FIRST-PERSON: Do it anyway – California Southern Baptist Convention

FIRST-PERSON: Do it anyway

Published Mar 21, 2018

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (BP) — One of my roles as a director of missions is assisting churches in mentoring men and occasionally women in ministry. My favorite mentoring or teaching relationship, however, is with a 37-year-old pastor and a pair of 33-year-old twins.

Those are my three children. All three are involved in ministry.

We have a great time sharing ministry ideas back and forth. I generally receive a phone call from each of them on a regular basis — from my youngest twin it’s almost every Monday night. She and I talk about how our Sundays went; sometimes we strategize new ministries.

Years ago when she started teaching Sunday School, she called asking about how to reach some new children for her class. I suggested she go visiting door to door in her neighborhood. I further suggested that she drive around and look for yards with kids’ toys, get out of her car to visit them and invite them to Sunday School. None of her neighbors came but within just a few weeks quite a few new children came!

Recently she called to give an exciting report — one of the students in a Team Kid outreach she had initiated in her church came to know Christ and was being baptized. If she hadn’t started Team Kid a few years ago, she realized this young lady may never have been saved.

She reminded me about the challenges she faced in starting this new ministry. She had no workers. She had no space for the classes. She had no money to spend. While she had her pastor’s support, she heard a handful of negative responses to the ministry.

One evening while washing dishes she became distraught over the challenges she was facing. She called out to God to say, “It’s too hard. I can’t do it.”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been at exactly the same place. No workers. No space. No budget. A so-so response to a new ministry. Should I quit? Do I continue? Do I resign? Do I give up on the idea God gave me?

We’ve all faced those breaking points as leaders. Will we move forward or quit before reaching the goal?

Praise the Lord; God spoke to my daughter in His still small voice. What do you suppose God said?

After Jesus’ resurrection His disciples returned to Galilee and went fishing probably hoping to make some money. They fished all night but caught nothing. Jesus appeared to them and told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. “We never do it that way,” you can imagine them saying.

He said, “Do it anyway,” and they had a great catch of fish.

God said to my daughter, “Do it anyway.”

Knowing my 5’4″ daughter as I do, I can easily visualize the look on her face as she processed what God said to her. I can see a look of newfound determination as she chose to move forward. She simply wouldn’t allow a handful of challenges to keep her from trying to reach people for Christ. I love that about her. She’s a tiny lady but I wouldn’t want to get in her way.

She took God’s message and continued moving forward. She’s seen so many great things happen. Her Team Kid program has meaningfully increased the church’s Sunday night attendance. Her determination helped the whole church. She was grateful that she just did it, or the little girl that night may never have gotten saved.

Where are you today? What are you facing? What challengers are robbing you of your joy? God says, “Trust me with the challenges. Follow the dream I’ve given you. Do it anyway!”

Imagine if we all took that message to heart and kept on keeping on in reaching people for Christ. Imagine if we learned how to deal with our challenges in such a way that we kept moving forward. The impact would be huge when God’s people trust Him to remove the barriers and challenges that threaten the ministries God has given us.