July 13, 2024
Character, Hardship, Spiritual Formation, Christ

Christ Went Through the Crucible Before Us

In the preparation of his servants, God uses crucible experiences that test and purify us.   This is no less true of missionaries than of any other servants of God.   In a previous post in this blog, I looked at Scripture verses that speak of crucibles and noted some different types of crucible experiences.   I emphasized that our response to these crucible experiences is critical.  If they are to be transformative, we need to identify and extract from these difficult and often painful experiences that which God has intended that we learn from it. How do we do that?  How do we mine crucibles? I think we need to begin by learning from Jesus.   He not only went through the crucible in order to purchase our redemption, but he shows us how to persevere and learn from these experiences.… Read the whole post
Spiritual Formation, Leadership Training, Hardship, Leadership

Crucibles

When God prepares a person to serve him in a leadership or other significant ministry role, he often chooses to use crucibles. Crucibles are small pots used in chemistry labs in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature. In the middle ages, alchemists used crucibles in their various attempts to forge gold out of base metals and various strange ingredients. But Webster also defines a crucible as a difficult test or challenge or a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions. The Scriptures speak of the crucible as an instrument for purifying silver, but always in the context of some type of testing for the purpose of refining.  … Read the whole post
Spiritual Formation, Self-Feeding, Spiritual Disciplines

Puritan Meditation: The Centerpiece of Spiritual Formation

In our pre-field training and on-field coaching of missionaries, we emphasize the critical importance of feeding yourself spiritually, or in other words, taking the initiative to regularly nurture your soul in a context where the busyness of ministry and stress of cross-cultural living can make it difficult to keep our hearts and minds set on things above (Col 3:1-2).   Feedback from our missionaries in training suggests that this emphasis is greatly appreciated and desperately needed.    One of those ways that we can feed ourselves spiritually is by learning the spiritual discipline of meditation.   In this area, we have few better teachers than the Puritans.… Read the whole post
Training

Apps to Schedule Meetings Revisited

Today, I want to highlight a few useful apps that I use regularly in my leadership and ministry, coaching and training missionaries in 20+ different countries and multiple time zones.   The two teams I lead are both virtual teams, and the members of those teams are located in 6 different time zones.  Currently I am coaching five different individuals, and they are located in 4 different time zones.   Skype and GoToMeeting make connecting across time zones relatively easy, but before you can make the call, you have to arrange a time. Setting up one-on-one meetings across time zones can be a real challenge, both because of the complexity of trying to remember how many hours difference there is between our respective time zones, and because of the hassle of trying to find a time slot that fits both of our schedules. A few years ago, I recommended Tungle.me for online… Read the whole post
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