Failure is a Requirement

My daughter Delaney wants to try soccer this summer. We’ve done dancing, swimming, and gymnastics over the years and nothing has stuck. Honestly, my hopes aren’t very high for soccer, either. She’s much more artistic than athletic, which probably means that running up and down a field will not be her cup of tea. If it was a pottery class or a painting class, I’d be sold on the idea.

I haven’t told her all of this, though. I am much more interested in something much more profound…I want her to dream and to try and even to fail. Failure is not only an option, it’s a requirement. If you are not failing, it’s probably because you aren’t stretching yourself enough. We all stink at certain things, but most of us don’t have a long list of things that we are bad at because we haven’t tried enough things to know.

Failure has been an issue for me in church planting since the beginning. Everything we do is one step away from complete and udder disaster. It’s an awful place to live, but I’ve gotta admit…it’s a great place to grow. As we plan and figure for a Saturday night service, I feel that pressure all over again. I know what we are good at, but I don’t know if this will work at all. I have never even been a part of a Saturday night service! But do you know when I started to feel great about it? When I let go of the possibility that it might not work.

How did I let that go? Well, first I signed Delaney up for soccer and gave her a speech about how proud I am of her for trying new things. Then I gave myself that speech. Who cares if we do it and then discover it’s not our thing? What’s the difference?

The really funny thing is now that I’ve released that to God, I have a new fear. I’m afraid it will be wildly successful and we’ll have to deal with all of the issues of growth again, like no seats and parking! I guess that’s the best thing to be afraid of!

So, dream, try, fail, succeed. It’s all part of this amazing journey to grow. Maybe I’ll see you on Saturday nights…

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