Wednesday, December 24, 2008

e3 Wild Year 1: Fingerprints of God

This has been a wild year. Wild economically. Wild politically. Wild on the high seas as pirating off Africa is now a growth industry.

It’s also been a wild year at e3. But wild in the good sense, in the exciting sense, in the wonderfully unexpected sense. Wild in the sense that we see the fingerprints of God all over many good things happening.

I am Second. Earlier this year a major donor / friend of the ministry asked one of our staff for ideas for an evangelism outreach in Dallas. The verse burning in his heart was “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself. “ He loved the ideas our creative team came up with, and excitedly asked if e3 would do them. “But we’re an international church planting ministry, and this is a local evangelism project,” was our first thought. But we concluded that this was God opening a door, so we accepted his request.

There are three parts to the I am Second strategy. One is lots of local media—billboards, TV ads, radio spots, etc. They point people to the second part of the strategy-- a web site with videos of famous people and ordinary folks sharing how Jesus is first in their lives. The third part is to hook them up with local churches that have committed to follow-up with them. Check it out at

Now comes the wild part. Over 100,000 visitors hit the web site in its first 10 days. From 130+ countries. A “fan club” on Facebook gets over 500 new members a day. We’re already hearing sweet testimonies of people accepting Christ after listening to the videos and talking to their friends.

Lots of hard work has gone into this project, but it came up out of the blue. Totally unexpected and unsolicited. With the fingerprints of God all over it.

(this post continued below)

e3 Wild Year 2: Michael Jordan of Church Planting

Last Spring we hosted a church planting “celebrity” named Dr. Curtis Sergeant in our office. We have known about him for several years, mainly watching from afar as he spoke at conferences. Curtis pioneered many of the strategies now used by missions agencies around the globe to initiate church planting movements. We were honored he even took the time to come by our office. But we were more than shocked when he shared that God had awakened him at 4 am that day with the message to “join e3.”

Since he’s an acknowledged world-wide expert on church planting, we were willing to make whatever changes he suggested to our ministry. Early on I asked him, “What do you think of our First Steps church planting curriculum?” Since I have spent much of the past several years writing, testing, editing, and prototyping First Steps, and then training our national networks of coaches how to use it, it was with fear and trepidation that I even asked that question. Much to my joy and relief the answer was that it was “right on,” with simply the need to add some tactics to accelerate church planting even more.

Again, something totally out of the blue with the fingerprints of God on it.

(This post continued below)

e3 Wild Year 3: Shark Fin Impact

Notice the “shark fins” below? We look at 3 key things as we evaluate the effectiveness of our ministry—people equipped, people evangelized, and new churches established. The foundation of our ministry for 20 years has been our US teams and staff. The foundation lines of each graph are the blessed fruit the Lord of the harvest has given our US teams and staff the past 10 years.

Three years ago we began to build on that foundation. We focused more attention and resources on developing networks of national church planting coaches to continue the ministry after our teams return home. The “shark fins” below show the multiplied ministry God has given us from that added strategy. (The reason there are dips at the end is that not all the stats are in for 2008.)

Equipped Nationals: blue is by US teams and staff / red is by national trainers

Evangelized (professions of faith): blue with US teams / red by national teams

Established (new churches): blue with US teams / red by nationals

Wild, isn’t it? Again, the fingerprints of God all over this “shark fin” ministry acceleration. And this is before the impact we know God will bring through Curtis Sergeant’s influence and coaching.

You are a Big Part of these Blessings. We thank the Lord for our faithful partners who support us financially and prayerfully. Your investments of time and treasure bear much eternal fruit.

May the Lord Bless You Richly in the New Year.

Mike Jorgensen

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Asia Visit Slideshow

Woodlyn and I had the joy of visiting A, L and E in Asia for a couple weeks. Our first grandbaby, Elizabeth Grace (they call her Ella), is now 5 months old. Here's a short slideshow that captures some of the joy of our visit. Warning: it is unapologetically grandparentish!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bolivians Go On Mission Trip

Here's a report from Julia in Bolivia about a team of Bolivians who did an e3 style campaign. This mission trip was to an area where about 20 people (including a pastor) were killed several months ago in a clash between a crowd supporting the socialism of Bolivia's president and a pro-capitalism group. The area has been under martial law since then.

God showed his glory in Cobija, even the enemy was trying to discourage the missioneries and local workers using the police and sickness, nothing stopped the plan of our Mighty God! According to the testimonies of the missioneries; the people never thought that God love them and to see people go to their own houses to share about it was a surprise for them. The families open de the doors not only of their houses , the door of their hearts. Some were afraid because all the social problems that happened, but God showed them with hope and love.

Thanks for your economical support, for your prayers; you make possible these.

God bless, Julia


CAMPAIGN: November 14 - 22, 2008
Missioneries: 22
Local workers: 48
New churches: 6
Strengthened churches: 1
Gospel presentation: 805
Professions of faith: 624
Follow up: 434 (70%)
Attending Celebration Meeting: 350

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Horses, Rabbits and Ducklings / Church Planting

So how can we have horse churches that reproduce like rabbits and produce duckling’s . . . and not produce more “mile wide, inch deep” Christianity? [If you are wondering about what in the world is up with horses, rabbits and ducklings, see entry below.]

Curtis Sergeant shared several keys with us last week in our South Africa meetings—here are my top take-aways.

One, new believers should immediately be taught how to share the gospel, and also to make a list of 50 people they would like to share with. Like a day or two after they trust Christ. Then helped to do that, and held accountable to do it.

Two, they should be taught to be self-feeding. Meaning they immediately need to be taught how to read, understand and obey the Bible. Not just tell them about the Bible. But teach them how to get into it for themselves And learn how to pray for themselves.

Three, practice dual accountability. This means 1) obey what they learn and 2) immediately teach it to someone else. That’s the duckling principle put into practice. If they don’t obey lesson 1 and teach it to someone else, don’t give them lesson 2 until they do. Radical? Or simply Biblical?

“But wait,” one leader asked, “doesn’t this open the door to heresy and problems if you turn so much responsibility over to new believers?”

Curtis’ answer made me smile with agreement., as well as everyone else. “If you look at church history, every heresy has been introduced by those with advanced theological training. There is not much temptation to put the opinion of a poorly educated person over the plain words of Scripture.” He went on to say that of course more education is important, but that should not delay sending out a new believers to share with his friends, and then teaching them whatever lesson he just learned. And someone should stick with them to disciple them to help them stay on course.

Another African leader posed this question. Which church is healthier? One with 3,000 people who worship together each weekend, but do little else during the week? Or a church of 300 with 80% of its members ministering in some way during the week?

As I stew over these challenging concepts (which are so thoroughly Biblical), I wonder if maybe the US many times is a mile wide and an inch deep?

What do you think? Or more importantly, what could you do about it? Would love for you to leave a comment.

Mike Jorgensen

Blind Guy on a Mission Trip? Big Problem?

“I’ll go. I’ll go.” Oh no, the church leaders thought as the speaker asked for volunteers to go on an Ethiopian mission trip. “He’s blind. Big problem.” [This happened about a year ago, but I just heard this story.]

But they decided to let him go, for he was so enthusiastic. The two small sending churches raised the funds for the team’s transport, food and hotel. e3 kicked in EvangeCubes and other tools. The team of 21 traveled 200 kilometers, but in Ethiopia this can be a world away. They were reaching out to another people group, so they needed translators, just as our American teams do.

Trouble immediately erupted as they began to share the gospel. Mslm crowds formed to throw stones and beat these visitors with the audacity to talk about Christ.

“But wait, one of them is blind.” In their culture it’s wrong to harm a helpless blind person. They stopped. Questioning glances shot among the angry eyes.

As the crowd murmured , wonder began to erase anger. “This must be great love for a blind man to come so far to talk to us.” Wonder eased into curiosity. Why is he here? What does he have to say?

They listened to not only the blind man, but the others as well. The hand of God used one blind man to stop the mob. 135 Mslms prayed to receive Christ. Three new churches were started.

Our creative God used weakness to show His strength. He used the curse of a lifetime to flow blessings of eternal life. He turned a handicap into a gift.

Makes me want to search my heart for what I’ve said “no” to lately.

We are here in the same place this took place about a year ago. We are meeting with local leaders, trusting God to show us how He wants us to partner with His church here to reach this people group that is less than 1% Christian. Pray for wisdom and direction as we seek His plan.

Mike Jorgensen

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Church Planting Zoo in South Africa

Is your church a horse or a mule?

Is your church an elephant or a rabbit?

Are you producing ducklings?

Curtis Sergeant
challenged us strongly with these questions here at our training and planning retreat for our Africa e3 leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Keep this in mind. The average life span in Africa now is 45. And it is falling, largely because of AIDS. Reaching many more people much more quickly is crucial.

God designed His creation to reproduce. Including His church. As in many parts of the world, here in Africa if a person cannot walk to church, often he cannot go to church. Where poverty abounds, personal vehicles do not. Many times even bus fare is not an option. So to effectively reach and disciple people, a church must be close by.

Horse or Mule?

Horse churches multiply. Mule churches do not. A mule is a hybrid between a horse and a donkey, so it is sterile and unable to reproduce. Mules work hard, but are stubborn and focus on their own corral. Unfortunately, many churches are like that., too.

Elephant or Rabbit?

Elephants reach sexual maturity at age 18. They are fertile 4x a year, have a 22-month gestation period, and have one baby per pregnancy. So after a pair reaches sexual maturity, in 3 years there will be 3 elephants.

Rabbits reach sexual maturity at 4 months, are almost continuously fertile, have a 1-month gestation period, and have an average of 7 babies per pregnancy. So after 3 years, there could be 476,000,000 rabbits . . . if you had enough room, enough food, etc. Explosive blessing?


Ever see ducklings following their mother? They walk single file, one after the other. The first is following the mama duck, but each of the others follows the duckling ahead of it. Each duckling is leading its brother or sister, and the only qualification is that it is one step ahead.

How do we grow disciples? Usually we teach and teach and teach, and someday, after much training, we hope they will disciple someone else. But the rate of disciple making can be radically sped up if we immediately challenge new believers to turn around and teach someone else. Teach someone that they are at least one step ahead of.

How do we produce horse churches that reproduce like rabbits and walk like ducklings? How do we do this and not fall into the “mile wide, inch deep” problem? Next blog entry. Gotta run to catch a plane from South Africa to Ethiopia.

Our Africa leaders want to see YOU when they are at our 2009 World Conference in January. More info and sign-up at


Mike Jorgensen

Click here
to read more about this trip on Curtis' blog.

Yoseph Menna (ET), Mike Jorgensen (US), Paul Buhwahwa (TZ), Joe Michael Kamau (KE), Manasseh Wandera (RW), Joseph Oyuki (UG), Curtis Sergeant (US)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Off to Africa

One of the great blessings of working at e3 is the people God brings to us. Recently He surprised us with Curtis Sergeant, one of the foremost authorities on church planting on the entire planet. God has provided his support and he’s now on board full-time with e3.

Saturday I leave for South Africa to tag along as Curtis trains master church planter trainers from OMS International. We have invited our e3 Africa national leaders to attend this training. So it will be a wonderful time of learning, networking and strategizing. Those able to attend are—

Yoseph Menna from Ethiopia
Joe Michael Kamau from Kenya
Manasseh Wandera from Rwanda
Paul Buhwahwa from Tanzania
Joseph Oyuki from Uganda

Then we head to Ethiopia to meet with our e3 team there. Curtis will be helping us develop a strategy to reach the people group called the Arsi Oromo.

Please pray for—

• God’s wisdom as we learn and discuss strategy
• Relationships to strengthen among our Africa leaders, and with the OMS staff
• For all of to learn how to be more effective in our service to your King


Mike Jorgensen

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sucre, Bolivia 3 Months Later

Exciting news came in this morning about the areas in which we worked in Sucre in June! Here’s what God has done through the Bolivian host churches since the June campaign. [Thanks, Julia, for these updates.]

Alto Sucre, where Deedra, Marisa and Caroldean worked
--30 people at last week’s meeting
--5 will be baptized on September 14th
--Mario Pocuna now is full-time leader

La Calancha, where Scott & Sherry Crossman worked
--110 people at last meeting
--5 people will be baptized in October
--10 more people have accepted Christ since campaign
--Today (Sept 1) they are having big kids outreach

Lajas Tambo, where Mary, Joyce and Geanie worked
--90 people attended last meeting
--Meeting place now too small for this growing group
--10 additional new believers since the campaign
--Plan to baptize people when they finish first discipleship book

Llimpi, where Doug, Catherine and Lori worked
--54 people attended last week, mostly kids and teenagers
--Several want to be baptized

Tujsupay Bajo, where Philip, Woodlyn, Letty and Andrew worked
--50 people at recent meeting
--Having cell group meetings on Monday nights
--4 new families have accepted Christ since campaign

Bolivian Team Plants More Churches

One of the most exciting things about our ministry in Bolivia is seeing our Bolivian partners do their own church planting campaigns. At the end of July Pastor Enzo organized a team of 16 Bolivians to go to Santa Ana, Bolivia.

They trained and worked with 37 local believers. God allowed them to see 369 professions of faith.

Over 300 of these new believers worked on the discipleship lessons! Two new churches were started, and 1 church was strengthened.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodbye Grace

It was time to say goodbye. We hugged one last time, and then our daughter A--sweetly holding Elizabeth Grace (“Ella”)--climbed in the taxi. They and L's mom were taking an early train the 2 1/2 hours back to their home. L would take the rest of us to the airport, and then catch a later train.

I couldn't say anything, for I feared sobs would flow instead of words. We all knew it would be months until we saw each other again. Yet the time had come to part from our darling daughter and the precious child she had delivered just two short weeks ago.

As we all stood there on the steps of the hotel, that still, small voice whispered strength into my heart. "Her middle name . . . that's the only way any of you can do this."

Grace. Elizabeth Grace. Yes, that’s the only way.

I've heard a couple good definitions of "grace" over the years. One is "getting what you don't deserve." That certainly is true, especially about the grace God gives us in the gift of His salvation.

But there is another explanation of the grace that our loving Lord poured out on us on those hot steps last Saturday morning in Asia. "There is a grace ambulance," someone once told us, "that races to us to give us everything we need so we can do everything that God has for us to do."

Thanks for praying for our family these past 3 weeks. All of A and L's friends said "tell them not to come, it will be too hard on you to have all that company right after having the baby." We were concerned, too, for we did not want to be a big burden on a new mom and her hubby, especially since we’d be in a country where we couldn’t communicate on our own.
But God blessed us with a wonderful time together--our family, L's parents and the new little family of A, L and little Elizabeth Grace. As A put it, "I wouldn't have had it any other way." Neither would we.

More Unapologetically Gpa Pix

The whole clan together in Asia

Dad enjoying daughter

Gramma Woodlyn, A holding Ella, Aunt Joanna

I love my Momma!

Sleeping Beauty

Monday, July 21, 2008

G'parenting Thoughts

A few months ago Rhonda Stewart, my wonderful Exec Assistant, also became a grandparent for the first time. Here's some thoughts she sent us when we joined the gparent club.

I don't think I have added my Congratulations to y'all yet, so "Congratulations!" She is beautiful.

I guess by now you have discovered that Grandpa Curtis is right - "There's nothing like it!"

I think maybe we are blessed with grandchildren to remind us of that overwhelming feeling of new and unconditional love that we just can't get enough of. We've been married "forever;" the kids are just about all grown up and don't need or want so much from us and hopefully we've taught them just about everything we know by now; we've loved our Father and been loved by Him since we can remember. . . We've just gotten used to loving and being loved. Sometimes, instead of "We can't get enough," it's "We've had enough!"

And then - this beautiful, helpless, little perfect creation comes along, and -suddenly we feel these wonderful feelings that we forgot we had - the anticipation, joy, delight at the tiniest things, overwhelming - can't get enough of it - LOVE. Like we had when we were dating our future spouse, or when our babies were born and growing and learning, or when we first came to have a personal and close relationship with our Father. It's been so long and we've gotten so used to loving and being loved that the love and wonder we feel for this new life seems like something we've never felt before.

I guess we need a reminder of that kind of love - a rekindling of that love for our spouse and our family and a new realization of just how much our Father loves us - the kind of unconditional, overwhelming, amazing love He has for us.

"There's nothing like it!" is true. We have (and probably make) more time for them, we don't usually have to stay up all night with them, we aren't actually responsible for them 24/7, we have a little money with which to spoil them, etc. It's great!


Uncle Phil has come up with a new name for our family -- "Ella-copters." All because we hover so much! Here are some of my favorite hovering pix, plus there are lots more in previous posts!

Aunt JoJo reads very first book to Ella

Steve and Derinda whisper some family secrets about Ella's dad!

Gramma whispering family secrets about Ella's Mom!

See, I CAN hold her without making her cry!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Due Date Activities

So what do you do on the baby's due date when the baby's not ready to "do"?

Starbucks Breakfast

Breakfast of Champions?

Go sight seeing

Check-up at The Clinic

Trip to Handmade Cloth Shop

Eat at Hot Pot Restaurant

Enjoy (?) Chicken Feet Soup

Play games back at the hotel