Good evening Fusion family!
I’m at a ski resort in West Virginia getting some rest and enjoying my time off! But I felt inspired to write tonight for a few reasons. One is that I miss you guys back in North Carolina, another is that so many amazing things are happening in our community in my absence! You’re worshiping and partying back to back (and what is worship, if not a party that the Holy Spirit is throwing)! In seeing all of your activity and connection on the Facebook page, you’ve allowed me to experience the coolest moment that any leader can ever have: realizing you’re not needed.
That sounds super mopey and depressing, but maybe through this post I can describe why it makes me feel ecstatic and full of joy.
So we’ve talked in Fusion before about how we’re all leaders. All of us, in major ways, lead this Jesus-community and the world’s community around us. We serve each other, take responsibility for each other, and love each other as we all seek to see more of God’s beauty. Since we’re all leaders, and all have ownership of Fusion, my prayer is that we all are able to feel what I am feeling this evening!
Since the beginning, I have had the privilege of participating in the team that leads and prays for Fusion and have been deeply invested in its progress and impact for all of you and our world. Since I’ve had that investment, I’ve felt as though I am responsible for Fusion’s well being and progress. What I often forget is that this ministry is not mine, it’s the Lord’s. Should it succeed, it’s only because it’s the Lord’s will. Should it fail, it’s only because it’s the Lord’s will. What I forget is that I’m an individual, not an organization. God calls me to be a person, helping lead other people to Him.
Realizing that I’m not needed for Fusion to grow and progress means that I can be present here in West Virginia, having awesome conversations about the gospel with random people on the bus (story for another time). When God shows me that I’m not needed, he reminds me that Fusion is for His glory and in His hand, and that he is equipping and inspiring all of you to keep building it.
Power and Purpose
In 1 Corinthians 15:10-11, Paul says “I worked harder than any of the other Apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
The power and purpose of Paul’s ministry is so clear here, and it’s so different than what we think. For Paul, the power that fuels his ministry was “not [him], but the grace of God.” And the purpose of his ministry that people would believe, it doesn’t matter who preached. Most of us like to assume that power comes from people, and that purpose is making those people or their own organizations successful. The crowds at Lystra in Acts 14 show this:
“And when the crowds saw the miracle that Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.”
They were so impressed with the power that these two men had, that they began to worship them. They were completely missing the message of the men because they were distracted by their talents and abilities. A concentration on our own talents and abilities can honestly get in the way of God’s mission, because it makes people admire us, instead of Him. The power becomes our talents, and the purpose becomes our praise. That’s why Paul and Barnabas immediately responded with this: “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” Good news of God, that was the purpose. God created the earth and the sea, and we just are men (and women). Turn from the vain things to a living God. The living God doesn’t need me to keep on living. An awesome God doesn’t need me to keep being awesome, or glorious, or good. But how joyful it is that He invites me to join!
Realizing you’re not needed helps eliminate all possibility of relying on your own power, or chasing your own purpose. It helps you remember that God does not need you, but chooses to use you for His glory and your Joy. So now, you guys are doing amazing things, and I get to be present where I am, serving God and people here, and watch all of this with joy, praising God for his good work in all of you!
So thank you, all of you reading this, for making it possible through your prayer and leadership for me to realize that Fusion is God’s and not mine. So if you ever feel useless, praise God for showing his power and purpose more clearly!