Latest Thoughts

The Engine Under The Hood

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Here's a vid about the engine under our hood, the fuel for our movement.  Enjoy!

 

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Great Entrepreneurial Insights From John Legend

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

John Legend might be a legend in the music industry, but what can a sacramental entrepreneur learn from him?  Read the article and I suspect you'll see the possibilities in John Legend's story.

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4 Daily Preps For A Hindu World

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

When you look out the window or through your www lens, scanning your neighborhood, community, even the pews of your church, what do you see?  I see a Hindu world.  Especially in the US.

Hindus believe in many gods.  They’re functionally astute, relying on one or the other depending on the situation.  No hierarchy needed.  Just performance and unique applicability.

The US is a Hindu nation.  In fact many of those who worship with you are de facto Hindu.

Sacramental entrepreneurs — men and women seeking to start new in order to reach new people for Jesus — who grasp this reality tend to be better prepared to face the facts of a post-Christian culture.  They live with less shock and more joy, not because of the false beliefs but because they know what to do about them.

Let me suggest 4 daily preps for those of us tackling a Hindu world.

1.  Recite.  As in “I’m a baptized son/daughter of the King!”  Your baptism brought the mysteries of Jesus to bear in your real time and space.  It secured your identity.  You’re not Hindu.  You believe in one, true God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  One true God into whose name you were born in baptism.  Remember that.  Daily.

2.  Read.  As in God’s Word.  Read some portion of it.  A verse, a paragraph, a page.  Let it soak in and seep in so that God’s Spirit steeps in you.  Strong and stout like Irish breakfast tea that puts hair on your chest.  You’ll be surprised how this Word will come to mind over the minutes and miles ahead.

3.  Reflect.  As in pray over your day’s appointments and people.  What opportunities to start new for Jesus will be provided to you?  New insights, new thinking, new relationships.  Who will Jesus allow you to disciple today?  Will you be looking for that — purposeful, intentional?

4.  Respect.  As in All.  Everyone.  Hindu or hedonist.  Protestant or pagan.  Catholic or communist.  Matters not the country or color or cause. Prepare for the day intending to show respect to everyone you meet.  Be Jesus.  Better yet, let Jesus be through you.  It’s the sacramental way.

It’s a Hindu world out there, friends.  It’s a world that needs new ministries reaching new Hindu people.  Because Hindu’s not where it’s at.  It’s at Jesus.

Which R do you need to sharpen?  Which one do you need to start?  Put your thoughts in the comments.

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3 Steps To Make Jesus Go Viral

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

What makes a YouTube video go viral? In a TED Talk from a few years ago, Kevin Allocca from YouTube argues that there are three key factors: Tastemakers, communities of participation and unexpectedness. (Check out the TED video here.)

Maybe you’ve had that moment…you stumble on a gut-churning cat video forwarded by mom or Brett Domino masterpiece endorsed by your high school friend Jack, who at the age of 40 still attends high school.  And before you know it, you’re but one of 5 million likes, joining a worldwide community guffawing at how easy it is to create a chart topping song or bemoaning how you got sucked into watching cats play with cars.

Tastemakers.  Communities of participation.  Unexpectedness.

You probably saw it coming, so here’s a little Jesus juke: in FiveTwo, we’re called to be the Jesus tastemakers.  We are the viral leaders who help people taste and see just how good Jesus truly is.  The Holy Spirit convinces the heart while we place Jesus on the plate or in the cup.  We do the work of introducing and sharing.  Divine Person #3 seals the deal.

Our communities of participation?  Choose your viral poison — your family, your local congregation, and especially, from FiveTwo’s side of the aisle, your FiveTwo Local.  Those are the key viral communities where we hope to see 10,000 sacramental entrepreneurs formed.  10,000 men and women who start new to reach new.  10,000 people of all walks who share your pews and share our passion of starting sacramental ministries for people who don’t know Jesus, for people who don’t associate Jesus and viral, unless we’re talking disease.

The unexpectedness?  What’s not unexpected?  God/Man.  Perfect but real.  Authority figure who loves outsiders.  All-powerful but self-controlled.  Timeless, transcendent payment for man’s debauchery and disobedience.  Crucified.  Died.  Buried.  Resurrected.  Returning again to resurrect all flesh.  Giver of totally free eternity.  Lover of souls and especially of my soul.

30 years from now we want to have played a role in making Jesus viral.  1,000,000 sacramental communities started by 10,000 sacramental entrepreneurs.  But to get to 2044, you have to start in 2014.

Tastemakers.  Communities of participation.  Unexpectedness.

O’ viral tastemaker, what say you?  What community needs to meet viral Jesus?  What unexpected viral twist would blow their little minds all the way into heaven?

Speak to me in that comment section below.

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The Double-G Combo of FiveTwo’s Action-Orientation (cont.)

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Last post we talked about the first G: Go.  In FiveTwo, we're about going.  Getting stuff done.  Seeking out new people.  But the going is for a purpose: Gather.  That's the second G of the Double.  And Action-Oriented is FiveTwo's #3 Value.  Pay attention.

You go so you can gather.  That's why Sacramental Entrepreneurs exist.  It's the apostolic in us coming out.  We like to go and we like to gather, especially gathering people into Jesus' Church.  Which we know isn't really us gathering.  Nah.  We're not that good.

Sacramental entrepreneurs live knowing the presence of Jesus lives in them.  So wherever I go, I’m bringing Jesus to those people.  All the power of the Holy Spirit and all of the grace and mercy of Jesus are present for me to give.  The relationships I form with them ultimately lead to my heart which loves Jesus, adores Jesus and can’t help but speak of Jesus.

So whenever I go and wherever I go, I’m constantly gathering people to Jesus as I gather people to me.   I don’t want them to just get to know Bill Woolsey; I want them to meet Jesus.  Because He’s who’s a the center of Bill Woolsey. 

Ultimately I’m not just inviting them to help start a church or launch a business or improve a neighborhood, I’m inviting them to meet God-in-the-flesh who empowers me, graces me, and provides a purpose for my life – your life – that is infinitely better than anything I could ever have imagined.

Starting Isn't a Solo Sport

So gathering is key b/c it’s how people meet Jesus.  But it’s also critical b/c starting ministries or businesses; improving communities or planting churches, those are not solo sports.  They may originate in the heart of one person but they live out only when they live in the hearts of many.  Get that?  A vision embraced by only one heart is only a dream.  For it to become a reality, many hearts must own it.

God may have given you the vision for this new endeavor, but if you do not gather people around that vision, it will remain but a dream.

Keep in mind that gathering begins when you lay out just exactly who you need on the team.  What gifts are necessary to pull this off?  What people have I met while going who have the gifts this vision calls for?  There are definite planning components that go into gathering.  But ultimately, if I’m going to gather, I have to ask.  I have to invite people to join.

Remember also, especially in the early stages, to gather leaders.  Leaders exponentially expand your efforts b/c leaders not only have followers; they also know how to get things done.  Someone once told me: “Leaders know what needs to be done; why it needs to be done; and how to gather the resources to make it happen.”  What leaders am I gathering around my cause?

One reality check before closing: going and gathering is not a one-shot deal.  It’s not just one day a week.  It’s a little going, a little gathering, every day, every week so that my movement multiplies into momentum that moves way beyond me.

In FiveTwo, we’re action-oriented.  We take action.  We get stuff done.  We go and gather so that God’s kingdom grows across geographies and generations for eternity.

 

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The Double-G Combo of FiveTwo’s Action-Orientation

Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

We have scrambled through FiveTwo's first two values and their corresponding behaviors. Hark!  Value #3 beckons: Action-Oriented. This seems redundant at first glance, since all values result in behaviors. “So tell me, Bill, why cut this action value out from the rest of the herd?”  (Wow, you speak great cowboy!)

Action-oriented is our value #3 in FiveTwo because there is a particular type of person we’re seeking and a particular type of action that person takes.  Let’s start with the person we’re after.

Sacramental & Entrepreneurial

FiveTwo’s dream is to find, sharpen and start 10,000 sacramental entrepreneurs in the next 30 years, resulting in a movement of spiritual communities that create baptized followers of Jesus from lost people. FiveTwo desires to raise up passionate leaders of all gifts and types, but our major focus is find, sharpen and start 10,000 sacramental entrepreneurs. These sacramental entrepreneurs will be catalytic, prone to decisive and quick action. 

If this is you, you want to start something that reaches people outside of Jesus’ kingdom, and you want to do it in a way that lives out the presence of Jesus ongoing.  You believe He’s really present in baptism and the Lord’s Supper for you.  And he’s also really present in you for the world.  So you want to start something that gives legs to that belief for generations to come.

Here's a brief list of your makeup:  You focus on foundations (values, behaviors, language and culture); you're theologically deep but future oriented; you're sent…and enjoy going; you take a long view of geographies and generations; you start from scratch; you're constantly going.

If that’s you, then here’s a Double-G swing thought for your action today.

The Double-G: Go & Gather

Your charge: Go & Gather.  Get off your duff, go see someone, and invite them into your cause.  Go and gather.

Two questions tag along with that charge: Where am I going today?  And, who am I gathering today?  Go: Where am I going?  Gather: Who am I gathering.

Let’s unpack Go first:

Go means you’re doing something outside of your reach, beyond your little world, past the walls of your office or building.  If you’re leading an urban effort, go means you walk the streets, get to know the owner of the corner grocery and the lady who runs the bakery.  You have “visible” currency. 

It also means you reach out.  You send an email or a text, pick up the phone.  Visit them in their work place.  Actually when you visit them where they work, that also hits our other core value of “Respect for all.”  When I come and see where you work, when I spend time watching you do your thing, I’m getting to know your story and understand what makes you tick.  I’m entering into your world and meeting someone I wouldn’t have met were I back at home.

Go means you study for a while but ultimately, you take action.  You’re in motion.  You’re not holed up all day reading a book about making disciples; you’re going so that you can make disciples.  You’re going to effect change and create momentum.

You’re going so that you can gather.  Which is where I'll pick up next post.

 

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5 Respect-Full Behaviors For Sacramental Entrepreneurs

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Respect has been our entrée the last few posts.  Partly because it occupies the #2 slot in FiveTwo's values.  Mainly because respect opens the door to deep, long relationships. And divinely, because it lives out Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Wow, a trifecta!  

What makes this value so invaluable for sacramental entrepreneurs is that when you go to start something, you’re going to need people to join you in your cause.  If you’ll approach your case with a sincere respect for all, from a posture that is beneath all resulting in talking up to people, as people of more worth than you, you’ll discover that posture is very Jesus-like and actually, refreshing and attractive.

So what does this look like in practice?  Here are five behaviors that say, “I respect you.”  

The Big Five

1.  I’ll trust you before you prove trustworthyYou don’t have to jump through a hoop before I’ll trust you.  This might cost me some pain, I might get taken, but ultimately I don’t have anything to lose and more than likely, it will open the door on incredibly gifted people God brings into my life, helping carry the burden of whatever I’m starting.

2.  I'll ask questions about your life rather than just tell you about mine.  If you get good at this, you’ll discover you know a lot about people.  Which will help you understand why they feel the way they feel.  Which will allow you to see their side, not in order to convince you but in order to compassion you.  It will stop you from being so judgmental.  When I truly want to know your story, when I listen to the nuances of your story, that’s a huge sign of respect.

3.  I'll embrace your values that don't conflict with my core valuesAnd my core values should be pretty few.  Like my family and Jesus.  But how I worship Jesus, whether I read about Jesus in the NIV or ESV, if I like Indian food or not, basically most of my preferences in life, if I respect you, I’ll adopt your preferences.  Why not?  What’s it going to hurt me?  Shouldn’t the question be how’s it going to help you?

4.  I'll learn your languageWhich means I won’t make you learn my language: I’ll learn your language.  I'll communicate in your language.  I'll translate my theology into your language.  I’ll learn to love your music, share your dress, embrace your customs, laugh at your jokes, not in a fake way.  In a real way, because I respect you.  I truly love you.

5.  I'll let you belong before you believeThis one’s huge for us in the Church.  We’ve forgotten what it’s like to not belong.  If I respect you, I’ll invite you into my life, welcome you into my home, into my groups, into my activities so that you experience community that says “You’re loved.”  I don’t keep you on the outside, looking in.  Rather I invite you to walk with me in the same direction, following Jesus, even when you aren’t sure who this Jesus is.  Because if I invite you into relationship and community with other Jesus followers, there’s a really good chance before you know it, you’ll believe it because you’ll have belonged it.

What’s your posture?  What’s your position?  Are you talking up to someone or down to someone?  Respect for All means I’m always beneath you.  You’re always above me.  No matter your vocation, your role, your status or lack thereof.  You’re a child of God, designed by God, redeemed by God.  You’re worthy of all of my respect.  

Which should definitely live itself out in my behaviors.

What say you?  Shout it out in the comment section below.

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The Deep Connection Between Story and Respect

Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Want to know how I can tell if you have respect for someone?  I listen to the words and tone you use when you tell a story about them.  Respect comes to life in relationships and story.

FiveTwo’s second core value is “Respect for All.”  Story and respect are soulmates.

Leona Elenora Renatta Richter Fischer

It was a long name, given by her German parents, who also gave her Jesus.  Whom she in turn gave me.  My grandmother was my spiritual mentor.  She poured Jesus into me for decades.  And she embodied FiveTwo’s value “Respect for all,” perhaps because she remembered her past.  From a poor family in The Grove,Texas, her and Papa were sharecroppers early in marriage, eventually working their way up to delivering Lone Star beer and packing boxes of Hefty trash bags on an assembly line.  When I lived with them my freshman summer of college, I made more money than both combined while interning at Texas Instruments basically doing nothing.

Yet theirs was never a regretful or bitter story.  Instead, thankfulness and respect poured from them.  Whether the waitress they met for the first time or the friend of mine I invited for Christmas dinner, all were welcome.  All were worthy of belonging simply because all had a story.

Which was one of grandma’s hallmarks: she wanted to know your story.  Really know.  She’d ask questions about your family, your loves, your career.  She listened now and later would remember the details and pray for the struggles.

No one had ever taught her knowing someone’s story communicated great respect for a person.  She never openly said that to me.  But that’s what happened when she was in the room.  Respect flowed from her as she listened to your narrative.

What’s Your Story?

When I ask about your story and take your story to heart, connection happens.  We now have shared history.  I understand why you don’t like pastors since that one wouldn’t do your dad’s funeral.  I gain insight into why love vacations since you never had one growing up.  I appreciate your addiction to pizza and abhorrence of Chianti.  That Italian aunt really did a number on you.

Getting to know your story allows me to understand why you are you.  And when I allow your story to become part of my story, why you are you becomes part of why I am me.  My life is richer, and your heart, fuller.  Listening to story demonstrates respect and creates respect.

Are you able to respect someone if you don’t know their story?  I would hope so.  Respect for someone shouldn’t depend on their story; it should flow from their person.  Specifically from the fact they are a person.  They are one of the crown creations of the Creator.  They are worthy of our ears.

But if you want to create respect and start off well, then get to know their story.

It’s the sacramental way.

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My Simple Secret To Showing Respect

Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Respect is a word we throw around pretty loosely.  Reality is it is one of the most powerful values a sacramental entrepreneur can possess because it speaks to the heart of a person.  Frankly, it flows from your heart to his.  You can’t fake respect.  At its core it demands consistency and authenticity.  You can talk about being respectful all you want, but you can’t lip synch or karaoke it.  BS detectors sniff out fake respect from a mile away.

We’re in the process of doing a deep dive on FiveTwo’s three core values.  We’re looking at value #2: Respect for all. 

Here’s my simple secret to showing people respect: Posture.  By posture, I mean what posture you take in relation to the other person. Are you talking up to a person or down to a person?  When I meet someone for the first time, am I talking up to him or down to her?  Am I below her or above him?  My perception of my position in the relationship will determine whether or not I communicate respect for all.

Whose Position?

I suspect whether you agree with his policies or not, if you were to be invited to the White House for a photo op, you’d treat President Obama with respect.  Partly because of the office; partly because of the awe; partly because you know you’re not the president of the United States and He is.  Hopefully partly because as members of Jesus’ family, we called to respect those over us.

So you’d go into the White House, into that hand-shaking ceremony, with this sense of talking up to Mr. President.  And that sense of position would influence your posture, your words, your all.

Now let’s say you get done with that Rose Garden ceremony, you hop out on Pennyslvania Ave, flag a cab, and when you hop in you immediately note the smell of spices you’ve never smelled and music you can’t understand and the guy’s got skin that’s not your color and no mastery whatsoever of your language. Probably never properly educated in the finer art of linguistics. 

Are you talking up to him or down to him?  Is he beneath you or above you?  What’s your position in regards to Mr. Taxi Man?

When you look at Jesus’ life, He purposefully positioned Himself below us in order to serve.  He talked up to us, elevating social outcasts of every ilk.  And those outcasts flocked to him.  Why?  Because he truly respected them.  Did he agree with how they lived their lives?  No.  Did he love them and demonstrate honor to them regardless?  Yes.

Paul, in his ministry in Acts and in his writings of the Epistles, what posture did he take especially with those outside of Jesus’ kingdom?  How did he treat with respect the pagan philosophers in the Aeropagus in Acts 17?  What was he willing to give up in order to show respect to the Jesus doubters in 1 Corinthians 9?

Respect is all about posture.  What’s yours?

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12 No-Frills Truths About Sacramental Living

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

No fluff in this post.  Just 12 straight-up sacramental truths.

1.     I don’t confuse what I do with who I am.

2.     Who I am in Jesus redeems what I do in life.

3.     How I behave reveals what I value.

4.     I daily remember my baptism and receive the Lord’s Supper as often as offered.

5.     I speak of Jesus rather than God.

6.     I incorporate Jesus and baptism into daily conversation and especially into weekly preaching and teaching.

7.     I embrace weakness, allowing Jesus’ strength to reign in my life.

8.     I embrace the unique way Jesus has formed me.

9.     I seek ways to bless people, not to take from them.

10.   I give grace, never applying law to a broken and contrite spirit.

11.   I teach you how to live as a follower of Jesus but at the end of the day, grace is the only thing that heals and grows.

12.   I express joy in words and body language because I know the end of the story.

Which of the above 12 sacramental statements do you need to act on?

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