It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry about that. God has been doing some incredible things here in my ministry at North Main Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia. Allow me to recap for you what the past five months have seen:
See, I’ve always had somewhat of a Superman Complex. This has gotten me in trouble for many, many years. At one point, in high school, I allowed myself to become so overwhelmed by my desire to please others that I fell into depression. In fact, it even caused me to write a song called “Superman.” This song illustrated my failures to be everyone’s superhero and declared that I would stop trying so hard and let Jesus try on my behalf. I learned a lot through that season, but for some reason, I periodically forget those lessons and slip back into my sinful superhero mode. This tragic occurrence took place somewhere around a year ago, when I started trying to pull off this ministry by myself. Bad choice.
So, in May of this year, I attended a fantastic pastor’s conference held at Thomas Road Baptist Church (about an hour away from me) called “Refuel.” The timing of the conference was incredible. It came right in the middle of one of those “dark nights of the soul” that we’ve all heard about and experienced. I was incredibly lonely and ready to give up on my ministry. The conference didn’t really help at first. I did not know a soul in the room and sat all alone, dejected and despairing, hoping for a word from God.
As the conference went on, it seemed that every speaker was directly addressing me and my spiritual condition. Ed Stetzer, Steven Furtick, and Jonathan Falwell all preached incredible messages that I will not soon forget. But the real work of the Holy Spirit came on my drive home after the conference ended. I spent about an hour in prayer that afternoon, wrestling with God and repenting for my own self-reliance. I had been trying to do ministry by relying on my own talents and abilities for over a year and was seeing little result from my hard work. I begged God to use me to make a huge impact for His kingdom, but was interfering in how He wanted to use me. He spoke to me very clearly that afternoon. The words of Luke 16:10 rang through my heart and head: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” That broke me down. God was saying that He would not use me to impact thousands for His name if I couldn’t be trusted to pastor well the 30 students He had already given to me. Right then and there I repented for my stubbornness and self-reliance and asked God to show me His plan for my ministry.
In that time of prayer, I felt that the Lord was asking Broadcast Student Ministry to attempt something remarkable for His glory. We were running about 25 students at the time, and God clearly gave me a vision to see our students lead 25 people to Christ over the next year! Talk about a scary vision. I stood on the stage at Broadcast the following night and repeated God’s vision for our group. The students looked at me as if I had really lost it. But amazing things started to happen almost immediately.
Over the summer, God poured into our students an urgency for souls and a focus on reaching the lost for Christ! We took mission trips to Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, and Mississippi. We started seeing bigger crowds, full of visitors. Students began praying for their friends and preaching the gospel to them. And people started meeting Jesus! I am proud to say that in the five months since God gave us His vision, we have already seen our students lead 17 people to JESUS! God has brought 17 folks from death to life through our ministry here in a short five months! Our group is filling up, we are seeing passionate pursuit of God’s Word and presence, and the students are leading the charge here at North Main. And it is all happening because we got out of God’s way, stopped trying to be superheroes, and stood back and watched as God began to do amazing things!
It’s all about Jesus. It’s not about you or me. It’s not about our abilities. It’s not about pleasing people or making everyone love you. Ministry is not about talents, abilities, or even hard work. It’s about faithfulness to God’s mission! It’s about watching God do amazing things among us, for His glory and for our good. And praise God that He still does, even when we are stubborn and self-reliant. He is good and He is on the move!