Coming to Listen and Receiving a Blessing

God’s timing is amazing to watch. Whether we plan or not, God is designing our path and planning the steps He wants us to take. It is still our job to respond, but we are doing just that . . . responding. Our response to the Father is an offering of obedience and invites blessings we might never expect.

As I launched into the leadership role at GMI last week, God ordained two very specific opportunities and challenged me to respond to them. Out of each came amazing blessings that I am still processing in the midst of my transition.

The first opportunity came in the form of a request. I found out through one of GMI’s board members, Joseph Vijayam, that the International Orality Network was holding a network admin meeting ahead of their 10th ION conference. I requested to attend this meeting and the group graciously invited me to participate at this key juncture in their ministry. I went for two reasons:

  1. As so many of you know who are close to GMI, listening is a key value and a core skill that GMI staff hold very highly. I wanted one of my first activities in my leadership role to be that of listening to those who are about the task of global evangelism.
  2. My hope was to learn about this network and begin to imagine how GMI can serve and bless networks of ministries around the world through the gathering, evaluating and presenting of ideas.

The event did not disappoint. But the most meaningful moments of that day were what ION gave back to me. I went to listen and they responded with an amazing gift. Right before lunch the group asked if they could pray over me and for my new role. They prayed with power and shared a Scripture and a song as God led. What a significant way to launch into this role and what an amazing example of the Church of Christ reaching out to its own. I am so grateful to everyone who was in the room that day.

The second opportunity came in the form of a launch. The team at GMI has been working tirelessly for the past few months to roll out the Digital Collection of Patrick Johnstone’s The Future of the Global Church. So on my first official day, I got on an airplane and attended the Missio Nexus North American Missions Leader Conference in Chicago.

At that event Patrick Johnstone, who has been a long-time friend to GMI and helped instigate its beginnings, was a keynote speaker. In partnership with IVP, the publisher of the print edition, we launched the Digital Collection of Patrick’s seminal work at the event and the leaders we have served for years responded so generously.

We sold almost all the DVD’s in stock and so many leaders approached me with warm greetings and appreciation for GMI’s role in serving them over the years. Again, I came to listen to these wonderful leaders and hear about their opportunities and challenges and they responded by supporting me, GMI and the new resources we came to launch.

Both of these examples show the power of humble service and the response of Christ’s Church. Who do you need to be listening to today? How can you serve others from where you stand? How might God respond to your faithfulness as you take a step of service?

So Much Data . . . So Little Discernment

Our world is awash with data. Everywhere we go we get stats, opinions, summaries and endless raw information. We are not lacking data. But what we are lacking is the space and ability to discern valuable Kingdom truths from all that information.

How do you move from data to discernment? What strategies, tools or disciplines are you employing in this effort? My guess is that most people reading this blog post have this as a high value but haven’t figured out how to make it a reality. I understand . . . I struggle with the exact same thing.

That is why I have always been so excited about the work of GMI. Here is a group that takes mountains of data, helps leaders around the world ask the right questions and then presents that information in ways that allow leaders to take action in advancing the Kingdom!

Now more than ever this effort is critical to the efforts of global missions. Whether a leader is sitting in New Delhi, Bankok or Buenos Aires, they need actionable information with Kingdom insights that empowers them to respond to the Holy Spirit and carry their efforts forward.

My goal with this blog will be to explore innovations in mission information, new resources available to leaders around the globe and share about GMI’s journey to come alongside Kingdom leaders in their efforts to share God’s love with this waiting world. I look forward to your comments and interactions and I pray that God will use this space to bless you in your ministry efforts.