Recently I came across a journal entry from January, 2005.
I talked about some of the goals I had for the year and my progress and lack thereof toward meeting them. I shared some current frustrations I was having in ministry. I then asked God to help me be more disciplined.
Then I read the last sentence of that day’s journal.
I wrote, “God, at 41 years of age, some days it feels that I’m not accomplishing anything.”
Looking back at my life now, I’m sure it was a one day “pity party.” Yes, even pastors have those.
The reason I’m certain it was is because that was during a season when 11 core families were meeting regularly in our living room, preparing to launch a church. That would be our second plant, and this one would go on to be one of the fastest growing churches in the country and, even today, is accomplishing more than we ever dreamed possible for them as a church.
I don’t share this to bring attention to myself or our accomplishments. And, I wouldn’t suggest a church needs to grow at that pace to be successful. God may use you, as a leader, in completely different ways than He has ever used me. God has a unique plan for every person’s life. I share my story because it points to an important principle in ministry that is true for all of us. I’ve seen it so many times. I wish I had a journal entry for each season.
We seldom see the good God is doing through us as we are doing it.
In fact, sometimes it can be months or years after our obedience before we realize the good God was allowing us to be a part of leading.
And, I’m not sure we’d be as successful—in God’s eyes—if we did.
Walking in the unknown keeps us humble. It keeps us in prayer. And, best of all, it keeps us desperate for God’s hand to be upon us. It truly becomes His work and not our own.
Are you in the middle of a stressful season of ministry or life? Are you wondering if any of your efforts are making a difference?
I’m not suggesting you may not need some people speaking into your life. You may not be able to see the good you’re doing, but don’t falsely assume the silence of God is the approval of God either. Allow others to speak into your life. Remain teachable. Make sure you’re solid on God’s plan, but hold your own plans loosely. Others may have better ideas than you.
But, if you are striving to be obedient to God’s will as much as you know how, then stand firm. I’m praying He allows you to see some fruit—soon—from your labor, as you continue to trust Him. But, until then don’t give up! Stay tuned!
God is always up to things we can’t even imagine.
God is using you, Mighty Warrior! (Judges 6:12)
You simply are having to walk by faith. Faith walking is never for sissies, but always rewarded by God!