When we coach champions, the greatest joy we can have is not receiving a six-figure gift in response to our solicitation of them or having them invite us for a promising evening gathering with their wealthy friends.
The greatest joy we can have is watching them move from participation to engagement to ownership.
Bob Faulkner is a champion for North Korea through Seoul USA, the organization my wife and I founded going on a decade ago. We met because the good folks at Voice of the Martyrs/US recommended that I talk to Bob. Though he loves the persecuted church at large, he really wanted to focus on persecuted Christians in North Korea.
When Bob and I met (and we’ve only ever met electronically and then talked once over the phone), we talked about Bob’s dreams and goals, and we set to work together on achieving what we discerned that God had called him to do.
Notice I didn’t say, “We talked about Seoul USA and the volunteer and giving opportunities we had available that might interest Bob”. That’s because I was coaching a champion, not soliciting a potential donor/volunteer.
Bob was already writing a blog–a really good one, in fact. So I asked him if he’d like to extend his reach by adapting his blog for Seoul USA and perhaps even posting some unique entries there. So he did. Rather than my wife or I writing the Seoul USA blog, Bob does. And he does a magnificent job.
Bob and his wife, Pyong, and their church now give regularly and generously to Seoul USA, and Bob’s even flying out to Colorado for the Seoul USA banquet on April 2 and heading to Korea with Pyong for the summer to minister with North Koreans through Seoul USA.
Truly Bob has been thoroughly engaged with the cause of North Korea, and he has found Seoul USA to be a God-sent platform for him to grow.
But yesterday Bob did something even more amazing.
Yesterday Bob officially became a card-carrying “O”.
Check out the following email I received from Bob yesterday. Note in it how Bob is not responding to a solicitation from Seoul USA but is responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We are supporting him, rather than soliciting him to support us. And now he is owning the cause of North Korea in his sphere of influence. And that’s what makes him an “O”.
And that is the greatest joy a coach of champions can have.
And now, let’s listen to Bob the champion as he champions:
Had a serious time of prayer today and I truly believe that God is now leading to begin a Seoul-USA-based group in Chicagoland. I did not want to make commitments while I still had so many other irons in the fire. But those irons are growing colder and it’s time to do what I believe is on your heart too.
In keeping with the UU extension vision, but also in keeping with the desires of our own hearts (and Pyong is overwhelmed with joy at the prospect) we’d like to establish, through much prayer, a ministry group that will meet at least monthly, maybe more, to do 3 things:
1) pray fervently. I add the adverb because I know the other group is dying because prayers had become too commonplace and even boring…
2) learn NK facts , both from secular and spiritual perspective.
3) work. Projects will be discussed and assigned.
All of this must flow from our relationship to Seoul USA. You will send us prayer requests. You will suggest the project(s) . Of course we are not denominational in heart and know that the Spirit will speak directly to us also, but your vision for NK will be much or most of what we do. (Happens to be my vision too, by and large!)
This is a turning point. All the elements of this decision were out there, but when God called me aside today to put this in my heart, I knew this was not just a good idea, but a revelation of the “next step” I have been praying about.
May the Lord bless your cause with many Bobs as you stop soliciting donors and start coaching champions!