Monday, April 30, 2007

Loving People or Loving Ministry?

So this last week has been quite interesting. I was at IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City for six days. I attended my good buddies Brent and KJ Steeno's wedding. So happy for them! Another one coming up in KC this week for Brian Kim! (Why is everyone and their moms getting married?)

Brent and KJ exchanging vows, finally!

We also had a Chinese Leadership Consultation, with about 40 Chinese leaders from HK, Taiwan, East Asia & US in the emerging student missions movement who had come to pray, fast and gather before the Lord to seek His will for Asia's role in the end times. The entire experience was humbling.

Praying for Asia's Role in the End Times.

We had gathered to discuss the strategies for the nations, rather the Holy Spirit didn't have us discuss much strategy at all, but rather He knit our hearts together in a most beautiful way. He showed us ministry is not about vision, mission or reaching goals, rather ministry is about relationships. That is, relationship with the Father and relationship with one another. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, as I realize most of my life ministry has been about pursuing a vision, not people. Like many leaders in the Body of Christ, I've made a great mistake of having more relationship with my revelation from God, rather than a relationship with God and those He has entrusted to me. So many times, I have chased after being obedient to the heavenly vision, at all costs, even at the cost of people and friends I dearly love. It's like a father who works so hard at his job, thinking he is doing his family a favor, when in actuality he is losing the very thing he is working for. When he finally achieves that sense of accomplishment at his work, whether its a promotion, position or economic success, he goes back home and realizes his wife and children have checked out and left him. I don't want to be that man, yet, I am much afraid that is what I have become, in a sense, these past years in regards to pursuing ministry at the cost of hurting important relationships in my life. I have forfeited friends for pursuing a destiny. I've hurt a lot of people along the way, and I'm truly sorry. What does it mean to love? That is something I'm still trying to figure out. I guess the Holy Spirit is asking me, what do you love more Jaeson? Do you love ministry or do you love people? Because if the answer is ministry, than you really are not ministering at all.

Relationships are not easy. Relationships bring the best out of you and the worst out of you. It's easy to love God, it's not easy to love people. My life mission statement is "To know and make known His manifest presence to this generation" Hmmm, recently I realized in this mission statement there is nothing to say about "knowing one another" that is, it's easier at times to radically pursue God and compassionately pursue the lost for their salvation, but it is not easy to radically love those in your inner circle. Being Christ-like has to do with the "one-another's" and that takes a lot of giving up what you want, so that God can have what He wants in others. It takes living out your Christianity by loving people, those close and even those not so close. Those you like and those you don't like at all. To see each one as a child of God, and not just a stepping stone to get to where you want to be.

Loving people means getting real with those who know you best, those who are closet to you, those who see all your quirks, character flaws, immaturity and failures. Humility is being honest with others of who you really are. I could imagine, if I wanted to I could just be another high flying evangelist who preaches on large stages, rallies big crowds and networks with leaders in strategic meetings for the rest of my life. That is easy. None of that requires relationships, it just requires gifting. Your gifts will get you places, but it is only friendships, real ones that will form your character and prune you to be a better person. I have officially realized I suck at relationships. I suck at really loving people selflessly. In fact, I'm not sure I really know how, even sometimes I'm afraid to. I wonder if it is because I didn't grow up in a family where the relationship bonds were strong, where loving one another was a priority. I wonder.

To truly love others it takes being vulnerable, teachable, ready to admit you are wrong, it means facing your worst fears, even taking rejection from others, yet still pursuing to love others, yes even those that don't like you and those you don't like. It's about putting people before programs. It's about putting relationships before ministry. It's about putting people, God's children, before yourself. I would have so much to write on this subject, I can't even get my words out right here.

Basically, I ended up reconciling this week with everyone. Starting with our leaders from Hong Kong, after ministering together for 4 years now, I realized how many times I had hurt them because I put ministry before their personal needs, I valued the strategic vision more than I valued them as friends. I ended up reconciling with another sister from the US, whom I have been at odds with for a while now, humbling myself, asking for forgiveness and now I sense our partnership in ministry is so much more meaningful. In fact, I don't want to do anymore ministry that is not built upon true friendships. I want fellowships of the heart.

There was more humbling, but I don't want to get into details. Trust me, it was painful and beautiful all at the same time. All I know is that life is simply about one thing: Loving Him and loving one another. This is a lesson I am learning. Revival can wait, relationships can't. For out of loving one another, the world will know that we are His disciples. I don't get how it works, but I trust it does. My passion is to know Him, it is to see church planting movements established on every campus, city and nation, but what's the point if all that is accomplished, but relationships aren't? It was all for nothing.

Below are a few pics from the Chinese Leadership Consultation. Cool friends I met like Angela who served us with good ol' midwestern hospitality, Mike Bickle and his new Chinese family in America lol, and of course my Passion Church family at UCLA, it was so great to see everyone when I got back from the airport to watch Alyson's singing performance. Good times. I pray for more and more shall come if I choose to take notice :)

Angela, she was sooooooooooooo kind :)

Passion Church Family at Alyson's Taiwanese Culture Night Performance. Happy times :)


At 4/30/2007 05:20:00 PM , Blogger elmisionero said...

Dude, YES!!!!

Thank you for this post brother.

At 4/30/2007 11:56:00 PM , Blogger Shane said...

Powerful and convicting post, I have to go meditate on this one...

At 5/01/2007 12:33:00 AM , Blogger Jane said...

hey jaeson.
that was a really nice post. pretty similar to what God has been revealing to me last week near the end of CLC.

too bad we didn't get to chit chat or anything. hope to see you around IHOP sometime.

keep rockin -

ps. and yes, angela is ridiculously awesome

At 5/01/2007 12:54:00 AM , Anonymous Judy said...

For God crazy.

At 5/01/2007 04:49:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea i agree... i'm glad someone in ur position is finallyn realizing this.
I can't stand the church.
i'd rather sit and go to hell wiht my friends and love them for who they are than bring them to a finger pointing place, where people get all rowled up in groups where the leaders don't kno how to do any follow thru anyway.
really? bring them to church? get them all excited... save them? what do you kno about their lives and how is your zeal going to effect them on a day to day basis? rite rite... its how God effects them... (haha too bad god left it up to us nimrods). is it really jsut about getting them to say the sinners prayer and letting them go out on their merry way after their whole paradigm has been shifted.?
do christian really love?
fuck the conservatives.
what's the point of Jesus? did he die in vain?
(to say that someone aborted a baby is wrong... yes. but at the same time, you have to think there are the few that actually mistaken that for love... can u imagine that? to kill for LOVE? yea it's a twisted sense of the word... but it's meaning of love. and they had enough balls to love in that sense.)
sure sure,,, we should do what ya'll say... but too bad different people come from differnt walks.
and sometimes... it isn't the same outcome for everyone. ... and when u find out that it isn't...
whose there for you?
it's usually the "unbelievers"

there is no greater love than this.
that one lay down his life for his friends.

1. amen... Jesus did it... i'm saved... what about the rest of us? why am i better than anyone else?
2. i'll do my best to love... get kicked in the face... by both believers and unbelivers... but i'm still gonna Love. even if it means giving up my ticket to heaven so that i can love my friends and not sit in a church getting panicked.
thank GOd it isn't based on works, right?

fuck the church. cuz it ain't church. i forsure as heaven think that this can't be what God was talking about.
i don't see anyone in their dam fuckin' bubbles doing a dam thing but getting together and having the same problems that "unbelievers" do.

screw that... i'd rather be honest and have an alcoholic beverage and talk shit knowing what an asshole i truely am than try to stop being an asshole from fear of falling off my little, i'm not an asshole pedastool. (okok... to please God... but don't they say, that ur the apple of his eye anyway?)

maybe the gates are so narrow because all teh seeds have been thrown in a rocky spot.
but scerw it right? just throw them... runa way.
throw billions of them.
and run away;. b/c it's about the numbers right?
too bad half of them won't make it anyway.
shit... i prolly won't make it...
this is all i have to say right now.

anyway, sorry about the cursing.
i'm just angry.
good blog... i also thinkthe simple house churchs are an awesome idea. and i hope to find a home near me soon.
seriously... i really dont' feel like fellowship.
i don't feel like icecream and cake.
i need a jack and coke.

At 5/01/2007 11:28:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jaes,
Don't be too hard on yourself. We all are just learning to love. We are all just learning. Praying for you today

At 5/02/2007 06:55:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Jaeson,

We love you!!!

The LORD is your shepherd,... Surely goodness and love will follow you all the days of your life,...

God bless you!!!

At 5/02/2007 03:02:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

it shouldn't be so hard.
but why is it so hard?
rather, why do we make it so hard?
By loving God, love for others should overflow right?
but how does that look like? because at the same time, things aren't supposed to be perfect. not all relationships will be fulfilling and can be pursued to the fullest right?

its so hard sometimes. i mean i truly do love God. more than anything i want to be with Jesus. i n His arms. more than being with friends. more than family~ sometimes i just want to be with Him. but that naturally does make myself detached toward other in a while. to dig deep into the word. to know the kiss of His word. to KNOW him... and as that season blooms, i pray that it would truly be the overflow of a forgiven soul.. to show Christ's love to others.

thanks for the post. truly, thanks. i crave simplicity.
guide us, Lord.

At 5/02/2007 09:50:00 PM , Anonymous Priscilla Hsu said...

yeah jaeson, that is so very true. I understand your feeling about ministry. Everyday as we confront the problems of life, i suggest that you affirm as follows: "I believe GOd gives me power to attain what I really want." Never mention the worst. Never think of it. At least ten times every day affirm, "I expect the best and with God's help will attain the best." ^^

At 5/05/2007 07:59:00 PM , Blogger Frances said...

I don't know you, but I was referred to your blog today by a friend in Boston. I'm thankful that I took the time to read this particular one.

Your Godly impact is far-reaching...even to the little places of Woodbridge, Ontario :)

Thank you Jaeson. Your radicalness (word?) and passion in building His kingdom is completely inspiring. F

At 5/08/2007 09:01:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great sharing

At 5/29/2007 09:37:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...



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