What an absolute privilege it is to be at Dunkeld House hotel for a few days with Open Doors International for their annual Church Leaders’ Gathering in the stunning Dunkeld House Hotel.
The guest speakers are Dr Alia Abboud from Lebanon who is the Director of Development and Partner Resources for LSESD (Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development) Also Dr Ron Boyd-McMillan who is a teacher, researcher and strategist for Open Doors International.
Dr Alia shared lessons learnt in Lebanon where the Lebanese church has been incredibly mobilised and transformed to love and serve the millions of Syrian refugees that are now in Lebanon. The incredible stories of what God is doing through the church in Lebanon is quite incredible. Some of the key lessons churches have learnt are:
- The priority of God’s mission over the church’s mission
- The mission must extend beyond the walls of the church
- It is the Holy Spirit not people who changes people
Dr Ron Boyd-Macmillan did an incredible session with amazing stories from his life of experience with the persecuted church and he shared key lessons learned from the persecuted church leader.
A persecuted church leader;
Starts each day with a shower of thankfulness
The persecuted church leader has learned the art of daily thankfulness in the midst of adversity. They have learned to balance joy and pain. One man who survived many years imprisoned for many years by the Gulag starts every day saying out loud 11 reasons he was glad to be alive. The persecuted leader have learned they must prioritise a daily thankfulness.
Daily thankfulness gives them the power to THRIVE in darkness.
The second key lesson from the persecuted leader is that they will not get through persecution if their relationship with Jesus Christ is not deeply personal.
One man imprisonedfor 23 years in China taught him this powerful lesson:
To walk with God you must go at walking pace.
Why? The answer came later but is very profound:
You must go at walking pace because God loves His garden.
If we are too busy running through the garden serving the master then you are going too fast to walk with Him and enjoy the garden.
To walk slowly with Him you have to build yourself a cell. A cell is a place where every distraction is removed. A cell is a simplification and focusing device.
Persecution is the devil’s second best weapon – materialism is the first!
Why materialism? Because it causes distraction from the face to face relationship that really matters.
The 3rd lesson from the persecuted leader is they prioritise an understanding of the Spiritual Battle. They have enormous understanding of the spiritual battle and tactics of the enemy such as 6D:
What an incredibly powerful first day and so many powerful lessons learned already.
Determined that as a church we will become a more aware and active partner with Open Doors and increase the number of churches in Scotland that are active partners as what we can learn and gain from the persecuted church is much more than we can ever give.
Set the 10th November aside for Standing Strong.
YOU ARE INVITED TO MEET YOUR EXTRAORDINARY FAMILY FROM NORTH KOREA, EGYPT AND INDIA
” Join us for our second annual Standing Strong event in November 2018. We are delighted to announce that this year we will be joined by persecuted Christians from North Korea, Egypt and India, who will share their stories with us. Come and worship and pray alongside your UK & Ireland church family as we learn together how God is building His church in some of the most dangerous countries to be a Christian.”