Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ~Luke 6:38 NIV

Give away your life; you’ll find life given back with bonus and blessings. Giving, not getting is the way. Generosity begets generosity. ~Luke 6:38 Message Bible

Generosity! This core value describes our approach to each other and kids. There are two ways of living out ministry: scarcity thinking or abundance thinking.

Scarcity thinking operates on a belief there is not enough to go around. Not enough leaders. Not enough money. Not enough time. The result is feeling threatened. An orientation of fear, clutching, and protection is formed. It becomes my donors. My leaders. My kids. Things become territorial and when our territory is crossed it is met with anger and posturing.

The second possibility of living out ministry is abundance thinking. Abundance thinking is based on trusting a God who owns and rules the entire universe. It is based on Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all your need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Abundance thinking believes that all we have is God’s: our donors, leaders, and kids. It believes that there is more than enough to go around.

Fear is replaced by confident trust. Closed hands are opened. Protection is replaced by hospitality. Instead of an orientation of “what I have is mine” there exists a “what I have is yours” mentality. It’s like Ruth with Naomi, “your people are my people. Your God is my God”.

The result is a growing fruit of generosity in our lives and in our ministry. We freely give away what we’ve received without fear. We are confident God will provide.
We see this in the miracle of the feeding of the 5000. The little boy gave up what little he had and Jesus multiplied it with leftovers for the disciples. We cannot out give God!

I have experienced this from the very beginning of my Young Life staff career and in the beginnings of YL Capernaum. I experienced it powerfully with the most generous person I have ever known. My friend Steve Chung.

Steve leads a generous life. He seeks to serve, help, and share his resources. We were in deficit for five years. Steve constantly helped in practical ways. He was there to host a banquet table and sponsor a table. He would bring his club kids to events to volunteer.

Steve was an Area Director just like me and every bit as busy as me. And he lived 60 miles away in San Francisco. Yet, he was intentional with generosity. His generosity influenced me dramatically. When we got out of years of deficit and started received vans, our Lighthouse, and more donors, I made a pledge to God to let all of this be at the service of others. We were going to live our ministry generously to bless others.

When I became National Director it was the result of even more generosity bestowed on Capernaum. I carried Steve’s example into this new phase of my career. Pam and I share this value to get as much money out into the field as possible. I believe this is something God honors. Not as a manipulative formula but a condition of the heart.
As we are generous, I believe God will continue to provide for us. As soon as we seek to possess His resources we will run dry.

Take stock of your ministry. Who has been generous to you? Who is God leading you to in order to display his generosity?

A generous life is a provided for life...
A provided for life calls for a generous life.

In awe of how generous God has been to Capernaum,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Young Life Capernaum Core Values

Over the next few weeks I want to reflect with you on what we believe to be our core values. What is our identity? What makes us who we are? What compels us to act and to act in the manner in which we do ministry?
These are not values we just pulled out of air. They are values God has written in our history. They are repeated patterns showing up over the course of 26 years in Capernaum. My prayer is that these reflections will focus and guide us along with celebration of God’s work as we ponder these core vales. So get a cup of coffee and
sit down and reflect with me.

The first and most important value is Jesus. We call this value prayer but this is inseparable from Jesus. Jesus is our start and finish and we are connected to him through prayer. It is Jesus who initiates all prayer. We merely respond by feeding his heart back to him. It is very much like a mother or a father saying words to their child and the child repeating the words back to his mother or father in learning language. In this same way we learn prayer.

When I look over the past 26 years of Capernaum it is literally covered in prayer…
Lord, how do I relate to these kids? Help me.
Lord, should we begin a club with these kids?
Lord, give us favor with the special education principal.
Lord, we need a van.
Lord, we need a place for club.
Lord, would you give me leaders? I have so few.
Lord, give us kids.
Lord, give us campaigners and buddies.
Lord, we need money.
Lord, we need a committee.
Lord, how do we do camp? Help us.
Lord, we need another van.
Lord, would you bring Capernaum into existence all over the world?
Lord, would you give us a house?
Lord, would you give us a club room?
Lord, please give us a million dollars.
Lord, please let Capernaum begin in the east.
Lord, please give us a small picture in the Young Life calendar.
Lord, please let Capernaum begin in Hawaii.
Lord, let Capernaum spread internationally.
Lord, give us a Capernaum week of camp.
Lord, use us to impact the church.

And there are hundreds more. The point is that prayer is who we are. Jesus initiates prayer. Prayer received ends up in dreams and visions. We pray those back to our Heavenly Father. He answers in Jesus’ name by the work of the Holy Spirit. Dreams and visions become concrete realities.

How much of your day is given to prayer? How much of your staff meeting is devoted to prayer? How much of our time with friends is spent in prayer? How sore are our knees?
We are to assume the posture of Mary of Bethany at Jesus’ feet before we assume the posture of Martha in the kitchen.

Praying for and with you,