Fulfilling the Vision – Chapter 2
“The following blog post is an excerpt from a new book by Errol Lawson called “The 5 Core Abilities of Highly Effective Leaders”. Errol is a business coach, best selling author and youth pastor. The book is written primarily for the Christian community but readers from all beliefs can gain great insights from his writings.”
PRINCIPLE #2: “Patience”
But Mike Robbins wasn’t always the competent, Spirit-filled pastor he is today. “I’m an aerospace engineer by trade,” Mike said. “I lived a wrecked life. I’m a first-generation Christian, I did the drinking thing and lived with my girlfriend for quite a few years. I was quite insecure in those days. But eventually, we found Christ. We were both saved out of a very chaotic background.”
As we can see, it took literal years for Mike to accept God’s call on his life. Likewise, we all need to remain patient, both about our physical circumstances and our spiritual growth. Remember: no great leader has been built in a day. “When I came into ministry,” Mike said, “I had to spend a lot of time sorting out who I was, the real guy Jesus had created. I had to discover him and allow him to emerge.” Mature leaders give themselves time to grow.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Even after we have our own motives sorted out, the world rarely bends itself to our wishes. In fact, Mike spent eight long years after his initial call to ministry waiting for God to provide the right opportunity. During that time, Mike continually felt as if circumstances had been orchestrated against him: he was repeatedly denied positions, passed over for ministry jobs, and told that he wasn’t qualified because of his background. “I knew I was called after three years, so I applied for Bible College,” Mike said. “I kept trying to knock on that door to get into ministry, because I knew God had called me. Each time I got a knock back, for one reason or another until eventually He came and got me.” Eventually, Mike’s church reached out and asked him to take on an assistant-ship role.
Somewhat ironically, that call came when Mike’s engineering career was finally taking off, and he wasn’t sure if he had the credentials to lead. “I had no Bible training at all,” he said. “When I’d been invited, I approached the movement and asked ‘Will you credential me?’ And they said no, because I hadn’t been through college. I got quite bent out of shape over it. God really pulled me up on that, and said ‘It isn’t about credentials.’” A few busy years later, Mike was planting a new church of his own, at the request of the board that had initially turned him down.
Don’t be surprised when your dream isn’t adhering to the timeline you originally envisioned. God often gives us a “big picture perspective,” like He did when He showed Mike that he’d be a pastor in the years to come. He chooses to give us this ultimate vision so that we will have faith during difficult times, not to show us exactly what will happen within the next calendar year! If it seems like your vision is stalling, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve chosen the wrong course—just that God is working out some of the smaller details behind the scenes.
As we read in the book of James:
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
No one likes to wait. And in our fast-paced society, we are accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. But God’s timing is far superior to the world’s timing! So instead of panicking when things aren’t moving quickly, enjoy the slower pace and trust in God’s perfect knowledge and providence.
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