How am I feeling today? I’m going to be brutally honest here. My root fear is being tapped lately, mostly because I’m in a place where I’m discouraged some stuff. Yes, there are shining stories of God at work in our church… there is fruit, and progress, and a good spirit generally. But I dream of catalyzing a movement, not just delivering a few good sermons. I’m feeling… ineffective. So I pulled up my Mac’s thesaurus, typed in “ineffective,” and it spat this out:
1 an ineffective scheme unsuccessful, unproductive, fruitless, unprofitable, abortive, futile, purposeless, useless, worthless, ineffectual, inefficient, inefficacious, inadequate; feeble, inept, lame; archaic bootless.
2 an ineffective president ineffectual, inefficient, inefficacious, unsuccessful, powerless, impotent, lame-duck; inadequate, incompetent, incapable, unfit, inept, bungling, weak, poor; informal useless, hopeless.
Morbid list, huh? You can feel the shame piling up as you read. Satan must use my thesaurus all the time! But I was talking to God about all this, not him. Why am I afraid of being ineffective? Because that would be failing. Why am I afraid of failure? Some people are afraid of rejection. I’m not. That’s not the problem. I’m afraid of being a couple of words on that list: Useless. Inept. Inadequate. And a couple more: Invisible. Not needed. Not important.
A dozen of you could jump in, waving colorful flags, retorting, “But Brad, God is where your worth lies. And importance is more than what we humans think it is!” And you’d be right. I know it. I know in my head, that is. But I fear it still. So there it is. And some very accurate flaming darts have found their way past my shield of faith and breastplate of righteousness and have pierced my heart of hearts lately. Even just today.
I know that the movement I dream of will be a work of God’s Spirit in spite of my weaknesses. And theirs. But I also know that good leadership is often at the heart of great moves of God. And there’s the rub.