Hey leader of a church, have you experienced rejection of your bright ideas? You know, those ideas which are a cinch to move the church forward? Those concepts which are embedded into your believing heart that a team of horses could not dislodge?
Welcome to the land of vision. And....welcome to the freshman class of Church Struggles 101.
I have some good news and some good news. First, some of our ideas are legit' and others are duds. God knows the difference. Second, God's vision is better than ours on any day. So relax. He knows how to move us whether our senses are on track or short-sighted.
Twenty-five years ago I had this great idea. Highway 169 was being completed by extending south past 31st street. I checked on property and found the church could buy the NE quadrant of an unpopular intersection at 169 and 71st street for $350,000. I proposed we move the church there to draw from the main corridors of Tulsa. That bright idea died and now Target sits there.
So, later I had another brilliant thought. A mall on the Broken Arrow Expressway at 145 had failed. I took some to look at the property. We could make a church building out of it and the cost was a meager $600,000. (Since then we have spent that much on our old building....twice.) Again, my big idea bit the dust. Today a huge church lives there.
Today? By God not letting me have my way our church home sits in the middle of a run-down, decaying part of Tulsa. Houses are sagging. Businesses are leaving. Three churches have moved out. We are stuck. We are stuck right in the center of the best opportunity yet!
Years ago we ran buses into the poorer parts of town to reach what families we could. Today? The poorer part of town has moved next to us. What a God-vision. Need is all around. We are in one of the perfect places in Tulsa.
My two earlier ideas would have worked. I believe God would have been willing to work with us in those zones. I still do. However, I didn't have to panic (and I didn't when my bright ideas succumbed). I knew way back then that God would make things work. He has and He is.
So when you set your heart on a dream that just has to be....always remember it doesn't have to be. God may see something coming down the pike in ten or twenty or thirty years you just can't yet grasp. Work in increments of decades; not months. Imagine for Him and with Him. Don't sweat the rejections. You've simply eliminated another "No" and the odds of "Yeses" are increasing.
Love your work. Don't flinch when your bright ideas are rejected. God runs the show.