I read this blog post, "Everything Is An Experiment" by Mark Batterson, a blogger and pastor I have been reading the past few months. This blog posting pretty much summarizes the guy's life. He's a "grab the lion by the mane" kind of guy. Seems to be pretty much my opposite personality-wise, but God has been challenging me BIG TIME through some of the stuff this guy has been writing.
I get ideas, don't get me wrong. And some of them, I guess, could be labeled "creative". But I don't consider myself a particularly creative person. I get things done, but I don't know about being creative.
Something has caught my attention for the past three to four months...a drive to be a creative (and effective) communicator. God directed me to a couple books and several blogs that have stirred up this new-found passion. I felt God working something in my heart, and I didn't quite know how to put it into words. I asked Him about it, and the drive got stronger, but not any clearer. I began to wonder if the drive was to take me into areas of ministry where I never pictured myself (senior pastor). Some of the people I know, not knowing what I was experiencing, had encouraged me in that direction (said they could see me there one day). But that just seemed so opposite how God has made me (I believe I have an armor-bearer's calling on my life).
In December, I was sharing with another good friend whose opinion I respect very much. I was trying to communicate what has been on my heart. I told him I was confused because I didn't know where God was leading with this all-consuming passion. As we talked, he finally came right out and said, "I can't picture you being a senior pastor" and I just felt a flood of relief. I was looking for somebody to confirm what I felt in my heart. I didn't want to "hold out" on God, but I know how He has made me and stepping out of my armor-bearer calling just did not feel right.
And then at the first of the year, we had our annual staff retreat. One of my favorite parts of the retreat is where we spend a couple hours as a staff praying for one another. One person sits in a chair and others pray for him/her. During this time, we allow time for God to speak a word of direction, wisdom, encouragement or prophecy to us, through one another. When it was my turn to be prayed for (to be honest), I expected to hear some of the same things that have been prayed over me in the past (you are faithful, loyal, man of integrity, etc). I was blown away when God started speaking to me about increasing my teaching ministry this year and having to trust Him by stepping out in a bigger way. Everything that was said was one confirmation after another. I had been hearing God, He would be opening the doors, and what He was working was going to be much bigger than I would have envisioned myself. I was afraid to even share what God has been speaking in my heart, yet here God was saying it OUT LOUD through my pastor and my peers.
So I still don't know what ALL this means. I have been praying. God has made it clear that there will be a sacrifice of time required and that I will have to step out in faith. What He wants to do with me is bigger than me (doing something bigger than my talent wouldn't take much). I'm still praying and seeking.
Right now, I feel like God is still saying, "It's coming." I'm not sure what all "it" is. I'm both excited and nervous. I'm excited because I feel God has spoken that He is going to use me in a specific way. I can see where He has lead me to this point. I'm nervous because He has also made it clear that this will be Him in me and not me in my own strength. I know (better than anybody else), the limited talent I draw from. That part makes it easy to rely on Him...it also makes it hard because He has said this will take me out of my comfort zone.
I'm still asking God how it starts, when it starts, what does this all mean. I don't know when the time will be or even how I'll know it's time, but I sure get the feeling I'm on the verge of something WILD.