Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Choosing the Better - Paul and Wendy

Leading the team in Puebla México are Paul and Wendy Scheele pictured here with their kids: Rachel, J.P. and Sarah. Melissa Neuman, who was the co-leader with Paul, is back in Kansas finishing up her year serving at K-State and as my SHERPA from afar. Melissa was back in Puebla this past week though for Spring Break with a group of K-State students and staff.

As Paul was left with just himself and one other guy - Josh - as staff on campus, he did what leaders do: threw away the old plan and went after Puebla - which has over 100 universities - in a new way. They handed the local movement over to students and started using the strategy of the México City team believing God to surface leaders to launch movements on every campus and every department in the city.

Last month, they doubled the numbers of campuses where they have a presence. This past week with the K-Staters in town, they went after 22 more. They went out in small groups walking on campuses throughout the city, asking God to lead them to persons of peace. They interviewed students, shared the gospel and asked if they knew anyone who was a follower of Christ. When they found believers, they challenged them to launch a movement. The Scheele’s Josh and student leaders will coach these movement launchers.

One thing through all is that the students have stepped it up. Paul said, “we’re most excited that Mexican students are leading the charge on their campuses, and even other campuses that are not their own! It’s exactly what we needed to see happen so that students would own their movement.”

Luke 10 starts off when Jesus sent out 70 (72 in NIV) Spring Breakers and STINTers to do this very thing: go to villages (which are what universities and faculties are), find people who were spiritually open, and proclaim the Kingdom. They come back pumped. “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He tells them that yes He has given them authority and almost superhero-like characteristics. But then he says, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

It’s strange to me. It seems like he bursts their bubble. Come on?!? Didn’t he tell them that the harvest was plentiful but the workers are few? Did He send them out to do the very things they did? Something else must be behind this.

The chapter ends with Jesus at Martha and Mary’s home. You know the story. Martha is doing the work and Mary is lounging at Jesus’ feet. Martha gets ticked. "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

You know what happens next… Jesus tells Mary to get up off her lazy bum and help her sister. Cuz it’s all about serving Him – He’s the King! Laborers are few, start laboring. No, you know that instead Our Lord tells Martha that she is so bothered by serving that she missed out on the better thing that Mary has chosen – sitting at His feet. That is where real joy is found.

Jesus wants us to proclaim His Kingdom but it’s even greater that we experience the Kingdom and know the King. I was relaying these thoughts to Marta Fraser and in her great wisdom she said, “People who experience the gospel, extend the gospel” How true!

We are to lead our teams to launch movements everywhere so that everyone will know someone who truly follows Jesus. But movements are not the end; they are merely a means to the end – that the Holy Righteous One would be worshipped forever and ever by people from every tongue and tribe. I wonder would happen if we focused foremost on worship and being people (and leading and reproducing others) who truly followed Jesus.

I wonder. I imagine the world would be turned upside down.

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