Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Attempt Great Things
"Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God." William Carey
Recently I filled out the tag on Facebook, "25 Random Facts About Me." One of my facts was "God keeps asking me to do things I don't know how to do...and it's a BLAST!" True, true, but I wanted to explain...
Last year in the spring, my pastor asked me if I would be our church's Children's Ministry Coordinator. It took a month of prayer to say "yes" to him. I am glad he (my pastor) didn't give up on me. Why did it take me so long to say yes? Well, the major reason is that when I take a "Giftedness Test" and I think I have taken them all...the gift that always comes out the lowest if I get any score at all is Administration! So, it seemed kind of crazy to say "yes" because the ministry he was asking me to do was so not in my gift set!
A few things changed my mind. First of all, Pastor Barry kept preaching (like, every week) that we all needed to be stepping out in faith for God. "What are you doing for God that if God doesn't show up you will look like an idiot?" It doesn't take a genius to realize that if you try to do something you know you are not good at, you seriously need God to show up and do a work! Then I couldn't deny that I actually have my Bachelors of Religious Education. True, true, I had a degree in that area! But I didn't get that solely on purpose, so to speak. I went to Bible College and that was the track they offered so it is the track I was on.
Thirdly, (and I am giving this it's own paragraph on purpose), God showed me over that time of prayer the connection between this ministry and those ministries I had done before that WERE in my *gift set*. I have always loved to come alongside others and encourage and teach. Surely I could be an encourager to teachers. I have taught every age at some point and I could use those experiences to help teachers brainstorm, etc. But even more, as I prayed God sent rushes of ideas that had me staring into space more often than the time I was alert (just ask my family). I still tend to pace around the house in a stupor!! The ideas of what we could do with Children's Ministries kept coming and coming in a rush and still do.
God is teaching me so much so fast about how He works in and through us. I am so glad I didn't say "no" because what I was being asked wasn't in my gift set! He is teaching me what it means to "join Him in His work" like I was taught years ago through a Bible study I did (Experiencing God) and to be part of a "movement of God" (rather than an institution, another recent sermon by Pastor Barry).
When I am working in my own strength at "my agenda" there is a great straining effort. It is discouraging, painstaking and convincing others to join you is difficult. You're pushing it slowly forward. But when you are part of God's work, God's movement in the world, then it feels like being on a freight train. Not only are you not pushing, you are really just trying to hang on and not fall off! That's why I think it's a blast; it's like being on a roller coaster. I pray it never ends!
"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'"
1 Cor. 1:26-31