This missionary adventure is a challenge worth living. 230 families and their friends impacted in 90-day research and evidence based workshops in 2.5 years is a phenomenal start on a long haul journey.
Friend, leaning back in my easy chair is no easy task. The phone will ring. Someone will come to the door looking to reunify or stabilize a family. I’d like to lean back, but the press of lives leans me forward. September 2013 was the refresh launch of Community Transformation Initiative with a mission to put dads active in the home and connect kids with connected parents. Life Long Dads. We Need ‘Em. That was and is our pursuit.
As we continued for months in the suburban and urban sectors a laser vision focus took precedence. The number of resources was overlapping in Tulakes Elementary and the Jesus House and other places we served. The coordination seemed bleak and confusing to those needing integration. Churches had a heart, but not the tenacity needed to get the job done. Unabashed, we pushed on to find solutions.
The journey took us to rural America. Resources for families are non-existent or sparse. Cooperation with the Community Supervision (probationers) delivering Life Skills (cognitive self-restructuring with social skills and problem solving) and then Parenting and then Couples Communication and Recovery brought us insight and awareness. A once 14-year meth addict pulled up and out is now a volunteer facilitator. A once crushed mom with an imprisoned son is now becoming a top facilitator. A once fractured family single mom is a regular assistant in the work. A once displaced homemaker disappointed and discouraged is a boost to the teens. A once gang leader is an intern and standing up tall. On and on it goes. Discouraged, defeated, disappointed, drugged, and dysfunctional have become the healers of the next group. While working through our workshops, they have become healed healers.
- Other pastors are asking for training to do the same.
- The mayor has asked us to help train others.
- The Boys and Girls Club is ready to host Dad’s University on a monthly basis.
- The County Attorney is ready to begin a community wide faith based program in the jail and have us oversee it.
- Child Protective Services is sending us 2-3 families a week.
- Every time my car is parked outside people stream in the building ready to learn.
- One school with WatchDOGS is ready to be two schools with WD.
Friend, I’ve seen marriages rescued, kids placed back in the homes, and a community get hope. This is repeatable across the United States in like communities. This isn’t just the workshops, we have discipled a pastor in Franklin, NH via Skype that is ready to launch with the same approach. He already has a group of men, whom he has been training in Franklin and now a small group of students in New York has started to meet with him and catch the vision. I teach him every Thursday morning and then he passes it on to these. Discipleship. Mentoring. Duplication.
The urban areas of the United States for the 2010 Census contain 249,253,271 people, representing 80.7% of the population, and rural areas contain 59,492,276 people, or 19.3% of the population. US Census Bureau
Inside of this rural population are cities of varying small sizes that qualify as urban due to concentration, but find themselves as islands with low resources for families due to isolation from metro centers.
Starting small with tiny funding, we set out with a BHAG, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. What if we could establish a viable church, business, community, government, education, and media cooperative effort to fix fractured families? Could we package it to be used across the United States in similar communities? Could we start a revival of wisdom and compassion in our families? The answers are Yes, Yes, and Yes.
You know me. I don’t do little things, just big ones. But everything starts little to grow big. Now we need to grow big. Now we need an influx of resources to multiply cities and states.
This lead chart is Gainesville, Texas in Cooke County. We are reaching tipping point of impacting over 10% of the population of the county. 1 person impacts 15. 300 impact 4500. The county has 43,000 citizens. We will cross the 11% generally accepted cultural tipping point next year. I believe we already have by the calls and visits we get every day and the referrals by lawyers, courts, CPS, and others.
My office in Moore is kept open in positioning for our better days at SOLUM COMMUNITY. It doesn’t cost me much. As we begin to duplicate, I plan to coordinate activities across the state and nations from this centrally located spot. In Oklahoma, 20 locations would not be enough.
Every workshop we give is solidly entrenched in a Biblical worldview. They are research and evidence based, but we only use those that are also Biblically sound. If we can’t support the wisdoms from a transdenominational Biblical perspective, we don’t use that material. We don’t teach Bible in our government sponsored workshops, we live it in our delivery and treatment of people and they ask us and we answer.
SOLUM COMMUNITY Transformation Initiative is a Christian non-profit. That makes us a bit different. We are gospel hungry. We lead people to Christ, grow them in Christ, and keep them in Christ through collaborative church plant. That is part of our secret sauce. Every workshop is covered in prayer. When a participant asks for extra advice they are told up front it will be Christian/Biblical advice. Some of our workshops like Anger Management and Couples Communication are research and evidence based with Biblical foundation training.
This model works, friend.
I have no qualms asking for your support. To get where we need to go we have contracted with the county for juvenile provision, taken small fees from probationers, received individual giver support, used community service hours to get work done, emptied personal savings, worked outside contracts, asked my wife to work full time so we have health insurance, and received from church planting organizations. It is not enough.
Let’s meet (hangout, skype, office), answer your questions, brainstorm ideas to get more people involved, and pray. Every day, I live in a world of miracle provision. How can I pray for you?
I want to bring copies of two new books when we meet. By Grace is an innovative book leading church leaders, small group leaders, and interested Christians on a path of obedience to go into the hiways and byways and compel people into the kingdom. Transformer’s Prayer is a quick four principle guide to help you and others get answers. Both will by available on Amazon and Kindle by the time you read this.
encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 NIV
When the Father brings you into His family, He opens a call in your life. It is up to you to find it out. He wants you to discover in Him your destiny. I pray for you. These callings are your fingerprint in life.
For me, I have discovered a few for my life. Prayer, discipling/growing people, presence of God, voice of God, father/pastor. These mark everything I do and all I am.
God then commissions you to do works. I work on unity in the kingdom. I work on developing solutions where others struggle. I work on family health. These commissions are done with the call.
When you accept the commisaion, He gifts you. He equips you. It may be through trial or a moment of supernatural empowerment. It may be through education. But He will equip you when you receive the call, accept the commission, and take action.
What is a piece of your call? Do not limit God to only call you to a limited and small life. Some tell me, “I want to preach.” Maybe declaring the goodness of God is a call in you. How has He commissioned that call? Through acts of mercy and kindness. Through a life of peace and character in business? Through speaking publicly? What other calls has He added? There are many ways to preach. Most involve 90% serving and 10% speaking. Show me your faith by your actions.
I pray for you to listen for the call and receive it with humility and a servant heart. Then I pray for you to see a commission, a place to serve and be you in the home of the local church, Christ’s design for occupying this world. And, I pray for you to step out in faith and be empowered from on high.
I pray for you. I love you. He is full of better and bigger days for you.