The Day I Started to Enjoy Our New Church Plant
Our church was 9 months old, we had 36 Sundays under our belt, and I dreaded every one of them. Don’t get me wrong – there were many parts of Sundays that I loved! In fact, as soon as I would get to church, I would be fine. I loved interacting with people, hearing their stories and worshipping together. I even liked the work in between Sundays. But, like clockwork, every Sunday morning as soon as I opened my eyes, the dread would begin to creep in.
I would be bombarded with thoughts like, “I know I prayed this week, but I didn’t pray enough. I know I read my Bible this week, but I didn’t read enough. Surely there are people more spiritual than me who would be better at helping to lead this church.” These discouraging thoughts attacked me every Sunday morning, until finally at the 9-month mark, I was fed up and it dawned on me: This is not God’s voice. THIS is the voice of a stranger.
But why had I let this train of thought run on for so long? In hindsight, I think I didn’t dismiss these tormenting thoughts immediately, or share them with anyone in an effort to get help because I believed there was some validity to them. Oftentimes it’s easier to refute an obvious lie than a subtle one. What about you? Are you giving validity to any of the enemy’s attacks? Have you been trapped into believing that what he’s saying about you isn’t worth disputing because it’s true?
We have to focus on what God alone says about us! I believe the words that God the Father spoke over Jesus’ ministry on earth are what He is speaking over our ministries as well. “Behold, My Servant, who I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:1 NASB) God upholds us. God has chosen us. God delights in us. God has put His Spirit in us. Because of these truths, I stopped worrying about if I was good enough, and I started focusing on pointing people to Jesus – the only true answer.
I began to pray really honest prayers like, “God, if you don’t give me a word to speak to others, then I don’t have what they need.” And God began to answer me by giving me words of wisdom and fresh scriptures to share with people. Surprisingly, I started hearing God’s voice at times when I was even intentionally seeking it. Ideas for small groups, outlines for prayer meetings, and even an idea for a Sunday sermon started dropping into my heart during times of rest! I believe this type of “restful reliance” is what God desires for each of us as leaders. Be encouraged – you ARE enough, because He IS enough!