Thursday, November 27, 2014

In His Courts

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of teaching a class on Leadership. While it is a subject with which I am fairly comfortable, it was a big challenge for me because all of the teaching was done in French. I prepared for months, had lots of help, and benefitted from much prayer. And (thanks be to God!) in the end I actually had a lot of fun and it seems like the teaching was well received. 

I asked the students to create a Biblical model of leadership
based on the principals that I outlined
This lovely classroom is at a retreat center near Grenoble, where 65 women gathered to begin a two-year training program that is designed to equip and empower them for ministry. The program is called Zoé, and it is a ministry offered by LifeSprings International. Students attend classes just three Saturdays a year over two years, and in between sessions they have homework, coaching, and a minnistry project that they must complete. LifeSprings has been providing this type of training in Europe for several years, but this was the first time that it was being offered in French.

Students hard at work on the their models
while I survey their progress
Women ranged in age from early 20s to mid 60s, each one passionate about the work of Christ and his call on their lives. Most of them work full-time jobs while volunteering in key ministry positions. 

Holding one group's model of leadership
so that a student could present it to the class
I taught the same course to students at a Torchbearer's Bible College that same week. Also in French. And for those of you wondering why Hawkeye Pierce  is peering over my shoulder it is because I used a three-minute clip from the TV series M*A*S*H in my teaching.

In some ways, teaching a class on Leadership is no big deal. In other ways, for me, it was monumental. Because there was a time, not too long ago, when French was such a struggle that I honestly wondered if God would ever use me in this way again. And to tell you truth, I got to the place where it would have been perfectly fine with me if I never got asked to speak again. I used to need to do this stuff to feel validated and important. By stripping me of my gifts for a season, I learned to bask in the unmerited love of the Father. Now when I teach, I am all about Him and the ones I am called to serve, and I'm no longer seeking validation for myself. I used to be building the Kingdom of Jenn. How ashamed I am to say it! Now I'm building the Kingdom of God. Better is one day His courts than thousands eslewhere! 

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