Cheryl and I were invited to dinner at a woman’s house that attends our church. She had previously attended The Gathering in Nashville, but the drive was wearing on her each week, so she was excited to find a similar church closer to home. She wanted us to meet her former pastor and his wife, David and Paula Foster. I cannot accept every invitation, simply because there are too many in a church our size to accommodate them all, but I am glad I accepted this one. David is a great leader and church planter. I had met David several times, but never spent any time getting to know him.
David Foster made a huge investment in my life Friday night. I had previously written a post about this need. (Read that post HERE.) God must read my blog…or my heart. ☺
It was really simple. David is a great listener so he heard my story of planting the church. I shared with him the struggles, the heartaches, the sadness in losing friends, and of course, the joys of seeing God do amazing things in people’s lives. I do not talk about the struggles much, but David understood firsthand the difficulties in church planting and he encouraged the conversation. David said he considers himself a renegade. In fact he wrote a book about it. See an excerpt HERE. I am sure he has faced controversy, but his words to me were invaluable.
David said one line to me and it rocked my world! He said, “Ron, you know this already (I am not sure I did.)
Find your affirmation in the people to whom God has called you to minister…in whose lives God is changing through your work.”
Wow! Such a simple thought, but honestly, I am not sure I had really stopped long enough to see things through that paradigm. I had probably spent more time seeking affirmation from other pastors or comparing our ministry to other churches. Sometimes I compare myself to them competitively. I may get discouraged if I am not as successful as them. Frankly some pastors seem to resent or question the reasons behind our success. There may be struggles if we have different methodologies. I can wish the church world was less competitive, but even though its leader is perfect (Christ) it is an organization run by imperfect people.
When I apply David’s principle of finding affirmation I am overwhelmed at what God is doing. He is molding, shaping, changing, growing, spurring, releasing, capturing, and saving countless lives through the work of Grace Community Church. I have never been so encouraged to continue the work God has called me to do! In addition, my greatest calling is to my family and they are flourishing in Christ! (I am writing a separate post about this in recent days.)
Thank you David for investing in my life! You have no idea the impact your few words had.
Have you ever had a few words impact you in a powerful way? Who is investing in you right now with words of wisdom or encouragement? In whose life are you investing?