This trip kicked up a lot of dust. As it settles, I’d like to share a few things we’re learning, being affirmed in and probably a few things I’ve said already.
The Church is alive, she is not losing ground. Forms are being re-imagined by the leading of the Holy Spirit, shaped and positioning for harvest in a vastly different world. Date the model, marry the mission. The western church model in Protestantism must re-grid and get to work in the trenches of life. The eastern world would be wise to think fresh, borrow little from forms of the past and stick to eternal principles. Idolize form too tightly and you’ll go down with the titanic of religion. The Spirit brings life, and life likes to break out.
What God is doing in Ukraine is not unique, though we have the opportunity to uniquely explore alongside first generation believers. There are hundreds, thousands of pioneering efforts like Lighthouse emerging everywhere. We are not alone.
I’ve rediscovered that within vulnerability lies the treasure of friendship. The potential is all around me, but I have to want it. Life lets us down, people let us down, but the joy of deep human connection is richly satisfying. Laughter is healing, and motivating. I have been surprised this trip with new, emerging friendships.
Learning is a posture. The more I read, study and collaborate with others WITH a learning posture, the more contagious learning becomes. When we learn with a motivation other than to grow ourselves, we’re not really learning. I need structure and accountability in my learning – without which my interaction with the grace of God is severely hampered. When you’re laughing, you’re learning.
This is a fierce commitment. It is tested in seasons. One spouses strengths can inadvertently overshadow and inhibit growth in the other. We need to be intentional with helping each other grow. Our commitment to transparency in all things, leads to exceeding joy and passion – though the road there can be crushing – the aroma is worth it. A great marriage is made up of two broken people committed to rediscovering love.
To be deeply committed to the highest interest of others, from the inside out. I’ve considered emotional ‘love’ to be something that safely resides in the context of marriage only. I’m beginning to actualize a new love for others, both for men and woman. God has granted me a fresh glimpse into the magnificence of the human soul. My capacity and desire to interact with this risky love is a curious and hopeful new course in my life. To love well, honorably, restrained only by the wisdom of Christ – is this possible? I’m starting to believe it is.
The most impressive leaders don’t ‘try’ to be leaders. They enable and serve through influence, motivated by love. They champion the gifts of others, making space and possibility of expression. They are differentiated (amazing little clip here watch)
More dust will settle. We received more encouragement, even prophetic ‘words’ this trip than ever before – much processing to do in prayer. Returning filled and challenged.