Boot Camp 2019
By Sam Nadler
Finally! The Lord provided the opportunity to train those who most need it – new planters! After our Word of Messiah staff organized the registration and admin. side, the Lord gave the increase. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled and privileged in Yeshua to help others further develop the work of God and to help them address their need for greater evangelism and more consistent discipleship (and for some leaders, certainly, some of our Word of Messiah planter conferences are more of a “Re-Boot” Camp!). But when I’m helping new planters, I know I’m able to best help them to get their work started properly, rather than correcting mistakes of the past. As is often said: “it’s easier to give birth to babies than to raise the dead!”
With six new planters and their ‘teams’ (in most cases just the wives, along with a few other couples!) we used my book, “Developing Healthy Messianic Congregations” (DHMC) as our conference text, focusing on the first third of the book that covers the planter and his spouse and family. For, if it’s not actually happening at home, it won’t be properly happening in the congregation plant (see 1 Timothy 3:5).
We spent several hours of training and discussion, reviewing the basic requirements for planters before they even get started: prayer, marital unity, accountability, sound teaching, clear vision – as well as, being a self-starter (i.e., led by the Lord daily), a ready witness, faith-vision, resilience, redemptive, resourceful, etc. We then worked on developing vision: Yeshua – the “Body” is to be like and to reveal the “Head.” We discussed what hinders vision (fear, stereotyping, etc.). We then discussed the values of a planter (and team): love for one another; primary and secondary matters; standards of Stewardship (time, talent, treasure) and total submission to the Lordship of Yeshua. Considering these matters, we then discussed the congregational calendar, eleven different modes of planting; developing materials, etc. The interactive discussions were both lively, edifying and Yeshua-exalting.
The next day, we spent a great deal of time on four basic matters that need to be in the DNA of the planter, the team and the congregation: prayer, overseeing, evangelism and discipleship. We pray, accomplishing the call of God (by grace through faith) and oversee the use of time, talent and treasure to accomplish the call of God through evangelism and discipleship. Simple, huh?
We spent much of one day going over evangelism, that is: Sharing our faith with the lost sheep of the house of Israel (as well as other lost sheep!). Besides covering what is in DHMC, I developed a whole seminar for planters on “the Outreach of a Messianic Congregation” that would not only be essential for starting out, but vital to have as part of the systems in a developing Messianic congregation, for you grow into your DNA and never outgrow your DNA.
We learned about making contacts for follow-up and that we must be seeking to make contacts. (A “contact” is a person who gave you their name and some contact info. so that you can follow up on them). Besides needing the love of Messiah to constrain our hearts for the lost (2 Cor. 5:14-15), we discussed the need to know your own community and to find creative ways to reach the Jewish community where the Lord has placed them. Though I have a great deal of experience in this area, each shared some ideas that they have tried and there was mutual encouragement enjoyed by all. Tina Kuhr was helpful in her advice as Outreach Coordinator for Hope of Israel Congregation.
I gave the web info. to download my full “Share Messiah Seminar” and taught them a basic Jewish Evangelism seminar, which Jewish believers especially need, since they need to know how to reach out to all kinds of Jewish people, not only to those that are like them. We also spoke of Messianic Gentiles, that is, non-Jewish believers who share the same calling and burden to reach out to the Jew first. These are people who are not “Jewish-wannabes,” but fellow believers who are called as Gentiles to make Israel zealous for Messiah (Romans 11:11), even as Paul expected all non-Jewish believers to be called. We gave each participant many evangelistic tracts that Word of Messiah has developed, as well as copies of the books, “Even You Can Share the Jewish Messiah,” “S.W.A.T.” (Street Witnessing and Training) and “The Messianic Answer Book.”
Of course, following evangelism, we spent a good amount of time on discipleship, since this is the result that must happen when anyone comes to faith in Messiah. We reviewed my books, “Messianic Discipleship,” “Messianic Wisdom” and “Messianic Foundations” as the threefold discipleship set used by many planters and Messianic congregations. (As a faith ministry, Word of Messiah graciously makes all these materials available to new planters).
We taught on planning matters (if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!). This included planning for outreach, planning for discipleship and “planning your time, according to your plan.” The responses from the planters were very encouraging as they all thought themselves now better equipped to do the work God gave them to do. I also made myself available to work closely with the planters as a coach, encourager, prayer partner, with Miriam available to assist their spouses, as well.
Thank you for your many prayers and sacrificial support to further the Good News, even to the Jew first, both here and around the world!