This weekend many of our leadership, Board of Directors, and Pastoral Team gathered at the office in Modesto, California. We came together for the purposes of building depth in our relationships and working together on tasks and projects which will greatly impact the future of this organization.
I was truly humbled to be sitting in that room. I sat in awe as I listened to and learned from those God had assembled. Seated around that table was huge amounts of wisdom and ministry experience. Yet accompanied with incredible humility. As the President of AJM, I want to assure you that I am convinced God has assembled a well-equipped team for the purposes of leading A Jesus Mission into the future. I eagerly look forward to where God is taking us.
As we spent the day huddled around an oversized whiteboard we approached many hard subjects and tackled every conversation with one goal in mind: Unity.
You should know this: to our benefit, there are a great many backgrounds, theologies, and varying perspectives represented on that team. At the end of the day though, our singular goal was to emerge with unity on all matters that are central to the Gospel. I firmly believe that we did this well.
Even though often times our approaches and methods may differ, you should know that we have a leadership team who is focused on the centrality of the Gospel: The person and mission of Jesus.
Together we focused on how we can better equip those called to the work of the Gospel. We spent our time looking at how we can send those we serve alongside into the world to find the lost. And we also prayed. A lot.
My absolute favorite part of the weekend, however, came in the final hours of our time together. If our goal is to live on mission and send missionaries into the world to share Jesus; it truly could not have ended with a more joyous realization of the opportunity than it did. Some of our team (Tyler and Elizabeth Ryals) are to be departing within the month for the island of Cyprus. Once they arrive they will be serving alongside a local church and living as full-time missionaries in the city of Paphos.
So after we spent the entire day talking about how we send people into the world, we celebrated with a time of prayer and commissioning of the Ryals family. We were able to send them off with the laying on of hands and the affirmation of their call to go. There were a great many joyful tears as we spent time praying over those who are responding to the call of God.
In Acts 13 we see the Holy Spirit send Paul and Barnabas to the work of mission during a time of worship and fasting. After-which the church gathered around them and sent them out. To spend our day talking about how to send missionaries is one thing… but to stand united and send them out is a whole different type of experience.
Despite our many backgrounds, our many perspectives on how we go, and our varying understandings of theology — I can promise you this. That we will continue to be a people united in the mission of Christ.
Those who are called should be equipped. And those who are lost need to be found.
For those reasons, we will continue striving to live on a Jesus mission together.
~ Andy Ziesemer