Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Increasing Faith - Joe and Jessica

Joe (whose birthday is the 21st) and Jessica are leading a team of nine in Tokyo. Jessica writes, "I love what God's doing with our team!! We can see that He's totally working in each one of our team members and is revealing how great a God He truly is. We're each trusting Him with big things as individuals and as a team."

Sweet Jessica sent me a list of prayer requests of the big things that they are trusting God for. They have so many big things I will edit it here for space but I encourage you to read, print out and pray for the whole list found her October 17th blog post: Dreaming Big.

Going Wider.... 10 student leaders by the end of November at the main university they are on - Waseda; launching movements on three more universities in addition to Waseda; upcoming outreaches involving art, drama, parties and service projects. Going Deeper... Getting back with the students the summer project met especially the new believers; and developing deeper relationships with the Japanese students.

Keith Bubalo recently wrote all the WSN leaders about some reflections on increasing our faith like Joe and Jessica are modeling not just in big faith goals but helping their team see how great a God he truly is.

Here is what Keith wrote: "As I read again In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen recently, God grabbed me to ask how much I am leaning on increasing my competence, rather than increasing my faith when I face personal or leadership issues. Now, I'm not saying I should be content with personal incompetence. But I'm sure I too often work on that as 'the solution' to whatever my struggle or issues might be, rather than ask myself what this might have to do with increasing my current trust quotient. Or as Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 6:25 after stopping the winds and the waves, 'Where is your faith?' Not, 'Why are you such poor sailors and meteorologists, to get in to such a situation and not be able to get yourself out? Wake up, stop being such pathetic fishermen!' "

"I also wonder how much we assume we'll stay focused on growing in faith. We have developed models to help us make decisions, plan ministries, send students, understand evangelism, figure out healthy emotional development, and they all have their place. And none of these are divorced by nature from a life of faith. But we have to also be strong to stay with a message about growing in trust in Jesus. I know it is 'easier' to have someone talk to me about thinking through my decisions better than to ask me something that in some way might imply that I just might not be experiencing a deep abiding trust in the character and sufficiency of Christ! Ouch. How judgmental of them to suggest that! That I might not be trusting God like He wants me to? How dare they imply I might need to grow in faith! Why, the nerve of those Pharisees! But I'm (usually) okay with 'coaching' to improve a competency. So, what is that all about?"

"So, the point for me is a personal one, not really an organizational one. Am I looking first and foremost to Jesus, the author and perfector of faith (not the perfector of my competencies)? I really want to. I just don't want the storms, winds, and waves that go with all of that 'perfecting'. I generally want to have a good quiet time and be full of faith that day. So, pray for me! And I'll exit with a quote from Henri's book:

'It is not enough for the priests and ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership. The central question is: Are leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty, to touch God's incarnate Word, and to taste fully of God's infinite goodness?' " Posted by Picasa

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