Project 12

Discovering Discipleship in the 21st Century

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Graduation- July 13, 2008

Posted by gkaiser on July 14, 2008

The classes have ended, mission trips concluded, Cornerstone Festival over and grounds cleaned up. We were back to Chicago’s inner city and P12’s JPUSA base for a final gathering.

Last night Project 12 celebrated it’s third graduation- very special time- and we’ll post pics soon as we can have a thorough look at them and pick a good representation of the event.

Many friends and family, some even flying in from overseas to attend seemed quite encouraged by the apparent work God has been doing in those they love.

I was blessed by the evening in a deeper way than I’d imagined for a number of reasons.

One I’ll mention here is that our support staff (those who had finished Project 12 terms and decided to stay on at JPUSA in various areas also serving the current P12 staff and students) were also just super gifts to all of us. We have been, in a word, blessed!

A P12 tradition is giving a small gift and accompanying verse of Scripture that relates to each graduating student’s individual attributes. Brian and Ami Moss lead that part of the evening and they’re both excellent encouragers. What was unexpected is that the grads also presented each staff person with a gift, and an encouraging word of thanks
as well. Further, they filmed together two short but very cool and truly funny videos relating to the P12 year that were both a riot to watch.

By the way, the gift they gave me was a fire starter… I can’t imagine why (Ha!).

My short message to them follows here, verbatim.

It was another amazing year of bonding, spiritual growth and struggle- exactly what Jesus continues to do for all who follow Him. I think I can safely say for all staff and students, it was an unforgettable year of growth and learning.

Thanks to all who read this and your prayers as we pray, talk, go over all the good input the students gave us, and prepare for the upcoming P12 year which will begin September 20th here in Chicago.

By the way- our sincere apologies for not getting the 2008-2009 schedule posted here yet- it will be up in the next few days… all of us were out at Cornerstone Farm and the festival took a lot of effort pre-during-post!


On behalf of the staff- it has been our pleasure to attempt to serve, teach and interact with all Project 12 grads this year. You know you are only the third graduating class. Knowing all of us on staff as well as disciples in P12, it’s quite an accomplishment that we made it through! I want to thank each of you and each of the staff for an amazing year! Congratulations to us all!

You already know this- but no genuine follower of Jesus Christ ever really “graduates” from HIS school of discipleship. And so I say to you all- finish what you started.

In his letter to the Colossian church Paul wrote: (4.17) “Tell Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.”

You decided to hang in, to stay put, to study, to learn, to try to get some spiritual growth in the Word of God, in right relationships. For many of you staying put for this long in one place, really listening and growing in the Lord has been a rare and unusual thing. Well done!

No matter where He calls or sends you, JPUSA, elsewhere in the U.S., Europe, a third-world country, no matter what stream of the church you end up in, no matter the spiritual gifts you have- understand that you’ve only just begun. Stay on the path!

Run the race, do the work of ministry, let love make you serve one another.

I’ve told you and have said publicly that we in Project 12 have worked to “ruin you for the world”. By now I think you know I mean the only job description all Christ-followers have is “servant”. It’s not about personal fulfilment.

No matter where you go or how you serve the relationship you have with Jesus is more important than your hopes, dreams or personal goals. It is more essential than your acceptance from or popularity with others.

When Christians have been faithful to God, one another and to the lost during the most difficult times in church and human history, it was due to a burning, growing love for Him, obedience to His Word, The Bible, to the Holy Spirit- right where they were, regardless of personal sacrifice.

Living a status-quo Christianity is not only shallow, it’s false because being a disciple means you both listen AND learn. Love is an action, not just a concept.

Keep your hand on the plow He calls you to and don’t look back.

With love, in part as warning and in part as an encouragement- I beg you to finish what you started. Jesus did and will.

Thank you for your service to Him and JPUSA, and for the pleasure of seeing you each grow in the grace and knowledge of Him this year. God BLESS and guide each of you in living your lives for Jesus Christ! Amen.

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Posted by gkaiser on March 3, 2008

Col. 1.9-12

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

I LOVE this passage in Colossians. Paul focuses on the fruitful spiritual growth of those he and others helped to encourage among this group of Christ-followers.

I’m quoting these verses for two reasons- both to enlighten you re. what P12 is really all about at core… and also with a view to how (and what) you can pray with us in seek God’s continued guidance and blessing. We pursue His heart in relationship-building, Bible-study, discipleship and loving service to one another and those we work to bless each day.

P12 has just begun another area of outreach/service, and you can see some cool pics from the first session of our new coffeehouse/concert venue which Project 12 sponsors courtesy of Thomas Ray here:

The plan is to begin with one per month, then two. We’ll break during Cornerstone Festival time and of course during the P12 summer break, then resume again in September. Great coffee, bands and fellowship here! Where’s “here”? 920 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60640

We had a rather full house (and really responsive crowd) -thanks to those who came and made the evening memorable. Brother Red Squirrel and the Acorn Harvest Jam band opened for GKB and I must say jamming with BRS during the GKB set was as always, a blast!

Details are finalized forP12’s major annual outreach trip when we’ll serve in ministry at two Christ-focused Indiana drug rehab facilities, an inner-city New Orleans ministry and church and a church and Christian retreat spot in southeastern Missouri. We’re excited about working with our friends (and making new ones!) in return-visits to these areas loaded with service opportunities. I as well as Project 12 musicians will be offering concerts in each and every stop. Details will be posted as we get closer to the tour which will happen April24-May 6. Nearly all of the concerts will be open to the public so we’d love to see you 🙂
As for most reading this, our next major event is Easter. What a powerful, moving, sad and beautifully joyous time to remember and focus on what Jesus did for each of us! It’s one of the more intense times we share in-house at JPUSA each year and all in Project 12 are involved as well.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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Annnnnnd We’re Off!

Posted by gkaiser on January 14, 2008

Well… I trust not “off” in terms of theology or doctrine… but like the horses we’re movin’! In fact the daily P12 schedule is quite packed, but we try to pace ourselves so as to get as much done as possible. There are of course, breaks and times of rest scheduled along with work, classes and worship.

We’re indeed off and running in this fresh year.

P12 took the past weekend to do an abbreviated orientation for our newest members who are beginning their first trimester. Various classes, meals, worship times and intro. chats ending with communion last night were in session. It was cool hearing parts of some of the individual stories… God has brought many of us through a -lot-!

Curt has brought so much to the oversight, teaching and planning areas. Jon has done “Uncommon Wisdom”, I just finished most of “The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit”, Tom has begun “Accountability”, Neil “Community and Growth” and Wendi is rocking with “Romans”. Pete, Chris, John and others have brought great teaching to the group. As I type Tina is leading tonight’s Vespers. At week’s end many of the students will accompany us to an outreach concert with Glenn Kaiser Band in the Chicago suburbs. There are plans in the works for P12 to produce some coffeehouse ministry of it’s own… more on that as plans are finalized.

Staff are working towards placing audio and even video pod/vodcasts online and when we get it together, we’ll post how you can have a listen and look. We -may- even do some live webcasting of various classes and/or Project 12 events at some point in the future. Stay tuned, we’ll let you know when we do 🙂

Thanks to all who stop by here, and especially for your prayers, kind comments and interest in Project 12.

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Dec. ’07 Graduation

Posted by gkaiser on December 16, 2007

It was a good night indeed!

Curt Speaks Curt opened with the Word of God, shared a poem and led the service, Jon offered prayer.

Glenn, Glenn Shares Brian and Ami as well as each grad. shared.

Brian and Ami gave each one a symbolic gift signifying their individual spiritual gifts

Gifts Given

and also brought a direct word of encouragement to each.

Ami led worship. Prayers were sent up for each of the grads. completing their Project 12 year.

Group Prayer Over Grads

Treats and fellowship followed -and we were and are truly blessed!

Here is a transcript of Glenn’s message verbatim:

P12 Dec. ’07 Graduation Message

Mal. 3.16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke one with another; and the LORD listened, and heard, and a book of memory was written before him, for those who feared Him, and that thought on His name. 17 They shall be Mine, says the LORD of Hosts, even My own possession, in the day that I make; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Mk. 10.42 Jesus called them to him, and said to them, “You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you, will be your servant. 44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be servant of all. 45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Gal 5.13 For you, brothers and sisters, were called for freedom. Only don`t use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another.

Lk. 22.27 For who is greater, one who sits at the table, or one who serves? Isn`t it he who sits at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Radical Christianity, Real Christianity, Relevant Christianity is this: Jesus Christ among us, working through us, by God the Holy Spirit moving through us in LOVING SERVICE of one another by the gifts He has given us. Let me repeat this! (repeats)

Project 12 Grads: we have been blessed by your presence, we’re proud of your work in and out of class, one-on-one’s, small groups, practical daily service at JPUSA and so much more. We are encouraged by your growth in accountability, relationships and of course that you finished what you started: the Project 12 discipleship year!

Now comes the transition. No matter where God leads you, no matter His calling and no matter the gifts He’s given each of you- may we have sufficiently ruined you for the world that you recognize His love, His truth and the relationships you have with others IN HIM, BECAUSE of HIM- may you realize that these are the most important, even ETERNAL things you possess!

Jesus told them and tells us- “I am among you as one who serves”. Paul reminds us- “through love be servants to one another”.

A genuine love that genuinely serves others is the very call we all share. May God guide each of you, bless each of you and confirm in each of your hearts His plan of loving service. The longer you follow God, the more you will come to realize that such a life is the -only- life worth living.

On behalf of the Project 12 Staff- God BLESS each of you as you follow Jesus and His call! Amen.

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P12: Christmas ’07

Posted by gkaiser on December 11, 2007

At least once per trimester several P12 staff meet with students inviting their thoughts, impressions, critiques and positive suggestions with regard to all things Project 12.

Yesterday was the first gathering of this sort for the P12 year and it was excellent! As usual, I brought written questions and collected written answers on several key points, all meant to stir thought and response on all aspects of what we’re doing/not doing/perhaps should be doing in terms of discipleship, worship, life and community.

Curt handed out self-evaluation papers for the students to take their own “spiritual temperature” in terms of person-to-person relationships -not for staff review but simply for the student’s own consideration and growth.

After this, four of us “staffers” listened, interacted some but for the most part just took notes and were truly blessed with a great time of input from the students. There were a number of fresh ideas and fodder to help P12 become even more relevant and edifying to all attending.

We are about to graduate several people who have now completed their 3rd trimester. These folks also received a transition paper thanking them for their participation but also encouraging them to pray, seek counsel from trusted leadership here, in their church back home if they have one, from parents, trusted friends and of course via the Word of God so that they would be better prepared to follow His call where ever and however that might be at this juncture of their lives.

These graduations are always bittersweet in that we’ve come to know a great deal about one another and grown to love and even like one another 🙂 We recognize such growth… then of course parting with friends can be sad. Some seek membership in the JPUSA community. In all cases, the beauty of God’s love and work manifested in human lives, to witness vital spiritual maturity and the deepening commitment to Jesus, His Word and the body of Christ in the world is such a gift to all of us!

Now comes Christmas. It’s a break for continuing students, some who visit their families, some who stay at JPUSA over the holidays. It’s such a time of focus on the initial coming of the Lord Jesus Who makes all things new, comforts, heals, disciples and moves in and among us. It’s a time for family, worship and thankfulness, gifts and fun fellowship.

But no matter where we are in earth or heaven, no matter what part of His Church we’re linked with we can indeed witness shared values, mission, witness and of course as brothers and sisters in Christ- we share a family which has no end!

Merry CHRISTmas from all of us at Project 12, Chicago!

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Project 12 Orientation ’07 Notes

Posted by gkaiser on September 25, 2007

P12 Orientation- After Water BaptismsJust home from P12 Orientation week which took place at Cornerstone Farm!

It was truly deep and blessed on all levels. Great weather, fellowship, fun, rocking teaching and best of all (in my view) very honest and open responses- even to the most challenging teachings and circumstances. All of us- staff included- got our “boats rocked”.

What I want to share in this blog is simply that such honesty and open-heartedness to God and one another is a huge part of what makes any spiritual “boat” sail straight.

On the last night we did a bonfire, celebrated the Lord’s Supper and had a deep time of worship, soul-searching and commitment time together. People were instructed to take a handful of sand from the beach, walk off a bit and pray about their over-all willingness to truly surrender themselves to Jesus -or- to surrender a specific thing in their life that they know would shut God out and keep them from spiritual growth in this P12 year. They could either lose the sand in the beach and return to the fire for a final song and prayer, or throw the sand in the fire symbolic of giving themselves fully to the Lord.

This was something I heard about while in Costa Rica years ago regarding a Nicaraguan leader who challenged young people he was discipling- just before the war broke out. It was serious and essential they know who they were willing to live and die for! Will our house be built on rock or sand?

Earlier that evening and after all returned to the bonfire I told them that one of the greatest blessings of the week was that we on staff rarely felt like we had to “drag them up the hill”, that we were blessed at their open hearts and willingness to really dig into God’s Word, share personal
stories of hurt, need and desire to become more like Jesus and so on.

I shared with them something many believers don’t think much about regarding their leaders, teachers, staff people and such: leaders rarely fret about putting a weak person on their back or taking a wounded lamb in their arms to carry them. Such a “load” isn’t much of an issue for leadership. The difficulty is when one seemingly has to coax and beg and plead before a person will “show up”, reach up (to God) and somehow actually seek the Lord with a genuine heart. That can really be painful and distressing for leaders. So I thanked them for making our job a blessing and a real pleasure to us all week long.

This is going to be a very good year…P12 Orientation- Prayer Time

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Project 12 for Speed-Readers :)

Posted by gkaiser on February 6, 2007

Project 12 For Speed-readers 🙂

Springing from the life of an intentional Christian community, Project 12 trains selected individuals who seek to become active, loving disciples and followers of Jesus Christ.

Project 12 exists to produce biblically accountable, biblically fruitful followers of Jesus who serve God and others joyfully, creatively, throughtfully, sacrificially.

Relationships, classes, practical work/internships, arts, service outreaches

Prayer partners, mentoring, small groups, host families, teachers/presenters

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P12- Partial 2007 Course Listing

Posted by gkaiser on February 6, 2007

While Project 12 is by nature relational at it’s core due to it’s roots in the JPUSA intentional Christian community, there are a load of classes in P12 that key on biblical and life-experience teaching which we believe help prepare people for a life of loving, Christ-centred mission to our world regardless where P12 people serve.

There is “lecture” style teaching involved, but we stress that our class presenters use various methods of teaching that accent open discussion and involvement- and so far have been really blessed with a lot of it 🙂

A partial list of classes presented during the Project 12 year include:

Christian Issues For The 21st Century
Romans 1 & 2 (Basic Doctrines)
Old Testament Studies
How to Study the Bible
Community & Growth
Women in the Bible
JPUSA History
Alive Again
C.S. Lewis Book Studies
Discipleship Essentials
Finding Spiritual Relevance Through Media
Christianity & The Arts
Nature of God: Holy Spirit
Mission Business

Let me offer a bit more detail on just one of the above classes, Christian Issues For The 21st Century. There are 3 teachers who at times teach individually but more often teach together and encourage a lot of discussion for each class. The first classes offered varied methods of how to glean truth as opposed to mere perspective from various sides of a “hot topic”. Tools for thinking “Christianly” were shared and discussed.

For each class, biblical texts, scenarios, statistics and other material outlining both or many sides of an issue is brought to light. Discussion follows. Truth, perspective and their impact on each other are examined. People who have been directly involved in the topics discussed are often interviewed in class to move us beyond mere theory.

Topics presented include:

Abortion, Racism, Theodicy (why does God allow evil?), Environment, Sexuality, War, Politics, Poverty, Immigration, Outsourcing… and more.

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Chris Rice added, Glenn to Come…

Posted by Jon on January 18, 2007

I’ve just added Chris to the growing list of authors / contributors / people with fast-moving typing hands here. Still to come… Glenn Kaiser. He’s leading a P12 seminar in the room next to my workspace as I write, and just mentioned the days in which he still had all his hair. That was a long time ago. For him and me! Anyway, Chris should show up with contributions of his own here soon. I’ll let everyone know when Glenn is also on board.

Posted in Abortion, Bible, Evangelism / Missions, Family Issues, Homelessness, Homosexuality, Poverty, Prisons, Project12 info, Uncategorized, Women, Women, Men, and God | Leave a Comment »