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Sharing the Treasure: No Guarantees on Open Doors

Sharing the Treasure: No Guarantees on Open Doors

COVID-19 has reminded us of many important truths. As in-person church services were placed on pause, we were reminded that the Church is not a building but a body of people serving and worshiping our Lord. As we socially distanced from loved ones, we gained new gratitude for opportunities to connect with friends and family, and saw clearly that time together should never be taken for granted. And, as many cross-cultural workers have had to leave their countries of service or have been delayed in returning, we recognize that we never how know long we’ll be able to remain in least-reached communities.

Windows of opportunity are never guaranteed. While this has always been true, we’ve been experiencing this uncertainty more acutely in recent months, making the reality that we are not in control undeniably clear.

This lack of control is not a reason to mourn, but rather a cause for praise. We rejoice that our Lord is the One who opens and closes doors that give us access into least-reached communities, and that we can rest in His goodness and sovereignty. And, we give thanks that we, with our exceedingly limited understanding and sinful nature, are not in charge.

This uncertainty also presents us with a challenge. As we recognize that doors we assume are open may close unexpectedly, the importance of training others for ministry—those who can carry on the work if we cannot—is abundantly evident.

Training is a vital element of the Cycle of Transformation we seek to cultivate in least-reached communities because it equips the Body of Christ to continue to reach out and multiply on its own. The cycle isn’t complete without it because unless local believers are equipped to serve and to lead, the ministry will reach a dead end when workers must leave.

As Dr. Chris Gnanakan, our Director of Leadership Development, says, “I don’t believe anyone is a missionary success unless they have successors.” We seek not only to see the least-reached accept the gospel, but to see those who trust in Christ be discipled to maturity and eventually train others as well. Multiplication is the culminating step in the Cycle of Transformation.

As so many of our workers have been unable to serve as they’d planned in 2020, we rejoice that many of those whom these workers have discipled have continued to minister in their absence. We praise God for sovereignly working through past opportunities to equip believers in least-reached communities to prepare them for ministry in the present. And we trust Him to continue to open doors that enable us to train others to serve in the future.

Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.

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