I remember getting together with him in the school cafeteria one day over a cup of coffee. He always tried to get me to drink coffee without cream and sugar but he never succeeded. I remember saying that I knew that I would travel one day, I knew that I would go to the nations and that I would speak and that I would go on mission trips and that I would always be in ministry in some sort of way. But one thing I would NEVER do is Pastor a church. He agreed emphatically. That was our way of making a “decision” about our future without actually talking about it in the sense that it was “our” future. I am pretty sure that I reminded him of that when we got engaged, although he doesn’t remember that conversation. (Selective memory I am sure.)
Many years later, I was sitting with Jeremy in the living room, and he told me of his longing to start a church. He wanted me to pray about it too. I looked at him. This wasn't our "plan." This wasn't what we had discussed. We both knew that starting a church was hard and painful and sometimes devastating. I wasn't sure I was up for the task. But most of all I just remember feeling deep deep insecurity.
It’s easy to travel and speak into people’s lives when they don’t see you day to day. It’s easy and it’s fun. It’s easy to encourage other pastors and leadership to keep going, don’t give up. It’s easy to sow into other places and reap instant rewards without having to pick the weeds in between the processes. I had had experience with planting churches and I have to tell you that they weren’t my fondest memories.
I am not your typical pastor. I am not musical, although I love to sing and worship with all my heart. I don’t play the piano or any instrument, so I don’t lead songs which is a prerequisite of any pastor, I am sure. I am not a super dynamic person - when I speak, I just really share from my heart. Most of the time, I cry a little, even if I try not to. I am not thin. Pastor’s wives should always be thin. And wear very high heels and lots of make up. And be very polished. And dynamic and authoritative.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate myself. In fact, I am quite a confident person naturally. I feel quite secure in who I am. I just don’t think that I “fit” into that "Pastor's wife" category. I have had several talks with God about that. I want to get behind “those” people, roll up my sleeves and be 150% supportive. I just don’t want to BE those people. At least, I didn’t.
Until one day, I felt the Lord ask me something. He asked me if I loved people. And I have to tell you - my greatest strength is loving people. In fact, getting involved in peoples lives, running along beside them, holding their hand while they are going through a difficult time, I have done that since I was 8. No kidding. That is when I feel most alive. That is when I feel most fulfillment - when I am helping others in some form or another. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty right up to my elbows; to swim the stormy waters with them.
I felt the Lord direct me to the story in the Bible where he used the boys lunch to feed 5000+ people. Most of us know the story well.
Jesus had been talking to a group of people all day. When it was time to eat, he turned to the disciples and told them to find the large group of people something to eat. Talk about hosting!! That is one big party to feed! There were more than 5000 people there and the disciples had really no idea what they were going to do but they decided to humor Jesus anyways and ask around. All they found was a little boy who had five loaves and two fishes. That's it. I wonder if they kind of jokingly brought it to Jesus? Or maybe they were kind of scared to bring it to him knowing that there was only one person who was willing to give up his lunch. At any rate, however they felt, they were not prepared in their hearts for what was to happen next. Somehow, someway, Jesus blessed the food and fed everyone!! Well, when you think about it. Jesus can do anything so of course that could happen. He could have commanded the stones nearby to turn into food. But actually he wanted to use a little boy's lunch.
I realized something when I read that. I didn’t need to be the "typical" pastor. I didn’t need to be any certain way actually. All I needed was to be willing to give what I had. Because no matter what I did, what I had, who I was - it wasn’t enough without God. But with God, I was enough. It wouldn’t have mattered if the disciples had found twenty lunches, it still wouldn’t have been enough to feed the multitude standing there. A hundred lunches wouldn’t have either or even a thousand.
But because I serve an amazing God, because he is my friend, living, working, breathing through me, I am enough.
You see, it's not MY church. It's God's. I am not building it. I am not blessing it. I am not in charge of it. God is. I am doing what he wants me to do. No more. No less. And my willingness with his power, will build Mosaic Christian Fellowship.
I am enough for the task that lay ahead. I am enough to do what he wants me to do; to take steps, to walk, to leap into the calling that he has for my life. That’s what God told me that day.
I am enough. And so are you.