It really has not sunk in yet. It has been a year since my Leadership Development Institute (LDI) Training. Facebook algorithm has been on-point in showing me throwback photos from that month-long, once-in-a-lifetime discipleship training. This year’s LDI schedule also prompted me of how the year went by so fast.
One of my major take-aways from the training was the Re-entry Plan, a three-year guide that we, the trainees, have personally and prayerfully committed to prior disembarkation to our designated ministry areas. The Re-entry Plan is intended to help us track and evaluate ministry progress with the vision of Christ in mind. But the motives behind it is really to fervently pray, plan, prepare and practice by faith our daily walk in the Lord in light of the Great Commission.
I would like to say that the contents of our Re-entry Plans are closely related to what Paul is referring to as “these matters” in 1 Timothy 4:15. He writes, “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.”
In other versions, “be diligent in” is referred to as “practice”, while “give yourself wholly” is referred to as “immerse yourself”, “be absorbed” or “give your complete attention”. The end-goal is clear as to why such commitment towards “these matters” is needed: so that a Christian’s progress will be evident not only to him but to everybody around him.
However, I want to be honest about something. I did not look into my Re-entry Plan for the past nine months. I wanted it out of my head.
You might say that that is just downright ridiculous. I sincerely think so, too. How could an LDI trainee, who invested her time and efforts by faith to join such training, just all of a sudden intentionally neglect her only written learning output from that training?
To be honest, I did not want to open it because I was afraid. I was afraid to see how much I may have disappointed God. Because of my shortcomings as a professing believer of Jesus, which I am very much aware and convicted of, I suddenly perceived the Re-entry Plan as a means to criticize me as a child of God and to gauge my performance as a disciple of Christ. I did not want to look into it because I thought that it will only bring me discouragement.
But that was me speaking in utter unbelief. My self-righteousness blinded me of what the Re-entry Plan is really meant for. It was obviously not the Re-entry Plan’s fault. It was more of me being fixated on what I did and did not do rather than me being focused on what God has done in spite of me.
The Re-entry Plan is meant to remind me of my mission to follow Jesus all the way. It is also meant to correct my course in terms of honoring and carrying-out my personal commitments to God.
So a few days ago, upon confessing such realizations, God led me to read my Re-entry Plan again.
I learnt that I am 30% behind the numbers and 4 months behind the goals I plotted and committed to in my Re-entry Plan. There were directions and even gospel locations that changed in the middle of my Year 1 goals. Harvest was high in the first two quarters but drop-outs were also high in the last two.
The numbers are horizontal implications of my vertical relationship with God. It does not define it but it reflects it since ministry flows out of being. The numbers do not define my worth as a child of God but it somehow reveals many inward things that need to die (Galatians 2:20).
So beyond the bullet points, tables and numbers, whether ticked or not, I am glad because God used my Re-entry Plan to correct my course by leading me to questions such as: What went well? What went wrong? And why? What should be done moving forward? What should not be done, too?
As I pondered on such questions, I could not help but ask God to forgive me of my sins and purify me from all unrighteousness.
There were days of complacency and inconsistency. There were times when my prayer life was shallow and my time in God’s word was not intentional. There were numerous times when I struggled with sin, temptation and desire for isolation. I had moments of rebellion and ignorance. I had moments of doubts and unbelief, too. A lot of days, I was full of myself.
It could have been a straight, smooth line. But my stubbornness and disobedience have led me either to a drought or a reroute.
But God broke me so He could use me. He disciplined me to teach me humility. Yet again, He loves me in spite of me.
I am also thankful because God used this Re-entry Plan to remind me of the many things God did for the past year to sustain me and build me up in Christ.
Reminders, through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), are indeed necessary to a Christian’s life not only because we are naturally forgetful/neglectful but because reminders bring remembrance, and remembrance can lead to rejoice and repentance, then restoration thus revival.
- Peter writes to his fellow followers of Jesus in 2 Peter 1:12: “So I will always remind you of these things (pertaining to the confirmation of a Christian’s calling and election), even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.”
- In Romans 15, Paul writes to the Gentiles, “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles.”
- Paul tells the Corinthians: “For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” (1 Corinthian 4:17)
Lastly, looking into my Re-entry Plan made me remember my batch mates. I realised that I should pray for them all the more, too. As said in 1 Peter 5:9, “…the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
All praises to God!