This week I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. Yep. I was one of 165,000 people at a whole lot of sites all around the world. I was at the mother ship in South Barrington, IL.
First of all, this is one inspiring conference. Great speakers and great worship. A virtual who's who of movers and shakers were in the crowd and then folks like me who are along for the ride. All were there to learn how to be more effective within their sphere of influence for the sake of the kingdom of God. That, in itself is encouraging.
I want to share just one takeaway. Believe me, there were more than one. The last session on the first day is usually reserved for some who's emerging as a leader. This year it was Steven Furtick, a pastor from Charlotte. And he said something that got me thinking about my own journey of faith and the ministries God has entrusted to me. Furtick is all about having an audacious faith ...rooted in prayer and unbound by circumstances. During his talk he said "If your vision of what you're being called to do doesn't intimidate you then it's probably insulting to God."
Did you catch that? He's saying that what I'm envisioning just might be way too small. And the reason I go small is because I can be in control of small things. And I really don't have to trust God. And he said that kind of vision and thinking is insulting to God. I think he's right.
So I wonder how much of my life has been lived 'insulting God'? Or your life? To what degree am I willing to live on my knees imploring and trusting God to come through? Or am I content to dream a wee little dream that requires God to do nothing other than give His passive endorsement. And could that wee little dream actually be insulting to God?
Most people don't dream dreams big enough to need God. Nor do most churches. Our dreams are modest by faith standards. Manageable. Minimizing risk and discomfort.
Years ago when I was on Young Life staff we used to pray that God would help us reach whole high schools. Big prayers requiring big faith. And then that vision would get enlarged and we'd begin to pray for a whole region of high schools. Crazy prayers. God sized ones. Beyond our capacity kind of prayers. They weren't insulting to God.
Insulting God. Crazy concept. Jarring in it's implications. Think about it.