His Predictable Unpredictability 

written by JD

We take great comfort in the predictable.

But what happens when the Spirit brings God-fearers and Gentiles into the Kingdom? That is unexpected.

Are we comfortable with His lack of predictability in certain areas? Yes, I know we are whenever we read about His actions in the Book of Acts as we stand 2000 years removed.

But what about when the Spirit does the unexpected in August 2015? Or have we domesticated Him enough over 2000 years that we can assume 100% predictability? Did the artistic and dynamic Spirit of Creation become as predictable as a programmed computer after the Canon closed?

If the thought of His unpredictability makes us uncomfortable, then we should ask, “why?”


Tuesday, August 4 is the last day to take advantage of the “Buy 1, Get 1 Free to Give Away” discount on my new book To the Edge: Reflections on Kingdom Leadership, Mission, and Innovation. Act now.


What Others are Saying

written by JD

My latest book, To the Edge: Reflections on Kingdom Leadership, Mission, and Innovation, was published last week (Kindle should release soon) with a crazy deal for a new book: “Buy 1, Get 1 for Free to Give Away”! That’s two books for $16.00. That’s two books to get you and others talking about reaching the four billion.

I wanted to give you guys a heads up that this discount ends after this Tuesday, August 4. After that, it is back to the retail of one book for $16.00.

If you are looking for a book to get you and your leaders or church members talking when it comes to being on mission and change, this book will assist in that process.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here is what a few others said after reading To the Edge:

Practical and thought provoking insights about a wide range of topics affecting Great Commission influencers. –Steve Moore, Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Leadership, author of SeizeTheVujade

The wisdom contained in these pages is not abstract theory. . . . Read, ponder, apply, and then read again. –Jeff Christopherson, author of Kingdom Matrix, Vice President for Send City Network, North American Mission Board

This book is a must-read for any Christian serious about carrying out the Great Commission. –Robby Gallaty, Senior Pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church, author of Growing Up and Firmly Planted

If you want to get a glimpse at the book’s contents, then go here, but don’t order from Amazon if you want the discount.


Mark Snowden was my guest last week on Strike the Match. Check out our conversation on orality and disciple making in the United States. Yes, orality in the United States. iTunes | Android | RSS


Mark Snowden on Orality in the United States

written by JD

Strike the MatchDiscussions related to the topic of orality and missions often focus on contexts outside of North America. However, in 2003 half of the Untied States’ citizens struggled with literacy. Few college students read books on a regular basis after graduation. And according to my guest, Mark Snowden, after work and school, “the vast majority of Americans who go home at night do not have anything to do with the literate world.” If this is our present reality in the United States, what is the implication on disciple making since the Christian faith walks on literate legs?

In this episode, Mark and I discuss the topic of orality and disciple making in the United States. Mark is the co-author (with Avery Willis) of Truth that Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truth in a Teflon World and leader of Snowden Ministries. He blogs at, found on Facebook, and may be contacted at


My latest book, To the Edge: Reflections on Kingdom Leadership, Mission, and Innovation, was released this week. Only a few days remain to take advantage of the “Buy 1, Get 1 Free to Give Away” discount.



Diasporas: The Nexus of the Issues

written by JD

We want to be on the edge of Kingdom advancement. Where should our church or agency focus?

Is it urban?

Is it orality?

Is it unreached peoples? Unengaged-unreached?

Is it disciple making and church planting?

Is it combating trafficking? Combating poverty?

Is it social development? Justice issues?

Is it partnering with Majority World churches?

Etc., etc.

International migration is one of the most important areas for denominations, agencies, and churches interested in being on the cutting edge of Kingdom expansion. It will remain so for decades to come (Lord willing). Those who want to be on the edge will be here.

International migration is found at the nexus of globalization, urbanization, orality, upgs (and unengaged-unreached), disciple making/church planting, trafficking, social ministry, and Majority World churches.

Miss the diasporas, miss a great Kingdom opportunity.


To the Edge was published this week. Only six days left to take advantage of the buy one and get one free discount.


The Story Behind the Story

written by JD

I shared yesterday that To the Edge: Reflections on Kingdom Leadership, Mission, and Innovation is now available. Last night, I recorded this brief video for you. I hope it will provide some additional information on this book, information I was unable to share in yesterday’s post. Enjoy!

Because I value you as a reader and desire your assistance in spreading the word on this book, I have set up a special “Buy 1, Give 1″ discount code through August 4. I want to give you a copy of this book (to give to a friend) when you purchase a copy. Here is what you need to know to take advantage of this offer:


New Book: To the Edge

written by JD

Today is the day! To the Edge: Reflections on Kingdom Leadership, Mission, and Innovation has been released!

Check out the link below for a summary of the book or listen to my podcast.

I need your assistance in promoting this book. As a means of helping you and to show my appreciation, I am providing you with a discount code to get two books for the price of one! Of course, I do not want you to have two copies in your library. I want you to share one with someone. Here is a chance for you to “Buy 1 and Give 1″. Your someone will thank you!

Here is how you can take advantage of this offer:

1) You must purchase the book from CreateSpace at this site:

2) Add at least two copies of the book to your cart

3) At checkout, use the discount code: E4CTS3LT

This offer is only good between now and August 4, 2015. Please feel free to share this code with others.

You may also purchase a Kindle edition. Pre-order is now available; it should be released in the next few days. Sorry, the discount is only available on hard copy orders.

Thanks guys!


Creating a New Wrong Way when the Right Way seems to be a Wrong Way

written by JD

We often talk about going and sharing the good news. Yet some of the saddest words in the Bible are: “But he went out and began to talk freely” (Mark 1:45, ESV).

Jesus just healed a man with leprosy and gave him stern instructions:

“See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them” (Mark 1:44).

We may think our way is the best; clearly, it makes more sense. Our way reaches more people. After all, didn’t Jesus say make disciples of all nations?

The disobedience of the healed man in the name of wide dissemination of the message hindered the mission of Jesus.

This man was sent to be a proof to the priest. He refused to go, but he did go and proclaim. Isn’t that enough?

What doesn’t make sense to us, is clear to Him. Failure to go to the priest will keep Him from the towns, will force Him into desolate places where not as many people will be able to make it to Him (v. 45), and will leave the priest without a witness.

All because we want to do it our way. . . in the name of the Lord, of course!


Casting a vision for church multiplication is a critical step in leading your church to be involved in church planting. That was my topic on last week’s episode of Strike the Match. Check it out! iTunes | Android | RSS


Art of Vision Casting for Church Multiplication

written by JD

Strike the Match Your church is not involved in church planting. How do you begin to cast such a vision to move from where you are to where you need to go? Proverbs 20:5 notes, “A plan in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out” (NASB). Vision casting is more art than science. As a leader, you need to be a person of understanding and paint a picture of the possible future to come by God’s grace.

In this episode, I talk about the art of vision casting and 5 steps involved in casting a vision for church planting. And in appreciation to you for listening, here is a link to a corresponding article I wrote on this topic a few years ago:


A Danger of Innovation

written by JD

“but you make it a den of robbers” (Mt 21:13, ESV).

Here is a danger in innovation, efficiency, and so-called progress. It is possible to turn a house of prayer into a place of thieves, even in the name of Kingdom stewardship.

A little pragmatism here and some capitalism there, add a dash of materialism so we can accomplish our goals, and we may one day see Jesus at the door with whip in hand.

Here is a danger. Beware. Let’s make sure we know what we are talking about when it comes to a biblical stewardship of innovation and then work the field from there.


Do you subscribe to Strike the Match? Some of my guests have been David Platt, David Garrison, Dean Merrill, Werner Mischke, Samuel Chiang, and Enoch Wan. Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS


On Indie Publishing

written by JD

To the Edge: Reflections on Kingdom Leadership, Mission, and Innovation is set to release one month from today. This is another one of my indie projects, and the third time I have used CreateSpace as my platform. While Kindle will allow for pre-order sales of the book, CreateSpace does not at this time. . . the only significant fault I have found with them to date. Other than this limitation, they are great.

In this post, I continue to share my periodic thoughts on writing.

I consider myself a hybrid author, believing in and operating within both the traditional and indie worlds. Before I continue, please understand that I am a strong advocate for publishing via the traditional publishing paradigm. I have done this many times and, Lord willing, plan to continue in this model with Apostolic Church Planting scheduled to be released this November through InterVarsity Press. I hope to share more about this paradigm in a future post. But here is my comment on independent publishing.

A simple Google search reveals numerous articles on the pros and cons of being an indie author. Check it out. There are strengths and limitations to publishing with any model. With indie publishing, the author has control over everything. Yes, he or she has the final say in the product and can set a higher royalty rate, but is also responsible for all of the important components trained professionals with publishing houses oversee, such as: editing, proofreading, internal formatting, cover design, marketing, and promotion. Google the pros and cons and read about them in detail.

After praying about a book project, how do I usually decide which publishing route to take?*

I ask myself: How niche specific is this book?

The Christian audience is a niche within the general book-buying market. I typically write in the category of missions. That is a niche within the Christian niche. And some of my books are even more specific than that niche, maybe even two additional degrees of specificity. Most publishers usually do not publish a large number of books related to the missions niche. Even fewer publishers will go to the next level, such as writings on church planting. And no one (William Carey being the exception) wants to publish beyond this level. . . based on my experience.

It is at these highly-specific levels I often turn an idea into an indie project.

For example, The Barnabas Factors was a message I felt compelled to share and met a need in the church planting world related to teams. That is several rungs down the niche-ladder. Though the book continues to do well in sales, there is not a large audience for it.

While it is difficult to get any book published via the traditional route (I plan to do a post on rejection letters.), and very hard work to self-publish, my encouragement to you when considering which option** to choose is to ask: “How specific is the audience for this book?” If very specific, do not attempt to shop around your idea; you are wasting time. Go indie.

*If you are one of few people who has a massive platform and leads a large tribe, then I have a different thought for you. Write me at My platform is about the size of a diving board with a tribe that could fit into a Volkswagen Beetle.

**A third (and very popular) option, which I have also used, is partial investment publishing. I hope to share more about this option in the future.


To my regular readers: As mentioned above, indie authors have to do it all. I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider helping me spread the word on To the Edge. To show my appreciation to you, I plan to provide you guys with a deep discount on hard copies when the book is first released. I’ll share that discount code on the blog. Thanks, friends, for your consideration on this matter!

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