Discipleship 101 at Home

Discipleship requires only 3 things.

  1. Relationship with God (you have this through your Baptism)
  2. Relationship with another person
  3. God’s Word

What if it could be this easy at home?


“because a home centered on Jesus becomes the epicenter of an active life of faith.”

What if you could suspend your skepticism and disbelief?

If you are willing to experiment even just for two weeks, I think you’ll find that a future where your family is growing together in faith, where people are responding to Jesus command to love, and where you each know what discipleship can look like, is not only possible, but simple.

*Resist the urge to over-engineer. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid)*

So here it is, Discipleship 101 at Home:

1. Talk about the Bible together.

2. Encourage each other to live it out.

…that’s it.

You decide when and how you Read the Bible (together or apart, reading or listening).

You decide how you Reflect on it.

You decide how to Encourage each other to Live Out God’s Word.

Maybe you’ll listen to the Bible in your car (free Biblegateway.com app) while you’re driving to school or work, or when you’re returning home? Maybe you’ll decide to prepare for a lifeGroup discussion.

Personally, I need to read and reflect on scripture before I get together to talk about it, or my conversation will stay at the surface. 

If you need an idea: Choose a Gospel, read a chapter and reflect on it on day 1, discuss it and its application on day 2, and practice living it out day 3. 

Check out “30 Things” or any of the other tools in our Disciple’s Utility Kit www.livelifetogether.com/discipleship-read/

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. –Deuteronomy 6:4-8

Be the catalyst in your home, and see what God does, even in two weeks.

How do you talk about God’s Word and His commands all the time with those in your family?  How are you experimenting?  Please let me know in the comments or via email: mwipperman@lifelivetogether.com


Do Marriages Need Maintenance?

Michelle TsaiDid you know that the average cost of a wedding is around $26,000? Yet as married couples we so easily balk at spending a few hundred dollars to help maintain our marriage. Just like our homes and cars, our marriages (even great ones) need a tune up!  


We recently attended the Weekend to Remember marriage conference in Appleton and were blown away by the humorous and engaging speakers who really helped us understand God's blueprint for marriage. This is a marriage conference for couples in various stages of life - those who are not yet married, those who are looking to reconnect, and even those who are considering divorce.  


In all honestly, while we were excited to go away for the weekend together, we didn't really think we needed to go. We went to reconnect - to get a temporary escape from the basketball games, errands, science fair projects - and focus on each other. Having attended this conference, we are completely convinced that no matter what the current status of your marriage, if you take the time to do something like this, you will not regret it! The conference inspired conversations and understanding between us that would have never happened otherwise.  


This conference is not a large-group counseling session or small-group discussion. You won't be asked to share intimate details of your relationship with anyone. You will listen to engaging talks with Biblically-based insights from marriage experts, then be given private time alone with your spouse to work on assignments related to the concepts you studied. When you leave, you will have an assortment of powerful, Christ-centered communication tools to use for years to come.


Weekend to Remember comes to Madison once a year, and it is coming up on May 19-21. To learn more about the conference and register, go to WeekendToRemember.com. Use the group code of love4you to receive $100 off the couple registration fee.


Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage (Hebrews 13:4a).

A strong marriage is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves and our family. It is worth every minute and every penny! As the conference website tells us, “Great marriages require intentionality and investment—just like a garden that must be watered in order to grow.” Let us know if you have any questions (love4youWTR@gmail.com)!


Engage in Catayst Training

Everywhere we look, it is easy to see brokenness in our world. News stories, personal relationships, and social media all give us insight into the great need for restoration that exists in our world. We are in great need of Shalom - the peace that is only given through Christ, the restoration of things, the evidence of God’s work amongst us.


It is so easy to look at the broken shalom around us. We can easily fixate on the bad, the broken, and pinpoint all the places and people that need “help” or “fixing”. Sometimes we miss seeing Shalom or the ways that God IS working around us.


In Catalyst training, we talk a lot about the lens through which we see our world, and more specifically, how we see our cities and neighborhoods. We ask the question, “What would it look like if, instead of constantly fighting against what is broken, we joined God where he is already working?” What if we learned to see how God is restoring and redeeming things and partnered with Him? What if we open our eyes to the peace and healing that God is already bringing and joined Him in his work?


The truth is, God IS at work around us. God IS bringing restoration and healing. God IS present in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for this to be be true:

“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”


We pray to see God’s will and his Kingdom active and present here among us. And as people called by Christ to be his hands and feet, his messengers in those places where He has put us, we get to be part of seeing that happen.


A missional lifestyle is one that recognizes where God is at work - in all places, in all people, in all relationships. A missional lifestyle is one that works to join God in those areas, to bring restoration and redemption. As missional people we recognize that God has placed us in our unique locations and in our unique relationships on purpose and we engage in those locations and relationships in ways that share the hope and love of Jesus.


Take some time this week to reflect on these ideas:

  • Will I see my city, through a lens of compassion and grace, as a place that is broken and in need of redemption?

  • Will I recognize that God has placed me in my city, in my specific location for a purpose?

  • Will I open my eyes to see where God is actively and presently working?

  • Will I respond willingly when God asks me to join Him in his redemptive work in the places where He has placed me?


And then, when you gather in community this week, I would encourage you to discuss the following questions:

  • How is God working in your own life?

  • Where do you see evidence of Shalom in the lives of your neighbors?

  • How do you see God’s peace evident in your city right now?

  • Where could you engage alongside God, where he is already working?

As you engage in these questions, YOU become part of our CATALYST 100. Would you be interested in learning more about how to see your city from a missional perspective? Do conversations about how God is actively working and how you can engage in that intrigue you? Do you want to know more about how you can see your city with a heart of grace and compassion? Join one of our lifeGroups working through the Catalyst Curriculum and engage in those conversations with others who are on the journey. Let me know if you have questions or want to get plugged in with a lifeGroup.

God Using ME

Say this out loud, “God wants to use me.”
How does that sound?  What does it make you feel or wonder?
Are you worried God needs to make you someone else before He will use you?

God personally and purposefully made you. He made you on purpose, and for a purpose.
God knows your talents, gifts, and interests.  He knows where you are energized, and drained.  He knows if you like parties, or if you prefer one-on-one time.  And He wants to use YOU, the person, the You He personally made.  Check out Psalm 139 to see how personally invested in you He is.

 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” –Psalm 139

If you think you need to be someone else to be on mission with and for God, check out 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 and 5.  We are one body with many parts, all different, and the body works better and is built up better when we all live our lives fully embracing the gifts God has given us, and using them for His kingdom.

God wants you, the person He made, to thrive.  And He wants every other person to thrive.  

This is our mission, to connect people to life in Jesus.  It is for each of us to live out as God has equipped us to thrive.  And as we do, as we thrive, as we invite others know Jesus and to thrive, we are catalysts in His kingdom work.  

And in case you still are wondering, He already changed you in your baptism.

What are some of the unique traits you possess--gifts, strengths, passions? Make a list and consider these things with fresh eyes.    
How could these things glorify God? How could they be used to connect others to God? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you uniquely fit in revealing His kingdom on earth.  And who you are uniquely gifted to reach.  The possibilities are truly endless. Be You, for HIM.
YOU are part of the Catalyst 100... God is calling you to explore and renew your commitment to His Mission - one way is these new lifeGroups - maybe you could try it (e.g. for 6 months)?"

Let me know where you see God personally and purposefully using you.  If you have a story or feedback, please Share It with me in the comments or via email: mwipperman@lifelivetogether.com


What Does Easter Look Like To You?

What does Easter look like to you? Bunnies, eggs, jellybeans and chocolate? 

Here’s what a few people in Jesus day said:

            “I have seen the Lord” – Mary Magdalene

            “My Lord and My God!” –Thomas (called the Twin)

            “He has risen!” – The Angel who rolled back the stone

            “Remember what He told you?” – Angels in the tomb

            “The Lord has risen indeed!” – The eleven and those gathered with them

“…these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” – John the Apostle

People gathered to celebrate and worship God.  Books were written to record and share what they had been witness to.  No amount of persecution, beatings or even death could slow the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ, in fact, persecution only accelerated it.

What is different today? Is there any better news?

God created everything, including you, to be perfect and with Him.

Adam sinned, we all have sinned, and sin separates us from our holy God.

God loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to live perfectly, and to take away our sins.

Jesus was put to death for a crime He didn’t commit, and God put our sin on Him.

Jesus rose from the dead in victory just as He said He would.

Our sins were paid for by the death of Jesus.

We are restored to life with God, connected to Him for all time.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” – John the Baptist

But that’s not all.  The days between Jesus Last Supper with his disciples, his death the next day, and resurrection on the third day include the day of Preparation, when yeast was eliminated from homes and thousands of Passover lambs were being slaughtered, the Passover meal, the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of First Fruits (Leviticus 23:5-11).

“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Paul (formerly Saul)

Not only are you forgiven and restored to life with God, today, but you will be raised to life again and will live forever with Him in the new Earth and Heaven to come.  He is our once-and-for-all Passover Lamb, and the First Fruit of the harvest, proving that we will who have life in Him will also rise with Him.

            “Truly this was the Son of God!” – Centurion keeping watch over Jesus

If Christmas shows how much God loves you by His coming to be with you.  Easter shows how much God sacrificed to give you life to the full now and to bring you home to live forever in perfection with Him.

Do you have a friend who might like to know that God so desperately wants to be with them?

Do you have a friend who would like the promise of a perfect future?

How can you show them what Easter means to you?

Join me in praying for the opportunity, and for the words. Then make an opportunity, get together with them.

YOU are part of the Catalyst 100... God is calling you to explore and renew your commitment to His Mission - one way is these new LGs - maybe you could try it (e.g. for 6 months)?"

Let me know where you see God personally and purposefully using you.  If you have a story or feedback, please Share It with me in the comments or via email: mwipperman@lifelivetogether.com