Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. Zechariah 4:10
I can get discouraged at the beginning of any big project. When I was a kid I decided I wanted to build a model. So my dad took me to the local hobby store and I chose a firetruck because my dad was a firefighter. The picture on the box was just like my dad’s firetruck. But when I opened the box, there were hundreds of pieces and pages of directions. I was immediately discouraged. It was actually too big of a project for me to accomplish on my own at my age. Fortunately, my dad recognized this fact and helped me work on it. Simply his presence helped more than I can describe. Knowing he was there, that I was not alone, made an impossible project possible. It took weeks, even months, but I completed the firetruck. Let me rephrase that statement. My dad and I completed the firetruck. I would not have been able to do it alone.
When I became a pastor 10 years ago, I felt much like I did as a kid in the hobby store. Leading a church looked like so much fun. I could see the finished product. But once I arrived at the Richland Church, the box was opened and I realized it was an impossible task. But just like I did as a kid with the firetruck model, I tried to build this church on my own. The more I worked, the less I accomplished. But then I read Zechariah 4:10. I realized experientially what I had known intellectually for years, God just wants me to open the box and get started. He will build the church. In fact, any project God calls us to build cannot be built by our effort, but by His might and by His power.
And so I realized that all the strategic planning, organizing and effort in the world will not accomplish anything unless God is the One directing it, leading it, and building it. It doesn’t work to build the model myself and then ask God to bless it. Oh, the model might get built, but only Mr Rogers would say it was worth anything. If you want a model to change the world, to change YOUR world, simply open the box and let God build it through your hands.