• 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!

What’s most important?

Last week I was in Asia to meet with leaders of a house church network who are sending workers to one of our ministries.  As part of the preparation, I had asked a brother in Christ for some insights as to how to approach discussions with these leaders. This brother is from that part of Asia and is a member of the local French church where we worship.

This brother gave me crucial insights into how to address issues where our expectations and values might be different.  However, the main piece of advice that he gave me was about how to create a context where these leaders would feel safe and heard.  There were cultural insights in play, no question about it.  Creating a strong relational safety net was also in play.  In fact, that ‘safety net’ would greatly influence the outcomes we were hoping to achieve through these talks.safety net

A few lessons I picked up in this process:

  • It is extremely helpful to ask for help from others, and particularly from those of the culture in which you find yourself.
  • In such discussions, intentionally seek to create a strong relational ‘safety net’ that gives freedom to all to share honestly and openly in robust dialogue.
  • Don’t avoid addressing the tough issues, but do it in a context where people feel safe and heard

The day after our meetings ended, I sent a note to the brother in Christ in France.  His response was telling: “I’m so happy to hear this good news.  May God be glorified and may we give Him glory with all our heart.  His steadfast love endures forever!”  It’s exciting to be a part of the universal Body of Christ!

 

3 Responses

  1. David, Thanks for modeling the importance of reporting back to the brother who advised you. This kind of “recital” enhances community and delivers encouragement. I just learned that an effort I made many months ago to mobilize needed short-term help…is now bearing fruit when I thought it was a bust. The recipient didn’t need to inform me but he DID…and it was so uplifting.

  2. Jay, it was good to read of your experience in applying David’s point.

  3. That reporting back should be more part of our culture as it would validate one another as to each one’s part and importance in God’s kingdom work!

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