Archives For change

Ok, I have 2-3 three more posts this week on things that struck a chord with me from Mark Batterson’s Book, “Wild Goose Chase,” and then I will be done.

“We need people who are more afraid of missing opportunities than making mistakes.  People who are more afraid of lifelong regrets than temporary failure.  People who dare to dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible.”

I know this is where I want to live.  Not that I want to fail or make mistakes, but I do not want to sit by and do nothing just because I am afraid of temporary discomfort or embarrassment from failing.  I think this is why many churches fail to grow, and why many Christians are unhappy.

It is easy to play it safe when things are going good.  After all, who wants to mess up a good thing by making changes?  But here is the deal, if you are not constantly changing, you are not growing.  If you are not dreaming, then you have no vision.  If you are reaching into the past for what to do in the future, you are grasping at straws.  We need more Christians and churches with guts.  Guts to attempt BIG things for God.  Guts to do the things that no one else is doing.  Guts to “dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible.”

I am praying for guts… what about you?

Continuing on with some quotes from Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase:
I am going to use two quotes here this morning.  The first is from Mark as he writes,

“…God seems to be far less concerned with where I am going than with who I’m becoming.  I think some of us want to know the will of God more than we want to know God.”

It is not easy to focus more on the process than it is the destination. Dreams, goals and vision that God gives you are certainly good to have, but God is more concerned with who you are becoming than He is in your achieving anything.  It is not easy for me to write that, because I do want to know what the end result of my journey is gong to be.  I want to know where I will end up, and when I will get there.  And yes, God is interested in that as well, but if I get to the end and have learned nothing about God in the process, what have I really gained?  Nothing!  The journey is where we get to know God.  It is where He works and shows Himself strong.

Mark then quotes Oswald Chambers:

“The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident.  What we call the process, God calls the end.  His purpose is that I depend in Him and on His power now.  It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.”

Wow.  Just read that and let it sink in a bit.  We think that the goal achieved, the desire accomplished, the status attained is what it is all about. Really, it is about how we get there, and how our relationship with God grows in the process.

So, what are you concerned with?  Going… or Becoming?

I am reading Mark Batterson’s book, “Wild Goose Chase” and have come to several places in the book that have challenged me.  I am going to share a few of those this week.  The first one is actually a quote that he uses from A.W. Tozer in his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy.”  Tozer says, that when we make God in our own image, we are left with a God Who

“…can never surprise us, never overwhelm us, nor astonish us, nor transcend us.”

Basically, we are left with a God that we can keep in a box.  And we like it that way.  It keeps us comfortable.  The problem is, when we keep God in that box, we never get to see Him do the miraculous.  We never get to see Him move on our behalf in a way that can only be explained by saying it was God.  Many Christians and many churches live in this state all the time.  They do not want a God that surprises, overwhelms, astonishes or transcends.  It scares them to lose control… to lose control to God!

I pray that God will move out of the box that I set up for Him.  I want to be surprised by Him.  I want to wake up each morning thinking to myself, “Ok God, what are you up to today.”  That might make you uncomfortable.  If it does, maybe it is time to let God out of the box you have Him in and allow Him to be the God that you say you believe in.

This morning our Pastor announced to the church that the financial situation at the church has necessitated some major changes for the coming year.  We have had many families lose their jobs this year, and with that the offerings have also suffered.  With that news, it was then announced that two of the full-time staff pastors would be leaving to find new positions.  I am one of those.

We have been here in Wichita for right at a year and a half.  We have loved the opportunity that we have had to be involved at Glenville, and have learned a lot in the time we have been here.  The people love God and love others.  I would have to say this church is a great example of what a grace-filled church is all about, as they are so very accepting of people.  The staff has also been a blast to work with.  We will miss everyone dearly.  This has been a great experience for us.

Our next steps do not simply include a change of churches to serve in.  After a long time of prayer and seeking counsel, I feel that God is moving me into another direction in ministry as well.  I love music, that will never change, but that season of ministry is coming to a close.  I will be seeking a church in which to serve as their Lead Pastor, or some other Administrative/Executive Pastor role.

As I said, we will miss the people that we are currently serving along side with.  It is never easy to move on. But we are excited to see what God is going to do with us in the future.  I love what Job said in Job 23:13-14:

“But he alone is God, and who can oppose him? God does as he pleases, and he will do exactly what he intends with me.”

We covet your prayers for our family as we take our next steps.  We hold on to the knowledge that God knows what He is doing with us.  We just want to hold on and go for the ride!

May this be the best year you have ever lived!  And if you make just one change this year, make it this one!