Welcome IMN 2006 Cohort

Today, from 12 noon until 1 PM PST, I’ll be hosting an online gathering of the International Mentoring Network 2006 cohort here at my blog. IMN cohort, welcome. Click on the comment link below to enter the conversation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: after you make a comment, refresh your browser. Refreshing your browser will allow any new comments to appear on the page.


48 responses to “Welcome IMN 2006 Cohort”

  1. Alex Avatar

    Welcome to “Into the Mystic,” my leadership blog. As you check in, tell us your name, part of the country you’re in, and your role or area of service in the kingdom.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: after you make a comment, refresh your browser. Refreshing your browser will allow new comments to appear on your page.

  2. Octavio Avatar

    Octavio here.
    I’m in Southern California, the city of Whittier, a suburb of Los Angeles.
    I’m a church planter and the lead pastor of Sojourn.

  3. Eric Devine Avatar

    Hello everyone, eric devine here from Silver City, NM. My wife and I are planting a Mosaic here in the Southwest.

  4. Alex Avatar

    Octavio and Eric, Welcome. Glad you’re here. Just a reminder, refresh your browser from time to time. This will post to your page any new comments.

  5. Jon Avatar

    Hello everyone. Jon Olson here from Southern Oregon, Medford to be exact.

  6. Dave Elmore Avatar
    Dave Elmore

    Hi All! Dave Elmore from Palmdale CA here. I’m the lead pastor of “Westview Church” here in the Antelope Valley.

  7. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    Andy J here from the beautiful Pac NW. I have almost completed my first year as the pastor of worship arts for congregation called Fox IslandAlliance Church. I am also the pastor of a young adult community within that congregation called Restitution. My wife and I live in Gig Harbor, WA, just across a bridge from Tacoma.

  8. Jon Avatar

    My parents live in Gig Harbor. They are members of Chapel Hill. I love that part of the world.

  9. Alex Avatar

    Jon, Dave, AJ…welcome.

  10. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    ‘Tis a small world indeed, Jon. How often do you get up to see your folks. Things are changing quite a bit up this way. They are making huge strides on the 2nd bridge. It has got me thinking a lot about planning and building the future. To think… someone had the plans for a 2nd bridge years ago, we won’t get to drive on it until 2007, and it will affect our community in so many areas. I have also learned that building big dreams takes a lot of daily tasks. The builders of the future usually do not do so overnight.

  11. Jon Avatar

    We were up in August and will be back for a few days after thanksgiving. My wife’s family lives in Renton. I grew up in Kirkland. There are a lot of changes in the area. Great insights about the connection between the bridge and building our dreams.

  12. Eric Devine Avatar

    I have this quote in my office by Sir William Osler:
    “The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.”

  13. Octavio Avatar

    eric, good quote.
    andy, like Jon said…good metaphor.

  14. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    The metaphor has come as a result of both seeing the bridge and attending the Origins conference last May. I appreciate Alex’s comments about trying to be relevant is an admission of catching up culturally. Jesus, being from the future, is the most relevant person in the 21st century. Then you add Erwin’s indictment… do you want to be a Bible teacher or a prophet of the living God. So in all those things I hear God’s voice… I long to be a creator of the future, not merely a responder to the present.

  15. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    So part of the reason I am here is to be mentored in that process.

  16. Eric Devine Avatar

    Octavio, did you plant Sojourn? If so, what was the greatest challenge greatest challenge you had to overcome in getting it of the ground? What mistakes did you make? What would you do differently?

  17. Dave Avatar

    Andy – Well said! Exactly why I’m here.

  18. Alex Avatar

    AJ, amazing memory. A good mental check list to create is: Why is Jesus the most relevant human in the 21st century?

  19. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    Dave, what have been the milestones of your church reboot? How long have you been there? Did you evcer have to face a decision of leaving or changing the church?

  20. Alex Avatar

    Eric, That’s an excellent question. Octavio, are there things you would have done differently if you could go back?

  21. Octavio Avatar

    eric…and everyone else,

    yes i did plant sojourn. the greatest mistake i made?it was thinking it was going to be easy.
    we started with folks who were faithful to give and quickly gained favor with the owners of the nightclub. further, we were on the front page of the local paper…a two-page, color photo story!
    but most of the folks we began with were interested in meetings instead of movement.

    it caught me off guard and i had to play catch up.
    if i had to do it all-over, i would have begun with new followers who did not have a meeting mentality, but wanted to be part of a movement.

    happily, we’re attracting those follwers now.

  22. Alex Avatar

    Hey guys, The IMN process is cumulative so let’s drive what the spirit is teaching us deeper.

    From our online conversation on The Barbarian Way…Is there some question or thought that is becoming refined as you mull it over in your thinking? What ideas are emerging to the forefront of your thinking?

    Concise repetition is not only OK, it’s good.

  23. Jon Avatar

    For me one fo the differences is between creating a church and changing the world through a church. What I mean is that it seems to be that the old mindet was to create congregations that were viable (money, people programs etc..), rather than see the church as the body of Christ, sent to witness God’s love and minister to a lost and broken world.

  24. Alex Avatar

    Octavio, I like the concise description of the kinds of followers we choose between: those who like meetings or those who like movement.

    What are the ways that Pastors and Church Planters attract those who only like meetings? And how can we avoid it?

  25. Jon Avatar

    I meant to write witness to God’s love, but I guess if we follow Christ people will witness God’s love through fellow people of the Way.

  26. Alex Avatar

    Jon, Yes. The local church is not the end in and of itself, but can be one of the means God can use to the greater end of touching the whole world.

  27. Greg Knake Avatar
    Greg Knake

    Hey all Greg Knake here. I’m in Cincinnati and gathering people to plant a church in the city. Sorry that I’m late-looks like an interesting discussion.

  28. Eric Devine Avatar

    I just keep thinking about “Working out my salvation in fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. Not my “salvation” so much as my story. And how it ties in with the stories of Heb. 11. The end of Heb. 11 focuses on some of those who were rejected/sawn in two. The Barbarian Way challenges us to be mushroom eaters despite the fear. Make sense?

  29. Alex Avatar

    Dave, I’m interested too in AJ’s question. Any landmark moments in your “reboot”?

    Reminder to all: refresh.

  30. Dave Avatar

    Andy, my experience with this “reboot” is more akin to a resurrection from the dead than simply the pushing of a button and waiting for things to reconfigure themselves. I’ve been at it for 4 years and am still just beginning, or so it seems. I’ve contemplated quitting countless times, but don’t believe that to be the God honoring thing to do. It was never my intention to disassemble a church and completely reassemble it, but that is precisely what it has become.

  31. Alex Avatar


    Welcome. Glad you made it.

  32. Octavio Avatar


    we attract movement lovers by moving!

    follow christ to help humanity.
    others wil join.

    some, may even be followers!

  33. Greg Knake Avatar
    Greg Knake

    Alex my question would be similar to what you propose here. What are some practical ways that you guys have helped others move from a consumer of “religious goods and services” to a focus on serving others?

  34. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    I was involved with a church plant for a couple of years in a growing Microsoft community in a cow town east of seattle. I served as the 2nd guy – I suppose you could call it an all-purpose worship and associate pastor. I found that my problem is that I have been so raised and bred in church, that my default mode is putting together a decent meeting on Sunday morning simply because it require4s the least amount of effort and creativity. That so affected us that we attracted only churched people who were tired of driving to the next town for church.When we closed the church a year ago this month, we realized we had reached only churched people and no unchurched peopled (except a couple of spouses of the unchurched). I am afraid that most church planting training gears us toward meetings. Even worse the expectations of the finanicial backers is usually based on a number at some kind of corporate gathering. So perhaps a church planter intentionally avoids a corporate gathering for a long while? I long to hear what you guys have to say about this subject.

  35. Dave Avatar


    My own journey away from “meeting” – towards “movement” has been part of the challenge. I’ve changed, now I’m attempting to lead the church there. (Love the heart of that Octavio! Says it so well.)

  36. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    Dave, what specifically has changed in you during the transition from meeting to movement? Any before and after bullet points about how you use your time will help.

  37. Greg Knake Avatar
    Greg Knake

    Andy I have similar thoughts. As we’ve begun things here we’ve tried to keep the focus on serving the community in practical ways rather than directing all of our energy towards meeting for a “service”. It’s been challenging becuase it seems that the expectations that most have when we mention a church is geared to the question of when will your first meeting be rather than how are you serving the community. As we move forward I’m inviting people to come serve with us rather than inviting them to a service. I’m curious to see how people connect to that idea.

  38. Dave Avatar

    Don’t have the time to answer that fully. I’m a recovering charismatic (no offense) who has found myself on a path away from the values/beliefs of my upbringing. That’s been a part of the movement… away from self-focused moments of personal experience in a church service and into a lifestyle of moment by moment embracing the work of God and living at the epicenter of His activity.

  39. Alex Avatar

    excellent conversation guys, but our time has come to an end.

  40. Alex Avatar

    an hour is perfect. just long enough to really get things going. there’s lots of stuff to think through here. excellent.

    one last thing…

  41. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    I enjoyed this hour and look forward to getting to know you brothers more. For now, I’m off to lunch with my wife.

  42. Eric Devine Avatar

    This past weekend I was in Atlanta and I made it a point to go by Ebeneezer Baptist Church. That is the church were Dr. King grew up, his father pastored there. When I think of him I automatically think of the “Civil Rights MOVEMENT.” I think anyone back then knew exactaly what they were getting into when they joined with Dr. King. Like Alex once said, “We need to call people to lay down their lives for the service of the Gospel rather than creating a place were they are cared for.”

  43. Dave Avatar

    Thanks guys! Look forward to hearing more of your story in the future.

  44. Alex Avatar

    …the next online conversation is Strengths Finder. This class will not only help you as leaders, it will also give you a way of engaging others –both Christ following and non — in ways that release them to serve.

    also, stay tuned for an email from me with a reading list for the upcoming class and the 7-Day Immersion.

    Until next time, I’ll see you “in the mystic…”

  45. Andy Johnson Avatar
    Andy Johnson

    Alex, an email regarding the status of imosaic would be helpful when you have the time. Just really curious and eager. Thanks!

  46. Clint Crawford Avatar

    Hey there,
    I’m Clint and I’m pretty much on a sojourn I suppose!
    I’m from Texas, started pursuing an MDiv at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and now (because of Katrina) I’m in Atlanta. I’m living with and interning with a pastor of a church plant here.

    I feel God is leading me to plant a church (shortly before I moved in with this pastor, which is the crazy thing) someday somewhere.

    And yes, I did get to go to Catalyst while I’ve been here.

  47. Joseph Holcomb Avatar
    Joseph Holcomb

    I really love this blog. All the talk about having a movement mentality instead of a meetings mentality makes my heart leap with excitement. I am part of a vision team at my church (which is very meetings driven) I wonder how I could speak with humility and love to my pastor about how our church could make the change from a meetings mindset to a movement mindset? I need to be able to give my life to some community of believers moving together to change the world. Thank you allowing me to make this post even though I’m not really in the conversation.

  48. Hermann du Plessis Avatar

    Because of the time difference, Alex it is difficult to join, but enjoyed reading the conversation.

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