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Moving From Small Group to Missional Community
Episode 3568th November 2021 • Everyday Disciple Podcast • Caesar Kalinowski
00:00:00 00:46:59

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What happens when you feel God leading you, beyond a weekly meeting with a handful of other Christians, out to make disciples in the most underserved neighborhood in your city? In this episode, Caesar is joined by author and community builder Terence Schilstra. You'll hear the exciting story of how his traditional church small group slowly morphed into a missional community. Along with several other Christian families, they've become connected to over 30 families in their new neighborhood as they make disciples. In This Episode You’ll Learn:
  • How a "small voice" became a much louder calling from God.
  • What personal challenges they faced to follow God deeper.
  • The problems their small group experienced. (Not everyone loved the change!)
  • The amazing adventure that this community now lives!
Get started here… Small Group Missional Community From this episode: “Our calling to make disciples among a specific group of people requires us to be present with them. Just like Jesus came to us as a human, and took on the rhythms and customs of the people he was with, so must we give our lives, not just our programs, to that God calls us to. Making disciples is an all-of-life engagement that ultimately radically reorients our time and resources for God’s glory.   Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.
Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Join us on Facebook and take part in the discussion! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of this page or right below. Also, please subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.   Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode: Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #356 Peace of the City book and contact Terence Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living. Discipleship and Missional Resources  

Transcripts

Terence:

It's our primary practice as a Missional Community is to be a People of radical hospitality for my wife, Karen and I, and for our kids, it means opening up our home, having meals with our neighbors or, you know, going over and hanging out at a barbecue at our neighbors.

Terence:

And just living with and just getting to know our neighbors and just getting to know each other and having those life on life connections.

Terence:

As we deepen relationships, we have opportunities to talk about the deep things of life.

Terence:

Uh, so for us, it's opportunity to share our love for Jesus.

Terence:

Or a share about some of the things we're struggling with and maybe for our neighbors, it's over a meal, sharing their struggles, then having an opportunity to pray for them in the name of Jesus.

Terence:

So hospitality is huge for us as a family.

Terence:

And I think about it as a lot, quite honestly, even as a pastor, like making hospitality, practice of hospitality, one of the foremost things that I think about and live out as a pastor.

Announcer:

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple podcast where you learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

Announcer:

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle.

Announcer:

This is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.

Announcer:

And now here's your host Caesar Kalinowski

Caesar:

all right.

Caesar:

I hope you're having a great week so far.

Caesar:

I'm not sure what day of the week.

Caesar:

You're listening to this episode on, but, uh, when I'm recording it, we just got back from an amazing team.

Caesar:

K weekend, a little house rental on a lake little Airbnb thing, and the whole family came out what a.

Caesar:

What an amazing time with Tina and I are always so blessed by the ease with which our family hangs out together with the, now that our kids are grown and we've got the grandkids all running around and how well they all hang.

Caesar:

And it's really a beautiful reminder of the kingdom of God.

Caesar:

It really is to us.

Caesar:

And we see it that way.

Caesar:

And very, very often that would include People of Peace and extended family doing those kinds of things with us.

Caesar:

In this case, it was really just team K, just the original bio family.

Caesar:

And I have.

Caesar:

Give a big shout out to Dave and Debbie, my brother-in-law sister-in-law Tina's brother, some of our closest dearest family and friends who were part of that with us this weekend, they really made this happen.

Caesar:

Their generosity went above and beyond to make this beautiful home.

Caesar:

And this time together this weekend for team K happened.

Caesar:

So thank you.

Caesar:

Love you guys.

Caesar:

What an awesome weekend it was.

Caesar:

And I'm just still full and excited.

Caesar:

I hope that I can do it again soon.

Caesar:

Hey, if you're finding this Podcast, the Everyday Disciple Podcast, helpful or encouraging in any way, would you please share it with a friend?

Caesar:

Would you just take that moment and say, wow, this episode was great or I've heard a bunch, or I'm just going to take the time to pay it forward.

Caesar:

That is the biggest way people find new podcasts.

Caesar:

At least in my understanding.

Caesar:

And my experience is when a friend says, Hey, I think you'd dig this.

Caesar:

I think you'd really enjoy what's happening here in this Podcast.

Caesar:

What'd you do that?

Caesar:

Would you share the Everyday Disciple Podcast with some folks you love?

Caesar:

I'd certainly appreciate it.

Caesar:

And as long as we're taking care of some business there, here's another thing I'd love you to do is hop on a zoom call with me and let me explain to you the full framework of our discipleship and, and missional.

Caesar:

Coaching our coaching and mentorship program.

Caesar:

Tina and I coached together as a couple and we coach couples and it's a pretty unique experience to learn gospel fluency and how to live on mission as a family and an outward to Missional Community life and the rings.

Caesar:

Just keep going, love to set up a short zoom call.

Caesar:

Get to know you better tell you about it.

Caesar:

Answer any questions you have and maybe that'll be a good fit.

Caesar:

You can learn more and set up that zoom call if you'd like by going to Everyday Disciple dot com.

Caesar:

Forward slash coaching.

Caesar:

I'm excited to get into today's episode with you right now.

Caesar:

This is going to be a pretty cool story of how this one traditional small group.

Caesar:

So a morphed into a vibrant incarnational Missional Community.

Caesar:

My guest today is Terrence Shilshtra, and he's a pastor.

Caesar:

He's a Missional Community leader at the table, and they're serving an under-resourced neighborhood in downtown Thorold Ontario.

Caesar:

So for us Americans, that's up in Canada.

Caesar:

That's where he now lives with his wife and his kids and the community that they've started that missional community.

Caesar:

His story is how their small group evolved into a Missional Community.

Caesar:

And it's, it's been an amazing thing.

Caesar:

He's been a church planter and involved in these types of things for awhile, but him and his small group found God's calling on their life, taking him to some places that, well, we're a little surprising.

Caesar:

So I think you're going to love this story.

Caesar:

Take a listen to our conversation, and then I'll be back with a few more thoughts and the big three takeaways from today's episode.

Caesar:

Hey, Terrance.

Caesar:

Thanks for being on and given a little bit of your time to tell your story to all my friends here on the podcast.

Terence:

Yeah, Caesar.

Terence:

It's good to be with you, man.

Terence:

Tell us a little

Caesar:

bit about your basics.

Caesar:

Like where do you live?

Caesar:

What's you up to parenting married kids and all that.

Caesar:

Just so people have a little bit of a context of who you are and what you're up to, and then we'll dig in your story of transition from sort of traditional to much more Missional

Terence:

experiences.

Terence:

My wife, Karen and I, and our four kids.

Terence:

We live in downtown Thorold and that's a city and Ontario, Canada that's tucked in between Niagara falls and St Catherine's.

Terence:

And, um, we've been planting missional communities in downtown Thorold for the last seven or eight years or so.

Terence:

And our, our context is a urban unreached neighborhood.

Terence:

Uh, so there's a lot of, a lot of challenges in our, in our context.

Terence:

Uh, Uh, addictions and drugs and, and poverty.

Terence:

Um, but, uh, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Terence:

It's an amazing, amazing city that we live in and we just love, love this place called downtown Thorold.

Terence:

Are you

Caesar:

working at a church presently?

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

So I'm the pastor of the table, which is, uh, the group of missional communities that serve here in downtown Thorold.

Terence:

Are you

Caesar:

connected to the national table network at all?

Terence:

No, no, never even heard of it.

Caesar:

Oh, wow.

Caesar:

Well, there's a whole network of people doing missional community.

Caesar:

Planting and churches and congr congregate and all by they're called the table and they base all the start-ups around meals and having, you know, connection that way.

Caesar:

So.

Terence:

Cool.

Terence:

Cool.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

I definitely got to look into that.

Terence:

Yeah,

Caesar:

that'd be a cool thing.

Caesar:

So what year was.

Caesar:

That you started this transition from a more traditional small group structure that you were a part of, and maybe even leading, you can tell us that.

Caesar:

What did that look like?

Caesar:

When was that?

Caesar:

And what's some of the impetus for why you thought, man, I think it's time to start living in a little bit different way here with this, this group of people.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

So if you go back about 12, 13 years ago, I was part of, um, helping to plant a church in Thorold.

Terence:

So that's a city where we are now and we, we are, um, planting this church and, you know, getting to know that the neighborhood and, and serving in the community.

Terence:

And, um, I got part of a small group as part of that church plant.

Terence:

Um, so my wife, Karen and I became part of the small group, um, along with another handful of other Christians and we, we just did what small groups do we, we met together.

Terence:

Um, you know, every other week and we, we prayed together and we did, we did Bible studies together and, uh, it, yeah, every so often we would have a meal together.

Terence:

And then we started to pray and ask the question as we were reading God's word, you know, what, what, uh, what else has God inviting us into in our community?

Terence:

And that's kind of how the story of the, of the table began.

Caesar:

And what was the sort of first steps towards a little bit more incarnation or a little bit more mission and outward focus or some of the various first steps she began to try to initiate?

Terence:

Yeah, so we started as a small group as part of that church plant and, um, we, we went to an inner city school and downtown Thorold and we connected with the principal there.

Terence:

And we, we asked him if there's some way that our small group can serve in the community and serve, serve that school.

Terence:

And.

Terence:

The principal was a little bit reluctant at first and we had a couple conversations, but in time, uh, he, the principal opened up to us and said that, you know, in that inner city school, they, they would love to see, um, uh, Mo more, a sense of community built within the school.

Terence:

So cultivating a sense of community in the school.

Terence:

And then we said as a, as a small group sure.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Like we, we'd definitely love to help, help with that.

Terence:

Um, No.

Terence:

I often tell this story that, um, you know, we, we said to the, uh, the principal, okay.

Terence:

What we're going to do is we're going to host a, um, uh, a, a breakfast.

Terence:

So we're going to invite people in the school, uh, people in around that neighborhood come out, you know, on, on a Sunday morning and come and have breakfast.

Terence:

And I remember us making a whole bunch of pancakes and making a whole bunch of food and, and Caesar.

Terence:

Here's the thing, not a single person came.

Terence:

Um, so are

Caesar:

you doing it at your house or

Terence:

at the school?

Terence:

We did it in the gym at this inner city school.

Terence:

And there's

Caesar:

your first indicator?

Terence:

Well, yeah, so there, there is an end to that story, but so we did in the gym and, um, I remember talking to some, some people in the neighborhood afterwards and they said, Hey, I got the invitation, um, to come to the breakfast.

Terence:

Uh, but here's a thing they said we don't usually wake up until about noon.

Terence:

Um, and, and that was kind of the w you know, one of the first learnings that we had about, um, our community in downtown Thorold, uh, they didn't wake up till afternoon, or at least some of them anyway.

Caesar:

So thanks for the pancake at 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM, but

Terence:

they're not that great, exactly, exactly.

Terence:

And you notice these are how important it is for us to understand our context in order to engage meaningfully with the Gospel.

Terence:

So, yeah, and that was our first learning and our one of our first failures, you know, so then we kind of reassessed and we served a dinner instead, you know, and when people were actually awake and whole bunch of people came.

Terence:

And, and that was the beginning of something really beautiful.

Terence:

And, um, w we, we did that dinner on a monthly basis and, uh, after doing it for a couple years, grinding it out, just coming, you know, one Sunday, a month having a dinner and this school trying to cultivate community.

Terence:

After a couple of years, we were having somewhere between 50 to a hundred people come out to that gathering on a regular basis.

Caesar:

Now where these people that were living in, in somewhat proximity to you and the rest of the people in your, in your group,

Terence:

So yes, living in the same city, but not living the same neighborhood.

Terence:

And, and that is the development of the story of the table.

Terence:

So, um, we, we were serving in the inner city school and we're getting to know neighbors there.

Terence:

And, um, we really connecting had a lot of relationships.

Terence:

We're seeing early fruits.

Terence:

Like we were, were, we, we had a young family, for example, that that came to Christ and they had their kids baptized.

Terence:

As we got to know them and share the gospel with them.

Terence:

And as it grew grew a Caesar, as it w as this ministry grew, as we connected with this inner city school, which has been the hub of our mission, like activity, um, we, we recognized that God was inviting us to move and to move in closer to the school.

Terence:

And, um, so my wife, Karen and I, we, we prayed and, um, we, we sensed that God was calling us.

Terence:

To move from the suburb of Thorold, um, to right in downtown Thorold right now.

Terence:

Uh, my wife, Karen and I, we live right in the neighborhood.

Terence:

We live, uh, I, I can throw a ball and hit the school and our kids go to that school.

Terence:

So it's a story of kind of getting to know this context, getting to know our neighborhood, getting to know the people there.

Terence:

And then, you know, as we got to know them and prayed, you know, God invited us deeper into the heart of this community

Caesar:

and what a difference it makes when you like Jesus put on flesh and incarnate, hang out in the neighborhood.

Caesar:

Yeah, the difference, right?

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

That's that's John one verse 14.

Terence:

Oh, Jesus.

Terence:

The word took on flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood and, and that's, uh, that's what we're all about.

Terence:

Right.

Terence:

Okay.

Caesar:

Now what about the rest of your small group that wasn't living in that neighborhood?

Caesar:

How did those relationships go?

Caesar:

Because there, again, we talk a lot about here on the Everyday Disciple Podcast that just like you're saying you got to be amongst the people.

Caesar:

Cause there's, discipleships in all of life adventure.

Caesar:

It's not a, you know, a Missional project that we do once in a while, but not everybody is down for that.

Caesar:

A lot of us, the way we were sort of raised and taught and it's like, we are a family that sometimes goes and does a mission, but there's a big difference between that and a family that lives on mission with those folks.

Caesar:

So with that proximity difference in all, what, what were some of the things that came up as you moved in and wanted others to join you or participant?

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Well, I would say that's still a growth area.

Terence:

Um, for, for, uh, some people who are part of our Missional Community, uh, who they might be living in the suburbs of Thorold.

Terence:

And, uh, yeah, they still make the drive to come hang out with us at our gatherings or as they're connecting with people.

Terence:

Um, but in large part, um, the, the, our faith community here in downtown Thorold is a community that lives.

Terence:

Eh, and is rooted in this community.

Terence:

So there are people that are on our leadership team.

Terence:

There are people who, um, you know, came, came to faith in Jesus and, and are following him who have come up into the ranks of leadership, uh, at the table, um, who live in downtown Thorold that this is their community, where they live and breathe.

Terence:

For example.

Terence:

Um, there was, there was two guys, one came to Christ about seven years ago and the one about four years ago.

Terence:

And they've become really important leaders at the table.

Terence:

I just had lunch with them today.

Terence:

And I, I just walked over.

Terence:

It was like a three minute walk and we were praying for our neighborhood and just praying for the city.

Terence:

And yeah, I believe so strongly in that is that yeah.

Terence:

Like John one 14, Jesus moves into the neighborhood.

Terence:

We're called to, to move into the neighborhood and, uh, yeah, just see a small, I.

Terence:

Faith community, you know, grow and raised up here in our community.

Terence:

And not in other words, to see people come to Christ in downtown Thorold who were born and raised downtown Thorold become the future of our church.

Caesar:

That's a very, very healthy benchmark is when you see indigenous leaders starting to take the lead and there was, they came to faith locally through.

Caesar:

Family through the mission through the ministry, whatever you want to frame it as, but that is such a healthy indicator.

Caesar:

Cause that shows you when, when you have indigenous leaders, a lot of the other things are firing they're they're working, right?

Caesar:

Otherwise you wouldn't have gotten to that point.

Caesar:

And then you start to pick up speed because they, their roots go way deep in that case.

Caesar:

Yeah, so they have a lot more people, right?

Caesar:

So, boom, you move down there and you start this off.

Caesar:

That's a pretty, that's a pretty quick timeline.

Caesar:

I'm wondering, I'm guessing some of the other folks, listen, are wondering, what did it take for you to uproot a bunch of kids and a job and a situation and all that.

Caesar:

And all of a sudden be in a very different type of environment.

Caesar:

What were some of the challenges you experienced there as a family with your kids?

Caesar:

I know when we moved here to Tacoma in oh four, we had twoin high school.

Caesar:

And they were like, Nope, they went through all the stages of grief.

Caesar:

We're moving.

Caesar:

They were like, Nope.

Caesar:

And on argued and cried and pleaded.

Caesar:

But, but ultimately within about six weeks of being here, they loved it.

Caesar:

So w what was some of the challenges that as a family to really embrace some more incarnational experience, there were the people God called you to what's some of what you faced and some of the challenges that came up?

Terence:

Well, it was certainly a point of prayer for my wife, Karen and I.

Terence:

As we were discerning, whether God was inviting us to move and to downtown Thorold and, uh, yeah, Karen at here.

Terence:

And I had lots of conversations about it.

Terence:

There was times when she's, she was like, yeah, we need, we need to go all in on this.

Terence:

And then I was reluctant and there was times when she was reluctant.

Terence:

Um, but, but you know, through prayer and, and surrender to what God was calling us to be about.

Terence:

Um, yeah, we, we moved into the downtown and like, what are the, what are some of the changes.

Terence:

Well, um, part of, part of my story is, is, um, my wife, Karen and I, we actually lived and, and one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Thorold, um, we did, we did, and then we moved downtown Thorold, um, and moved into one of the poorest neighborhoods.

Terence:

in our city.

Terence:

So, I mean, if you want to talk about challenges, um, that was a huge, huge transition shock, a little culture shock for us.

Terence:

And, um, you know what, Cesar, we wouldn't have it any other way because we have learned so much from our neighbors here.

Terence:

Um, we have learned, um, you know, what a life of simplicity looks like.

Terence:

We, we have learned what a life of dependence on others and Community we've, we've learned a vulnerability is from our neighbors and we, we just wouldn't have it any other way.

Terence:

We just, we just love being here.

Terence:

And, and this, this neighborhood in downtown Thorold has taught us like my wife, Karen.

Terence:

Um, yeah, w you know what, you know, what are our true purposes in life, um, you know, for, for us to be rooted in God and rooted in community, and, and quite honestly, we didn't have that.

Terence:

And in our suburb, um, in our former life.

Terence:

And you know, there's a couple of practical things that are part of my story, like Karen and I were business owners and I made a six figure salary.

Terence:

And then when, when God called us deeper into ministry, I gave that all up man and gave it up.

Terence:

And now we we've taken a vow of poverty and, and we want to live here in downtown Thorold among our neighbors.

Terence:

Um, yeah, who may be under-resourced.

Caesar:

Well, I think a lot of people are resonating with what you're saying about like, we didn't really experienced that level of community and our faith lived out in that way in the past.

Caesar:

And I so commend you making that hard step in faith, big time, faith on, off the cliff, and where's the foot going to land.

Caesar:

I just want to let everybody know too.

Caesar:

God's not always going to call you from the wealthiest neighborhood in your town.

Caesar:

To the least, however it's happened in our life.

Caesar:

And it happens in some people's lives, but with you trust the father, it's the biggest thrill ride you're ever going to have.

Caesar:

And he already knew that and we get to trust him.

Caesar:

However, for most people it's going to be to take that step across the street, get to know that neighbor or that school on your corner.

Caesar:

Right at your corner or the, or the old folks home, the retirement village, that's three blocks away and you walk the dog, pass it every day and you just wave.

Caesar:

Those are your aunts and uncles in there.

Caesar:

Those are older brothers and sisters.

Caesar:

Those are people that are bearing the image of God and they, well they'll come.

Caesar:

They'll want to be part of the family for sure.

Caesar:

What are some of the rhythms that you began to develop there as a family, but also.

Caesar:

As the Community began to, you know, people began to stick and some of your small group participating still, what are some of the weekly rhythms that you first started out with?

Caesar:

What did, what started, what, what were you doing?

Caesar:

I know a lot of people are gonna want, and then when it looked like.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

I'll definitely talk about that.

Terence:

And I'll circle back to something that you said, and that is, yeah, we are not all called to move to, to live among an urban under-resourced neighborhood.

Terence:

I mean, w.

Terence:

To be where we are in our neighborhood and serve God there.

Terence:

I mean, our, our story is w one of what God called us to be about.

Terence:

That's not, you know, everybody's story and I'll emphasize that too.

Terence:

You know, it's, it's really important that we're involved in ministry and in wealthy neighborhoods, uh, you know, different contexts.

Terence:

And I think that's really, really important.

Terence:

So I'll start by saying that, but, um, what, what are our, our rhythms as a community?

Terence:

Well, it's something that you're very familiar with and something that I talk about in the.

Terence:

Book a piece of the city is we have a rhythm called up in and out and it's, we, you know, as a community and our discipleship relationships and as our, in our personal walks with, Jesus, we want to be growing up in our relationship with God.

Terence:

We want to be growing in, in our relationship to with each other, going deeper in Community and then growing out in our relationship with our community.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

So what did that look like?

Caesar:

Practically?

Caesar:

What were some of those initial up in or out rhythm?

Terence:

So here's a little story of, of an up rhythm.

Terence:

So growing up in our relationship, God that we learned early on as we were serving, um, in the, in the inner city school.

Terence:

So what we did was, is we started doing community dinners and we started to get to know our neighbors.

Terence:

And at the same time you had, you have to imagine we were a small group.

Terence:

That were you going out to serve as our out component, like getting to know our neighbors, but also as a small group, we had our, our devotion time, our, our, our, our Bible study time as a small group.

Terence:

And we started asking the question, well, what if we were to invite some of our neighbors to that Bible study?

Terence:

And we started actually kind of get worried.

Terence:

We started talking about it as a, as a small group.

Terence:

Cause you know, that's what Christians do.

Terence:

And we're like, yeah.

Terence:

So like what, what happens if someone comes like, will we still be able to go deep in God's word?

Terence:

Or if, you know, if we have a new person who has never heard of the Bible before?

Terence:

Um, yeah.

Terence:

What will that be like for us.

Terence:

And we were kind of freaked out.

Terence:

We like, we, we really didn't.

Terence:

What's that going to be like for

Caesar:

them?

Caesar:

That's

Terence:

exactly.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

W we were really concerned and we, and at one point we just said, you know what?

Terence:

We need to take the risk.

Terence:

We need to invite some of our neighbors that we have met.

Terence:

To come to a Bible study and Caesar, oh man, let me tell you when we got to know when we invited neighbors to that Bible study and, and we just, you know, shared a couple verses, you know, from a Gospel or something like that.

Terence:

And then just listened to the questions that some people were asking.

Terence:

Man, we, we, we were worried that we weren't going to go deeper, but w we just, we went deeper in amazing ways and new ways and new ways, like w where we were, we started to think about things differently because people were asking different questions and, and, you know, new, new people were, um, so inspired or in, awe and wonder of God's word and.

Terence:

Why don't we have that awe and wonder Of God's word.

Terence:

Um,

Caesar:

so that I often say, if you want to become a mature disciple of Jesus, then Disciple people be a disciple maker.

Caesar:

That is the number one way that you grow in maturity is to get.

Caesar:

Out there and be with people who aren't exactly like you and have the same preferences in the same age and stage of life.

Caesar:

And they, kids are just like your kid, you know, like we do the same thing with when we teach the story of God we teach.

Caesar:

That's a big thing in Community teaching narrative and dialogical night and day difference.

Caesar:

If you do a holy huddle with a bunch of Christians, or you do it with a bunch of people, Peace friends, neighbors that you've been building relationship with, and they're in the mix.

Caesar:

It always goes deeper there.

Caesar:

They're not so stuck on having the Sunday school answer and looking a certain way.

Caesar:

We've just find that people who aren't as familiar with it are, are blown away by the power of the word.

Caesar:

The beauty of the word who Jesus is.

Caesar:

It's such a stark contrast.

Caesar:

Um, the culture us, you know, it's like this guy looks amazing.

Caesar:

Great, great.

Caesar:

Let's fall deeper in love with him together.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Well, yeah.

Terence:

Let me jump in on something that you said about discipleship and, and, um, yeah, I, I have a motto that says we only truly making disciples, uh, when, when we're making disciples on mission.

Terence:

And I think as a small group, when we were just.

Terence:

Inward focus groups studying the Bible together.

Terence:

I don't think we're really, um, understand what it meant to be followers of Jesus.

Terence:

No, and it was only when we started to serve and the crucible of our community and get to know people that were radically different than us, or get to get to know people, um, yeah, that, that didn't look like us or talk like us and getting to know them and seeing what God was doing in their lives.

Terence:

Only then did we truly begin to be formed as followers of Jesus because their lives touch brushing up against ours, which was transforming us.

Caesar:

Absolutely.

Caesar:

And it should not surprise us.

Caesar:

Terrence because Jesus discipled in Community.

Caesar:

He never owned a copy of a Bible.

Caesar:

I don't want to shock everybody, but he never owned an old Testament.

Caesar:

New Testament wasn't even written.

Caesar:

He was the new Testament.

Caesar:

He wasn't just sitting down doing, fill in the blanks with the boys.

Caesar:

Right.

Caesar:

And it was out in Community.

Caesar:

We say the three legged stool isGospel in Community onmission without either one of those three legs missing, missing, you're not going to make mature disciples.

Caesar:

Of course you can't make disciples.

Caesar:

Apart from the Gospel, transforming us from unbelief to belief in every or life.

Caesar:

You can't do it outside of Community because one-to-one, I'm not Jesus alone.

Caesar:

So if I'm Disciple in the heck out of you, brother, you might learn some stuff.

Caesar:

Grow in the areas that I've grown in maturity, but I'm not Jesus alone we're the body.

Caesar:

So it requires that Community, the body of Christ, all those gifts and opinions and thoughts and challenges and woah differences.

Caesar:

And then out on mission, serving the least of these, being a servant, living out of our identity and resurfacing a whole lot more of our own Gospel unbelief and fear and preferences.

Caesar:

We're with people that aren't like us, or they're not even happy we're there.

Caesar:

How about that?

Caesar:

But Jesus said, be with them, love them.

Caesar:

Yeah, you need all three, right?

Terence:

You need all three.

Terence:

And you were using the image of, uh, of, you know, three legs on the stool.

Terence:

And often I'll use the image of, you know, a three course meal.

Terence:

And I think in a lot of cases, um, small groups are just eating.

Terence:

one Course of the meal, you know, and that is Bible study and growing up in relationship with God.

Terence:

And when we learn to live on mission, we start to eat the three-course meal, you know, in all equal parts, you know, growing up and growing in together and then growing out in our relationship with our community.

Terence:

And then we can truly, um, yeah, to live the way that Jesus did.

Terence:

Like you said, to, to engage our community and be transformed by God.

Terence:

and be transformed by the others as we do that,

Caesar:

there is no way around that.

Caesar:

So for those who like maybe you and I did for years and years and decades just maybe attend a church service once in awhile and maybe a midweek thing once a month, every other week where we just studied the word of God, but kind of isolated from living it out and with others and all that, uh, you've got the whole Christian life ahead of you.

Caesar:

You've got the whole Christian life ahead of you because Jesus didn't die that we'd sit in rows and silence once or 1.3 times a month or something like that when it fit our schedule.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Now there's a part four in your book is called that the Christian life.

Caesar:

And I found this to be really a cool, uh, and just really encouraging and super useful part of the book.

Caesar:

Let's talk just a little bit about with the time we got left.

Caesar:

Let's just talk a little bit about that.

Caesar:

That section on the Christian life, particularly exploring, um, how we get to live within a missional paradigm.

Caesar:

I really found that to be super interesting and again, in a lot of overlap, uh, in our experience in our heart and articulation of these things.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

So the, the fourth part of the book it's called the Christian Life.

Terence:

And I start with this quote from a, you know, a famous movie that I watched as a kid.

Terence:

It was beauty and the beast, and you remember the candlestick named Lumiere and he had this tag tagline that defined his life.

Terence:

And he said, life is so unnerving for the servant who is not serving.

Terence:

And that for me is a definition of the Christian life.

Terence:

You know, you know, we were talking about, um, being an inward focused small group.

Terence:

Um, if we're not serving our community in some way, our life is going to be unnerving and we're not going to be experienced the fullness of what God has to offer.

Terence:

And it's the same who you're

Caesar:

created to be.

Caesar:

He's a servant, that's part of our identity we're service.

Terence:

That's right.

Terence:

That's the way the cross has downward mobility and servanthood.

Terence:

And, um, yeah, so to, to flesh that out a little bit, um, I, I.

Terence:

Uh, sections of the book where I talk about, uh, how we can serve, uh, you know, uh, under-resourced, uh, sections of our community, or, you know, how we can serve our neighbor, how we can lower ourselves to place our neighbor above ourselves to serve them and that, and the name of Jesus.

Terence:

And that might be.

Terence:

No through hospitality by inviting our neighbor over, or, you know, in our own minds, lowering ourselves to go over to the person's house, who we would never go over to and, uh, you know, allow them to serve us, um, at, at their table.

Terence:

Um, I mean, th this is the stuff that Jesus was all about, you know, thinking about Jesus when he met Levi, uh, you know, here's a guy who is, you know, the worst of sinners in all the community.

Terence:

And, uh, Jesus goes up to him and it's like, yeah, let's go, let's go hang out at your house and have some food man.

Terence:

Like Jesus lowers himself being in very nature.

Terence:

God, Jesus lowers himself to go and hang out with Levi.

Terence:

Um, with, with Levi, the worst of sinners, and, uh, you know, that that's for me is that's what we're called to be about is servants in the name of Jesus.

Caesar:

We tend to isolate that and, and have a sort of us, them mentality is even as you're talking, I'm hearing, you know, that remnants of my upbringing in the church where it was like, you know, he looked at, he even hung out the worst of sinners.

Caesar:

I know your heart is not where I'm going with this illustration, but we get to realize that Jesus looked at every one of those people as his image bear, and like a S like a son or a daughter.

Caesar:

Yeah, I, and the father are one.

Caesar:

If you've seen the father, you've seen me.

Caesar:

If you've seen me, you've seen the father, you know, uh, the father.

Caesar:

And so he's not looking at it, like, look at that guy.

Caesar:

I'm like, well, I'm going to go hang out with them.

Caesar:

It'd be like you running into one of your kids that you hadn't seen for years because they weren't.

Caesar:

They were upset with you.

Caesar:

They didn't trust you.

Caesar:

They heard a lie, they believed.

Caesar:

And you're like, oh, but that's not the case.

Caesar:

And you see them on the street and they're like in a bad position, you wouldn't be like, look at that.

Caesar:

No.

Caesar:

All right, let me see what I can do.

Caesar:

You would look with such love and longing and compassion.

Caesar:

That's the heart of Jesus.

Caesar:

And only the Gospel brings that.

Caesar:

And it only comes from a life like you're saying lived in Community.

Caesar:

We say we live actually for the sake of others unto God's glory.

Caesar:

And we don't exist for us, but if you want to grow in maturity and become more like Jesus, then live his life, go make disciples who make more disciples

Terence:

and it will transform you.

Terence:

Oh yeah.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

You nailed the nail on the head and you're right.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

It, it begins with a posture of, of lowering ourselves.

Terence:

And that doesn't mean we're lowering ourselves down to the level of our neighbor.

Terence:

Um, what it means is as, as a recognizing, um, yeah, that, that there there's something that needs to break in us.

Terence:

So that's what I mean when, you know, when, when we lower ourselves, there's something that we need to break in us.

Terence:

And, you know, whether our pride, our, our, you know, our, our SU superficial vision of who we are and allow, you know, God.

Terence:

Um, to be the thing that defines us, not what we've created our mind and lower ourselves to be, you know, with, with the other.

Terence:

Um, yeah.

Terence:

And just to, to be a loving level, playing field with our neighbor and served with

Caesar:

the community called the table, I'm guessing that meals still are a big part of how you're interacting as a community.

Caesar:

And also as the wider community.

Caesar:

Now, ofpeople on all different rings of the journey of moving from unbelief to belief, what kind of rhythm of meals are you as a family experiencing and as a community with your People of Peace and different people in the neighborhood that God's brought into your family.

Caesar:

So to speak, what's that look like right now?

Terence:

And my book, I have a section called radical hospital.

Terence:

It's our primary practice as a Missional Community is to be a People of radical hospitality personally, for my wife, Karen and I, and for our kids, it means opening up our home, having meals with our neighbors or, you know, going over and hanging out at a barbecue at our neighbor's house and just living with, and just getting to know our neighbors and just getting to know each other.

Terence:

And having those life on life connections, as we deepen relationships, we have opportunities to talk about the deep things of life.

Terence:

And so for us, it's opportunity to share our love for Jesus or share about some of the things we're struggling with.

Terence:

And maybe for our neighbors, it's over a meal, sharing their struggles, then having an opportunity to pray for them in the name of Jesus

Terence:

so hospitality is huge for us as a family.

Terence:

And I think about it as a lot, quite honestly, even as a pastor, like making hospitality, practice of hospitality, one of the foremost things that I think about and live out as a pastor and as for Community Cesar as our table Community, this is something that I'm really excited about.

Terence:

So get this, the, the, the num the largest budget item.

Terence:

You know, so, you know, as faith communities, we often have budgets, you know, cause that's practical.

Terence:

Um, the largest budget item for our table Community is hospitality.

Terence:

And in other words, we, we, we have set up a number where we, we say that we, we want to have food.

Terence:

Uh, we, we want to have meals at all of our gatherings.

Caesar:

Couldn't agree more brother.

Caesar:

Couldn't be more.

Caesar:

So we'd done the same thing for years, budget of that, and even a separate little fund, any Missional Community, wanting to throw like a bigger, broader neighborhood wide thing, and they needed some extra money for serving or equipment or whatever.

Caesar:

We will get that money.

Caesar:

We will find that resource.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

Yeah, exactly.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

So very practically, you know, so we meet, um, at the, uh, at the canal with a group of men on Thursday nights.

Terence:

So there we live right by the Welland canal.

Terence:

So the ships come through from one great lake to the other and they come through the canal and there's one lock there called lock seven.

Terence:

So a bunch of us guys and guys from the neighborhood, hang out at that lock on Thursday nights.

Terence:

And the one thing that connects us all as we hang out there, is we bring food, we talk about, you know, who's going to bring some food next week.

Terence:

Sometimes it's it's guys from the table Community.

Terence:

Sometimes it's guys that we meet you, you want to bring some food or we'll just order pizza.

Terence:

And we hang out around food and, and we, we, we tried to work out those rhythms of, you know, as we connect with, with the guys there, you know, we, we ask if we can pray for them or, you know, we talk about the things that are going on in life.

Terence:

And a lot last week, there was a guy.

Terence:

Didn't grow up in the church.

Terence:

No, no concept of religion whatsoever.

Terence:

And, uh, he was saying, yeah, my, my, my dad was just diagnosed with Parkinson's and uh, he said, you know, as we were eating pizza, kind of the pizzas hanging out of my mouth and he goes, um, would it be possible for you to pray for my dad and I'm like, yeah, man, like let's do that.

Terence:

So we just prayed there together, you know, in the name of Jesus for his dad.

Terence:

And, uh, and, and, and then, you know, the time the followers, he's like, you know what I think I'm, I want to pray too.

Terence:

I, I think I want to pray every night before.

Terence:

I'm like, okay.

Terence:

Yeah, you pray before every night before you go to bed.

Terence:

That's awesome, man.

Terence:

And it's all just hanging out around food and then having opportunities to, to, uh, connect people with the heart of God.

Terence:

Um, around

Caesar:

a meal.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Beautiful.

Caesar:

I don't think we can do too much of it.

Caesar:

And what a perfect opportunity God has built into the rhythms of our life.

Caesar:

At least here in north America, approximately 21 times a week.

Caesar:

We're participating in that.

Caesar:

And so as everybody we know, it's a really a matter of intentionality.

Caesar:

It's not all, I'm just too busy.

Caesar:

But you're eating.

Caesar:

If nothing else, I can give you all the rhythms.

Caesar:

We have these six discipleship rhythms that kind of show you how all of life's been perfectly suited and fitted by God for discipleship and for his glory.

Caesar:

But that one is such an obvious one.

Caesar:

It's not a matter of addition, right.

Caesar:

It's just a matter of intentionality.

Caesar:

That's yeah.

Caesar:

That's awesome.

Caesar:

Now, just to wrap up, I have to ask, because you're in Canada, how did the whole restrictions around COVID and pandemic stuff and lockdowns and all, how did that affect you

Caesar:

and what are some of the things maybe you did to keep going and getting around it?

Caesar:

Not like Lee illegally, but I mean, to still keep being in people's lives and having meals and staying connected.

Terence:

Well, here in Canada, we were facing the same realities as you.

Terence:

I know because I'm part of peer groups with people who serve in ministry throughout north America.

Terence:

And, um, yeah, it was a real challenge, man.

Terence:

It was the challenge.

Terence:

It was for everybody.

Terence:

But like so many churches we had to shift, we had to sh.

Terence:

For example, I talked about early on about having community dinners, um, in an inner city school, gym.

Terence:

And, you know, that was something that we did for like five, six years.

Terence:

Uh, we had to shift because we couldn't have those gatherings in the school gym anymore.

Terence:

So we started having them in our homes.

Terence:

Um, so here at our home, we have a car port and we started hosting some meals underneath our carport.

Terence:

And our house and that there's another lady, who's a leader at the table.

Terence:

Um, wonderful single mom.

Terence:

She started hosting some dinners in her backyard and, uh, you know, or, you know, the coolest story of last summer and COVID, um, she got to know this young woman who kept coming out.

Terence:

Uh, this young woman, her, her husband had passed away from a drug overdose and she was left as a single mom with a two year.

Terence:

And she came and connected with this leader, um, at the table.

Terence:

And, uh, she heard the gospel and she was baptized in, in this leader's backyard, in the pool.

Terence:

Um, in the midst of COVID Thats how I got baptized,

Caesar:

I wasn't COVID then, but it was in a pool and a leader's backyard

Terence:

know, uh, so, you know, how do we get on?

Terence:

I mean, it was hard.

Caesar:

Well, way to go.

Caesar:

You just kept making it work because that's what family does.

Caesar:

And we say that to a lot of the folks that we coach too.

Caesar:

It's like, I know it takes a little bit of creativity.

Caesar:

It's a different thing.

Caesar:

Instead of meeting with everybody all at one meal, now you're having five meals with just a few people, or you're doing it in your car port.

Caesar:

We had to move our happy hours out to the driveway.

Caesar:

Like it's just different.

Caesar:

And now things are a little more open here and we can do kind of what we want.

Caesar:

We really can't.

Caesar:

Other than you have to wear a mask at a store or whatever, but yeah.

Caesar:

But yeah.

Caesar:

But it's opened up, but, but I didn't feel like we lost any ground or momentum.

Caesar:

It was different.

Caesar:

I think we went deeper with fewer, which is never a bad thing and then wider with more as it opened up.

Caesar:

But while I was just curious in that, cause I know there was some unique challenges, uh, up north, there of us, but way to go to love people well enough to figure it out, sorted out, keep moving forward.

Caesar:

What a

Terence:

beautiful.

Terence:

Yeah.

Terence:

And I talked about another example that hanging out at the canal at lock seven, we had just identified that as a place where people were just hanging out doors outside in the midst of.

Terence:

the pandemic.

Terence:

We notice and we just, we just walked into that.

Terence:

So we just started hanging out there, started bringing some food, um, you know, right in our neighborhood, just living with open eyes and praying and just seeing where people are gathering, gathering, and then just stepping into that and stepping into that and engaging with the Gospel.

Caesar:

Oh, I love it, man.

Caesar:

That's a heart level shift that you're expressing there.

Caesar:

I've never saw this thing as a, well, it's a technical issue or it's a medical or it's a political, or it's illegal nah.

Caesar:

It's a heart level.

Caesar:

We get to look.

Caesar:

With the eyes of a missionary and the power of the holy spirit into those types of situations and go, okay, lead us, show us, empower us resources, but there's your people.

Caesar:

There's those image bearers of yours that you created for your glory.

Caesar:

So we'll get to we'll figure it out.

Caesar:

We'll we'll if that don't work, we'll try something

Terence:

else.

Terence:

It's okay.

Terence:

I can't emphasize enough.

Terence:

The power of.

Terence:

prayer I mean, just coming to God, as, you know, as a small group or Missional Community as a church in the midst of shifts that we're seeing in the world, you know, it's harder to do ministry.

Terence:

I can't emphasize enough the power of prayer.

Terence:

That's been huge for us and just coming to God and seeking his direction and seeking his will for what he wants us to be about in our, in our community.

Terence:

That would be my encouragement to people is to start with prayer and just keep on praying as you.

Terence:

Make steps of faith into your

Caesar:

community.

Caesar:

What next Lord, we'll do that.

Caesar:

And then we'll ask again.

Caesar:

Yeah.

Caesar:

Beautiful, great encouragement.

Caesar:

Thanks again, Terrence, for being with us and just being willing to share a bunch of your story.

Caesar:

I, I have a thousand more questions I could ask, but what I'll do instead is I will finish.

Caesar:

Your, your book, peace of the city.

Caesar:

And I'm gonna encourage our listeners as well to go into the show notes, check it out, search it up on Amazon.

Caesar:

I'll have a link for sure in our show notes, but you can find it at Amazon.

Caesar:

And I hope you will.

Caesar:

I hope you'll check it out and be further encouraged that you can trust the spirit of God to move you from kind of a passive and static Christian experience to be in part of his great mission and live in the life we were created to what a thrill ride.

Caesar:

Thanks for telling us a little bit about you're thrilled, ride today?

Terence:

Yeah, thanks.

Terence:

Great to be with you Caesar.

Terence:

Have a good one.

Caesar:

Okay.

Caesar:

Wow.

Caesar:

I hope that is encouraging to you.

Caesar:

Maybe you're finding yourself in that same place where you're kind of hearing God's voice say there's more for you.

Caesar:

We're not just going to blow this off, or we're not just going to keep going through the paces, but I have more for you.

Caesar:

Will you follow me?

Caesar:

And I had that happen, Tina and I've had that happen so many times in our life before.

Caesar:

And even though it's been scary, I won't lie.

Caesar:

There's always this.

Caesar:

Wow.

Caesar:

I can't even imagine if we hadn't followed God there, we look back at our life and we see all of those steps, all of those sort of breaking of our strongholds in and giving us new faith.

Caesar:

We see all of those as grace now it's really, really the life that Jesus died to give us.

Caesar:

And so maybe today's episode really hits you where your heart is.

Caesar:

Now as always, I want to leave you today with the big three takeaways from the topic.

Caesar:

So if nothing else, you don't miss these, maybe you're working out or driving and you can't write this down.

Caesar:

You can get a printable PDF of this as a download for free just by going to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash big three.

Caesar:

Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash big three bag three.

Caesar:

All right, here's the big three for this week.

Caesar:

First God doesn't always call us to big changes, but when he does, he provides the faith that we need andthe resources we'll need for the journey.

Caesar:

Terran says in his Peace in the city book, following Jesus is not an act or.

Caesar:

It's an act of faith and submission and it doesn't start with perfection.

Caesar:

It starts right where we are.

Caesar:

I love that.

Caesar:

He says by taking one small step of obedience, one step towards a lifestyle of Christ likeness that grows in intensity throughout our lives.

Caesar:

Yeah, powerful God.

Caesar:

Doesn't expect us to start with perfection.

Caesar:

All right.

Caesar:

Number two of the big three are calling to make disciples among a specific group of people requires us to be present with them.

Caesar:

That's a big part of my takeaway from this story, just like Jesus came to us as a human and he took on the rhythms and customs of the people he was with.

Caesar:

Well, so must we give our lives?

Caesar:

Not just our programs are.

Caesar:

To those who God calls us to making disciples.

Caesar:

is an all of life engagement that ultimately radically reorients our time and resources for God's glory.

Caesar:

And number three, how long will you settle for the present circumstances in your church or small group?

Caesar:

If you're not happy with them, if you, as in Terrance's story, feel like God is calling you your family or community deeper into a lifestyle of discipleship, moving on from a practice of your faith that has primarily been done on Sundays or one extra night each week.

Caesar:

Now is your time.

Caesar:

Jesus didn't die.

Caesar:

So we might sit in rows or in classrooms merely hearing about him.

Caesar:

You've heard me say that a lot, the greatest adventure you'll ever experience awaits.

Caesar:

Take that first step today.

Caesar:

Just ask him, he'll show you and you can trust him.

Caesar:

I'll put a link to Terrance's book peace of the city in the show notes.

Caesar:

If you go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash Podcast, that's where the show notes are.

Caesar:

You can find it every week.

Caesar:

That's where you can also click on to download the big three.

Caesar:

If you need to, all of that stuff will be in there.

Caesar:

Well, that's it for today.

Caesar:

I hope you'll join me next week.

Caesar:

I'm going to be talking about celebration according to the.gospel a lot of holidays coming up.

Caesar:

A lot of parties, a lot of work parties, church parties, neighborhood parties, all kinds of stuff.

Caesar:

In fact, we live in a rhythm of celebration.

Caesar:

Let's talk about how the Gospel informs celebration and some of the cultural challenges we might face.

Caesar:

People party and celebrate and ways that we don't feel comfortable with.

Caesar:

Think you're going to really enjoy that.

Caesar:

There'll be an encouragement to you as well.

Caesar:

I'll talk to you soon.

Announcer:

Thanks for joining us today.

Announcer:

For more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit Everyday Disciple dot com.