Sometimes when I hear great talks at our National Staff Conference, the cynic in me wonders whether any of it makes a difference.
A few years ago at Cru’s staff conference, U.S. Vice President Steve Sellers gave a powerful message about our need as a ministry to have a “Kingdom Perspective.” He adapted a line from Home Depot’s previous slogan, “You can do it. We can help.” He told us our mission should be: “You can minister. We can help.”
I wondered if anyone would take it to heart and try something different. Then two years later I got an email from Adam Suter, a leader in New Orleans, who had met with a local church planter.
He told me he was eager to hear about Corey’s church plant, then found out about his connections with Dillard University, a historically Black College and University. At the time, the ministry there is in its initial stages and it is more of a side project for Corey.
Adam shared about Cru and Impact Movement, the vision of each and the work being accomplished. He told Corey he wanted to help in any way possible, whether he wanted to be officially connected to Cru or not.
That’s when it got interesting.
Corey asked Adam if he would really be willing to help him start a ministry even if they didn’t become Impact/Cru. Adam said there was disbelief in Corey’s face.
Adam told him yes, but Corey asked a few more times. As Adam explained that Cru’s heart is to reach every student in southern Louisiana he realized how he could be a part of Corey’s ministry moving forward at Dillard.
“If we really want to put the gospel within arm’s reach of every student and faculty in southern Louisiana, I am realizing we need to locate and resource the ‘Corey’s’ in our area,” Adam wrote to me.
“We have to be open handed, even if they don’t join Impact/Cru. Please pray for our continued coaching of Corey. We hope to set him up well to make a big impact at Dillard this fall.”
When I read Adam’s email, I thought, “Now that is Kingdom Perspective!”
Here’s a leader who is willing to help a local pastor start a ministry that will never carry a Cru label on it. Adam gave away our best “trade secrets” in order to make another ministry more effective.
The best part? Adam is not on staff with Cru. He is a volunteer leader. In fact, the New Orleans ministry is run entirely by volunteers and part-time field staff. Adam and many others like him represent the future vision and direction of our ministry.
If we are sincere about taking the gospel to the world, it means we need to do some things differently and we cannot do it alone. It’s going to take partners, affiliates, volunteers – even “competing ministries.” This kind of kingdom perspective will stretch us, but I also believe it will teach us something about the gospel.
In our daily relationship with God, we’re called to walk in humility, weakness, dependence and trust. The partnering we see with Adam and Corey requires the same kind of attitude. It forces us to admit we don’t have it all together, we can’t do it on our own strength, and we need help from outside ourselves. What a beautiful reflection of the gospel.
After all, isn’t this how God treats us? He could have kept the privilege of proclaiming the glories of the gospel to Himself, but instead He entrusts it to us, to ordinary people like you and me.
Though we are completely inadequate for the task, He whispers in our ear, “Don’t worry, my child. You can minister – because I will help.”
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