#Intentionality: New Wine Podcast #007

To put the point of this podcast is an over-used metaphor: Following Jesus is not a spectator sport.  We can’t do it well if we’re sitting on the bench.  No!  We must be active and intentional!  It’s our job to do that which God created us to do!


You can listen to it on the bottom of this post, on iTunes, or on Stitcher.

If you like it, would you please rate it and even leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher?  That would be super cool!



By: Raoul Luoar

Lastly, how cool is it that this is podcast 007!?  James Bond had to be intentional to as good of a spy as he was!


Lessons from My Weight-Loss (Be Intentional)

On April 27th, 2011 I was obese.  According to my Body Mass Index, weighing in at a husky 250 pounds at my height (6’2″) slid me right into the obese category.  Over the next nine months I worked hard, counting every calorie consumed and burned, and lost 65 pounds!  Now, quite a while later, I’ve gained back 5 of those pounds, but I’m convinced that most of that is muscle!

In case you were curious, here’s some pictorial evidence.  On the left is me at 250 pounds and on the right is me at 190 pounds!

The purpose of this post, however, is not just to pat myself on my back for my weight loss.  Instead it’s to share some of the lessons I learned and apply them to being a missionally postured, incarnationally activated follower of Jesus.  This is Part One and there will be more parts to come periodically.

So, what is the first lesson? Be Intentional.

Losing weight, for me at least, did not just happen.  It required a great deal of effort and purposefulness.

Getting to 250 pounds just happened though!  That was easy!  But losing the weight (and keeping it off) has been a process that has been difficult for me at times.  I’m not a person who plans things out carefully by nature.  I prefer to live life by the seat of my pants!  But doing so led me down a path to obesity.

So, with some effort, some support from my amazing wife Alida (along with my family and friends), and some patience, I lost the weight.  I made a plan and I stuck to it.  I knew exactly what I was shooting for and I had figured out the best way for me to reach my goals.

How does this apply to being missional?

I’m so glad you asked!  In the American church we have just been “doing church” now for quite some time.  We figured that discipleship was just going to happen, that evangelism was just going to happen, and that leadership development was just going to happen.

Where has that gotten us?  Well, by almost any standard you’d like to use, we have a great vacuum of actively-growing disciples in the church.  Evangelism for many of us has become something only the very few and very, very brave engage in, since we’ve narrowly defined it as going up to a stranger and trying to reason them or scare them or persuade them into saying the sinner’s prayer.  And we have a great need for more dedicated, trained, and passionate leaders.

In other words, we’re in trouble.

What can we do?  Well, we can start by being intentional!  Just like I had to sit down and come up with a plan in order to lose weight, we need to strategize together about how best to reach this mission field called America.  And whatever our plan is, it can’t be just a repackaging of our old methods.  That’s what I tried when I was 250 pounds.  All it did was keep me fat.

It’s my assertion that if we keep on doing the same things as the church, then we’ll keep getting the same results.  It’s well passed time that we try some new methods of discipling up, reaching out, and worshiping well.  The ramifications of us continuing to waste time are simply too dire.  We must change!

There are a thousand things we could begin to be more intentional about, but here’s an “easy” one.  Let’s stop thinking about and talking about the church as a building where we go to consume religious goods and services and instead let’s start thinking about and talking about being the church among those who need the good news.  This small shift can make a huge difference!

What are some other ways that we could be more intentional as missional followers of Jesus?  Let me know in the comments below!

Missional Leadership Development

OpenClips / Pixabay

If you are a leader you are developing leaders, even if you don’t know it.

The question is this: Are you doing it on purpose or by default?

In my case I’ve spent the last 19 years or so developing leaders passively, or by default.  I figured that as I taught the Bible, led worship, and moderated discussions that burgeoning leaders would simply learn by osmosis.

I was wrong.

How do I know?    That’s not how I learned to be a leader!  Several people took special interest in me, devoting time and energy to me.  They sat me down and taught me how to teach, how to lead, how to counsel, how to plan, how to be on mission, etc.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve submitted to the leadership of some poor leaders in my day too.  And in those cases I knew that I wasn’t being led well because they weren’t leading me.  Instead they were placing all the responsibility on me.  I get that.  Who wants to volunteer for more to be put on his or her proverbial plate?

Whatever the case, somewhere along the line I dropped the ball.  I went from being intentionally developed by a few great people to hoping this whole missionally following Jesus thing would just rub off on those I would like to develop.  This was a mistake…and I don’t want to make it anymore.

So, as I look back into my past I can think of a handful of people that I did invest in intentionally. In these few relationships I tried to be strategic and purposeful.  Here are a few things I learned:

  1. Be Clear about Expectations — If you are wanting to invest in someone or someone asks you to mentor them, spell out the expectations.  How often are you going to meet?  What will you talk about?  Who will be responsible?  What are you asking of yourself and the other?
  2. Hold Each Other Accountable  Listen to the person you are investing in.  He or she will likely tell you, overtly or covertly, how you are doing.  When you get this information, respond!  Make changes when appropriate in order to help the person you are leading reach his/her potential.  And hold the one you are leading accountable to the things he or she agrees to.  Don’t assume progress is being made — check up on it!
  3. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up — I have found that when it comes to leadership development, one old adage is true and one is not.  It’s not true that distance makes the heart grow fonder!  Instead, distance helps lead the heart to wander.  On the flip side, it is true that once you are out of sight, the one you are leading will eventually let you drop out of mind.  How do you prevent this?  Meet regularly, check in via email, facebook, text, etc. more often than you meet in person, and do a drop in every now and then!
  4. Listen a Bunch and Listen Some More after That — If you’re anything like me, then you like to talk!  But if I want to help someone grow in their leadership, I need to listen way more than I talk.  This is so very hard for me!  Instead of listening I’d rather think out loud, fix problems, and just enjoy the sound of my own voice!  But doing so hampers the growth of the one in which I’m investing.
  5. Be Inviting — There may be nothing that is more damaging in leadership development than being overly guarded.  I’m not saying that you should be stupid and eradicate all the boundaries around you and your family.  But what I am saying is that you must be authentic with the ones you are leading.  Invite them in.  Lead by example  Let them see you fail.  And let them see you get back up again!

What else would you add to this list?  How else can we develop missional leaders?  Let me know in the comments below!