Here is me sharing my heart and being very honest about fear. Some of you know me and I believe that I am not alone in thinking and feeling this way. Over the last 8 ish years I have become very aware of my fear of fear. Let me unpack this a bit. I have this very warped blend of a fear of success and a fear of failure at the exact same time. I know…messed up right! My fear of failure is not in the act of failing. I dig an opportunity to grow through and from failing. I think a lot of us never reach our full potential in Christ because we won’t risk more and put ourselves out there. I love to learn from my mistakes and grow as a leader from them. I also love to share openly about my experiences with others in hopes someone might save a step along the way. My real fear of failure is the leading up to and chance I might not have it all together. Now, here is the part about fear of success. I have this fear that at some point, I will peak or get so comfortable in my role that I lose the desire to grow. It is a season I just came out of. I was no longer challenged and internally lost my desire to move the ball forward. It was a horrible place to be as a leader.
Here is what I have learned with my jacked up view of fear. You can either run from it or lean into it. You can either throw your hands up in defeat or dig in deeper in facing it. You can either let it win or take a step today in changing the course. Fear is always going to be there poking its head up when we least expect it and certainly don’t need it. BUT, we have a choice and we have to own that choice. What will you choose today?!
We’ve all heard you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. As a free side note…do not ever allow yourself to go to a place where you feel you cannot learn any more! Stay hungry and hustle!
I wanted to share about teaching a middle aged dog a new skill. Our family is in the exciting process of starting our new chapter in Durham. I was the first Funk family member to make the move. Last weekend our family pet, Chester, was the second Funk family member to make the move to Durham. He is our 4 year old cocker spaniel. We got settled into my second floor apartment. The first time I was going to let him out to use the bathroom I found out something shocking. He didn’t know how to go down stairs! At first, I was blown away. What kind of dog can’t go down stairs?!?! He was scared and would not take even one step down. The first time I ended up carrying him down all the way. Then I thought, I am not doing this with a 42 pound dog for the next few months. The next time I carried him down to the last 3 steps and let him get comfortable. Every time I added a couple of stairs to his journey. After 2 days, he could do it top to bottom with no problem.
What are you facing today that seems like you can’t do it? What stairs do you have to climb? Get after it! Start with a couple of small steps towards that direction and add to it tomorrow. Do not ever believe the lie that you cannot learn a new trick!
Here is what I feel is one of the best things you can do as a church staff person. Support your pastor! One of my mentors, Robert the Bruce, taught me this early on. He started to coach me and before he taught me about leadership, team meetings, budgets, etc…he taught me to honor and support my pastor. Here are some of the thoughts he shared with me:
- Don’t be another yes person. Your pastor does not need another one. Share your thoughts and ideas IN LOVE with them. They need other view points. If they want to sell apples and you feel oranges…say so. But, do not miss this. At the end of the day, they say it is apples, your job is to sell as many apples as you can. This honors your pastor.
- Pray for your pastor. Ask them specifically what they need/want prayer for. Commit to doing so. No pastor will tell you they won’t take prayer for anointing, vision, marriage, kids, etc.
- Think steps ahead of your pastor. Learn how they think and work and do your best to line up with that. Know what the expect and when. Learn the small things that can free them up. Here is an example. When I travel with my pastor, he never has to ask for anything. The travel details, itinerary, transportation, receipts, etc are always taken care of.
- Support your pastor privately and publicly. Have their back ALWAYS in the open. This will build unbreakable trust.
- Be the best extension of them that you can be! Champion the vision and culture. Learn how and when to respond in a way that they would. Your job is to be the face for them when and where they cannot be. Do NOT blow this.
This is not an all inclusive list but a few things I was taught early on. Hope it helps.
Not every day goes according to plan. Not every outcome ends up how we think it should. Some days are tougher than others. Some battles take everything you have inside of you to fight. I am not sure what you were facing today but I want to encourage you to fight one more day.
Here are a couple of things I use to help me in seasons like this. The first thing is God. I stand on his word. I stand on his promises. I believe with all of my heart he is a good, good father who desires good things for me. I also hold on to what I know he has revealed to me. Do not doubt in the dark what God has revealed in the light.
The second thing was something one of my first sponsors told me a long time ago. He would tell me that if today was really that tough… Just go to bed! Get up and start over and fresh the next day. Reflect on the current day and get your plan together for how you can change the outcome of the next day. We have to own our part in situations like this.
The third and final thing is something we have on staff at church. It is called vision submission. Here is a brief summary of what the definition looks like. Vision submission is the willingness to eagerly and joyfully submit to the Vision and Plan God has given us. This really means… It is not all about you! It is about seeing a bigger plan. It comes down to trusting those who lead you and who lead around you.
However you choose to walk through your current battle. I want to encourage you to fight one more day!
I just felt like taking a few moments today and recapping my journey with obedience over the last twelve months and hope someone can take a nugget of hope and encouragement away.
I spent five days journeying with the Lord during a season of change in February of 2015. He hooked me up with this radical Pastor and crazy church movement. I knew in that moment He spoke and told me to move. But it required getting uncomfortable. I chose to not obey because of fear. Coming full circle twelve months later, I have now been a month in this new season and walking in obedience. God never wastes His vision…His purpose…His plan. God gets what God wants!
My encouragement is this…if you missed a moment of obedience, it is not too late. Use a moment today to revisit that area in your life. God is still in the business of honoring obedience…even if we show up a bit late 🙂
Just an afternoon thought.
No one likes doors to shut. It can leave us hurt, angry, or disappointed. Sometimes we work very hard at something and do our part to navigate to the door only to have it shut. I mean really, all of that effort for what?! I even feel that we have this tendency to blame the enemy for the doors shutting. Don’t get me wrong….the enemy is very real and the battle is a daily war. But, not everything that happens is his fault.
I have been trying this new perspective on doors. Cause, I will be honest here…when doors shut on me I get the same way. I get ticked and have been known to throw some of the nicest black tie pity parties around. I am trying to shift my focus from a door shutting is negative to the next door God is opening to walk closer to Him and His will. It is starting to shift my thought pattern to asking God where is that next door and thank you for shutting this door. And doors shutting can also save us from a lot of headaches and heart breaks down the road that we cannot even begin to see yet.
I have been working very hard on a project lately and can not seem to buy an open door. Again, a new outlook does not mean that there is not some frustrations along the way. But I am starting to ask God different questions as the doors shut. I am not giving up at the doors quit yet. I am still trying to do my part to open them. While I am trying to pry them open, I am choosing to not see a negative but a God who still knows best!
As I was in my quiet time this morning God brought me back to conversation I had yesterday. I was riding in the car with our newest Campus Pastor Trent. We were just coming back from spending the day helping out Pastor Chris at the Hillsborough campus. He was asking me how I got to where I was at today post surrendering my addiction. I shared for a few moments and then shared one of the most important takeaways that I got from that season of my life.
We serve a good God. We serve a loving, compassionate, grace giving, mercy giving, forgiving God.
Here’s my encouragement for you today. No matter what you’ve walked through or what you were currently walking through. No matter how far you’ve gone down that deep and dark path. No matter how fast and far you think you have ran from God. There is nothing we can do or no place we can hide, that God cannot touch us.
I want to challenge you to spend a few moments today asking God to invade that area of your life. Just surrender it to Him. He doesn’t want us or expect us to clean all of that junk up before we come to him. He wants is just the way that we are!