How a God-initiated, destiny-defining vision continues to shape our mission Covenant January, 2012 Gen 15 Kinds Suzereign Equal/Non-equal Conditional/Non-conditional Vertical/Horizontal Covenant b’rith (284 times in the OT) God The Narrator 29 Other Sources diatheke (33 times in the NT) Covenant Essentially do-able obey, keep, enter into, renew, remember, confirm, hold fast to, observe, guard, pledge yourself to, not violate, be faithful to, do break, violate, not keep, abandon, not obey, pretend to obey, refuse to obey, reject, forget, forsake, defile, corrupt Covenant As we reflect on the story of our mission, YWAMers often point primarily to our historical vision and values as the unifying, identity-creating factors which give our movement corporate cohesion amidst great global diversity. This is as it should be. But to most fully understand who we are and whom God has called us to be, we must look not only to our vision and values, but also to the covenant-making ways of God. A Covenant-Making God Cosmic (Jer 33:19-26) Adamic (Hos 6:7) Noahic Abrahamic: (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob) Mosaic (Horeb/Sinaitic, & Moab/Deuteronomic) Aaronic (Aaron & Phinehas) Davidic Pan-Ethnic (Zec 11:10) Messianic A Covenant-Making God A God-initiated B Destiny-defining encounters. 1 promise-giving (blessings & curses) 2 vison-clarifying 3 responsibility-imparting 4 carrying multi-generational implications A Covenant-Keeping God Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. (Deu 7:9) O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. (1Ki 8:23 & 2Ch 6:14) Covenant-Keeping God O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! (Neh 1:5-6) And now, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of unfailing love, do not let all the hardships we have suffered seem insignificant to you. (Neh 9:32) O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. (Dan 9:4) Covenant Renewal Events c. 1447: God makes covenant at Sinai/Horeb c. 1407: Moses (Deu 29:1-30:20): ratifies the covenant at Moab (just before he dies) c. 1380: Joshua (Jos 24:1-28): ratifies the covenant at Shechem (just before he dies) .c. 896: Asa of Judah (2Ch 15:1-18) c. 835: Jehoida the Priest (2Ki 11:4-12:2; 2Ch 23:1-24:2) c. 716 bc: Hezekiah of Judah (2Ch 29:3-31:21) c. 632-622: Josiah of Judah (2Ki 22:3-23:25; 2Ch 34:1-35:19) c. 597: Zedekiah of Judah (Jer 34:8-22) c. 536: exiles returning to Jerusalem from Babylon (Jer 50:1-10) c. 458: Ezra and Shecaniah (Ezr 9:1-10:17, nb 10:3 Covenant Renewal Events A Man-initiated B Destiny re-engaging events 1 choice-clarifying (life & death) 2 vison-reaffirming 3 responsibility-embracing (repentance) 4 aligning with the implications of God’s good & perfect will God’s & Man’s Part God’s & Man’s Part Covenant Made A. God-initiated B. Destiny-defining encounters. 1. promise-giving (blessings & curses) 2. vison-clarifying 3. responsibilityimparting 4. carrying multigenerational implications God’s & Man’s Part Covenant Made A. God-initiated B. Destiny-defining encounters. 1. promise-giving (blessings & curses) 2. vison-clarifying 3. responsibilityimparting 4. carrying multigenerational implications Covenant Renewed A. Man-initiated B. Destiny re-engaging events 1. choice-clarifying (life & death) 2. vison-reaffirming 3. responsibilityembracing (repentance) 4. aligning with the implications of God’s good & perfect will YWAM’s Covenant Bahamas. June, 1956 “Suddenly I was looking at a map of the world, only the map was alive and moving! I could see all the continents, and waves were crashing onto their shores. Each wave went onto a continent, then receded, then came up further until it covered the continent completely. The waves become young people–kids my age and even younger–covering all the continents of the globe. They were talking to people on street corners and outside bars. They were going from house to house and preaching the Gospel. They came from everywhere and went everywhere, caring for people. Then just as suddenly as it had come the scene was gone.” A God-inspired; destiny-defining encounter YWAM’s Covenant First of all, it was about youth. This was both a concrete reality and it can also serve as a metaphor for something more. Concretely, if we ever move away from championing young people we have moved away from the call of God upon us as the YWAM tribe. Metaphorically, this is the language of missional de-regulation and innovation. Young people were not considered candidates for missions in the mid-twentieth century. It was simply not something that was done when Loren saw this vision. And so it is today that this covenantal vision continues to call us to do what is not being done by others in the church. It calls us to lead out apostolically to birth fresh, entrepreneurial initiatives in the Spirit in order to accomplish Great Commission goals. It calls us to a lifestyle of viral pioneering, co-creating with God, doing and encouraging others to do new things in new ways. YWAM’s Covenant Secondly, it was about all and every. The waves of young people covered every nation in all the continents. It is about being global, comprehensive, inclusive. If we ever lose sight of the alls and the everys we have lost sight of God’s vision for us as a movement. This is not limited only to the geographic alls. It also includes every thematic all, as we move redemptively into all the spheres, all the languages, and all the other various categories of human life and experience. As we do so, this covenant compels us to growth. It is about recurring and ever-expanding waves. This speaks of multigenerational re-iterations of the vision that expand in fractallike multiplication. Each wave builds on that which has gone before. Each one makes fresh impact in new ways, reaching heights not previously achieved. It’s never static. It’s always dynamic, focused on going where we are not. Our Covenant Renewals The Manila Covenant: August, 1988 This covenant reaffirmed our commitment to young people, stating, “We affirm the calling of the Lord upon our mission to mobilize youth for world evangelism. We express in this covenant our commitment to see young people mobilized in great numbers for world evangelism, and youthful, exuberant world changers be given every opportunity to take roles of leadership and influence in our mission.” It went on to affirm “male and female in positions of leadership” and that “our staff and leadership should be ... representative of all nations of the earth” thus furthering the deregulation of missions in innovative ways. This document also highlighted the alls and everys in various ways: it spoke of our commitment to “evangelism, training, and ministries of mercy ... so that by God's grace then the empowering of the Holy Spirit we will do all God asks of us to help complete the Great Commission.” It goes on to challenge us to reach the unreached with the grid of the “nine frontiers of world evangelism” and give ourselves to see Jesus as Lord over “every sphere of life,” It urges us to the twohanded approach of the gospel, that is “to love people in both word and deed in order to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of the gospel ” through “personal evangelism and ... acts of mercy.” It concludes with a holistic call to the alls of the Christian Magna Carta. Our Covenant Renewals The Red Sea Covenant: April, 1992 Although the words of the document do not reflect a direct commitment to the first element of our foundational covenant, the fruit of what emerged from this time certainly was evidence of new missional innovations. One of the concrete initiatives that was pioneered as a result of this covenant was the launch of the 30 Days of Prayer movement. Another was the Reconciliation Walk which touched both Jewish and Muslim communities in extraordinary ways over the next several years. The documents call “to keep our vision whole, seeing both Jews and Arabs as God’s beloved creation” was exemplary of how we must embrace all peoples on every side of historic divides. What was true of this particular in the Middle East would serve to inform our attitude as we approached other binary conflicts: Japanese-Korean; Armenian-Turkish; Hutu-Tutsi. Instead of siding with any one side of an ethnic, national or linguistic divide, we were to embrace the attitude of all and every, seeking to be God’s agents of reconciliation and redemption across every line that would otherwise separate us and limit our vision. Our Covenant Renewals The Nanning Covenant: August, 2002 First of all, it was “a call ... for a renewed apostolic anointing” in the mission because we “deeply desire his blessings for a new surge of apostolic pioneering.” This heart cry for Spirit-led, missional innovation affirmed our core commitment to champion young people, stating that we would “encourage the newest to the oldest YWAMers to seek to know and obey his voice in the freedom of the Spirit, and to release them into the fullness of the promises of God.” Secondly, the call to the alls and everys was intentionally very strong, in this covenant. Not only was 4k embraced with its focus on going where we are not, but the document concluded, “we declare to God this day to be available at all times and in all places to His call and purpose in this 21st century, to be all that we can be and do all that we can do to fulfil His Great Commission here and everywhere.” Our Covenant Renewals The Jubilee Covenant: Sep, 2009 – Dec, 2010 The theme of missional innovation was encouraged through a declared awareness that “God’s Spirit is at work in amazing ways around the world” and that we needed to be attentive to his call in “such a time as this” and be willing to “follow Jesus wherever” he would lead us. The theme of alls and everys is evident in the opening declaration of purpose: “that every individual might be redeemed and every society transformed by the Gospel.” It is also underlined in the final commitment: “to do everything I can possibly do to fulfill the Great Commission.” Our Covenant Renewals What’s next? What can we do as spiritual elders to make sure that we continue (and indeed be increasingly more fruitful) in our call to champion youth, deregulate missions, pioneer new frontiers and innovatively co-create with God To press on to fulfill the alls and everys of the Great Commission? “Preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!” … (1Co 9:16) … and how wonderful when we do fulfill God’s destinydefining initiative over our lives. “ Psalm 16 2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.” 3 The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! … 5 LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. 6 The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! 7 I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety … 11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.