The Most Important Thing You Can Teach Your Ministry
Learning how to balance the tightrope of faith — and helping others to do the same.
I’ve been thinking about faith. It’s been quite a journey over the past few years as Brenda and I have found new wind to fill our sails. We’ve spent many hours seeking God and His direction for our lives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not been a downer … we’re having a blast!
Brenda is a serious disciple: She reads the Word, prays often and shakes the heavens with her faith. I am encouraged by her solid commitment to the Lord. Her greatest mentor in life is someone she has never met: Edith Schaeffer. Brenda acquired her book, L’Abri, early in our marriage. The way Edith and her husband, Francis, lived — which was portrayed in the book — made an early impression on Brenda, and through osmosis, on me. I am sad to write that Edith went to be with the Lord a few days ago on March 30, 2013.
The book, L’Abri, tells the story of how the Schaeffers started a ministry to college-aged students in the 1950s in Switzerland, a community that welcomed people who were seeking intellectually honest and culturally informed answers to questions about God and the meaning of life (L’Abri means “The Shelter” in French).
The couple’s faith to start the L’Abri ministry in Europe became a huge influence on our lives. We were impressed most at how the Schaeffers placed complete trust in God to provide everything. Through their example, we have taken a similar road in complete reliance on God. As a result, Brenda and I have witnessed incredible miracles financially, personally, in our career and in ministry. Glory to God!
When one personally witnesses God move in amazing ways, it’s quite motivating, and stirs the heart to believe He can do even greater things!
I liken the walk of faith to a jaunt across a chasm on a tightrope. There are two things to be concerned about while making one’s way across: 1) to make it to the other side, and 2) to not fall in the process! If I look down, I tend to freeze in place, and my walk across the wire ends right there — hanging on for dear life. But if I look forward, trusting and focusing my eyes on the Lord, and carefully walk to the other side — ignoring the fact that one wrong move could end my life — I can make it!
God calls His beloved to extraordinary things. I guess I’m one of the crazy people who takes what the Bible says at face value. Because Brenda and I have walked across several tightropes over the years, we’ve gotten better at it each time. Believe me, it doesn’t get easier, it just doesn’t surprise us anymore when a valley or a canyon appears to block the trail. God engineers these “faith opportunities” to draw us closer to Himself.
Like the Schaeffers, it’s our goal to teach others, mostly young people, about the faith-walk through life — in marriage, parenting, finances and ministry. The L’Abri experiences Edith wrote about have helped generations of young people. Edith wrote other works while she was alive. One in particular was The Life of Prayer. In it she spoke of touching lives, even future generations with her faith. Here is one example:
“[W]e need to remind ourselves that although prayer is a very personal and private communication with God, pouring out our repentance and sorrow for sin, it is also to be a constant connection with God, an unbroken communication, a means of receiving assurance as to how to go on in this next hour in our work, and our means of receiving guidance. Prayer is also to be our means of receiving sufficient grace and strength to do what we are being guided to do. This reality is to be handed to the next generation, not to end when we die.”
I want to be in the business of teaching others about God and to walk the tightrope of faith. It could be the greatest gift I leave to my children and their children’s children. It all starts with saying “Yes” to God!