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?