MainStreet was a long, slow launch. We were one of the last “pioneer” plants to get the green light. That is, we didn’t have a parent or partner church when we were approved by the Northwest Conference to begin gathering a Launch Team. Thank God, Excelsior Covenant soon came alongside us to give us a needed boost. Here’s me pushing through a dark moment of self-doubt and trying to rally the weary troops. Listen: No matter how dark it gets, we always have a choice to choose FAITH or not. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and ASSURANCE ABOUT WHAT WE DO NOT SEE (Heb. 11:1). Aren’t you glad we didn’t throw in the towel?
AUGUST 10, 2011
The Enemy did his best to drown me in doubt last week. Some dear friends and launch team members decided to throw in the towel and move on from the MainStreet journey. They’ve been so faithful, and so enthusiastic for over a year. They were among the first to say ‘Yes.’ But they are understandably weary, and “feeling called elsewhere.” We’ve been going hard for over a year, and still haven’t started worship services. Can I blame them for growing weary?
In that darkness and self-doubt, I received a text message from a friend with a Bible verse with the perfect message at the perfect time: “Let us not grow weary in doing good. For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up and quit” (Gal. 6:9).
I am reminded of a story about Florence Chadwick, the first woman to swim the English Channel. She swam both to and from England. It took a total of 29 hours and 42 minutes between the two trips. With that accomplishment, Chadwick attempted to swim the distance from the California coast to Catalina Island, a distance of around 26 miles. The waters were about 48 degrees and during her swim a thick fog rolled in.
A half mile from Catalina Island, she became discouraged and quit. When reporters questioned her the next day, they asked whether it had been the length of the swim or the cold water that had beaten her. She replied that it had been neither, “I was licked by the fog.”
Chadwick explained that when she had been swimming the English Channel, a similar fog has arisen. She had gotten discouraged, and reached for her father, who was in a boat at her side. He stood and pointed in the direction she was swimming. She raised her head above the fog, and saw the shoreline in the distance. With this renewed vision, she was able to finish her swim across the Channel.
God realizes that we need visions, dreams and goals to motivate us to keep going forward, no matter what we face. Without them, we lose heart and die inside…little by little as revealed in Proverbs 29:18:“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Friends, we’re almost to the shore! We’ll launch public services in the Fall, and God will use it to bear fruit! Beware of the foggy disillusionment the Enemy wants to bring upon our launch team. Let’s hold fast to the vision and not give up. We will reap a kingdom harvest at “the proper time”—in God’s perfect time.