Hey! Here’s a good one …
After inquiring about a ministry project that a fellow minister was working on, I received a stream of excuses about why they had not progressed since the last time I’d asked.
First it was that the devil was beating them up. (Amazingly, this had been occuring every three months, for three months at a time, for the past ten years) I finally just stopped asking about the battle.
This time it was a new approach. After having asked a few key questions about why the devil was so busy beating them up, I heard a different line of reasoning that pertained to their cautious approach and indecisiveness in how to proceed next.
“We’re just waiting on God” the minister replied to my inquiry.
“How will you know when you have the go-ahead on this?” I asked. “What specifically are you expecting to happen to let you know that you have what you need to proceed?”
“Well,” he cautiously replied, “We just don’t want to get ahead of God.”
“I see …” I said, with awe in my voice.
“Tell me … How is it POSSIBLE for YOU to get ahead of GOD?”
After a stunned moment of silence the minister replied. “I guess I hadn’t thought about it that way.”
Seems to me that we love taking credit for the threat that we present to the devil and why he is so busy beating us up, and it sure seems holy to let people know how patient we are as we wait upon the Lord. But the kicker is when we think we can actually GET AHEAD OF GOD!
Tell me … Just where is OUR responsibility in regards to careful planning, seeking professional advice, performing due diligence in our business strategies (yes, a functioning church has to know business strategy), or <gasp> praying for wisdom for our choices? Oh yeah … and I forgot to mention, TAKING ACTION.
This subtle lie has infiltrated many a good Christian and provided the perfect excuse for inactivity and irresposibility for not pursuing their dreams.
I think that before we get too angry at the people around us, our situation, or lack of resources and blaming God for not moving on our behave, perhaps we need to wonder if we are moving too fast for Him? Or are we moving at all?
Shannon Parish is the Founder of Sarah’s Tent and President of Living Stones Center. She is an award winning cartoonist and graphic recorder who, after more than thirty years of ministry and as a Life Coach utilizes her artistic talent to teach and Illustrate You.
2 thoughts on “Too Fast and Furious Too”
I am a Pastors wife of a small church (5.5 yrs old) and 6 months ago we moved into Phase 1 of our Phase 3 permanent building. In an effort to draw in youth and excite our children, a few of us started a puppet ministry. We have seen two youth salvations, Praise the Lord and our children’s and youth ministries have doubled. We now have one of our 2 deacons (with teenage sons that “do not feel led” to participate) complaining that we are moving too fast. He is a Godly man and his “opinions” have meant much to me. I don’t want to move too fast but how fast is too fast. Aren’t we in a race?? The point is to grow spiritually and mature in the way that continues to lead others to Christ. Your post has given me encouragement to continue. Thank You.
When there is a person who ‘resists’ something, it could be that they are uncomfortable with change, OR they have a viewpoint that is worth listening to. By asking a few clarifying questions, you will not only validate the person in question, but you may uncover something wonderful to help support your program and keep it running smoothly.
Sometimes people will resist something because they are intuitively sensing a possible problem, but because they might be more of an introvert, they won’t just tell you what they think. Questions have to be asked, and they need to know they have time to answer (if you rush them, you’ll get nothing but panic). It’s also possible that they don’t understand where you are going with the program and having more information about the overall vision will help them to get ‘on-board’. Most often, issues like this are personality and communication issues, not actual resistance.