Archives For Mentoring

The last month has been a flurry of transition. We have many changes – good ones – sitting on the horizon of our life.

The most fun is that in the next couple days we’ll welcome little baby Chloe into the world.

We’ve painted the nursery (= a wall of the master bedroom), put up the crib and changing table, and been showered with many pink gifts.

Chloe was the name of a house church leader in Corinth, Greece back in Paul’s day (cf. 1 Cor. 1:11). She had such clout that some from her household communicated with Paul about problems in the Corinth house church network and he responded by writing what is now known as 1 Corinthians.

We hope that our Chloe will carry on the legacy of kingdom leadership embedded in her name.

I’ll blog again when I have pictures and updates. Your prayers are appreciated.


Our family expansion has called for us to transition to a more suitable nest – one that will have room for Chloe (other than a closet) and poise Ryan for good education.

We are, therefore, in the process of closing on a handsome little house in east Dallas/Lakewood, about 10 minutes from the city center.

We’re looking forward to the way this new location will help us to connect more with the young families in Dallas and experiment with more organic structures for children’s spiritual formation. It’s an exciting part of Storyline’s future growth and development.

My wife has endured almost eight years and eight moves chasing our dreams in the kingdom of God. God bless the woman. I know she’s looking forward to this transition into a more permanent dwelling space.

We’ll probably not move in until January after we’re able to do some minor renovations.

Please pray for us as we transition to a new place.


As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Ryan and I decided to pursue part-time jobs to replace part of our salaries from Storyline. For two reasons: 1) it allows us to model what it looks like for ‘normal, working people’ to lead house churches and live on mission; 2) it relieves some of Storyline’s financial burden in our transition to financial sustainability.

At the end of August I took on a part-time sales job with a friend’s start-up company.

The job is very flexible. I can work my 10-15 hours/week from just about anywhere.

And, I don’t have to sell anything to my peers here in Uptown – which is the only way I could see myself doing sales. I was wary of the kind of relational dynamics it might create if I was sales rep / church planter to some of my disconnected friends.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. I’m wired to talk to people and to persuade, so in some ways it’s a natural fit.

The job does have its share of ups and down. I’ve had to develop patience and deal with disappointment when things don’t go the way I hope they will. I’m learning to push through rejection and cranky responses. In those ways I suppose it’s similar to other work I’m currently doing.

My main concern initially was that the sales job would drain energies I would otherwise use for the work of church planting.

Not so. Turns out I am indeed extroverted. Talking to people energizes me, no matter what it’s about.

Perhaps the greatest thing about this job is that the sales cycle ends in December. If I do great, that’s great. If I’m terrible and don’t end up liking it, the sales cycle ends in December. I can move on to other things.

Please pray for my co-worker, Ryan, as he begins to look for part-time job opportunities as well.


I’m currently going through a coaching certification track with Mission Alive and CoachNet.

Turns out it’s perfect timing.

We’re working toward starting the fourth house church in the Storyline Community later this month. The first Storyline house church (Tribeca) has a new leadership team of which neither the Porches or the Kisers are part. Our church planter in residence, Micah Lewis, is working with us until next August. A seminary student at Dallas Theological Seminary is joining us as an intern over the next several months. We hope to start a couple more house churches beyond the fourth by February 2009.

In the midst of all this development in the community, I’ve sensed God calling me into more of a coaching role. Rather than spend a lot of my time as an on-the-ground house church leader, I’ll come alongside and support other on-the-ground house church leaders.

I’m thrilled about it.

I just finished reading a fantastic book, Coaching 101, by Bob Logan and Sherilyn Carlton.

I’ll post a review of the book soon, as well as what I learn in my Coaching Lab on October 9-10.

Pray for me as I develop as a coach – that God will have mercy on the poor souls that I coach, and that I’ll grow as a listener and encourager.

Finally, praise God this long post made it to the blog! I wrote this exact post a week ago and it was deleted somehow as I posted it. I hadn’t saved it. It took me a week to work up the resolve to write it again.

Storyline presented $1000 to Pam and Randy Cope, directors of Touch A Life, this weekend at our worship gathering. I’m so proud of the many people in the Storyline Community who gave generously for it to happen.

I’m so glad we engage in God’s mission in the context of community. I’m thankful today for mentors in mission who have provided encouragement and counsel to me for the task of church planting.

Like Mission Alive, our church planting resource organization. I’m encouraged and challenged every month in our Church Planter Forums.

And Harold Shank, my church planting coach, who listens often to my struggles and worries and offers deep wisdom.

And Tim Lewis, an elder and staff person with South MacArthur Church (our primary partnering church). I look forward to my monthly breakfasts with him.

And Ryan and Claudia Porche, who with great flexibility work with my “on the fly” style of ministry.

And my wife, who – even while making great personal sacrifices for church planting – reminds me that we’re supposed to be doing what we’re doing.

And as of late, an unexpected blog mentor named David Fitch, whose posts have strengthened me and offered affirmation that we’re not crazy for seeking to be the church the way we are. Plus he had great instincts for naming a church (the church he planted is called Life on the Vine Christian Community).

For a good article of Fitch’s that I’ve appreciated, click here, where he debates the contention that missional churches don’t produce converts.

I believe that much of what we’re doing in the Storyline Community — though in Dallas, TX we may be — tracks with the kind of post-Christian realities of which Fitch speaks.

For you church planters who are reading and need a good dose of encouragement from Fitch about seeking financial sustainability in missional church planting, click here. You might even bookmark it and return to it from time to time, particularly after budget meetings! Okay, so that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Feel free to leave a comment on how Fitch’s articles encouraged or challenged you.

Sent Ones

Charles Kiser —  January 30, 2008 — 5 Comments

We’re continuing to get settled in at the Dallas digs, and we continue to love it. I promise the pictures will come soon…unpacking is such a laborious task.

The events that took place this weekend were in some ways the culmination of six years of prayer and preparation.

On Sunday morning, we participated in a sending service at South MacArthur Church, our primary partner in church planting. Ryan Porche led worship; I preached. It was a reminder of our work together back at Highland Street Church in Memphis, and also a foretaste of the ways we’ll work together in Dallas in the coming months.

One of the South Mac elders offered a blessing for us; the Mission Action Team co-chair offered a charge; and a Richland Hills Church representative prayed on our behalf as the SMAC elders and staff, Mission Alive directors, and friends surrounded us.

It was a powerful moment.

We’re joining Abram, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, Peter, Paul and many others in the sending of God for the sake of the world.

On Monday morning, Ryan Porche and I went with a group of five other ministers (a mentoring group led by Grady King, preaching minister at SMAC) to visit Lynn Anderson at his home in San Antonio. Lynn has been in the ministry of mentoring and equipping for the last ten years. For a seventy-one year old, he’s got the wisdom of a hundred-year old man and the mind and passion of a thirty-year old.


We spent a day and a half sharing our stories and talking about leadership, strategic planning, family boundaries and spiritual formation. And we ate. A lot.

Perhaps the most significant question Lynn asked us in our time together was, “Who are you mentoring?” All of us could quickly mention people who were mentoring us, but we were slower to mention people we were ourselves mentoring . But isn’t that the essence of discipleship—mentored to mentor?

Who are you mentoring?