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Participants at CULTIVATE, our consultation on the Future of University Missions, were inspired to gather so close to the birthplace of the Student Volunteer Movement and just steps from Roundtop, the gravesite of D.L. Moody. The weekend was awe-inspiring and it was a joy to be with friends and co-laborers on the mission fields of the university.
Like so many other consultation gatherings we have had around the world, including N. American Consultations (’97 and ’99), Africa Consultation (2001), S.E. Asia Consultation (2003), European Consultation (2004), and South American and China Consultations (2005), the Northfield gathering-Cultivate! (2011) has helped us build friendships, partnerships, and some collaborative projects. At Cultivate, we met new friends and began the first steps to coordinate some new projects to reach students on campuses in North America.
Who Was There?
Eleven people attended the consultation. Here’s a list of those who attended, their backgrounds, and prayer requests:
- John Henry – SMC International Centre Team Leader – Madison, WI – with YWAM for over 25 years. For the development of a new SMC/UofN course on Missional Collaboration, for next SUMM’s, for help with a virtual centre office via Salesforce.com, and for a new international centre for operations.
- Todd Johnson – Assoc. Prof. Global Christianity at GCTS. Worked with YWAM 33 years. Great Need: Two excellent missions profs at GCTS. Tim Tennent, now at Asbury. Another is gone. Todd is doing too much, writing, research, and teaching two courses a year. Need grad students to work with him.
- Deonn McDowell – YWAM Tyler – 23 yrs mobilization coordinator – 1994-5 met John on PHOS mobile team. SMC since ’97. Mentoring SOE students. Getting ready to lead an outreach to Israel in Fall. Wrote a book for young adults: Love Needs – Getting them met in the best possible way. Publication and outreach are prayer needs. And to get what God wants here.
- Justin Henry – John’s son – Sr. at St. Olaf College – History – Prayer for guidance, what next.
- Tae Oh Kim – YWAM Atlanta – Came to States 3 yrs ago in MD. Working with Int’ls at U of GA. Staff, but no students. Prayer: Focusing on family for God. Take good care and fruitful ministry.
- Jihoon “Peter” – YWAM Boston – CM in Korea since ’99. Called to Boston 3 yrs ago. USA needs missionaries. In Boston about 1 yr. Not yet sure what to do. Need H.S. to speak and lead. Call: Reaching out to international students in English in USA. Looking for better view of what God is doing and why he called us here to do CM. Experiencing culture shock working with YWAM in USA. Need courage…to overcome fear. Seeking strong confirmation from God.
- SuCheor Jang – working in MD. SMC staff. CM in Baltimore area. Worship meetings on Thursdays for UMBC and Towson. Prayer on Tuesdays. For Church, Campus, and Nations. Still few gather, but all you need is 2 or 3 and keep going. Now doing UDTS in YWAM Richmond with Tae Oh and UnJae (sp?). Next phase will be campus outreach. Planning outreach abroad.
- Daniel – UMBC – Music, Sociology, Psychology – working with 2nd gen Korean church. Seeking direction.
- Sungwon “Paul” Park: Work with Peter in Boston. From CM Seoul – Came 5 months ago. Learning English. First prayer request is surviving in Boston. Need money and ability to have conversation in English. Also pray that I am close with YWAM Boston staff, especially leader. Help the leader to understand CM more and release our team. Last week at MIT campus worship. God said “Your praise is received and your prayer is answered.”
- Ryan Dutra – Ryan’s wife Crystal is due in Oct. Just returned from 10 month trip to 11 countries. Learned about selves, how to be led by Spirit, and do a documentary. CM Pitt – mobilization, international students…but for now working with Pastors, churches, etc. Helping re-locate the base to the international heart of the city with a building with 100 rooms. Need wisdom, timing, people to come help, build a team…near Carnegie Mellon and UPitt. 10 minute walk.
What Did We Talk About?
We enjoyed several short presentations including the following: Each of these short 15 minute presentations was followed by 35-40 minute process/discussion times.
|Overview and History of Students in Missions||John Henry||Madison, WI|
|Global Christianity||Todd Johnson||S. Hamilton, MA|
|Korean Campus Mission in USA||Tae Oh Kim||Atlanta|
|Cultivating Truth on Campus||Deonn McDowell||Tyler, TX|
|Jesus People & Implications for a Movement Today||Justin Henry||Madison, WI|
|Kingdom Partnerships||Phill Butler||Edmonds, WA|
|MobilizeMe Documentary Project||Ryan Dutra||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Report on Campus Ministries in Baltimore||Daniel & SuCheor Jang||Baltimore, MD|
|Processing and Committing to Action||All||Northfield, MA|
What Was Memorable?
Our weekend was framed partly be the historic setting in which we met. The prayers of a brother and sister during DL Moody’s summer bible camp in Northfield, MA in 1886 led to the Meeting of Ten Nations and therefore the first 100 volunteers to sign the Princeton Declaration & launched the Student Volunteer Movement, which had over 100 thousand volunteers and over twenty thousand sail overseas. The place we met was awe-inspiring.
Sadly, I did not capture all the wonderful statements made at this gathering. We have yet to transcribe the video that Ryan Dutra took of each of the presentations. Look for clips of our gathering on our web site in the coming weeks. Here are a few quotes that were captured:
John Henry: “To be called to be with Jesus will always result in being sent out by Jesus.”
“The church on earth is by it’s very nature missionary.” (Vatican II)
“Western Christendom has been Christianity without mission.”- Wilbert Shenk.
Todd Johnson: Missions once was “from West to rest”, but today it’s all mixed up. And that’s good news for us.
More Memorable quotes:
• “Churches and our missional communities need to sing African, Latin, and Chinese worship from the new Majority Church.”
• “Resources for equipping us in community are best those who come from cultures that emphasize community.”
• “We need to sing African, Latin, and Chinese worship from the new majority Church.”
TaeOh Kim: “There is a lack of Christian education in Korean Churches USA. The Reasons Koreans come to USA: Education 47%, New Business 35%, and a Better Job. Ultimately it is for “my money” or “my children’s money”. “There is a big gap between Koreans and Korean Americans (twinkies/bananas).”
Deonn McDowell: How do we help students really know God? We must model it. We must go to them. They are tired of being fake; they need authentic relationships.
Justin & John Henry: “How do we mobilize a civic generation, very different from the idealist Jesus Generation, who are concerned less about the inner life and more about public institutions?”
• “Before partnership formation meeting, you may need to have up to 50 one-on-ones.”
• “Get to know the people who know your area of concern and learn from them. Ask questions.”
• “Become an expert to be credible so that you can begin to form a partnership.”
• “To start, learn what’s going on. Calling or concern alone is not enough.”
• “We all believe in collaboration, but we don’t know how.”
• “Reaching internationals on campus requires partnerships with families and churches.”
• “No people group remains unreached where there is a working partnership.”
•“For the gospel to be believed, churches must work together.”
•“Transformation leading to working together is fundamental to the gospel message.”
• “We were designed by God for open, trusting and fruitful relationships.
What Questions Were/Are Being Processed?
As a result of this gathering, all of us have begun processing more deeply the implications of a “Fourth Wave of Modern Missions,” which some of us believe will include a flourishing of missional communities, a fresh movement of church planting with missional focus. The aim of this consultation was to consider how missional communities can be strategic if they work in collaboration with global missions, leveraging the resources of universities and NGO’s, and churches.
What was the result of this gathering? During the wrap up final session, we considered specific action items and possible partnerships to work together and create momentum in our ministries on campus and off. Each participant wrote on Post-It notes the various take away action items that God spoke to them. Then we posted them on several large flip chart sheets entitled: On Campus, UDTS, FMI and Outreaches, Seminars, and Other (gatherings and communications). We then closed with a prayer time over each of those major items and dedicated ourselves to complete the “easy wins”. Here are those items we committed to:
- University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) – SuCheor Jang, his volunteers and new staff will lead intercessory prayer gatherings with Campus Worship participants. They will meet up personally before the fall semester and begin to regularly message all the campus leaders. They will talk about the urgent need for unity and collaboration. And they will help foster a prayer and worship movement on campus.
- Harvard, MIT, Boston University, & Berklee College of Music – Peter & Paul will do evangelism on campuses. They will begin Campus Worship at Berklee College of Music every Monday, at Harvard every Tuesday, at MIT every Wednesday, at Boston University every Thursday beginning in September.
- Meeting existing international student ministry leaders.
- Pittsburgh – Ryan Dutra will seek partnerships with churches and begin to recruit families to host international students. He will help organize a monthly international student dinner.
- Deonn McDowell (SMC/YWAM Tyler) offers herself as resource teacher on Intimacy with God (Created for Relationship, Hearing God’s Voice, Intercessory Prayer, Meditation on Scripture, Nature & Character of God, and Love Needs), Also Spiritual Warfare, & Humanism. (Can teach 2 sessions of 6 sessions)
- SuCheor Jang (SMC MD), Peter & Paul (YWAM Boston), and TaeOh (SMC/YWAM Atlanta), will serve the next bi-lingual East Coast USA UDTS in 2012.
FMI & Outreaches
- SuCheor Jang (SMC – MD) will go with Summer 2011 UDTS from Richmond, VA
- Paul & Peter (YWAM – Boston) will take 3 week campus evangelism and English teaching outreach to Delhi, India in Jan. 2012
- John Henry (SMC Int’l Office) will coordinate FMI team leadership training for any who need it in 2012 & 2012.
- Deonn McDowell (SMC/YWAM Tyler) will attempt to go to campuses on outreach to Israel with SOE in Oct. 2011.
- Deonn McDowell (SMC/YWAM Tyler) offering to assist with mini-DTS Seminar.
- Ryan Dutra (SMC/YWAM Pittsburgh) will run a seminar at a new church and possibly at YWAM base this winter 2011/12
- SuCheor Jang (SMC MD) will run a seminar on individual and group collaboration in UDTS.
Gathering & Communicating
- A Korean Ministry Staff Conference/Consultation in the USA – TaeOh
- Write Staff Job Descriptions for SMC and CMI North America – John Henry
- Meet with Boston and Pittsburgh YWAM leaders – John Henry
- Lead Consultations in San Francisco and Perth – John Henry
- Lead Monthly Online Meeting for all SMC Staff – John Henry
- Complete MobilizeMe Documentary in time for Fall 2012 Tour
- Talk to Faithful and Like-minded brothers in MD for better collaboration and setting up a “capital” for prayer and worship gatherings to break the “viscious” cycle in Korean local churches.
School of University Ministries & Missions — North America
- Co-Leading Mobile SUMM in NE USA Fall 2012 – John Henry
- Staffing/Hosting for the Fall 2012 – Ryan Dutra
- Redesign Curriculum to include Partnership/Collaboration Model, Emphasis on Global Community, and Worship from New Majority Church – John Henry
What Questions are We Still Processing?
Challenges in Pioneering Campus Ministries: Where do we start? Who do we meet?
Campus Ministries is not familiar to YWAM leaders in USA. We need to communicate better. We need video clips with YWAM International Leaders declaring importance of Campus Ministries.
Do we keep international students, including 1st and 2nd generation Koreans, divided or should we intentionally combine them into the same gatherings, with all the accompanied cross-cultural challenges?
How do we help YWAM Leaders understand Campus Ministries?
• Too much expectation to stay in office and run program.
• Not understanding value of college education.
• Field based ministry requires time on the field (university)
- They think Campus Ministries is only Korean.
This is especially challenging for experienced YWAM Campus Ministries staff who are serving in a cross-cultural setting. (e.g. South Korean CM staff moving to USA to serve in CM in cooperation with a YWAM Base.)
Additional Deep Processing to Continue:
What great call/declaration for this generation?
How are students different today? How are they leading the way for a new era of missions?
How can we encourage Missional communities without controlling them?
Todd Johnson invited us all to the Conference at the 200th anniversary of first Christian missionaries in Boston: Feb 17, 2012. (Ryan has been invited to present a portion of the MobilizeMe documentary).
Next Cultivate Consultation – YWAM San Francisco – Sept. 13-14, 2011. Learn more. Join us!
At Easter I wrote about Holiness, that holiness is intimacy with God. (Here’s that post.) I described how Bernard of Clairvaux’s 14th century hymn, O Sacred Head Now Wounded, was a personal and public pre-Reformation plea for intimate relationship with Christ.
I return to this subject because I did not adequately describe the beauty and purpose of holiness. There’s something else at work here. Holiness is also an outward response to that intimate friendship. To live in holiness, we must walk in holiness. The apostle Paul writes:
I am a prisoner because of the Lord. So I am asking you to live a life worthy of what God chose you for. - Eph. 4:1
Building on the foundation that I laid in the previous post: Holiness is more than intimacy with God. Holiness is both:
- Personal intimacy resulting from relationship in righteousness through faith and
- Public witness of ethical behavior. God’s people are called to represent God’s holiness to a hurting world.
Holiness is not merely intimacy; it is also action and ethical behavior within the community and with all people. Old Testament scholar Christopher Wright‘s book, The Mission of God, expains that holiness is manifest through ethical behavior, works of righteousness. The New Testament narrows it down to loving our neighbors. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you have fulfilled all the law and the prophets. Holiness, in contemporary language, may best be summed up in social justice. Paul writes:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
Please understand, you do not earn holiness through any actions of your own. Neither are you holy if you simply do good works of social justice. However, those who have been called to intimate friendship with God have no choice about whether or not they are to love their neighbor, through ethical behavior in and through their community and through acts of mercy and social justice among the nations.
To be sure, holiness literally means to be ‘set apart,’ to be wholly different. God is holy, completely different, other than all other gods. And God in Christ Jesus calls his people to be holy as he is holy. Israel was also called to be holy, unlike any other nation.
In his book The Mission of God, Christopher J.H. Wright outlines the nature of being “set apart”, the election of Israel. Israel’s election is:
- In the context of God’s blessing of “every nation”
- Does not imply rejection of other nations
- Not due to special features of Israel
- Founded only on God’s inexplicable love
- Instrumental, not an end in itself
- Part of the logic of God’s commitment to history
- Fundamentally missional, not just soteriological
When God accepts us and welcomes us into close fellowship with him through the blood of Christ, we are “MADE HOLY.” That holiness calls us to be wholly different:
Finally, brothers and sisters, we taught you how to live in a way that pleases God. In fact, that is how you are living. In the name of the Lord Jesus we ask and beg you to do it more and more.You know the directions we gave you. They were given by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be made holy. – I Thes. 4:1-3
“What language should I borrow, to thank Thee dearest friend, for this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end? O make me Thine forever, And should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.”
This line comes from “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” a 12th century hymn by Bernard of Clairvaux. Bernard was a reformed Benedictine abbot in France during the time of great challenges to the Church. Islamic nations, European kings, and even as many as three simultaneous popes all vied for power in “Christendom,” where the Roman Church was preeminent in the Western culture. I cannot defend all that Bernard did during his thirty years as a minister, however I can safely say that his life’s work elevated personal faith over religious ritual. He called upon his generation to truly know Jesus.
I am moved again today by this personal and public pre-Reformation plea for intimate relationship with Christ.
Nearly every time I teach for a week in a Youth With A Mission training school, I invariably return to the primal call of this hymn to intimacy with Jesus. This call is consistent throughout the Bible and throughout history. God calls us to intimacy.
When God called him by name, Moses replied, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exo. 3:5)
How strange. What made that place holy? The Almighty not only introduced Himself to Moses, but He shared the deep things of His own heart with someone he chose to trust. The LORD said,
“I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians.”
What made that place holy was intimacy; God revealed his deepest hurts to Moses. It is the same when I share from my heart the things that cause me pain. These things are not for everyone to know. If I choose to trust someone and share my pain, it is a ‘set apart’ conversation, a holy moment with a trusted friend.
That place of trusting relationship is ‘set apart’ – it is a ‘holy’ place. When God chooses to open His heart to reveal His thoughts, it is a most Holy place because His character is perfect and His abilities are limitless.
God knows all things perfectly. He saw the suffering of the people of Israel in captivity that He chose to represent His name and bring forth the Messiah. They were in chains and cruelly mistreated and He heard their cries. God felt something in His heart that He shared with Moses. God invited Moses to the Holy place of intimacy where He felt that pain.
Centuries later, the apostle Paul went to Athens where he found an altar with the enscription: To the UNKNOWN GOD. This was Mars Hill, the place where people considered ultimate questions of origin, destiny, and value. Plato had taught his students, including Aristotle, to consider the uncaused cause, the wholly unchangeable and ultimate good. Perhaps Plato was a pre-Christian prophet to the Western world?
The difficulty with Plato’s line of thinking is that the ultimate good, the UNKNOWN GOD, cannot change. He cannot experience anything, including pain. This line of thinking became the frame of reference for Western theologians for most of Christian history.
However, the God who is revealed in scripture, Righteous and Holy, is also honest when He says He feels pain. Scripture says in Genesis 6:6:
“The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”
Some say these ‘human-like’ expressions of God are anthropomorphisms, that God is only using language that we can understand in our frailty and limited understanding. They say God is pretending to be like us so that we may relate to him.
If that is true, the ultimate anthropomorphism is Jesus. The ‘Word’ became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1). He is Immanuel, God with us, offering intimate friendship to all who will come near.
Jesus is ‘the exact representation’ of God’s being (Heb. 1). He represented perfectly the love and justice of His Father. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
When Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, the Father wept. When Jesus felt the pain of rejection, the Father felt pain too. When Jesus made the atoning sacrifice on the cross, the Father made the sacrifice as well. God knows everything about everyone, including me. He knows every sin act that produces broken relationship and it causes Him pain.
God is all-powerful and all knowing, but He restrains His power and knowledge for the sake of relationship with us. If I had all power and all knowledge, I am sure I would determine to make use of my abilities. The results would be disastrous. However, I am not God. Inasmuch as I chose to break with my conscience and choose to selfishness, I became morally depraved. I was without hope and without God. I was in need of a Savior.
God could judge the earth and all the wickedness, but he waits patiently for you and me to return to our source of life and hope and love. God is restrained from judgment for the sake of relationship. He always chooses the highest and best for everyone.
“For this is what the high and lofty One says–he who lives for ever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isa. 57:15)
His invitation to “Take my yoke … and learn from me” is a call to intimacy with Him, “for (He is) gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)
God is patient. He limits His judgment, not his ability or his knowledge, for the sake of relationship.
God stoops down to love you and me, free moral beings, because He is condescendingly gracious. God’s eternal nature is limitless from time eternal past to time eternal future; He is eternal in duration. The Greek notion, representing mankind’s highest thinking, says God is timeless. This sophisticated human invention gave rise to the ultimate ideal, the UNKNOWN GOD, who exercises His power and knowledge without restraint.
There is no point in confusing this issue; we either worship an ideal UNKNOWN who controls all things perfectly and is therefore responsible for all things good and bad, or we worship the God who is all powerful, yet patient, humble, and not responsible for the evil acts of humanity. We either worship a god who could not limit his power or we worship the One Moses met at the burning bush, the all-powerful “I AM” who shows restraint. We either worship a god who absolutely never changes, including no emotional responses to the acts of his human creation, or we worship the God of the Bible who responds to our prayers, is touched by the feelings of our weaknesses, and feels the pain of rejection and the joy of new life. We either worship a god who controls all things, or we worship Jesus who makes us free to choose to love him or reject him. We either worship a god who is created after our own image, or we worship the Suffering Servant of Isa. 53 who went to the cross to die for my sin.
Relationship with an UNKNOWN GOD is impossible. That is how we have true intimate relationship with a wholly blameless Eternal God. And this is why my prayers echo the words of Bernard of Clairvaux:
“Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.”
The story of the Haystack Prayer Meeting is an account of the power of prayer and a portrayal of the courage of colleges students who provided a new generation of Christian mission leadership. Led by Samuel Mills, this small, seemingly insignificant gathering of five students from Williams College in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts in 1806 changed the course of history.
“History is a search for wisdom from the past to help us today,” writes Kenneth Scott Latourette, Professor of Missions and Oriental History at Yale University. For example, understanding the Christianizing of the Roman Empire requires an analysis of the story, which was more than the deterioration of a corrupt society. The expansion of Christianity is “a series of power encounters, exorcisms, and healings,” writes Latourette. Ultimately, he adds, “the ‘mustard seed’ toppled the Empire.” History, it would seem from the Christian perspective, requires an understanding of the power of prayer. (Latourette 1970)
We will return to the story of Samuel Mills and his friends in this new series of posts. This new page on the Barefoot Blog will broaden the story of universities, their role in the discipling of nations in fulfillment of the Great Commission, and of students, professors, and others who have served God’s purposes as part of His-Story.
During his 1978 run for governor, the former UW-Stevens Point chancellor, Lee Dreyfus, was quoted saying Madison is “thirty square miles surrounded by reality.” (Moe 1999) There are major “gaps between gospel values and the practices of Christianity in ‘Christian’ Europe” and other formerly Christian territories. (Budde 1997:5) Equally true is the gap between the early gospel values and practices at the University of Wisconsin. A plaque on Bascom Hall reveals the commitment to “encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth may be found.” Etched in the stone of South Hall, is: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Class of 1955.”
The following posts will discuss four characteristics of globalization in the Madison context and how they affect the Church in Madison. They are post-modernism; materialism; secularism and pluralism; and individualism, environmentalism, and poverty.
During his 1978 run for governor, the former UW-Stevens Point chancellor, Lee Dreyfus, was quoted saying Madison is “thirty square miles surrounded by reality.” There are major “gaps between gospel values and the practices of Christianity in ‘Christian’ Europe” and other formerly Christian territories. (See Michael Budde’s book, “The (Magic) Kingdom of God: Christianity and Global Culture Industries.” Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. 1997:5) Equally true is the gap between the early gospel values and practices at the University of Wisconsin. A plaque on Bascom Hall reveals the commitment to “encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth may be found.” Etched in the stone of South Hall, is: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Class of 1955.”
Today, the university community continues to seek truth, with the limitations of Modernism’s arrogant spirit. Finding truth requires humility and a willingness to learn from sources new and old, including learning from those who have been isolated and marginalized for their religious faith.