In both the brightest and darkest hours of my life and ministry, these friends have rejoiced with me, mourned with me, had my back, challenged me, and coached me. I’d like to think I’ve been that kind of friend to them in return. If I had to, I’d trade a thousand acquaintances for one of these true friends. True friends not only add real abundance to life, they allow us to follow God’s calling more faithfully. The reason is simple: The faithfulness of their friendship bolsters courage that might fail if we knew we would be truly alone for doing what God called us to do.
There is nothing more frustrating than having an idea for reaching people you are sure is going to work, and having it shot down by those responsible for deciding whether it moves forward. One it feels so crummy is because it feels like the death of that vision, because a “no” feels like an eternal “no.” That doesn’t have to be the case.
If it’s been a while since you brought it up, bring it up again. If the church actually did try the idea and it didn’t work, that doesn’t mean it will never work–though sometimes it does. Look at it again with fresh eyes. Perhaps it will work this time. There is one primary reason it might work this time–things have changed. Not people, not traditions, etc. What? The emotional processes in your church may have changed.
We have a Jungle Gym in our back-yard. Yet, it’s invisible to most. If you entered our back yard, you wouldn’t see it. All you would see is a table and chairs, a few toys and a fallen over rocking chair. It has a way of falling over ever afternoon, because Norah, our 2-year-old, pushes it over so she can use it as her own personal climbing set. At first, we fought it. Norah would climb up into the seat of the chair, stand up, and start rocking–with great risk of falling over. Plus, to us, rocking chairs were for rocking.
Thankfully, one day, it blew over in a wind storm or something, and we saw her climbing on it. She loved it. Now, the rocking chair is hardly upright. It’s not a rocking chair any more. It’s a gym.