Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The L.I.F.E. Ministries leadership team, including our Director of Development, attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit early in August. There were over a hundred thousand attendees from around the world, most of them via satellite. Bob and I have attended several Summits throughout the years, but I have never heard such urgency from all the speakers about fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives. The first words spoken by Bill Hybels, the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church were “We need to advance God’s purposes on earth.”
Immediately, my thoughts were that the Lord’s mandate for L.I.F.E. Ministries is to advance God’s purpose of preparing the Body of Christ to be the Pure Bride of Christ—without spot or wrinkle.All of us who are a part of L.I.F.E. Ministries certainly know that that is our purpose, and that to fulfill that purpose we need to mobilize an army of warriors to fight the assault from the enemy that tries to keep the Bride from being pure.
In the original vision I had in the Garden of Gethsemane, I was kneeling down at the rock with Jesus and I cried out: “not my will but thy will be done.” Then Jesus and I rose from the rock and I stood beside Him as a line as far as I could see of people of all races came marching forward in an army. The Lord told me that this is the army that He is calling out to fight the war against sexual addiction within the Christian community. You are a part of that army, and we so appreciate your participation. In the months to come, we will be telling you how you can help increase the size and effectiveness of this army.
The first thing that we can to do to better prepare for battle is to make our actions as leaders/facilitators lead to the things that matter to God. “Let our light shine and give glory to the Lord.”
When we place our hope in who God is and what He asks us to do, then He is responsible to get it done.
Leadership bears the responsibility to give back to others from the same freedom in which you received ministry. Then empower them to step up and facilitate that same healing to still others. People want to have meaning and purpose in their lives--that is what Principle Seven is all about. Have them ask the Lord to create a vision and purpose for their lives. Prayerfully, if the Lord so leads, many will want to join the other warriors working with L.I.F.E. People need to align around a mission and then become servant leaders themselves. This helps still others grow to join the army and make a difference in this world.
Tell your story so others will catch the vision, and desire that same freedom for themselves. Rather than remaining a victim of the addiction, they can find that they are to help others to live in freedom. Leadership is to empower others, not to have power over them. We can lead others to this gift by helping them to contribute to something.
As we grow into the army we are called to be, one of our most powerful weapons is love. In many ways this army is like other armies in devotion, discipline, focus, training, seriousness, and so on; but in some basic ways it is unlike any other army. The weapons of this army are not like any human weapons, but are divinely powerful. We do not hate our enemies—we love them! We do not fight to kill but to give life—not to conquer, but to set others free.
L.I.F.E. groups need to be an accepting and grace-giving environment for those who are truly seeking healing. We can do this by being an authentic and confessing community, accountable to one another. Without truth coming to the light, we will not have the freedom that the Lord so desires in our lives. L.I.F.E. groups give that safety for the truth to be spoken and the shame to be defused. As leaders, we need to model that transparency. You can learn more by joining the monthly Facilitator’s Calls for either men or spouses groups; details are on the website at www.freedomeveryday.org.
As a leader in this army, you must keep people around you who can speak truth and accountability into your life. Always be teachable to continue to grow in the likeness of Jesus.
Bill Hybels said that callings are precious and holy things. Let us be lights to shine in the darkness more than ever. We need those lights to bring glory to the Lord and to stand out in the Christian community--and in the rest of the world to as well –to offer something that the rest of the world does not.
Thanks for being a part of us! We cherish you and look forward to an even more effective army to glorify the Lord.Bob and Johna Hale
(this post is an exerpt from the October Living In Freedom Monthly e-Newsletter found at www.freedomeveryday.org/newsletter)