Dr. Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International, shared a very personal and intimate message on pain in leadership. It would be impossible to convey Stafford’s story here. In short, he spoke of how, as a missionary kid, he experienced immense physical and emotional abuse while at a Christian boarding school. However, it was his experiences of abuse – both his own and viewing the abuse inflicted on others – that led him to have a compassion for children and to found Compassion International.
What this session led me to consider was the immense power of God that can be released when we open our lives, especially the dark places of our lives, to others. It is often the dark and heavy places in our lives where we most powerfully experience the grace of God ourselves. And when we experience that powerful grace of God in such deep places, those deep hurts have the potential to be our most powerful means of ministering to others.
So my questions for anyone reading this to consider are:
- who am I?
- where are my painful places?
- how have I experienced God’s grace in those painful places?
- how can I let that experience of God’s grace be a means for authentic ministry to others?
What do you think?