Catalyst: Gorillas in Hawaii

21 08 2008

HABITUDES LESSON No matter how big or impossible the task, leaders find a way to get the job done. Their passion helps them to be creative and their persistence enables them to finish what they start, whatever it takes.

LEARNING: The willingness to do “whatever it takes” is one of the key attributes of a leader. So often people settle for the status quo…the easy way out…the road of least resistance. When a leader hears the words, “It can’t be done!” it just energizes them to attempt the impossible. They press forward when it doesn’t come easy, the don’t stop moving forward despite failures and keep going until completion. Great things for God always require more work than we thought when we started, but I’ve found they are always more rewarding than I initially thought. What great things have you persisted through?

Here are my top three…

1. 1994: Getting land for a church plant in Ghana. People told me it was next to impossible to get land from the Ghanaian government. I kept asking agencies and didn’t stop persisting. The result: the government wouldn’t sell us the land, but they would GIVE it to us. Few years after I left Ghana, our little church plant of 50 people built a church and school on the land.

2. 1999: Growing a small group ministry from 0 to 1000 people in 5 years. The last church I served didn’t have small groups when I was hired. In the interview, the senior pastor even said, “You can attempt it, but I’m not sure it could be done here. Ushers are small groups.” He added it to my job description (without taking anything else off). A handful of us worked our buns off and hundreds of people connected in Biblical community.

3. 2005: Planting Epic. We started in my basement with a crazy vision that God could use us to reach people for Christ in a way that would make sense to them. We only had each other and our dreams. With a lot of sweat, failures and perseverance, God birthed a community of faith with a passion for people far away from God.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:3-5

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to use this one life I have for God’s glory.

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