January in our youth ministry means revisiting “the ministry plan”. I get to look back over the year at my sky-high dreams and developed strategies. These goals are awesome and attainable. They are thought out and planned for–but then something happens after the plan–as best as we can articulate it–is turned in to our accountability (whoever that may be, for us it’s our executive pastor), and it gets further and further from us as we do ministry every day. Emails resound, calls fire in, community draws us to felt needs, and we find ourselves wondering what happened to these goals that we honestly thought would help us live in incarnational ways–shape relational ministries–and give us platforms for students to experience the Gospel instead of just hearing about it. I’ve got to admit that I’ve met a bunch of safe goals. I’ve met a couple of goals that required a bit more faith. But have I really trusted God as much with the giant dreams that require big prayers and big faith? Maybe a few times…maybe once or twice…ok, maybe I need some help.
Bill Hybels said something in a book I’m reading about leadership (Axiom) that I needed to read twice(mainly because I was like, “what did he just say”) but mostly because I was like…Yes. Yes! He is right on this.
“Slowly but surely, that “God can do anything” feeling fades, bold prayers quit getting prayed, and the beginning of the end is near. Without necessarily intending to, they drink the deadly hemlock called incrementalism.“
Lord help us to be innovative…for you. Lord help us to rid ourselves of wimpy dreams…that your name might be known and renown. Lord helps us to be dissatisfied with incremental growth….that many more would be transformed into the image of your Son. Lord, take from us, this kiss of death as we are learning to have faith…help us to trust in you much more than we do today.