Some ponderings for the GLT from Darlene Cunningham regarding our relationships with one another.  August 2010

Love of the Brethren: God is Love

As you know, Loren and I have been traversing the world, visiting with our YWAM family throughout this, our 50th anniversary year.  I’m a witness that God is doing some amazing things!  In region after region, we hear of God’s work through you and those you lead.  No doubt you have participated or will soon participate in one of these events.  

This year of visiting family has been pure joy for us. We are so encouraged to see the multiplication of “fruit that remains”!  And there is strong and powerful seed presently being planted that will produce a great harvest.

God is calling us to a greater level of unity than ever before.  In the midst of all this blessing, there too is persecution and difficulty--and I believe that there will be much more in the future.

We are walking in a very unique season. God is challenging us regarding our structures and our relationships.  I believe that we are growing all the time in our understanding and deepening in our commitment to one another.

You’ll recall that in 2003, John Dawson brought a message to us regarding alignment with the vision and values of the Mission:  you cannot be aligned if you are not walking in unity with leadership and your fellow workers.  It seems to me that most of our difficulties come from a lack of appreciation for the gifts and callings of one another.  The apostolic gift often rubs the pastoral gift the wrong way, and vice-versa.  The person who is given oversight in an area is often chosen for their strength in a specific leadership gifting; if that area is administration, they may not be those who recognize and encourage the apostolic risk-taker.  If the risk-taker is given the leadership, the pastoral and administrative areas may get neglected.  And the truth is, we all desperately need to be leaning into each other. But a lack of humility leads to a lack of grace and a judging of motives, therefore no understanding.  You know what I’m talking about—not just in the above illustration, but in all categories of disagreement.

Can we have different points of view?  Yes!  That’s why God made us all different.  We are supposed to be like a body, all working together, each part contributing its strengths.  1 Cor 13:4-8, which talks about love, comes right after chapter 12, which is all about our different gifts and how they are to work together.

1 John 3:16-18 says if we love God, we will love each other.

You ask, “Dar, why are you writing this now?  You begin this letter with great encouragement regarding the joy of this 50th year…and then start talking about alignment…disagreement…the need for humility.”

Why? Because I believe that in this Jubilee year, there is a great grace being extended to us by God for a deep level of unity.  But I believe that, with what lies ahead, we will not be able to stand if we are not walking in love with our brothers.  For some, the test will be one of having great success; for others, the tests of persecution and slander.  But if there is ought against anyone, get it right--now!  Pray for a new level of revelation of the love of God to be imparted.  Consider what you can do to humble yourself and receive grace.  A familiar but excellent scripture passage to meditate upon in this season is the book of 1 John.

We are made differently by God’s design, but if we all walk in a deep level of love, we will have both grace and deep appreciation for one another.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands” Psalm 90:17.

With love and appreciation for YOU,