"It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. I t is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity."
— Frederic D. Huntington, Forum magazine, 1890.

I found this quote in the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  Last week my ministry coach made a statement about hunger… like the "Eye of the Tiger" kind of hunger that drives you go at something with all that you have.  We were talking about some of the challenges of gathering people to launch a new church and wondering out loud about why some churches seem to explode with growth and others seem to meander along at a slow pace.  From his observation, it seems like many of the churches that do well have leaders that have this kind of hunger… this willingness to risk it all for the sake of the gospel.  Now, hunger and passion are certainly not the only factors involved.  There are hungry and passionate leaders who have not seen the kind of fruit that others may, and I'm not sure why that is.  The point, however, is that succeed or fail, win or lose, we are not called to pursue God's dream for our lives with lukewarm sentiment.  God calls us to go all in and trust that he is going to be in the details.  I'm not always good at this… are you?

I sometimes like to watch poker on TV.  It's amazing how compelling it can be to watch a few people sitting around an oval table in a dark room playing cards can be.  The game that they most often televise is called No-Limit Texas Hold Em'.  It is a simple game really.  One announcer says, "It takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master."  I won't go into the ins and outs of the game, but the "No-Limit" part means that at any given time a player can bet all of his/her chips by going "all-in".  It can be a risky proposition to go "all-in" because the game itself can be so unpredictable… and these people (I'm not condoning gambling BTW) are often risking hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars in doing so.  That being said, if you talk to any poker champion they will tell you that to win a tournament and get the big payout you have to be willing to put everything on the line.

So the question for me is, am I willing to go all in?  In what ways have I held back so far in this new adventure of church planting?  Am I hungry enough, or am I resting too comfortably in the things that I can physically see and touch and taste?  Am I willing to risk it all for the sake of the call?

One thought on “Hungry?

  1. Hunger is still hunger whether it is a hankering for what we have tasted before, or a gnawing need for the unknown that doesn’t go away. One of the biggest reasons, aside from being convinced I’m not called to ordination, that I would not get into pastorate is that I have
    (g)astronomically high expectations for going “all in”, the closest I ever came to going “all in” was moving to Charlotte to go to grad school. And I felt the impostor most of the time. My genuineness did not seem to be good enough to me. I kept taking my spiritual temperature obsessively. And the most amazing was that my satisfaction was no indicator of that.
    A realization from some preaching I heard at Resurrection some years ago was that I can want the very same thing that God wants, but unless I want it using His desire instead of my own, it’s just not the same. I can say I’m motivated by the highest ideals and imagination and inspiration, absolutely enthused, but when I got away from being en-theos-ed, my enthusiasm dried up. It was scary listening to missionaries pray to receive “God’s heart for the lost”, because they really meant it, and knew they were moving into uncharted and uncontrolled territory. I had to admire them.
    I did not make it to Good Shepherd Sunday. No surprise with the time change, and other factors. So I got out a tape from 3-17-96 and Pastor Mike preached on the healing of the blind man. His bottom line was that although we are commanded to seek Him, it is always He who finds us.
    What a profoundly mysterious blessing our inadequacies are! Slap on top of that our disappointments and frustrations, and consider them to be a fragrant offering, instead of the smelly garbage they seem to us.
    How I hunger for that baffling sense of INTENSE anticipation I had in January 2000! I was having lunch in Wendy’s on Arrowwood with Charles from Grace Life International, and I could hardly sit still, and had no earthly idea what the cause or reason for the incredibly urgent imminent whatever!
    Wilbur Nelson on the Morning Chapel Hour would reply in his letters “HE is Able!” What a relief! Psalm 145 says that I WILL be satisfied, and that I can rest in that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s