Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I know I'm stubborn and thick-skulled, but there still has to be an easier way to learn some of life's lessons.

As a church, we walked into the start of 2012 without a worship leader, a student ministry pastor in Nicaragua completing an adoption and a lead pastor entering her third trimester of pregnancy (that would be me).  Thank goodness for AR Kids Director, Danielle Burt, for being our stability in the midst of the chaos!

As I write today our new worship leader is busy preparing for his first Sunday at Ashley Ridge Church, our student ministry pastor is on a flight home with his wife and son, Danielle continues to hold strong and we have someone on the way to the office to talk about our new part-time administrative assistant position.  

Me? Well, I'm even more pregnant, but I'm taking this moment anyway to do a little reflection on some lessons I've learned in the last two months:

1. God is a much better leader than me.

So often I'm my own worst enemy.  Whenever I convince myself that I'm the leader, it all depends on me and it's all on my shoulders, I set myself up for immediate failure.  It's God's church - always has been, always will be.  Sadly, it takes being forced to my knees to realize that it never depended on me in the first place and when I take a backseat, we can all go so much further.

2. No one wants to be an extra, but everyone wants to be needed.

It's nice for people to think we're super-human, but it's never true.  Acting super-human only accomplishes two things: 1) it burns us out, and 2) it keeps us from empowering other people and enabling them to use their gifts.  The first Sunday we were without our student ministry pastor, we had 6 new volunteers ask if they could jump in.  Chances are they would have loved to be part of student ministry sooner but we were so busy filling the spots on our own that they couldn't see the need.  

3. When we're weak, He is strong!

It's the only way to explain the last two months.  We were poised for internal combustion and instead God has forged new territory, broken down new walls, strengthened our leadership, brought new people with new ideas and new gifts and blown our minds.

Those are just a few of the lessons I've learned/re-learned in the last two months.  

What has God been teaching you the hard way?