We have started holding services in Vacaville on Sunday nights. The goal is to build up a congregation there and then hire a pastor to lead this new congregation. The first month has been very exciting. We averaged 27 for the month and of course we had lot's of first time visitors. :)
I have pastored for 21 years now and so I was a little surprised to be so nervous on the first Sunday in Vacaville. I'm always nervous when I speak, I think that's a healthy nervous, It keeps me dependent on the Holy Spirit and not myself. I was very nervous about the idea of starting all over in Vacaville though.
I prayed and reflected on these nervous feelings and came to the conclusion they were a mixture of pride and fear. Our church here in American Canyon is really a great church! Our people are wonderful, our music is awesome, our history is exciting, our current work is challenging, our future is filled with potential. Even though I know that it is God who blesses, I still feel very proud to be a part of what He is doing at Harvest. Harvest is safe for me! It's rolling. It has momentum. Vacaville is the unknown, and my nervousness was based in part on the fear that maybe I would fail. Maybe things won't go well. Maybe I'll fall on my face. I don't think I'm different than most people, in that I don't like to fail. So, I think my nervousness was a mixture of fear and pride.
That being said, I still moved forward. We have to keep pushing on and not let fear or pride slow us down in advancing the Kingdom. It's all about faith! Trusting God to do what He will with what we have to offer. Being willing to humble ourselves is what brings on the grace of God. Remember, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. We humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord and He lifts us up.
I think fear and pride are some of the most crippling things in our lives. How many relationships have been destroyed by one or both individuals having to much pride to submit themselves to the other, or to simply say "I'm sorry"? Couples become trapped in a cycle of pain and fussing when each one fears they will be the only one who tries.
Fear and pride undoubtedly prevent people from stepping out and attempting new ministries for the Lord. They since God calling them to do something or speak to someone but they never pursue it because the are either afraid they are not qualified or fear failing when they do try. God chooses us and calls us and He will also equip us for the task at hand. In fact, maybe our faith and dependence on Him is what qualifies us for the mission He has for us.
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7