VantagePoint3 has been helping set a table for truly making disciples in the local church.
It really is true that we hear stories of how VP3 has been a catalyst for growth and depth in Christ almost every day.
Last week I had the privilege of leading one of those conversations with Pastor Wesley Kouba and four adults who were part of his first Journey group at Lakeside Church in Worthington, Minnesota. Rob Loane, (president of VP3) and I have had our eye on Wesley for a while. When our paths would cross, he would ask such intriguing questions. He was so focused on what he could do to put his hand and heart to truly making disciples in the local church like Jesus modeled.
I asked Wesley, “What do you recall about WHY you wanted to start a Journey group? What were you feeling?”
“You can ‘do church’ and never make disciples,” stated Pastor Wesley.
“But the very thing that gets me up in the morning is the desire to be and make disciples who eagerly follow Jesus. I was looking for a way to put what I most cared about into action. Several years ago I bumped into VantagePoint3 and the processes made sense to me as the environment for adult growth. We had prayed for a long time about our desire to make disciples here.”
And now, Pastor Wes and his first four Journey friends marvel at what’s happening. “It is so encouraging. So rich. So transformative. For me and for others.”
“The four I asked just seemed to have something special stirring in their lives with God. I noticed it in our conversations. They committed to going on a journey together…more than a Bible study, but less formal than a class,” described the young pastor.
The North American church is overloaded and pressed with non-disciple-making activity explains the wise, counter-cultural leader. “That makes it hard to feel like there’s ever time for the slow, inefficient work of discipleship. But this group was hungering for more.”
And the testimonies from the men and women in Wesley’s first Journey group offer abundant confirmation that what Wesley was noticing, was true:
“I was looking for something more…ready to commit to something. The Journey helped me recognize the voice that I had been hearing.” ~ Jason
“I was hungry…wanting more. I felt I had been in spiritual diapers too long. I was ready to start growing and put into practice my faith in Jesus. I was tired of pretending that everything was good in my life.” ~ America
“My concept of church has always been that it was full of perfect people. I don’t have to hide anymore. But I don’t know that you can get to this kind of transformation without a small group of people.” ~ Mike
“I’m a learner, so I was quick to get excited about The Journey. But it turned out to be more than I even expected. It’s been so rich. And I’m taking some next steps in ministry and leadership that are beyond my former imagination.” ~ Mary
A remarkable note to this story, is that EACH of the four in the first Journey group went on to be trained and then LED their own Journey groups that concluded in the last couple months. So that now, 17 additional adults have experienced The Journey. And more groups will form in the future.
“We are grateful for the Lord’s kindness and timing for us at Lakeside Church. We are grateful for the incredible ways God is shaping us through two seasons of Journey groups. We are no longer known as a rich country club-like church, but as a place where we actually make disciples.”
With humility and joy, Pastor Wesley recaps, “VantagePoint3 is helping us live out a slowed-down spirituality. The Lord is never in a hurry. We are ambassadors for Jesus here disguised as stay-at-home moms, electricians, farmers, construction workers and teachers. Each of us are better equipped to follow Jesus. We feel blessed.”
I was blessed by getting to spend time with Wes, Mary, Mike, Jason and America. You each inspire us in the stewardship of VantagePoint3. This is the very thing that gets us up every morning. Amen and amen.
When you invest in VantagePoint3 you help us set the table for Christian leaders who are deeply passionate about discipleship and leadership development in the local church and beyond. Our processes and partnership give ministry leaders the tracks to run down so they can pay attention to the Holy Spirit and the unique people right in front of them.