“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
— PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11 (NASB)
The apostle Paul describes for us “his prayer”—but it is so much more than a simple prayer. Paul is describing for us the way in which we grow in Christ. Our love for Christ is returned to us and transformed into knowledge, increasingly deeper insight, and an ability to discern what is best, pure, and blameless, and ultimately it fills us with the fruit of righteousness that exclusively comes through Jesus Christ. The process itself gives God glory. The key is love. As Christ loves us, we return that love. As we return that love, he transforms it into knowledge, insight, discernment, and—ultimately—righteousness. It is the Holy Spirit—the fullness of God’s love—that we experience in this process.
This process, in its expanded form, is what we seek to ingrain in our YTI students and partners. As they enter into the educational process at YTI, they receive insight into the fundamental nature of Scripture, theology, culture, and the church. As they move deeper into the process, they discover not only the truth of Scripture, the meaning of theology, and the wiles of culture, but details about themselves that need to be healed, empowered, and used for the glory of God and His kingdom. Finally, we release them into the adventure of life and ministry.
Life in Christ is adventure. Ministry embodies that adventure and turns it into a force for the good of all humankind. It changes churches from huddled, fearful, and powerless gatherings to communities of adventurers, imbued with the power of the Spirit, and fueled by the Love of God. Helen Keller once said, “Life is a daring adventure, or nothing. There is no safety guaranteed in the world of men; faith alone defends.”
This is the life for which YTI prepares men and women called by God to ministry.