Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's Your Favorite Country?

I asked the Lord once:

"What's your favorite country?"

[I had been thinking about how American culture, unlike Australian culture, seems to make any number of individuals feel free to set-up an independent ministry after his or her own name, in corporate style. Consequently, America has more ministries that circle the globe than Australia does. So that's the context in which I asked Him, "What's your favorite country?" I was asking in terms of how a particular country's culture tends to allow its ministries to be set-up and to function.]

I felt Him answer.

[I felt a bit surprised - and challenged. I thought for sure He would say America.]

"Why Canada?"
I asked, "No worldwide ministries have come out of Canada!"

[Whereas I could readily make-up a substantial mental list of independent ministries from America, which are named after their individual leader, and which have gone around the globe.]

"Is that right. What about the 'Toronto Blessing'?"
I felt Him say.

[The difference with the Toronto Blessing is that it was a move of God, not an organization; and it was a nameless, faceless revival - without a named director. God loves that! I'd rather start a move of God than an organization. Someone once said, "It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no-one cares who gets the credit."

I started to wonder what historical differences between Canada's and America's founding might be the root of this difference; and whether some fundamental difference in their histories may be manifesting itself in other ways in their societies.

It also challenges us to examine the reasons for independence in ministry. We all face times when we are not met with co-operation. But what is the better response? To go independent, or to hope in God by putting on a cloak of humility? Perhaps it needs to be examined case-by-case. But the right response will please God more, and in the long-run, it could achieve better results and also give us more honor in the Kingdom of God.

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