4 years, 10 secs, 1 Prize?

Have you been watching any of the Olympic games?

More importantly, the stories behind the athletes (or maybe you can’t wait until it’s over as you welcome in the football season) ?

It’s amazing how much the athletes need to do just to qualify, let alone win. Hurdling over the injuries and the recovery, the physical and mental therapy, the personal challenges, the internet coaching (and comments), and the overall pressure to deliver (sponsors and country).

One of the better known athletes, Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man and indisputably one of the great athletes of all time, won the Olympic 100-meter dash for an unprecedented third straight time on Sunday night.

What stands out to me is, when compared to most of the other sports, the 100m race is over in 10 secs. Despite that, it does not change the fact that it takes 4 years to prepare for it, as runners from around the world are laser-focused on claiming goal for their country along with that country’s bragging rights of “birthing” the fastest man.

What we may be able to agree on is, ministry is very similiar to this where the ultimate goal is knowing that we have earnestly seek God and helped someone else alone on the journey of life. Thank God that the journey is heavily subsidized by God’s grace and it’s not for the swiftest.

But how are we preparing? What’s our step-by-step strategy to reach a world eager for this dying hope? We know the gospel has not changed, but in this very noisy world, our tools, process and people need to be in-sync.

Jordan and I are very excited about the work we’ve been doing with Peter and his Cultivate Initiative team from the Potomac SDA Conference, Virginia.

The Cultivate Initiative is the innovative evangelism and church planting arm of the Potomac Conference that seeks to facilitate and amplify what the local pastors (100+) are already doing in their unique way.



Peter is focused on moving the entire conference from a temple mindset to a network mindset. As Peter describes it, an approach that moves from the “professionals to the disciples in the pew”.

Peter, through a local pastor and good friend, approached us to propose a plan that would help him recast his vision and connect with more pastors. After looking at where they were and where they wanted to go, we proposed taking a couple of steps back before going forward. They loved what we proposed and the results-to-date. The process is very simple but deliberate. We’ve been guiding them through our 7 Steps to help clarify their vision so they can enhance their message

Even though we’re not quite finished, there has already been significant improvement, and we are hitting the target numbers that were proposed.

But besides that, I am really excited by this stunning video podcast series that Peter has been doing. It is not only helping with his goals but the content is really good. I had to share. Cultivate has begun interviewing pastors with evangelical ‘success stories’–inspiring examples of how traditional and modern evangelical methods can be blended.

I highly recommend checking them out… Here they are:

Done that, been there, found a path and it worked: Pastor Tim Madding tells how his approach evolved from the ‘traditional’ evangelistic methods which he was taught in the Seminary to one in which he put more resources into investing in the lives of people in the community. In other words, bridges to build relationships. A big part of the success of this approach was congregant re-education.

Being Intentional: Heather Crews focuses on families and relationships: Pastor Crews relates how her church rediscovered the passion of having a mission. In their case, it was member AND nonmember families with young children. Through a series of hands-on events both inside and outside the church, nonmember families were given safe, non-judgemental opportunities to ‘check this church out’. The results just keep coming!

Let’s make Hope famous!: In their quest for a more effective evangelistic platform, Lead Pastor, Dwight Nelson and Pastor for Evangelism, Rodlie Ortiz turned to the very young adults they wanted to reach. The result? From the comfort of the living room of your host family, church non-members will enjoy a dynamic series of 10, one-hour, live, streaming, evangelistic broadcasts, including Ted-style talks and panel discussions. It’s coming up in October so you still have time to take part.

Team Effort: Relational & Public Evangelism at its Best: Lead Pastor Shane Anderson LIKES old-style evangelism. He thinks it’s effective. He also believes in ‘new-style’ evangelism such as community events that build relationships. His team’s combined approach is getting good results in their challenging community.

Wishing you continued success with your evangelistic efforts! Love to hear what’s working for you.

In Faith,


PS. Did you know that the exact steps we are using to help reach the goals of the Cultivate Initiative are captured in this book ?


SEE ALSO: You might not need another website (Do this instead!)

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