My tickets have been reserved for a return trip to Asia! It is a step of faith–I booked them myself, so I hope that I arrive where I plan to arrive! It is also a step of faith financially–my trip is not yet funded. I have more confidence in God’s provision of the monies than I have in my booking the tickets correctly. The biggest step of faith however concerns the impact on my ministry and my parish.
I have preached and taught missions, I have lived overseas, I have written a book and now blog on missions, and I occasionally speak at missions conferences on the subject. I believe that if studying the Bible is like eating a healthy diet, then engaging missions is like getting a good dose of healthy exercise. It is worth doing for the benefit of those who receive the Gospel–but missions is also the exercise plan for believers at home. When believers in the local Church engage missions, their faith will be strengthened, their confidence in the Lord will grow, their passion for others will catch fire, and their vision of the Lord will grow deep. I have a good parish, but what will happen this fall after I return from Asia? What will God do among us and through us when they exercise their faith with me, by sending me to Asia, praying for me, and becoming inspired to engage the people group whom I will visit?
If nothing happens, if the Church stays comfortable and good, if we carry on as if I went on a fancy vacation, then I will have to question my own preaching, teaching, and ministry. That could be very painful.
On the other hand, if it happens as I preach it, then Church of Our Savior will explode with new faith, new passion, new vision, new strength. Am I ready for that? Will I be ready to adapt my ministry to an enriched, exercising, and healthy Church? Will I be able to keep up with the people and with God who calls us to engage the adventure? That could be more exciting than I bargained for!
I am asking for your prayers and your financial partnership. Most of all, I invite you to stand with me in the weeks ahead: let’s see together what God will do in my ministry and my parish. This will be a turning point for me and the parish. Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17, that the Father protect them–not by pulling them (us) out of the world, but by sending them into it. This is the adventure of faith–to be sent into the world as His emissaries and ambassadors, His witnesses and servants. I rejoice that Jesus has already prayed…and now I await to see the answers to His prayer.
(If you would like to pray specifically for my trip and/or to give financially to the effort, please contact me personally. Thank you.)