I believe in you!
About 3.5 years ago I was ready to give up on this journey of Pastoring a church and starting one from scratch. The results weren't what I expected them to be. The culture of the church wasn't what I thought they should be. I wasn't as happy in the journey as I could've been. And, to be transparent, I had 0 clue what the heck I was doing. My wife and I were almost 3 years into a church plant that started with next to nothing, and no people... and we were tired. There were multiple reasons, that were our own and that were structural, that was the case. I was ready to mail it in, and be a career Associate/Creative Pastor.
Then I ran across someone I had admired from afar for years, at a conference. We connected, began to talk, and went to dinner together. My new friend heard as I began to pour my heart out, but little did I know he was already discerning much of what I felt without me saying a word. Toward the end of a conversation at dinner, I was thanking him for his time, and he spoke one sentence to me that renewed some faith and belief in what we were doing at Radiate Church. "You've got what it takes to be one of the 'big boys'. You can do this." And then he said the statement that I so desperately needed to hear from someone that didn't feel like they had to say it. "I believe in you!"
I went back to my hotel that night and cried. I cried in private, I cried as my wife and I talked about it on the phone that night. I leaned into that relationship and connection and we relaunched Radiate Church. We went to a new location, we designed a new logo, a new color scheme, we changed the way we operated, and I submitted myself to new leadership and coaching like never before. In 3 years, since that date, we've seen God bring over 200 people to life in His Kingdom, we've grown from about 85 people to almost 500 on average weekly. We've watched people walk in with physical issues and walk out healed. We've seen couples walk in ready to sign divorce papers and walk out reconciling their marriage. We've seen our teen ministry grow from 3 teens to 35 weekly. We've baptized over 100 people in 3 years, and we've encountered more things in just 3 years than we ever thought possible.
We still have bumps and obstacles. Things are still hard, and to be honest, at times I still feel like mailing it in. There are moments I think back on my deformities as a leader and disqualify myself. There are moments I know God believes in me but I'm not sure I believe in myself, and better yet others do either. Often in those moments I think back to pivotal moments of my leadership/life for inspiration. And one of the most remembered moments has been that conversation with that Pastor in my life and his statement - "I believe in you!".
Sometimes we all need someone to externally let us know that they believe in us. That they will fight with and for us. And that they see in us, what we dreamed of when we felt good but can't feel when things get hard. This week I want to talk about that concept a little as we go to the movies and see "The Greatest Showman" this Sunday at 10 * 11:30. I promise, this is one you need to bring someone to! Don't come alone... and always remember: I BELIEVE IN YOU! I'll see you Sunday!