Happy New Year!!
As we move into the new year we wanted to share with you one of our highlights from December and probably all of 2008 was a meeting that I (Brian) helped facilitate a few weeks back between many on my Epic HR team and from Epic at large with Dr. John Townsend from New Life Ministries (http://www.cloudtownsend.com). The overall campus ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ established a partnership with Dr. Townsend and his partner Dr. Henry Cloud about 15 years ago in the effort of providing a model or paradigm to help with intentional character and leadership development. They’ve written many a book – you might have come across them.
I’ve been leading a working group for the past few months to explore and reframe some of their material so that it stays true to a Biblical paradigm of growth and maturity, but also resonates better culturally within the Asian American community – eliminating any unnecessary cultural stumbling blocks that may hinder students and staff from thinking more holistically about who they are and what God is doing in their lives.
This has been a very challenging process and it has stretched me greatly as a Caucasian trying to think from a different perspective. Christine and have continued to learn so much this year in this regard! It’s a huge challenge, but our calling to build leaders of character and integrity demands that we go after this. Having a model that resonates with Asian American values and language is very important to our vision of seeing these leaders raised up across the country, reproducing other leaders and teams and student leaders of character and integrity.
Our meeting was really awesome and I appreciated Townsend’s leadership and humility. It’s so nice when you get in a more intimate setting with a big time leader, but he doesn’t act big time. He was down to earth, asked questions when he needed to, but was very comfortable with his cross-cultural limitations regarding the question of how people of other ethnic groups experience his material and content. I think I was most encouraged by how energized he was in recognizing the depth of the need for what we’re trying to do in the Asian American community and how by the end he was using “we” language as we tried to determine our next steps.
We’ll see where this relationship and partnership goes, but what a great highlight for Epic in 2008 as a whole as well as for us personally. You can pray for us all we we continue to make progress in this challenging, but exciting endeavor.