We realise though, that not everyone can simply pack up and venture forth since most of us carry responsibilities to families and workplaces. This poses a question – what does it mean for Australian Christians to be adventurous? I’m not suggesting that we all abandon our lifestyles in the quest for something more. I am suggesting that there is an ‘inner’ orientation or attitude that helps us look at life and engage our future with an adventurous spirit.
The apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 put it this way:
“One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Notice the language of scripture – ‘pressing on.’ It seems that we either simply allow life to slip by, or we proactively engage (with God at the helm), confident in God’s sovereignty but faith-filled for future seasons. The worst outcome is to keep doing what we’ve been doing simply because we feel stuck or see no other options.
I’d like to assert that there is no ‘fresh hope’ without an inner journey that causes one to explore change and faith in an uncertain future. The inner journey, in many ways is more risky and difficult than the outer expression. To embrace a spiritual adventure requires one to open their mind and heart to the voice of the Spirit; no guarantees but God’s presence with us through life.
As church leaders we must model that which we value. Leadership is about what we embody and how we share God’s love and joy in faith with others.
‘Leadership doesn’t start with an education, an obvious spiritual gift, or a charming and electric personality. The journey to significance starts with the mere willingness to surrender the status quo and take the first step of faith into the adventure. That same willingness will take you each step of the way forward; it is the most important foundation of a leader’s formation.’ (Neil Cole, Journeys to Significance, 2011).
This year, may you have the courage to begin the inner journey of adventure. Perhaps God might seed a new idea or prompt you to consider a change.
Dr Andrew Ball
Executive Ministry Director