New Edition of Game Plan!

Game Plan coverA revised and updated edition of “Game Plan: Developing Intentional  Missional Ministry” is now available! 

To order it online from Amazon, click here, or you can contact Tim directly at timroehl@usfamily.net  for bulk orders.

Here’s what some leaders are saying about Game Plan:

“I greatly appreciate “Game Plan” for us in working with missionary development in the Caribbean. I was looking for a practical guide for ministry development for any context and I found it in “Game Plan”. Since it is practical and biblically based, it is well received and useful across cultures. Since it has a story line, it is easy to follow in a practical way.”
– Richard Yoder, One Mission Society Caribbean Field Director

“What a joy to find a road map with “Next Steps” to encourage building Great Commission Churches through Great Commandment living. Game Plan achieves this well.”
– Gary E. Wright President, World Renewal Int’l; Evangelist, Evangelical Friends Church; Community Church Missions

“Practical! Practical! Practical! The narrative approach and breadth of resources make Game Plan a must have, practical resource for engaging the Great Commission in meaningful, missional ways. Every lay person, pastor, missionary and church planter who is serious about making disciples will find this to be a useful resource. This is a book to order by the case to share with others in your personal efforts to make and multiply disciples.”
– Rev. Bob Ransom, US Ministries Director, The Missionary Church

“Game Plan is a game changer. The coach approach in every chapter allows readers to immediately develop a community impacting Game Plan. If you desire to reach a community for Christ this book will prove to be more valuable than any seminar you have ever attended.”
– Sam Farina, Assemblies of God USA Coaching Task Force Leader.

“Game Plan is a must read for anyone struggling to make sense of church life or who longs to fit and flourish in God’s Kingdom. Tim Roehl provides a delicate balance of coaching, coach training, and clear and helpful teaching. It was easy to follow the conversation Roehl provides, replacing Tom’s name with my name. His story overlaps my story. Maybe yours as well. Having first hand exposure to Tim and his coaching and teaching ministry, Game Plan is about as close as you can get without flying him in for the weekend. It’s an easy read. But you will want to linger over each section until it becomes yours. Read it. Read it with others.”
– Rev. Les Cool, Pastor, Director of Church Planting for the Evangelical Congregational Church

“Tim Roehl masterfully accomplishes his goal to create a ‘coach yourself forward’ resource manual! His questions for personal self-reflection or team discussion stimulate vision and discernment, and the appendices provide biblically-based missional strategies rich with application…all this in a book that is highly engaging and adaptable to the reader’s own pace.”
–Dr. Wayne Schmidt, VP Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University

“Game Plan is not for cowardly leaders who wish to play it safe. It is for those brave souls who are willing to get out of the bubble of “doing church as usual” in order to make a difference in their community and beyond. You will find this self-coaching guide practical and relevant for creating a missional culture in your church.”
– Mark O Wilson, Pastor, Author of “Purple Fish” & “Filled Up, Poured Out”

I love the story Tim uses to get across his message. It captures your attention and makes the development of missional ministry come alive through the characters Tim has developed. He makes it a very practical, step by step process without it feeling like it. For me what makes his message even more tangible, is having had him for a coach myself. Tim isn’t just writing a book – he is sharing his heart for developing people and changing lives. This is the real thing, and so is he.
– Rev. Ray Van Gilst, District Superintendent with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Central Pacific District

To read what other leaders are saying about Game Plan, click Game Plan Endorsements.

To view more information about the book and downloadable resources click here.

 

Christmas Hearts: “The Gift of Joy”

“Something was missing…something that he had been secretly looking for a long time. What was it? Happiness? No, that wasn’t quite the Christmas Hearts cover frontright word. He was happy or sad depending on the circumstances around him, but he was hungry for something deeper, more powerful than just the temporary highs of good feelings. He wanted something not dependent on what was going on around him. He needed something more than a feeling. So…what was it, then? He just couldn’t seem to put his finger on it, but when he found it, he knew he’d recognize it.”

One of reasons Christmas is still so powerful in our culture is because the Person and promises of Christmas speak to and meet the deepest longings of people’s hearts.

When you speak to people’s longings, you’ll  always be relevant.

When we’re listening, you’ll find that the Lord is always speaking to our deepest needs, desires, dreams and longings.  Because we’re  made in His image and because Jesus came to restore us to a redeemed relationship with Him, only He can fulfill those longings.

In this story from “Christmas Hearts”, you’ll meet a shepherd whose individual longings are universal.  In his story, you may very well find your own story.  In meeting Christ, his story was forever changed.  We you and I meet Christ, our stories are forever changed, too.

Hope  you enjoy this story…as you read “The Gift of Joy“, may your heart be nourished with Advent awe.

To get the whole book in Kindle or paperback, click on “Christmas Hearts“.

Merry CHRISTmas!

“A Christmas Widow’s Mite”

Here’s a tribute to all those who are often ignored on earth but famous in heaven…

“A Christmas Widow’s Mite”

Reflected neon lights glared off shiny steel and glass on the shopping mall entrance. Softly falling snow blanketed gray sidewalk slush. Christmas music wafted through the air, ebbing and flowing with the opening of the mall doors. Through those doors hundreds of holiday pilgrims, pausing briefly to wolf down a burger and fries between stops, rushed in a harried herd to make their sacrifices to the gods of consumerism. Every year the demands of the gods expanded. Exchanging plastic and paper for presents meant more profits to satisfy the cravings of the merchants…and perhaps the purchases would bring a measure of happiness to the hearts of the pilgrims.

At the moment, however, the faces of the pilgrims mirrored more stress than satisfaction.

Salvation  Army Red KettleJust outside the huge temple of materialism, a lonely sentinel stood, ringing a bell next to a red kettle. The sign next to the ringer said, “Sharing is Caring.”

Few paused to even consider the message.

Coming out the doors, trying to balance armloads of packages, a shopper here and there stopped in front of the solitary bell ringer. Oft times at the urging of a child tugging at their coat sleeve, a pilgrim dug in their pocket for the leftovers of their change (leaving enough for the parking meter at the next store, of course) and dropped a few coins into the metal container.

While trying to ward off winter chill, the sentinel noticed the approach of an old woman from down the block. Her steps were slow and steady, her coat old and worn–the frayed and weary veteran of many winter seasons. Age lines etch her face, but her eyes sparkle with the quiet joy of one decades younger.

Focusing her gaze on the watchful ringer at the red kettle, ignoring the pleading of the lights and signs and stores, the elderly lady walked right up to the red receptacle. Taking a frazzled coin purse from her pocket, she took two dollars and fifty three cents in change (all it contained) and dropped it all into the kettle. Then, with a cheery “Merry Christmas…God bless you, stay warm” she turned and walked back to her small apartment, surrounded by the softly falling snow. She is penniless until her next social security check…but rich, oh, so rich in her heart…

…and if you’d have listened closely enough, you’d have heard the applause of angels accompanying her walk home.

Have a Wonder-Full Christmas!  If you’d like to download and share this with others, click A Christmas Widow’s Mite.

“Missional Multiplication” at Evangelical Friends National Church Multiplication Conference

Evangelical Friend Church Multiplication imageSpeaking into the life of an entire denomination is both a privilege and a rare opportunity.

I got to do that for the Evangelical Friends Church denomination in August.  I was the key speaker for their National Church Multiplication Conference on the campus of Barclay College.  Leaders from all over the United States and from other nations attended both onsite and online.  The Friends Church has a long, wonderful history.  They are dreaming of, praying for, working toward and believing God for His best as they look to the future.  My part was to encourage and equip them as an outside voice and fellow missional leader.

At the Conference I spoke five times in four main worship sessions and a workshop.  My theme was “Missional Multiplication“.  God met with us in powerful ways during these sessions and throughout the conference.

You can listen to my main session messages and download the PowerPoints, video clips and message outlines by clicking the links below:

“Passion: The Fuel for Multiplication”  (audio, PowerPoint/video, message outline)

“Perspective: Focusing Multiplication”  (audio, PowerPoint/video, message outline)

“Power: Freeing Multiplication” (audio, PowerPoint, message outline)

“Partnerships: The Fellowship of Multiplication” (audio, PowerPoint/video, message outline

Before “Missional” was Cool, there were the Wesleys

I’m really glad for all the conversations and applications about being “missional.”  It’s brought a much needed balance and holistic  view of our walk and work with Jesus.  Website, articles and books about being missional now number in the thousands.

Yet, long before this current wave of missional emphasis, our spiritual forefathers were living incredible, sacrificial missional lives.  The “Wesley boys” and early Methodists not only preached the Good News in places and ways that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people choosing to follow Jesus, they also transformed their culture and literally saved their nation through meeting practical needs.  Personal holiness and social holiness–the Great Commandment and Great Commission truly lived out in daily life–have to go together or they are not truly genuine!

I’ve put some characteristics of the ministry of the early Wesleyans on a PPT slide…simple things, but when viewed together, they are as up to date as today’s missional conversations.  Now, more than ever, we need to practice both Wesley’s methods and theology! It also highlights an important principle for me, especially in planting churches or leading existing churches to become missionally healthy. “We gain permission for our future by looking to our missional past.”

After all, they were missional when missional wasn’t cool!  Click on the link to download Lessons from the Wesleys

“Through Mary’s Eyes”

What would have been like for Mary, Jesus’ mother, to stand at the foot of the Cross and see her Son die?  She’d always known He was born for a mission far bigger than she could understand.  Standing at the Cross brought everything together for her.  Look through her eyes…relive her memories…feel her heart.  She called Him son.  We call Him Savior.

Click on the link to read  Behold Your Son

The Power of Spiritual Landmarks

I read Genesis 35:9-15 today…the story of Jacob returning to Bethel after a time of family crisis. The Lord had first revealed Jimself to Jacob there, and Jacob had named the place “Bethel”–House of God.  At that point, Jacob knew about God, but didn’t know God.  Many years later he was back, but this time he’d it was different…he’d met the Lord personally and had received a new name (Israel– “One who prevails with God or “Prince of God”) and a new nature in place of his old cheating “Jacob” (“cheater”) nature.  This time the he called the place  “El Bethel”–the God of Bethel.  The Lord was now personal–his God..  At El Bethel Jacob/Israel worships the Lord, reconsecrates himself and reflects on what God has done in his life.  The  Lord responds by reaffirming His covenant promises to Israel and his family.  Bethel is again a spiritual landmark for Israel…the place he could return to when he needed reassurance.

Spiritual landmarks are sacred ground.  We all need them as anchors and refueling points on our spiritual journey.  I’ve had some wonderful spiritual landmarks on my journey.  One of those landmarks is Bethel Camp, where I went to summer camp as a teen.  Bethel Camp doesn’t meet in the same location anymore…doesn’t even meet with the same name anymore.  But what Jesus did for me at Bethel Camp changed the entire trajectory of my life.  Jesus saved me at Bethel Camp on August 6, 1974.  He called me into the ministry at Bethel Camp in 1975.  I first sought Him for a clean heart and a Spirit-filled life at Bethel Camp.  Bethel Camp is sacred ground for me.  

A few years ago I went to the old camp grounds.  It is no longer used as a Christan camp.  It’s pretty run down.  Yet, as we drove onto the grounds, I began to weep.  When I stood in the spot where Jesus saved me in the old wooden tabernacle, I could hardly speak.  I basked in His Presence again…and all I could do was whisper, “I’m still Yours….I’m all Yours.”  I was on sacred ground.

Where are your spiritual landmarks?  Like Jacob and his “Bethel”, we all need them.  In my case, one of my spiritual landmarks is also called “Bethel.”  The place isn’t important…the name of the place doesn’t matter all that much.  But what Jesus does for us at our spiritual landmarks matters more than we can ever describe.  When times are hard, we can go back to our spiritual landmarks and do what Israel did–worship, reconsecrate in fresh surrender and reflect with humble gratitude about what the Lord did for us there.  What the Lord did for Israel, He will do for us–reassure us of His love, reaffirm His covenant promises and refresh us again with His life-giving Presence.

In your heart, visit your spiritual landmark today.  I’m sure glad I did.

If you don’t have a spiritual landmark yet, why not say yes to Jesus with your whole heart?  Whereever you are, it will become sacred ground…and that makes all the difference.

“Finished” A Good Friday Reflection

Jesus’ road to the Cross and completion of His redemptive mission for all humanity culminated with his triumphant word– “Finished!”– on the Cross.  Relive the agony and reality of what He did for us on the Cross and remember the full impact of what “finished” means.

Stand in awe…kneel in worship because of what He did for us!   This chapter from my book “The Day That Changed Forever”  It focuses on the sixth word from the Cross Jesus spoke: “Finished!”  May this help you “see” Jesus and love Him more…and better understand the supernatural scope of our salvation!

Click to download this chapter:  “Finished!”

Leadership Lessons from Lincoln

"Team of Rivals"

I just finished reading “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  It is a massive but very readable study of how Abraham Lincoln brought together his cabinet during his presidency, comprised mostly of leaders who had been his opponents!  Lincoln has been the focus of  many books, and for good reason.  I have always admired him greatly from when I was a kid reading my first biographies of him to standing in awe at his seated likeness at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to reading quotes attributed to him.  I have often reminded myself of two statements he made that have inspired and encouraged me: “I will prepare myself, and my day will come” and “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no other place to go.”

After reading Goodwin’s book, I am even more of an admirer of Abraham Lincoln!  While it is impossible to recount all I learned from “Team of Rivals” I found myself reflecting on some significant leadership lessons about leadership, working with people and building a team.  Here are my “top ten” leadership lessons from Lincoln from this book:

  1. Keep the big picture in mind.  Don’t let little issues distract or dissuade you from your true priorities.
  2. Be a bigger person than other’s pettiness.
  3. Listen well to other’s concerns even when you don’t agree with them.
  4. Patience gives God time to work in others…and on your behalf.  Let Him work.
  5. Build a team that has a blend of views and strong competencies.
  6. Personal reputation is forged over time…do what is right and God will take care of your reputation.
  7. Relational skills are just as important as “technical skills”—knowing how to work with people makes the biggest difference in the end.
  8. Take time to relax and recharge your batteries.
  9. Read widely.  Learn from history, His Story (God’s Word) and other’s wisdom.
  10. Treat people right even when they treat you wrong.  You reap what you sow.

 

After reading this book I was again humbled by the magnitude of what the Lord did in and through Abraham Lincoln in the face of immense pressures from circumstances and people.  Yet, he persevered through it all and left us a tremendous legacy of leadership.  He still teaches us today…and I am a grateful learner. 

Tim Roehl

To download this article as a Word doc, click on this link: Leadership Lessons from Lincoln

“Arrow”

I am a grateful graduate of Leighton Ford’s Arrow leadership program.  Arrow’s vision statement was to help younger leaders “lead more like Jesus to lead more to Jesus”– and my Arrow experience forever changed my life. The “long” version of Arrow’s vision is on a card I still carry with me wherever I go–

“God calls us as Kingdom leaders to be led more by Jesus, knowing Him and understanding His ways,
to lead more like Jesus, enabling His people to be a reconciling community,
to lead more to Jesus, serving His redemptive purposes in our generation.”

I learned a great deal about how God shapes leaders and the seasons of a leader’s life through Arrow. One night about 1 am I woke with the theme verse of Arrow (Isaiah 49:2 “He has made me into a polished arrow…”) on my heart. I began to reflect on how the Lord has shaped me…and this piece came up from my heart. You can click on the link to download it.

How has the Lord been shaping your life? How well do you recognize His ways in His supernatural and eternal shaping/sharpening process? It’s vital that we pay attention to this…so much rides on us discerning and learning God’s work in and through us!

As I finished my Arrow experience, I was walking with Leighton, thanking Him for all Arrow had done for me. “Words are not enough to express my thanks,” I said. “I want my life to be my thanks.”

I’ll never forget the look on Leighton’s face as he turned to me…smiling, eyes twinkling. “We’re counting on it,” he said.

Let God shape and sharpen you…others are counting on it!

Arrow