Dear Journey Church Family,
I don’t think I’ve ever done this before but I wonder if you will give me permission to speak freely? Not about my dog, which I apologize for doing Sunday but about the deeper things of my heart. Maybe it’s because it’s Monday or maybe it’s because I’m not feeing very well but to be honest I’m a little discouraged. It’s not anything you did, you are amazing. I love you very much and am so grateful for each and everyone of you and for your love of God and each other. I’m just a little discouraged because there is so much I can’t control. I can’t control who comes to journey and who doesn’t. I can’t control whether they “like us” or whether they don’t. I can’t control whether people understand what we are doing or whether they resent us for doing it. But most soberingly I can’t control whether people will respond to the word of God or reject it. Maybe that’s why I found the following pastor’s blog so encouraging. It’s something someone sent me, someone who lives 2000 miles from Columbus but someone who God laid it on their heart to send to me. God then laid it my heart to send it to you and I hope it will encourage you as much as it encouraged me.
Dear Pastor/Church Leader,
you need to understand a few things about your church service yesterday…
What happened in your church services yesterday was AWESOME.
Yes, “that” service…where all of “that” stuff happened.
The one that MAYBE made you want to quit the ministry.
You’ve been doubting yourself, wondering why you do what you do…praying that people might actually come back next week and beating yourself up over things you should have said…or things you did say that you should not have said.
You are discouraged because you go online and look at other churches and see where hundreds of people are giving their lives to Christ…and you are BEGGING God for that, but you are just not seeing it yet…and are beginning to wonder if God has forgotten you.
BUT…just remember that God has you in a humble place so that He can prosper you (see Job 8:7)…and He has you hidden for the purpose of developing you into someone great (Isaiah 49:2).
He has NOT given up on you…He knows exactly where you are and has called you there “for such a time as this!”
Hold your head up and keep your eyes on Him…He who called you IS faithful.
Sometimes He allows us to see what happens…but most of the time the work He is doing is in their hearts…and that takes time for us to see.
There will be “seasons of fruit” and “seasons of root”…and when you’re not seeing the fruit then its a time for us to focus on the ROOT!
Keep preaching God’s Word and HE WILL honor it (Isaiah 55:8-13), no weapon formed against you will prosper (Isaiah 54:17) and He has GREATER plans for you than you could EVER imagine (Isaiah 49:6!)
If you are a planner you won’t like this post, or maybe you will. In fact you may love it. I know had I started Journey five, ten or fifteen years ago I would have felt the need to develop “a plan.” Now however because I am at the stage of life I am I resonate quite a bit with the following post that a friend sent me. It’s a post from Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.TV. Listen to what he says then let me know what you think.
The Death of the Five-Year Plan
When I started in ministry two decades ago, everyone I knew made five-year plans. While planning is wise and biblical, I’m changing how I plan. Instead of planning for specific buildings, campuses, staff roles, and outreach, I’m planning to be prepared for opportunities that I can’t name today. We are creating margin and planning to respond quickly to ideas that we don’t yet have.
Speed, agility, flexibility, and financial margin are far better than a detailed road map. We are in the ready position. Instead of asking God to bless our carefully crafted plans, we’re trying to be prepared to move when He speaks and guides. When people ask me what we’ll be doing in five years, I laugh. I have no idea. But I’m certain it will be more fun and more impactful than anything I could plan today.
Often I find myself in situations where I am torn between trusting God or trying to “fix it” myself.” I hate to admit it but usually I fall on the side of trying to fix it. The problem with that is that rarely can I “fix it.” Consequently I find myself “stuck” and unable to move forward. Well today I am choosing to trust. I know that battle is not over, but today I rolled the people and the situations that I can’t fix over to God. I know I will have to do it again and again, but for now it feels good to trust and to know that He cares about the people and the situations that I care about even more than what I care about them.
5 “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5,6
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