Dr. Phil – An effective Vision (personally or organizationally) is always based on congruent values (the important stuff we believe in). However, it is also important to realize that values are based on assumptions. Assumptions are those values that we all take so for granted that we feel everyone shares them.As I was reflecting on this as the new year begins, I realized that there is an underlying assumption that we perhaps do not articulate enough – even though it is fundamental to everything we do (our Vision). Our assumption is this, Unless God builds the house those of us who labor, labor in vain.
While we believe that we need to be faithful to use our talents and abilities to develop resources to equip leaders, it is only he who can transform lives. So even though not always stated, all that we do as a ministry is based upon the assumption that we need to rely on his transforming power in a leader’s life so that their minds are renewed and their actions line up with biblical attitudes of leadership.
Just as with prayer, this transformation process is a partnership. While Jesus said, “I will build my church…,” the reality is that, as the head, he chooses to do this through his body, those hands and feet (us) that are connected to the Head. This is truly a mysterious partnership. He chooses to partner with our frailty to accomplish his eternal purposes. Writing regarding the need for us to pray, Philip Yancey (Prayer, 2006) explains that it is not an exercise in changing God’s mind or even as a self-help meditative exercise, but rather a partnership with God to see his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Prayer is ultimately a relationship through which our will is aligned with his.
We understand that personal transformation is a process that comes through a partnership with God. Yet seeing the values and assumptions of leaders changed so that it transforms how they lead in the body is also a partnership. This involves their connection to God and our partnership together with them. We bring to the table the skills and talents God has given us to help leaders grow and equip others. Leaders must then be willing to engage in this process which often requires unlearning unhealthy patterns and relearning new ones. But superintending it all is a God who is the only one who can infuse us from the inside with that transforming power that makes this change possible.
Yet there is another key partnership in what we do, and that involves those who prayerfully support this ministry. In some mysterious way, God desires us to come to him and stand in the gap for the very things he desires to do on this earth. It is through your partnership with us and our partnership with these leaders, that he causes the transformation process to take place.
So as we begin another year, thank you for standing together with us. As you read the Updates this year – even if not explicitly stated – remember that our goal is to see the transformation of lives of these leaders and the ministries they lead. Only then will the prayer be answered, “. . .May your will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven.”