This morning, I read from Henri Nouwen’s book You Are the Beloved. One of the key statements that caught my attention is this: “We can easily lose sight of our joys and speak of our sorrows as the only reality there is.” I have found this to be so true of my own heart. Far too often, I only define my world by what is broken or lost and fail to be thankful for what I have and what God has done. Nouwen continues saying, “We need to remind each other that the cup of sorrows is also the cup of joy, that precisely what causes us sadness can become fertile ground for gladness.” I have personally experienced this and was reminded again this morning to slow down and give thanks for all that God has accomplished and is doing, even during a season of loss and sorrow.
I, along with the Saturate team, have much to celebrate and give thanks to God for in 2022. Many of you have been key partners in this work through praying and giving—thank you! Many of you have also personally been served by the Saturate team and the stories we hear are very encouraging.
One of the resources we were really excited to create this year was our new Disciple-Making Pathway video series. We’ve heard that many leaders and churches are walking through the videos to help them redesign their ministry strategies coming out of COVID.
One of my most recent favorite stories comes from a youth ministry in Houston that did a full Gospel Fluency course with 40 students using our videos and the Gospel Fluency Handbook. Many of the students said they now understand how the gospel is good news for all of life and are better prepared to share it with others.
Speaking of gospel fluency, in partnership with C2C Collective Quebec, we were able to develop a French translation of my book Gospel Fluency titled: Parlez-vous couramment l’Évangile ? You can find it on Amazon or place bulk, discounted orders directly through us here. We hope this is a helpful resource to serve the French-speaking Church.
SERVING THE GLOBAL CHURCH
I was blessed to serve the global church through live, online training for both Russian and Ukrainian leaders, business leaders in Indonesia, and church leaders in Mexico, Japan, and Australia. I was honored to spend a week in Copenhagen training leaders from Denmark and other neighboring countries. Thanks to our financial supporters, we were able to gift free Saturate membership, with access to our full library of disciple-making videos, PDF’s, eBooks and online courses, to 450 international leaders this year.
We were able to train several thousand people through in-person events all over the country, including the first ever Micro Church Conference in Gainesville, Florida. Being in-person and on the ground with leaders and everyday disciples is one of my favorite things to do as it allows me to hear the stories of how God is at work in so many different contexts.
One of the most personally significant outcomes of this past year came out of my own journey. As many of you know, I lost one of my best friends who was also a spiritual son to me to suicide back in November 2019. This put me on a personal journey toward emotional health. This past year, I began to share more about what I have learned at a few key events and conferences. The reception and hunger from leaders to take seriously their own journey toward emotional health was overwhelming! So many leaders need help. And thankfully, many are taking the journey toward being spiritually, relationally, and emotionally healthy.
LOOKING AHEAD: 2023
This leads me to share some news about a new and much needed resource that will be coming out in 2023. I am currently partnering with two counselors to write a book about our emotions and the need to get our hearts back. The working title is Gospel Through the Heart: Feeling Your Way to Jesus. We will lay out a biblical theology of emotions and how most of us, like Adam and Eve, experienced the impairment of our emotions at some point, leading us to broken relationships and destructive behaviors. Then, we will show how Jesus fully felt every emotion and is able to sympathize and help us in our own neediness (see Hebrews 4:14-16). Think of it as gospel fluency for the heart. We plan to create videos and a workbook to accompany the book as well as offering in-person training to walk through the content throughout 2023 and beyond. The past several years have shown us how broken many of our leaders and churches are. Our hope is that this resource might invite us to bring our hearts back to Jesus for help, healing, and hope.
Our calendar is filling up but we still have a few spaces open in our calendar to provide in-person training so if we can serve your church, city, or region, please let us know.
2022 was quite the year! And we are all different today than at the beginning. God is faithful and good and is still completing the work He started in each of us. We are so thankful for His loving kindness and amazing grace!
And, there is more to come. Saturate has never been more committed to serving leaders and everyday disciples with the aim of seeing gospel saturation come to fruition. We continue to dream of a day when every man, woman and child will have repeated opportunities to meet Jesus through His Body, the Church, on mission everywhere, every day. We want to inspire you with stories, equip you with tools and experiences, and invest in helping you take responsibility for the place God has you in. We believe Jesus wants His Church unified in collaboration around prayer, developing healthy leaders, making disciple-making disciples, serving the places we live, work, learn and play, and multiplying more disciples, leaders and churches to fill every place with Jesus’ presence.
Please considering joining us in prayer, financial support, and most importantly, taking steps personally to join in the work God is doing in your own context. If you want to be more informed about how you can pray for us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to give a year-end gift or commit to monthly support of this work, we would be so grateful. And if you need more resources to equip you in everyday discipleship, consider becoming a Saturate member to get full access to all of our resources.
I can’t wait to look back on 2023 and see what Jesus accomplished through us, His Church!