The Role and the Ripple

In our last update, we shared about our return to the States this June and a brief description of our new role. Since that post, we have received numerous comments of encouragement and assurance of continued support in this new ministry. Thank you for your kind words and for standing with us in this transition. In this update we want to elaborate on the leadership role we’ll play within World Team and the ongoing work of establishing communities of believes among unreached people.

Recently, I’ve been thinking of Hebrews 12:2 ….“Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame…” The joy before him was at least two-fold; one joy was the knowledge of being obedient to the Father in the mission he was given and the second joy was looking past the horrific nature of the cross and seeing the eternal outcome. The outcome is a host of forgiven people surrounding the throne offering their praise and worship (a glorious outcome). What Jesus did over 2,000 years ago is having the rippling effect today. His work in those early disciples, his death on the cross and his empowerment of believers is still having an impact today throughout the world. Contemplating this verse made me think; what is the joy set before us as it relates to developing training materials and leaders? The joy set before us is to be obedient to the Father and to see people praising the Father. We believe our new ministry can have a far-reaching and eternal impact. How? you may ask. Although our feet may be in Wilmington, N.C the investment made in creating training materials and developing leaders is captured by the pebble in the pond phenomenon. Just as the pebble creates multiple outward ripples, so we believe investing in others creates a ripple. We anticipate the investment we make in others will, in turn, benefit those they work beside as well as those they serve. This ripple effect extends all the way to the lost who hear the gospel, who then form into communities of believers and extend the gospel to others.

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The outward moving ripple reflects the dynamic of discipleship and multiplication. We see this in the Apostle Paul wherein II Timothy 2:2 he says “now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others”. Paul alludes to the ripple effect once again in Ephesians 4:12 “Their (leaders) responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Leaders are in their role to influence others towards the purposes of God; to create a ripple that extends beyond themselves, beyond the walls into the streets and across cultural and national boundaries.

That is the joy and ripple effect in developing others. We want to play our part….causing a ripple for the praise of His Glory.

Over the last six year while serving as the Asia Area Director, growing and developing leaders has been at the forefront of our ministry. Now we have the opportunity to devote more time to a greater number of current and emerging leaders, not only in Asia but in other countries where World Team is working. Take a few minutes to watch this video to hear young leaders share the impact of the new Leader Cohort training which started November 2017. https://youtu.be/IbWfipLQzA8

The leader cohort (described in the video) is just one of the opportunities we have to impact leaders and missions on a global scale. In addition to the cohort, we’ll join others to present onsite training in various countries as well as hosting online development sessions. We’ve been asked to develop a new training resource every few months that will prepare workers for the task of sharing the gospel, discipling believers, establishing churches, working as a team, and leading others. We will also look into other training needs such as cross-cultural adaptation, resolving conflict, partnerships, leadership values, and other relevant topics.

There is great debate over whether or not leaders are born or are made. I can tell you from personal experience that leaders (whether born with a gift or not) need several things: 1) their reference point for all they do needs to be God, 2) development in principled-biblical leadership, 3) opportunities to exercise leadership, 4) feedback from mentors on how they’re doing 5) encouragement and a listening ear as they lead 6) continued development opportunities 7) vision to develop others. When emerging leaders have these components we will see a new era of available leaders.

We praise God for this chance to invest in leaders who will invest in others, thus keeping the multiplication ripple moving. We trust you see the importance and the strategic nature of this opportunity.

There is still so much more to share with you, such as the holistic organization we’re involved in. In our next update, we’ll share a bit about that and provide a video link which explains the core concepts of its ministry focus.

Look for another update coming soon,

The Cottles

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Cottle Family Update

June 26th, 1993 two kids got married. Lynette and I celebrated 24 years of marriage. Honestly, I’m not sure how Lynette has put up with me this long but I’m glad she has. I think we were made for each other.

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On a recent trip together, we were able to add an extra day to our travels to see the Palace in Beijing and a few Pandas. It just so happens our travel dates were on our anniversary…..so I credit myself for taking Lynette somewhere special on our anniversary.

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Also in June, I had the chance to observe the closing ceremony of Ramadan. This was a great experience and I couldn’t help but think of the verse when Jesus told his disciples “the fields are white and ready for harvest. Some estimate that over 200,000 Muslims filled the streets near the Mosque….I believe it. There were people everywhere.

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School House News

Lynette is teaching at Logos International School and one of her classes is Bible. She has some great things planned for students this year with the goal of helping them interact with God’s Word in practical ways rather than just viewing scripture as a book from the past. One way she is doing this is through using DBS (Discovery Bible Study). After reading a short passage of scripture (1-10 verses) she asked; what does this teach us about God, what does this teach us about man, is there a command to obey or an example to follow, is there a sin to avoid or repent of, and what truth will you apply this week? I have used this approach and we highly recommend it for all ages.

Rachel and Caleb are deep into their studies, making friends and enjoying sports. Rachel is playing High School volleyball and Caleb is playing Middle School basketball. Both of them are involved in Bible studies with other students and continue to grow in their faith. Since Logos is not too far from our house they ride their bikes to school and get to experience the high heat and humidity of Phnom Penh. I, on the other hand, choose to ride the motorcycle.

Area Ministry

I (James) continue to work with three different groups of leaders in Asia focusing on growing in our leadership skills and effectiveness. Each group meets every month to focus on various aspects of leading ourselves and others well. The training is not only about learning or sharpening our skills but also identifying tendencies and defaults that hinder us from serving others well. Starting in November I along with three other trainers will launch the Leadership Cohort. The Cohort will focus on developing emerging leaders throughout World Team. These participants come from South America, Africa, different countries within Europe, and Asia. The goal is to equip them now so they are better prepared to serve in any leadership capacity that God may lead them to.

Since we’re talking about leadership let me share with you a definition of leadership that I  like.  A leader is a person “with God-given capacity and with God-given responsibility who is influencing a specific group of God’s people toward God’s purpose for the group.” Dr. Bobby Clinton

Our well-being

Living in another country (especially a developing one) does bring its physical challenges and we’ve had our share of stomach bugs, viruses, and unexplainable symptoms but since we returned in August 2016 our health has been good and we’ve only encountered the typical illnesses that everyone tends to get. We thank God for good health and the ability to carry out the ministry.

However, we have experienced a decrease in monthly giving as a result of hardships some churches and supporters have had. We are currently averaging a $700 monthly shortage. As of right now, this is manageable but we would like for you to pray that all our needs would be met so that the work can continue.

Finally, we want to thank you for your prayers and support of our family and the ministry. As we enter our seventeenth year of serving in Cambodia we are amazed and thankful for each person, business, and church that has given their resources in order to reach others with the Gospel and establish the church.

Things to pray about:

  1. Moriah (our oldest) is getting married in Dec. We are assisting in the planning of the wedding via Facetime but there is still work to be done
  2. Rachel is taking SATs in October and obviously, she is hoping to do well
  3. That our financial support would stabilize…..and for others to join our support team
  4. I’m working with several teams in order to expand our ministry to Muslims. We need open doors and more workers
  5. I’m preparing my material for the Leadership Cohort….I’m still thinking through what to and what not to present

Thanks you,

The Cottles

 

 

 

Life over the last few months

First, we would like to apologize for not keeping everyone up to date as regularly as we should. It seems that the days are so busy with daily activities and it’s hard to find the time to sit and record all that is happening. We would like to recommend that you connect with us on Facebook if we’re not already “friends”. That format will allow you to see into our lives a bit more frequently.

Grieving dad

No doubt the last 8 months have been difficult for James. Not being able to talk to or hug his dad of 47 years is a new aspect of life that is not welcomed. However, over the last few months, God has given much grace to James and James’ heart is slowly healing. James was back in the States in May for World Team leadership meetings in which James took two extra weeks to visit NC. to spend time with his mom, brother, and sister. This was a special time as the family worked on a memorial garden and placed the ashes under the maple tree like pops wanted.

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Graduation and Congratulations 

Lynette was also able to travel to NC and we (proud parents) watched Moriah graduate from Liberty University. Moriah has grown so much in her faith and as an adult during her four-year studies and we wait with joy to see how God uses her to impact the world as a light bearer of the kingdom. We also were present when Moriah was proposed to by Houston Yager on May 6th. We are excited for them both and we praise God for a godly husband for Moriah.

Wedding bells

December 17th, 2017 is the big day. The Cottle family will travel back to the US in two shifts. James will arrive December 2nd and Lynette, Rachel, and Caleb arrive on the 14th. Planning has started via Facetime calls and wedding details are shaping up. It’s going to be an awesome day.

School is out and everyone is moving up

After the cake has settled and the balloons have lost their shape we now have a University graduate (Moriah), a Junior in college (Kailyn), an 11th grader (Rachel) and a 7th grader (Caleb). Lynette is also moving. This past year she taught third grade at Asian Hope International School but will transition to Logos International School to teach Math this coming school year.

Parents in School 

Lynette is one class and a thesis away from graduating with a Masters in Intercultural Education. She plans to complete her studies in May 2018. James is also wrapping up his degree with only five classes to go. He plans to complete his studies by June 2018. Crazy times…all the Cottles are in school.

Ministry across Asia

Since October James has traveled quite a bit to the various countries (Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and East Asia) within Asia to encourage and has taken two trips to America. That’s a lot of miles.

  • The trip in November was to East Asia (sorry, I can’t give you the exact location) to meet with four families who are working among minority groups in not so friendly conditions.
  • The trip in December was to work with three other leaders to lay the groundwork for a new holistic ministry that seeks to enter restricted people groups; some of which are literally living behind barbed wire. Progress has been made but they still have a lot of work to do in the coming months.
  • The trip in January was to Indonesia where James attended the Papua field conference where he led two sessions on working in Honor-Shame cultures.
  •  In March it was back to Papua, Indonesia for annual LEAD meetings. This is when the leaders of Asia gather for mutual encouragement, process ministry plans and grow in our leadership capacity. This was an enjoyable time with 10 leaders.
  • Late April took James to PA. USA for World Team Global Leader meetings then onto NC for two weeks before returning the Cambodia.
  • On June 22nd James & Lynette will fly to East Asia for 11 days. They will visit two teams. They will lead a session on Discovery Bible Study in order to give additional tools to the workers as they seek to start small groups of believers.

Working with leaders

Over the past year, James has been working with three other leaders to create a leadership training process for emerging leaders within World Team. The idea is to identify emerging leaders early and begin developing them over time. Although World Team has done this is various ways in the past, we are trying to be a bit more focused and structured in how this is carried out. The first leadership cohort will be in November of this year. We’re currently in the process of preparing the material for the cohort.

Along with this, James and his Field Directors have been working through various leadership topics over the past 8 months. Topics such as leadership bravery, assessment, vision, planning, why leaders wear so many hats, and a few other relevant topics. All of this is geared to help each of leader grow in leadership capacity.

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Finally, this past December James started an online group (Leader Excel) where he invited five emerging leaders to join him in growing in key leadership skills. So far they have discussed the foundation of leadership, vision, how to write a plan, and last month they started a three session topic on Situational Leadership. The time together is proving beneficial for all involved and James loves coaching and learning from these leaders.

Such a joy

We praise God for what He is doing in Asia and for allowing us to participate in establishing the Church. The workers and leaders of Asia that we work alongside are doing an awesome job of ministering in humility, staying connected to the vine (Jesus), promoting the Glory of God above all else and all have a desire to grow in knowledge, attitude, and skill. For James, serving as the Area Director with these missionaries is a joy.

Things you can pray for

  1. For God’s grace as the Cottle family continues to grieve the loss of a husband, dad, a brother, and granddad
  2.   Lynette and James as they continue with their schooling
  3. Moriah and Houston as they step closer towards uniting as one
  4. That the leaders in Asia will continue to grow in character and competency so they can lead well
  5. That the management team for the holistic org we are starting would work well together and that we’ll soon be able to complete all the structural elements of this new org
  6. Asia has three priority ministries, all among Muslims. Pray for more workers.
  7. The Cottle’s monthly support is averaging $600 a month shortage. We need more financial supporters and God’s grace to sustain us

Thanks to each of you who support us financially and prayer. Kingdom work is done through the power of God and in the context of community.

The Cottles

 

 

A letter to you

Below is a letter recently written by our International Director on our behalf. We are appreciative of the leaders around us and their desire for Lynette I to back in Asia.

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March 2016

Leaders instill value in others by reminding them of the immeasurable grace we have in Jesus Christ.  Leaders work to draw out of others their God given capacities and apply those to ministry.  Leaders serve others so that together they might accomplish the task, the mission that God has given to them.

James and Lynette Cottle are such leaders. They consistently seek to equip and release others into ministry. Two new ministry initiatives, which have recently been launched as a result of their leadership efforts, are a demonstration of their commitment to drawing others into ministry and leadership. Their own strong track record of experience and fruit in cross cultural ministry in Cambodia gives them a solid base from which to work in serving and leading others.  I wish I had several more leaders like them.  Such leaders develop and release more leaders into leadership, and launch more ministry projects to reach the unreached.

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However, James & Lynette are not able, at this time, to return to their leadership ministry location because of a lack of needed financial support.  Their ministry is vital for the ongoing work and development of World Team.  I would ask that you prayerfully consider joining their support team through your prayers and finances.  A regular gift to their support needs will be multiplied through their lives in the lives of others.

We need James and Lynette back in Asia to serve and lead our teams there!

Thank you for your interest in the way God has called them to do.  May He fill your hearts again today with the overwhelming assurance and wonder of His great love for you!

In His grace,

David RIDDELL

International Director, World Team Global