One of the blessings we often forget back at home is the caliber of preachers we have in Sydney. Soon after Richard Chin concluded that ‘our glory and value is not in our ability but in God’s appointment‘, the Connector App (which is the official mobile app used at the Lausanne YLG 2016) started to buzz with reflections about how helpful, biblical, and clear Richard’s exposition of Genesis 1 was. For many from Australia, this sort of careful and faithful biblical exposition is the bread and butter of our spiritual diet. So it was so refreshing to remember that we shouldn’t take this for granted and it really was a spiritual feast! I’m grateful that my brothers and sisters around the globe have reminded me of how fortunate we are for faithful men like Richard and how we need to continue to honor pastors like him who labor in the Word for the good of the church and for the health of the saints.
One of the questions that was wrestled with in a leadership panel after Richard’s exposition is ‘what structures do we have in place that sustain us in leadership?’ A few senior leaders shared their words of wisdom, so here are a few ‘tweet worthy’ pearls: ‘lead with your testimony and not your title‘, ‘we serve for God but do we serve with God’ and ‘silence and solitude are structures for sustenance’. An emphasis was placed on surrounding ourselves with godly friends and co-workers in order to pursue accountability in ministry. That’s such a helpful reminder especially in the face of so many prominent Christian leaders falling from positions of influence because of sin or abuse. I’m grateful to be reminded protecting our heart, humbling ourselves, and honoring God are keys to long and sustaining service and leadership, and I pray that we will all pursue that.
Soon after, my connect group gathered around one of our team members Dr Kristina A who has worked as a medical doctor and medical researcher, and who is committed to getting doctors to work together to evangelize to those they work with. She has been the head of multiple medical associations and it was amazing hearing how God has provided various opportunities for her to serve those around her.
We were only on the 2nd full day of our conference, but meeting so many people each day took a toll on me. So I grabbed my lunch and snuck off to a bench near the pond in the facility where the conference is held and listened to a bunch of Chopin’s Etudes while enjoying my lunch. I was pretty ‘peopled out’ as they call it, so I needed a bit of space to recover and to get reenergized.
30 minutes and a bottle of Coke later, I felt refreshed and got up to join the South Pacific Gathering organized by RZIM where Dan Patterson talked about the work of RZIM in the region and encouraged members of the group to consider getting trained in apologetics through the different programs that they have in place.
I then sat down at Starbucks for a cup of what they call ‘coffee’ and struck up a conversation with a guy from South Africa who works as a filmmaker. He recently just completed a film that sought to reveal the realities of organ trafficking, and he is particularly passionate about not just being a Christian filmmaker but making films Christianly. What that means is that he doesn’t want to produce the next Fireproof but instead just wants to make good entertainment in a Christian way. That was really insightful and we spent the next hour talking about everything that God has taught him.
The day ended with a powerful speech by Marina Silva and a video by Michael Panther which encouraged us to think hard about how we can engage with environmental work.