Are you ready for a Call-to-Action?
I was on holy ground, and didn’t know it!
At 7:38, the morning of January 19th, 2002 I awoke with what felt like an elephant standing on my chest and before that fateful day ended, I had experienced three heart events and CODED three times.
My family was told, “If he makes it through the night, he might pull through. He’s on the edge.”
When I awoke Sunday morning, there was a 12″ pipe stuck down my throat (that’s what it felt like), an endless number of wires connected somehow to my body, a hovering hospital staff, and the red-eyed presence of my worried wife.
And, after hearing her account of the previous day, I was stunned. I laid there counting breaths, celebrating more moments this side of the edge. For days, I felt like I was floating somewhere between chaos and an epiphany.
Forty-eight hours later, in the late night darkness of that hospital room, I heard God’s voice. “You’re not done yet. Now that I have your attention, listen-up I’ve got a new assignment for you.”
A months later, the Faith Coaching Network (FCN) was born. I got the message.
To paraphrase the middle part of Psalm 71, the mission is clear, “I will stand up and speak up. I will find the stories of God’s fingerprints and tell them to this generation and the next.”
Do you see God in the roadblocks, the stumbling blocks and the mental blocks you face; He’s not buried in a book. He is still creating life, rescuing the lost, encountering the doubters, casting epiphanies to legalists, surprising the faithful, healing physical and spiritual pain, connecting the dots, reconciling relationships, repairing brokenness, forgiving mess-ups and miss-givings, and loving us in spite of ourselves. He is still writing His creation story in us, HIS Book of Life.
Now, God has expanded the mission.
We are building a world-wide team of volunteer reporters, who have been called by God to tell the stories of faith in this generation and the next.
God’s voice was clear. This time the message pointed and urgent,
“Get with it.”
Our churches are full of believers who are saved, but have not yet sensed a call. In Revelation 12:11 terms, these believers feel powerless. They have touched the blood, but their story, their testimony, is yet to be told.
So, after 4 years of foundation building at the Faith Coaching Network, we are responding to HIS urgency. The most aggressive FCN project to date, has been launched. We have moved, intentionally, into a new promised land–an uncharted territory. We are building a “fifth estate,” a world-wide gathering of volunteer reporters who are embedded “in the streets.” They are searching for “real-world news of God in action and filing their stories online.
The term “Fifth Estate” has no fixed meaning, but is used to describe any class or group in society other than the clergy (First Estate), the nobility (Second Estate), the commoners (Third Estate), and the press (Fourth Estate). It can be used to describe media outlets that see themselves in opposition to mainstream media.
These are perilous times, filled with nagging stories of dishonor and disrespect. The media (fourth estate) seldom reports good news. Negative images are rampant. Brutality invades, terrorism threatens, and innocence fades. We find ourselves stalled on the freeway, helplessly stuck in traffic, waiting for the problem ahead to be cleared away, while our cell phone rings announcing imminent severe weather approaching.
It seems the authentic Christian message of hope has faded. We have lost street “cred.” Too many profess to believe in God, but live like atheists. In general, we are known more for what we are against, than for what we’re for. Flashpoints of extremism flare, doctrinal disputes rage, and arrogant voices invalidate the message, while we pray the same old worn-out prayers.
In spite of church failures, widespread discouragement, and resident evil, cynics and searchers alike are still captivated by stories of faith-in-action. So, the project begin.
My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all.16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD;I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.18 Even when I am old and gray,do not forsake me, my God,till I declare your power to the next generation,your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalms 71:15-18
Granted, we are surrounded by numerous faith-building resources, great churches, Christian radio, online teaching, podcast, and thousands of books. We are not hurting for insight and information, but you can’t outsource your faith. Faith requires something that cannot be provided by someone else; it requires a personal, real-life crisis-—an inciting incident.
These incidents take faith outside the walls of church and into the streets. Jesus’ confrontation of his critics in Matthew 16 could be applied like this: “Oh, Christian, you have learned how to interpret the signs of weather and economic disaster, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times—the inciting incidents in your life.” (Adapted from Matthew 16:2-3)
And God said, “Get with it.”
God’s fingerprints are inside every incident. HE is still invading the impossible. Whether we know it, or not, HE makes inciting incidents into holy moments and divine appointments. HIS goal is to use our crisis times to shape our faith. It’s HIS way to break into our self-focused world. It’s HIS story to write and ours to tell. After all, we ARE in it.
The vision is clear: create a “fifth estate.” Take this ministry to the streets, engage a worldwide team of volunteer reporters who will find and tell the stories of God’s presence and power. Then, provide an easily accessible way to post the stories.
Every believer has a story.
News Correspondent Steve Hartman is well-known for his feature series, “Everybody Has a Story.” Steve proved it by tossing a dart at a map of America and then randomly picked an interview subject from the local phone book. Debuting in 1998, Hartman produced more than 100 such pieces.
God has called this ministry to tell HIS story written inside believers around the world. But, no darts allowed.
A Faith Coaching Network (FCN) volunteer reporter searches for people of faith. The reporter listens for stories of divine appointments and holy ground moments. He or she looks for Jesus in others, and becomes Jesus to others.
These faith stories are meant to be told and retold. Faith reporters write about what God is doing. They tell of HIS wondrous deeds, HIs power, HIS fingerprints. This God story is then posted on The Faith Community website.
Take your faith to the streets. Make a difference. Become a FCN Faith Reporters. This is your chance to be a HOLY snitch, to join a team of stringers embedded in the neighborhood.
snitch |sni ch |verbTo inform on someone : she wouldn’t tell who snitched on me.stringer |ˈstri ng ər|nounA newspaper correspondent not on the regular staff of a newspaper, esp. one retained on a part-time basis to report on events in a particular place.
Click here to send an email announcing your intentions.
Guidelines: “Listening for the story.”
God does not want us to refuse life, but to find it, to use our minds in fresh, new ways, to flex our days, to enjoy HIS presence, and add adventure to the mystery, to live abundantly.
The story is about getting the most out of all life challenges, that’s where faith lives.
The intent of each post is not more information, or Bible quoting; it’s deeper understanding. In the moment of crisis, God invites us to…
…face life head-on, no shortcuts.
Ask: Tell me about your crisis moment.
…describe the crisis, the inciting incident that revealed God in action.
Ask: When did you sense God’s presence?
…find insight and new truth hidden in the turning point.
Ask: What did you discover about God? When did you discover it?
…reflect on life after the crisis.
Ask: How has this experience changed your life?