Socially and Historically there has always been those who desire an “intense” or “less intense” Faith. That does not mean for instance that say, Catholic Faith is less or more intense then Protestant Faith. But within Catholicism some adherents prefer a more intense faith full of self sacrifice, and service to those in need. Some prefer a more casual approach in their faith. That does not mean one is greater then the other so long as both maintain a genuine faith. It matters weather each adherent is faithful to Gods call, and committed to his work, submitted in obedience to God. The impact of the faith to the outside world will come by having these various degrees of intensity, so long as it is genuine.
Similarly, some who desire a very high level of spirituality in the protestant movement may not be content with any particular level of spirituality within his or her group. This has led to many fractions within the body of Christ. There is pushing and shoving from both sides, to be more of less content with higher or lower levels of spirituality, and for various reasons.
For our Community: Some may be content because they feel called by God to maintain a crucial role of say, Hospitality, as we have on all of our YWAM bases. Or maybe it is the role of accountant, or registrar. What then is most needed is a knowledge of the supernatural in what we do.
Because the attack comes not only on what some deem as ‘mundane’ but on the very thing God has called us (ywam sdb) to do. For instance, Is building homes supernatural/spiritual or just practical help for someone without a house? Is 20+ years of “doing the same thing” an act of God or an act of man? Should we be expecting something more? If so, how much more, and what? Do we expect mass conversions followed by mass DTS’s and the like? I will give some answers.
- The truth is “mass conversion” is a myth. Growth rates in the early church was about 2% by the year and over 250-300 years a 2% growth rate took over more then half of the total population of the Roman Empire. This illustrates that a “mass conversion/Revival” expectation is not realistic and not even needed. However, human pride says that, “a complete turn around must happen in my lifetime or it must never be going to happen.” We want the results now and we push others to have a more intense faith because we don’t recognize the necessity of a job that one might consider mundane and irrelevant to ‘the situation’.
- As well, 20+ years of YWAM San Diego Baja “doing the same thing” is to be praised not to glorify man, but to recognize the supernatural at work through human obedience, endurance, and commitment to the call of God. The supernatural reality of what just a few people in relationship to the all-mighty God can accomplish is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. If there is a need to push others into a more intense faith the language used aught to be that of; commitment, endurance, and obedience to the call of God on a life.
The work may ‘seem’ slow to some. It may seem ‘simplistic’ or even ‘non-spiritual’ to some. But those who have committed themselves year in and year out are to be praised for their Christ like devotion to serving the poor. Nothing has been more “heaven meets earth” then Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. And nothing says that the All-Powerful God of the Universe Loves you and has come to earth like, -when Christians make a sacrifice of their time (20+ Years) and resources (4,000+ Homes) to give hope in Jesus name.
Even in writing this I realize that I only know a fraction of the cost in dollars, actual blood, sweat, and tears. I hope for those reading that this brings to mind those moments of sacrifice, maybe for some its every day. But to also call to mind those times when you were inches from saying “I’m done, I’m going home”. Instead you stayed, and you build someone else a home. God Bless you for that a million times over. What an honor it is to serve alongside all of you.
Final thoughts for us; This comes at a time in our community where we are growing: New Staff, new schools, high level of interest in our training department from incoming students, teams who want to come to Mexico to build and give, large donations for base facilities, favor with authorities, open doors, and miracles all around us. My challange is not to press in for a ‘mystical/unknown spiritual height’ but to press in to know the Lord, to recognize his work/miracles. Often we seek something that is already right in front of us.
In YWAM we maintain that we are inter-denominational. Often people treat the mission as though it is set on having particular high level of ‘spirituality’ thus pressuring some to limits that he or she is not willing to be pushed to and thus ostracizing some of genuine faith and love for God and people. When teaching, prophesying, and guiding the community do so with humility and honor so that God can use your gift to build ‘up’ and not tear down.
At YWAM SDB we maintain that “We Serve the Poor”. We do this because God said to. “God Said” is the most repeated words in all of scripture. It is a belief that the highest spiritual power in all of the universe actually speaks to man. Our brush with the supernatural begins here. And to gauge our own true spiritual temperature, you need only to look at yourself and ask one question; “Am I being obedient to what God Said?”
If your still interested some final ramblings on history and a few of the wonders of God that we may be passing on to the next generation:
What made one generation of Christians greater then the next? To answer that question I begin by asking another one; What defines greatness? One generation of Christians may seek to raise the bar of intense spiritual commitment. This is not bad. One generation may pursue innovative ways of doing things because God made us to be like him. This is not bad either. The first may see more converts in his or her lifetime, but the other may see more outside of his lifetime because his new idea was put into practice; it saved lives, it Glorified God, and many more came to a saving knowledge of God and deeper conviction of who God is and how much he cares about this world and his children living in it.
What we are doing on our base has the potential to do both. Reach as many in this generation as possible and build new things, have new ideas, and leave something better for those after us to use for reaching the world.
Aquaponics is one of these things that may seem really dumb to someone not considering the potential benefits beyond giving someone a meal, much like we do once a week in Zona Norte. But the potential it has for communities, families, orphanages, prisons, schools, churches, community centers, business, and our own base is huge. Also it encourages us to foster care for what God has made to know God better by learned lessons from what God designed to give life. Fish, poop, water, food, and a bunch of other ‘sciency’ stuff. Its Gods design, created a specific way in order to give life. But there are more innovations waiting for a person to try them, test them, and better understand Gods creation in order to bring more life for more people. Innovation is at the very heart of God for us as Christians to be at the forefront of, as dozens of Christian Scientists were long before the “Enlightenment & Renaissance” lade claim to the such innovation.
CSBS: We study the bible. Boring right? -Like thats not being done already. 🙂 We study the bible using a method that teaches our students and staff that before you take scripture in your hands to be used as a weapon for self satisfying “truths” you must admit that you are ignorant of its original purpose, that, that ignorance can cripple you from accurately applying that to your life, your culture, your family, your church. Its nerdy stuff, no doubt. But its necessary. What using this method begins to build in students is a principle much needed in the body of Christ today. That is, a desire to know the culture, history, and world view or common philosophy of our own day in order to rightly apply the principles of truth found in scripture, rather then literal/direct uniformed application of the words in scripture. This can fix some of our churchy problems, and lead the way to bringing in line some of our educational problems, family problems, and various other social issues. The bible is Gods tool for bring Godly Transformation to church, government, education, arts and entertainment, family, science and health, business and economics.
Youth Street: Once a week I go into ‘Antorcha’ with Omar who runs “Youth Street” and about 12-18 youth each week get picked up and brought over to the YWAM base were they have 15-20 minutes hearing a word from Omar then 2+ hours of soccer on our awesome soccer field. The potential of this ministry is growing in the heart and mind of Omar and those who assist him. He has taken a handful on a missions trip to England. A handful are beginning to work along side of the aquaponics program. Most of these boys have received homes through ‘YWAM SDB Homes of Hope’ program started over 20+ years ago. How many of them will graduate college, graduate DTS/CSBS at YWAM, join staff, and begin to acknowledge and respond to the hand of God on their lives? We don’t know yet but these are people that we may be able to observe the fruit of our own work within the next 5-10 years. Some works we will not see the fruit in our lifetime, some fruit will come at the very end of our life, some will come in the next few years, some we see right now, and of course some we will not see this side of eternity. But potentially there is a way in which we can observe and have hope in the fruit all around us by recognizing the work and the gifts of others as something that the Holy Spirit is doing.
Our work is not a spiritual competition. Our encounter with the supernatural happens everyday in the natural. Our God is invisible yet always present in every believer by the Holy Spirit, and is active among all unbelievers. In our immaturity we look for signs. Not that God refuses to give signs, he already has, they are all around us, and in our immaturity we will not recognize them.
I apologize for some reading this who are not a part of YWAM because it has more relevance for us working within this community. However, I hope those who have read have gained something. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments, or corrections if needed.
Also I apologize to staff reading this because I have only touched a fraction of what we are all doing and acomplishing by each of our commitments to Gods call on us individually and communally. God Bless you guys. Be encouraged.