2017 Cypress Intensives launch in August! Interested in joining a group? Or hosting a live cast locale? Click here to check it out. More details to come.
Three weeks ago, we wrapped up our 2016/17 Cypress groups – Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte, and Wilmington – 50+ teams and 125+ leaders. During a video conference of city leaders yesterday evaluating this past year, I realized this was year number eight for Cypress! Crazy.
We didn’t come up with anything new in creating Cypress. We certainly didn’t find a silver bullet for churches and leaders. Cypress is really just a way to talk about Biblical principles (and what a number of influencers poured into us about these principles) that will impact our cities through missionary disciples, leaders, and churches. But, for whatever reason, God has chosen to use Cypress for eight years, in the lives of almost 500 churches and 1,000 leaders, in 12 U.S. cities, and 8 other countries. And, for whatever reason, over the past couple of months, God has directed incredible encouragement my way through leaders sharing how Cypress is making a difference in their lives, their churches, their communities, and their countries. It’s humbling, but most of all it means I owe really a HUGE THANK YOU to all the Cypress leaders and supporters who make this happen!
I don’t have room in one update to share it all, so here’s a quick update on the U.S. cities that just wrapped up. In two weeks, I’m excited to share another update focused on international work; including translation work, videos for South Asia, and incredible stories of what God is doing through leaders in Africa, South Asia, and Central America.
It brought me great joy to hear Pastor Silas report about what God is doing in Africa!! My new prayer is that believers tell the next person they come in contact with about the good news of Jesus. The Lowcountry would be radically changed! The spirit of God moves when believers are all about the kingdom. You have helped us so much by leading us through the Cypress training. We will be forever grateful!
Emily Wallace, Charleston cohort
Neal, I’ve been really impacted and encouraged by Cypress so far and appreciate all the work you’ve done to prepare and teach it. It’s been really helpful to get some clarity and language behind a lot of things I’ve felt for a while, and it’s definitely helped further shape my vision and mission moving forward.
Ben Davey, Charlotte cohort
Just wanted to thank you for today’s teaching. The Lord really used it to speak to me both personally and as a leader. The question you asked — “If the Lord answered all of your prayers from this past week, who would be going to heaven?” — rocked me to the core. I will be pondering that for a long time, and I know it’s going to produce change in my prayer life. Thanks for your faithfulness.
Russ, Charleston cohort
I felt like you guys were able to put pieces of the puzzle together that made for many “aha” moments. It has really helped me prioritize ministry efforts, create a greater sense of purpose, and it was packaged in such a way that it works in many models.
Mike, Charleston cohort
I am learning to think and live more like a missionary sent to Camden, than just a pastor of a church in Camden. I’m spending more time in the harvest and live like a missionary. I am seeking ways to share my heart with key teachable people in the church where I serve. I want to develop ministry around the Real Life definition of a disciple – someone who knows and follows Christ, is being changed by Christ, and is committed to the mission of Christ.
Taylor, Columbia cohort
My biggest take away is that we are in this together – and would I be willing to decrease so the Kingdom could increase? Also that I need to change the scorecards. about church planting, discipleship, leadership, theological education, and missional/kingdom living!
Al, Charleston cohort
SPECIAL THANKS to our 2016-2017 live host in Charleston: Journey Church, Will Browning, Clay Jernigan, and their incredible teams for hosting and tech/live-cast!
SPECIAL THANKS to our live cast locales and local facilitators: Charlotte – Church at Denver, Ben Rudolph & Matt Dawson; Columbia – River Church, Bryan Plyler; Wilmington – Renovation Church, Jonathan Cockrell.
THANKS to our Primary Funding Partners and Collaborative Partners and to the South Carolina Baptist Convention for picking up the meals in Charleston!