I have a confession to make. I have messed this up often when I was a senior pastor and still slip up today. Where is this area of weakness? I often forget to enjoy the moment. The vision that God has given me burns deep within me and I am very achievement oriented. This is a strength of mine, but our strengths are many times the place where we are vulnerable as well. By seeing clearly the direction I am headed, and having the ability to quickly slip into task mode it is easy to forget to celebrate the victories of today.
When I was a local pastor this struggle was even worse. As the team lay exhausted on the ground after a great event where victories had been won, I was already charging up the next hill. Rather than enjoying the opportunities that the size of our church had at that moment, the vision of the future pushed me on while missing golden opportunities.
I was reminded of this when I had breakfast with Al Jones pastor of New Life Assembly of God in Cokato, MN. This is a growing church of about 100 in size. He shared with enthusiasm how once a month the church would have a fellowship meal (read potluck). They would eat together and spend time together for hours. He shared how they were capitalizing on the fact that they were still small enough to do this and it was a tool for discipleship and deep ministry. Since they were small enough they could just sit around on a Sunday afternoon and ministry could happen. Way to capture and enjoy the moment Al! Rather than just build the next small group program they were enjoying each other’s company and the church was going larger and deeper in the process.
This was a great reminder that although we are to pursue with passion the calling God has given us we must never forget to celebrate, capitalize and mine the opportunities of the moment that God has given us as well. This is true not only for ministry leaders but for life in general.
When we are little kids we can’t wait till we get to go to school. When we start school we are anxious to get our license and get into high school. In high school we are tempted to dream about heading off to college. While in college we dream of leaving college and starting our “lives”. And the story goes on till we hear senior citizens talking about how much they missed in life.
Yes, continue to grow. Build your business. Lay down your life to see the kingdom of God expanded in the world. Let’s finish the Great Commission in our lifetime. Let’s see countries excited to pray. But as serve God with passion let us celebrate where we are along the way. Thanks for listening to my confession!