When Empty, Cracked Vessels are Good

We live in an age age that demands perfection more than ever. With today’s technology, airbrushing has never been easier, if not more convenient, to display or sell the truth. Images of things we market and sell are airbrushed, and even various images of ourselves.

First, we airbrush the photos (the way we look) we post on social media. Then, we “airbrush” our character or personality to match what we want others to perceive of us. Soon, we easily “airbrush” our own spirituality. Now, we are not showing our true selves.

Why do we do this? Is it because you don’t think you look good enough or are enough? Do you fear not having it all? This basically means that you donʼt believe that God knows what He is doing when he created you. You donʼt trust Godʼs design (of you).

There is a practice in Japan, the Kintsukuroi method, where broken pottery is repaired with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. Now picture two Vessels. One being perfect and intact and the second having cracks, but with hints of gold. Which is more beautiful and real? Which of these vessels would you like to be?

How To See and Embrace Your Cracks

No one is perfect. So, the choice is yours to plaster your own cracks or let God plaster your cracks. Who better to go back and fix the original masterpiece than the Potter Himself? He designed and made the vessel in the first place. He is the only One that knows what your functions are and why you are designed the way you are. He has called you to fulfill a purpose that only He knows. If you understand that, let me share a little of what I went through when I made the decision regarding my own cracks.

For me, the process began with a willing heart, prayers and self-reflection. You need to be still, be willing, and be honest. But the hardest, most crucial part was being courageous enough to be vulnerable and be real. This process also involves the help of others. So, do not be afraid to seek trusted Godly counsel or communities. Weʼve become so good at plastering our own cracks that sometimes it is hard for us to be able to see what is real and what is not an original part of us.

Only when an honest, trusted opinion gets lovingly spoken to us, do we realize we have cracks and see where they are. This is the hardest part for me. Some of the things that I cover my cracks with is perfectionism, self-sufficiency and feminism. And to top it off, I keep a safe (emotionally and spiritually) distance from people. If you maintain a safe distance, people cannot see you for who you truly are, an imperfect person. But with that action, you forget the importance of your imperfections...that your imperfections is the greatest testimony of His mercy. When there are cracks, there is room and need for grace.

“for My strength is made perfect in weakness” - 2 Corinthians 12:9

I am done being seen as one who has it all together. If anything, that is the biggest misperception that others often have of me. For those that have earned my trust and see me for who I am, they know how far from perfect I am from it.

The Need for Empty Vessels

God can only pour into empty vessels. Grace is flowing and can overflow. So, in order to receive God, you need room for Godʼs oil in your vessel. But you also need to keep your vessel clean so that the pure oil may continue to flow to and through you.

The “cracks” are what sometimes prevents us from showing our true selves or God’s glory. But it is those cracks and conflicts that actually best represent His blessings and allows His glory to shine through the most. You are Godʼs chosen vessels, imperfect and with cracks. Cracks ensure His glory and allow His grace to be visible. This way people wonʼt compliment the vessels, but in turn, might value the oil that is placed inside.

Pour out what is inside your vessel. Leave your vessel empty, by pouring into Him, so that He may pour into and make you anew. One must have the courage to pour out our own pride, opinions, insecurities, walls and defenses. Only then can you come before the Lord, willing, vulnerable, honest and ready to be renewed in His grace. Let God repair the cracks (part of His original design) that you have tried to plaster yourself, and let Him fill it with gold, His grace.

Pour out to People - The call to love

The main principle is that you pour love to other people, knowing that you are pouring for the Lord. This is in spite of how they may respond, appreciated or not, and regardless of whether they asked. Remember the source from where it comes from and the very reason why you began pouring out to others in the first place. Continue to offer a word of encouragement, a touch of love, an offer of strength, but no matter what, you gotta keep pouring.

The concept of Daily Sustenance

“Your mercies are new every morning” - Lamentations 3:22-23

2 Kings 4:5-6 - The widow poured in secret (behind closed doors) into empty vessels

When vessels are empty, they are ready. Ready to receive, ready to give, ready to daily draw from Him. Usually, one gives as much as they “have” or can “afford” to give. But know that because God is your source, you will never have nothing to give. So, you should always give and let His blessings continue to flow upon you and others. Let the oil continue to flow out and into vessels.Just as the Israelites were told not to save manna for tomorrow, trust that what God gives to you today is meant to be shared for today. Do not hold back worried that it won’t be enough. God will always provide just enough not only for you but for others that you want to share it with and with those God wants you to share it with. Then you come again to Him tomorrow for another portion.

My prayer today

Lord, I believe that You have given me what You have required. I trust that I have enough. Enough love, strength, encouragement and faith to give. I choose to not to wait until I have what I think I need, before I can give.

I trust that You are sovereign. So, if You have led me here, I believe that You have a plan. I thank you for all the paths which are aligned with Yours. And I trust You with the detours that You have lovingly let me take out of my own misdoing. Help me now to turn those detours for Your glory and for your purpose.

Give to me, in all your ways, just enough for today, for myself, to give to others, and to all those You have placed in my life.

Word of Encouragement:

I believe that every decision you have made until now has led you to where you are at this moment in time. You are where you are supposed to be, doing what God needs you to do, not later, but now.

Sonia Wirya, Jakarta Cohort 2018

Chicago: the Launching Pad

August 2018 ends the second group of our Chicago Cohort. Though we had a smaller amount compared to the first year, the intimacy and relationships that was built within us was unique and powerful. We had leaders who were in healthcare, writing, tech training, consulting, and marketing. Some were born and raised right here in Chicago, while others were born in different states or even different countries. Yet all of them gathered together because they wanted a deeper understanding of what it meant to live out the gospel in the fullness of their work, their family, and in their communities.

The beauty of Resource Global is that we have an opportunity to influence diverse young leaders who are impacting their workplaces and communities in Chicago and even outside of it. What’s so unique about Chicago and the leaders we have here is that many of them end up leaving Chicago and going to other global cities for work, family, and mission. For example, almost half of our first Chicago Cohort are now in cities like San Francisco, Denver, Singapore, and more. They are taking upon new degrees, new jobs, new churches, new communities, and some, even new relationships. Unlike our Jakarta cohort that usually has many who stick it out in Jakarta because of family and work, our Chicago Cohort is able to serve as a launching pad to send out leaders in other places so they can not only impact one city, but multiple cities. Though it makes it hard to have an alumni gathering the following year, it’s been a blessing to see our cohort members take their passions to new places that will allow their gospel impact to be even greater than in Chicago. It makes me reflect upon the reality that Jesus called the disciples to not stay in Jerusalem, but to go beyond: to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Our hope is that our Chicago Cohort past, present, and future will be the same. That while in Chicago they can learn, grow, and catch vision, so that they can be launched to make gospel impact wherever God calls them.

Now as we get ready for year 3, we are excited to have a new Chicago Cohort Lead, Deb Gorton, head up a new batch of leaders and influencers. We are partnering with many city churches, creating a Chicago board, and have also just completed our first ever God@Work Conference with speakers from Northwestern Kellogg Business school that had over 80+ people in attendance. We look forward to building off the momentum from the past two years and see our Chicago Cohort take new ground with Deb’s leadership and even as we start another global cohort in Nairobi. Ultimately, we know that the invest we make is small, but the impact we hope to see in 5-10 years will produce fruit beyond any of us can comprehend or imagine.

Noah Chung, Resource Global Staff

Our Vision: Global Cities and Global Young Leaders

Cities around the world continue to be on the rise. For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s people live in cities. They hold such economic and political power, yet also contain vast inequality and diversity. As we’ve worked alongside global non-profits, mission agencies, and churches, one of the common issues we faced was the lack of local leaders from professional workplace backgrounds that could support, consult, or even help lead many ministry efforts in global cities like Jakarta, Shanghai, Nairobi, and more. So we began to ask ourselves, what type of individual could spur the greatest impact towards God’s global mission in reaching the lost and poor, while at the same time influence the workplace, the city, and be self-sustainable?  

The answer was in the future. At Resource Global, we are committed to resourcing and releasing the next generation of Christian leaders and professionals within an interconnected network for Gospel movements in major global cities. Many of the young working professional leaders in Jakarta, Chicago, and other global cities are continuing to thirst for a greater understanding and purpose in how to take their work, experiences, passions, and the gospel to new frontiers in their city and industries. Our ultimate hope is that we are able to resource these leaders in the short-term and long-term, so that they can be released to restore the brokenness and needs of their neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and cities.

How do we expect to invest and resource these individuals? Well, our vision starts with establishing yearlong cohorts of 12-15 hand-selected individuals in our global cities. Throughout the year, they will be taught through a leadership curriculum with prominent workplace and ministry leaders on topics like identity, faith and work, and global missions. Each cohort member will also be paired with a mentor in the same industry, so that they can walk alongside and give guidance in the areas of faith, work, and ministry. And to continue with global learning, each year we host a Global Cohort Gathering (GCG) that brings together all the cohorts to spend intentional time learning from global leaders and from their global peers. At the end, we challenge each cohort member to create a Gospel Action Plan, which maps out their next steps of how they will impact their city and beyond.

Why do we invest in these individuals? One assumption in global missions is that as Americans we have to invest by ourselves. But when you look at the giftedness and positions of these young leaders, they have the potential to be the future investors, future elders, and future entrepreneurs. They have the potential to create fair-pay jobs and justice-filled industries, to give and partner with churches, the poor, and global missions. They have the potential to understand the cultures, corruptions, languages, and difficult dynamics of ministry that we as Westerners will take decades to understand. And when Western money and giving decreases towards world missions, these young leaders have the potential to carry on the torch in the majority world and in the most unreached areas of the world. If we properly train, resource, and walk alongside these future leaders their potential to impact the world with the gospel is endless.

The reality is that the future of global missions does not rely on us but it relies on future global Christian workplace leaders. Our hope is to invest our time, resources, network of teachers, and mentors so that these future workplace leaders can take Gospel-centered risks in their spheres of influence. And one day, we hope that by creating a network of future leaders sharing and teaching one another across the world, we can see sustainable Gospel impact grow 30, 60, and even 100 times for the Kingdom of God.

Resource Global Team