This afternoon I plan to do something that God has been laying upon my heart for some time. Thats putting up flyers for a computer tutoring ministry created especially for adults. The Lord has opened great doors of ministry for children with things like Bible Club, but finding ministries that draw men and women is a challenge.
The reason it took so long for me to do this is because I was trying to answer all of the questions and organize things perfectly before beginning.
Of course theres nothing wrong with professionalism…but strategic planning cannot be a replacement for action.
An interesting thing about ministry is you cannot foresee all of the things that will go wrong, or all the questions that can be asked. This is why your planning phase must be followed up by a launching phase where you actually act on those plans!
I realize this is common sense, but also know its a lot safer (and more fun) to stay in the planning phase than to actually act on those plans (there’s definitely a risk involved).
However a launching phase has its own incredible blessings:
- Your taking a step of faith allowing God to do the work instead of just you
- You can tell for sure what works, and what doesn’t
- The lessons learned (sometimes the hard way) through “doing” are much important than those learned while planning
- As you repeat the ministry or task your going to get better at it
- Gradually the anxiety/fear will subside
- It builds integrity (people see you backing your words up with actions)
- And of course develops relationships with others in the community
To me the greatest reason for a launching phase is you will never really be ready.
Satan likes to tell us things like “you can always do that ministry/project/calling when you are ready.” By saying this he’s saying once all of the fear and anxiety is gone then you can begin.
The problem with that reasoning is you will NEVER reach the point where your not worried or anxious!
God in His sovereignty chooses to “stretch us” by calling us out of our comfort zones. This is a way in which He alone gets glory (it’s not done in our own strength). So waiting till the moment we “feel ready” will hinder the very work of God!
Even as I post flyers this afternoon questions will probably be in my mind?
- What if nobody shows up?
- What if they have a question that I cannot answer?
- What if way too many people show up?
- What if this ministry doesn’t open doors to share the Gospel?
- What if my laptop stops working properly?
The important thing isn’t to answer these and other questions. The important thing is to know I’ll NEVER answer every one of them (that’s God’s job). Mine is to act on my planning stage, whether I feel ready or not.