Dream something big

From Ben Arment:

“There is an epidemic of young men who doubt themselves and what God can do through them in ministry. Erwin McManus’ book Chasing Daylight follows the adventures of Jonathan, who acted on spiritual impulses and left the results up to God. The future of the church … and especially church planting … depends on guys who will try things they’re not humanly capable of doing. Guys who will risk cubicles and cuticles to dream bold dreams… defy their fears… act first, and worry about courage later. “

One of the biggest lies I’ve heard in church is that it’s prideful and wrong to dream big dreams. That if you’re trying to do something big and different for God you may want to sit back and realize you’re not ‘all that’ before you step up and change the world. That the younger you are, the more overzealous and naive you’re likely to be.

Sometimes it’s true. But if you wait to have all the answers, you’re just going to keep on waiting.

I think this hits close to home because sometimes it’s a lie I’ve bought. In high school and parts of college I thought I knew it all. I had the answers. I was going to change the world for God (sometimes with or without Him!).

Over time I learned I was wrong. I had a lot to learn. In a lot of ways, that was a gift directly from God. But I may have overcompensated. It’s easy to jump to the other side and see why you’re not good enough. Suddenly, you’re overcome with doubt and second guessing.

In college, I felt a call/interest to church planting. I wasn’t ready to go yet, but I wanted to learn more. I joined an internship and they assessed me as a planter. I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but I have some weaknesses. There are some things I’d say I’m really good at and enjoy doing. There are others I’m just not great at and honestly don’t care to do. A few of those things are important for planting a church.

They said I wasn’t ready to plant.

The funny thing was, I knew that. I’m still not ready. The timing isn’t right. And even when I do, I want to plant with a team. I just work better that way. It’s more who I am.

They even said I had potential. They even hired me less than a year later to do work for them.

But in spite of all that, it shook my confidence. I saw myself through what I couldn’t do well instead of through the passions God put in me. I felt like I had to do better at those things and be ‘all things to all people’. I was passionate about church planting – about creating relevant, fun, real environments for people to encounter Christ, grow in Him, serve Him, and experience Him in real ways. But I felt like I had to justify that passion. To show why I was qualified.

So instead of pursuing God’s call, I started to try and justify that call for men. It was all about insecurity.

Now, I’m realizing the truth. Know God. Obey. Do what you feel called to do and are passionate about, regardless of the value others put on it or how they see it fleshing out. For me, those passions are communicating God’s word and truth, leading teams to accomplish their goals, empowering people, and visioneering movements. Is there other stuff I value? Yes. Is there other stuff that’s important to starting a church? Absolutely. Can I do most of that stuff? Yes. Should I do it all? Absolutely not.

The best leaders don’t do it all. They empower others to pursue their dreams as well.

I don’t have to be everything. But I MUST pursue the calls and passions God has put inside me.

3 responses to “Dream something big”

  1. do you regret that you went to the assessment since it (at least in the short term) changed the way you thought about your future?

  2. No, I don’t regret it. It was good stuff to hear, and they actually told me things to work on so I could improve as a leader, planter, etc. I think more than anything, it was a process of ‘growing up’ I had to go through … learning that it’s ok to pursue your passions and that pleasing everyone won’t always be possible.

    Like I said, they were right, I wasn’t ready. At that point, I didn’t feel called to go. The doubt was just something I had to grow through :).

  3. I was just curious, i had never thought about asking you that question until I read your post on this topic.

    Thanks for responding.

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