Monday, September 20, 2010

Redefining Success in Light of Suffering

One of my great joys as a believer in this new age is the opportunity to be involved in the Lausanne Movement as we get ready for the Congress in Cape Town, South Africa next month. My role is helping with social media and coordinating the Blogger Network - over 30 talented writers who are sharing their thoughts on global evangelism.

Recently we did an interview with Ajith Fernando about his recent article in Christianity Today entitled "To Serve is to Suffer." It was a great time of asking questions and listening to a wonderful man of God who has a passionate heart for service.

One of the things that Ajith talked about was the idea that "fulfillment should include suffering." Wow, what a challenging thought. We are trained as innovators to believe that a life of fulfillment will mean blessing, success and new opportunities to use our skills. But to think that we cannot experience true fulfillment unless we suffer goes against the very grain of our culture.

Why would he say this? Well, if we define our success as innovators in light of a world that values productivity, progress and new ideas, then suffering doesn't seem to fit . . . or does it? Take a minute to think back to the lives of some of the great innovators of the last century. Many of them suffered greatly. I think of the physical ailments that tormented William Wilberforce or the context of slavery that George Washington Carver was born into. I think of the tragedy of Adoniram Judson as he saw those he loved die during his service as a missionary. Each one of these individuals was an innovator that struggled and suffered greatly.

But it was in many of those agonizing struggles that God formed them into people who viewed the world as He does. Their innovations and efforts came out of God's strength flowing through them rather than their own efforts. And in their suffering, they came to grips with their identity in Christ.

I think that Ajith was challenging us as innovators to focus on identifying with the suffering Christ and then responding in love to the challenging situations around us. If our challenges allow us to create new innovations that respond to people's great needs, then we will see greater fulfillment than we could have ever hoped for on our own.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The End of a Transition and the Beginning of a Journey

When we suddenly found ourselves in a liminal time of transition just a few months ago, I shared very openly about our process and about the lessons my wife Mindy and I were learning as we journeyed through a time of even greater dependence on God.

Thank you to each of you for being part of that journey. Your encouragement, connections and prayers along the way have made all the difference as we have strived to honor God through our transition. Over the past months I have written the following posts about our process:
And now I write this post to share about how God has guided and directed us to a new phase of ministry. As you have seen from my posts of late, God has put the publishing industry on our hearts. Better said, God has burdened Mindy and I with a passion to help people communicate their ideas in new ways for a new century. This is not new, but in transition you always go back to the passions that God has given you and ask Him for a fresh perspective.

We did that over the past months. I interacted in great detail with many in the publishing field trying to identify what God is doing through the publishing of ideas to further His Kingdom. We asked the hard questions and looked for the key innovations that would be part of making God's Word and His work in the lives of believers available to more and more people.

At the end of that process God gave us the opportunity to join a new publishing start up called Novo Ink ( in Colorado Springs. This new organization will be coming alongside content providers such as Christian publishers to help them move their current and back-list titles into a high definition, color eBook reader delivered by Zinio, a long-time digital content provider with over 7 million subscribers globally. These eBooks will be available on people's computers, iPhones, iPads and soon in the Android Market.

As of September 7, I have taken the role of Account Manager and I have the great pleasure of working with the publishing staff of the Christian publishers that decide to partner with Novo Ink to get their content into this new format and available for purchase. I am very excited about the potential because Zinio's platform has the ability to deliver static content in an excellent/high-quality experience but it also has the ability to deliver audio, video and Flash content within the books - helping Christian publishers make the jump to Enhanced eBooks and a more dynamic experience for readers.

Mindy and I will continue in the Generous Mind cause, including blogging on innovations in publishing as I move deeper into that arena along with innovations for ministry in general. We also will keep blogging about our latest book Through the River: Understanding Your Assumptions About Truth and encourage you to purchase a copy and take time to think through how you understand truth.

Again, it is with great humility and thankfulness that we write this note. We owe so much to each person that is part of the Generous Mind cause. We look forward to your comments and your thoughts as we begin this new journey.

P.S. To follow along as Novo Ink launches in the coming weeks/months please connect in these ways: