Serving Gangnam Style

Serving Gangnam Style
Hi All, it’s been a while since I blogged. A friend of mine asked me what I’ve learned on KJ so I thought I’d share the email with you below:
Our team just left India a few weeks ago. We stopped in Sri Lanka and Malaysia on our way to Korea. Now we are working with GMS and other movers here in Seoul to create the vision for Koreans and Americans together in missions around the world.
I’m in Gangnam, Seoul now and will be here for most of the next five weeks. It’s nice to finally see where my mother was born.
I agree with the quote sent to you (see at bottom). Being honorable and kind in the simplest things, like being kind to your roommates even if you are not a morning person or having grace for people do things around you that are pet peeves of yours is the real challenge – I hate it when people chew with their mouths open.  It’s so easy to make a snide remark, or snark in the seemingly insignificant things.
The bigger problems are a lot easier to deal with then the small problems because they are present, front and center. I find it easier to work hard and deliver a project for God’s kingdom than to ‘be’ in every moment, honoring God in my daily interactions. Ultimately, the big projects we work on are not really all that big. And getting the perfect job, grant, fellowship doesn’t get us much closer to being content… We do it to find satisfaction and give outselves a pat on the back saying, ” I did something important. I did something big and others think so too..”
True joy comes from serving others and being present in your relationships.
I guess what I’ve been learning on Kingdom Journeys is how little you actually need. 3 pairs of clothes (1 athletic piece), you can eat for 5 dollars a day in any city whether is Seoul or Kathmandu, and most of the luxuries in life people are willing to share with you. The people who own the nicest stuff want someone to show it off to or experience it with them.. So you don’t have to own them yourself.
One of the most exciting gifts God has for us is to find out how little of what we live for is actually important, and discovering how much we need God. I think of all the mentors affiliated with KJ. How each of them has their success story. They are all influencers. Why then do they even care to give their time and money. I don’t think it’s because they are trying to buy one more thing.
They want a taste of ‘real’ life. It’s to pour into something of value, a desire to connect with men and women, to serve something bigger than themselves, bigger than our stuff.
We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.”
They best way we do this is by looking to honor God.  By serving those around us – bringing them up, loving them – then you can focus on your high impact objectives like starting the super successful organization you’ve been dreaming up. God asked me to stop focusing so much on how I’m going to build the perfect company one day, who I’m going to marry, what important, seemingly cool thing I can say I am working on to my friends and just focus on SERVING. Focus on the guys God has placed in my life, focus on living others dreams instead of mine for a moment, and to stop looking looking in the mirror for signs of progress.  Oh and one really big one… To forgive myself for not living up to unachievable standards.
I went into Kingdom Journeys for me when this never was about me. And it was never about what I could get done for God. The whole time, Kingdom Journeys has been about serving my team, pulling out the best in each of them, helping them when they ask, and praying.. praying every day for God to lift up those around me. And although we have left each engagement having delivered a great project,  these engagements have just been a front to the real mission of lifting up those beside and in front of you. I guess that’s where we’ve picked up on the notion that our area of greatest impact is found in local missions.
Be a servant good sir, it’s the best route to success.
  • seth_barnes

    Great stuff, Justin. Well done.

  • Mark Gottlieb

    WOW. Good insights for sure. Maybe I need to sign up for Kingdom Journeys or the World Race. Keep up the good work – one more month to go.

  • amazing man. had an excellent journey with you and looking forward to the rest of life.

  • John Hlavacs

    What a wonderful witness my friend.