Monday, September 20, 2010

God-Sized Vision

This weekend, my husband and I are going to visit Joel Osteen’s* church in Houston, Texas. Joel’s father started Lakewood church 50 yrs. ago with 90 people and now they meet in a 16,000-seat arena and their television ministry reaches 200 million households. I know of other churches that are 50 years old, but their churches feel more like a museum. It makes me wonder, where will our church be in 50 years? Will it be thriving or dying a slow death? I believe the difference is vision.

Creflo Dollar*, another pastor of a mega church with a television ministry that reaches 1 billion people worldwide, recently shared his future vision to one of our producers at the 700 Club. She interviewed Creflo in the greenroom for a web exclusive, and, as guest producer, I happened to be in the room during the filming. In her final question, she asked him “What would you most likely want to accomplish with the remainder of your life?” I perked up—this man has a loving wife of 28 years, children, grandchildren; he’s written scads of books, speaks at huge conferences worldwide, pastors a multi-site church; he certainly doesn’t lack for any material possession--what would he say? He instantly replied, “ I want to win the whole world to Jesus . . . I want to get the gospel to everybody.” Now that’s vision!

Is your vision clear? Is it God-sized? Are you communicating it effectively to your people? Or, do you want out of your situation so badly that you are drowning out God’s voice with complaints? Are you so miserable that you are refusing to even hear the vision God wants to give you? I’ve been there! I used to have a picture on the wall that said, “Bloom where you’re planted”—a bit cheesy, but true! (that darn picture would always convict me!)

Accept where God has you and begin to cry out to God for vision. If you’re serious, seek the Lord fervently, diligently, wholeheartedly. Wrestle with God if you have to, because you must have vision to do what He’s called you to do! He wants to give you and your husband a vision that is so BIG it is IMPOSSIBLE to accomplish without his help.

*I know everyone has an opinion on tv evangelists and mega-church pastors, and based on what we've seen that is understandable. I have personally met both of these men (for the record, they were very kind, real, and humble), and I've read their teachings. Joel has a God-given message of hope for the unchurched and Creflo has a message of honoring God's Word and finding abundant life (wholeness in every area, NOT only money). I think they are doing a great work to build the kingdom of God, and I'd be very careful to judge them unless you've walked in their shoes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nice to Meet You

My first post on my new blog . . . this is a big deal. I’m feeling the pressure to say something really deep, or incredibly funny, or maybe I’d even settle for “not bad.”

But before I can “WOW” you with my waxing-eloquent-writing-ability (or lack of!), you are probably saying, “Who are you?” So maybe I should just introduce myself.

I’m a struggling pastor’s wife and a busy working mom. I don’t have all the answers and I’ve only been a lead pastor’s wife for one year.

How would I define my 1st year as a church planter? I will answer using “ing” words:

· Making mistakes

· Doing things WAY out of my comfort zone

· Over-scheduling my calendar

· Learning God’s miraculous grace firsthand

· Finding that people can be the greatest reward and the greatest challenge in ministry

· Learning that unity is absolutely vital and the one thing you fight for every single day as a church leader

· Protecting and nurturing my marriage and family

· Trying to find humor in things you initially want to cry about

· Marveling at the faithfulness of God

· The list goes on and on. . .

What qualifies me to tell other pastor’s wives how to survive? First, let me say how unqualified I feel most of the time! On the flip side, I know that God has been preparing me my whole life to do what I am doing right now.

You see, I was the daughter of a pastor and both of my grandfathers were preachers. I always felt called to full-time ministry, but in my mind I thought I would end up on the mission field. I married my sweetheart immediately after he graduated from Bible college. My husband and I youth pastored 11 years in Southern and Northern California, and we spent the last 10 years as associate pastors in San Leandro, Ca. and Chesapeake, Va. For the past year, we have been lead pastors in a church plant in Suffolk, Va.

So that’s who I am in 300+ words. In this blog, I hope to share things with you that God has and is teaching me as a pastor’s wife.