Archives For Pray

Pray and celebrate with us as we do this adventure called life.

It’s a conflict. You want to have quantity, but does quality come first? You want quality, but sometimes it means that quantity isn’t quick.

We have quality, just not the quantity… yet.

We are starting healthy just not with hundreds. But that is okay.

We have people far from God attending regularly, and that is exciting. We have people, whom we baptized after our second preview service, growing in discipleship. We have families, who joined us on Easter, coming back and have made us their church home.

We believe we have great quality services that everyone says they love to come to. But here lies the main problem we are trying to fix. How do we get more people in the building?

Is it location? Is it marketing? Is it we aren’t giving away a new iPad mini? hmmm… there’s an idea.

Attractional vs Missional

There has been a debate in the states over the last 2-3 years that the shift has been moving from attractional to missional. I am a big believer in the attractional model. We need to make this accessible to those outside the faith and far from God. We need to make the environment irresistible and be aware that they are coming to our services. And we need to engage them.

I also believe that attrational is missional by having the goal to introduce them to Jesus.

But there is a missional argument that has weight and is a strong argument for a post-Christian era. Where we have more de-churched than unchurched, they are less willing to step into a church due to baggage of a previous experience with a christian or church. Whatever their reason, their perspective is their reality and we have the call to make the gospel of Jesus relevant to them.

The debate now is that you have to be missional or attractional. I have never agreed on the either or, but have stood with the leaders who embrace a both/and model.

However, I have changed my mentality on this in the last month in a South African context. Where I was thinking that attractional would be the way to get people in our doors. Advertising a family driven service that is excellent and appeals to the consumer hasn’t been a draw here.

We have had more return from the individual relationships being built (missional) and it only makes sense in a dominantly relational culture.

Instead of thinking the attraction of a family driven church, targeting kids, is the pull, I’m approaching the key to getting people in the doors missionally (relationally) and seeing the attractional aspects of our service as what keeps them.

The feedback we have collected from guests, who have become regular attendees, is they love the experience. We are just trying to get their friends and our community to experience it too.

That being said, I’m grateful for the quality we have but I want more of it. I want more people to discover the life and joy that putting their trust in Jesus as their Savior will bring them.

All that to say, keep praying for us. We believe we are on the verge of seeing this explode, and we are praying and seeking God’s wisdom, direction, plan, purpose and timing – like crazy!

On Sunday I get to teach on Easter. I’ve never done this and I can’t wait to do it! If you think of WFC South Africa or the Robinson’s on Easter Sunday, say a prayer for our First Easter Services.

We have been passing out invites like crazy. Yesterday, we gave out free water bottles with an invite attached to it. The response to receiving something free from a church created a buzz, so much, that when Cassie went to the gym this morning, people were talking about receiving the free bottle of water from the church up the road.

Love it. And I’ll love it more when people get to hear about the resurrection on Sunday!


There have been a lot of firsts for me in South Africa…

First time to see a lion without a fence between us.
First time in the Pacific Ocean.
First time to eat Kudu.
First time to eat Billtong.
First time planting a church.
First time being a foreign missionary.
First time hearing the word “now” not mean “now.”

Today was a cool new first.

First time baptizing people in the ocean. I was so proud of the 11 people today who took their next step in following Jesus. I can’t explain the joy I felt as each person exemplified their trust in Jesus by stepping into these waters.

Today was a landmark day for WFCSA. Here are a couple images from the day.

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My excitement is growing.
My “to do” list is lengthening.
My nervousness is kicking in.
The reality is settling.
The invites are happening.
My mind is whirling.
The prayers are flowing.
My hands are sweating.
My eyes are reading.
The relationships are building.

We are four weeks away from our first preview service.

We are going to have it at a venue called Hume Park in Humerail, Port Elizabeth.

This venue wasn’t our first choice.

We had been in a conversation with NuMetro theaters to rent out 2 theaters, or “theatres” in South African/English spelling. The conversation had advanced to the point we were awaiting a contract to be written in order to sign.

The theaters are located at The Boardwalk, which is owned by the Casino here in Port Elizabeth.

It’s a common landmark with a high volume of traffic and an inviting appeal.

However, the plug was pulled on this option as the manager of the theater informed me that the casino will not allow any company to allot their space for religious services per the lease agreement.

I found this out 9 days ago. It was a big blow. Actually a huge blow. I thought the space was perfect. In the states, Westside has a campus in a theater, and this is familiar ground. A perfect venue.

But it wasn’t to be.

My second choice was immediately eliminated too. Bye bye amphitheater as it is also owned by the casino.

This left us with the only other space we’ve discovered with rooms large enough that is available. A campground called Hume Park in Humerail.

Hume Park is about a 2km drive for me, so it is really close to our home. It has a large gym with a stage and a great space for a kids service.

The only problems were it didn’t look as nice and the price.

They quoted me a full day rate to rent the gym for R4000.00 (a little over $500). Just for one room.

With 5 Sundays until our projected Preview Service, it was hard to not be discouraged. I reminded myself that this is no surprise to God and knew that I needed to pray. So I did. I aired all the reasons why the theater is a better place and the reasons Hume Park isn’t. But submitted my will and plans and asked for wisdom. I read somewhere God honors that request.

All I knew to do was to make an appointment to talk with the person who runs the venue and see if we can negotiate. So two days before Christmas, and taking a huge chance, hoping he is there… since most every other business in South Africa is on holiday… I call the owner on his cell phone and he answers.

I ask him if I could meet with him after Christmas to talk about renting the facility and we set a date to meet on Dec 28.

Last Friday, Stephen and I walk into the owner of Hume Park and introduce ourselves. Pause the story right here…

the last 12 hours, i had been praying for favor or a clearly closed door. we even prayed for this again on the way to the meeting. Hit play again…

Stephen tells him he is from Hartebeesport Dam. I tell him I’m from the states and I give him a 90 sec snapshot of why we are here, what we are about, and what we need.

He was very receptive to our vision and the work we have already done. He then offered us the gym and a room for the kids to have a service. i said I was grateful but need to know how much it would cost. He motioned me to slow down and told me “Let’s secure the date first.”

After giving him our dates we talked cost. He mentioned how much it takes to set up and tear down and that we would need to pay for the hired hands to do this. My mind began to think that he was leading up to a huge figure.

As I continued to listen he asked me if we could agree to R400. Excuse me, I thought, you said R400? H would need a deposit of half the amount to book the day. I told him I would give them deposit before I left the premises!

A whopping R400! $55!! That’s it!?! It was R4000! And now only R400 for both rooms and we don’t have to set up the chairs or take them down?!?!

I couldn’t wait to get home to Cassie and show her the receipt of half the deposit.

God clearly was going before us. That’s what he does. He prepares a way for us so we can prepare a way for Him.

Needless to say, I’m learning to hold my plans with less of a grip and trust His plans, knowing that a closed door just means another door is opening.

Thank you to all who have been faithfully praying. This is the result of prayer.

Please continue to pray for those we invite to our first preview service. We will have three preview/monthly services, Jan 27, Feb 10 & Mar 3.

These services will help us build our core team to help us launch on Easter Sunday, March 31.

We want to create an environment where people who are far from God can encounter the grace of Jesus and discover their purpose to Love Jesus, become like Jesus, and share Jesus.

Four Sundays left until we are here…


We have been here a full week and I think the changes and the damp cold weather has taken its toll on Judah.

He came down with runny nose 2 days ago then it quickly went into his chest last night. He woke up a couple times wheezing trying to catch his breath.

We took him to a clinic today where they gave us a cough cough syrup.

We haven’t stayed in the same room more than 2 nights in a row yet and we think the constant change is attributing to his condition.

How You Can Pray

  • For God to heal Judah and give him strength to get over this.
  • To find an affordable place to rent (“let” in South Africa) in the Summerstrand, Humewood, or South End areas – that is available by Nov 1.
  • To sell our home in Shawnee, KS… Which we have another showing Wednesday.

Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in South Africa by joining us in prayer!


I actually have to give Cassie, my wife, credit for wanting to make this her first post in South Africa. So if she hasn’t already told her social network then give her due credit.

We are in Port Elizabeth South Africa and we are crazy!

I just had to address the elephant in the room. I wonder if that means the same thing here in South Africa?

We left Monday morning (Oct 15) at 10:30a for the airport to make a 12:03p flight for DC Dulles that was delayed by 30 min.

We then hurried to our international flight that left at 5:40p EST (4:40p CST), which made an hour stop in Dakar, Senegal before arriving in Johannesburg on Tues (Oct 16) at 5:15p, JoBurg time (10:15a CST).

We then grabbed all our luggage. And I mean all of our luggage… Side note: We had 20 bags checked (not including carry-ons) among our 9 travelers and my family accounted for 12 of those bags. Hey! Don’t judge me. It takes a lot to move to a foreign country 🙂 … So when I say we grabbed all our luggage, you now know why that means a lot, and checked it in for our domestic flight to Port Elizabeth.

Show off moment: Over the last couple days God has been showing off. I love this term my father-in-law mentioned after me telling him se of the cool things God did last week. So I want to start using this term to give God Glory for doing something only he could do. Insert Sportscenter da na na da na na music here…

We had 20 checked bags, which is way over our allotted amount, but not one of the three different ticket service representatives charged us for the extra baggage. (Da na na da na na – it just dawned on me, I don’t get Sportscenter here… Hmmm)

We arrived in Port Elizabeth at 9 something SA time (2 something CST) making a total travel time of 26ish hours of travel! Show-off Moment: With a 2.5 year old and a 9 week old! Who, by the way, did amazing! Judah was excited to ride in the plane.

We were worried about the 18hr international flight, but that boy stayed in his seat 95% of the time and was amazing! Genesis loved her ride cause she got to be held the entire time… Much like I’m doing now at 12:23a my time… The only bad thing is that Cassie and I didn’t sleep much.

We were hoping to crash Tuesday night after the long journey but Judah and Genesis had other plans.

Judah stayed up until 2:30a and Genesis didn’t go to sleep until 4a. Cassie and I were exhausted and if was hard to exercise grace when this tired but we “joined Jesus” in this moment and made it through.

Today, our goal was to get info on opening a bank account and to get airtime and data time for our cell phones. Which we did and that’s how I’m able to post this.

Now that my daughter is asleep… again (I’ve been typing this post intermittently over the last 2 hours after she has woken up and while walking her back to sleep… I miss my rocking chair!) I am going to try to successfully put her in her pack and play, slowly remove my hands, and quietly enter my bed so I can enter into a good REM cycle.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying. We are grateful. Please keep it up!


Do you ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach as you look at a calendar and see the deadline and as you assess your current situation you realize all you have to do with the fewer days that remain on the calendar till you are at your goal/deadline?

Yeah… that’s where we are.

Our goal is to be in South Africa in October and the “to do” list only gets bigger each day as we earnestly try to check the box next to as many as we can.

One of our “to dos” is to sell our home. We have had it on the market for over 3 weeks now and we hope that we can get a contract on it soon. The sooner we get it sold, the more secure we will feel having a place ready to bring our baby girl home – who is due in August.

Right now, Cassie is looking up prices for home stuff (pots/pans, dishes, sheets, etc.) so we can make a budget to somewhat furnish a home in South Africa.


The last time I had to furnish a home from scratch, was when I took my first position at a church in Sikeston, MO in 1999. I didn’t have a 2 year-old and a newborn then! All I needed then was a bed, a burnt-orange corduroy  couch and my parents console tv. This is a whole nother level!

Prayer Points

Thank you to those who have been faithfully praying for us. We are extremely grateful. Here are a couple of things to keep you focussed as you pray for the Robinsons:

  • Quick sell of our home
  • Healthy pregnancy (Due 08/25)
  • Smooth Visa Approval
  • Acquisition of all we need in SA (home, car, stuff 🙂

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)

Two things I’ve been praying for as we are positioning ourselves to relocate to South Africa to plant a church in Johannesburg:

Grant me wisdom

After all, James provokes those of us who lack wisdom to ask for it, so that’s what I’m doing. (James 1:5)

Let me develop good judgment.

Good judgment isn’t given it is sought. So I’m seeking it.

Reading. Learning. Asking. Trying. Testing. Praying. Failing. Trusting. Prying. Searching. Developing.

I’m on a safari for good judgment before I start my safari in South Africa.

Prayer Points

For those who are subscribed to our prayer network, here are a couple of ways you can pray for us in upcoming days:

  • We hope to put our house on the market this week and are praying for a quick and profitable sale.

    A small detailed note… we are putting in a kitchen floor on Wed and are praying that it goes without any hiccups. Big thanks to Mike for helping us with this! He’s a huge gift from God

  • Cassie is now in her 3rd trimester and we are grateful for a healthy pregnancy. With the added stress of a home for sale and a inevitable move, we are praying for a healthy, final trimester

Let me emphasize “it” by saying the move to Africa has begun.

With 20 weeks & two days till October, the brutal reality of moving has become more real the last couple days.

We have nine days until we put our house on market. For all who have moved, you know this means finishing all those projects that you have forgot about until this point. You now have to deal with as soon as you can.

It also means that if you’re looking for a great four bedroom, two and a half bath home in Shawnee, Kansas, we have one available.

It also means that we would covet your prayers. For those of you who are already on our prayer list, we want to say thank you. For all of you who are not on our prayer list and would like to commit to praying with us, please subscribe to our prayer updates by clicking on the link below.

Prayer Updates

If you would like to become a daily prayer partner and my family and I as we planned this church of Johannesburg South Africa I would like to encourage you to email me at and let me know that you want to become a daily prayer partner.


We all say “never,” right? I’m not the only one who says “I’ll never be in politics.” Or, “I’ll never buy a minivan.”

Whatever your “never” (don’t get hung up on that rhyme – I did – and I wasted too much time trying different rhythmic patterns while making Judah, my son laugh. If you do try. Use the triplet. Works best… Now back to our regularly scheduled program.) Whatever your “never,” might have been, you have probably found yourself doing a “never” at one point in your life.

My two latest and biggest “I’ll Never” turn-a-round

I’ll never be a missionary.
I’ll never plant a church.

Both of these “I’ll never’s” are currently being exiled from “Never”land because after much prayer and more prayer our family is moving to Johannesburg, South Africa to plant a church!

Welcome back, as I assume some of you had to go back and read that last sentence a couple of times to see if it really said what it said.

The Reader’s Digest version is that after turning down an offer before Christmas of 2011 to plant a Westside Family Church in Jo’burg I was in the 6th day of a 21 day fast at the beginning of 2012 when I heard “I want you to go to South Africa.”

I questioned it. Didn’t tell Cassie about for a while but it ate me up so much, cause I knew it was from God, that I had to tell Cassie.

It was a hard thing to hear. I didn’t want to be a missionary, much less a church planter. But God’s call is stronger than our “I’ll Never’s.”

Wait!.. Why!? What!? When!? How!?

Well, I think the “Why” question was answered in the paragraph above.

What exactly we are doing?

Cassie and I will be planting a multi-cultural church with two South Africa natives, Nhlanhla Sibayoni (We call him Siba) and Stephen Colin. These two men are former recording artists in South Africa who have recently responded to the call of God on their lives.

We will be equipping these two men to lead this multi-cultural church to Love Jesus, Become Like Jesus, and Share Jesus to Jo’burg.

Siba will be the Teaching Pastor. Steve will be the Worship Pastor. I will fill an executive leadership role while helping teach on the weekend and equipping these two leadersto make disciples in Jo’burg.

Cassie, my wife, will lead our kids ministry and will identify, equip, and release a local to assume this area of ministry.

When are we leaving and how long will we be staying?

Our plan is to land in Jo’burg in October of this year (2012). Our initial commitment is to stay 12 months, but we expect to be there for 18 months to ensure a healthy church launch, and to discover, develop, and deploy people to replace our roles.

How can you be involved?

We need prayer.
Lots of prayer.

This is definitely something beyond what we feel capable of doing in our own strength, but that’s what makes this more real to us that this is God breathed.

We have two ways you can connect with us in order to know how to pray.

  1. “Like” and share our Westside Jo’burg Facebook page. This page will be where we share our vision, needs, and celebrate what God is doing, so people will know how to pray and celebrate with us. I would love to have you join us here.
  2. Subscribe to the Prayer feed on via email or add to your feed reader. We will post things here to update those who want to get involved in praying for us during this season.

Hear from You

Thank you for sharing this with us. I’d love to hear your comments below and answer any questions you have.