Welcome to BLESS
Make and Deepen Disciples is excited to introduce you to a new way of thinking about evangelism. We know that God has always sought to reach and restore the world through blessing. Since the time of Abraham, God has blessed his people so that we might bless those who do not know him. We invite you to practice these five simple practices with those in your spheres of influence—friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors and colleagues—the people outside of God's family—with the hope that we may help them travel further in their journey toward making faith commitments to Jesus. As we seek to authentically BLESS others daily in the midst of your deepening relationships with the people in your life, we believe God will use each of us to bless our world with Christ!
For his glory and kingdom,
Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples
What is BLESS?
BLESS is a new approach to prayer and evangelism. It’s less about downloading information or memorizing scripts, and more about loving our neighbors well. It helps us get “unstuck” and practice evangelism more effortlessly. BLESS is an intentional pathway for persons of all ages who follow Jesus to become like Jesus and join the mission of Jesus. BLESS is an initiative of Make and Deepen Disciples.
BLESS: In Living Color
God’s dream is for every nation, tribe, people, and language to worship before the throne of Christ (Revelation 7:9). It is our privilege to enjoy a foretaste of that destiny now as we choose to go beyond blessing people who are just like us to intentionally blessing people across boundaries of difference. In the process, we will find that we too are challenged, enriched, and blessed.
Written by Michelle Sanchez, Executive Minister of MDD, BLESS: In Living Color is a free 10-day devotional course on multiethnic evangelism delivered to your inbox daily.
5 MISSIONAL PRACTICES
God’s way of reaching and restoring the world has always been through blessing. These five missional practices make up the acronym BLESS and are a way to participate in the strategy God gave Abraham to reach the world. “And I will bless you…and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). As we engage these practices daily, we partner with God’s Spirit to bless those who do not know him.
Begin With Prayer
Pray for people in your life who are far from God.
Ask God, “How do you want to use me to bless the people in my life?”
BLESS AT YOUR CHURCH
How you can bring BLESS to your congregation:
BLESS Sunday - March 14, 2021
- This year BLESS is going virtual! The physical materials are still available, and now you and your church have the option to participate virtually by submitting the names of your loved ones for prayer online.
- Just fill out the Virtual BLESS Prayer Card with the names of 1-5 people in your life whom you would like to pray for this year. You will receive a confirmation email with those names as a reminder to pray for them. Know that your church and conference will also join you in prayer!
- Find additional new resources including BLESS in Living Color and PowerPoint Slides at covchurch.org/bless2021
- Host a BLESS Sunday on or before March 14.
- Start by focusing specifically on the invitation to Begin with prayer. This bulletin insert provides a clear overview of BLESS and two perforated bookmarks.
- Individuals are encouraged to use bookmarks to create a prayer list of the people in their lives who do not know God--the prayer list should be identical on both bookmarks.
- One bookmark is meant to be kept by the individual as a reminder to pray each day for the names on the list. The second bookmark should be collected by the church.
Pastors: What to do with BLESS bookmarks
- Collect completed bookmarks and bring to your conference annual meeting where superintendents will collect.
- If you are not attending your conference annual meeting, please forward bookmarks directly to your superintendent/conference office.
- Regardless of when you use BLESS at your church, please get bookmarks to your superintendent one week prior to Gather.
- A special time of prayer will be dedicated to these bookmarks/names at Gather.
5-Part sermon series
Consider a five-part series to discuss each missional practice of BLESS, beginning on March 17th, BLESS Sunday. You may choose to preach the sermons on sequential Sundays or spread them out over time. Order the full set of BLESS bulletin inserts and each week, share the relevant insert with your congregation.
Order Bulletin Inserts For Your Church
All bulletin inserts are FREE for you and your congregation to use as you BLESS your world for Christ. These inserts were designed to help you consider ways to deepen your relationships with those who are far from God through prayer, listening with care, eating together, serving with love, and sharing your story.
Best of BLESS: A Conversation with Dave Ferguson
Michelle Sanchez and Dave Ferguson, creator of the BLESS framework, discuss his book BLESS: Five Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World, along with what he’s learned about forming a missional and evangelistic culture in his church. Michelle and Dave share ideas, best practices, and tools to empower your church to see more fruit through the BLESS missional practices.
NEW: BLESS JOURNAL
Inspired by the bullet journal method, the BLESS journal guides you through the missional practices of BLESS. We invite you to document your journey and get a fresh perspective. Our hope is that this resource will be an encouragement to you as you discover how the Holy Spirit is at work within and through us.
BLESS for Youth Student Journal
By Youth Ministry Conference Coaches
This student journal was created to help youth engage with BLESS. The journal and BLESS for Youth Leader's Guide are meant to be used together in a small group setting.
BLESS for Youth Leader's Guide
By Youth Ministry Conference Coaches
This Leader’s Guide provided resources to help lead your youth group through BLESS. The leader's guide and BLESS for Youth Student Journal are meant to be used together in a small group setting.
By Make and Deepen Disciples
These bookmarks provide an extra point of reference for your participants as with space on the back to write down the names of those who are being committed to be prayed for.
BLESS Small Group Study Guide
By Beth Seversen and Rick Richardson
This small group Bible study guide is on the five missional practices of BLESS. Our goal with this guide is create a robust six-week small group curriculum that is rooted in Scripture and practical in application to help people live their faith effectively among unchurched neighbors and friends.
Discover your mission now: Five Simple Practices to Change Your World
By Dave Ferguson
For the last two years Community Christian Church has taught five simple missional practices rooted in how Jesus carried out his earthly mission. In this free eBook pastor Dave Ferguson fleshes out these practices, sharing inspiring stories of how people have discovered their own mission in the process of carrying out Jesus's mission. In this book Ferguson offers a synopsis of the five practices and a look at how they have impacted the church.
Discover Your Mission Now: Six-Week Sermon Note Series
By Dave Ferguson
The Covenant BLESS initiative was inspired by Dave Ferguson, author of Discover Your Mission Now, and president of Exponential, a community of leaders committed to multiplying and reproducing faith communities.
Dave offers us these notes for a six-week sermon series introducing the practices of BLESS. You may wish to use all six, or combine the notes for the first two weeks to make a five-week series. Included are illustrations you may want to borrow or adapt to your own church context. We are grateful to Dave and Community Christian Church for granting us permission to share this valuable resource.
Surprise the World: The Five Habits for Highly Missional People
By. Michael Frost
This book explores another model for evangelism–in the BELLS model―Bless others, Eat together, Listen to the Spirit, Learn Christ, and understand yourself as Sent by God into others’ lives. These habits will help you spread the gospel organically, graciously, and surprisingly.
Michael Frost, a world-renowned expert on evangelism and discipleship, makes evangelism a lifestyle that is fulfilling, exciting, effective, and easy to live out.