This is what the Lord says:
‘Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, “We will not walk in it.” – Jeremiah 6: 16

This is a very, very sad verse. Rest for our souls was traded for belligerence. How often do we know, really know, the right things to do and then we go the other way?

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege of working with the Strategic Planning Sub-Committee of the YFCI Board. The World Leadership Team, together with this Sub-Committee has just completed our preliminary draft of a four year Strategic Plan for our global movement. But every bit as important as the plan itself is how we got to the planning stage We stood at the crossroads – in fact we stood on the ridge line of leadership. On the ridge, the leader can look back from whence we came, look to the left and to the right making ourselves aware of potential pitfalls, and gloriously look ahead to what is yet to come. I love hiking on the ridges because the view is better there.

We looked back over our 73 years of history and celebrated what was, revisited pitfalls, and pressed in to timeless best practices, many of which are explicitly elaborated right into our by-laws. This exercise was affectionately called, “Back to the Future.” What was YFCI called to do oh so many years ago? To stimulate, encourage and assist national YFC programs. And, as we journeyed through the planning process, we listened. We listened to the God-Whisper, to the staff pleas and to the nation’s observations about a reinvigorated YFC. We also had the amazing input of Ambassador Enterprises, a generous, godly organisation that evaluated us in an Organisational Health Assessment! Ambassador Enterprises visited 14 of our nations, listening, asking, observing.

Then, after distilling and synthesizing, we asked, “What is the good way forward?” How can we best bring delight to the heart of God and joy to the nations we serve? THAT is a phenomenal coupling of purposes.

Would you pray for us as we prepare to meet with the YFCI Board in Kenya next month? Yes, we took a look back, evaluated what is, hoped for what could be. We don’t now want to say, “We will not walk in it!” We do not want to just park the Strategic Plan binder on the proverbial shelf. We want to instill a contagious purposefulness in YFC staff globally and an eternal, salvific rest for the souls of a generation.

To be continued . . . .