Change the parameters

My friend and I spend a LOT of time at our local coffee shop.  As a matter of fact, my whole family does. That being said, we’ve been very intentional about learning the names and stories of the staff there. Now, it’s pretty normal to get asked what we do for our careers, so most of the staff at this coffee shop knows that I am a church planter, and that I was a Pastor in the States. Last week, my friend and I decided it was time to take it a step further. We decided that we would be there on Tuesdays at 3:00 to read the Scriptures together, talk accountability, and to pray. And since we are going to be praying, why not pray for the staff? And, since we’re praying for the staff, we should ask them if there’s anything they would like us to pray about. Sounds simple enough, but try asking an acquaintance about prayer requests! You should have seen the look on the manager’s face when I asked if there was anything we could pray about for her! “Um, well, let me think, um, WOW, that’s nice, um, yeah, I can’t think of anything…” Then she looks at the other employees who were standing there, too, and had been asked the same question and says, “What about you guys? Is there something you need prayer for?” The shock then spread as the employees realized the manager had sucked them into this “weird” encounter! To defuse the situation, I told them it was okay, and I didn’t mean to put them on the spot. But, my friend and I would be here every Tuesday specifically to pray for them and the other customers, and if they thought of something, just let us know. Less than stellar response, and not what I’d hoped/prayed would happen. Well, at least not at first. I went back in on Friday while my oldest was at tutoring.  I had just sat down when the manager comes over, kneels down by my chair, and begins to weep. She goes on to tell me that, after thinking about it a lot, she has a request for me. Giving me a little back story, she shared a request about her family, illness, and gets to the request. I was amazed. I guess when I stepped outside the paradigm, it gave her freedom to do the same. I prayed for her right there, and have continued to pray for her and her family every day. Since last Friday, we’ve had a couple other staffers share requests with us. It just goes to show, as “Patch Adams” suggests in the video below, when you care enough to step outside the parameters culture has imposed, you might just be surprised at who steps out with you, and completely changes the nature of your relationship.

The Hello Experiment

UPDATE:  On Tuesday, 1/29, we went to the counter to ask for prayer requests.  One of the ladies working asked us to pray for some tough decisions she has to make, and the arrangements of moving to another city where lodging is super hard to find.  She was excited to share with me.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, 2/5, we asked a staffer at the coffee shop what we could pray for. He was really confused about why we would pray anything for him. We were explaining the concept when the co-worker we prayed for last week comes over and says, “They prayed for me last week, and everything worked out perfectly! You should try it!”  Here’s to hoping God becomes famous in this coffee shop!

In the coming days…

In the coming days, things will begin moving quickly for us as we prepare to go to Germany. In one month, we will have to be in Virginia where our training and preparation will be intensified. We will be living at a conference center and spending 8 hours a day in classes, as will the kids. We will depart from there mid-June, and arrive on the field by July 1. In the mean time, there’s some things I’d like to do.
First, I’d like to say “Thank You” to all of you who have been praying and encouraging us in this process. Tomorrow night, we will stand before 1,000’s of people and share a very brief testimony about why we are going. And I want you to know that, in my mind, you stand there with us as those who have been instrumental in this process and in our lives. We don’t just go as the Bishop family, we go as the body of Christ. Thank you for giving so sacrificially for His cause.
Second, I’d like to continue building our prayer team. As you could read in my last post, we know that this whole endeavor hinges on prayer, and that’s one significant way you could join us in this work. It’s not too late to get in on that list. You can shoot me an email letting me know, or comment here. But I’m also wanting to build significant relationship with 5 churches in the states to be partner churches with. We already have 2 solid churches that are partnering with us, so I’m looking to build a connection with 3 more. These churches would be sending, praying, involved churches who partner with us in the ministry and allow us to partner with them for mobilization. If you are interested in that, get in touch with me.
Third, I am speaking 4 of the last 5 Sundays we have left in Lubbock. Most of those, I’ll be sharing about the work we’ll be doing in Germany. If you are interested in hearing about what we will be doing, contact me to find out where you could come, listen, get prayer cards, and say hello!
Again, thank you. I’m looking forward to watching God do His thing as He answers your prayers and makes Himself famous in Germany!

We Want You!

We are quickly approaching our appointment for our new ministry in Europe. With all the changes that are fast approaching, people have been asking me, “What’s your biggest need right now?” I’ve wracked my brain to try to anticipate what we might need for the coming months only to land on the obvious answer: prayer. Our greatest need now, and forever more, will be prayer. One of my favorite quotes about prayer comes from Oswald Chambers. Many of you have heard me quote him on this topic. Oswald said, “Prayer doesn’t prepare us for the greater work. Prayer IS the greater work.” As we plow, sow, water, and reap, the greatest work is prayer. And We would LOVE for you to partner with us to share in the joy of advancing the kingdom. Honestly, if people don’t pray, I can’t imagine how the work can get done!

SO, I’m beginning our prayer support list. If you would commit to make prayer for our family a weekly occurrence (or more!), I’d like to get your e-mail address so I can send you a monthly update. In the event you know people who would pray for us but don’t have e-mail, send me their snail-mail address so we can send them our newsletter via USPS.

We will be sending out updates once a month so you can keep up with our ministry. And, on occasion, we will send out more pressing needs as they become known to us.

Would you prayerfully consider being part of our team? If so, you can comment here or email me your contact info at I will continue to post to my blog, And, we will also have a family blog that we are working on. That site is  It will allow you to point potential team members to our blog so they can read about our family’s. I imagine that at some point we will have a secure newsletter site, too, but that’s well on down the road.

Thanks for all you do for us and the kingdom. Will you join us in this next chapter of our lives?