During the ten years I pastored the church we experienced spectacular growth. Dynamic ministries for all ages were started. We saw lives dramatically changed and occasionally witnessed full up miracles.
Yet after ten years we faced a cross roads. For the church to keep moving forward we needed to make some major strategic changes. We faced some head winds that prompted the decision.
Over several months I consulted with different leaders and felt their resistance. Ten years of constant change and pressing forward had left many tired. And the ministry was at a stable comfortable place.
Yet, I’m not wired up to sit still for very long. I don’t do boredom well. And the church needed to keep moving forward or it would atrophy.
I knew I could probably press through the changes but I was concerned it could split the church which I didn’t want.
So I decided it would be best to resign.
One evening as we sat in a circle in the church parlor I announced my intentions to the board. Several board members expressed their sadness yet hesitant relief.
The core leader of the group summed up the feelings, “Doug I’m really sorry to see you leave. We’ve had a great run. But frankly I’m relieved to not have the pressure of pushing on.”
A few months later I left. Ten years later the church disbanded.
I realized a few things out of that experience.
Many people want the amazing, miracle filled life God offers. But only a few choose to live it.
Because frankly it costs us something.
Sometimes relationships with friends or family. Those closest to you sometimes just don’t understand.
It also costs time and effort. Honestly, just going through the motions of living an ordinary Christian life is a whole lot easier.
Yet, I think a whole lot less exciting.
Even Jesus faced this with his own family.
He was teaching and healing when his mother and brothers traveled to see him. They thought, “He’s gone a little over the edge. So we’ll bring him home and get him calmed down.”
When they arrived outside a house where he was ministering they couldn’t get in because of the crowds. Someone told Jesus they were waiting outside.
Jesus replied, “My true family are these around me doing the things God has called them to.”*
See when we choose to live in that life with God he changes us. We start doing the things God opens to us not to earn his blessings but because of them. And because he transforms us from the inside.
We also become part of his family, literally. We feel his presence even when we may be misunderstood by those we love.
And we’ll experience the life God created us for. The amazing miracle filled life he designed for each of us.
Frankly it comes down to a choice.
We can choose to live in God’s amazing life or we can choose the easy way and miss it. But we can’t do both.
What has been your experience?
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*Matthew 12: 46-50
Photo Credit: Ken Rowland (Creative Commons)