Last week I had the privilege of being at InterVarsity’s Directors meetings with all the Directors in InterVarsity nation wide. During the time I was in a track on planting and we talked all about planting movements, and how to increase the number of campuses that InterVarsity is currently reaching in the USA. Right now we are on 575. We want to get to 1000 by 2017 (At least some of us are dreaming that way!)
If that is going to happen we need an apostolic movement, and we have to continue to welcome this in InterVarsity. Here is a definition of apostolic that a core group of us have landed on for now:
“An apostolic person is sent by God’s Spirit to expand the Kingdom across boundaries into new places”.
The key thing about apostolic people and therefore apostolic movements is that “sending” is happening and boundaries are being crossed.
By Eric Rafferty
It’s pretty much universally accepted that driving across Nebraska is boring. It’s extremely flat, it’s a long drive, and this time of year it’s nearly lifeless. So why, when we’ve found ourselves driving across the state twice in the last two months, has it been so fun? On top of the general boringness, throw on the fact that we were driving across Nebraska on the way home from sunny, sexy California and we should have been completely depressed right?
But honestly, driving across flat, bland Nebraska has felt like a travelling celebration. We’ve been so filled with joy and love!
It’s because this place is our mission field and God has filled us with His love for it. There are 35 college campuses in the state of Nebraska and God has given us vision to see multiethnic and missional communities bring his love to every corner of every one of those campuses.
So when we drive across the state, even with two noisy kids in the back seat, we look out at the brown barren looking fields and we see the place that we love. We see good soil pregnant with potential and campus after campus that groan for something more.
I love planting new communities on university campuses all over my geographic area. It is a thrilling experience to meet students, empower them, and start missional communities that produce renewal. I often get labeled as an “apostolic” person, but my heart wants something more than being one apostolic person… I want to start movements that are apostolic!
But first, there has been much discussion about what it means to be apostolic. A few of my colleagues and I have landed on a phrase that encapsulates the idea of an apostle. “An apostolic person is sent by God’s Spirit to expand the Kingdom across boundaries into new places”. I like this definition for four reasons.
It is with great excitement and pleasure that I introduce to you Steve Stuckey. Steve is my spiritual director and many others as well. In a nut shell, he keeps me focussed on Jesus and paying attention to His voice. I would say he is a master at helping to shape the APE type leader and keep them walking with Jesus in healthy and whole ways. I have asked Steve to write a monthly post with us to help us think about the spiritual formation side our lives. He is going to do a year long series called “Rooted” for us! We only need to turn so far to see how many leaders like us have crashed and burned…not because they weren’t well trained, or prepared, but because they lost their inner compass that pointed them to Jesus. I hope these posts from Steve are a monthly online opportunity to stop and reflect as catalytic leaders. He is passionate about helping APE’s get shaped, just in a different way than we normally read about here!
[This post is part of a series called Rooted. Find the other posts here]
“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for God gives to his beloved, even while they sleep.” Psalm 127:2
A recent conversation with a fellow InterVarsity staff member began this way. “I feel anxious,” he said. “I have too much to do with the InterVarsity group on campus. My wife is upset that I am out so many evenings. My donors are feeling the economic crunch and donations are down. God seems distant and I have a hard time sitting still long enough to pray.”
I have noticed that 8 out of 10 people that I meet with mentioned feeling anxious. Maybe it is a disease of our American culture which tends to be narcissistic, goal oriented, and constantly restless. It is certainly a dis-ease of the soul that disturbs our peace, undermines our confidence in God, and focuses our minds upon things temporal and often irrelevant. Leaders who are inclined to be highly responsible and future focused seem to be especially prone to the condition. Some even wear their anxiety as a badge of honor to demonstrate how hard they are working.
I want some college students to start writing on our team! Could it be you?
I work with College students and so do many of our writers, so obviously I am passionate about raising them up and seeing them lead in dynamic and world changing ways. A huge reason I started this blog was to empower college students.
I thought to myself, “What kind of online space would I have loved in college as a young apostolic evangelist?”
The answer was a daily post and community of inspiring leaders that were writing to fire me up. People that were living into the APE calling and understood there was something stirring deep inside to catalyze movements and ministry beyond the current context and for sure beyond the walls of the church.
I would have absolutely loved reading these posts in college and would have loved the opportunity to interact with the different writers here as well.
By Jon Hietbrink
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” — CS Lewis
What we’re trying to do is hard.
Catalyzing new movements of missional communities is complicated, and our job description as leaders is often a mile long: disciple, pray, vision, witness, fundraise, meet, care, decide, communicate, recruit, repeat. To be a leader is to embrace the reality that more will be asked of us than we can give–we choose to make our home in the deep end not because it’s comfortable, but because that’s where Jesus calls us. In the midst of all that we’re asked to shoulder as leaders, one thing surfaces again and again–the indispensable role of simple courage. Leadership is most certainly about vision, strategy, and organizational behavior, but at it’s most fundamental level, leadership is about exercising the courage to look fear in the eyes and defy it by fixing our gaze on Jesus instead.
By Beau Crosetto
It is alarming to me how much leaders do not model for the people below them. I see it especially apparent the higher I look up the leadership ladder. It seems that the more and more someone gets removed from the ground level, less and less modeling takes place. It is bothering me. These are the most skilled and advanced leaders. They/we need to be showing people what to do, not just telling them!
It’s time to get back into the pond and show people how to swim instead of shouting from the shore.
The other day I was having a conversation with a person I really look up to as a leader. They asked me about how I was modeling for the guy I am raising up and I realized I wasn’t doing a very good job in one area specifically. Sorry Nick
I had fallen into the trap that most leaders fall into:
I want to share with you two great videos that help us celebrate the resurrection on this awesome Easter day.
This video is a spoken word that my wife Kristina shared today as she preached at our church, The Vineyard Underground
This next video is Kristina sharing a story of disappointment and then breakthrough in healing a few years back. Really powerful and a total witness to the power of the resurrection.
I hope you enjoy these and have a great day remembering and welcoming the resurrection into your life more fully!
By Beau Crosetto
I don’t have alot to say today. I mean, its an awkward day.
It’s a good day and a bad day. Its good because our Lord, Jesus Christ, has gone to the cross to die for the sin of the world. We know now because of hindsight that this day had to happen and we are ever so thankful.
It’s a bad day because we have to think about the fact that our sin + the rest of the world’s sent our Lord, Jesus Christ, to the cross to die. If we weren’t such screw ups as human beings this never would have had to happen.
Its such a weird day internally.
But as far as this blog is concerned, and A.P.E. leadership, I have a few thoughts.
Today is a day to remember that the death of Jesus Christ leads us and this is the foundation of all we do and who we are as Christians first, and secondly as apostolic, prophetic, or evangelistic leaders.
A blog like this, and people like us can get confused. I mean, the APE are the catalytic vocations of the body of Christ, the primary activists and extenders of the Kingdom of God and the ones most often intersecting with the broader culture. The APE vocations as called by God are frequently outside the church walls on a daily basis.
Because of this we can forget.