One of the frightening things about planting a chapter is that you realize very quickly just how inadequate you are. Yes, I am in the national planting cohort and it’s sort of like an ace pilot training program and yes my gifts have been affirmed in a lot of ways. All that’s true. But both at training in Madison and in many other ways, I have had to come face to face with fears, most of which stem from inadequacies or weaknesses.
For instance, do any of you know that I actually abhor cold-call contact evangelism or outreach? I do them out of faithfulness and conviction that God gives us opportunities when we step out like that. That’s right, dorm-storming and Proxe Stations are not things I am eager or excited to do. Which stinks since that’s basically what I have to do all year!
I’m also extremely black/white in my evaluation of things – I make clear and principled decisions but they often miss the potential in people just because they aren’t up to measurement right away. And this is hard because a lot of what I’m doing is looking for people with potential! When you start a chapter you’re not even looking for fully-fledged leaders, but simply people with potential for being committed members!
I often wonder if I have what it takes to pursue this new and awesome vision of Asian American ministry. I believe firmly in its relevance, necessity, and rightness, but am I too much the product of other ministry and bound to fall into old patterns or structures?
These and many other things have crossed my mind. In so many ways, I am inadequate to this task. But that has never stopped God before has it. I think for ME at least, this is a means for me to recognize that for all the weaknesses I have, God has grace for me and, forgiving as He always is, will use my strengths as well. Moreover, this also reminds me that like Paul, His power is made perfect in my weakness. Too often am I the kind of person and staff worker who emphasizes being perfect as if it could exist without God’s grace.
So even if I am not gifted, God is. And even if I do not know how to forgive myself for these things, God does. This is yet another reminder that the Good News is always good, no matter who you are. Thankfully, nobody ever graduates from being a student of the Gospel.