Today is the first day of my new job. I have “handed the baton” if you will. (See picture of new RD Kristy Fox receiving the baton!) On our last Staff Day as the Regional Director of the Southcoast Region I was asked to say some words of reflection. Here they are:
- What kept me from even wanting to come to Southern California . . . fear of funding, fear of housing, fear of diversity, fear of how “different” it would be, fear of leaving a secure position in Houston, fear of the energy it would take, fear of knowing no one . . .
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4)
God loves us to step into our fears!
- One of the things I learned over and over again while I was in this “post” is that God is in charge. He delivered time and time again . . . whether it was funding, campers, staffing, golfers, a pat on the shoulder, or a person to pray with.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV).
He always delivers and is always ON TIME.
- Faith. It was in this season that God did a miracle I will never forget. It was not a 100k check, it was not a new club of 300 per week, it was not a committee that did it all for the staff person . . . it was found in a statement I made to Marni in 2006: “There is no way a homecoming court princess and the QB of the football team are going to call us and deliver a baby into our hands.” Well, I think that God smiled on this one . . . He actually smiles on both of our miracle boys!
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
- Another aspect that is amazing to me as I look back. People said a lot of “No way” statements before I got here and after I arrived. “Committee won’t work here.” “Kids are too busy to go to camp.” “There is no history of YL here so no one supports it.” “Money is too hard to raise, Cost of living is too much.” “Typical YL doesn’t work – kids are too busy.” I have found that none of the above are true. God is amazing . . . and He can do anything!
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)
Young Life in many ways can work anywhere!
- I remember my early years at Woodleaf — it was the melting pot of Young Life. Woodleaf was God’s World to me – DIVERSE. The one thing I love about being in the Southwestern part of Young Life is the incredible diversity. I think it is the way it is supposed to be!
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,” (Revelation 7:9)
- So many moments that He (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit) just covered me . . . I can tell you, He gets all the credit. God has saved me so, so many times. I can go on, and on . . . Reminding me of a wedding one day which started an hour earlier than I thought, connecting me to my now administrator Bri, random donors to send kids to camp when we had nothing, a phone call from three different couples over the years about starting Young Life in Temecula . . . all stringing together to keep it going.
“But thanks be to God, who in the Messiah constantly leads us in a triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of what it means to know him!” (2 Cor. 2:14)
- I think if I could leave you, the Region, Kristy, with any advice . . . any parting challenge it would be these three things:
- Seek Jesus. My own journey has grown these last 8 years. I am closer to Jesus today than I was 8 years ago. I know Him better, I know His word better, and I can sense the Spirit more.
Step Out. I would love to say that we have processes in place to cover us in every way. I would rather say, “Step out.” Kids to camp, the next school in your area, asking a leader to lead, a donor to give, a parent for their home. It is in the “step out” that we allow God to Step in.
Mission Minded. We are a mission. We need to remember the fabric of who we are – sharing Jesus with a broken world that comes in a multitude of shapes. Kids, parents, young moms, big town, small town, urban, rural, college, middle school, abled, disabled, black, brown, white, and everything in between . . . the right school, the wrong school, money, no money, parents who care, parents who don’t. We are a MISSION – introducing adolescents to Jesus.
- Pray for me. I am humbled and honored to be your SVP for the Southwestern Division. I want to lead well. I want to lead with courage. I want to lead with passion. I want to leave my post – Lord Willing – being able to say, I sought Jesus, I stepped out, and I was mission minded.