40 Days of Restoration!
We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your prayers and support as we attended the Leadership Development Course (LDC) in Spain. After 25 years of missional service, we went there needing refreshed, renewed, and restored. And this course more than met all of our expectations! The LDC is 40 days long. There is something significant about 40 days with God. Jesus was called to fast in the wilderness for 40 days before he began His public ministry. Besides facing temptation during those 40 days, He was also challenged, ministered to and received new affirmation of His purpose and identity.
The LDC focuses on 7 leadership values – Self Leadership; Servant Leadership; Shared Leadership; Spiritual Leadership; Strategic Leadership; Structural Leadership and Sensorial Leadership.
Here are just a few of the takeaways from our time . . .
(Our fellow participants and house-mates from Romania, Cameroon, England and Canada.)
Week 1 – Learning new spiritual disciplines. There are many simple ways of connecting with and hearing from God if we just pause and listen. Routines can be helpful, but sometimes we get stuck in a rut, leaving us in a dry spiritual state. It was so refreshing to explore new ways to spend time with God.
For example, using the acronym “TIPSY”, take a few minutes to review the following:
Thank God for all the blessings that come to mind.
Intercede for the needs of others.
Priority – “God, What is Your priority for me today?”
Silence – Pause, listen for the gentle voice of the Spirit.
Your word – Ask, “Father, what is Your word for me today?” Take note.
Week 2 – Leadership Timeline –
Sovereign foundations => Discipleship training => Ministry development => Wilderness => Convergence
As we looked back over our lives, we could see a desire to follow God and serve him from a young age. This exercise helped us to recognize the blessing of our parents’ values and teaching, the fear of the Lord they instilled in us, and their willingness to live a life of sacrifice. It underscored how all the opportunities for service in the church, ministry through song, our adventurous spirits to move to a foreign land to do church planting, etc., reflect how God was working in us early on to develop our leadership potential, leading us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”; to “love your neighbor as yourself”, etc. This same journey has taken us from Piedmont, MO to Bangkok, Thailand over the course of our 32-year marriage.
We also learned about team leadership, and the “wisdom of geese”, who continually rotate the lead in their V-point formation as they migrate. Shared leadership is more effective and makes the load lighter. Jesus passed on the Great Commission to the apostles without appointing a replacement leader.
Week 3 seemed to be all about us! During a marriage workshop, we looked at our marriage as a garden, asking what things we want to cultivate, and what weeds to pull out. We wrote a personal marriage prayer together. During a “blessing workshop”, God again highlighted our marriage, reaffirming our identity as “two individuals, but one couple”, and our commitment to one another. Then there was an amazing worship time where we focused on the Father’s love, and the banquet table He has prepared for us. (Song of Solomon 2:4) Only there was an actual banquet table, beautifully prepared with rich food, inviting us to sit and bask in the Father’s love, that the King of Kings calls us His child! Experiencing this physical reality brings the truth from our head to our heart.
Week 4 – Self-leadership – “Do I live to eat or eat to live?” We were reminded that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that proper nutrition, exercise, time management, stress management are all God’s ways of helping us to lead others well. Proclaiming God’s word over our bodies, our lives and our ministries activates faith. One definition of a leader is “A person who influences people to accomplish a purpose.” But if we don’t lead ourselves well, how can we expect others to follow?
Week 5 – Lynn & Marti Green, senior experienced leaders in YWAM shared about past mistakes, lessons learned and the value of being a leader of integrity. I received a freedom and new understanding of how to move YWAM Thailand toward a shared leadership model. I realized I had become “rootbound” to Thailand, and that it’s time to take advantage of more opportunities to minister in and develop leaders in neighboring countries.
We were also reminded that Jesus emphasized family relationships as the primary illustration for the Body of Christ and how we relate to one another.
Week 6 – We reviewed how spiritual leadership includes creating space for the Spirit to move and keeping your spiritual antennae up at all times. The power of mentoring was reinforced, and we recalled how various people have mentored us over our lifetime, helping to shape us into who we are today.
We also clarified our “personal passion statements”, what we truly live for, which are as follows:
Cindy: To love, encourage and support others to become healthy followers of Christ and fulfill their purpose and destiny in Him.
Phil: To facilitate others to reach their destiny in Christ by creating a culture of leadership development throughout YWAM.
And finally, we “crossed the line”, declaring before others those things we will now leave behind, and what we will move forward into. As we move into the next season of ministry, we left behind things that have been hindering our personal growth and ministry, and crossed over into a new season filled with hope, purpose and a future that is even more fruitful. We even renewed our marriage vows before the whole class!
In reality, there was a hundred times more! But hopefully, these few highlights give you an idea of the value of what we experienced thanks to your investment in us. We took the week after graduation to celebrate our 32nd anniversary by seeing more of Spain, and thanking God for our marriage and this lavish blessing.
And now we thank YOU, from the bottom of our hearts!
Phil and Cindy
P.S. If you would like a more in-depth overview of what the Leadership Development Course covers, feel free to email us!