Worldview shift through Gospel
Gospel and Mission Series:
by John Hall
In this article we are continuing to explore the 2018 Missions Fest Vancouver theme “What is the Gospel?” through the perspective of missional professionals. We use the word Gospel in a variety of ways in our Christian culture. One of the reasons why may be because of the richness the word encapsulates. Certainly, when the gospel writer Mark uses the word he seems to be making a strong correlation between Gospel and Kingdom. This month Murray Derksen shares his understanding of the word Gospel. As you read Murray’s responses to our questions see if you hear Kingdom overtones.
Who are you, and what ministry are you part of?
My name is Murray Derksen. I have been married to my wife Michelle for 32 years. We have four children (ranging from 28 to 17), whom we have raised in Canada, USA, Mexico, Egypt, and Costa Rica. We are originally from the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia’s interior. I have worked with the Christian & Missionary Alliance since 1987 (could it really be 30 years?). We started in the pastorate in Winnipeg, MB, then moved to Texas for language/cultural studies, then spent 10 years in Guadalajara, Mexico as church planters/church developers. We served for a few years as mission mobilizers in our home district in BC before moving to Egypt to work in an international church with a focus on everything the church did outside the church walls (outreach to the local people, refugee services and training, primarily through hundreds of small groups). In 2008 we were asked to go back to Latin America as the regional developers, overseeing Canadian international workers and working closely with national churches in their quest to become missional (active participants in the global south movement). We are currently based out of Kelowna, BC but commute back and forth to many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
What does the word “Gospel” mean to you?
When I think of gospel, I think of an all-encompassing worldview shift that includes the heart, soul, mind, and body of an individual. The gospel to me is a holistic way of life that impacts all parts of who we are as individuals, as members of a family, as people in a community, as workers in our respective work places, and as global citizens in an ever changing world. The gospel is how a Triune God impacts every segment of who I am as a person. This includes both the natural maturing process that happens in a person’s life, as well as the supernatural impact that the gospel has on us and those around us. I believe that Jesus’ modelling and teaching of the gospel is meant to transform us into his representatives in our town/city, our province/state, our country, and in countries around the world (Acts 1:8). The gospel is a mix of how God impacts my life and how my life impacts those around me.
How does the Gospel impact you?
The gospel impacts me in two primary ways. First, at a very personal level, it is a deepening relationship with God that is transformative every day. As I spend time in His presence He teaches me and changes me and transforms the way I think, speak, act, spend, love, and live. Secondly, I have the privilege of spending my career energy on the impact of the gospel in Latin America. In our particular vocational role I get to see how the gospel is best applied to the Christian leader – be that person an international worker or a national leader. As leaders in kingdom endeavors, we emphasize the depth of the impact of the gospel on the leader (their character, ethics, skills, development, and impact) as well as how that is translated into the development of national leaders around them. I love to see the gospel change a leader because a gospel-saturated leader will develop gospel-saturated disciples, who in turn will do the same.
How are you (in your ministry) a reflection of the Gospel?
For me, the more that I spend time allowing the author of the gospel, our Triune God, to transform me, the more I will reflect who He is. This then naturally permeates what I do. If I expect the leaders that we work with to live out the fullness of the gospel in their lives, then I too need to live out the fullness of the gospel in my life. But it doesn’t stop there. I am compelled to take what I am learning about life lived in the power of the gospel and make it transferrable to those I lead and those I influence. My passion is to create an environment where kingdom leaders are equipped, empowered, and enabled to fulfill their God-given purposes. The heart of this is living by example, but it is much more than this as I endeavor to see that multiplied in other leaders who will do the same with those they influence (disciples who make disciples who make disciples).
Missions Fest Vancouver is an organization dedicated to supporting the local church in their efforts to become more missional. Learn more at: missionsfestvancouver.ca