Debby Seler is an LAC missionary who, along with her husband Denny, runs the Cincel language school in Costa Rica.
"God loves to bless the average person. He's not looking for superstars. He's looking for people who are privately healthy" (Al Toledo)
Al Toledo is a pastor in Chicago. At the recent Missionary Renewal in Springfield, Al took us through his study from Psalm 1. The third verse says, "....that person is like a tree planted by streams of water....." This refers to ones private health. The rest of verse three says"....which yields its fruit in season and whose lead does not wither----whatever they do prospers." This refers to ones public fruitfulness.
One can be skilled, talented, and gifted in an area or two and can succeed in the public perception, yet the roots of their tree be distinctly anemic and malfunctioned because of the person's lack of inner integrity. Of what use then are their external gifts and talents? Eventually one comes crashing down, taking many people with them in discouragement and disillusionment that potentially can depart from the faith because of the leaders hypocrisy.
Al Toledo states that private health is essential to New Testament leadership while public fruitfulness is the promise of Spirit-empowered ministry. He uses the verse from Timothy that says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." Note that God says to watch your life first, then your doctrine.
How does this teaching from Pastor Toledo relate to a Cincel missionary student?
1. Everyone has skills and talents, sometimes in language learning, sometimes not.
2. Everyone that comes to Cincel has some form of leadership skills, otherwise they would not pursue the missionary track.
3. Everyone has a public life and ministry, demonstrated in the U.S. (previous ministry involvement, whether full-time profession or volunteer), then also demonstrated by raising the missionary budget through speaking, motivating others toward missions service, and building a team of donors that buy into the missionary's vision.
4. Everyone has a high level of inner integrity, a middle level, or a poor inner core.
5. Everyone must watch their life and doctrine, even at Cincel.
6. Everyone has to know why they are here at Cincel. Am I called to missions service or did I listen to voices that were pushing me that way? Am I called to serve outside of the U.S. or I am following a whim? The excitement of the whim lasts for a season, then it too crashes and burns.
When the hype of arriving in Cincel settles, when the rubber meets the road of the daily grind, when the frustration and anxiety rises to a level of absolute panic, what does my inner core reveal? What does the loudest voice in my head say? Who is directing the course of my life actually?
Psalm 1 gives beautiful instruction as to how to live. It's clearcut, it's distinct. Walk not, Stand not, Sit not. The ungodly, the righteous. Sinners. Scornful. Delight. Meditate. Chaff. Wind. Judgment. But one who delights in the Lord shall be like a tree planted, strong, deep roots (personal, private, health). Bringing forth fruit (public fruitfulness).
This blog was originally posted on https://www.cincel.org/single-post/2017/07/19/A-Psalm-1-Leader