Shadow Missions

2013 New Canaan Society San Francisco Weekend


In this 45-minute session from the 2013 New Canaan Society San Francisco Weekend, John Ortberg works through the story of Esther, sharing how you can be faithful in living out the work you've been called to while avoiding temptations that seek to carry you off course. John is Senior Pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written numerous books including the The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Know Doubt, The Me I Want To Be, and most recently, Who is This Man?

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this message can impact your life.


Have you ever considered what God has called you to do? He has given you a unique skill set and placed you in the context He has for a purpose. What is your mission?
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What is your shadow mission? What temptation most draws you to take your passions and gifts and direct them outside of what God has called you to do?
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Who has God placed in your life to serve as a Mordecai? Practically, how do you give them the space and freedom to speak into your life when it seems like you are following your shadow mission?
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John pointed to a powerful reality when he said, "I can only be loved to the extent that I'm known, and I can only be fully loved if I'm fully known." What scares you about the prospect of being fully known? Is there anyone in your life with whom you have literally no secrets? Who are they?
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If you do not have someone who knows you on that level, if you do not have a Mordecai who can call you out when you begin following your shadow mission, who in your life might be able to fill that role? List a few names. How can you begin to open up with them?
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There is profound freedom and acceptance found in being fully known by someone. Such a relationship puts human skin on the kind of love an acceptance we have in God, who though He knows all the sins you've ever committed, and will ever commit, still offers His free grace. Such a relationship gives someone the room to encourage you when you're faced with temptations that would draw you off the mission you've been called to by God.


If you would like to learn more about the work and ministry of the New Canaan Society, you may visit their website here