The Discipleship Impact of The 3:15 Project

We recently had the blessing of helping people share their stories at Simpsonwood United Methodist.  After sharing his story, we invited Rich to share about his experience....

 

...then we invited him to thank his pastor Dr. Brian Clark, for providing this opportunity.   

Here's Pastor Brian's Take on The 3:15 Project

Brian was invited to share his story by one of his congregants who experienced The 3:15 Project.  In this video Brian gives a pastor's perspective on the ministry, and the need for it.

Christmas Time Is Here

A week or so ago someone shared a great article by Jason Soroski called "Just Drop the Blanket: The Moment You Never Noticed in a Charlie Brown Christmas."  It caused me to ponder how God used Linus to impact not only the auditorium in a make believe world, but for so many of us in the real world as well.

How can it be that a dysfunctional young kid like Linus with all of his phobias and anxiety can so eloquently captivate millions of people, generation after generation, across all the lines that divide us?  What made him qualified to do that?  Why him at all? Certainly Lucy or Sally would have done it better right?  

Linus was at the right place, at the right time, and simply decided to make himself available to be used by God. He was willing to share what he knew on a public stage at the risk of looking and sounding stupid, for a reason and purpose bigger than his own fears and anxieties.  There's a profound humility that Linus exudes even though he's monologuing center stage in the brilliance of a spotlight.  As we watch and listen, there isn't the slightest hint that's he's performing, or any motive other than to serve the need of his friend Charlie Brown to understand.  He's so humble in doing it we don't even get the sense he's attempting to glorify God or point people to Jesus!  He's just willing to share out of love.  

It also strikes me that after delivering a mic-dropping worthy performance on the audience, Linus just walks off the stage, not worrying about whether the audience liked it, or gauging the loudness and length of the applause (there was none).  Not the slightest care if he even did a good job.  He just did it with what I perceived as "God confidence". He did what he could do, and left the outcome and results to God.  

I pray that in this Christmas season, God will awaken the Linus in all of us.  That we would come to deeper understand, beyond knowledge, the reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15), and be able to share that hope as gently and reverently as Linus shared the meaning of Christmas.

I pray for our leaders, shepherds, and pastors, that they may through God's grace and power, rediscover their inner Linus.   

Each one of us has people in our lives every day like Charlie Brown, that are frustrated, angry, lost, heart broken, seeking meaning, purpose, answers, hope.  May we become increasingly aware and open to the notion that God's wanting to use us, probably when we least expect it, especially when we don't want to, in all of our weakness and brokenness, to be His voice, His storyteller, for His glory.

God willing many people will have the opportunity to know and share their story through the ministry next year thanks to the generosity and prayers of so many people. God is preparing people's hearts for us to serve, perhaps yours!  We abide and wait to serve those He calls upon and choose to obey.  

Thank you to everyone who has walked with, encouraged, supported, inspired, prayed for, and allowed us to serve them through The 3:15 Project.  We have been abundantly blessed in so many ways and so expectant as to what God has in store in 2017.  As we turn our eyes, minds, and hearts on the birth of the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, may He draw us ever closer to experiencing and sharing the fullness and depth of His love, peace, joy, and hope.

Merry Christmas,

Todd

If you'd like to help more people know and share their story,
consider becoming a supporter of the ministry.

You can give a one time or monthly gift at www.315project.com/give

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Ways to Help More Christians Share Their Story

Yesterday, 315 Alumni Christopher Hunnicutt and Eric Smith, came by our headquarters in Atlanta for some prayer, fellowship, and to help with our outreach efforts.

They were kind enough to subject themselves to an improvisational video shoot, and this is what went down.  Love their humility and authenticity.  

Christopher and Eric are reaching out to encourage people, raise awareness for the ministry and recruit story sharers and patrons.  Please join me in praying their partnership would be fun, fruitful, and Spirit led.  It's such a blessing to see our alumni hit the streets, cast vision, and carry out the mission.  

You can watch Christopher's 315 story here.

You can watch Eric's 315 story here.

  

Two Critical KPIs for Christian Leaders

In the consulting world we love to use all sorts of silly lingo that makes us appear smarter than we really are.  At least that’s what I did for 20 years as an internet marketing consultant, and still struggle with it today.  One of those gems is “Key Performance Indicator”, or KPI.  It’s simply a number or value that we measure and report on that tells us how we are doing in a certain aspect of the business.

I left the consulting world in 2010 after God gave me an undeniable calling to give people an opportunity to take a “time out”, rediscover (or discover) their story, and share it on video so God can use it for His purposes.  The ministry I serve is called The 3:15 Project, and it’s based on 1 Peter 3:15…

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

The calling was simple enough to understand but I had no idea how difficult it would be to help “all in” Christians in the marketplace through the process of knowing and sharing their story, and then going public with it.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED IN 5 YEARS

In the 5 years of following this calling, I’ve had the blessing of helping more than 300 people share their story, and in the process spoken with thousands more who were not able or willing to do so, for a number of reasons.  Over that time I’ve discovered the hardest part, the biggest obstacle for most people lies not in getting on camera (though they use that as an excuse most often), not in going public with the story (though that’s always a concern), and not even taking the time out of their busy lives to know and prepare their stories.  The most challenging part for most people, regardless of their denomination, age, vocation, upbringing, is simply this:

Being willing to step out of the boat, into the unknown.  

It’s a scary proposition when you think about it for 10 seconds. Finding the time to prepare the story, revisiting pain, guilt, shame, fear, pride, thinking about laying that all down on camera, and then sharing it with people that think you have it all together, that might see your true self? Forget it right?!

HOW WOULD YOU SCORE?

I’ve found that each person that has shared their story through The 3:15 Project, score well along two KPIs that I believe each one of us can baseline and measure in ourselves, and invite God to give His feedback and perspective.   

HUMILITY (NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE)

Humility is an often misunderstood concept, especially in the marketplace.  It’s easy to confuse true humility with false humility. By far the most impactful book I’ve ever read on this subject is Humility by Andrew Murray.  The crux of it is simply this, humility is the belief and knowledge that I am nothing and He is everything. As C.S. Lewis puts it “humility is not thinking less of oneself, it is thinking of yourself less.”  I can easily detect my own lack of humility simply by being honest with myself and God and asking “what am i trying to prove?”, or even how often I use the word “I” in my inner thoughts, and external words.  It’s impossible to think about yourself and God or others at the same time.

I would say almost without fail, that 90% of the people that have share their story with The 3:15 Project, you would call humble, or at least genuinely desiring to become more humble.  It gets back to the 1 Peter 3:15 verse "but in your hearts revere Christ as Lord". In other words, set Him above anything and everything in your life, including yourself. His Kingdom, not ours.  A simple prayer like “Father, when I begin thinking about myself, help me turn towards and meditate upon You.”  

SURRENDER (NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE)

Most people, especially men, hate that word and its cousin submission. It’s weak, timid, for losers, or so the world would have us believe. But in God’s Kingdom, which we pray will be done here on earth, it is one of the most beautiful  and powerful things we must do to have any hope of experiencing the abundant life.  

Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. - Job 11:13-15

Again, as with humility, I would say 90% of the people that have shared their story came through with an attitude or posture of either being willing to lose everything, or had the desire to be willing to lose everything, for the sake of knowing Christ, and being known by Christ more deeply.

What are you holding on to and afraid you could lose if you were take the time to know share your story?  Your job? Friends? Reputation? Your mask? The things that we fear losing most are the very things that bind us from being all God wants us to be.   I’ll bet you a power lunch that those same things are holding you back from experiencing the fullness of God’s love, and sharing that love with those around you.

It’s not about how well you score or measure.  And it’s certainly not about comparing yourself to others.  It’s simply an opportunity to assess where you are currently at in your walk, and ask God and others to help you in both areas.

3 QUESTIONS TO PONDER

I invite and challenge you to take 15 minutes of quiet time and ask God these simple questions, and journal whatever He puts on your heart.   Share your answers with someone you walk with, and invite them to answer these questions as well.   I pray and trust that God will honor and bless your willingness to seek Him in this way.  

Father, where in my life do I tend to feel the need to prove myself or desire to impress others?

Father, what am I holding onto, too tightly, that is keeping me from knowing you and serving you more intimately and deeply?

Father, what am I putting ahead of you in my life?  What do I cherish more than you?  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Todd Miechiels is the founder of The 3:15 Project which empowers followers of Christ to know and share their story for God’s glory. He is always looking to connect with Kingdom leaders in the marketplace. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

You can connect with Todd on twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn.  


 

My Birthday Prayer

Tomorrow I turn 45 years old.  5 years into this calling.

Seems like yesterday, yet it seems like forever! 

Never imagined living this long when I was little, but I have. 

Never imagined God would call me to ministry, but He did.

Never imagined I'd obey despite the sometimes crippling fear, but I have.

Never imagined He could be so faithful, so consistently, so wonderfully, but He is.

Never imagined this walk would be this hard, but so filled with joy and peace, but it is.

My Birthday Prayer

Father, thank you for saving me, thank you for guiding me, thank you for your patience with me.
Thank you for blessing me with a loving wife, and three beautiful kids.  

I'm tired, yet more committed than ever before.
My heart breaks for people who don't have hope, and even more for those who have hope and aren't willing to share it.  My heart breaks for church and ministry leaders who work so hard to help their people know you and share you, but have yet to see the power you've revealed to me.

Father give me the words to reach them, to help them, to minister to them.

Father give me the wisdom and courage to be first and foremost a disciple, husband and father.

Father I ask and trust that you will take care of my every need, not my every want.  Yet, I ask that you would give me the desires of my heart as I acknowledge and give you honor in all that I do.

Father, give me the humility and the courage to ask for and graciously receive help from others.  
Free me from the worry, pride, and fear associated with money.  Bless the ministry you've entrusted me with, that we may be a blessing to others.

Father, teach me to be the man you want me to be.  Lead me, and guide me, that I may lead and guide others towards you.

I give you my life, my ministry, my family, all that I have, and all I'll ever be.  It's yours, help me to not just remember it, but breathe it.  Thank you for not giving up on me!

I love you, and if in some divine plan I should not be here tomorrow, I guess I'll have the best birthday ever!  Otherwise, thank you for an amazing and heavenly year, even with all of its trials and tests.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Your child,
Todd

My Birthday Wish
That everyone I know would take a moment to thank God for every thing He has done in your life, and share this with someone you love who is distant from the love of God.

 

Father Riccardo on the Power of Your Story

Father John Riccardo is the pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan.  He has been an amazing encouragement in helping us both understand, and be a part of the New Evangelization within the Catholic church.  We are eager to walk with him and so many other amazing people in the Detroit area. 

If you'd like to help bring The 3:15 Project back to Detroit, or anywhere for that matter, we'd love to hear from you!

Bill Miller's Story & Song

After All You Have Done, written by Garrett Miller, sung by Bill Miller

I first met Bill Miller at a Starbucks in Nashville, TN through my friend and coach George Landolt. Bill is a grammy award winning musician and perhaps the most successful American Indian musician in the folk/rock genre.  I didn't meet the musician Bill Miller that morning over coffee, I met the broken man, son, and father Bill Miller, and I'm so thankful I did.  We hit it off right away and agreed that one day I would setup and capture his story and testimony.  That was almost two years ago.  Over those two years, I'd visit Nashville 6 more times, searching for churches to partner with, calling on businessmen to help fund filming dates, to no avail.

As God would have it, this past July I was in Nashville helping NAMB film some interviews.  I happened to have a few hours at the end of a 14 hour filming day so I prayed a little prayer something to the effect of "Hey Daddy, if it's ok with you, let's steward this evening since we are already setup.  Could you bring me someone to serve?".  Bill Miller popped into my heart, I texted him and asked him if he could come downtown on short notice.  He did, and brought along his friends John and Connor for support.  Over the course of about 90 minutes we prayed, filmed, shared stories, and enjoyed each other's company.  It was some of the most worshipful time, and another example of how God does amazing things when we just do what we can, with what we have, right where we are.

In addition to sharing his story, I asked Bill if he'd play whatever came on his heart just to see what might happen.  We captured this song entitled, After All You Have Done, written by his son Garrett who was tragically killed earlier this year.

I am so thankful to the people that support our ministry and the work we are doing.  We want to be ready to serve with excellence, whenever and wherever God calls us.  If you would like to join me in creating more opportunities like this to serve people in Atlanta and where ever God leads us, you can make a huge difference by becoming a monthly patron of our work.

Bill Miller's Story

A Pastor's Heartfelt "Thank You" To His Flock

One of the things we've learned along our journey is the undeniable power and potential of simply having a video camera setup, ready to film, and someone willing to love and serve whoever sits in the chair, through the leading of the Spirit.

We recently had the honor of interviewing several pastors, planters and missionaries at the NAMB Send '15 Conference in Nashville.

After interviewing one pastor as we were about to wrap, a small quiet voice prompted me to ask "Pastor Ken, you don't get the chance to get on video all that much do you?" To which he replied, "no I don't".  Then the voice asked me to invite Pastor Ken to thank his flock on camera.  
The rest of the story is in the video below.  

If you'd like to help partner with us to serve more pastors and flocks in your community, we'd love to hear from you.