Category Archives: discipleship
I (John) love investing in men who are brutally honest about their brokenness and who are willing to face the “giants” (fears) in their lives IN community to pursue Christ. Mark* is one such guy. Part of my role is coaching recovery group leaders like Mark on a regular basis. The past couple years he has been leading a few men in Albany through the same men’s recovery process that I lead others through. However, he has never had anyone mentor/coach him along the way.
Mark and I have been sharing real life struggles and victories with one another and he has been growing! This past month we were talking and even before I mentioned an idea he had thought of it!: I was going to challenge him to launch another support group for men struggling with porn and sex addiction at his church in Albany. He felt the same desire! The Lord had already led him to start one so he could bring more men through the same process.
After one of our recent coaching calls together talking about how to best lead men in the process, he said “Wow this is a GAME CHANGER!” It was a very encouraging time together. He had a great launch last month with a full group of six men, including a local church leader! It seems to be one of only a handful of such groups in the greater Capital Region based on my connections there.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support which allow Ellen and I to invest in people like Mark for the Kingdom.
Through us you are helping people like Mark to offer to others healing, hope, and opportunities to thrive through Christ. This is a GAME CHANGER for men their wives, and future generations they will impact!
John (for Ellen, Maddie Mae, Evie, and Noah)
Please Pray for Ellen’s outpatient surgery tomorrow, and more…
❧ For a couple local churches near us where John has been talking with men’s ministry leaders about launching men’s support groups
❧ For us to find a new home church.
❧ For our neighbors as we intentionally host families for meals at holidays and other opportunities to be Jesus to them.
❧ Thank you so much to so many of you who gave to help us with a replacement commuter car and Ellen’s outpatient surgery. God provided a great vehicle and her surgery is scheduled for Monday, December 3rd. Please Pray!
❧ For us to stay connected to the Lover of our Souls as we live and love and serve people and to be Jesus to our kids and one another.
❧ For increased financial and prayer support.
❧ For more support groups to start in Albany and Orlando and online where men can heal.
Click the thumbnail below to download a printable pdf version of this update but with fewer pictures. 🙂
*names are changed for confidentiality
Can you believe Valentine’s Day was only one month ago? Many of us celebrated with our loved ones and spouses. It is a significant day for many.
Yet the grim reality in America is that 59%1 of married church- attending men romanced their wife on Valentine’s Day, and then continued to view and struggle with pornography. What’s worse is that recent research2 shows divorce rates double when people begin watching porn. Valentine’s day romancing is nice, but not enough when it comes to defending a marriage from a powerful hidden sexual struggle.
As we mentioned in our last post a few days ago, we are pursuing a new direction in ministry. We feel called to provide hope, healing, and a place of recovery for men who struggle with the compulsive use of pornography and addiction, and help them, their spouses, and families to thrive wherever the Lord has destined them to have the greatest impact on the world for Christ.
In a future post we will include a letter of recommendation from Rich Lotterhos, the General Manager of Global Service Associates (GSA). We hope it will encourage you and give you more insight into the purpose and mission of GSA.
We invite you to partner with us prayerfully and financially as we move into this next chapter of life and ministry to bring a deep-heart discipleship process to many men and their families, whether they know Jesus personally or not… be they churched, “unchurched”, or “de-churched.” There are many ways you can join with us financially. You can give a tax-deductible gift in the following ways:
- Mailing checks made out to “Global Service Associates” with our names in the memo to:
P.O. Box 20425, Boulder, CO 80308
- Give online at http://johnandellenfleming.com/give which redirects to our mission’s website. Or just click the Give button below.
- Please Pray for us and those we minister to, and let us know you are praying, if you have a chance. 🙂
If you received a link to this post via an email from us, we plan to contact you soon to answer any questions you have and see if you would partner with us financially in this new exciting chapter.
Looking forward to seeing the fruit of our partnership in Eternity,
1Barna Group, (2016). The Porn Phenomenon
2David Shultz, 2016. Divorce Rates Double When People Start Watching Porn, Retrieved from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/divorce-rates-double-when-people-start-watching-porn
Dear Partners in the Gospel,
You have been with us through seasons of fruitfulness and great impact, as well as seasons of hardship and difficulty. We are convinced that if not for the amazing grace and faithfulness our God shown to us through you, we would have dropped the baton and stopped running the race many times. We are very thankful to God for you and your partnership with us in the gospel!
We have an exciting new direction in ministry to announce! We will be following up this post with another one soon sharing more about our new mission and how you can partner with us.
This past fall, the Lord made it clear through many people, mentors, prayer, and circumstances that we are to pursue a new direction in ministry. We have been called to provide hope, healing, and a place of recovery for men who struggle with the compulsive use of pornography and addiction, and help them, their spouses, and families to thrive wherever the Lord has destined them to have the greatest impact on the world for Christ.
John has resigned from Cru and has joined a new mission called Global Service Associates (GSA).
John will be leading and launching support groups composed of small groups of men through local churches and missions agencies in Orlando, across America, and online. Long term, Ellen will be working with John in the same ministry, also as a member of GSA. She will be a Life Coach. For men who have received much healing through the recovery process, she will help them find their destiny in Christ for the next chapter in their lives. For spouses and family members, she will help them adjust to the new “normal” in their lives.
We invite you to partner with us as we move into this next chapter of life and ministry to bring a deep-heart discipleship process to many men and their families, whether saved or unsaved, churched, unchurched, or “de-churched.”
Several months ago, as I (John) was sharing with a friend about how much God has done in my life to bring healing in recent years, he suggested maybe I should consider narrowing our ministry focus to this same area. This went straight to my heart and I knew it was God speaking through him. You see, I’ve been in a men’s support group for various addictive struggles for over 3 years, and God has used this small group of men to heal my heart in so many ways–both emotionally and spiritually. The process as been developed by a ministry called Pure Desire, and the leaders of Pure Desire have been helping men get healing for approximately 25 years. I am still a work in progress but God has used this process to heal me greatly.
As the fog of addiction has begun to clear, I have begun to ask questions like “now that I have all this freedom, what’s next, Lord?”, “who have I really been underneath this addiction?”, and “what is my design in Christ for this chapter in my life?” Ellen has been coaching me through some of these questions, along with others. She has developed a passion to come alongside someone who is stuck in her life or someone dreaming about their future asking questions like these. After talking with and praying with many people both inside and outside of Cru, We have felt this calling clearly to serve in this way together, as we always have in ministry. Ellen, as a life coach, will be working toward a license through Professional Christian Coaching Institute (PCCI) while she works part time at Cru headquarters. She will step along side John in helping men to get freedom from sex/porn/work addiction to help them thrive in discovering their design in Christ. This is a process of deep, heart discipleship that we believe all humanity should have a chance to experience in Christ. We will be reaching into other cultural and ethnic contexts besides our own to launch ministries. Orlando is a very diverse city and provides many opportunities for this!
After we discovered there aren’t currently full time opportunities within Cru to serve in this capacity , we found Global Service Associates (GSA), a non-profit christian mission whose express mission is to empower ministers of the Gospel to live out our God-given apostolic calling and to help fulfill the Great Commission in our specific area of focus. We applied, interviewed, and were accepted by this religious order in December.
Until the end of the year, Ellen will primarily serve Cru staff women who are in transition when she is working part time at Cru headquarters, simultaneously fulfilling her certification requirements. Although Ellen will still have our support account with Cru, she won’t receive any benefits while part time with Cru. We will receive our primary funding through our ministry partners who will give to GSA, similarly to how we have done with Cru for years.
We praise God for your continued partnership with us in the Gospel and ask you to join with us in this next chapter of our journey through prayer and financial support. We’ll share more details soon about Global Service Associates in our next post. Until then please pray for us. All the changes coming are nothing small for us, but not too big for God to handle.
Again, thanks for your friendship and we look forward to connecting with you soon!
Partners in His Harvest,
You have been a part of Holy Matrimony in the lives of Two of our Cru Ladies and their new Husbands this past Summer!
Have you ever just stopped in a moment of time and looked around soaking it in? Well it’s not something I (Ellen) usually do. I’m usually moving on to the next thing just like the next person. Well this summer was filled with “busy”. Travels to Colorado, New York, Florida… long drives! I’ve been thinking a lot about Ecclesiastes 3:11
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (New Living Translation)
Yet I’ve sensed some pretty deep moments this summer. Have you ever attended two weddings where your heart was just exploding with Joy?! A deep sense of God-sized joy? The verse above has come to light in a new way for me this summer and I hope you can sense and feel your part in this as well! Two students that I met in Albany, NY on two different journeys. We don’t often get to see a good chunk of someone’s story but somehow seeing someone accept Christ, walk through hardship/growth and see how the Lord has provided, blessed, and change a legacy is exciting and a gift! Just as I’ve felt and witnessed a deep sense of joy in watching two former students (women after God’s own heart) join in matrimony withour girl was in her first wedding as flower girl!like minded godly Men my heart was so FULL of JOY!
In moments like this I’m reminded on how living life in community and investing your life in the life of others is worth it! You have been a part of this journey with us through your sacrificial prayers and financial support; you have been part of these families establishing in the hope and love of Christ. While I don’t think I can truly fathom all the Lord has done and will do in these new families, I do know that without your investment in the kingdom we wouldn’t be able to truly celebrate the goodness of God here on earth; the goodness that causes all of us to yearn more deeply for eternity!!! Weddings are just a taste and picture of the joy we will have in eternity!
This summer we saw the Lord send 138 youth students to the world on a spring or summer mission with Cru!
- 11 different teams went to 9 countries
- They had the opportunity to share the Gospel with 9275 people in groups or personal conversations.
- The Lord used these students and those conversations, and 2188 international students who indicated that they want to have a personal relationship with the Jesus!
Please pray that these students would be built up in their faith, be discipled by the staff in their country, and become good soil that multiplies God’s kingdom.
In Awe of His Redeeming Love,