Cross Connection: Chapelwood United Methodist Church

According to Associate Pastor Kate Walker, the Discipleship Pathway helps take people from where they are to where they want to be, in a spiritual sense. Cathy has helped Chapelwood set up a 12-18 month process that defines what the church will offer people in each of the four key faith development stages. “I thoroughly enjoy working with different churches and denominations to determine what is needed to help members grow as more committed disciples,” notes Cathy.

Read the full article in the Cross Connection.

If you want to be a part of this work, please consider making a donation today.



Renovated Coaching page!

We just renovated the Coaching page on our website! Our goal is to make the process, the purpose, and the pricing more clear. If you can check it out and let us know if there’s anything more we can do to answer your questions up front, that would be a lovely gift to us today!


A challenge to YOU, discipleship leaders…

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the live IF:Gathering in Austin, TX. If you’re unfamiliar with “IF:Gathering”, the short of it is that it’s a movement of women in the church, across the globe, to help each other live out God’s calling. This year’s conference focused on discipleship in the early church. I left with one clear message: the world isn’t going to be changed by books, events, or platforms. Transformation of the next generation happens on the living room floor, Bibles open. It happens when someone opens the door of their home over and over, with offers of coffee and maybe some chocolate chip cookies, and then God shows up at the doorway of their guests’ hearts. Jennie Allen (founder of IF) credits her mentor from her college years, who did just that, with the existence of IF:Gathering — which this year alone reached 2,200 live-stream locations around the world in over 120 countries. Jennie’s fear is that the relationships that fostered our generation’s spiritual growth and deeper love of Jesus will be missing for the next generation.

I couldn’t agree more that discipleship happens best in authentic communities of believers “doing life together”. I was challenged to look for more opportunities to “give what I’ve got, where I’m at.” What I want to add to that conversation is that the church, in all the various forms it can take, has a crucial role in nurturing those discipleship relationships. At every Ascending Leaders event, workshop, or webinar I’ve been a part of, I’ve been heartened by seeing church leaders who are earnest in doing that, and doing that better. These leaders…they CARE. They are all-in with this discipleship thing! And I know that after the workshop, after the event, they are in the trenches, tools in hand, covered in sweat and grime, building paths for disciples to move forward on. Rejoice in this! God is at work.

Now I have a challenge for you, leaders. If you’re feeling alone in this work, pause right now and find a community of fellow path-builders. Registration for DiscipleOn, our very own online learning community for discipleship leaders, is open through Monday (02/13/2017). It might not be the community for you. It may not be for you for right now. If that’s the case, keep looking and keep praying for God to bring you your tribe. If you think it might be your community for the next six months, you can:

  1. Join us for a live Q&A session this Thursday (register here).
  2. Watch the super-condensed recording of our “Inside Look at DiscipleOn”.
  3.  Register for DiscipleOn today.
  4. Do nothing and keep pressing forward alone.


I hope you’ll join us. DiscipleOn communities are full of those amazing church leaders I get to meet at our workshops, and I just know that you’d like them too!


Hiring: Part-time Grant Researcher & Writer

If you are a committed Christian with at least two years of grant research and writing experience who desires the opportunity to locate and secure grants to support a growing discipleship ministry, Ascending Leaders has a position for you. This staffer will be responsible for identifying and researching funding opportunities, as well as writing inspiring letters of inquiry and grant proposals to perspective foundations.

  • 10-14 hours each week
  • Beginning March 1, 2017

Any qualified and interested professional grant researcher/writer should e-mail your resume to before February 2.

Holiday coffee with Mike Johnson

Christmas marks God in all his glorious divinity, making himself nothing, setting aside all the perks of divinity, to be made in human likeliness, and to suffer on this fractured globe for 30+ years for the purpose of redeeming humans for a relationship with Him. God gave up so much to bridge the gap and live in proximity to people like you and me.

Maybe it is that relational aspect of Christmas that every year this season gives me an urge to sit down for coffee with friends of Ascending Leaders like you, to hear more of what God has done in your life and family of late and to share what he has done in my life and in my ministry through Ascending Leaders. Of course that is not possible this holiday season because the year is almost over!

In place of a holiday coffee time together, please allow me to share briefly by email.

What a year God has given us at Ascending Leaders. We have grown our staff into the strongest and most positive team yet. Together we have helped more people experience more deeply the presence of Christ and grow deeper as His people. God has expanded the scope of the ministry of Ascending Leaders in ways I had not expected. We would never have gotten here if it had not been for your past support.

Our last trip this year and last event was to facilitate a new weekend “Stages of Faith” conference for 50 members of a church we are helping build a clear and simple disciple path to help people move forward. It was a wonderful weekend of God moving people to yearn to step forward as disciples and seeing ways they can each do that. One of their staff shared her gratitude:

“Mike, you have done an excellent job with us as a team at our church. We deeply appreciate your work and you. You keep us moving forward. You refresh and encourage us. You serve us well”.

These are compelling times of greater interest in discipleship in congregations. There is ample evidence for the role God has for us to play. If you have already donated this season, I hope this “holiday coffee” has given you a glimpse of what your support means for churches, and seeing the momentum of God’s work through Ascending Leaders encourages you.

If you have not yet supported our work this year-end, I do not want you now to miss out on the excitement and the joy of participating in this fruitful mission. In just ONE day, the opportunity to have your gift doubled by our Matching2Multiply crew will be coming to a close.

We need to receive any donations to:

Ascending Leaders
3927 Field Crossing
Sugar Land, TX  77498

postmarked Dec. 30 or 31 to be doubled and to count as a 2016 tax deduction.

Or by credit card by clicking here before midnight Dec. 31 (your time zone) to be doubled and to count for a 2016 tax deduction.

We are so very close to surpassing our goal to be able to launch at full tilt into 2017. Please help us get there!

Peace and grace to you and yours,

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep…

Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, donations, and dedication to genuine and ongoing growth of disciples. We celebrate with you and all of the kingdom today over the miracle of Christ’s birth. Along with the graveyard-shift shepherds and the heavenly angels, we proclaim glory to the newborn king.

God and sinners reconciled…

There is no greater joy.


Join us for a conversation with Mindy Caliguire this Thursday!

This Thursday at 1:30 PM (CST), our board member and guest Mindy Caliguire is joining the fall session of the DiscipleOn! community learning group for a special webinar.

Mindy’s passion for church leadership and disciple-growing cultures is clear from her body of work. She’s the founder of Soul Care, a spiritual formation ministry that exists to increase “soul health” in the body of Christ. She previously served as the Director of Transformation Ministry for the Willow Creek Association (WCA) and currently serves on the senior alignment team at Gloo as the Compassion International & Church Initiative Lead ( Mindy is also a speaker and leadership consultant, working with local churches and national organizations such as Renovare, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Salvation Army, and her home church, Ascent (

Our conversation with Mindy on Thursday will be around her book Become Like Jesus: Regaining Clarity on Transformation in the Local Church.


This is going to be a unique, amazing experience with participants who care deeply about discipleship and work daily in the trenches. 


Would you consider sharing this invitation with a friend or colleague who might enjoy spending an hour with just such a group? 


And of course, you are welcome to join in! Please register so we can send you a chapter excerpt to read beforehand:


Register for the webinar (FREE!) 

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