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It’s been a tremendous year so far.  We are four months in to 2018 and everything in my life is building tremendous momentum unique to other years… tremendous synergy.  I’ve always had my hands dipped in a lot of things, but the weakness has been that it has spread me thin on lasting impact.  About a year ago, the Lord began to show me how to bring together a few of my worlds that rarely interacted - and it is starting to pay off. I’m so excited to begin to see the fruit of this, but I’ll share more of that in the coming months.  Here’s an update and encouragement from some of my travels this year. 

Update: 

My global family is growing, which means Generation ONE’s global family is growing.  January saw fit to get me back in Texas where I got time with Kingdom Life leaders in San Antonio, Freedom Life Leaders, a church in Austin,  True Life Leaders in Round Rock, and Waco School of Transformation leaders and students in Waco.  Central Texas is on fire and I’m looking forward to more time there in July.  

Later that month, Jon Hazeltine of New Life Grand Rapids, Daniel Budzinski of Compassionate Touch, and Generation ONE were able to come together for a week of learning and leading in the country of Haiti.  On the ground we were received by Mission Of Hope, Wahoo Bay Resort, and some dear Haitian friends.  Joseph Bataille came along with national leaders to do our training on discipling nations in and around the transformation projects we were leading.  High school students were led in an identity course called Purpose, mobile medical clinics were championed for 4 days, and multiple business were initiated by local Haitians, with our support.  It was a life changing week and a touch of what’s to come as I continue to take people around the world to study abroad.  

February was full of wondrous adventures as new friends Mark and Allison Curtis invited me to join them for their annual ‘Passion for Jesus Conference’ in greater Manchester, UK.  I enjoyed time with Andrew Murray, Adam Graves, James Aladiran and a host of other churches. Here, I really felt like there was permission granted to see the kingdom in a new way.  Over the next few months we were able to be in Canada, Redding, and get some time away with friends in Florida with our families.  

As a local church, we’re in a visitation of readiness.  So much positioning is happening and redefinition is yielding so much fruit for Generation ONE. It is so exciting! Vision is exploding in our house as our next season as a church is becoming crystal clear.  Lots of fun announcements to be made in 2018.  

What Time Is It?

My take away from this year is very simple, yet weighty. In a general sense, the season of redefinition I’ve been prophesying about since January 2017 is still happening, but it’s starting to shift.  My understanding right now: Whatever you need to do, do it.  It’s not a time to be leery of commitment but it’s actually the opposite. It’s not urgent yet, but we need to begin to have in mind what and who we are going to say yes to. Things are going to begin to settle in and become solidified when it comes to mission and purpose expressed for the next cycle or season. I believe that the discovery window will remain open for the next 9 months. Say yes to the Lord, don’t be a bystander. Really big outcomes are available to those who position themselves in the coming wave of transformation, and early adopters will be rewarded well!  

Thank you to all those I wasn’t able to name that have played a huge role in the impact that I’ve been able to make in the nations.  

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I’m a senior pastor, minister, conference speaker, church consultant ... and in every avenue I work in a common need I find is more transparency. Some of my favorite moments are when I’ve been brought in as a guest of honor and then share my current struggles. It gives permission for honesty, relationship, and the need for God as a human in process while also walking in honor and responsibility.

Leading up to being ordained in 2003 I had never witnessed a pastor blatantly share a current weakness with me. These moments were always shared as “I used to...” implying they had arrived and overcome. This was limiting for my development process because it subvertly created the pressure to also have a status of arrival as I began my ministry. It also created a culture that says if you are struggling something might be wrong with you, or you might be disqualified.

Church leader culture: If you have a weakness, you’re marginalized. If you fail, you’re done.

With all the movements today, weaknesses are getting exposed at a heightened level. Things that happened many years ago are causing people to not just be out, but to be done.

Many Christians I know are upset with political correctness, upset that forgiveness isn’t exercised with second or third chances. But I wonder if the culture of the church of “fail and done” has been the pioneer of the PC movement? I ponder if the way we have crucified the failed leader has set this tone in the earth? And then... I wonder what could be possible in the church to shift all of culture through demonstrating radical restoration and reconciliation? 

Every choice we make can shake the earth!

I’ve seen affairs, crazy addictions, murder, and abuse overcome. I think about what the church would look like if we asked Jesus how much restoration was too much? What length would He go to reconcile? What effort would He give to bring honor back and believe in someone’s future after failure? You can’t read the Bible and not be blown away at how God consistently used broken, weak, unhealthy people to do great exploits.

What if justice (getting what you deserve) was a short season? *Haven’t we proved as a society that separation doesn’t equal rehabilitation?* What if that was then followed by blatant mercy (not getting what you deserve) which was then followed up by a season of grace (getting what you don’t deserve)!

What if the end goal of restoration is giving something to someone that they aren’t worthy of? And what if this supernatural gift is the final encounter of healing?

Let’s be a voice for victims (a whole other needed perspective) and let’s be advocates for fallen leaders to have honoring paths available for restoration. Let’s crush the head of political correctness by exercising this reality:

The gift of empowerment defeats the label of failure. 

COURAGE CATALYST

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Lately I’ve found myself using the phrase “Courage Catalyst” to explain what I’m doing and who GenONE is when I travel to partner with other organizations.  Over the last year I’ve had the chance to travel to four continents with invitations to speak, train and strategize with businesses and churches. I worked with companies ranging from real estate, financial services, to clothing production.  In the church world I’ve been with Anglicans, Revivalists, AoG, Vineyard, Catholics, Mainline Evangelicals, Seekers, Traditional Pentecostals as well as those theologically “Progressive”. From a national religion (dominant-faith practiced) standpoint I’ve been in Catholic nations, Judeo-Christian nations, Muslim Nations, a Voodoo Nation, a Hindu Nation and Humanist Nations. First world and third world alike… they all have something in common.  They need courage to do the thing in their heart they know is needed to be honest and true to who they are.  

Empowerment is significant today and it’s more alive than it ever has been, but just because you have permission “to do” doesn’t mean you have the courage to pursue.  In our modern time of Monday Morning Quarterback (aka comments on social media) the bounce back to any ideology that calls people to selfless living is exhausting. The number of opinions at times can feel like its more than the population itself. It’s easy today to give ourselves a free pass in the moment to not stand up, follow through and make the hard sacrificial decision.  In turn, we’re left with less-than results, less-than dreams and even more importantly… less-than relationships.  People rarely need to be told what is right, they need someone to love them unconditionally while they pursue doing what they already know to be true.  They need courage. Courage to say yes and courage to say no.  

While not having “arrived” in my church expertise or even having expertise in the exact fields associated with the organizations I’m serving, I’ve found that every leader needs a friend (who also has a lot of organizational leadership experience :) .  A friend who can listen, externally process challenges or ideas, and ultimately say, “I’ll be here when you need me for the long haul.”  I’m honored to serve leaders in this capacity because we are often bigger on the inside than we are on the outside. Practically, I help thinkers think, dreamers dream and leaders lead -which in turn is changing products, leadership teams, cultures, family members and more. It’s transforming lives by giving courage to get what’s on the inside on the outside. This is my passion and one of the great strengths of Generation ONE.  

I’m honored to serve you in: 

Culture Development (leadership and supernatural )
Team recruiting and assembly
Relational government structures
Apostolic and Prophetic outcomes
Change Management
Generational Transition
Core Value Discovery
Taking the biggest risk of your life

Leaders, you know the greatest seasons of our lives often require the biggest risks we’ve ever taken. Don’t wait for later. Dream it today. Define it today. Pursue it today… and I’ll be your friend by catalyzing the courage inside of you.  2018 is going to be a huge year, lets do this.   

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IT'S NOT TIME TO FORGET 

I had the pleasure of being with leaders in Darmstadt, Singen, and Nuremberg in Germany as well as Zurich Switzerland in November and can I just say this:  The church in Europe is coming alive in profound ways, especially in Germany.  Churches are growing and igniting Kingdom valued cultures.  

I really believe that there is a generation of leaders emerging our of Germany than is going to be a significant player in leading this next move of God.  I’m so humbled to serve, love and grow with all the friends and powerful people that are working in that part of the world.  

I also had the recent opportunity to meet Jonathan Welton for the first time.  Excited to get to know his academy staff and family more in the future.  Excited things coming there.  He’s another example of the new breed of leaders God is raising up.  

The church is about to explode.  New inheritance and favor are here.  It’s time to believe God for BIG things. What’s the situation in your life that is “fully dead”?  If it is fully dead, that means it’s fully ready to come to life.  Time to dust off some old dreams and visions and breathe life into them.  There’s new life in the international church and in the generation of leaders rising.  Time to believe God for BIG things.  

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   Are We Raising      A Family Or An        Orphanage? 

Temporary thinking is a limited belief system! One of the greatest limiting beliefs we have in Christianity is in how we celebrate the experience of salvation. We think it's about a quick thing I do today that will help me some day later. While most Christians would agree that there's more to Christianity than that moment of profession, the culture of the evangelical movement only celebrates the initiation and not the process.

The first thing that's out of order in this limited belief is that we're actually not called to "win souls". It was never Jesus priority or even mentioned for that matter. His priority was calling people into a disciple making relationship. He never asked if someone knew where they were going to go when they died, he never asked anyone to repeat after him a Roman's road prayer. Lets be honest... most of our "salvation experienced" theology comes out of Paul's Christology of which he was translating to Roman citizens who only knew Caesar as Lord at that time.

For most evangelicals this feels radical to say something like this... but honesty requires us to look at the heart of Jesus and also count the cost of what the gospel actually calls us into which is raising a family. I believe most evangelistic motives are nice but extremely self rewarding and short term in their priority. Evangelist blows in for event... stadium gets filled. Prayer is repeated. Stats are posted. Rinse and repeat. While God is good enough not to waste these moments, his heart is for duplication through relationship not membership through dues paid. What would it look like to celebrate the process of disciple making in this stadium experience as much as we celebrate these salvation prayer moments?

Making disciples who then make disciples is the foundation that the church was built upon. An experience that only sustains profession of "I'm a sinner" in need of a savior without a commitment to get that person to think like Jesus is an inch deep and a mile wide. It's not sustainable. This is called raising an orphanage and not raising a family. The church has been excited about making babies, but where are the fathers and mothers who will raise them?

The same can be said for the encounter priority of the Charismatic Movement. I love the moment someone professes Jesus and I also love the moment they have an encounter with God... but a real encounter with God should compel them to follow Jesus in all the wonder, mystery and process. What do you do when you have a culture that lives off of the "suddenly's" but there aren't any suddenly's happening for a specific situation? We have to embrace the paradox of what can happen immediately and what is necessary for the journey. God uses both, but are we able to have faith for the suddenly and trust the process at the same time? This takes great maturity.

The end goal is not a short term fix, it's true transformation. It's true restoration. It's wholeness of the body, soul and spirit in this life. Wholeness is not a short term journey nor is it an inch deep. We need a "making disciples that makes disciples" awakening, full of people constantly position themselves as receiving from a savior who brings encounters that transform them and renew their mind. You could easily build a case that God doesn't want your heart, he wants your mind. He doesn't want you to just think about Him, He wants you think LIKE Him. This will take time and cost you something, and it's worth it every time.

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    Updates From

         England      

I'm just getting back from a 9 day trip that included stops in New York City, Manchester, Hull, Bradford and London. I’m so thankful for the prayer and support of our @genonemovement family that allows me to do this. I had nine scheduled meetings and countless moments of loving those around me on trains, planes and automobiles. I was hosted so well by my new British friends and I wanted to say thank you to Prayer Storm, New Hope Bradford, Mark Curtis, Revive Church and Elim Wimbledon for being gateways of love and opportunity. I also met beautiful people from France, Iraq, Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Russia, Portugal and more as I travelled about. The thing everyone has in common all over the world is that they want to be heard and loved. I ministered to a man from Iraq who's village was destroy by Isis and he expressed so much gratitude for all the US has done to help protect and rebuild his nation. He may or may not be informed with all the information, but as a local speaking... I was encouraged greatly. He let me pray for him while being a practicing Muslim which was brilliant! Three Brits invited me to dinner after encouraging them at the train station. One was Muslim, another Catholic with the last being Buddhist and the most hungry to know more behind the prophetic encounter she had just received. The gospel was easy! 
My main priority was spending time with influential church and ministry leaders, serving them and their teams. I love coming behind powerful people and contributing small things that help them advance in the journey of looking more like Jesus in relationship and function. The U.K. is in good hands. Love you across the pond and thankful for this season of my life! 

Do you have a call to disciple nations? Do you want to travel with us as we impact the world?  We would love to take you with us in the next 12 months as we say yes to our corporate call to the Nations.  Send a request for information here if you’d like to get our forthcoming updates about travel opportunities.  

Blessings, 

Drew Neal 

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Identity Theft: Stolen or Given?

I read a comment on a social media status update the other day discussing the topic of identity. The comment basically stated that if everyone would just get their eyes off who they are in Christ, and turn simply to who God is, that it would somehow fix what they believe are problems with the message of identity. I couldn’t help but chuckle at how human nature thinks throwing out the baby with the bath water is a solution finder – throwing out the whole message of identity, dismissing it as a “selfish” topic. I think there’s a massive need in the body of Christ to know who they IN Christ. Comments like the one I read are generally statements of ignorance. Knowing who you are in Christ is founded on the expansion of God’s nature as a greater reality in your life. You can’t know who you are unless you understand what/who you were patterned after, and the message of identity is never separate from this understanding. Confusion in identity is centered on lies that set in to try and steal from us our dominion and authority on the earth as heirs. We don’t have to choose between powerful believer or powerful God; it’s both. A “powerless believer” is an oxymoron, and it is the enemy’s greatest weapon. It is mediocrity as its best. There is so much more, and as I stated in my last post, I have a healthy dissatisfaction that is pushing me to discover the fullness of the kingdom as my present reality. 

I believe the church has suffered from a bad case of identity theft.

I’m not a big “enemy” guy. The devil this, demons that and the infamous “I’m being attacked every day” stuff has never sat right in my spirit. I found early on that a devil-conscious reality brings a lot of devil and not very much Jesus. Although, the trap in this stance is thinking the enemy isn’t real and that we get to skate by scott-free. There is a need to understand the enemy has come with an agenda to steal, kill and destroy. I believe his greatest position is getting us to believe we aren’t made in the King’s image, and that we don’t have authority over him. The only authority the enemy has is what we give him. Jesus said that God was greater in Him than Satan on earth, and then he invited us to “abide,” or simply stay, in this reality of God’s greatness. When we aren’t walking as a powerful companion, the alternative looks like a shameful beggar outside the city walls with no invitation to the table. When we accept this identity as a weak, filthy-rags, disinherited, confused and powerless orphan, we’ve become a victim of identity theft. Our name and authority is being used in a way it wasn’t designed to be. The difference between the modern era of credit cards getting compromised and this spiritual picture being created here is that we’ve literally given the enemy permission to take it.  With this comes access to our authority, dominion, inheritance and brings condemnation, confusion and especially the lie that we've been separated from Father God.  Who would invite a group of hoodlums into their home at midnight and then call themselves victims?
Much of what we feel victimized by actually looks like faith mispositioned rather than stolen goods.  

How would the earth respond if 25 percent of faith-declaring believers of Jesus Christ actually believed that Jesus was the first born among many brethren? If He’s the first, who is the second born of the King? What if 15 percent actually believed they were fearfully and wonderfully made in His image and likeness? It would mean they have a present reality of what His image and likeness looks like, and transformation of every sphere would be on display. This is the substance that will change the world, and Jesus showed us as one man. How much more if we all banded together and took our place as sons? God hasn’t called us to do something ordinary, but extraordinary. Jesus declared that all power on heaven and earth was in His name prior to giving the great commission. Why do you suppose He prequalified His last words to the disciples with this bold statement of His ability? I believe it was because He wanted them to realize that “going” wouldn’t be possible without identifying Him as the power source. This power doesn’t come into our lives because we think we’re filthy rags or just a poor beggar hoping to get the scraps off the table. To be able to handle power, it requires great responsibility, understanding and maturity.  

It’s time to chop off the false humility jargon that is pervasive in the church.  

Fear has set in the church, and we are so scared to acknowledge the divine design of companionship and authority that God has invited us into. Can power ruin someone?  Of course. Can thinking too highly of yourself bring you to your knees? Been there, done that. But, just because power mispositioned can get you hurt, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a right position. Declaring we’re nothing and that anything good in our lives is only God takes away our responsibility to say yes and to lay our lives down. He doesn’t break in and hot wire the car. He comes in through the door after knocking. True humility allows for us to be confident in what we were designed to do, but it always lives in surrender to who God is as the power source. Demeaning the painting doesn’t honor the artist. False humility says, I’m not responsible or powerful, but true humility says I’m powerful because of Him. You can’t have authority and not be in charge, the same you can’t have self-control and then blame God if the outcome is messy.  

We need an encounter with perfect love that casts out fear.  

It’s time to put away childish things and embrace love as a more excellent way. Knowing who we are in Christ as sons is the beginning of transformation. Romans says don’t be like the world, but be transformed in the renewing of your mind that you may prove the perfect and acceptable will of God. We can’t just say what we’re not; we have to be renewed, and then walk it out. The revelation of identity as a son begins with understanding who God is. To have an upgraded perspective of the church, we need an upgraded perspective of ourselves. To have an upgraded perspective of ourselves, we need an upgraded perspective of God. Graham Cooke says the most powerful prayer you could pray is this: “God, what do you want to be for me today that I’ve never known you to be?” Pray this prayer, and then I challenge you to believe that what He shows you about Himself is what He believes about you. He is who you are like.  

 

SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

The simple truth about life is that things come our way all the time that create challenges.  Are these challenges problems or opportunities? A renewed mind understands that there aren't any problems in heaven and if we took "heaven's perspective" we would realize that God has a solution for all things. Finding God's solutions starts with right believing which in turn raises our level of hope.  A hopeless situation is a Godless situation, so how does God see our lives and circumstance?  I have to be honest, I have a hope i.v. supernaturally injected in my veins.  All my life I’ve been that person to see things half full and just believe that something good would come out of a big mess that could be staring me straight in the eye.  Even when I’ve found myself in situations I created that were seemingly “hopeless”, I still believed good things could come out of it.  I’ve been told this was resilience and determination.  I’ve decided it’s relentless hope and a gift from Heaven that I've chosen to partner with.  I’ve been trying to crawl into the eye of God all of my life to see situations the way He sees them and I believe that He’s given me that exact opportunity, to live a life full of relentless hope.    

My current perspective is setting up my future experiences.  

What we believe about God shows up pretty quick when we’re in crisis.  I can remember back in ’04 I suffered a pretty serious sports injury.  I took a line drive in the face while playing softball.  I was diagnosed as having a tripod fracture with an orbital blowout.  It’s a common hockey injury for all you Red Wings fans (Steve Yzerman had a similar injury the same month in the ‘04 Stanley Cup Semi-finals) reading.  It’s a brutal injury to say the least.   At the point of injury and coming aware of what had actually happened, I started asking myself questions like if I would be able to see again, if my face would be marred all my life etc.  It’s funny how quick these things roll through your mind.  I knew I was helpless as I lay there on the ground waiting for the ambulance.  I decided that the best thing I could do was to welcome Holy Spirit and I began to speak in tongues and releasing peace over myself.  (When we speak in tongues we edify our human spirit!) The guys were all gathered around me and pretty concerned.  I remember them asking what I was saying and one guy telling me afterward that he was touched so much by my desire to rely on Holy Spirit in that moment while navigating all the wide emotions.  Even in my injured state I was setting the tone that Papa God was present and we had the opportunity to be aware of Him.  His hope was my reality because I knew the truth about my situation before finding myself in it. The truth was - God was greater.  

Hope is qualified by truth and truth is centered on who He is.

My level of hope is completely connected to how much I’m willing to see things according to His perspective.  I mentioned in a recent post I wrote that while we don’t ever want to be focused on our spiritual enemy, it is a reality that we have an enemy who is looking to steal, kill and destroy.  His greatest tactics are found in deception or rather seeing things according to his perspective.  Our foundation of truth is essential in living a life of hope in all things.  While most Christians would say that they believe the bible, it’s a radical choice to put how the bible teaches us to think in motion.  Many believers try to just find a scripture they think is the exact situation they are in and whatever outcome there is in scripture will be their outcome.  I don’t believe scripture always teaches us specifically what to think as much as it teaches us how to think.  This is a mature perspective that allows us to live out truth in the greater context of God’s nature rather than in the limitation of a few examples of peoples lives before us.

What would it look like to have relentless hope for our circumstances?   

What if the problems or challenges in your life are an invitation to experience God’s goodness toward you?  If God’s nature allows Him to be all knowing and also the provider at the same time, it sounds like this would be the recipe for unlimited breakthrough. While God isn't in the business of enabling problematic cycles in our lives, He is a good father who loves to see His children succeed.  Part of that success is what we're able to get from Him that we can't be for ourselves and the other is what is developed in us by going through the circumstance.  It's not about enduring hardship, it's the opportunity to experience who He is and see things the way He sees them. The more we become like Him, the higher our hope becomes.  The greater the breakthrough in our lives, the more benefit there is even for the people around us.

What is the truth about your situation?

Once again, what you believe about your circumstance will easily define the result.  What is God’s hope level for situation, your life and your relationships?  How does God see it?  What if your level of hope matched your heavenly father’s?  What could become  possible?  Let’s believe God’s best, take the risk of living a radical hope filled life, believing we are never alone and will never be forsaken.  I would recommend Steve Backlund's devotional book Higher Perspectives.  It's full of truth relating specifically on how to overcome hopeless situations.  Life comes out of the tongue and we say what we believe.  In the devotional, Steve does a great job creating declarations that match our believe system and these declarations will change your life. Let HOPE rise