Christ’s Love Compels Us
OMF (U.S.) President and Co-National Director James Dougherty loves to encourage others to seek God’s purposes for their lives. He grew up as a small-town pastor’s kid and from an early age, he wanted to change the world. When he was fourteen he and his family moved to Indonesia to teach in an international school. Through that experience God challenged James to live for eternal things.
Today, James shares how God has worked in his heart over the years and why Christ’s love compels us to go to the nations.
2 Minute Read
2 Corinthians 5:14 says, “Christ’s love compels us…”. What does this verse mean to you when you think about your role with OMF?
There’s a lot that God seems to call us into that isn’t comfortable. I would say most days in ministry require us to step into attempting something that we’re sure we don’t know how to do.
Some days that’s having the courage to show up and love people even when we don’t feel confident or generous to do that well.
Why do we do this? Because Christ’s love compels us.
As I respond to his incredible choice to love me, how can I avoid thinking that my friend or neighbor should experience this too?
Jesus’ love sends us out into the hard and scary places.
What are some practical things that have helped motivate you in the past to keep going when you faced difficulties?
1) God’s big plan to bring deserved attention to his name through people receiving his gift and responding with lives that worship him.
2) Co-workers who share in the sufferings of the cross together as we journey in ministry.
3) God’s promises and his presence with me.
During one of my first ministry trips with OMF I felt completely defeated by exhaustion, my inadequacies, and the lack of heart response from people I was serving.
I started a four-hour drive talking with God about how unfair everything felt and asking him for someone that I could talk with that day to help me process this.
After several attempted phone calls didn’t work, I finally started to listen. For the rest of the trip I felt God reminding me of his promises, of every amazing step he provided in my life, and that the ministry is his and not mine to carry. I stepped out of the car in a completely different state of mind, ready to try again.
What have been your biggest joys working in mission?
First, seeing people search for Jesus, find him, and let him transform their life.
Second, being humbled by the ways others read the Bible. I keep discovering how limited my own perspective is and growing as others share from different cultures and lives.
Third, seeing people open their hearts to serve in whatever way God directs them. Seeing co-workers persevere through painful seasons and then experience spiritual fruit on the far side of those challenging journeys.
What would you say to someone looking to get involved in mission?
It’s not about you.
It’s not about missions.
This story is all about God, the worship he deserves, and the need for people to hear the good news about Jesus.
I can’t imagine that he invites us to be part of his work to love peoples all over the world – I can’t imagine missing the opportunity to be part of his work!
James loves to encourage others to seek God’s purposes for their lives. He grew up as a small-town pastor’s kid and from an early age, he wanted to change the world. When he was fourteen he and his family moved to Indonesia to teach in an international school. Through that experience God challenged James to live for eternal things. Today, James lives with his family in Denver and serves as the OMF (U.S.) President and Co-National Director.