Last week Emmanuel College hosted SEND (See Every Nation Discipled) Week and heard from a group of missionaries. Their stories dared us to think winder and believe bigger. They pushed us gently toward global awareness.
The leader was my dear friend Max Barroso. I am grateful for his courageous vision and his kind heart. I interviewed Max in our Spiritual Formation class. The students accepted his challenge.
Here are a few of his comments they received:
– How ministry has been done in the past isn’t cutting it anymore. Allow creativity to take you to somewhere nobody has ever been.
– Invest in others’ ministries. Don’t just think of your own.
– Often we tell God why we are unqualified and why we can’t do something, but in reality the only person that can kill the dream of God in my life is myself. Don’t let doubts and what other people say get in the way of what God is doing.
– Our intimacy with Christ defines our identity. Our intimacy with God will become our identities and our passions will become our assignments.
– We always have time for what we want to have time for. The question is, How badly do you actually want it? “I don’t have time” is the most dangerous phrase we can use. If we love something, we’ll make time for it. “I don’t have time” is a lame excuse. You have time for the things you want!
– We need people to go beyond the call. We serve a creative God with unlimited resources to help and guide us.
– The “call” never changes. Only the assignment. “Calling” is a word that is often misinterpreted. There is only one true call, and that is a call to follow God. We need not to worry about the certain task or job, because sometimes we glorify the task so much that we forget the One who calls us.
– God calls the unqualified for ministry. You don’t have to fit a religious script in ministry that’s been designed by man
– Don’t tell God what He can’t do in your life. The ONLY thing that can kill the call of God on your life is you. Nothing else. No one else.
– Listen for the Shepherd’s voice and know that His word will always affirm what He is saying to you. Listen for the echoes—that may be confirmation for what He is doing in your life.
– We need dreamers that are willing to God farther than where you think you can go. You have to get over yourself. God is able. Be open to what he can do. Stop trying to convince Him that He can’t do.
– It’s okay to not be okay. You don’t always have to be strong. Be vulnerable. Be strong enough to be weak. Sometimes we need to be strong enough to be weak, and except the full extent of his love.
– We serve a creative God with limitless resources.
– When you are in God’s presence regularly, you notice when you are not in it.
Let’s all receive those thoughts from Max. And let’s realized we are all to sense that lure of SEND.
Along the way,
Pause: Sit with faith and dare to stare down a giant or toss a rock his way. (Pause for Pastors: Finding Still Waters in the Storm of Ministry)
— for more on Max Barroso, check out this site:
My favorite point from Max was definitely about “calling.” That term is so different in meaning to so many people, yet it’s so simple if you look at the Bible and tune out the opinions of others.
All I can say is wow when i read these comments. There are so many great things that Max says that challenge and encourage me to go deeper in my relationship with Christ. God is truly using him to make disciples of Christ. His words really helped me bring change to my life so that I can be more devoted to Christ.
Definitely being reminded of my true calling was the most impact full aspect of this specific class. It helped me to remember that we can get caught up doing so many things for Jesus, we forget our first calling- to know Jesus.
My favorite part would be the calling part because it taught me that we only have one calling even though we say we have more than one calling. I really liked the fact that the one calling we have is to follow God and that is only calling that we need, also that the assignments he gives us is what changes not the calling.
I loved hearing from Max. He’s incredibly down-to-earth while still having an intense view of greater things. My favorite point was that we serve a creative God with limitless resources. Many times we all have wonderful ideas but allow them to be killed by the lack of resources. Knowing that God has everything we could ever need at His disposal opens up the opportunity to accomplish things unseen by anyone before.
Max’s wisdom goes beyond the intellect of man. He knows God well and it was an honor to hear what God had put on his heart. As Max spoke about that being in the presence of God regularly helps you to notice when you are not in His presence, I found myself encouraged. I want to spend so much time with God that I know instantly when I am not in God’s presence, so that I may get back with Him as soon as possible.
Such powerful words! I find it very encouraging that I am not the only one who has second guessed somethings when it comes to God. My favorite thing from this is “We need dreamers that are willing to God farther than where you think you can go. You have to get over yourself. God is able. Be open to what he can do. Stop trying to convince Him that He can’t do.” That is so me. I get so wrapped up in what I can do or cant do and forget what He HAS DONE AND WHAT HE CAN DO. Its not about me. Its ALL about him! He has given us dreams so its important to hold onto those dreams. Never lose your sense of Wonder.
What stood out to me most was not to worry so much. If God wants me to do something I need to be patient and do more of listening then asking what I need or should do. My future has changed drastically in the past summer and I know for a fact that it was Him calling me to do work with people. But we always have to remember our first calling which is coming to Jesus. If we come to Him to first then everything else will follow.
I loved hearing from Max in class, i was not only encouraged but i was challenged and convicted in a way that i never have been before. A huge point that stood out to me was “making time for God”. Often times i find myself making excuses and shying away from God because of limitations i put on myself. He made me realize that I must give everything to Him, especially my time. And If I surrender everything to Him, i know that he will use me in ways i never thought possible.
Max is the man! He challenged my walk and brought clarity to my mind. Personally, he challenged me to deepen my understanding and knowledge of scripture and I have begun to grow in that way. I am so blessed that I was able to spend a few days with Max and his team!
Max is the man! I got so much out of his short time with us in class. He spoke the truth, in love, in a way we all could understand. His perspective on “calling and assignments” blew my mind. His interview was packed with great reminders and new challenges. I’m thankful that I got to hear from his heart and hear stories about how God was working through his ministry and in his life. He was real, authentic and didn’t sugar coat anything. I needed to hear what he had to say, and I’m glad God used him to communicate to us. It was much needed.
Reading over these comments that we heard in class has changed the level of importance they had for me when I heard them. There were so many good things that Max told us, but we all took different comments as the most important. Just being able to remember some of the things that he said, while I’m now at a slightly different place in life, has been powerful! What stood out to me a couple weeks ago, is not the same as what stands out to me now.
“God calls the unqualified for ministry. You don’t have to fit a religious script in ministry that’s been designed by man”
That was the most powerful phrase to me because so so often I feel so unqualified. I don’t feel like I fit the “part”. But when max said this I was so refreshed and even encouraged In my unique qualities and different ideas. I was so encouraged and challenged by all that max had to say.
‘ “I don’t have time” is the most dangerous phrase we can use ‘ This one really hit me square in the forehead. It is the most dangerous excuse and yet it is the most often used excuse today. Max’s comment to this saying, “You have time for what you make time for” is so dead-on. You have to eat everyday don’t you? You make time for that right? If you viewed being in God’s presence with the same importance as eating, how much more would that make it to the top of your to-do list over playing sports, or watching TV, or socializing?
The task of being strong enough to be weak is the one I struggle most with. I hate vulnerability. I would rather box all my feelings and emotions out and keep a strong front than allowing anyone to see what pains me. I’m learning though that it is the very wounds I want to hide that God wants me to use for His glory.
Ever since Max told me that “I don’t have time” is a lame excuse I have really got my act together and started giving regular time to God. He is right when He said it is a dangerous excuse, because we all have time for something, and if it’s not God, or something He has called us to do, its really not worth it!
Thank you all for the opportunity to dialogue with you during your class session. As you continue to journey alongside Christ, I encourage you to remember the sound of His voice resonating in your heart. So many times we hear something and sense His Spirit gently nudging our hearts… but we get busy, disappointed, weary… we give up.
My prayer for you today is found in Zechariah 9:11-12
“As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.”
That statement “O prisoners of hope…” is something that grasped my heart. In the midst of everything else going on, in the dry places of my life… I have hope!
1. Strong enough to be weak
2. The only thing that can kill God’s dream for you, is you.
3. We all have time
4. The Call never changes, only the assignment.
5. Making a discipline of practicing God’s presence.
The biggest impact that Max had on me was when he challenged us not to be focused on fitting the mold of ministry that is created by man. That was actually hard to hear. For the longest time, I was so focused on following the man-made mold of ministry that I lost focus on what’s important. Since hearing Max speak, I’ve definitely surrendered my plan and am taking each day a step at a time and seeing what the Lord wants me to do- not what I want to do.
I loved hearing from Max in class! His advice to “not follow the call, but follow the one who calls” has been so instrumental in what God has been teaching me these past few months. I would love to know exactly where the Lord is leading me, but that is completely irrelevant if I am not pursuing Jesus. He is must be my only focus.
5 of my favorite comments that i wrote down during class:
1. build a habit of being/practicing in God’s presence
2. Understand redemption to its fullest extent. He isn’t holding a book full of my sins. I did not choose God but he chose me.
3. Learn why you need Jesus. Get to a point where you need him more than you want to share him. don’t just seek God just to help others but seek him for yourself.
4. How bad do you want God because you can’t say you don’t have time because you have time for what you want. question is should God break up with you because you’re a lousy partner.
5. His word will always clarify what he speaks to you.