You have a natural network of relationships, people you interact with on a regular basis. Jesus wants you to be his presence in their life, whether they know him or not. You are their advocate, “one called alongside to help,” a word used of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and his followers.
Your greatest influence flows out of your own transformation. advocāte is dedicated to your becoming more like Jesus by His Spirit:
- Body (movement, rest and nutrition)
- Soul (emotional and mental health)
- Spirit (live and lead by the Holy Spirit)
- Making a difference in your natural network of relationships
- Making a difference in the assignments God gives you
- Making a difference with the work and wealth God entrusts to you
We know that you are driven by:
- Upward Motivations
- To see the glory of God in and through your life
- To see the kingdom of God manifest and spread
- To enjoy the pleasure of God for you
- Outward Motivations
- People need the Father
- People need Jesus
- People need the Spirit
- People need mission for their life
- Inward Motivations
- You want to be more like Jesus
- You want to experience purpose and meaning
- You want to see your gifts expressed
- The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love
- You are tired of church as program
- You are weary of wasted money in ministry
- You desire a positive demonstration of Jesus and the church in our culture
advocāte is a relational network of ordinary people experiencing extraordinary change and influence.
advocāte is a multi-cultural, multi-city, multi-church movement that starts new faith-communities and new churches, shapes businesses into ministry, and modifies a church’s discipleship and leadership development around transformation and intentional influence.
What advocāte is not….
We are not an indictment against current churches or the models of ministry they engage. Specialists suggest that the Church at large, in trying to keep up with population growth, is falling behind by 13,000 churches per year. We need a net of 13,000 new churches and we currently net but a few hundred per year. We need new churches to meet the common need that drives all churches – The Great Commandment in Great Community living out the Great Commission.
We are a contrast. As one sales trainer has said, “People don’t buy similarities, they buy differences.” Considering that 80% of churches are in decline, and that we read of the rise of the “Nones and Dones” (people who have no faith association or, if they do, no church affiliation), then different expressions of church are a welcome development. advocāte is certainly different (and arguably Biblical as well).
Acts 13:22 reads, “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” Often, we think of having a heart after God’s as relating to our own intimacy with him; the text defines it as willingness to do what he wants. advocāte is comprised of people doing what God wants done in the lives of others that they know and love. advocāte is the presence of Jesus, his heart and hands in meaningful relationship.
You are part of a natural network. It includes friends and family. It may include favorite baristas and restaurant workers, fellow employees, teachers, club members or teammates. Your network are the people who look forward to seeing you. They come in all faiths and non-faith, backgrounds and needs.
The questions for each of us are “Do you want to make a positive difference in your network?” “Do you want to live and lead by the Holy Spirit in their lives; do you want to be the presence of Jesus; do you want to be grace; do you want to be their personal pastor, to pastor wherever you are and where they are at?” “Do you want to collect eternally grateful hugs because someone entered into the life of Jesus through you?”
Forget the self-doubt. Forget the seeming disqualification. Definitely forget the nay-sayers and negative voices in your life; forget the religious hierarchy that limits you, and don’t give second thought to those who, for lack of your own direction, steer you onto a path of their own benefit.
advocāte makes five commitments for you to experience positive change and unforgettable influence:
You will have a coach who meets with you at least once a month, and communicates with you throughout the month. They are your intercessor, friend, coach, and mentor. They are singularly, personally and relationally committed to you.
Cohorts are peer groups of mutual learning and training. You will receive teaching, but you will also be sharing experiences of what is and what is not working well in your experience. The group meets every six weeks or so in order to not drain your opportunity to actually be an advocate for others. advocāte is very sensitive to your investment of time.
You will be able to meet twice a month for worship, teaching and mutual ministry. These are services focused on what the Holy Spirit is saying and doing; they are opportunities to practice ministry with each other in order to do ministry within our networks. These are breath-taking, memorable, unforgettable moments in God’s presence.
4. Connect events
Connect events serve as a bridge in which people in your network begin to be exposed to the grace of Jesus beyond your own ability to serve them. Connect events take two forms.
- Personal: at times, a person in your network will have a need beyond what you are able to meet. It may be physical, financial or in need of a specialist. An advocate can bring that need to the advocāte network and we will join together to meet that need. We will do so in the name of your friendship.
- Public: we may discover that among our networks we have a common need that can be met. For example, let’s say we realize that between us we know six nurses: So we decide to put on an event about “Who nurses the nurse?” It is a well-done, memorable experience in which our nurse-friends walk away feeling loved, appreciated and educated.
Connect events are not done in the name of advocāte. The focus is still on an advocate’s relationship with the individuals served. However, we have expanded the relationship base in order to serve future opportunities for you to introduce advocāte as a faith-solution at the appropriate time.
5. Curious Experience
These are services designed for you to bring members of your network who are ready to pursue questions about Jesus and faith. The Curious service is an experience with the gospel centered around a common felt-need, social question or cultural issue.
A network that is first and totally dedicated to your positive change;
A network that encourages you and equips you to live and lead by the Spirit for the transformation of others;
A network that is not about what you can do for them, but what they can do for you:
This is advocāte.