See more photos at my Flickr site. Click here.
Called to Lead, Called to Serve was the theme of the 5th Global Operations Leadership Conference. The gathering of these important staff is great for they help to build capacity for our global outreach. The theme was a constant reminder that this group must stand up and lead, and that in that leading it is a sacred opportunity to serve God, our mission, our staff, and people who have come to Christ and who are coming to Him. We enjoyed instruction from God's words to cultivate Godly character, Godly conversations and growing faith to have God help us build systems that increase our capacity to be about the task of helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
The hotel we stayed in was nice, but the fourth day into the conference was a Learning Journey (tour day) and we busted out of our meeting room to explore a little of Greece. What a gift that was. We headed up to see the Corinth canal. Wikipedia says this, "The Corinth Canal (Greek: Dhioryga tis Korinthou) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek Greek Mainland, thus effectively making the former peninsula an island." Here is a photo I took of it.
However, for me the show was the old city of Corinth. There in the ruins I pictured Paul making tents with Pricella and Aquilia staring at the temple of Apollo just above the Agora (market place) thinking about how to share the gospel with these people. He had just come from Athens, where he saw the huge temples they had built for Athena and Zeus, and although he knew that these structures could never house his God, I could see how it may have been intimidating to confront these people with the truth of the gospel. In Acts 18:9 we see the Lord in a vision given to Paul where He tells him to not be afraid, "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent." As we see the masses smitten by idols of control, power, comfort and approval we too need these words reminding us that God is with us, and He is.
Cultures and Communication
After that great day of touring, we returned to the hotel for a couple more days exploring ways we can increase our ability to lead and to serve. We broke into Operational disciplines, and Operations carved out space and time for those who shepherd communication internally and externally to meet. That is where I engaged and my eyes were opened to the challenges of sending messages around the world. The languages and cultures experience words so differently. There are so many sensitivities that it would be foolish to think that a US based team could effectively communicate by itself without the aid of people embedded in these various cultures. I was so grateful to be there. I know that it will help me lead more effectively as we lean into our task of helping countries embrace advancing their ministries through a process of casting the vision of God's mission and inviting others to partner with them.
Thank you for your prayers, and for enabling me to learn better how to lead and serve in our gargantuan task of fulfilling the Great Commission.