An ongoing story coming out of the Life Group "Forward" this semester is the group's focus on mission. We are being challenged to reject complacency when it comes to being actively involved in a God-sized mission. One in which it will take God to "show up" for it to be successful.
In our first meeting of the year, I asked the men to share with the group a personal mission that God had called them to. Maybe I caught them on a bad night, but none of what was shared that night rose to the level of what I would call a Crucial Adventure. Casual? Yes. Critical? Maybe. But not God-sized. I further challenged Bernie that night because I had heard him express his "big dream" before: to write a book to boys about what they need to know about becoming men.
Somehow, over the course of a year, it had gotten derailed. He was eventually able to pinpoint the reason why his big dream had been relegated to an afterthought: he was preoccupied with his current health issues. As a Life Group it is our job to support our brother as he goes through a surgical procedure on his heart on July 11th. But we also have the privilege of encouraging his spiritual heart. His book project has all the marks of a God-sized mission. It is something he would have never even thought to do before he personally met Jesus as his savior.
Now that his life has been changed by grace, he can sense this God-planted desire deep within him, at the core of his being, but the task still looks daunting. It's like standing inside the boat in the middle of a giant storm and being told to step into the water! But we have experienced time and time again, just like the Apostle Peter, that Jesus comes through for his followers when they take that first step of faith. We are Bernie's Band of Brothers. Collectively, we are praying for his physical heart to be strengthened...but also for his spiritual one!
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)