I’ve been happily comparing myself to “Balaam’s donkey.” You know the one the Bible says, “The dumb ass spoke.” When I start receiving requests to validate the ministry of FCOP in order to be considered for recurring gifts, two things happened: 1) Sou and I received notice that we were being awarded Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degrees from Life Pacific College. 2) I am scheduled to speak at two sessions of the “Voice of the Apostles” meeting in Nashville, TN, USA from Aug 10–14, 2015 alongside such well-known speakers as Reinhard Bonnke, Randy Clark, and Bill Johnson. (See Link)
I didn’t know what to do. I was not seeking this. So, being a man under authority; I sent the following letter to my four direct supervisors, my wife, and family:
I am under your authority, please tell me what you think. Tap on the “see all speakers” tab under Reinhard Bonnke”. I have serious doubts about breaking into the “A-Team”. I have been asked to speak twice. I am genuinely concerned about being distracted from what I am supposed to be doing. I have seen people who have gotten into this trap and spend all their time going from conference to conference. I know I will greatly upset them if I say “No” at this point. I really want your advice because, I am totally willing, almost eager, to bow out. But if you will protect me from the “Big Head” syndrome, keep me accountable, and think it is “OK”. I will do it. I need to know soon!”
They all responded in the positive, I think Jim Scott, the Director of Foursquare Missions International summed up the totality of it.
Greetings! Thanks for asking; I believe you should accept their invitation, as your voice would be an important addition in a conference such as this one. The term “apostle” is misunderstood and loaded with cultural applications and/ or theological bias. The Word of God, ministry and outcomes are the beginning places for understanding what an apostle is and the ministry God has allowed you and Sou to steward is foundational in every way and it emphasizes evangelism, discipleship, leadership development church planting and national/ worldwide expansion with it all dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit. There are few apostles today who have this as a ministry resume.
Paul cautions us about getting a “big head” in 2 Corinthians 12 and I like how 12:7 reads in the NLT; “So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” I believe you will be safe because you are raising the issue yourself, your asking a group of leaders who love you to help and you don’t want this verse to be your “verse of the day.” :>)
Praying for you as you minister and for fruit from this conference that will release more apostles globally like you and Sou.
So, now I must live up to expectations, and survive until August. Please pray for us, and send what you can. Pray some additional, committed, regular, support rises from this, and that our rice farm gets developed!