Skip to main content

I give up



If I hear one more piece of advice on how to do church better, I think my head might fall off. It's so full, it just may pop.


It's not that I don't want to learn and grow. On the contrary, I'm part of a life/ministry coaching cohort, continuing education and I have several mentors. In addition to that I read countless books, and of course...the Bible. All these things are incredibly valuable to me.

Each time I receive a new tidbit of advice, I scamper to put it into practice and cross that off on the list of things that could be inhibiting further growth of the ministry. Many times it feels like one step forward, two steps back. It's never fast enough for me.

I find myself at the frustrated point of running to put endless things in place while at the same time, another crop of things pops up that are also suddenly missing. No matter how many good things are happening, I still have an insatiable thirst for more. I hate status quo. Many people would be satisfied to be exactly at the level we're at - but I'm not. Contented? Yes. Satisfied? No.

Years ago a pastor-couple who are friends of ours told us how things really broke through in the church they planted. For years they did just as I described above. Then one day they just got frustrated with it all and said, "We quit!" No, they didn't resign. They kept on doing things that needed to be done, however they completely quit trusting in those things to bring the results desired. They stopped having faith in those things to make the difference. And suddenly...the church just popped! It was amazing. They said after all that, they believed God worked that way just to prove to them that it was Him and nothing else.

It sounds kind of hokey to do that in one sense...to do a bunch of initiatives you put no faith or trust in. But on the other hand it seems very plausible to me right now. This is the place I find myself in. I'm now at a point that while I will keep giving my iniatives in ministry due diligence and be completely faithful to fulfill my call, I will altogether stop putting any trust in that to bring the breakthrough I desire to see. I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter if I do all those things, if I am not completely trusting God.

Larry has been praying for years, "Lord, do something so big here everyone will KNOW it has to be God."

I have always believed that the saying that "if you do the wrong thing, it will eventually catch up with you." And, I have always believed if you do the right things, they will eventually catch up with you as well. In believing that, I have banked on the fact that if we just keep doing the "right things" with the church it will eventually catch up with us. I have trusted in the fact that being diligent will move us forward on to our next level. Now I'm realizing I can do the right things all I want but without complete trust in God, it won't work. I came to the conclusion this evening I have had a lack of trust.

Someone once said if a dream is really from God, when you lie awake at night it will scare you to death. If it doesn't your dream is too small. Tonight, I was scared. This year, aside from my ministry in the church, I'm taking two giant leaps personally. It's sink or swim in 2007. I am venturing into new territory in two areas and doing something I believe I am very called to do, however not without doubt that I can do them successfully. I don't like to fail and will usually not do anything I know I can't completely win at. I do not want to endure the shame of failure. Now I'm tackling two dreams that keep me awake at night. Two dreams that make me afraid of failure, with the church lumped on top of them.

So since I couldn't sleep (it's now almost 2 am) I got up, made a cup of mint hot tea, got my Bible and Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge, and my laptop and got in my rocking chair. As I was going before the Lord about all this, I came upon I Peter 1:6... "and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame..." I heard God say, "DO YOU TRUST ME?" Yes. "DO YOU REALLY?" Well, a few minutes ago I would have said no, but now that you're speaking to me about this, I'm starting to fill up with faith and trust..." 'IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT, DEANNA. TRUST ME AND YOU WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME."

So here is my new conclusion. I'm going to keep working at the same pace. (I still believe faith without works is dead...plus, I am called to give God my best.) Only, I'm not going to put any stock in that anymore. Those may be great principles - and very necessary, but they aren't the things to trust in.

So I give up. On trusting in things, that is...and in putting my total faith in Him who makes all things possible.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real."

After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just keeping …

This Could Have Ruined Everything... (But It Didn't!)

No one would ever guess what happened to me this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida...so I'm going to tell you. :)


As I was preaching at the Fearless Tour at New Hope Assembly of God this weekend,  I got choked up, literally. For probably 2-3 minutes I coughed profusely and greatly struggled. Then I drank some water and kept preaching. Everyone was gracious to give me a few moments to get my bearings. If you were there, you'll remember it!

What no one realized at the time was that I swallowed a bug that flew right in while I was preaching! So disgusting! I said nothing because I was at a point in the sermon where I was really connecting and I knew if I said, "I swallowed a bug," everyone would either laugh profusely or be really concerned, or start feeling sorry for me.  And at that point whey wouldn't be thinking about the message anymore, but the fact that I had just swallowed a bug. They would then imagine what it would be like, and feel grossed out which is u…

What To Do First to Make a Profit

Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said:

It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way.
Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory!

I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started investing and training and all of that, seeking God for his blessing and…