The Art of Actively Waiting
Waiting for something is no fun. Walking into my gym the other day I had to wait in line to have the guy at the counter scan my gym pass. Most days I walk right up to the counter and wisp by the counter as he scans my tag. Crazy how such a short interruption causes me internal angst. I remember as a young boy growing up in church hearing the verse about waiting on the Lord for the first time.
I was like: “WHY? Can’t God do things instantly? I mean He is God after all right? Why do we need to wait?” How awesome would it be if we prayed for something and we woke up the next morning with the answer waiting for us? I often argue with God that this sort of thing would increase my faith so why wouldn’t he come through quickly?
Aaron Ross wrote a great article talking about the action of waiting on God and how it doesn’t have to be a passive activity. Aaron writes:
I have friends who have felt promised to have families, friends who felt promised by God that they would be married, pastor friends who have felt promised that the church would begin to change their community, and more. It is always the friends who worked toward the promise that actually see the promise fulfilled. Those friends who sit back and wait for the promise to fall in their lap end up frustrated, defeated, and typically upset with God.
Building a guest ministry is just like building a great prayer life. It takes time, effort and intentionality. Also, you rarely get answers immediately. Your guest ministry is the same way. It takes time and effort to develop a culture and a process that makes guests feel welcomed and encourages them to come back week after week. Like Abraham who waited for a son and David who waited for his kingship, God often takes us through a season of growth, patience and development before we see the fruits of the perseverance.
Just because you don’t have many (or any) guests this week doesn’t mean you should disband your welcome ministry. Be patient. Pray. Learn. Grow. Perfect. In time, you will reap the rewards.