It is hard to believe that I only have four more weeks of training! This semester has flown by with such speed, I am absolutely amazed!
One thing I will always be grateful for is the 10 weeks I have spent training for my three-week trip to Japan. I am so grateful that God has taken such a firm hold of my heart, but I am also grateful that He brought me to a place where I could relinquish my heart to Him and allow Him to take complete hold of my heart. I have learned to be so much more thankful for His presence in my life and for His precious yet powerful Word, and its great influence on me.
Since training has started in January, I have grown in ways I never thought I would grow. God has shown me that I have a heart to do His will, and I have a desire to know Him more and to share Him with people who desperately need Him.
I will forever be grateful for this life-changing experience!
Now, I want to update you all on what happened during training last night.
Assumptions and Perceptions. When I saw these two words on the PowerPoint on the screen when I walked into the auditorium, I knew this training session was for me.
One of the things I am always battling is my perceptions and assumptions. I am always assuming way too much about everything and everyone. But I am a work-in-progress. It is a battle every single say. Still, I knew whatever Kristen White had to say, I would be listening intently.
She talked for a little bit about thoughts and perceptions and how we do not always have the greatest vantage point on situations. Sometimes we can blind ourselves with our own thoughts, and sometimes we let our own internal situations blind us from the needs we see in other people. Kristin really emphasized that we need to be able to spend a lot of time observing, being mindful and intentional while we are in-country.
Our own thoughts and our assumptions and perceptions of how things should be and how they should work can make us less effective when trying to build relationships that could potentially allow us to lead people to Christ.
Next, she talked about how Jesus was and is the ultimate example of stepping outside of Himself to minister. He became like us, He became a human and got down onto our level and loved us to the point of death. He led the disciples and counseled them, telling them to follow Him.
She segued from becoming like the people we are going to see, to figuring out if we were all followers of Christ or just fans of Christ. She went through five different ways to know a follower from a fan.
Ways of a Follower, ways you know someone is a follower of something or just a fan:
- Manner, mode, fashion
- Characteristic and habitual manner
- Method, plan, or means for attaining a goal
- Respect or particular
- Direction or vicinity
A follower is:
- A person or thing that follows
- A person who follows another in regards to his or her ideas or beliefs; disciple or adherent
- A person who imitates or copies
- An attendant, servant, or retainer
- A person who follows or subscribes
Looking at all of these criteria and hearing what Kristin was saying made me put some thought into my life. I have my struggles, and I sometimes lose my focus on what truly is important, but I know without a doubt that I am a FOLLOWER of Christ! I love Him with all my heart, and I cannot wait to share His story with people who have never heard it before!
BUT, once Kristin shared this criteria, she began talking about being a leader to other people, and finding someone who can lead you. The example she used was Paul and Timothy. Paul looked at Timothy as a son in the faith, and told Timothy to imitate him because he imitated Jesus. Paul followed Jesus and he wanted Timothy to follow Jesus. But he also realized that Timothy needed an example to LEAD him. Timothy then took Paul’s example, and became a leader himself so that he could lead someone.
Kristin then shared an awesome story, a story that made me look at leadership in a whole new way.
One time while she was in college, Kristin was in the Pacific Northwest at a cabin in the mountains when a blizzard hit. The people she was with decided it was best to get down off the mountain. Kristin decided to drive, but she was terrified the whole time because she could barely see the tail lights of the car in front of her while driving down the mountain. She said the only thing that kept her from stopping her car and parking during a blizzard was the knowledge that the person in front of her could not see anything either. She also knew there were people behind her who were relying on her to lead them. Once she got down to the bottom of the mountain and she looked at how many cars were behind her she realized that if she had stopped she could have put herself in danger as well as the lives of all those who were following her.
That story was so simple yet it blew my mind! I never thought of leadership in that way. And I never realized that even if someone labels you as a leader does not mean that you do not have someone who leads you. You do not have all of the answers, and that is when having leaders and other perceptions is helpful. When people are leading you and following you, it gives everyone more direction. It offers discipleship for everyone.
So simple and so profound!
During team time, we discussed our team covenant, and we all had the chance to learn more about each other as we all got to search out Bible verses that will uphold the covenant we will all be committing to next week.
It was an awesome training session! I am blessed by this discipleship program! I cannot wait to see how God uses us while we are in Japan! I will be amazed, always, at His wonder and glory! And is love!
Thank you for reading!
God bless 🙂