by Galen Burkholder, International Director of Global Disciples
Life is filled with opportunities.
Some we miss and live with the regret. Others, in time, we’re glad we passed by. But, sometimes we seize an opportunity—and are we ever glad we did! We made a profit, built great friendships, met our spouse, or something wonderful resulted.
The missed opportunities that I find hardest to put behind me are the ones with eternal consequences. Like the day the Holy Spirit prompted me to share Christ with a non-Christian neighbor. I made some excuse—only to see him taken away in an ambulance that same evening with a fatal heart attack.
Through Global Disciples we are faced with a steady stream of opportunities. Most come in the form of invitations from clusters of churches in Africa, Asia or Latin America. Some are more like the vision the Apostle Paul saw with a plea to come over to Macedonia and help.
Our criterion to determine which opportunities we pursue and which ones we pass up is clear: Will this opportunity make it possible for a cluster of churches to multiply disciples and plant reproducing fellowships of believers in a least reached area—in locally sustainable ways?
If the answer is “yes,” it’s time for prayer and conversation with the inviting party. If the Lord gives us a green light and we discern the leaders inviting us have integrity, pure motives and a common vision—we pursue the opportunity.
Sometimes it would be easy to make excuses. We’re already busy. This is a very difficult area. It could cost someone their life. Our finances are already being stretched thin.
Then we remember that every day about 47,000 people die—without ever having an opportunity to receive the Good News of Jesus. Will saying “no” to our opportunities deny them the greatest opportunity ever?