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The Student Mobilization Centre is a centre of the University of the Nations, a ministry of Youth With A Mission. The SMC is not a local ministry; we are an international network of YWAM staff fostering the emergence of a new movement of university students serving Christ’s Great Commission through their life-work and calling.
Through our ministries, university students are challenged to lead the next major wave of collaborative missions by partnering with global projects with holistic witness in every arena of society and major field of studies. In addition, we are affirming and assisting the emergence of student missional communities in universities worldwide.
To recruit, equip, and place students ready to serve and learn cross-culturally.
We Gather - Students & Leaders through Consultations, Events, and Projects.
We Train - Developing curriculum through contextual research, and conducting seminars and schools.
We Send - Mobilize students into service projects according to their field of studies and the spheres of society. Our short-term programs, while bolstering long-term projects, serve the students as they discern their calling.
We Network - Cultivating missional collaboration in and around university communities for the purpose of mobilization of an emerging generation of student volunteers serving Christ’s Great Commission.
Immediate SMC Goals
- We will host Passion Points Conferences: 3-day events in 2013.
- We will host Consultations in Australia, Europe and Africa – By Sept. 2012.
Train: We will post Best Practices and Curriculum Resources for all our SMC Programs and Courses on web site by Mar. 2012
Send: We will send hundreds of Field Ministry Interns (FMI) by Jan. 2013
- Redesigning to attract non-christians
- Tie internships to UDTS outreaches
- Focus FMI for Thematic, Passion Points, Causes, and Projects in Society
- International & year-long projects: Megacities/Africa
- We will unveil a new Web-based Project Development Registration Process for Hosting FMI – By Jan. 2012
- Develop new Strategic Alliances/International Partners (Call2All-Students, UofN Colleges, YWAM CMI, Christian Colleges, Churches, National & International Student Organizations, IJM, etc.)
In addition, the new SMC Web Site will provide a collaborative information gateway for strategic networking.
The SMC offers student organizations and churches access to a missions networking centre where credit card payments, donations and field support can be channeled to mission projects globally. The SMC is providing a new framework for student groups and campus churches to cooperate with YWAM and other global partners and nongovernmental organizations.
The SMC represents a global Kingdom community for the emerging student missions movement. Our goal is to provide the arena—the forum—where students who are embracing a missional life-style and life-work can learn from one another.
John Henry – SMC International Leader
Cultivating Communities of Practice, by Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002), is one of several required books I read for Fuller Theological Seminary‘s MA in Global Leadership. The following are my reflections:
I have a great interest in how organizations, particularly those with Christian leadership, work and how they respond to change. This book is rich with practical insight as to how non-profit organizations, churches, and christian ministries may develop in a globalized society.
One trend I have observed helps me see the way forward. In recent years several international conferences, training courses, and outreaches have been convening around points of passion and global human need, like water, women’s issues, slavery, and children at risk. YWAM International and other Christian missions agencies have also begun to look at a new mapping paradigm for global strategy called Project 4K wherein the map is divided into about 4000 geographic units, Omega Zones, highlighting those areas still requiring engagement.
What appears to be needed is a new cross-platform, multi-disciplinary team approach to properly engage each of those geographic regions.
Through the Student Mobilization Centre‘s School of University Ministries & Missions, we are equipping field leaders who will be able to coordinate multi-disciplinary field project teams. During the past 15 months, we have presented this 12-week training program in India, USA, Korea, and Colombia. I leave today to teach on Missional Collaboration for the final week of the school. Participants in the SMC school learn how to collaborate with leaders and communities to harmonize outreach teams to serve broad-based long-term community development project goals while mobilizing students for field based learning.
YWAM’s University of the Nations operates according to what Wenger, et al conclude in Communities of Practice; that is, “useful knowledge is not a downloadable commodity.” It requires participation.
The best learning experiences are in the context of relationships, especially those experiences with others that at the same time unfamiliar and familiar. In my experience, students learn best when taken out of their familiar culture to serve and learn in a context that challenges their expectations and status quo learning experiences. They also learn best if put in a situation where they are challenged to work together with those who share their skill set, academic training, and/or missionary goals.
By cultivating these communities of learning and serving, I believe we will ourselves learn how to do world missions and how to participate as a global church in the twenty-first century. By developing this field project model of university ministry, placing students as interns into a wide array of community development projects with national leaders who require their service, we will all learn, we will become a community of practice.
By requiring students as part of their internship to research and write about their cross-cultural serving-learning experience, we will thereby share knowledge gained both with the field project leaders and with the universities and professors that sent the students. These project teams will help us steward and share the knowledge gained. These long-term community development field projects could serve as “laboratories” for curriculum development as well as cross-disciplinary field project leadership development.
By working together across cultures toward a big vision of collaborative ministries, leaders of missional communities, churches and organizations, will increase their ability and speed generating and implementing creative ideas for community development, evangelization, and training.
To accomplish this, we will need to form missional communities in university settings, and cross-platform, multi-disciplinary, communities of practice at field sites where internships may be hosted and field project staff leadership may be trained.
The most essential element of this field-based learning community is the authentic cross-cultural ministry that must be the foundational intent and the fruit of the project.
Where missional communities of practice exist, the witness of the Kingdom of God will be evident in a much greater way, both in the university and at that field projects’ community. These communities of learning and leadership equipping may in turn affect a change in the whole of the Christian missionary enterprise through an integrated development model of field ministry and leadership equipping.
This book is ‘salty’. I am thirsty for more with each page turned. Even more so, I am hungry for the practical outworking of this vision within the context of my own life and ministry. That is why I am developing a seminar and a 12-week course on Missional Collaboration. The challenge to me is to deliberately form communities of practice in my ministry context, the universities of the world.
The noise of the one hundred students moving their metal chairs into circles was deafening. The Nairobi Church auditorium echoed with loud screeching as students from nearby University of Nairobi shuffled to form their groups according to the spheres or domains of society; arts, media, business, education, family, government, etc.
The room was buzzing with excitement. The intensive seminar, “Calling Quest 2001 – Transforming Your Nation Through Your God-given Vocation” is one of a series of seminars I have presented around the world for Youth With A Mission‘s Student Mobilization Centre. At this event, I had the help of three of our YWAM Madison School of the Bible interns. After the first of several presentations, the students were anxious to discuss and search the Scriptures for answers to the hard questions.
Accompanying us was a team of thirteen students from Brown University, Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design, UC San Bernadino, and UVA, all of whom had been prepared to lead the Domains Small Group discussions during our week-long Field Ministry Internships orientation in Switzerland. When we arrived in Kenya, they came with questions too. Ju Rhyu, one of the Brown students, brought these questions:
How can I bring transformation in a world of injustice? What is my place in this world? Though I yearn to see justice in a world with nations rejoicing, the burdens and problems that stand before me seem too daunting, too massive. AIDS, poverty, corruption – how do I even begin to think about these things?
It was the week of July 24-27, 2001. Yes, only a few weeks later the world would be shocked at the events of September 11, 2001. (Several American colleagues and I were still in Nairobi on that day. We were attending an international conference for the University of the Nations. We were stranded in Kenya and then Europe, waiting for the airports to unclog so we could return to our families and friends in the USA, and a very different world.)
Ju’s questions loom even larger in the face of a world terrorized by a few radicals. What could a few Christ followers do in the face of such evil? How could they help end the injustices of the poor? What is God’s good purpose for humankind? What does it mean to be created in the image of God? And are we called to serve the needs of the world?
Actually, we have two calls from God. Enjoying friendship with God, not merely right relationship, is our first call. Adam and Eve, the first inhabitants of the world in our God Story, enjoyed friendship with God. They were called twice. First, they were called to serve in the garden with the words “dress it and keep it” (Gen. 2:15). God made human beings in His image to rule and to be fruitful under His reign with full dependence on Him. Second, after Adam and Eve disobeyed and sin entered the world, God’s call became a cry seeking his lost friends. “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9).
However, calling changed after the tragic Fall of humankind. Because of the Fall, our first call is not to service, but to restored relationship. St. Augustine expressed the call to restored relationship to God in his Confessions,
“Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”
When we are lost and outside relationship with God, our first call is to restored relationship through faith.
Calling to do something in the world was not separated from the call of intimate friendship. Both callings are integral to our relationship with God; both are integral to the imprint of God’s image.
Sadly, most of the students I spoke with in Nairobi that summer were not able to see a valid contribution or calling beyond the domain of the church.Though many were students of architecture, business, and communications, they did not understand the God-given calling to be an architect, or business person, or journalist. They thought the call to be a pastor or evangelist was the highest calling.
What do you think?
Our Domains Small Groups continued to press in diligently with their questions. They began to understand the imprint of God, what it means to be created in God’s image. The student groups searched the daily newspapers to see what was happening in their chosen sphere of society. Then they sought the Scriptures to understand God’s ways of governing the world.
Our team of student leaders prayed together with the Nairobi students for the very real and very current needs in the domains of health care, education, business, family, etc. They began to see past the stigma and blindness to the ills of their own society. For example, though there were already ten million AIDS orphans, it was only that summer that the first newspaper article reported that AIDS was the cause of someone’s death.
After the intensive seminar, the students continued to meet weekly to study and pray in their groups. They even took prayer walks around major centers of business, education, media, etc. They became activated in God’s calling to “dress and keep” the world. One group was ushered into the Deputy Mayor’s Office to present some of their findings and discuss the need for a better sewage system.
The students began to understand the high calling of living according to God’s design, offering their gifts, skills, and natural abilities in service to their neighbors and their world. Much of our ministry to the Poor is in helping our them understand their high calling, that they are created in the image of God. This leads us to Key #4.
Key #4: Defend the Image of God in the Poor.
The Nairobi university students at that CallingQuest and other seminars conducted over the summer of 2001 were among the most privileged of Kenyan society. However, they were missing something. We too are “Poor” if we fail to know our identity and vocation, our calling in God.
Those who know God have responsibility to the Poor. We are called to define and defend the image of God in the Poor. Because we know we are created in His image and we know His voice calling us to intimate friendship and purpose in this world, we must be diligent to defend the image of God in the Poor.
The Poor are not lazy or stupid. Jayakumar Christian writes,
“A people so close to the edge cannot afford laziness or stupidity. They have to work and work hard. Most of the lazy and stupid are dead.”
We too should be diligent. Our church life and worship should celebrate our relationship with Jesus Christ, our reconciliation with God. However, we also have the responsibility to minister to the Poor. We must look for ways in which the Poor have been limited in their access to love, justice, or peace.
Ministry to the Poor is not merely about access to material needs; it’s about removing obstacles and giving access to the cultural, social, spiritual, personal, and biological spheres of community.
Our outreach to the Poor should affect the whole system of poverty, the diabolical web to which they are bound. Our ministry is reconciliation. We are called to restore relationships, including relationship with God (religion, philosophy, theology), Community (political science and economics), the Environment (biology, ecology, engineering), the Wider World (sociology, international relations, justice), and Individuals (psychology, health care).
Ju Rhyu expresses her deepest desire that:
Through our time in Nairobi we would be able to teach that God reigns over and in and through all. He is Lord of government, business, science, technology, education, family, the church, arts and communications. The sacred should not be self-contained and relegated to a position of non-influence, but rather, should extend itself to influence holistically.
Sitting here warming in the sun and listening to the gentle spash of the waves along the jagged lava rock of the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i, I find it difficult to believe this is where a tsunami slammed the small shopping center along the shore on March 11, 2011. That contrast is stark, but the story of a young boy named Henry who lived here two hundred years ago details an even more striking contrast. For more than a generation the island was inhabited by a war-like Tahitian tribe that enslaved the more peaceful Polynesians through violence and fear. I wonder what it was like for the first known Westerner, British explorer Captain James Cook, when he arrived in 1778. The inhabitants thought Cook was Lono, the god of fertility and peace. In time, they realized he was merely human, so they killed him. Henry’s is the story of Hawai’i, beginning with violence and fear, but ending in hope and joy.
I’ve been to this island many times over the years. For over 20 years, my work with Youth With A Mission has brought me here over a dozen times. This island is home to University of the Nations-Kona Campus, one of our largest training locations. I made this place home and had offices for our ministries here in Kona two times, once in ’89-’90 and later in ’98. My son, Justin, was born on this island in 1990. The story of this campus is significant; it is found in the book “Is That Really You, Lord?” by Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission. The back story, the story you will not find in Loren’s book, is how the gospel first came to the Kona Coast.
When I first moved to Hawai’i with my wife in 1989, I was surprised by the contrasts. This island is volcanic and hazardous. The barren expanses of jagged black lava fields are contrasted by amazing vegetation and beautiful aromatic flower trees. Amid the harsh surroundings is a rich dark soil producing coffee beans, pineapples, and coconuts. The amazingly diverse climate has several micro-environments with unique weather, plants and animals. When we lived here, we took a few long drives around the island, which took us through tropical rainforests, cool alpine regions, stony deserts and sunny beaches. This is the place Henry grew up about 200 years ago.
When Henry Opukahai’a was just ten years old he saw his parents killed as two warring men fought to show their manhood. Henry took his baby brother on his back and fled. Sadly, Henry’s brother was killed by a spear and he was captured. Orphaned and alone, he was forced to live with his uncle, the man who apparently killed his parents. Henry was being trained to become a pagan priest. Henry saw the emptiness of the rituals and chants. He and a friend Thomas Hopu successfully escaped swimming out to the Triumph, an American tall ship and became cabin boys. Some time later, the ship was anchored off the shore of New Haven, Connecticut. Henry was found weeping on the steps of Yale College. He is quoted: “Someone please teach me the truth.” Timothy Dwight, the president of Yale, took him to his home and Henry began his formal education. He studied Greek and Hebrew and translated parts of the Bible. It is important to note that Timothy Dwight’s daily messages in in the chapel are attributed to have sparked the Second Great Awakening.
Henry and Thomas became the first Hawaiian Christians in 1815. They were befriended by Yale students. Henry was later introduced to and discipled by Samuel Mills, the leader of the Haystack Prayer Meeting in William’s College, Williamstown, MA. (See my previous post about the Haystack.) Henry was very intelligent and his zeal for Christ led him to pray for his homeland, the Islands of Hawai’i. In his memoirs, which sold 500,000 copies, Henry Opukahai’a wrote:
“My poor countrymen who are yet living in the region and shadow of death, without knowledge of the true God, and ignorant of the future world, have no Bible to read, no Sabbath.”
Henry’s faith and courage led him to sign up as an original member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the earliest foreign missionaries in the new nation. He intended to return to Hawai’i as a missionary. But Henry died of typhoid fever in 1818. His life and faith inspired Thomas Hopu and Hiram Bingham, and a team of others, to be the first missionaries to Hawaii. The words of this sermon show the influence of this faithful young Hawaiian native who died at the early age of 26 years:
“‘It is the Lord’s doing, and marvelous in our eyes.’ To him it belongs to bring good out of evil and light out of darkness… Ah! Opukahaia cannot go with you. He will not, however, forget you. Perhaps, if you should prove steadfast in the faith, he may look down and smile upon you from heaven. …. From a land of Bibles and Sabbaths and churches, where you have been nurtured and instructed in Christian charity; where you have enjoyed the prayers and counsels of the wise and good; and where some of you hope that you have been made savingly acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ, you are going back to that land of idols and darkness, from whence you came…”
They landed at the Kona Coast on April 12, 1820. Before they arrived, the ruthless King Kamehameha the Great died. Idolatry and human sacrifice had ended by King Kamehameha II and his Queen mother Ka’ahumanu. The queen soon became a Christian and helped spread the Gospel in the islands.
Revival swept the islands. By 1840, 20,000 Hawaiians had become Christians. Just prior to her death, Queen Ka’ahumanu was presented with the newly completed version of the New Testament in the Hawaiian language. Her last words were: “I am going where the mansions are ready.”
As I develop a new training course on Missional Collaboration for the University of the Nations, I will be unveiling several aspects of the course through this blog. Today’s post originates from one of my papers and in response to an article on the Trinity by Mark Avery, professor of a course on Collaboration at Fuller Theological Seminary. This is the first of a series I will be posting as I develop the course. — John Henry
The Heart of God’s Mission is Relationship
Working together in God’s Mission is not complicated. Accomplishing the Great Commission is an enormous task. But fulfilling this commission from Jesus is through the empowering of the Holy Spirit and the blessing of the Father. The task is not placed completely on our shoulders. We are sharing in the task through our relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God’s Mission flows out of personal, intimate, encouraging, and cooperative relationship.
What is Missional?
The term “missional” is buzzing all over the blogosphere and publishers are happy to sell the many books on the topic. Sadly, the term “missional” has created some confusion. Under the umbrella of “missional” are various descriptions and historical formations of church, discussions of theological and political/justice issues, and questions of equipping/releasing leaders for christian ministry.
Darrell Guder, contributing editor of the book “Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America” from the The Gospel and Our Culture Series (1998), explains:
“…by adding the suffix ‘al’ to the word ‘mission,’ we hoped to foster an understanding of the church as fundamentally and comprehensively defined by its calling and sending, it’s purpose to serve God’s healing purposes for all the world as God’s witnessing people to all the world.”
We are “Ambassadors of Reconciliation”
“So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20 RSV)
Simply put, to be missional is to join God’s Mission (Missio Dei), which is God’s desire to “reconcile to himself all things.” (Col. 1:20 RSV) I think it is important to dismiss the sham argument, the straw man set up to defeat this desire to be missional. For example, those who want to join those who are dismissing Rob Bell’s new book “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” even before they read it, please take some time to consider first this theological conversation about eternal judgment, whether it is a universalist or an annihilationist position. Theology is an ongoing conversation, which implies relationship, listening/speaking and learning. Theology is humanity’s study to understand God’s desire that “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ( 1 Tim. 2:4 RSV)
This emergence of theologians and Christian leaders who desire to see their church communities become “missional” is concurrent with significant global shifts in Global Christianity. For fifteen centuries the “Church” has been affiliated with the political powers of the Western world, beginning with Roman Emperor Constantine. This means we have almost always understood the Christian Church to be established and settled in the West, that the “mission fields” are outside the West. Please understand, the emphasis on reaching the unreached parts of the world is good and right. However, the formation of churches have been with the presumption of power and privilege within Western society, with a tendency to posture themselves paternalistically over the “younger” churches in the less-reached world.
The emergence of theological questioning about our understanding of God’s Mission and the Church’s role came to a point of crisis within the past three decades, when the geographic center of Christianity moved south. Todd Johnson, co-author of the Atlas of Global Christianity (2009) writes,
“Shortly after 1980, Christians in the South outnumbered those in the North for the first time in 1000 years.” (2004) Today over seventy-five per cent of protestant Christians are in the non-Western world.
The shift in the center of gravity of World Christianity came as a surprise to Western Christian leaders. Much of the Western Christian world predicted a decline in Christian numbers in Africa and Asia in the twentieth century. What surprised Western missionaries is how so many Africans and Chinese embraced Christianity, mostly without Western orchestration. To understand this extraordinary growth in World Christianity, Lamin Sanneh calls for a “fresh understanding of the gospel in world history.” (2003)
How does this Global Shift impact our understanding of Mission and Church?
We need to first understand the importance of relationship in a theology of mission. The doctrine of the Trinity informs our understanding of the dynamic relationship between the persons of the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God’s relationship with all of creation, especially the dynamic relationship between those created in God’s image, flows from the dynamic relationships within the Trinity.
Before we can work with others effectively, we must know our own identity, our strengths and our weaknesses. There is little point in embracing the missional renaissance if we do not first take an honest assessment of ourselves, our communities and our culture. We must refuse to be conformed to this world, attempting to repackage our churches with a marketing ploy and call it “missional.” We must recognize how the Western Church has failed to be missional, opting for a settled institutional power-based attractional organization. People relate out of identity and their relationships form their identity. Like a child growing within a family, our identities are formed through our interaction and relationship with others. Our identities are shaped through our interaction with our environment, and the groups to which we relate. As individuals we relate to one another, however churches and groups do not effectively relate. Organizations are not typically designed to work together; they measure their success by their growth. Organizations, including churches, attract individuals to participate as members. Organizations need people simply to add to their size, their capacity, their reputation, their influence, and ultimately their power. To be missional we must first repent of thinking too highly of ourselves, our organizations and churches, and our culture. We must change our thinking, admitting how we have been conformed to the powers of this world, and choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to the word of God, submitting ourselves to king Jesus and aligning ourselves to God’s mighty word of power. The simple act of repentance, acknowledging that the Church is not the Kingdom of God, will help us to transform into missional communities.
We are all created in God’s image, and therefore our identity and our capacity to relate comes from God. The amazing dynamic of identity and relationships within the Godhead, within the Trinity, is the basis for a theology of relationship and collaboration. As we come to know God better, we will be enabled to work with others better.
The Missional Renaissance is an emerging ambition among thoughtful Christian theologians and leaders to make disciples of all nations (simultaneously engaging our own Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth). To be missional is to form mission shaped leaders and mission shaped churches.
Do you need to find a “happy optimum” between push and pull of being a part of your home church and being your own distinctive person with a calling and experience in your wider community? Does your work or school life look like a mission field to you? Perhaps you have a desire to start a bible study, prayer group, or plant a simple church in your community? Pursuing that desire will likely require that you will have to say “no” to appeals to volunteer in your local church.
Does your hope for your own community, your work, school, and neighborhood, make you feel like that your concern is in opposition to the needs of your local church?
This is the tension many of us are experiencing today. Why? While some mega-churches are still serving the needs of our culture attracting large numbers of evangelicals to a market-based church program, the attractional model of church is no longer effective in our growing post-christian culture. To put it simply: It’s a great time to be THE church, but it is not a good time to be A church.
This presents a tremendous personal challenge to us, and especially to pastors. Many will simply not understand your desire to engage your world and network beyond the local church. Some may find self-esteem and safety within the local church. Some will already find acceptance and significance within the church and therefore not have a strong sense of need to extend their relational group. The more successful and “tight” the church group, the less likely it is that some would sense any need to extend their relationships.
Those of us who reach beyond our church communities are in a dynamic tension called Optimal Distinctiveness. Optimal Distinctiveness is the desire to be identified within a group and distinguish oneself from the group. This is the dynamic tension, this shifting identity, distinguishing oneself from the local church group, is part of the process of a new missional spirit in a post-Christian world. This is a spirit of collaboration.
If you are experiencing this dynamic tension, you need to learn the spirit of collaboration. You must be able to balance your identity within the context of collaboration, working with other groups and ministries outside the local church. To explain, let me share a bit of my own journey.
For 24 years, I have been serving with Youth With A Mission. I have worked with and among many church groups, mission agencies, and student organizations in over 30 nations. All the while I have extended the “fame” of my own spiritual father, my pastor, George Isley. He died a few years ago, but he continues to be my model of pastoral ministries. Over the years, I have come to realize a significant part of my identity was shaped in that local church and with that pastor. Meanwhile I have also found a significant part of my identity in the extended inter-group ministries I founded with Youth With A Mission, the Student Mobilization Centre of the University of the Nations. Though it was often a challenge for me to find the right approach to ministries outside the local church, the spiritual identity of a humble servant-leader modeled by George Isley continues to be my standard. To sum up, I have not followed the model of the popular itinerant preacher with products to sell and a slick appeal for an offering. The spirit of collaboration is not self-serving; it develops trusting personal relationships, freely giving, serving, and loving in the Spirit of Jesus.
As faithful believer in Jesus Christ, our ultimate responsibility and loyalty is to the Great Commission and our Servant King Jesus. We must continue to respect the amazing work that God has done and is doing through our local churches and pastoral leaders. However, our commitment and loyalty to Jesus and his mission must be greater than our commitment and loyalty to our own denomination, local church, and even our pastors. Reaching out in the spirit of collaboration is not a disloyalty to the local church; it is a greater commitment to THE global church.
You could appeal to your pastor for “permission.” Though it is difficult, you could also appeal to your pastor’s own human need to extend relationship beyond the boundaries of the local church. Your appeal to your pastor will reveal something to you; it will reveal your own search for personal balance.
The challenge will come when you are expected to continue to work in your local church and perhaps meet your pastor’s expectations. I want to leave you with a few recommendations:
1. I recommend that you clarify your identity, the identity God has shaped in your life as a committed member of your local church.
2. I also recommend that you take it slow. If you change too fast and too much, you may find yourself ostracized or excommunicated from your home church.
This is the topic of the next several posts. Let me know you are reading and post your questions, suggestions, and testimonies.
I just returned from six days of meetings in Hawaii where I met with leaders re-designing the core curriculum of the University of the Nations, Youth With A Mission’s global university. Members of the university’s International Leadership Team prayed over and discussed major projects around the globe. Among them is the new “Call2All” (see http://www.call2all.org), a series of gatherings around the world involving 300 of the largest missions organizations and denominations partnering to reach a billion people and plant 5 million new churches by the year 2020. Another project is the Hakani film, produced by David Cunningham (Loren Cunningham’s son), to help YWAMers in Brazil change the laws in the land to stop the practice of infanticide among the tribal Indians in the Amazon jungle. (Go to http://www.hakani.org to see the film and learn more.)
International Deans and Centre leaders presented developments on the over 800 courses in 149 countries in 88 languages around the world. (See http://www.uofn.edu) I reported on the developments of the Student Mobilization Centre I direct, which serves YWAM campus ministries in 71 cities in 31 countries through the School of University Ministries & Missions (SUMM). I will lead the next SUMM in Maryland this September. The SUMM will run four times on three continents in a 12 month period.
Pray for me and my family as we continue to trust God for our personal support and serve Jesus through Youth With A Mission.