Sails and Nets, Part II
GMO's founder Walt Wilson likes to quote an ironic bumper sticker about "Change" - "Change is good - you go first!" One thing that has been consistent in this ministry has been the never-ending changes. It's hard sometimes, but necessary to continue to address seekers using the same media they use. GMO recently underwent a structural change, with several new leaders, and after some review of our ministry practices, they've made a few changes, including an exciting new position for me.
President of Belhaven University
If you remember our January letter, in the “Winds of Change” sidebar, we noted some new senior leadership at GMO and asked for prayer for them. Jeff, Al and Bill assumed the roles of Executive Director, Chief Development Officer and Chief Information Officer. At that time, another current staff member, Jordan Stone, went from being our “Global Catalyst” to our “Chief Strategy Officer,” and in doing so, assumed the lead over the Outreach, Discipleship and Response departments.
He’s unifying these departments in order to streamline and clarify the ministry around the mission. Because of this, my role has expanded as well, and now I’ll be focused on discipleship, both through our central ministry and as expressed by our Online Missionary volunteers. It will be my job as “Discipleship Subject-Matter Expert” to lead initiatives ensuring that discipleship practices expressed by our Online Missionaries and GMO’s own publications match our vision to “share Jesus online, grow people in faith and connect them to Christian communities.”
Please pray for me. This is an exciting responsibility, but one sure to reveal shortcomings of which I’m already aware as well as those of which I am blissfully unaware. Thankfully, I do have some experience operating within such known and unknown weaknesses. I always remind myself that Jesus’ Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) is a command to rest in His power to do something I can’t do—make lost people into observant disciples. Yet His promise is to be with me in all His power and authority as I begin in faith.
Would you pray against what our pastor in Florida would call the 3 “D’s”: discouragement, doubt and distraction. Throughout my ministry career, amidst the incessant change of a high-technology ministry, one thing’s been consistent: spiritual attacks follow victories or mountaintop experiences. This opportunity represents the biggest potential to influence the quality of our ministry that I have ever had, and it can’t fail to put our little family in the crosshairs. Even so, we know “greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world,” and the examples of Job and Peter reveal that the enemy is reduced to requesting permission before harrying those who belong to his Creator. (We don’t want him to get it!)
Thank you for your precious prayers and faithful support of what we’re doing. Candidly, concern about low funding can become one of the biggest diversions from the work of ministry! A very insightful mentor of mine recently suggested that we make sure any shortfall is avoided, and he encouraged me to reach out to some of his fellow supporters. I’m grateful to be able to say that together they’ve come up with a matching gift of $7,000. So from now until June 15, they’ll match increases, (amount above your customary giving), recommitment of lapsed partnerships (>1 year) or special gifts up to $7,000, effectively doubling your qualifying contributions. Would you prayerfully consider helping us take full advantage of this new opportunity to serve effectively at GMO? (Click here to give onilne)
Last but not least, I want to encourage you. These are some big organizational changes, and obviously I’m very happy about the prospect of having greater influence on the shape of our ministry. But the mission has not changed, and the more I know about the status of world missions, the more convinced I am of the unprecedented impact of what we’ve been able to do for the past 13 years! Let me share a couple of actual quotes from the disciples of some Online Missionaries I know:
“Now I am converted. I can not show [myself as a] Christian because I’ll be burned without hesitation. My closest [friends] will the in first row. So I request you keep it secret please, till I can arrange move away in peaceful location.” — Ismail, Pakistan
“The other day… I read this question and I asked myself does God reveal to you what is happening to me on this side? Cause a few times you have been spot on with the events in my life.” — Amahle, South Africa
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support of our ministry so that we can be there 24/7 for seekers like Ismail and Amahle all over the world when they’re ready to seek the Lord!
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!