Will Power

“Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

These words are the toughest for me to accept at times when it comes to doing what I do. I am a church planter. I am a hard working church planter at that. I have big dreams for my church plant. I have high expectations because I believe in the working power of God and I believe that He wants nothing more than to extend His Good News message to the masses, using none other than His church, the vehicle. So, plainly stated, I believe that what I am a part of is the pinnacle of service to God. God cares most about seeing people connected to Him. People get connected to Him by becoming His disciples. And the catalyst for accomplishing this task is the church. And I am a church planter. Boy, I’m feeling pretty good about myself right about now..

That is until I realize how much I see the work that I put in, a lot of times, doesn’t translate into results. In our culture, we are all about a “hard work = big time pay-off” system. It’s the American Dream. Everyone, supposedly (and really we see it happen so often i.e. the character that Will Smith portrays in The Pursuit of Happiness) can go from obscurity to big shot if they work hard.

But that’s not the way it goes a lot of times in church planting. You can work your tail end off and see nothing happen. Let’s just say that many a church plant have failed and it’s not due to a poor work ethic from those leading it. It all has to do with God’s working, His timing, His plan, and ultimately His Will.

So often I feel that in what I do, if it is done Biblically, my church will grow by hundreds immediately. Well, that’s what I would call wishful thinking. Really, it is an unhealthy and improper perspective to have. Of course I’m not saying be a Calvinist, chill out, and watch God work through His sovereignty (of course I had to throw that joke in there)…and not work hard. God wants us to work hard; He wants us to work tirelessly. Look at His example, we see Jesus being tired at times during His ministry, but busting through it to help people. The Apostle Paul was relentless too. Heck, all of the apostles were hard workers. They were diligent. They were on top of things. They got up early and went to bed late. Working hard for God is honorable. But results aren’t contingent upon hard work. Results are contingent upon God’s will.

I mean, even Jesus understood this. He made His classic statement (as He prayed to the Father) with grief and exhaustion, as he prepared to take on the sin’s of humanity. Talk about ultimate submission and satisfaction in God’s will. God’s son was okay with the Father’s will being done. Uh oh! That’s scary for me. I am such a control freak, and feel like at times I can control my own church planting destiny. And then things happen like what happened this past week where I left town, along with my worship leader, and my church plant had the highest summer attendance to date in our absence. As if I needed another reminder, God crushed any shred of “this is my doing” in me. The growth of my church has nothing to do with me. How about that? It’s tough to take but so true.

This is what I have had to learn. Moral of the story: Still work hard, but understand that God is dictating the end results. And be content with that. It’s a constant struggle for me but I think it’s sinking in more and more as I go.

2 Comments

  • Phil Kassel says:

    It is a privilege to grow weary in the service of the Lord? Loved the post! Love the Aletheia movement! I do fully believe God has done BIG things through Aletheia and much bigger things are still to come. Our Father shares His glory with no man but He allows us to be a part of His glory through our obedience, sacrifice, and love. You have been a great example of that so press on brother. Leave it all on the field! Love you bro!

  • ap says:

    Thanks Phil! I love you man. Hope all is well with you and your family. Keep in touch.

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