One of the best parts of this trip has been experiencing it with Scott Dove. Scott has taught the middle four of our 10 lessons, wrapping up his part earlier today, but even before he taught his first lesson, the students had discerned his heart.
One of the most powerful moments happened as Scott quietly tried to copy some Farsi song lyrics off a screen. A couple of students noticed and called over one of the people who could interpret and told Scott they wanted to give him a verse. The verse they had picked was Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Those of you who know Scott will understand just how well they have discerned Scott’s character.
Shortly after Scott’s fourth lesson, another student said to the whole class and asked that it be translated for Scott and me that “when Scott looks at us, we can see love.”
I share all this not just because Scott is worthy of the honor but also to raise the point that we are actually better together. Scott and I have been a great team and have been able to build on one another in ways that drives home our teaching in ways more powerful than the lessons alone. We have, among other things, taught about humility and accountability and leadership development, and the way Scott and I have worked together has been a message in and of itself.
This hasn’t been lost on our students. After Scott’s last lesson one of them came and thanked me. She shared that while our lessons have been powerful, it is the way Scott and I have worked together and worked with them that has had the greatest impact. This in turn relates to the lesson I just taught about how the church needs to be diverse in its leadership functions (the APEST things we have been preaching) as well as in its ethnic, economic and generational make up. Not only is it the kind of church we see modeled in Scripture, but this kind of church is best able to accomplish the mission Christ has called us to.
Over and over again on this trip I’ve seen how the Iranian church and our church need each other. We need their passion for the gospel, innovation and humility, and they need our experience and resources.
We are better together.