WELC08/Realignment

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Jeff Fountain -- Realignment

A white dwarf is when a star implodes on itself. If you've seen Lord of the Rings you'll know what a dwarf is. The star implodes and there is an intense light. Philip Jenkins uses that to describe what is happening in Europe. Churches have lost many members but it is bringing out what is genuine and it is coming out in new intense life-forms. We can be encouraged at what God is doing in Europe today -- but that is not my subject this morning. I can get more passionate about that!

God Spoke to the GLT

Some of the words God has been speaking to us internationally at our Global Leadership Gatherings. We were in Korea last year and invited a number of young leaders to join us representing different regions around the world and had a prayer shield as well. Sometimes we were all together and some times in our own meetings. We were quite well represented. It was a rich time of interaction.

Sometimes we can come home and read others reports of the meeting and wonder if they were at the same meetings. This is then what God said, according to Jeff Fountain. But let's step back and remind ourselves of older GLT[1] words. We can ask ourselves how we are doing with them.

Elephants in the Room

Over the last 10 or 15 years or more in some respects we were in free fall in YWAM. We weren't completely functional at the international level -- there were some elephants in the room we weren't dealing with. Needed to deal with them. It was about safeguarding our core values because we had been in a period of drifting from these values. Some of you have heard these many times before but I'm repeating them so we are all on the same page. Loren's picture of the barge floating down the river toward the water falls -- how many know this?

Niagara Falls

Some years ago the Lord spoke to Loren from a true story from his childhood. Two men on a barge tied up on the river. They had gone to sleep on the barge but some how the barge had got untied and was drifting down the river. They could hear the roar of the Niagara Falls, they knew they were in trouble and cried out, getting closer and closer to the falls. Swept into the rapids and just as they were about to go over the falls and they had given up all hope, the barge struck a rock and got stuck on it and eventually could get ropes out to them and save them. Loren felt we were staring into the abyss because we were adrift from our values. Loren felt we have stuck to the rock. And we were facing some internal distress -- we lost the mercy ship ministry. We had to really fight for the Lausanne base -- our mother base. And we could have lost the Kona base. But we struck the rock, about 2002/2003. since that time we have been in a time of realignment, coming back to our values and calling, looking after our relationships, making sure our foundations are right, making sure we are maintaining our integrity in financial and legal issues. That process is still under way. We in Europe must continue to ask, "What are we doing in the realignment process?" Are we really bringing things into right order. We were becoming just our own little ministry, interested in our own health and no one elses. We were losing the solidarity, the sense of the whole. That's why these kinds of events are really important. We all have to make a sacrifice, we can all think of excuses but it is an important part of our glue -- our family gatherings. Like the Herrnhut Festival of the Nations, and the New Zealand Hui. We can't all come but just like Israel and the three festivals a year, think of the time lost in walking up to Jerusalem. But it is part of the glue.

Legal/Financial

When it comes to the legal and financial areas, need to ask each other how we are doing on the realignment, need to ask if we are living out our values, living out our calling. Does our legal structure reflect what God expects of us with our accountability to YWAM international, local and to local churches. Need the checks and balances.

Healing the Nervous System, Communications

Part of the relationship aspect is healing the nervous system that God brought to us 5 years ago when we recognised that many wives of senior leaders were suffering from nervous things. It is the bodies communication and we felt we were not doing that well YWAM. We set up CRIT. We have a European expression called EuroCom, our European communications team. We want to take it seriously in Europe and it begins with a commitment to communicate and then must plan how we will do it and then equip one another to communicate. And there are many levels to communicate. So have a matrix to look at who to communicate with. Want to encourage all leadership to set aside time to think about who we need to communicate with. Communicate with the region and international and with supporters and ex-YWAMers. We've made a whole list of people we need to communicate with. And then how to communicate. We have a tool. Kevin and Inge are part of this and they are meeting with the WELT[2]. I want you to hold the WELT to account that they do it. We want a commitment from the WELT to communicate. It is a word of the Lord to communicate and heal the nervous system. And then to set up time to communicate and train people to do it and then ask how we are doing.

Crossing the Jordan

This slide show has been distributed to leaders across your region and there is good info from the GLT that comes out on a daily basis. For some this is a revision, we don't have much time to go into this. Get the slides because there are some important words like the one Tom Bloomer brought at the Hui in New Zealand. First to the young leaders -- everything has been done by the older leaders and we can't compare with it. Strong rebuke, there is so much more He wants to do but must ask God's conditions. Second part of the word was for the 40+ people. Tom carried it around for 4 years. He was likening many of us to the two tribes who refused to cross the Jordan and enter in. Yes, they helped their brothers but basically they settled down on their own inheritance. They had chosen their own nice pleasant inheritance and were not striving for the inheritance that God had for them. They wanted to have a nice place for their children. Those were the first to go into exile and lose their identity. They were a one generation blessing people and failed to pass on the blessing. Failed to fight together as an army. Psalm 2 "ask of me and I'll give you the nations" but you don't ask Me what it means. My plans burn within me and I want to share with you. Admit your blindness. That was from the year 2000. Last year Tom brought the word, we have crossed the Jordan. Yes, we want God's inheritance. We crossed the Jordan and now a time of circumcision. In order to have authority to go into the land needed to do it. We have lost 10 years. 25 years ago God said we would have 50 000 staff and we should have been there by now but because we drifted we missed out on the full purposes of God but He has brought us back and wants to restore the years. We want not just a bigger organization. This is what God was speaking to us in Jeju Korea and Loren and Lynn began to speak out words that God wanted to trust us with many more workers -- the figure of 200 000 was mentioned. Some people from Tacoma said that God had spoken to them about that number. Believe God for a quantum leap. It will have consequence for the ministry we will do.

Perfect Wave

So, to use Al Akimov's phrase, 'the perfect wave'. He was sharing about what God was bringing together for this perfect wave of missions. Al had to rebuke Loren. "You talk about these young people as the best assets in YWAM, I disagree, look at all these people with silver hair." Got gold in our teeth, silver in our hair, lead in our feet and gas inside and we have to pass on the torch, I'm not going to -- God gave it to me. If the young people want the torch they will have to chase me and pry it out of my cold dead fingers!"

Older People

Huge wave of 60+ers who are making themselves available for missions -- more money, more health, life experience, we need to help them into missions. And young people want to get out into the life spheres to do what you have talked about -- making films, business as missions and want to work out how to incorporate them in missions.

Two-Thirds World

And the two-thirds world or whatever you want to call it. Huge dynamic move of God in Korea -- 6000 people going through their business DTS that they aren't allowed to call a DTS. Growth of YWAM in Brazil and India and now China -- YWAM will take on a whole new look.

Call2All Wave

This was the time that God began to speak to us about a call2all -- Thursday. We are part of something much larger -- calling all the Body of Christ to all the world, spheres.... And Europe, not fully clear yet. Need to know what God is calling us to.

And Another Wave -- the Ancient Churches

Rainbow church -- the ancient churches. YWAM began out of the Pentecostal movement but it was for all God's people and was a difficult choice for Loren initially. Moved into the Charismatic then Evangelical churches. Another adjustment, are we really called to all God's people? What does it mean in the Orthodox, Catholic, Coptic, Armenian church. Many of us think that is totally dead, how can we learn anything from them? We are the new movement. But they have ancient treasures. Many of know Dr Artif, a coptic monk who has become a prophetic voice for us in YWAM. There is no easy answer. Some of us live in countries which if we mentioned we worked with Catholics we would be totally cut off. We went back to Herrnhut for the Festival of the Nations to remind us of Zinzendorf's inclusive vision -- to stand in unceasing love with all God's children in all Churches, criticise none etc. wanted to ask us what this meant to us in YWAM. When we go to Armenia or Egypt are we to make them Evangelical? The whole church of Europe is at a Cornelius moment. God was opening Peter's eyes to see what God calls clean.

Let's catch the vision of the Rainbow. Picture of rainbow in Einegin in Switzerland. Messianic Jew, Coptic, Oriental, Armenian, Uniate, Orthodox, Catholic.... And God wants to give us strategies to release people from all of these into missions. Let's be open to God wants to do in this area. God wants to release to us more than every before.

Prayer

One of the points is the global monthly prayer.

Think about all the kinds of prayer initiatives that have cropped up in the last 15 years -- March for Jesus, IHOP, 24/7, Global day of prayer, prayer shields/concerts/triplets.... All kinds of initiatives. That is such a sign of hope because the Holy Spirit is not teasing us. There is global and European prayer like never before in history. We are living in in extremely significant times in history. It is inclusive. Felt we should do something together, all around the world -- global action. That is what the Jews did on the Sabbath, all doing the same thing on the Sabbath, united. First Thursday of the month. Began in the holiday time -- a bit of a slow start. But I want to encourage us to do this seriously. Tim Svoboda had a word for us -- new urban mission forms. I believe Tim has a word for us -- to see new expressions of church in the cities.

Application

In the next 10 minutes, turn around in groups and begin by asking:

How are we doing in our realignment? And healing our nervous system.

  1. GLT = Global Leadership Team
  2. WELT = Western Europe Leadership Team

WELC08