Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Copy of my vision for CCF 2009-10

Vision: Developing the Cutting Edge

Key Verse: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Why? The essence of Christianity is to know God and make Him known. (Matthew 22:37-40)

  • Knowing God: dedicated Bible study, reading, and meditation, and prayer.
    • How are you doing in your pursuit of God?
  • Making Him known: to Christians and non-Christians, in our love, actions, and words.
    • How are you doing in loving others as yourself?

Why develop the Cutting Edge?

  • So that we have the “missional edge” (Ooi, 2009), individually, and as a body of Christ, always being ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15)
  • In spurring each other on and encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:19-25)
  • To run the race set before us, with perseverance, being laser focused on the joy set before us through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3)

How do we develop the Cutting Edge?

  • By exposing ourselves to an incredibly sharp sword: God’s Word (Hebrews 4:12)
  • By growing in community, challenging each other, praying for each other, encouraging one another, loving one another, … sharpening one another(Proverbs 27:17)

Applying the Vision

  • Develop our relationship with God and with one another
  • Relationship with God: Prayer and the Bible. Partnering with Bible Study leaders to facilitate solid spiritual growth and equipping CCFers with the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Relationship with one another: Investment groups, discipleship groups (1-on-1, 1-n, small group settings), mentorship, subcommittees, small group leader accountability.
  • Unity: Committee – unity in vision / purpose, regular review of leaders’ visions and goals, accountability. Unity of CCF, U of T, and local campuses. Partnering together to develop the cutting edge of the Gospel.
  • Leadership Training: Summer retreat for all leaders (current, future, and interested, at all capacities), other training as needed, continual follow-up

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Extraordinary Love

For a while, I have been struggling with my faith. In short, I've been struggling with why I am a Christian. These struggles have been a source of tremendous stress for me. See, this upcoming year, I'll be vice-chair of CCF. And here I am wondering why I signed up for this gig in the first place. The thought of being vice-chair seemed like such a chore. In short, the feeling was gone. I just didn't have the passion for CCF anymore, I thought. While this was true, my passion in general was fading. The real problem was my attitude towards God. Some say that our view of God dictates how you live your life.

Then it struck me. In the midst of all my intellectual and emotional struggles, I was reminded of God's love for me. Mind you, it wasn't an instant strike - but a developing realization that:
- the God of the Universe loves me so much
- by myself, I am nothing and without Jesus Christ, my destiny is certain death
- I had no peace as I grew more distant from my Heavenly Father
- I can only do so much on my own
- and that God's love is extravagant ...

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

I look back at my past. And I can tell you that it doesn't look pretty. I look back and I see pride rooted in selfishness, sexual lust that degrades others, anger and bitterness that rots away within me and hurts others, cutting words that pierce those closest to me, and an apathy that leads to utter negligence. My past is pretty shitty. Yes, "very bad", as Wiktionary says.

I then look at who God is. And if He is indeed holy, pure, all-powerful and just ... I'd be in big trouble. "For the wages of sin is death...", as the first part of Romans 6:23 reads. And this death is an eternal one. But not only in the "afterlife", but also in this present life. Sin has consequences here in this life too.

The second part of this verse reads: "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I don't have a clear explanation of why I believe; by that I mean that I don't have an explanation that is completely logically connected. However, it's the most logical belief system I can find.

Further, I find my relationship with Jesus Christ very satisfying. It's just better. Better than what this life has to offer. I'm happier and excited again! My hope restored. My eternity secured. And learning to live by the Spirit, day by day.

What happens if I lose that feeling again? I will remind myself of my first love. Of the one who gave His life for me. The closest analogy of how I feel is how a peasant would feel if his king laid his life down to save the peasant's life. Except, I'm lowlier than a peasant and God's much greater than the king. And finally, losing the feeling is akin to losing the feeling in a marriage. It happens. But I know that I'm growing up. Maturing. That with each passing day, my love and character matures in the likeness of my Master.