Costa Rica UofN Report: JoEllyn Wright
God has really been speaking to us as a Mission and there have been some significant shifts because of it. You will rejoice to hear that one major shift was a corporate revelation that EVERY believer is a missionary, sent by God into his or her specific sphere of influence.
There was corporate repentance for attitudes towards those not “in missions,” viewing them as “less spiritual” as well as elevating those within the mission that we consider the ones who are doing the real missions work (frontier missions, evangelists, outreach leaders, etc.), instead of recognizing each believer is just as valuable & important as the next!
There was confession over prideful attitudes regarding those working within the Mission in what we call “support roles”, in contrast to the ones doing the real work of the ministry. There was a fresh understanding that God has chosen ALL believers, anointed them with the gifts He chose for them & appointed them for tasks He has called them to. No person is higher than another & no ministry is more important than another. In whatever work a person is called to, they’ve been called as an ambassador by God & to bring God’s kingdom rule in that area.
There was also repentance for the way we have seen former YWAMers (or other missionaries who have left the field to join the work force), viewing them as choosing the less spiritual option when they leave the Mission. Churches & mission organizations everywhere have had this false conception that regular work isn’t ministry so those called to government or business, arts or sports, are never encouraged to live as missionaries within their calling. Our mentality has got to change so that we equally support one another in “ministry”, no matter where we work! You both know this, spoken about it for many years, and modelled encouraging those in the spheres. It was a corporate revelation at this conference! So give God great glory for GREAT breakthrough!!
Another misconception that was discussed was our attitude towards work. We have had the concept that work is a necessary evil we must tolerate in order to feed our families & it is a result of The Fall. Not true! God gave Adam & Eve work to do way back in The Garden. They were given authority by God to rule over nature as caretakers, (not lords), expanding The Garden further & further! (The Garden God planted was only in “the east” so God gave the mandate to be fruitful & multiply & fill the earth with His order, beauty & abundance!) Our “work” isn’t a curse and neither is it only a necessity in order to feed our families! Rather, God created Eve to help Adam do the work & He created family to expand His rule through the work of man, cultivating & caring for the earth! Very interesting to see how warped our concept of work has been. It was amazing teaching.