Until this week, I hadn’t really thought of it this way. As part of a vision strategy time, I encourage others to imagine the world if what they had on their heart (their vision) didn’t come to pass. For me, that would be imagining Casper, Wyoming without WindCity Church. Now, this is not an exercise to puff ourselves up with pride of what we have done but is for the purpose of keeping the flames of passion alive that The Lord gave us when we began our particular vision.
What got me to thinking about this is a person who we will call Fred. We started a high school ministry on one of the campuses within our first few months of arriving in town. It started with only a few students but grew slowly so we got to meet others. After about 5 months, Fred’s daughter began attending our weekly meeting. She was quiet and shy. After another several months, we talked her into coming to our local summer youth camp. To do so, I went to her home to get a release form signed. It was then that I realized that her step-dad was not only not a Christian but was very hostile to God and to any church. As he put it, He and God had a mutual agreement - they hated each-other. This was a great opportunity but was also very troubling especially for the daughter who had a new and vibrant faith.
After youth camp, the family had a job crisis and our church family was able to help them out. Through that the mom (who had a distant faith) decided to bring them all to church. After another period of time they actually attended worship on a Sunday. Afterwards, Fred talked to me and told me how he had hated church and normally would only come once to appease his family but that he liked us and might be back. He attended regularly for about 4 months and then one night after a Worship Service he prayed to God to forgive Him and save Him. Yes!
Just this week the family had a major health crisis. As I sat in the waiting room, with several others from our church, it was pointed out that Fred had never had anyone to be with him during tough times and that now he did. It was then that I was refreshed by thinking about the many stories that have changed narrative because of the presence of God through the work of the little church I serve. It was then that I was reminded that God’s promise to ‘never leave or forsake us’ is true both for God and for the comforting work of the Body of Christ.
Think about the stories that have changed narrative because you are striving to accomplish the vision that God has placed within your heart. If you are on the front end of a church planting journey, dream of the future impact that your ministry work can have. Allow God to put that rocket fuel in your tank now. There may be days where the only thing keeping you on the mission field is the call of God and it is on those days that a reminder of a ‘Fred Story’ may be just the thing that God uses to refresh you.