One of the greatest mistakes that a leader can make is to forget where they were when God rescued them and how far He has brought them. Pride and arrogance often come as a result of a leader believing they have done some really great things all by themselves…which is why it is good for a leader (anyone for that matter) to reflect on God’s faithfulness.
For example…I have never forgotten…
- Where I was when He saved me. There was absolutely NOTHING good about me, I was so far from Him…and yet He chose to save me anyway.
- Where I was when I preached my first “sermon” to a group of 6th graders in a vacation Bible school class at my home church!
- The first church where He allowed me to serve as a staff member (youth pastor), their were eight kids in the youth group and the church had literally split the week before I started on staff with the pastor and the music minister resigning. I am SO THANKFUL for that church and their willingness to “put up with me!”
- The church where God allowed me to serve afterwards, where I stayed for six years under the leadership of my Pastor Bill Rigsby and learned that ministry was so much more than just preaching to people but loving them as well.
- Where I was when God called me to start a church…I had never been a pastor before and was scared out of my mind.
- Starting the church with NO MONEY, NO STAFF and no “three year strategic plan.” Just stepping out in obedience and doing what God said to do.
- The first month of income for NewSpring Church being around $2,300.
- Making the decision to step out in faith and hire Lee McDerment, our worship leader, even though it did not make sense financially.
- Making the move from a room that sat around 120 people to a room that sat 1,100…and on our first Sunday there we had 188 people (fall of 2001!)
- Making the HUGE financial decision to rent office space for $750 a month in the fall of 2001…and fearing that I had somehow bankrupted the church!
- Getting in front of the church in December of 2001 and asking them to give money so that we could buy computers for our new offices!
- Having four trailers with our equipment for our church in them behind our office…and two of them getting stolen in one week! (Our children’s trailer was discovered missing on a Saturday morning!!!)
- Nearly losing my life in 2005 and how the Lord was so faithful in that time period to show me that the church was so much bigger than me!
- Sitting on the stage of our Anderson campus on a Sunday night in January of 2006 before we moved into our Anderson campus and crying because I was fearful that there was no way we would ever fill up 2,500 seats.
- Making the decision to launch a campus in Greenville but still wondering if people would actually show up to see a preacher on a video screen.
I could go on and on…but you get the point. ANYTIME I am tempted to doubt God’s faithfulness in my current circumstances I simply have to remind myself to stop and look at all He has done in the past and KNOW that I am not where I am (and our church is not where it is) because I am a really smart person who has it all figured out…but rather because God is so good and kind and He still uses “unschooled, ordinary men” for His glory (see Acts 4:13!)