Thursday, January 10, 2008

Something to Boast About: B & N and G

B & N along with G form the STINT leadership on a team in East Asia to work with high school students. B and N are serving their first year helping G, who has been in East Asia for three years, lead a new team. Their STINT team consists of one other active American and two Asian National staff interns (plus one other Asian national staff intern who just had a baby this fall).

The Americans on the team take language classes three times a week and are also teachers in a public high school teaching English to 9th and 10th graders. Needless to say, it has been a busy first semester for them trying to juggle learning and teaching, as well as, launching movements and not to mention, just life in general. Then you throw in the mix that this is the first real multi-cultural team of Asians and Americans working to reach high school students.

While they are busy, they are ministering to Asian students whose lives are the same and yet have no opportunity to rest in the Lord. B writes, “No one is telling these high school students that life has meaning beyond being top of their class and getting into the best college. So, they are covering up their emptiness with endless hours of classes and studies, making them too busy to think about real heart issues. We want to help these students think about heart issues of life, faith, and ultimately their relationship with God.”

During the recent Christmas season, they hosted four Christmas parties each complete with a gift exchange, the Nativity movie showing, and a pre-evangelistic talk given by one of the East Asian interns in her heart language. Over 80 students came to the parties and heard the message of Christ! Now, the team is in the process of following up contacts from the events before they head out to for their mid-year conference.

I know busy too as I just returned yesterday from the Denver Christmas Conference followed by two days of a regional staff conference. We had the privilege of hearing from Ken Cochrum at our staff conference. We heard the same talk he gave at Cm2007 on Ministries to Movements. (And for those of you who missed Korea, which Dan gave at the STINT Briefing.) It was good to hear it again and be reminded of what we are being called to do.

Before Ken gave his m2M talk, he led us in a time in the word in Jeremiah 9:23-24: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”

I didn’t take great notes and can’t do total justice to what Ken shared but will try. Ken pointed out that a wise leader who boasts is self-assured. She is confident that in her ability to know the right answers or what course to take. A strong leader who boasts leads to competition. He becomes dismissive of those strong in other areas. I am not sure on your STINT salary you are in a position to boast in riches. But Ken pointed out that we can boast on the riches of accomplishments or the works of our hands.

All this boasting is futile. We are to boast that we understand and know the Lord. That we know He is LORD and that we know what he practices and delights in.

How do we know God in this way? We have to learn to hear his voice, to listen to the Spirit, to cultivate intimacy. May we boast this week that we understand Him, know Him, and know His ways… and in that alone. May we be true followers of Jesus as we seek to launch movements where everyone will know one.

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