An unfortunate consequence of this year’s worldwide health crisis has been economic ripples that have caused many to lose their jobs. That makes me very sad. I learned as a college student in my first economics course that people not working is a tragedy for the unemployed and their families, but also for all of the community. I haven’t lost my joy, but I am trying hard to give it away. And that is the thrill of my life.
Once upon a time a family who was happily serving the Lord helping Ukrainians start new churches in Ukraine uprooted their established Ukrainian life and moved to Minnesota. That family was mine. I didn’t want to move. My wife and I had made a huge investment in adapting our world to live in Ukraine in a healthy and satisfying way. My kids had only ever known life in Ukraine and in Ukrainian schools and they liked their lives. We loved the ministry we were doing. So why move? The answer is that God asked us to move and that it was an opportunity to multiply ourselves by raising up many others who could help many healthy churches be started all over the world. That is how God launched a season in my life of serving Him as a missionary trainer.
Today, as the leader of Grow2Serve, one of my greatest joys is seeing dozens of individuals, most of them field missionaries living all over the world, step up and be trained and serve as facilitators for the dozens of online courses being presented through the Grow2Serve online learning portal. We just finished up a training course and some individualized coaching for eleven new up and coming facilitators. Each time one of them takes the reins of a course that I created or that I myself facilitated in the past, I’m thrilled as I see them function in that facilitator role usually phenomenally better than I can. They live and serve on the field. They are putting the principles and practices of the courses into practice in their lives and ministries every day. They are fellow-travelers helping others along the way towards healthy culture-crossing lives and ministries. And they are taking my job. And I love it!