Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm Overwhelmed

There have been so many things going on in the last week that I can hardly keep from jumping out of my skin. I know many of you may be thinking "Paul what is going on" and I really wish I could share all of it with you, however at this point I must keep some of it under raps. But let me just say that God is doing what He always seems to do. He is going Big.
So many times I think that those of us who call ourselves Christ Followers only attempt things that we know in our own strength we can accomplish. I have been wondering as of late why it is that we do not risk big for God anymore. Now I am not saying that everyone is like this. I hang out with church planters all the time who are on the edge for God each and every day. But let me share with you what I have learned as a church planter. When we first launched Relevant everything was a risk. Just spending $100 was a big deal. So every time we attempted anything we were risking big and expecting God to show up. Within the first 12 months of our church we decide to do a rehab o a widows house here in Ybor that cost our church $30,000 of which we had none. However, God showed up big and He provided all of the money. That was a huge faith builder. So back to my point. Why is it that it seems like as Christ followers and in church planting in the beginning stages we are ricking everything all the time but as we grow older we play it safe.
Here is what I am learning and I know that this is not new but it is revolutionary when applied.
- we need to redefine risk- Here is what I believe to be God size risking. Attempting something that is so big that is if God does not show up it will not work.

This is one of those things only comes from vision though. I meet to many people who when asked what do you see God doing in your life our your church in the next five years and they say well I hope He remains faithful to us. Here is a thought God is faithful He embodies that try something bigger. Let me give you my vision for the next five year.
My prayer is that God would allow Relevant to be know as the church in Tampa. Not for us but because I really want to make His name famous in the city of Tampa. Susie sent me the Jabez prayer yesterday and at first glance I was thinking "oh brother not the Jabez prayer again" But I was wrong I was focusing on the blessing part thinking of only money. But take a look at this verse it is amazing.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NLT)
9 There was a man named Jabez who was more distinguished than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful.
10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and extend my lands! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" And God granted him his request.

This whole idea of extend my lands was puzzling to me but when I looked at it further realized that Jabez was asking for much more that just space he was asking for influence. And for me I really think that is what we are doing at Relevant. We are saying God would you grow this thing to a level so that we have influence in our culture and community so that people will know who you are. My buddy Perry Noble puts it this way, he says " we are here to make Jesus famous" How cool is that. I really pray that God would bless us so much with influence that Jesus' name would become the most famous name in Tampa. That is going BIG.

Let's stop going small for God and make the choice to GO BIG!!

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