Read Luke 16:1-15
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. (Luke 16:10 NLT)
It had been three years. Three years! There were glimpses of hope and possibility amid the failures and disappointments, but after three years and countless hours of heart and soul kind of work and my dream came to an end. I had dreamed of starting a church — one that spoke the language and connected with those who had never imagined following Jesus or those who had long since left the church behind. I dreamed of building a community of faith where my family could grow and thrive in life and in ministry. Along the way I had to make a number of tough decisions I knew would be unpopular. They were the right decisions, but we lost people as a result. Finally, after a number of major hurdles, funding cuts, and lots that was beyond our control everything pretty much fell apart. Three years of heart and soul wrenching work and all that remained was a small remnant of that community just trying to keep afloat for another day. My dream ended, but a new one was just beginning. I had great reason to be excited because I had just been called to serve as the pastor of St. Martin Lutheran Church — a new opportunity to dream of what God can do in and through a community of faith. That was almost a year ago. Amazing how time flies.
I’ll never forget sitting down at a table with one of my mentors and talking through this transition. I said, “I’m excited about this change and about all the possibilities, but its frustrating to have to start over.” He looked right at me and said, “I feel like God is asking me to tell you that you are NOT starting over… God is entrusting you with more. You have been faithful with what you had, and now God is trusting you with greater responsibilities.” I have to be honest, I didn’t get it at first. I tried to talk my way around it, but I came to a place where I simply said, “OK.” Over the last year I’ve replayed that conversation in mind over and over as I’ve seen it come to life. I have this wonderful community of people that looks to me as their pastor, and while we are still struggling to grow in the ways we need to grow, it feels like people are beginning to dream God sized dreams and I can’t wait to see how these dreams become our reality. God has opened the door for me to mentor and coach 6 leaders from around the country on a weekly basis and to be part of the team for a learning community with an organization leading worldwide discipleship movement. I’ve had a number of opportunities to provide leadership around our synod. It’s amazing when I look at the opportunities God has given me in the last year… the ways that God has entrusted me with more. I don’t share any of this to toot my own horn. Far from it. I share it because it can be so easy to lose sight of what God can do… and what God does! My life and ministry looks very different than what I had imagined, but God has remained faithful throughout. I’ve tried to be faithful too, trusting God with what I have and offering it to him. From what I have experienced in the last year, it seems the words I heard that day were true. God keeps opening up doors and seems to be entrusting me with more.
Where might God be asking you to be faithful? Is there a place in your life that God wants to entrust you with more, but you have yet to trust him with what you have?