples of all nations, both near or far. Pray that your church would be obedient to where God is leading

Take a step of faith and see what doors might open up for you. You might just enjoy it!

by Stefanie Nicholson

The Impact of Prayer in Ministry Strategy

by Wayne Dinsbeer

No true follower of Christ, especially a leader of a ministry, would ever discount the validity and power of Prayer in the life of a Christian. Great sermons have been preached and Bible Studies taught about the importance and priority of prayer in our lives. We understand the admonition to pray without ceasing and the promise of fervent prayer avails much.

So why is it that most churches fail to have a systematic structure and plan for organized prayer in the church or ministry? It is very common for ministries to have structured, organized strategies for Bible Study, Discipleship, and Outreach. But Prayer is an “On Your Own” thing.

Whenever Here2There is asked to have a part in the work of a church our first order of business is the establishment of a concerted prayer effort for whatever the purpose is for our participation. A church in Nolensville, Tenn. asked us to come help them establish a Missions component in their church. We told the Pastor we would organize a Prayer Team ministry and also a Missions Team to get this path started.

The first visit to this church we met with a few selected leaders the pastor had invited to an introduction of H2T dinner at his home. As we shared our plan to start with the development of a Prayer Team and Missions Team present that night were two members who had a burden, passion, and experience leading both of these areas in previous churches. God immediately began to work as these two took charge with our training, much to the Pastors surprise.

Within 12 months this church took six members to Nicaragua on a Short Term Journey and identified their first mission work to support.

This was not the work of Here2There. It was the work of the Lord as intentional Prayer was organized in this church and as a Missions Team targeted a strategy and path to get started.

At Here2There one of our core values is that “Nothing Happens Without Prayer”. Another small congregation desired a thriving ministry. H2T helped them establish an organized Prayer Team Ministry. Two leaders were trained. A core team of 12 members were recruited and trained. Within a year this grew to 36 trained members of the Prayer Team. Their work has revolutionized this church and added a new spark of God’s presence and power to each service.

Intentional Prayer is so vital to the development, planning, implementation, and function of any and all parts of the ministry of the church or mission. Failing to invite members to systematically lift up to the Father any area of the work is leaving out a most important ingredient to the strategy mix. This week we will focus on this most important part of Strategy – PRAYER.


What Covid-19 taught me about partnerships

I revel in the fact that I go against the flow. Yes, it got me in trouble (a lot), but it also helped me not give in to peer pressure, cultural norms or false expectations put on me by others. One of the biggest challenges, with this independence, has been in marriage. My life was so independent and ‘fine’ that when God handed me this amazing man, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the teamwork and support system that came along with it. Thankfully this amazing man is much better at ‘go with the flow’ than me, and allows me to work through these moments of struggle by giving me lots of grace. For me there is a constant battle between the independent person and the idea of two becoming one.

Fast forward to the last couple of weeks when my amazing man tested positive for COVID-19. This wonderful man, his generous help (physically and emotionally) have been sick and out of commission. The first couple of days were no big deal, my old nature was ready to take on the world and handle this like a champ. One week in and I am missing my partner. Not just the fact that he is the best dishwasher in the world, but the parts where we take on the world together. The times where he listens to my crazy ideas and last minute planning and says, ‘yes, let’s do it’ and encourages me in my dreams and vision.

Don’t you want someone to take on the world with you? Don’t you want someone to love your cause, and throw all their time and effort into it as much as you do?

That’s how I see the relationship between the church and missionaries. They are no longer two separate forces pulling in the opposite direction asking the other to drop what they are doing and join them. No, they have joined forces, combined visions and resources and expanded their ability to reach more people, with a greater force and a better strategy. Yes, the tension to adapt will be high at times during the learning and growing phase, but it is through those times that the partnerships get solidified and become stronger and more intentional.

I cannot recall the thought, “I can do this all on my own” ever crossing my mind. It wasn’t something I had to think about, it was just second nature to me and naturally embedded in my heart. So, to identify the starting place was nearly impossible. But I knew it was there and I needed to deal with it. So, a few years ago I began each morning by praying Psalms 139:23-24. “Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me and lean me in the way everlasting.” It was then that God began to show me the specific areas of my selfish-independent nature and I was able to confess my sin specifically and ask for forgiveness and healing.

Whether you are church or missionary, the fact is, you need each other.

Yes, you are probably doing ‘fine’ just like you are, but wouldn’t you be better if you had someone to join you in the journey?

Take time to evaluate your current partnerships and see if you are silo’s working independently or a powerhouse working together.

Stefanie Nicholson

Creating A Sending Culture

Ok, so, you’re in a church and want to see people making life changing decisions for God. You want your church to be a place where ordinary people come in and missionaries go out. But how do you create such an environment?

It may not be as hard as you think. Of course, something that I’ve learned throughout my relatively few years is that even though something might be easy, nothing is ever easy. Your church might have a number of “roadblocks” to get to this place but I think a lot of that has to do with the way that we’ve structured our churches these days.

Without further ado, how to create a sending culture in your church. Pat Hood, author of The Sending Church, outlines 6 heartshifts that are critical to becoming a sending church.

  1. Imagine a Jesus Movement-Imagine what God could do if all of our churches thought missionally. More importantly, imagine if all of the sending churches worked together and encouraged, prayed for and learned from each other(this is basically what Here2there has created our H2T Network for).
  2. Start Thinking Upstream-Churches have a responsibility to send people and stay in their lives.
  3. Think And Act Like A Missionary-If you were on the mission field how close would you want your churches to be to your work? The church must be connected to the work being done.
  4. Join What God Is Already Doing-God has a specific, strategic plan for every church and every believer in every church. Seek the Holy Spirit to find out where they are leading.
  5. Discover Your Church DNA-God has filled your church with the people that He intended to be there. Find out who they are, what they do, what they love and what they are good at. There’s a good chance that will lead you to the WHAT of your church’s calling.
  6. Collaborate-Find other churches who are sending and learn from them(again, the H2T Network is designed to help out in this way).

Let’s take a look at the very first sending church. Acts 13:2 says, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”(NKJV)

Some other versions say the church was worshiping the Lord so I looked up the original language to find out more. The phrase ‘ministered to’ was translated from the original Greek word leitourgeo. It is defined as doing a service or performing a work which apparently has three different possible meanings the most likely of which in this case praying or teaching or aiding other’s with resources.

The way I see it the church in Antioch was doing one of two things or possibly both. Either they were together in prayer to God seeking guidance on what the church should do or they were or they were doing works of service aiding people with what God had given them.

If we look at the prayer option we see that prayer has again and again been the catalyst for the expansion of missions at minimum 3 different times in the history of Christianity. Lifepoint Church in The Sending Church held a sacred gathering that called the church together for specific prayer asking the Holy Spirit for direction and that led to a large number of people feeling the same call that Paul and Barnabas heard.

If we look at the works of service option we see that the church was in the community focusing on their “Jerusalem” so-to-speak.

Either way, the church in Antioch was not focused on just meeting together and being fed spiritually. They were either focused on God in prayer or focused on their neighbors in service.


What is your church doing to point people to the mission of God? Is your church more of a come-and-see or come-and-pray/do?

Outlawed Grief

It’s seems like that is all we have done for the last couple of months. Some have handled it well, yet others are struggling with these new ways of life. We are not sure what to do with all the loss that we have encountered. Do we just accept it and move on, do we spend hours and days wallowing in our sorrow, do we tell everyone we know. Is there a template or protocol we should be using when we incur such tragedy and loss?

Have you ever seen grief outlawed? Have you ever felt like grief was just simply not allowed? Like it was wrong and breaking some unwritten rules?

People outlaw grief through pithy (and useless) sayings: “He’s in a better place,” or, “It will all work out in the end,” or, “At least it wasn’t any worse,” or, “Don’t be sad about what you lost, be grateful for what you had.” Basically, folks communicate to the griever that they should not be sad—that their grief is not right or welcome. 

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