So I am taking a class online these days through Fuller Theological Seminary called 'Poverty and Development.' It's kicking my butt in all kinds of ways, but just overall teaching me SO MUCH. Development is a huge topic and obviously something we care about living in the community of Ocean View. We want to see people's lives transform and develop so they can be all God longs for them to be. This doesn't happen through magic or even just love - it takes major vision and wisdom. I thought I would just share some of my thoughts from this week. Enjoy!
Reflecting on Walking with the Poor, by Bryant Myers, what aspect of development practitioner presents the biggest challenge to yourself? What disciplines might help you improve in this area?
Meditating on the principles needed for a holistic development practitioner, the concept that has challenged me to my core was introduced by Myers through Melba Maggay's "dance of death." Myers writes about this, "Self-emptying is the only way to genuine incarnation...Technical power can come from good training and good experience. Spiritual power comes only this harder way" (161). WOW (I wrote in the margins). How terrifying and humbling. I sometimes recognize myself as a 'task-oriented' person who loves to make goals and check them all off the list. But the deepest and most important part of our discipleship is total surrender and death of our own will. In ministry, it can be so easy for me to make about the things I want to do and see accomplished rather than laying it all down for Christ. I often still want the same Messiah the Jews were looking for: a regal and powerful leader. I want to follow that Christ. I recognize in myself a reluctance to follow the humiliated, shamed, lonely, and rejected Christ. But there is only one Christ to follow. There is only one way. In my context of Ocean View, this means surrendering my schedule and time and personal goals of ministry. I have to get into the flow of what God is doing in this community through MANY people working together, and submit myself to the ways this community works and relates to one another. I must sacrifice for the families I love and even the ones I don't love. I must put them before myself; think of them as better than my family. Only then will I begin to see Christ truly alive in my ministry and development. Challenging stuff this wee