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Willis shares challenge to be on mission with God

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–“Southern Baptists are beginning to catch on to what God is up to in this world,” declared Avery Willis, the author of MasterLife discipleship training and senior vice president for overseas operations of the International Mission Board.

Speaking to a Feb. 3 chapel audience of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Willis praised the use of Experiencing God and other tools that lead Southern Baptists to have a desire “to be on mission with God.”

“That’s basically how I’ve operated all my life — find out where God is at work and try to get there,” Willis said. He added that Christians are beginning to see how important it is to not have their own agendas, but to have God’s agenda.

Drawing on the analogy of a mother eagle teaching an eaglet to fly, Willis referred to several Old Testament passages to explain the Christian’s need to trust God by faith to lead step by step. After learning the ways of God, a Christian becomes available to be used as God sees fit.

Just as an eagle allows the nest to get stirred up so that the eaglets are no longer comfortable, Willis said, “They can be ready to be and do what God wants them to do. This is how He works with us.”

To emphasize the point, Willis described a trying time when he served as a missionary in Indonesia as many, many people were killed during a short amount of time. Following this trial, a great movement of God occurred when more than two million people were baptized during the next five years. “God can stir a nation,” he concluded.

He urged the students to remember how God stirred their hearts when they were first called into the ministry and how they were not comfortable in what they were doing until they began to get in line with God. In spite of difficult times they must go through, Willis insisted, “God is preparing to do a mighty work through each person.” Willis asked, “Where are you? It takes faith to do what God wants you to do and be what God wants you to be. He takes you through a series of experiences to strengthen your faith that you can believe God in this process. This is the way God gets His people on mission with Him and uses them for His glory.”

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  • Rebecca Megli