God gives a local congregation two things: vision and gifts. He shows us where we are going and infuses us with the ability to get there.
Sometimes, we are unwilling to go where he is taking us. Sometimes, we are unwilling to do the things that are required to get there.
Some church leaders and congregations try to be something they are not and were never made to be. Others allow themselves to be held back from what they were created to be.
If the first is a sin, then the second is doubly so.
We cannot be content to minister in the shadow of some other congregation simply because they did it this way or “this way” will grow a church or keep the peace. Trying to live up to false expectations is a failure; but so is restricting the Holy Spirit’s gifts by setting our expectations low and safe.
The most difficult decisions in ministry are not about whether or not to do something. The most difficult decisions are those that require us to acknowledge that we have been trying to hold back the Holy Spirit for the sake of human comfort, when we realize we have not been using all the gifts God has given our church.
Letting go of what is known in our own experience in pursuit of the future that we glimpse from the mind of God means discomfort, challenge, and spiritual fortitude.
God, your vision for us – it shakes the very foundations of our complacency. The excellence of your glory requires the utmost of our abilities. Guide us in the way you would have us walk, irregardless of the wisdom of man. Amen.