• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Experiencing the gospel virus

All of us enjoy chatting about our core values.  The real struggle, however, comes as we try to work them out daily in our lives and ministries.  I mentioned this thought when I began posting on our core values.

Listening to one another’s stories is one way we can find help to discern practical ways to make these core values the bedrock of all our ministry and life.

Chuck shared these thoughts in response to one of my posts on the Gospel and they’re worth mulling over:

When we went to Costa Rica, I found myself sharply critical of their work ethic.  They mixed work and play far too much.  Over time, my own values began to change.  I had drawn a sharp distinction: work hard, play hard, but don’t mix the two.  Slowly I grew in my awareness of my own compartmentalization of life.  I was focused on ‘getting the job done.’  The task is everything.  We can talk after work.  But I was odd man out among my Latin brothers and sisters.  Relationships drove both work and play; it was the ‘glue’ that permeated and enriched all of life.  The issue of work ethic, while important, was not the issue.  I needed a healthier, holistic view of life, viewed through the lens of community.  I needed, as it were, the gospel virus.

Sherwood Lingenfelter’s insightful little book, Ministering Cross-Culturally, speaks to the balance between task and relationship.  Jesus was constantly with people, interfacing with the Twelve, consistently stopping to minister to the afflicted, but all with an underlying purpose: he set his face resolutely to go to Jerusalem and the cross (Luke 9:51; cf. Isa. 50:7).  I am going to read the gospels again with this perspective.  He was committed to doing his Father’s will and constantly serving others, which seems to capture both his availability and his sense of purpose.  It flowed out of him because of who he is.internet_virus_la_clau

As David said earlier this week, I need to spend more time experiencing the Gospel “virus” in my own life, so that what I share with others will be “life to life,” flowing out of abiding in Him.  It seems to me that Jesus’ approach to ‘work’ was quite different from how we view it in the west; rather, it was a part of his daily walk, doing the will of God in tune with the Spirit.  And that included both work and play.  It was all of life lived before the audience of One.”





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