Archives for category: interviews

Implementation Example:
Manatee County Storehouse

Presentation of the Manatee County Storehouse at the OMC “5-Fold” weekly meeting in Bradenton, FL. With the New Breed of Business as special guests.

Our host is Gary Crawford.

Background reading / listening:

Gary Crawford Interview – Cities of Refuge

Storehouse Vision

OMC/Manatee Storehouse Paper

Wealth: God’s Plan and Purpose Paper

Jonathan Gill Interview from Pakistan

Jonathan is an evangelist from Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Quick tour around Jonathan’s neighborhood:..

Pakistan is a majority Muslem nation, so much of his activity focuses on sharing the gospel with people from Muslem backgrounds. Muslims also very much control the government, business, schools, etc., so working as a Christian in their culture is working from the position of being “less than” as well as facing persecution.

His father in-law is the Pastor of a local church: Emmaus Evangelical Church. He and his family live on the “other side” of town where many of Christians live.

Jonathan with a local carpenter

Jonathan and his family are engaged as part of his church and ministry activity in helping poor people create businesses to help sustain their families. We have been talking about creating a Storehouse in his city and other entrepreneurial ideas. For example, his brother works for a large clothing manufacturing company, as the city is known for its export of tee-shirts and other clothing.

Jonathan’s family helps a widow and her kids:

Roxanna a believing poor mother and her children

This is all part of the discussion of reform God is looking for, such that ministries in 3rd world countries do not become dependent on US donor dollars, but instead become locally sustained. (Read the Non-Profit Ministry Bulletin white paper for details.) How? Through working toward the Storehouse vision and other New Breed of Business scriptural business practices, Christian groups anywhere can adopt these means of pooling together resources, discipling the poor and the needy into starting businesses, seeing God provide the increase, and many more becoming the lender instead of the borrower.

We can help foster John 17 unity through a New Breed of Community and economic development. Serving others. Loving others like Jesus.

I have come to give life, and life more abundantly

John 10:10

Implementation Interview: Chareese Whitaker Westbury

We hear from Chareese, her testimony on God’s goodness, faithfulness and financial provision. Chareese’s pastor growing up always emphasized the importance of not going into debt. Chareese will share her vision for an online House of Prayer and how God is leading her into new rivers of provision/finances for that house of prayer, not being interested in the hamster-wheel of traditional “fund-raising”. This discussion will be great for anyone wanting to learn how to trust God fully for provision, both for themselves/family as well as their ministry and business callings.

Chareese has been living in Connecticut since October 2015. Immediately after arriving, she became actively involved with the prayer movement throughout the state and region. She served Awaken the Dawn as Co-State Coordinator in 2017 by uniting and mobilizing various prayer and worship teams throughout the state, culminating in three days of 24/7 worship and prayer on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She has also served with CT Prays and National Day of Prayer (assistant to the Hartford County Coordinator). Chareese currently and uniquely serves in 10 Days of Prayer, Connecticut Capitol Prayer Network, House of Good Hope (house of prayer), racial reconciliation, and other prayer and church unity movements. She recently became a member and actively serves at LifeWay Church. She is also completing an Associate of Practical Theology at Christ for the Nations (Dallas).

I am proud to call her my spiritual daughter. As my friend Jonathan Friz likes to say: “We love Chareese!”

Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant

Psalm 35:27

Generational influences and how we think of finances, provision, and trust with Susan Totilo

Finances can have many subtle, subliminal, interesting and sometimes beguiling influences on our behavior and lives, but God! An important aspect to understand all of this, is the generational impact of how we were raised, how our parents handled financial issues and stress, either in extreme poverty, the middle class, or perhaps even great wealth.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…  some have… pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Tim 6:10

We will discuss with Susan her upbringing as she shares the story of being raised in an Italian immigrant household, how the death of her Great Grandfather and the demise of his business, impacted several generations of women in the Totilo household, especially her Mom and Grandmother. That plus the transformation God has taken Susan through in the past few years.

Susan Totilo

Hi! My name is Susan Totilo and I love Jesus!! I also love to talk. As I say all the time, “God gave me a big Italian mouth and a big Italian heart for a reason”.

I was blessed to pursue a teaching career in my home state of Connecticut for over 20 years. In recent years, I started feeling the tug to leave teaching but kept at it, as I had no back-up plan. After experiencing some deep, personal losses in 2019, I left the demands of the public education system soon after, entering into a long season of profound rest and healing. Early on in this season, I asked God, “What do I do now, Lord?” and He said, “Well…what do you want to do?”

I had always dreamed about becoming a radio D.J. or “Podcaster” and heard about the Connecticut School of Broadcasting (CSB). After much prayer, God gave me peace to resign from teaching and I went on to CSB, where I completed their certificate program in Broadcast Media. Following this, a vigorous job search led to ALL doors being closed to mainstream employment.

But God had the “one open door” I prayed for…which ended up being a home audio/visual studio, miraculously paid for through the generosity of dear friends. While I am presently enjoying the process of recording various content, my main focus is listening at the feet of Jesus, to seek what He wants to do through me. As I am learning to trust Him more, my prayer is to bring Him glory and to be an ambassador of His love and Presence to others through the use of media.

We in the Body of Christ have an opportunity to unleash heaven and “set the captives free” (Isaiah 61) with respect to any evil generational influences or curses. 

Implementation Example: NECAP

Famous Abolitionists: Harriot Tubman; John Brown; Angelina Grimké; William Lloyd Garrison; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Frederick Douglass; Abraham Lincoln; Ulysses S. Grant

The New England Center for the Abolition of Poverty

aka the N.E. Storehouse

Why the term Abolition?

Because Jesus has come to “set the captives free” – Isaiah 61

Jesus wants to set people free from :

  • Debt Slavery
  • Poverty
  • Greed
  • Financial Fears
  • The voice of money (Mammon)
  • Career/Corporate Slavery
  • Identity/Conformity Slavery
  • Income/Money Slavery

We know that the person we used to be was crucified with Him to put an end to sin in our bodies. Because of this we are no longer slaves to sin.

Romans 6:1-7

The New England Church has such a rich heritage of standing up for the abolition of chattel slavery in the 19th Century of the United States, that God is now calling again the NE Church into a reprisal of its abolitionist roots to help people get out of any kind of slavery in the 21st century, including economic slavery.


Background Reading / Listening:

Storehouse Vision Cast Presentation


NECAP Inspiration Dream and Word -> Banking for the Working Poor

So, sometime in early 2021, we started gathering a forerunner team every two weeks to put together the beginnings of the NE Storehouse.

This had been catalyzed a few different ways:

1. Jonathan Friz and I started talking about implementing the Storehouse vision in the New England region potentially as part of the New England Alliance in the beginning of 2020, pre-pandemic. Although we wanted to get things going, I felt in my spirit that the New England leaders were not yet ready to receive the fullness of the Storehouse / coming out of Babylon message.

2. Sometime later, Chris Adams and I were discussing how to come out of Babylon practically – and specifically how to cash out some financial market based assets and reinvest into Kingdom driven investments. I was inspired to share with Chris, this is not a passive type of investment we are talking about, but an active one, where we the people of God have to get involved in people’s lives, to help them, disciple them, and incubate their business ideas. Who do you know in Rhode Island that would be a good ministry/business/situation to “invest” in? Instead of me serving up Chris an investment product on a platter, ready-to-buy, I was challenging Chris to start looking for people / investment opportunities that we could bring a group around to invest together. Like – ‘you are part of the solution!’

3. Also sometime after early 2020, Joel Frazier approached me with the question – hey Gregg, are there any Christian debt consolidation firms that can help me payoff my credit card debt? To which I said, sure, but you don’t want to really work with them because they lend money just as any other debt consolidation or consultation firm – i.e. they will follow the same lousy business practices of charging more fees, hard money lending, payday lending, and recourse lending. (All of which actually profit from the poor, rather than simply help them.) I also said – hey before you use more debt to get out of debt (debt restructuring), have you ever considered that God wants to release miracles of debt forgiveness? Let me tell you my testimony…and then we prayed together for debt forgiveness miracles.

4. One night, after the GameStop discussions we had been having on the New Breed of Business roundtable discussions, I awoke hearing/seeing the following: “NE Center ____ Poverty”. As I awoke from this and prayed, I felt the Lord was giving guidance to the NE Storehouse vision specifically. That a core focus was the elimination of poverty. After experimenting with various names, it was like a game of ‘fill-in the blank’ to make an acronym. ‘NE_CP’… so, what might then ‘NECAP’ stand for? Wait a minute, the Lord has already been speaking about the abolition of economic slavery to the body of Christ, so maybe this should be called… “The New England Center for the Abolition of Poverty”. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but boils down to a catchy ‘NECAP’, which is like CAP for Capital, NE for New England, but the NECAP (say knee-cap) is memorable. In fact, instead of being loan sharks – who if you don’t pay will “knee-cap” you (break your legs), we are like loan doves who will help lift people out of poverty and in order to “be fruitful and multiply” as well as disciple people into becoming “the lender not the borrower”.

I presented the name via the dream to the team at the next meeting and we embraced it.

There is more to the story…but we will discuss it by interviewing the founding team of the “NECAP”.

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed

Romans 8:19

You’ve heard it said “God helps those who help themselves”, but in effect, Jesus actually says: “I will help those who help others”.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in…’

Matthew 25:34-35

The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself

Proverbs 11:25

Hope you are inspired to imagine what Storehouse the united Church could build in your city or region !

Implementation Update with Gary Crawford

Gary Crawford will update us as to what is happening in the “OMC” (that’s the Original Manatee County – in West Central Florida/Bradenton/Sarasota). Read background here: https://newbreed.co/2021/01/30/cities-of-refuge-gary-crawford/

The Joseph Fund is essentially the Florida implementation of the Storehouse vision. It is a resource center for helping people in need, sowing into them, not just in benevolence, but in discipleship, equipping and lending. There are three funds within the Joseph fund – Rescue, Equip and Destiny. Why is lending important? Because if someone is willing to work to repay, which is an honorable goal and part of Christian discipleship into becoming the lender instead of the borrower (Deut 28:12).

Also, Gary will introduce us to a new set of videos called the Contender Series of which here is a draft of the first video. The Contender series was put together to help educate the Body of Christ about the times and seasons we are in, and how we are called to contend for the faith in the gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Finally, Gary will explain the City Matters platform in more detail, which is like Lotus Notes for the church. OK, what the heck is Lotus Notes (early 90s reference)? Basically it’s a collaborative cloud-based platform for the citywide church. A bit social media, a bit bulletin board, a bit of collaborative discussion, a bit writing the vision down and making it clear. It’s a way the citywide church can communicate electronically on an independent platform.

What Inhibits the Church from Moving into These Models?

Career and Calling in the 21st century – a contrast of perspectives. The stronghold of Mammon on traditional church – laity structures vs. the 5-fold (Ephesians 4) and citywide elder leadership structure.

Round Table Discussion:
Student Loans

The debt trap of Student Loans the next generation find themselves in (fully recourse; high interest).

Educational inflation has outpaced the Consumer Price Index inflation by 4x!

The potential of various “Storehouse” solutions, including current implementation examples.

For example, Christopher Lucey will be with us to share about thegofund.com which he co-founded with Luke Womack.

The world of student loan debt has been with us and GROWING since the 1990’s. 

Today, we are going to highlight an organization that has done something truly inspiring that not only tackles the issue – but is solving the challenge “the storehouse way” – TheGoFund.com. I’m honored to have been a mentor and encourager to Luke Womack – founder. The year before the launch we meet in my office on Saturday’s for 4-6 hours talking, brainstorming, praying, researching how we could tackle this issue and how we could design a way to release the next generation from debt to go to the UUPG’s – when the name Jesus had never been heard.

It is also an inspiration for what I believe other groups could be challenged to do for their own families and communities throughout the nation in the years ahead to free young people from debt and to unleash them to go to the nations and complete the task of the remaining mission.

 

The GO FUND

GO FUND Story…..from World Magazine 

JOEL SUTTON BEGAN WORKING with the International Mission Board’s assessment and deployment team in 1999. Students had debt then too, but the average topped out at $17,000. Now, Sutton regularly talks to prospective missionaries who have between $60,000 and $100,000 in debt. “Those kinds of folks have really disqualified themselves for service,” Sutton said. “They’re living in the moment. They think they need the loan to get their education, but they don’t think about the ramifications down the road.”

Sutton and his Southern Baptist Convention colleagues urge college students to think about what they want to do with their lives before taking out loans. If students can’t avoid loans altogether, missionary recruiters urge them to take on as little debt as possible, get jobs to help pay some of their expenses, and even take a little longer to get their degree, if necessary.

That’s a hard sell, especially for students at Christian colleges, which rely on tuition payments to survive and have little incentive to encourage students to take on less debt. “We’ve found schools are not really talking to students about this,” Sutton said. “It’s a real conflict because schools are a business. Loans mean more payment out of students, so they don’t discourage them from doing the loans.”

(source: https://wng.org/articles/repayment-ministry-1617302578)

Higher Education News – 

Expenses such as healthcare and housing continue to rise, so “simply owing on student loan debt — and, in particular, doing so for an extended period — makes it all the more difficult for borrowers to grapple with these growing costs,” the report says.

While after 20 to 25 years, the balances of these income-driven loans can be forgiven, they typically are not. The report points to a recent analysis by National Consumer Law Center that found only 32 borrowers’ loans have been erased in the time that these plans have existed. Two million federal student loan borrowers have been in repayment for 20 years, though this count includes those outside of income-driven plans. 

(source: https://www.highereddive.com/news/report-federal-income-driven-repayment-built-to-be-a-debt-trap/606858/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202021-09-21%20Higher%20Ed%20Dive%20%5Bissue:36832%5D&utm_term=Higher%20Ed%20Dive

THE HOPE CENTER – Research Institute on Colleges in America

(source: https://hope4college.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/RCReport2021.pdf)

Interview: Part 2 Doug Tjaden
and his book “I Came To Give”

Doug Tjaden serves as co-leader of the Public Policy Focus Group for the Global Council of Nations/Statesmen Project and is founder of Project Thrive 21, a non-profit dedicated to establishing love for neighbors as the economic foundation of local communities. In early 2021 he released his book, “ I Came To Give   – Understanding the Great Reset and the Coming Age of Abundance.” Doug is working with others to design and develop a new means of value exchange that is based on God’s principles of cooperation, stewardship and abundance.

Last week’s write-up and podcast can be viewed / listen to here: https://newbreed.co/2021/07/28/doug-tjaden/

Currencies

This week we will continue the discussion with Doug on the subject of currencies. Before we do, here are some prior New Breed discussions regarding alternative currencies, including crypto currencies and specifically Bitcoin.

New Breed of Business Background Discussion

Alternative Currency (Inflation part 2) : https://newbreed.co/2021/05/12/alt-currency/
Crypto Currency : https://newbreed.co/2020/09/01/crypto-currency/
Bitcoin (Crypto Part 2) : https://newbreed.co/2021/04/28/bitcoin/

Doug Tjaden Interview Questions Part 2:

3. Doug, one of your areas of focus is on currency. The world’s history of it. What the bible has to say about it. And what is God saying about it for believers today? Why does currency matter?

4. Give us an implementation example at work today of a local agricultural backed currency: Community “X” predominantly grows “Y”.

5. Practical example of how a network of local currencies can work (be exchanged for one another). (the Bancor Network system being implemented in Israel as example)

Valuable Resources on Doug’s Website:

Overview – https://thrive21.org/

Free book offer – https://icametogive.life/

Audio book – https://thrive21.org/courses/ictg-audio-book/

21 Day Reset – https://icametogive.life/reset/

Interview: Doug Tjaden
I Came To Give”

Part 1

(join us next Wednesday Aug 4th 8am for Part 2 – local currencies)

Doug Tjaden serves as co-leader of the Public Policy Focus Group for the Global Council of Nations/Statesmen Project and is founder of Project Thrive 21, a non-profit dedicated to establishing love for neighbors as the economic foundation of local communities. In early 2021 he released his book, “ I Came To Give   – Understanding the Great Reset and the Coming Age of Abundance.” Doug is working with others to design and develop a new means of value exchange that is based on God’s principles of cooperation, stewardship and abundance.

Doug has done extensive work in the Kingdom economy and the alternative currency arena. Here are a couple of short intro videos to his book: https://vimeo.com/503963512 and here https://vimeo.com/503817778.

His website is Thrive21.org

This discussion will likely go over two Wednesday mornings to get through everything Doug has focused on regarding Kingdom economics and the Ecclesia aka The Church taking back what the enemy has stolen in the economic, currency and financial realm.

Interview Agenda:

1. Intro Doug Tjaden. So Doug, what do you work on, who are you connected with, and what’s your story of how you got here (testimony)?

2. “I Came To Give” book. What prompted you to write it? What’s in it?

3. One of your areas of focus is on currency. The world’s history of it. What the bible has to say about it. And what is God saying about it for believers today? Why does currency matter?

4. Give us an implementation example at work today of a local agricultural backed currency: Community “X” predominantly grows “Y”.

5. Practical example of how a network of local currencies can work (be exchanged for one another). (the Bancor Network system being implemented in Israel as example)

Discussion: Affordable Housing with Christopher Lucey

Chris Lucey is the CAO of JAMA Global Foundation (Jesus Awakening Movement for America) and member of the Joint Executive Team (JET). Prior to this he was the Managing Director of Frontiers Ventures (formally the US Center for World Missions).

JAMA is building a “collaborative kingdom community”. A mix of advanced program offerings challenging emerging leaders to top-level senior executives/ elders. JAMA is raising up the next generation of global servant-leaders, business innovators and missionally-minded entrepreneurs and thought leaders.  

Christopher is transforming JAMA (2.0) by leading a pioneering work that includes creating housing for returning/ retiring missionaries from their field of service so they can “finish well”. The housing is designed to be affordable with a generational perspective. They also would like to honor and incorporate the missionaries as Adjunct Professors at the college located on the JAMA Campus (Fall 2024).

Here is the website: https://www.missiongrove.org/

But our discussion is not just what Christopher and JAMA are doing. This is a “what if” discussion for exploring the possibilities of an alternative way of financing housing, building collaborative community, thinking with a multigenerational perspective in mind.

Here is a related article about community housing with some food for thought:

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/real-estate-co-op-is-looking-for-investors-who-want-to-put-community-first