Come join us in welcoming our 2016-2017 SEND Team!
All are welcome, we’d love to see you there!
In our discipleship training process, we are constantly learning and growing. We have over 75 teachings, we read the entire bible in under 10 months, and we read, read, and read some more! We are using this time in SEND to invest in all things mission and ministry. In the first phase of our process, we have been focused on prayer. We have all just got done reading a great book called, The Circle Maker. Everyone in SEND has read this book and has done a report. We then all discussed each other’s reports and discussed this great book to improve our prayer lives. Here is Amy’s report. We hope it encourages you to read the book and helps grow in your prayer life. If you have any questions for Amy or SEND or have any prayer requests, please let us know. Here’s Amy!
So I just finished reading a book on prayer by Mark Batterson called The Circle Maker for the second time. Mark is the pastor of a church in Washington D.C. that meets in movie theaters. The book is about the role of prayer in his life.
The title takes its name from the story of an old Israeli prophet about 2100 years ago who prayed inside a circle he made vowing not to leave it until the drought they were experiencing ended. It is about asking God for things outside of human ability and having faith that he can and will do it.
Mark loves to prayer walk. He takes the story of the Israelites and the wall of Jericho and brings it to every prayer meeting figuratively and literally. He physically walks around things he believes God wants to provide and writes that through that faith along with persistence and longevity, the arm of God will move. He does not believe in putting God or his power in a box: he has seen God answer prayers down to the last detail or give 30 times what was asked.
But this book is more than about getting your way all the time. Prayers are more like time capsules that contain the heart of the one praying and continue out of our known physical universe into the spiritual realm where they are kept and used for eternity to bless the circles of influence of the author.
Prayers are also less about bargaining with God and more about connecting with Him. You see, if you view God as an almighty judge who gives good only to those who deserve it, you are going to struggle understanding this book. Who Mark is trying to convey is a god who gives not based on our goodness but his own and loves blessing the socks off people just because he can. And since what God ultimately desires is a relationship with us, many times prayer is the last thing we do before we see God work amazing things on our behalf. It would really be deceptive if we chalked the blessing of a faithful God up to coincidence or the intervention of a human.
Mark gives story after story of the times God had used prayer to abundantly bless him and his ministry, and not just his own prayers either, he goes back to the prayers his grandfather prayed over him, even when he wasn’t around, that are still bearing fruit in his life.
Anyway, the book is fantastic, and you should really pick it up and read it through. It’s about two hundred pages, you could read a chapter every day and be finished in a couple weeks. I read it through in an evening the first time through, but, you know, I’m just like that.
If you need to borrow a copy, just ask. However, I’ll probably want it back.
But enough about me, how’ve you been?
In our discipleship and missionary training process we have over 50 teachers that teach over 75 teachings throughout our journey. The Lord has blessed this ministry with so many incredible teachers who serve and share years of ministry experience and wisdom with our young adults. These teachings and our amazing teachers are what makes our process so fantastic and unique to other types of discipleship training programs in the United States. Throughout this SEND training year 13-14 we would like to share with you the incredible servants who teach in SEND in a segment called: SEND Teacher Spotlight! For this week, we introduce Pastor Dennis Kutzner!
What classes do you in teach in SEND?
What is your background?
Where do you serve the Lord and for how long have you been in ministry?
What is your favorite thing about SEND North America?
What would people be surprised to know about you? (fun fact/hobby/life event)
Thanks Pastor Dennis! SEND is honored to have such a diverse and knowledgeable man of God be involved in teaching and serving our ministry. We look forward to sharing more teachers with you in coming months and we wish you all a Happy and Safe New Year this week!
The State of Ministry Report
SEND North America
Kent R. Hunter
August 12, 2013
This report is being sent to anyone who has donated to the SEND ministry for any reason, as well as those who have taught or served SEND in any way.
I wish I could meet with you personally to share this. I’m praying that you will catch the enthusiasm I feel as if we were sitting down together.
How do we evaluate SEND? We evaluate SEND by the evidence of the objectives: SEND exists to impart (1) spiritual formation; (2) discipleship; and, (3) mission training – in young adults, 18-29, who graduate from SEND. The benchmark level for each of these objectives is, by comparison with the training program graduates we have observed in England over the last 12 years. This is the result: while SEND is still a young movement, every graduate reflects the spiritual levels in all of these objectives, just as we have seen in England.
In addition, 90% of the graduates are in ministry now: church planting, operating a camp for children, working on staff at a church, teaching in an inner-city Christian school, and working to help us recruit for future SEND young adults. At this time there is no young adult who has yet returned for a second year to take the SEND leadership, to be trained to start a SEND unit at their church – but one young adult is considering it.
There are several churches that have expressed the desire to hire a SEND graduate and one ministry outreach in Central America that would like to hire a SEND leader and establish a SEND unit. There are several churches that would like to have a SEND unit at some time in the future.
One of SEND’s greatest challenges has been recruitment. In the first year, five young adults participated. All graduated. In the second year (October 2012-June 2013), there were three enrolled. One of them was injured in an auto accident while home for Thanksgiving break. He required on-going reconstructive surgery on his wrist and had to drop out. Another from last year was dismissed from SEND. (SEND has an accountability structure. It follows the same structure used in England. Young adults are apprised, verbally and in writing, at the beginning of certain behaviors that are not tolerated. They receive a “strike” for each infringement, plus counseling and guidance. Three “strikes” and you are out. Sadly, we had a young man who received three strikes just before the end of this last year. Three local pastors and the SEND leader, Josh, were part of the effort to help him from receiving the third strike. While this is unfortunate, it also happens fairly often in England. SEND must maintain standards of conduct that provide a good experience for all the young adults involved and hold them accountable in an evangelical and disciplined approach).
SEND has a “break even” financial model based on 12 young adults. The maximum for involvement in one year is 20. All funds go entirely for the operating of SEND. All efforts provided by the staff of Church Doctor Ministries are donated. The training center for SEND is donated. It is at Destiny Family of Faith, a church in a strip mall in Kendallville, Indiana, pastored by Mike Albaugh. They have been extraordinarily gracious. And I believe SEND has also been a blessing to their ministry. Should SEND reach an enrollment of more than 12 young adults, the extra finances would be directed toward recruitment efforts. As of this writing, several young adults are in the application process for this coming fall. It is too early to predict how many will participate in this coming training season, October 2013-June 2014.
Recruitment efforts are an ongoing learning experience. We have learned much about what doesn’t work. We have learned a lot about what is effective and are focusing strategies that seem to be more productive:
One of the greatest breakthrough blessings has come through one of the volunteer SEND teachers, Yohannes Mengsteab. Yohannes, originally from East Africa, has been in this country for many years. He has been a pastor, a church planter, and launched a church planting movement for a denomination. As a teacher of SEND, Yohannes has observed the ministry “up close” for the last two years. He is a great encourager. Yohannes feels we are on the right track. Having started a movement of his own, he reminds us that it takes years to gain momentum. Yohannes now works for a foundation as a representative to churches. From his base of experience, Yohannes says that the Christian church in America is in need of new mechanisms for training the next generation of leaders. He believes SEND is one answer to that need. Yohannes guided us to prepare a grant request to the Foundation. In March, the foundation board, granted SEND $90,000 for three years, to help with recruitment and to partially support Josh Humberger’s salary while we worked on recruitment. This has greatly encouraged us because (1) he knows SEND and Josh very well, (2) has had interaction with the young adults during both of these two years (he teaches church planting with African enthusiasm!), and (3) he understands the time it takes to develop a movement. This grant helps us “bide time” to learn more about recruiting.
All of our 50 volunteer teachers agreed to teach the second year of SEND. The volunteer mentors also continue to help. Josh is now approaching these volunteers for this coming year to serve again.
Josh Humberger is a great leader of SEND, uniquely gifted for this role. We have also observed him operating with the challenges of SEND, and watched his willingness to sacrifice. He now has to raise the balance of his own support, on top of everything else, until we reach a minimum of 12 young adults.
Meanwhile, we have conducted research about young adults. This has included books, articles and conferences. We are researching at our own expense. Josh, myself, and our colleague, Tracee, have been learning so much that will help us with recruitment. We have learned that the way we operate SEND (which we patterned after what they do in England), is perfect for the post-modern, millennial, young adult generation. Also, it follows the movement dynamics of Christianity, which has slowly drifted toward organizational bureaucracy and institutionalism – beyond what the Scripture intends for the Body of Christ. Tracee recently received unexpected and unsolicited support for the SEND model as she led a group to England this last June. We now include in that England trip a visit to the Message Trust, a ministry to reach inner-city youth in Manchester, England. The leader of the young adult training project told Tracee that what they do is almost identical in its tone and approach to SEND. For them, over the years, this has become a phenomenally successful ministry. That has been very encouraging to us.
I am developing a new workshop, “Reaching the Young Adult Generation, “for pastors and church leaders. Since so many young adults are leaving the church, this workshop should be very helpful – and alert many to the SEND opportunity. I hope to start providing this workshop in the next couple months. We believe that a SEND graduate who returns to their church can be an enormous help to church staff and leaders, guiding them to reach the young adult generation. Most of us over 40 have no clue how to do this – life has changed that much!
How can you help?
Kent R. Hunter
S.E.N.D. is an amazing experience for young adults. Hear Kent Hunter describe the vision in the video below.
Ashley Ruppert tells us about her quest to experience God’s will in her life in the video below.
Jon Hunter describes a life changing experience in the video below.
“I am no longer impressed by academic backgrounds or credentials, and I pay little attention to them. What ultimately stands out are the humility and respect towards realities and circumstances they are not familiar with.”
“The education of 21st-century problem solvers needs itself to move into the future,” says Roshan Paul, president of the Amani Institute. “Aspiring leaders must equip themselves with apprenticeships, practical skills, and personal leadership qualities so they’re employable and so they can create social impact. They should train for their careers the way a doctor or athlete or soldier would train.”
These quotes from a recent article in from Fast Company caught my attention for a number of reasons. As I think about the young adults I have encountered while helping with the launch of S.E.N.D. I think about how many of them do carry a sense of respect and humility about the realities of the world today. They are more aware of the challenging circumstances many in their generation face and they are increasingly aware of the challenges of being an active Christian in the world today brings.
When we started putting together the pieces of the vision for Servants Equipping New Disciples (SEND) we intentionally set aside any interest in academic degree certification even though everyone around the table in our visioning meetings held some sort of advanced degree, some with more than one. We were not concerned about the academic certification or degrees of SEND young adults. We were not concerned about SEND training being counted as credit toward any type of degree because we knew it would be more important for young adults in SEND to have an experience that was reflective of real world mission and ministry, not a classroom. An experience that would give them stories to tell, examples to learn from and work to build upon. An experience that could be the foundation for not only their own discipleship and leadership development but something they could transfer to those around them.
We wanted to make sure young adults in SEND would come away with an increased understanding and respect for being a mission minded Christian in our world. Whether they chose to answer a call to work in ministry or not, we wanted to make sure young adults had the chance to experience the realities of working in mission and ministry. Of course we also wanted to make sure those in SEND would grow closer to God and experience how their own spiritual growth and increased relationship with God could impact and change the world. The SEND experience embeds into young adult that living out your faith and working in ministry is more about who you are as a Christ follower.
SEND doesn’t grant you a degree. It doesn’t give you credit or a certificate that is recognized by any academic institution. SEND will give you an experience that will allow God to work in your life. It will humble you and increase your respect for the challenges of the world we live in. SEND is an experience where you will grow closer to God, you will experience hands on mission and ministry. You’ll grow as a person, disciple, and leader God is calling you to be. Your experience in SEND will help you change the world. One new disciple equipped to be a servant to others, serving God alongside others. That’s the SEND experience and no degree can give you that experience.
By Tracee J. Swank, Co-Leader Church Doctor Ministries, Advancement Team Leader, SEND
Our February mission excursion weekend was jam packed. We do our best to incorporate many different kinds of ministries, churches, and social activities into these weekends. This month we ended up worshiping in two large Fort Wayne churches: Pathway and Blackhawk. We visited the largest book store in Indiana, played some Laser Tag, enjoyed a Starbucks Bible devotion and study, went to a 3-hour workshop presentation entitled “Defending Life” with a national apologist, and we also spent time and served at a wonderful Mission located in downtown Fort Wayne. By the time Sunday night rolled around, we had put in over 20 hours and had a lot to process. The biggie for me was the workshop and what we saw and experienced at The Rescue Mission.