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I Have Never Forgotten…

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!)

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Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. The church averages 26,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses throughout the state. You can read all of Perry’s unfiltered thoughts about life and leadership at PerryNoble.com. Don’t worry, he holds nothing back.