Sometimes the most misunderstood you will be is by those who have laboured in an environment where you are launching. We always want to honour those who have gone before us. And in fact these past few weeks have been full of those connections for us.
The challenge is though is that for relationships to evolve and unity to be strengthened there must be mutual honour. An invitation to a prayer meeting does not warrant relationship or neither does it always produce unity.
Yes we are all on the same team, but we will often have different and unique God-given strategies for how to fulfil our particular call according to the way the Lord has asked us to launch and build.
The same goes for a new business, or a fresh evolving of who you are launching into becoming. There is a unique way that God is asking you to change and grow and evolve.
So conversations with those who have gone before can be both healthy and God-ordained, or they can come with some ego and insecurity. My only responsibility is to be humble and love.
It doesn’t mean though that I have to accept their explanation of ‘the ways things are around here’. That explanation will be different according to the view, perception, experience and faith of those who have walked these streets. Again we will honour the labour that has gone into this soil, but we do not have to accept certain mindsets.
I don’t need one more person to tell me that Quebec is hard soil, or a large church can’t be built here, or Canadians don’t volunteer (not true) etc etc. We can smile and politely stand our ground without being arrogant and bold.
After talking about the stretch and the promises the people of God will experience the Lord says in Isaiah 54:16 ͞I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy.
17 But in that coming day
no weapon turned against you will succeed.
Sometimes people point their battle weapons the wrong way. Believers turn them in on themselves. It’s hidden beneath a smile, but it’s still an attack. An attack on your theology or your methodology. It’s laced with insecurity intolerance of another expression that differs to their own.
But between you and me .. I can’t afford to listen or to believe that! I need to hear the heart behind this. When going into a new job you are either going to be shown the ropes by someone secure and life-giving who isn’t threatened by your presence on the team, or you will be walked around the office by someone who is battling the feeling that ‘you may just cut his grass and take his place’ … and that office tour is very different.
I pray that as I build the years into this nations soil, that I will always be the one ‘showing the office’ to a newcomer with life, encouragement, welcome, security and hope that this team player makes all of our world better! And I am so grateful for those life-giving welcomes that we had to our city, and into the arena of our new church plant! Some of those people are now my closest of friends and I couldn’t be more grateful!