Well, here we are at the end of 2011. Since my last ministry update in September there has been quite a lot of activity both with ministry as well as family. This blog will cover work, the next family.
September: SBS leadership training in Cambodia In September I wrote to you from Cambodia, beginning a week of training with their School Of Biblical Studies staff and leaders. These workers and dear friends continue to impress me with their passion, commitment and skill. Some of them I have known since their entry into ministry, even leading their DTS’s. Now they are leading others in comprehensive study of the entire Bible, in foreign cultures. Not only teaching how to study and interpret the Bible, but they are also discipling at a personal level, day to day. My role was to engage with these leaders prior to the school in areas of leadership and discipling skills. I don’t exaggerate when I say that it was my privilege to be there.
On a related note, many of you know that we pioneered the first DTS Equip (leadership school) there last year. I just heard a great report and encouragement from a colleague involved in senior leadership development and coaching who just returned from Battambang a few weeks ago. She told me that Even though she didn’t know the individuals she was working with personally, she could see a discernible difference among many in the group: an ability to think implicationally, decision-making skills, interaction ability, maturity. After more time with them (and some questions) she discovered why. These stand-out leaders had been exposed to the development and training of DTS Equip. Being able to recognize lasting fruit is always a rush. This is a huge answer to prayer, and effort. God is doing good stuff out there.
October: Oregon and Colorado In the first part of October I traveled to Oregon to another of YWAM’s training locations to teach in a Basic Leadership School. Again, this is one of those opportunities that really bring me life: training emerging leaders. I love to confront their definitions and identities of leadership that have been “absorbed” from their culture and world. Identities of position, status, power and control. While we would never think we behave according to such definitions, the subtlety of a non-Biblical worldview that we are bombarded with every day in our culture affect us in often hidden or disguised ways. With all of our complex and sophisticated teachings on leadership, it’s amazing how quickly we forget to remain as followers first; disciples ourselves, always. With this in hand we talk about the transforming truth of Grace – the bedrock of our faith, and identities in Christ. From there, the necessity to hold fast to our true identities as children of God, and disciples first, always. If we aspire to lead, we must learn how to be followers, again. The remainder of the week focused on other leadership skills and discipleship training.
The last part of the month took me to a Discipleship Training School in Colorado. My week of teaching there was entitled, “The Cost of Discipleship”. Again, truths of grace, identity, disicpleship, followership, and ultimately, friendship with God.
November: Montana, School Of Worship
A first time for me, I taught in one of YWAM’s School of Worship. I was asked to deliver several core messages on disicpleship that affect leadership. Addressing the group as disciples and leaders (regardless of ministry focus or expertise) allowed us to dig deep into identity, decision-making, leadership and calling.
Involvement in Base Leadership : Montana Base Council
Molly and I have been appointed to our YWAM base leadership council. This is a group of 12 who provide overall direction, accountability, and eldership. Since June of this year we have been extremely busy. While leadership always appears glorious to the outsider, as we know, promotion always increases responsibility, and a multitude of opportunities for personal growth. Our journey on the Council has been no different! We have traversed ground ranging from the privilege of sending teams and resources around the world, to caring for others with serious illness. It has been an interesting ride. I will simply say that we are blessed to live and serve with such wonderful people as we do here in YWAM Montana.
Overall… I would simply say this: that the last quarter has taken me to some very pointed “growth” areas personally, as well as being used to develop and disciple others.
Thanks for following with us, and I apologize for the sparsity of updates. Perhaps 2012 will include a communication resolution? Blessings, and Merry Christmas!