Often hearing examples and stories from other people’s lives can help us gain clarity in our own lives and even give us ideas of how we can move forward in areas where we may feel stuck.  To that end, we recently interviewed several of our ALLC Elders and asked them two main questions:

Enjoy reading below the stories and explanations from these Elders as they give us some examples of how they gained a clearer understanding of themselves.  We hope and pray that this both encourages you and gives you some helpful insights about how to go about continuing to better understand yourself, as well.

Garth Gustafson

Role:  Leader of YWAM Battambang, Cambodia – UofN Campus, ALLC Elder

How would you describe yourself?

How have you come to that understanding of yourself?

Phil Porter

Role:  National Leader/Convenor of YWAM Thailand and ALLC Elder

How would you describe yourself?

How have you come to that understanding of yourself?

Harold Viana

Role:  Leader of YWAM Hong Kong Base and ALLC Elder

How would you describe yourself?

How have you come to that understanding of yourself?

Mel Tay

Role:  ALLC Elder, ALLC Core Team Member, SOFM Leader 

How would you describe yourself?

How have you come to that understanding of yourself?

Paul Wilcox

Role:  ALLC Elder, Leadership Teacher, and Previous Regional Leader in Thailand 

How would you describe yourself?

God has called me to be a man of God who lives out of his spirit in the power of the Holy Spirit and empower others to do the same.

How have you come to that understanding of yourself?

Tom Hallas

Role:  Convenor for YWAM Asia and the Pacific, ALLC Elder 

How would you describe yourself and how have you come to that understanding?

  1. I have observed and felt motivated to know and speak the truth from my childhood;
  2. Others have seen and declared these to be true;
  3. The Scriptures have been applied to my heart by the Spirit;
  4. And, I feel very comfortable in my skin when the Spirit of God is informing, empowering and leading me to give insight, discover the nature of foundations, and bring life, love and liberty in to lives, relationships, situations and circumstances.

Here is some background behind those 4 points:

I think one becomes gradually aware of what they may intuit from an early age but may not have the vocabulary to either analyse or articulate for self or interested others.

I remember at around age 6 years, having some abstract thought come to mind while looking at the stars:

  1. What is beyond beyond beyond?
  2. What was before before before?
  3. What will be after after after?

These are the life questions in a six-year-old’s brain while looking at the stars …. Who am I?  Where did I come from?  Why am I here?  And, where am I going?

An observation and comment by a next door neighbour, also lodged within my spirit and has continued to inform me in relation to questions about myself… when walking into his yard, my very old neighbour greeted me with, “Here come the little philosopher!”  That was not a description of self-awareness at the time as I could not have been more than 8 years’ old.

Stepping forward some years’ on from the teaching on motivational gifts, I identified an internal response to the description of the prophetic type of a person.  During a conference in 1979, where Loren Cunningham was the YWAM speaker and I was about to be launched into what Robert C. Clinton calls, ‘the 3rd stage of developing a leader (ministry maturing),’ Loren declared to a crowd of 15,000 people in Sydney, Australia, that “there is a young prophet among you – his name is Tom Hallas.”  I had just written an article on ‘The Wounded Spirit of Australia,’ which was published in a national magazine and became the theme of the annual Charismatic Conference where Loren was a speaker.  On looking back with a self-analysis lens, I did have an internal resonance to that declaration.  I already had listed in the front of my Bible a list of words that I was convinced were a one-word introduction to prophetic words to speak into the heart needs of Australia and had thus structured the DTS curriculum (in Australia) to be a vehicle of service to those needs.

As I began to travel to different countries, I became aware when entering a city or town, of asking the question, “What brought this place into existence?” and wondering what were the relational and moral foundations of its beginning.  This was, and still is, a process that continues as I travel to any Continent, Nation, city, town or village.  Jeremiah 1:5 certainly came to my attention early in my journey, but the experience of having another declare what they saw about me certainly brought an accepting effect into my way of thinking about myself.  Particularly, if I had a personal witness to the statement.

More recently, during an annual conference with the major leaders in YWAM, the convenor of a Discover Yourself session using Strength Finders as a tool, identified a number of strengths that she had observed in me during a time of questioning:  contact – connections – belief – input – responsible – relater, then she said that this is consistent with people who have prophetic motivations.

A guiding word for me as to how to operate and give governance to a motivational strength or ministry gift has come from 1 Cor 14:3, particularly when asked what do I think? Or, what is God saying? about a particular situation or circumstance.

A life, a word, a comment, or insight, an appeal or correction, should be bathed in these three prophetic intentions:  to exhort, to edify and to comfort.


*For more ALLC resources related to understanding yourself, see:  http://allc.asia/skills/understanding-yourself/

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