I’m going to share for a few days about some of what we picked up at the two Conferences we attended last week. Such great stuff!
Mark Batterson said, “Don’t think big, think long.”
That totally struck me! I am very good at thinking big and then getting frustrated when growth is slow. Don’t get me wrong…I love the growth that God has given our church over the last three and a half years. I am humbled that He has entrusted our ministry with what He has. The problem is that I know deep in my heart that God has an enormous agenda for our little church and I want it…NOW.
The funny anomoly is that I know that North Creek is a long term commitment for the Newell family. It’s not a pit stop in ministry or a stepping stone to something greater. It’s the beginning and the end in our mind. You would think that would give me patience to build the foundation that God wants for us and to take it one day at a time, knowing that we do have time. God willing, we’ll still be here 25 years from now when it’s time to pass the torch to some young punk who has big dreams and more energy than we’ll have then.
However, my flesh gets in the way all of the time. I want His Kingdom built on my timeline and often forget that God’s timeline is always perfect. I want the end of the story in beginning of the book.
The other anomoly is that more than anything else, I want our church to have a strong foundation. Quick and catastrophic growth can often undermine that foundation and ultimately crumble what was built. Knowing that, you’d think that I would be glad that we are growing by 5 people a month. That adds up and yet it’s manageable. We can disciple, train, minister to, and accomodate that much growth into our system easily. We never are at a breaking point in our structure and we continue to have momentum.
And yet…having a church of 10,000 people overnight is always in the back of my mind. It’s people’s LIVES. It’s their growth, their marriages, their children who are at stake. It’s a desperate tension. God, give us your people, but please do it in a way where we do more good than harm.
Hmmmm….so much to think about. So many ways to grow and such a better person to become. Lord, make us more like you with goals and dreams that align with your timeline.