– Director, Strategic Leader Development Center, Asian Theological Seminary
– Pastor, Sampaloc Bible Christian Community
– Consultant, EDV Ministries
Responsiveness is the challenge of IVCF for us this month. So I ask myself, am I responsive? Responsive to what? Am I responsive to IVCF? To IVCF’s appeal for support? To the invitation to join NC 2017? A bigger question: Is IVCF responsive? To God’s leading? To the times? How could we, IVCFers, practice Christian responsiveness?
Let me share what I found helpful in reflecting on this issue from the book “Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Simone Weil: A Study in Christian Responsiveness” by Vivienne Blackburn. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor, understood responsiveness as the transformation of the whole person effected by faith and the responsibility to act out that transformation. I believe IVCF’s vision, mission, distinctives, and core values agree with this meaning of responsiveness. Simone Weil, a French philosopher and convert to Christianity, understood responsiveness as the hope and expectation of grace reflected in attention, the capacity to listen to, understand and help others. I also believe that IVCF aims to train students and graduates to be responsive to God and to the needs of the world. I believe the two understanding of Christian responsiveness could be integrated for a more holistic discipleship.
So what do these insights challenge us to do? I pray that IVCF would continue to equip students and graduates to be responsive to the mandate of the gospel of Christ and be missional servant-leaders. We, IVCFers, must be responsive to the need to support IVCF accomplish her mission through our prayers, participation, and provision. We must challenge IVCF to be faithful to Christ and practice Christian responsiveness in a culture of aggression and horrendous suffering. “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25 MSG). The IVCF National Conference 2017 will be a meaningful activity and practice of Christian responsiveness for our IVCF community.
Pray with us as we prepare for National Conference 2017
COMMITTEES. Pray for the Multimedia team (Elecil and Leon) as they oversee the production of six short video stories to be used at NC. Pray for creativity as the writers and producers work on these short videos. Pray for the Lord’s wisdom as each committee continues to plan/work these next months leading up to NC. May the Lord provide strength, patience, grace as all of us are also busy with staff work.
FINANCES. Pray for how the Lord will provide the PhP 5M we hope to raise for NC (part of it will hopefully go to our stabilization fund). Our projected income from registration fee is so much less than our projected expenses, so we have to raise a big subsidy. We need wisdom who to approach for major donations and who to send solicitation letters to. We need God’s leading what/how to engage in creative ways to raise funds. Pray that God will touch people’s hearts to give generously.
SPEAKERS. Praise God for the slate of Conference speakers that we have representing a broad range of experiences and who are leaders and practitioners in their fields. Pray for their preparation for their talks at the NC.
PARTICIPANTS. Pray that God will work in the hearts of our BOT, RAC, students, graduates, partner churches/organizations, donors and friends to plan on going to NC and already make steps to get there (e.g. saving money, looking for cheap flights, etc.). Pray for God’s provision for everyone, especially students and those coming from the provinces. Pray for safety in travel.
PROMOTIONS. Pray that we will have wisdom how to extend our reach creatively through different means so we can reach different types of folks (e.g. print media for the seniors/older generation, social media for the younger generation, etc.).
PROJECTS. Pray for the worship album project that it would produce a collection of worship songs that can be used at NC and beyond. May God inspire our musicians to compose music that reflect our indigenous culture and our experiences as a student and graduate missionary movement.