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If God Doesn't Show Up...

Lumber delivery fail.

Back in November 1991, the push was on. The small church that started in a living room then moved to a cafeteria had grown enough to build a building. I was blessed to be part of that church and that build. We started a campaign called, “Home for Christmas” to encourage as many congregants as possible to help out to get the building done for our first Christmas service in the new building. It was a tall order. I took a week off of work in early December to help wire, and getting in by the 25th seemed impossible. But it happened.

In January, Pastor Ron taught on trusting God to do the impossible. Ron is a man of incredible faith, and I still remember him challenging us with this thought, “What are you doing that if God doesn’t show up, it will utterly fail?” I’ve held on to that phrase for over 20 years. 

It’s easy for us to get stuck in a rut, especially while working in the tech department of a church. As we know, weekends come around with shocking regularity. And for most of us, the services are pretty much the same. Some singing, some announcements, more singing, teaching, walk out. Maybe you get crazy and throw in an interview or video once in a while, or the band changes up a little bit, but for the most part, what we do week in and week out is pretty much the same.

In that environment, it’s easy to get dialed in and forget that God is in the business of doing miraculous things. I’m in the middle of this right now, with another church build. We are working on a pretty major renovation of our kids and students wing, and I’m the project manager. Now, to most people in the church, it’s “just knocking down a few walls and painting.” In other words, no big deal. 

In the actual world, it’s demo, framing, electrical, alarm, sprinklers, insulation, HVAC, drywall, taping, painting, AVL, carpeting and decor. All those trades have to be coordinated, scheduled and kept on task. And you have to get them to show up, too. When I saw the plans, I said it was a 10-12 week project. We were given 6. And a budget 1/2 the size it needed to be. 

We’re now 3 weeks into the project and I would guess about 30% of the way done. The next three weeks are going to be crazy. And if God doesn’t show up, it will utterly fail. Thankfully, I still have those words of my friend and mentor, Pastor Ron in my head. This is not a problem, but an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to work hard to be sure, but more than that, it’s an opportunity to stay out of the way and let God do something amazing. 

I actually enjoy being in this position. We’re in a position that I can’t fix it if things start to go wrong. The only way this happens on time (forget budget…) is if God brings in some big guns and gets it done. And the cool thing is, it’s often hard to tell how that happens. At some point about four weeks from now, we’ll look back and say, “Man, how did that all get done?” The answer will be, “God.” 

You might think this puts me—a high-capacity, planner, type-a, control freak—in a very nervous position. However, as I’ve allowed God to stretch my faith, I’m actually sleeping better than ever. Once we recognize that we can’t do it without God, the pressure is off. Sure, I’ll put in 10-12 hours a day for 2-3 weeks straight to get it done, but I could work 24 hours a day in my own strength and not get it done. So I will work hard, bring in help and expect God to do amazing things. 

So, what are you doing that if God doesn’t show up, will utterly fail?

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