• 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!

The art of sacrifice in a region (Asia)

The Mission¹⁴: Vision Forward Asia conference was the third Area conference in 2014.  The conference focused on facilitative church planting with presentations by Tom (Biola University) along with several workshops by Area members.  One innovative highlight was the “prayer corners” offered on several mornings.  These “prayer corners” allowed workers to briefly share their ministry and then have a small group pray for the needs shared.  After a certain time, groups then shifted to other “prayer corners” and began the process again.Bali 2014 042

As I wrote in the previous post, “I shared a number of challenges with each region or Area.  The purpose was to affirm and celebrate what God has done through us over the past few years as well as to challenge Area members to “excel still more” in their work and ministry for Jesus.”

During the WT Asia conference, I shared the following challenges.

First challenge: allow others to speak into your life. Our natural tendency is to defend ourselves when others (from inside or outside our context) seek to share insights about our life and ministry. We do not receive well critical comments from others.  However, those comments often contain elements of truth and insight to help us further grow in our journey with Christ.  With our hearts centred in the truth that we are loved more than we dared imagine, we can hear and receive well what others would share with us.

Second challenge: choose facilitation. Choosing facilitation means that we will set aside our goal of self accomplishment in order to enter others into the ministry who can then join in the task which God has entrusted to us as a community.  It will call us to learn how to begin ‘doing less and leading more’.  By that, I mean that we will more quickly share, delegate and facilitate others; giving away ministry rather than holding it for ourselves.

Third challenge: live out our values.  As a World Team global community, we are committed to Gospel centred life and ministry, adoration, community, and building into others. Those values can often be just words on a page, aspirational values if you will. We must choose to live together out of these values as they form the bedrock of who we are and all we do.

Fourth challenge: excel still more.  WT Asia has seen significant growth in its ministry over the past number of years.  We should not rest on what has already happened, but continue to desire to do even more for Christ.  It calls us to ‘think outside of our current box’ and recognize that God is using a variety of modes and means to bring the Gospel to unreached peoples around the globe.  We must continue to grow, to change and to be ever passionate about our calling: to multiply disciples and communities of believers.

I share these challenges to the WT Asia workers with all of us both as a reminder of the challenges given, but also as a motivation to pray for one another as we seek to learn the further change and growth to which God is calling us.

It only takes a few

loadgame_tippingpoint_logoInnovation, the act of bringing creative ideas to life, is one of the pillars of our global vision.  I would love to see groups of WT workers contextualizing innovative approaches to discipling others in Christ.  If a fire could be lit to stir all of us towards innovative, entrepreneurial approaches, just imagine what fruit might be born.

However, trying to move a whole community in this direction at once is tough.  It really only takes a few, who are ‘full on’ in that direction, to inspire and enthuse the rest of us.

Malcolm Gladwell in his classic work, The Tipping Point, relates one of many scenarios where dramatic change was observed: “What happened is that the small number of people in the small number of situations in which the police or the new social forces had some impact started behaving very differently, and that behavior somehow spread …

Just a few ‘started behaving very differently’ and others were influenced.  A biblical example would be found in Acts 11 where a few started behaving differently by sharing the Gospel with Greek speaking Jews.  They stepped out of their then known cultural context of sharing Christ only with their people to go to a different people group.

We need to give space to ‘a few’ to inspire and motivate us towards more innovative, risk filled ministry.  We need to pray, support and facilitate ‘a few’ so that we can learn from them and be influenced by them.

Maybe you are one of the ‘few’?  Maybe you are one those willing to pray and facilitate ‘the few’?