This month we travel south. No, that's not the Texas state flag Maggie and Clint Coyan are in front of! We are going much further south highlighting a pair of leaders in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Coyans are leading a team in Santiago, Chile. There are 50+ universities in Santiago and their team is targeting a cluster of private universities near the plaza. Because the English-level for students at these schools is low, they spent the first month in a crash-course language school and have recently just begun diving into movement launching.
When we put the words passion, focus and Clint together, the first thing that may come to mind is the St. Louis Cardinals. After visiting their blog (a new link on the right), I might say for Maggie Jo that it would be puppies. But for both their real passion and focus is Christ.
This is actually one of the main characteristics of WSN: Christ is our passion and focus. You may have heard Keith Bubalo preach on the Isaiah 40:9. (If you haven't I am sure you read the 'Welcome Letter' in the 1st Year Playbook.) Keith writes, "As God's children, we are to put ourselves in a position ('get up on a high mountain' ) to declare the gospel with great strength and boldness ('lift up your voice with strength... do not fear'). We are to point others to the glory and grandeur of God. ('Behold your God!')."
Our tendency might be to dichotomize the 4 L's. But shouldn't it be our passion for Him (LOVE THE LORD) that drives us to a focus on leading our teams to proclaim Him (LAUNCHING MOVEMENTS)? It is this passion that would cause Clint and Maggie to lead their team up on a high Andes peak and declare God to the city of Santiago below -figuratively of course, because they would not be visible through all the smog.
I like the exilic passages in Isaiah. The world in which we live is similar to that in which Isaiah writes. The passages before and after verse 9 give insight into what drives this passionate focus. The proclamation to these exiled, captive people is that their hard service is over, their sin has been paid for and God is giving them mercy and grace way beyond what they have experienced. It is that tender message that drives us to the activity of clearing the path for God's glory to appear.
The passages afterwards point out what type of God what are declaring to behold. He is a powerful ruler but also a gentle shepherd. "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Is 40:11)
This is our God that we tell the world to behold: Jesus our King and Good Shepherd! This is the God that we should be passionately experiencing and wanting for our teams and for students in Santiago and everywhere to have an opportunity to know.
Lord, today, renew our passion for You. It is about You and not us. May You be the center of our focus as we lead our teams to launch movements for your glory!