How To Identify With the Developing World in 9 Drastic Steps

These steps first appeared in a Leadership magazine article (Summer 1988). I rediscovered them in an ebook by Calvin Miller called The Disciplined Life.

According to Miller, these are “nine rather drastic steps wealthy Westerners would have to take to truly identify with the developing world”:

  1. Take out the furniture: leave a few old blankets, a kitchen table, maybe a wooden chair. You’ve never had a bed, remember?
  2. Throw out your clothes. Each person in the family may keep the oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. The head of the family has the only pair of shoes.
  3. All kitchen appliances have vanished. Keep a box of matches, a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a handful of onions, a dish of dried beans. Rescue the moldy potatoes from the garbage can: those are tonight’s meal.
  4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, take out the wiring and the lights and everything that runs by electricity.
  5. Take away the house and move the family into the tool shed.
  6. No more postman, fireman, government services. The two-classroom school is three miles away, but only two of your seven children attend anyway, and they walk.
  7. Throw out your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, insurance policies. You now have a cash hoard of $5.
  8. Get out and start cultivating your three acres. Try hard to raise $300 in cash crops because your landlord wants one-third and your moneylender 10 percent.
  9. Find some way for your children to bring in a little extra money so you have something to eat most days. But it won’t be enough to keep bodies healthy—so lop off 25 to 30 years of life.

Question: Which of these would be the hardest “step” to take? For me, I think steps 4, 5, and 6 would be the most jarring for my American sensibilities. You?

New book from Michael Hyatt about building a Platform

My friend Michael Hyatt is one of the top bloggers in the world on leadership and social media. He is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He has just released an amazing new book for anyone with something to say or sell called Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

Platform offers a step-by-step guide with proven strategies, practical tips and easy-to-replicate formulas. Whether you are an author, pastor, public speaker, entrepreneur, musician, or small business owner… developing your platform is critical for your success.

Keep reading to learn how you can receive $375 worth of free bonus content when you purchase the book between May 21 and May 25.

Usually a mark of a good book is when someone says, “I couldn’t put the book down!” Well, I find the opposite to be true with Platform. I kept putting the book down so that I could improve my own platform. Each short chapter is extremely practical and immediately actionable.

What exactly is a platform?

In Michael’s own words, “A platform is the thing you have to stand on to get heard. It’s your stage. But unlike a stage in the theater, today’s platform is not built of wood or concrete or perched on a grassy hill. Today’s platform is built of people. Contacts. Connections. Followers.” This book is not intended to show you how to use people. Instead, the focus is on broadcasting your life-changing message or innovative product to the people who may need it most. If you’ve got “something to say or sell” then “Platform” is a must-read.

The book is broken up into bite-sized chunks organized into five parts. The first part deals with your content (your message or product) and how to make it more compelling. In the next four parts, Michael outlines practical steps necessary in building your platform so that you can broadcast your message or deliver your product to as many people as possible. Some of these tips include developing your blog content, increasing twitter followers, branding your self or your product, monetizing your blog, Facebook tips, securing raving endorsements, and more.

If you have something to say or sell, “Platform” is going to become your playbook to help you say it louder or sell it faster. After all, people need to hear or discover what you have to offer.

How To Receive Michael’s Special Offer

For a limited time, if you purchase a copy of Platform ($13.76 on Amazon) you can get an additional $375 worth of content including a Platform Video Jumpstart Program (six sessions), How to Write a Winning Book Proposal (two e-books and two audio sessions), Why NOW is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author (hour-long video), Digital Versions of Platform (audio and eBook), and more!

  1. Purchase Platform. You can chose from any online retailer or your local bookseller. The book retails for $24.99, but many retailers are selling it for $15—give or take.
  2. E-mail Michael a copy of the receipt. You can simply forward a copy of the receipt from your online retailer to If you buy a physical copy from a local retailer, scan the receipt and e-mail it to the same address. It’s that simple.
  3. Confirm your e-mail address. I follow a strict, double opt-in e-mail list procedure. I don’t want to inadvertently spam anyone. I will reply to your e-mail and ask you to confirm your address before I proceed further. (Actually, this is all automated, but you get the idea.)

I highly recommend this book. Not only is it a great book (I’ve read it and have followed Michael’s blog for years) but it’s probably the best deal I’ve seen in a while. But you have to do it this week! The offer is only good through May 25th.

To find out more information about the book and the special offer, go to

What do you have to say or sell that warrants a larger platform? Feel free to link to your product, blog, book, or idea in the comments section.

Sermon: Great Joy In That City [Audio]

Title: Great Joy In That City
Text: Acts 8:1-8
Main Idea: A city has cause for great joy when the Good News is proclaimed and good deeds are performed in that city.
Notes: This was a message I preached in Bayside, NY and then in Yonkers, NY. The purpose is to show how God sovereignly mobilizes His people to fulfill His Great Commission.

WANTED: Partners To Make Disciples and Multiply Churches Throughout NYC

Starting a church is like starting a business.

The only difference is that in this “business” the “business partners” won’t be getting a financial return; the “employees” pay (tithe) the company for the privilege of working for free; “customers” are asked to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Jesus; and the “product” is a message that is offensive to 90% of the people who hear it.

That’s why I’ve come to a few conclusions about what it takes to start a church:

  1. It takes an act of God to start a church.
  2. That act of God always involves the people of God.
  3. It’s up to God to get the right people in the right places at the right time.
  4. God mobilizes some people to go down into the mine and some people to hold the ropes.

An Act of God

Our journey to start churches in New York City proves that it takes an act of God to start a church.

Sidewalk Missionary Journey in New York City

The Apostle Paul traveled 13,000 miles on his missionary journeys and according to the NYC Department of Transportation there are 12,750 miles of sidewalk in New York City.


If Paul could travel 13,000 miles to bring the gospel to those who had not heard, is it crazy to think that we could walk 12,750 miles to do the same in New York City?

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 tells us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”

There is no more strategic place in the world to “go” and make disciples than New York City.

To begin with, there are people speaking 800 languages from 500 distinct people groups living in Metro New York.

So, pursuing Jesus’ mission in New York City literally involves walking across the street or down the block or to the store and interacting with people of all nations “as we go”.

With that in mind, I’m inviting you to join me on a Sidewalk Missionary Journey.

The Sidewalk Missionary Journey is a walk down all 12,750 miles of sidewalk in New York City to see the city, pray for the city, serve the city, and preach the Gospel.