Innovista Meet Eileen

Meet Eileen: 'One leader at a time'

09 Jun 2008

Eileen Børven is a Tempo participant and a leader of RightFocus, a national leadership training programme for youth in Norway.

This August, she will join young missional leaders from across Europe for her third Leading For Life conference, run by Innovista. We asked her a few questions about leading and communicating Christ.

Innovista: What is it that drives you to reach young people?

Eileen: My passion for mission started three years ago. I started loving people, and when I started loving people, I started wanting to tell them about Jesus.

I: Where are you currently leading and how did you get there?

E: Through Leading for Life 2006, I met Jarle, the Executive Director of FriBu, a Christian organisation in Norway. Through FriBu, I got connected to a national leadership-training programme for youth called RightFocus. I’ve been helping to lead RightFocus for a year now.

I: What are the challenges you face in your role?

E: There was the challenge of agreeing on a vision. I really wanted RightFocus to become more focused on ‘everyday mission’. So I had the task of trying to persuade other people that this is the way we needed to go.

I: How do you see God working in a way that gives you hope for a new generation in Norway?

E: When you start talking about ‘everyday mission’, you begin to see the people who get it. There is a sense that Christians are dissatisfied with the Church and their lives. This can actually be a positive thing because this means we’re open to change.

In May, I also had the opportunity to teach 26 Norwegian and 18 international students about ‘everyday mission’ and apologetics at the Hald International Centre. It went well and one guy said that God really used my teaching to change his life! That's something!

I: What is your vision?

E: I’d like to see the Church changed one leader at a time. I believe that to build a good future for the Church, we have to influence current leaders. If you get a leader fired up, it’s amazing what can happen.

I’d also like the Church to stop seeing mission as an unnatural extra, but as a natural part of the Christian life. If we get there, that would be really, really exciting!

I: Why did you decide to join Tempo (Innovista's mission-focussed training programme)?

E: I was introduced to Innovista through Leading for Life 2006. I saw the Tempo content and said, “That’s what I need.”

I: How has being involved in Leading for Life and Tempo impacted your life?

E: Before, I felt weird and out-of-place, but now I’ve found people who understand me. I knew that I needed to be stretched and challenged. Through Innovista, I’ve discovered this. This has really clarified my calling, which is huge.

I: Innovista want to see young leaders give people credible opportunities to discover Jesus. How do you see the difference between a credible opportunity and one that isn’t?

E: The difference is if the gospel is explained in a language young people can understand or not. I don’t mean in English or German, but in a way that a new generation can relate to.

Different people have different needs. We often have this recipe for how someone should discover Jesus. But I’m not so certain there is one single recipe. I’m not sure everyone starts at the same point. We say ‘Jesus is the answer,' but to which question?

When I see how Jesus met people and asked, “What do you want me to do?” I see that he used different ways of approaching people. This, to me, is giving people a ‘credible opportunity’.

I: Can you tell us about a credible opportunity you’ve seen recently?

E: I was talking with a friend last week who is gay. His biggest need at this point is for someone to help him out of despair, not to heal him from being gay.

He told me, “You probably see me as a big sinner.” And I said, “I am the same as you. I need God to rescue me from myself just like you do.”

He could really relate to that.

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