How can God use us to create a shift in momentum?
I vividly remember the game. Well into the third quarter, our undefeated high school football team trailed a powerful rival in their home stadium. The opposing team was playing well. Their raucous fans were ecstatic.
We, by contrast, were stunned. Losses weren’t a part of our vernacular. We weren’t accustomed to trailing late in games. During my three years of varsity football we lost only two games, on the way to winning two state championships. But on this particular afternoon doubts gathered. We feared our winning streak might end. But, that’s when momentum shifted. Our running back suddenly broke free for a long gain deep into our opponent’s territory. That one burst restored our confidence. We soon scored, and by game’s end had again prevailed.
What made the difference? What shifted the momentum?
The tipping point was the sudden reminder that performing details practiced long before that game would propel us to victory. It was about doing well the job in front of us, blocking, running, executing each play as we had been taught. We believed in our teammates, and had faith in our coach and his time-proven ability to guide us to victory. We had overcome in the past, and that ray of hope shifted momentum, reminding us we could do so again. There’s much we as Christian leaders can learn from that example.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines momentum, in part, as: “the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes.”
That’s what we see in the kingdom momentum of God’s missional work around our globe today.
However, much like my football team that day we can lose focus, becoming disheartened by gains of our opponents. There is no denying that Christian ministry has grown more difficult. That’s why the summer edition of CLA’s Outcomes magazine focused on overcoming challenges to religious freedom. But I like what Dr. Russell Moore said that edition: “We can advocate for religious freedom with confidence and kindness because we’re not on the losing side of history. We’re not slouching towards Gomorrah; we’re marching towards the New Jerusalem.”
He’s right. Our confidence is in the all-powerful God of the universe. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that this is a spiritual battle. The good news is that Christ has already won that conflict. Romans 8:37 tells us: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
So, what does God’s kingdom momentum look like in our world today? How can God use us to create a shift in momentum?
It is the rapid spread of the Gospel across the Global South. It is the Holy Spirit miraculously touching hearts for Christ in the Muslim world. It is the coming translation of Scripture into languages of the last unreached people groups. It is the unprecedented opportunity to minister to millions of displaced refugees. It is the daily work of the leaders and ministries who comprise CLA!
Here at CLA, our mission is to equip and unite leaders to transform the world for Christ. The training offered at the Outcomes Conference is central to that mission. It’s like the practice and preparation that equipped my football team for victory that day.
I hope you will join us in Dallas, April 4-6, 2017, for practical insights on excelling in Christian nonprofit ministry leadership in today’s world. Next year we’re also offering a special experience for church leaders that includes a one-day Church Summit (ITI) led by Christianity Today entitled “Leading with Hope in a Post-Christian Culture.”
Special Outcomes Conference 2016 Notice:
July 15 Deadline: Submit to Present a Workshop, ITI or Academy Course at Outcomes Conference 2017