Like most church planters that are honest my life, faith, mood, all rise and fall on the weekend numbers. You can tell yourself all day long it doesn't say anything about you or that numbers aren't everything... but that doesn't change the way you feel.
As I have talked to some guys about their weekend after Easter affectionately known as "Bomb" Sunday because you go from a huge number to tumble weeds it has been a mixed bag. Some guys went big the week after and some dropped by 50%!
So what do you do when you feel like God let you down. That you poured your heart and soul into something only to have mixed results? As I was reading in Matthew today I came across a verse that cut me deep. Here it is:
"He didn't do many mighty works there because of their unbelief" Matthew 13:58
It is very easy to let your let down with God turn into unbelief isn't it? You put everything into something and when it "seems" like God didn't bless it there is that natural drift into unbelief. "Well, God must not be in this church... If God wanted us to keep on then He would have blessed it... God isn't able to do anything at this church..." You know what I mean. Those thoughts you think, those things you don't ever really tell anyone about.
BUT, the danger that verse says is God won't do many mighty works if there is unbelief! If we as church leaders don't think God will, or is able, to do mighty things in our churches then you know what, He won't.
Now, I am not saying you announce to everyone in your church that next weekend you will have double what you had this week if they all just believe. You can believe all you want and more than likely that isn't going to happen. Part of our job is to manage the expectations of our people.
What I am talking about is that inner belief that God is for you and is working out His purposes for your church. There will be days when our expectations are not met. We will feel like God let us down. But, don't ever let that shake your belief that God wants your church to thrive more than you do. Hold onto Him even when you feel like running in the opposite direction and throwing in the towel.
The greatest triumphs in church planting I believe come right after our biggest let downs if we will just believe!
I would love to hear some of the mighty works God is doing in your church. Leave a comment.
I totally understand your heart. Seems like there are times we can't catch our breath. I am reminded even the prophets got the blues (Elijah). None the less, we are on a toilsome journey - one that is never for the faint of heart or double-minded. It is in moments like these we have to look beyond the circumstances. All this is what I think, but struggle to live. Unbelief cripple my faith and tramples my hope at times. Thanks for challenging our role in the grand scheme of church planting.
You are right! Elijah felt the ups and downs. That's great to be reminded of. I'm sure Paul felt the same things. Thanks for sharing Danny!
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