Greetings to you in the name of Jesus! I hope this summer is finding you enjoying some sun and fun with your friends and family!
I’d like to give you a summer update on the goings-on within TLI.
As I mentioned in the last Discipler’s Journal, God has matured TLI from a retreat-based training organization to a worldwide discipling community. This movement has only strengthened over the last few months. I’d like to share an exciting development.
We have completed the expansion of our Board of Directors from 3 to 9
This expansion is in response to the nudging of the Holy Spirit we have been sensing over the last few years.
A few years ago we launched our first generation of Faculty Training. It was an interesting experiment, to say the least. We had never trained Journey alums before to have all the tools needed to become Journey Faculty who lead on retreat. We kind of spit-balled together a curriculum and built the airplane as we were flying it. I’m grateful for the patience of the members of that very first generation!
The reason we first offered this training is that a few years ago we were feeling the pressure of a maturing faculty team. Many of our faculty were nearing retirement age. And we had seen Wayne Anderson and Chuck Miller, both founders of TLI, go to meet Jesus, the Greatest Faculty Teacher, face to face. In short, we felt the need to raise up the next generation of faculty.
Looking back, our guiding vision at that time was to make TLI sustainable. Founded in 1989, we were looking for ways to make sure TLI was around in 2049.
The central question we were asking was: How can we keep TLI going?
As my friend and fellow Journey Faculty member, Mark Moore, says often, “The questions that you ask are more important than the answers you seek.” His advice is golden.
You see, when we were asking ourselves, “How can we sustain TLI?” we were getting answers like: Let’s do faculty training to make sure we have enough facilitators at our retreats. That’s the kind of answer you get to that kind of question – answers the focus on sustainability.
But what if we were asking the wrong question?
What if instead, God was wanting us to ask Him, “How can we multiply TLI?”
Can you see how that is an entirely different question? Do you notice how it forces you to consider entirely different answers?
Indeed, the questions you ask are more important than the answers you seek. I’m sure there are areas of your life and leadership that immediately spring to mind when you read this idea. I would encourage you to explore the questions you are asking and seek whether or not they are the questions Jesus wants you to be asking.
An Unexpected Question
Here’s the cool thing…
When we launched Faculty Training, it was with the idea that we would be raising up new Journey Faculty. But what happened blew us away. That first generation, and every generation since (we are launching Generation 5 in October!), through their active participation and feedback, led us into discipling and rhythm of life as the twin focuses of the training. Most were not all that interested in merely facilitating at retreats! But nearly everyone expressed an interest in learning how to replicate the Journey training in their own domains through creating a personal discipling ethos or lifestyle.
So, we pivoted.
We’ve since added the word ‘Discipling’ to the title of the training and now Discipling Faculty Training focuses on teaching Journey alums the inner workings of the Journey process and is open to anyone who wants to go deeper into the Journey training. We reveal what we do, how we do it, and why we do the things we do in The Journey.
DFT is a how-the-sausage-is-made kind of training.
And what’s happened since is we’ve seen the graduates of this training generally move in one of three directions:
- They feel the calling to launch a Journey Expression in their area.
- They create their own personal discipling ethos – a micro-Journey community! – of a 3 and a 12 like Jesus. (3 people they journey closely with and learn together with, and a larger group of folks they intentionally disciple into the lifestyle postures and practices of Jesus)
- They embed the Journey principles into their organization leadership cultures to bring about organizational transformation.
As a result of finally asking the right question, we’ve seen God multiply TLI in a few amazing ways. As I mentioned at the beginning of this update, we have expanded our board and each one of the board members that have joined us have confirmed this direction.
We’ve seen the launch of a new Journey expression in Tennessee aptly named Journey Appalachia and led by David Limiero, Jan Limiero, and Shawn Stutz, all DFT alums. Their first retreat is this fall. If you know anyone near the Tennessee area who might be interested, let us know!
We’ve seen the launch of Journey Rwanda, which is still in its formative stage.
And we are currently forming a Caring Core to launch the Journey of Recovery, a training that blends the practices of the Journey with the 12 steps of recovery.
TLI is in the process of maturing from primarily a retreat-based training organization to becoming an incubator for leaders who want to multiply the Journey in one of the three ways I mentioned above.
I hope this excites you as much as me. If you’d like to learn more about Discipling Faculty Training, just click here: https://spiritualleadership.com/disciplingfaculty/
May the rest of your summer be filled with the fun and frivolity of summer activities and great family connections!