Living Water for Africa

My son Brandon leaves for Kenya today on a three week mission trip.  I would like to ask you to pray for him and the team from Seacoast as they reach out to the people of Kenya.  I was able to make my first trip to Africa a few months ago.  While there I was witnessed first hand the despareate need for clean water and the gospel. As Brandon was preparing for his trip he reflected back to the first time he went to Africa and what he witnessed there and wrote the song below to share with his team.  A couple of people at church who loved the song asked to make it into a video to use with Bread of Life missions organization.  I hope you enjoy…

Turkana Music Video- “Bread of Life” Missions from Maclake on Vimeo.


Empty bellies, dried up streams, so much famine, so much need.
Miles of darkness, miles of dirt, millions hungry, millions hurt.
In the Corruption, in the war, thousands dying, thousands more.

Damaged families, broken tribes, lost and lonely children crying
In the trenches, in the mud, countless children without homes
From the trash, by their feet, this is dinner, off the street

We will bring, we will bring, your living water
So they hurt no more, thirst no more
We will sing, we will sing, of your great hope and promise, yeah we sing!

By his bones, by his blood, came to save, came to love
Turned the water into wine, braved the cross, healed the blind
You have raised the dead to life, you have called us to bring light

Send your rain
Father Reign

The pictures below are from my recent trip to Togo, Africa where I saw first hand this desparate need.

Africa 4Africa 5Africa 2Africa 3

Leadership Tips for Missional Communities

Long before “missional” became a church buzzword lighting up the blogosphere, St. Thomas Church in England started doing things differently. They operated in a European culture that wasn’t friendly to Christians and they knew that if they were going to reach new people for Jesus, it wasn’t going to be in a church service. So under the leadership Pastor Mike Breen, they reinvented what church looked like. And as it turns out…it looks a lot like what we see in the early church.

They broke to the streets, the college campuses, living rooms and pubs; and in doing so, they quietly started a missional revolution. By 2000, they had become the largest church in the England.

At the heart of it all was a church culture that didn’t just create converts—it created disciples that seemed to live an awful lot like Jesus did. They trained regular, ordinary lay people to be leaders, to listen to the voice of God and respond.  And the people they trained…in turn trained people themselves.

Since that time Mike Breen has left St. Thomas to start 3DM a ministry dedicated to helping churches around the globe innovate this missional approach to reaching and discipling people.  Last week I had the opportunity to spend four days with Mike and his team and go through the 3DM training. 

One of the staff members present that day was Paul Maconochie who now pastors St. Thomas Church and continues the missional approach to discipleship Mike started years ago. I had the chance to ask Paul a few questions about Midsized Missional Communities.  He shares some great wisdom and advice in this 8 minute video.

The Power of Leadership Development

As you are probably aware I spent last week in Togo Africa with Pioneers helping train a group of pastors and traveling to villages to assess their need for clean water.  While there I was amazed to see how the Pioneers team is taking the Gospel to unreached people groups in remote villages, plant churches and then raise up leaders in those villages to lead the church.  Through their work I witnessed the power of leadership development first hand.

In this video you will hear the story of three generations of leaders who are reproducing themselves in the lives of others.  And they’re doing this in an area where there is no electricity, no clean water, no access to resources and a very high illiteracy rate.  I was absolutely inspired as I witnessed the commitment and sacrifice of these believers.  If your church is interested in sponsoring one of these missionaries and the church planting efforts of Pioneers Togo email the Pioneers Togo Director, Pastor Francis Avoy at   Also you can email me at  if you have questions about how you can help.

Firsts That Make a Difference

Do you remember your first car, first kiss, first job?  Firsts are hard to forget because they’re so special.  The emotional impact of “Firsts” create deep seeded memories in your mind.  “Firsts” leave a lasting impression.  That’s why as leaders we must intentionally plan some” Firsts” in our lives that will impact our continual spiritual growth.

Many people develop bucket lists, things  they hope to accomplish before they die.  Typically this is a list of “Firsts” that bring us satisfaction.  That’s not a bad thing but today I want so suggest you have a second type of bucket list as well.  A lists of things that you want to do that will stretch you and produce growth in your walk with Christ.  This is a list of things that are oriented around serving rather than satisfactiMac with Pastor Silvuson. 

One of the “Firsts” that I wrote down on my SERVE bucket list two years ago was to teach leadership on six of the continents of the world.  In the past couple of years I’ve had the privilege of training leaders in North America, South America and Asia.  And now this week I experienced my first opportunity to teach leadership in Africa and it proved to be a transformational experience for me.  While I came as a teacher, I leave a student.  I have never seen such struggle, desperation and hopelessness.  Yet I have never witnessed such faith, courage and sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel.  The lifestyle of the believers here has left me humbled and hungry to know God more.   This is a “First” I will never forget and pray has forever changed me.

What are some “Firsts” you can put on your Serve Bucket List?

Leadership Training for African Pastors

Today I’m boarding a plane  for Togo Africa.  I’m excited about this amazing opportunity to do leadership training with a group of pastors who are serving in a very tough territory.  I’d like to ask you to pray for us during this trip.  Here are a few specific requests:

  • Pray that the pastors we’re training will be encouraged, inspired and learn practical leadership skills that will increase their leadership influence.  For several years now Seacoast Church has partnered with Pioneers Togo to support their efforts of planting churches for unreached people groups.  These pastors are truly on the front-line of ministry and our desire is for God to use us to energize and encourage these men.  Pray for those accompanying me @jasonsurratt our Missions Pastor and @ernestsmith our Young Adult Pastor.
  • Pray that God will direct us to one or two specific communities that He wants to do a special work in.  As part of our mission we will be identifying a couple of communities that are in need of clean water.  Water Missions International Kenyan Country Director will be joining us to help assess where the greatest need may be.  Once the community is identified we will work with the local church there to install a water system so they can use it as an opportunity to share Christ with their community.
  • Pray that God will keep us safe and protect our health.  We’ve had our 5 shots and are ready to go.  
  • Pray for open doors of opportunity for God to do what He wants to do.
  • Pray for Pastor Francis who heads up Pioneers Togo.  Francis is one of the most amazing leaders I’ve met who has a passionate heart for God and the gospel.  Here is a video where he shares more about his ministry.

The Externally Focused Church

I had the opportunity to hangout with Eric Swanson on a recent trip to Leadership Network.  Eric is Leadership Community Director and LN and the author of The Externally Focused Church.  He also has a new release coming out in March titled The Externally Focused Quest .  In this video Eric talks about the measures of an externally focused church.  See my Take Aways below.


  • Externally focused church measures their effectiveness not by how many people they have on Sunday morning but by the transformational effect they have on their community.
  • In Matthew 22 when no one showed up at his son’s wedding banquet the king augmented his strategy from an “invite” strategy to a “go to” strategy. 
  • When you ask a pastor how his church is doing he typically answers in terms of INPUTS (size of budget, staff, etc), ACTIVITIES (number of services, specific programs, etc) and OUTPUTS (# attending, # serving etc) .  But we can’t stop there we have to move on to OUTCOMES (measured in terms of changed lives)  and IMPACT (the collective result of multiple changed lives over time)
  • Who’s life is different because your church is in the community?
  • “Every non-profit exists for one purpose, that’s to bring about changed lives”  Peter Drucker
  • Outcomes and Impact answer the “so what” question.
  • Don’t try to be the best church in your community, become the best church for your community.

What Outcomes and Impacts does your church need to begin to measure?