RW Pastor of the Year

RW Pastor of the Year

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David MasonI’d like to introduce you to David Mason, our 2015 RW Pastor of the Year. This award goes to a pastor who has shown exceptional energy, creativity and effectiveness in teaching and practicing relational wisdom in his community.

David is the Senior Pastor of Green Valley Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He became a Certified RW Instructor on September 13, 2013, and then hit the deck running.

To give you a glimpse of his amazing impact, I’ve compiled excerpts from some of the emails David has sent to me to describe how God has blessed his efforts to bring RW training to his home church, several businesses, a military base, a school district, a national insurance company, college students, and a family hit by a terrible disaster.

Of all the things David writes, this statement thrills me most: “Since I began teaching RW in our community, many individuals and families have come to our church and begun to follow Christ.”

After you read these brief testimonies, I’ll explain how your church could see this same kind of practical gospel outreach in your community.

I just finished six weeks of RW training for 400 people in my church. Our small group leaders report great interaction. One of my senior members said, “That is the best thing we have ever done!” My kids (ages 29, 26, 25, 22, and 21) have enjoyed working on it as a family. RW is proving to be more impactful than I ever dreamed! (March, 2014)

My first values-based (secular) workshop in a local business went very well. This is a great way to serve small business owners who can’t afford expensive training. Two other business owners in my church have asked me to do sessions for their employees. (March, 2014)

Last night I had a church trustees meeting and a conflict arose. One of the trustees told another trustee, “You need to RW this, brother!” He left for a few minutes to “RW it” and returned with a calm heart. Thank you for developing this material! As a pastor, it has given me great insight into effective discipleship. (April, 2014)

I was teaching RW to 200 couples on an Air Force base when there was a loud explosion. With all the recent violence on military bases, you can imagine the instant fear and tension. We soon learned it was only an electrical transformer exploding. After a quick prayer, I explained how the intense “fight/flight” reaction we’d all experienced could save lives during combat … but do great damage in a marital conflict or quarrel with a teenager. I had their complete attention from that point on! (June, 2014)

The Lord recently gave me the opportunity to teach RW to fifty teachers in a nearby school district. I got a standing ovation, not a dry eye in the place. I did the values-based version but mentioned that God-based material was available at the end of the session … every item was gone in minutes. (August, 2014)

I use relational wisdom in pastoral counseling every week. I revisit it with my congregation every other month … it’s so easy to work it into sermons. I’m still amazed by how effective this tool is in all sorts of ministry settings. (August, 2014)

I just did a seminar, openly Christ-centered, with community service directors in NW Missouri. It was wonderful. I am doing a seminar with college students this weekend. As word about the practical value of RW spreads, I’m getting more and more opportunities to talk with unchurched people and tell them about Jesus. (January, 2015)

We are making great strides in penetrating our community with the gospel through RW. I did two more businesses recently. We’ve just invited nearly 600 people in a basketball ministry to receive this training. I cannot express how much this ministry has blessed me, my family, my church and my community! (May, 2015)

God recently allowed me to minister to a family that just went through a terrible disaster. They lost their home to a tornado and the mother was having health problems. I could tell her problems were stress related, but she only knew to go to a doctor and get meds. I used RW to help her understand stress and how to listen to her body. She accepted Christ while we were rebuilding her house! (May, 2015)

Since I began teaching RW in our community, many individuals and families have come to our church and begun to follow Christ. I just received another request from a bank in Kansas City to present RW to their leadership. I’ve now got my foot in the door with the two largest employers in St Jo. I love telling people how RW has improved my walk with the Father in amazing ways! (September, 2015)

Yesterday I taught RW to 63 employees at a national insurance company. It went really well. I got a two applauses and lots of positive feedback. They even recorded it for employees unable to attend. (September, 2015)

While most churches in my area are declining, divided or dying, my church is growing and united. I’ve seen the religious landscape change so much lately, and not for the better. God has used relational wisdom to keep our church unified and relevant when so many others have abandoned the gospel for public approval. (December, 2015)

Last week I presented values-based RW to a 42 person professional team with such serious problems that several people were about to lose their jobs. Yesterday the leader called to report that the training had triggered a major breakthrough. She then asked me to do a follow up next month. (December, 2015)

Next month I’m doing a three week series on RW in my church using the Inside Out movie you featured in a recent blog post. I’m grateful to have such culturally relevant tools to provide training that encourages our members to invite their friends, family and co-workers into our church where many of them hear the gospel for the very first time. (December, 2015)

Every Journey Begins with a Single Step

Would you like to see leaders and members in your church engage unchurched people in your community with this kind of practical, relationship-improving and gospel-spreading training? One of the best ways to begin this kind of ministry is to host a Discovering Relational Wisdom Seminar.

This seminar is a live, one-day event designed to provide an introduction to relational wisdom. It is interactive, involving teaching, viewing and analysis of video clips, group discussions, and application exercises.

Students leave with a detailed Study Guide and a Personal RW Action Plan that includes practical homework and ongoing exercises that will encourage them to continue learning and applying relational wisdom in their daily lives.

Evangelistic Opportunity

One of the most exciting features of this seminar is its evangelistic potential. We teach practical relational skills in a way that makes non-Christians feel valued and welcomed, and we end the seminar with a winsome gospel message. This approach gives members of your congregation the opportunity to invite non-believing relatives, friends, and co-workers to an event that will not only teach valuable life skills but also, and more importantly, introduce them to the gospel of Christ.

These live seminars can be presented by a member of our staff or a Certified RW Instructor in your area. If you would like to learn more about hosting a seminar, please visit the Live RW Seminars page. Our calendar is filling up fast, so move quickly to reserve a weekend in 2016.

– Ken Sande

PS: A ministry friend has pledged a $40,000 challenge gift to enable us to upgrade and expand our training resources so we equip people around the world to spread the gospel using relational wisdom just as David Mason has been doing. Please help us to match this gift by making a generous donation, stock gift or monthly pledge.

Reflection Questions

  • Is your church having a noticeable impact on your community? To put it more directly, if your church simply disappeared tomorrow, would anyone else in your community even realize you were gone?
  • What is your church’s current strategy for reaching out to engage unchurched people in your community and draw them to Christ? How well is that strategy working?
  • How might your church’s witness and impact be improved if you trained a number of people to teach relational wisdom the same way that David Mason has been doing?

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2015 Ken Sande

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