LET'S GO FISHIN' | LESSONS FROM STAFF KICK OFF
Have you ever thought about fishing for people? Yeah, me neither⎼until I met Jesus. He asks each of us to step away from our mundane lives, follow him and fish for men. But what does this mean or look like exactly?Once a year here at YWAM Tyler, we have a weekend dedicated to come together as a campus with our other satellite YWAM bases in a time of worship and fellowship. This year we had the privilege of hearing from our guest speakers, Jason Hague and Jeff Starr, about what it means to be a "fisher of men," in relation to our identity and calling. We wanted to share some highlights with you.
After introductions, Jason opened by describing the difference between traditional eastern culture and traditional western culture. Eastern being identity which comes from the outside and western is identity that comes from the inside.
What we need is the culture of the kingdom.
Jeff expounded on Matthew 13:31-32, where the kingdom of God is compared to a mustard seed that grows into a tree. "We are like the birds that have the opportunity to come and build our nests here at YWAM Tyler."
How does this apply to you?
"We may inadvertently sow seed into a place that God isn't calling us to, and it may end up dying there. When our identity is in Christ, we can sow that seed as we follow him and see the beautiful manifestation of his kingdom wherever we're at."
1. When we ask God with a genuine heart, he devises the perfect master plan to help us achieve our goals and dreams.
However, it doesn't always look how we think it should look.
2. When a season doesn't align to your plan, ask God what it is that he wants to do.At Sunday morning's meeting, Jason led with the point that western thinking fails because we change. He shared how his life story was free from heartache and suffering, and how unrelatable that was for the crowds he pastored.
"Enthusiasm doesn't convince people that God is good," he stated. A select few were unreachable for him because "...in this world you will have tribulation." (John 16:33), and he hadn't had much⎼until his first son, Jack, was diagnosed with severe autism. Jason felt ineffective and inadequate in helping his son. He knew God could heal his son, but he didn't know if God would.
"Doubt and unbelief are not the same."
Time and time again he prayed for a breakthrough in communication with Jack. In Jason's book, Aching Joy, he recalls the day it came. Jack brought home a library book about two penguins. Jack, with a huge grin on his face, was patiently waiting to show the first page to his dad that read, "I like it when you hold my hand." He pointed to the small penguin, then to the big one and spoke, "Jack and Daddy!"
"You can't look inside yourself and determine your destiny.
Your calling may change, your passion may change but maybe it isn't a destination. It's about being present. We don't have a problem with dreaming big, we have a problem with dreaming small."
God doesn't want you to be the next Einstein or Billy Graham. He wants you to be you because there is only one you. Our calling today is to love the person God put before us. There is no equation for discipleship, but we are called to love.To conclude our weekend, Jeff shared his personal stories of victory and failure as a coach, through joyous seasons and heart-breaking ones. The one consistency was God's intimacy with him through it all.
He described the unity that swept their school's campus when he and his team simply shared the character of Jesus in their day to day activities. Jeff stated, "Focus on what you have and build from there."
'Love is a commitment of my heart. Choosing the highest good and most valuable for God, others and myself." Look for simple God opportunities that demonstrate God's love.
How can we build God's kingdom culture in a secular world?
"Distractions are like false medicine for pain, anxiety and fear we don't know how to deal with." However, after God reveals to us his desires for our lives, he then prompts us with how to move forward in our calling even while in the midst of discouragement and trials.
In Exodus 3:10-12, God showed Moses the next step for him to take, but in self-doubt, Moses asked, "Who am I ?" Exactly! Who are we? It is Jesus partnering with us, guiding us and championing us to be able to follow him.
"We are in a broken world that is too broken for us to fix. You were not meant to carry this burden on your own! You're just a person. You're just made of skin," Jeff adds.
Jason gave three steps to help us in difficult times.
How Do You Follow God Through the Storm?
1. Push back cynicism.
Self: "If you would just fix this thing, I would be fine"
Your experiences don't cover the sky. Meaning, what you see directly in front of you is not all there is. Allow God to build you up in the middle of doubt, fears or anxieties, and he will reveal truths to you about the bigger picture of your situation.
2. Pray for the small things alongside the big things."
Look for the small victories in life. It may be all that's there at the end of the journey."
3. Take your pain to the father.
How silly is it that we try to hide things from the God that sees all? Jesus can and will take your pain. You are his prize. He is in awe of you right where you are.
We loved our time with these men of God. Want to hear more from Jason? <<Check out his website>>
Our staff family at YWAM Tyler enjoys our yearly Staff Kick Off so much! We pray for others who are sensing God's call into missions to come and join in reaching the nations. Take time to look around our website. Perhaps there's an area of missions just right for you.