The longer I am in the pastorate, the more I realize how inadequate I am on my own and how much I become with God’s help. I have started programs and ministries in the past (after careful thought and planning) and then prayed for God to bless the effort. As I grow older (and hopefully more mature) I realize that for so many years I have put the cart before the horse. Don’t get me wrong, I have been blessed to have seen more than my fair share of successes in the ministry. Unfortunately, I fear now that those successes could have been so much more had I only asked for God’s blessing before I even started planning.
I am a “big picture” person that has to push himself on the detail work. I like coming up with the idea and having others help me implement the program. Not anymore. I am making a concerted effort to spend more time in prayer and less time in planning; more time listening to God and less time asking Him to bless my efforts. Why? Because it is His church, not mine. God wants us to succeed, so why shouldn’t I listen to Him rather than try to have Him bless my efforts. Rather than ask God to bless my best intentions, I will begin at the beginning and the blessings will be built right in!
I truly believe that that is what is happening in my ministry right now. In the past I would have formulated a handful of projects for our congregation to reach out to our community. Right now, I am waiting on the Lord to reveal to me (or someone else in the congregation) how we are to reach those in need. Is this a cop out? By no means. This is simply putting first things first!