We said that for us to get unstuck we need to first deal with the root of all “stuckness”: sin. While at first glance we may not think that our issue of being stuck is not particularly spiritual, such as relationships, finances, habits, health etc. However, all brokenness is a result of sin and living in a fallen world. Because of sin’s entrance into the world we choose poorly, experience pain and break downs of all sorts. And if we don’t start with the spiritual we will be without the necessary spiritual resources to deal with the “surface” things that we’re stuck in. We said in order to deal with the spiritual we must have a posture that says, “I need help”. It’s our humility before God that enables us to cry out and receive the help that only God can provide.
Here’s the video of me sharing this year’s vision plan (from Sunday night’s meeting)
I don’t know when it happened for me, but when a company, organization, or team presents a “vision” I have tended to view it as “their” vision. It is the leaders of the group sharing what they’ve worked on and what they plan to do. We, as the observers/audience listen and in some cases affirm that they did their homework or that their ideas sound legit or we might even get excited for what they will do and we will love cheering them on. Again, I didn’t say it was necessarily the right or accurate way to view a vision, but it’s how I’ve typically viewed it in my past. I’ve even been on the other side of this — meaning I’ve stood in front of groups, whether they were students from my youth ministry days or their parents or more recently adults in church environments. And there were times I wondered why some great vision ideas fell flat or never became reality. Then I realized that maybe there are others who viewed “vision talks” the way I used to — as something for “them” but not for me. But as long as a vision remains “theirs” and not “mine”… well, it just won’t come to fruition!
For those who’ve been following the blog since the summer, you know we’ve talked about the possibility of changing the name of our church. Before I give you the update on that, let me be clear why we even consider this. The reality is we want to be able to reach and connect with the maximum number of people. We are very excited about the church God has shaped us to be lately. We know we have the greatest message known to mankind–The Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we know that there are many thousands of people within 20 minutes of our church that would benefit greatly and who would connect well with what is happening at our church. Therefore, we want to make sure that nothing hinders anyone from coming, hearing and responding to who God is and what He created us for.
We all get “stuck” and typically we don’t realize we will be stuck until we are. What I mean is we’re going along and doing our thing and what feels like all of a sudden we’re stuck. However, that is not completely true. In fact in MOST cases we are getting stuck far before we realize it. Sure, we need strategies and helps to get unstuck once we are but what if we could identify potential BEFORE we get stuck. There is one important key to doing this, and if you’ve been around the blog for any length of time, this is not new to you, but my guess is you still barely do it. I can speak so confidently about this point because I, too, struggle to do it with the kind of regularity it requires.
So in the last blog post I talked about “showing up” and letting God work especially when it comes to connections with people who are outside of faith. Today I want to challenge us to consider our own spiritual growth. There is no short cut or even guarantee of growth. I know people who have faced considerable hardship and it was through that hardship that God propelled their spiritual growth. They learned to trust God more than ever before and learned to rely on other Godly people. I know others who have participated in a short term missions trip and found they encountered God in a unique way that helped them grow significantly. Still others have grown from one on one mentoring situations, others through sermons, others through small groups etc. So there is no “one-size fits all” approach. And as much as some books, resources and programs want to promise it — there is no guarantee for growth.