“Imagine growing up without parents…Now imagine, in Old Testament times, you were a woman growing up in a culture that constantly looked down on women…Now also imagine growing up in a culture where you were not only a woman, but also an ethnic minority. You were surrounded by a culture that was very different from yours, perhaps a culture that looked down on you.”
This is how Shane Sebastian, Executive Director–Global Missions, introduces, a “young minority female orphan saving an entire race of people” in his book, This Change Is Everything. Read on for more of Shane’s insight into this incredible story of Esther.
“Now stop imagining. That really happened.
“The Bible tells the story of a person just like the one above. Esther was a diaspora Jew living in Persia, an Israelite, who advanced God’s mission in another land… [She] was a young, ethnic minority living in a majority culture: the Persian Empire… [This] young woman develops as an influencer throughout the narrative; she grows throughout this story into a strong leader. Esther makes significant decisions and stands by them…
“Towards the end of the story of Esther, as a result of her actions and leadership, many people become followers of the one true God…The leadership of this young woman leads many to believe and practice the faith of the Jewish people. She brings salvation.
“Esther advances God’s mission. Esther also saves her people from certain death… [And] in saving her people, paves the way for Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah.”
Shane quotes author Drora Oren, ‘ “Esther, a Jewess, sentenced to die by Persian law, nonetheless shapes conceptions of what it is to be Persian. She not only brings salvation to a people destined for annihilation, but also questions the rigid alignments of Persian identity with male power.” God advances his mission of reaching out to the nations through the leadership and courage of this young, ethnic, orphaned woman.’
An ongoing theme throughout Shane’s book is how God uses young people to make a difference for the Kingdom. He has laid out a great apologetic for how and why students can be involved in missions. It will be a great encouragement to your students as they consider God’s direction for their lives.
Also, Shane helps to break down the stereotypical things that we think must be in place in order to make an impact for Christ. This example of Esther, young, an ethnic minority, a woman in a man’s world, and even an orphan, without the normal advantages we often associate with influence, shows God’s power to work in spite of organizational, social, and financial disadvantages. Do we believe that God is not limited to only working when the circumstances are favorable?
If you have a copy of “This Change Is Everything”, and haven’t read it, please do so. You will enjoy it. Or you can order it here. It makes a great companion to Dave Dishman’s “Go, following Jesus to the Ends of the Earth”. Each one is visionary, practical, brief, and a great tool that you will want to circulate among your students thinking about what God would have them do for a summer, a year, or for a lifetime.
Spring Coaching Tips
- All good things start (again) with Jesus.
- A Staff Team Pioneering a New Campus Together.
- Select Next Year’s Leadership Now.
- A new 31 Day Experiment.
- Natural mode launching.
- Top Ten Myths About Sharing Your Faith.
- 25 Ways to Keep the World Before Your Students.
Selected Tips from Fall 2016
- “Act as if it were true”.
- Ways a coach helps.
- Did you know…?
- Movement Leadership Forms.
- Ministry beyond ministry.
- Launch and Build Bridges Movements.
- Future Teachers Living Missionally.
- A Destino Multiple Movements Case Study.
- Freshman Takeover Night.
- Some ways to build student leadership.