“Act as if it were true.”

Welcome to another year of Coaching Tips. I truly hope this is a great year as we all trust God for big things in and through us.

We are heading into a very active and the most critical weeks of the campus year. We want to be ready to hit the ground running the moment freshmen arrive. We will have long days, lots of conversations, and no doubt will experience some fatigue. We might think we have all we can do on our main campus and may be hesitant to look at other campuses within our scope or other communities on campuses where we have existing ministries.

I was reading recently in Just Courage by Gary A. Haugen, CEO and founder of International Justice Mission. He had been talking about how overwhelming it seems to face injustice, triumphant evil, and violence in the world. We know something of that from the events that we have lived through these past months. But Haugen went on:

“While these discouraging musings are certainly understandable, we should know that they are utterly unimportant to God. First, such notions of hopelessness say to God: You are a God who calls your people to ministry without providing any power to actually do it. If that is what we honestly believe, we should just clearly say so. Though the Bible doesn’t say this about God’s character, it’s okay for us to say it. Acknowledging that we are struggling with what the Bible teaches about the character of God is often the first, best step to authentic faith. Indeed, as Dallas Willard points out in Renovation of the Heart, we don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.” P. 76.

Lest you think I’m meddling, believe me when I say I’m writing these words to me as well!

But “we act as if it were true” when we do our best in planning, involving existing student leadership, surveying and surfacing incoming freshmen and transfers, following up those most interested, building relationships, inviting them to gatherings where they can be exposed to the best our movement offers, stepping foot onto other campuses or into other communities with a view to surfacing leaders to launch there, entrusting ministry efforts to students and volunteers, etc. etc.

When we go to work, believing that we are “God’s fellow workers” (2 Corinthians 6:1), that He will lead us to those whom He has prepared, and that He cares more about reaching those outside our current span of care than we ever will, then we “act as if it were true” and I believe we can expect that He will do great things. He is zealous for His glory.

Haugen asserts the same thing. While his emphasis is on injustice, launching and building movements goes hand in hand.

“While the Bible does not teach that we will prevail in every battle against injustice on this earth, it does teach us that God will prevail in the ultimate war, that he goes with us into every battle, that he brings his power and protection to bear on our behalf, and that he will prevail in all battles necessary to the ultimate triumph of his kingdom, In a world of groaning injustice, these are the truths that Jesus invite his followers to believe—and act on.” P. 77.

I will endeavor to provide the most practical ideas and resources for your ministry. Some of you have some of what we all need by way of those ideas, tools, and perspectives. Feel free to pass them on to me so I can share the wealth. And, if you have new folks on your team who would benefit from these weekly tips, let me know and I will add them to my list.

Summer Tip Series


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