Last summer when I became the director here at Love INC Newberg, the Lord gave me a word – sustainability. This word came up in times of listening, prayer, in times of reading the scripture, in conversations with friends and in all sorts of other ways. I couldn’t ignore it. It was as if God was saying, “Jodi, make sure you learn the ropes at Love INC through the lens of what is sustainable.” I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but it was something I knew I was supposed to pay attention to and act upon.
Lately, this word is coming up again, but in a slightly different way. I was recently reading a book about sustainable leadership and it occurred to me to ask, “So what makes the Church of Jesus Christ sustainable?” I mean the church has lasted now for over 2,000 years stretching onto every continent of this planet and impacting culture in every corner of the earth. How did a tiny little band of social outcasts, fishermen and a few undercover elite numbering about 1,000 on the day of ascension become a 2 billion person force for goodness in the world? The answer… discipleship!
Think about it; if Jesus had lived a long life, say into his 70’s, and spent his days healing the sick, casting out demons and teaching about the coming Kingdom all by himself it is likely that the whole enterprise would have died with him. But, Jesus knew that the best way to ensure that his followers would last until he returned to them was to teach them to make more followers, who would invite others to follow the way of Jesus, who would make other followers, who would invite others into the way of Jesus, who would make more followers… Well, you get the point.
So, as I ponder the ministry of Love INC and as I ponder this idea of sustainability it seems that the same disciple making approach applies. If you are reading this update you are somehow connected to Love INC and YOU are the answer to the long term sustainability of our mission to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ. YOU have the power to invite others into the ministry of Love INC. The holy work of connecting those with great material and spiritual needs to the God who meets all our needs transforms everyone, including YOU! So why wouldn’t you invite your friends to volunteer, to support us financially, to engage with the most vulnerable people in our community? Why wouldn’t you want to put feet to your faith in ways that will change the world long after you have left it for heaven? I leave you with this powerful exhortation from scripture as you ponder Christ’s eternal plan to use YOU to transform the world.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-18 (NLT)
-Jodi Hansen, Executive Director