Break The Mold – Part 2
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His... 2 Chronicles 16:9, NASB
Today we are talking about breaking the mold in various areas of our lives and ministries. Are you ready to break out? If you ever find yourself inadvertently stuck in a boring mold of traditional thinking, the monotony of life, stereotypical church, or living a routine life—break that mold!
With God all things are possible! When it comes to breaking the mold, we have two rules. One: as long as it’s not unbiblical, unethical, illegal or immoral—break the mold! Two: as long as God blesses our efforts and produces eternal fruit through our mold breaking, we are all in!
So, today, let’s talk about another mold to break: Small Thinking.
Sometimes, if we aren’t careful we will default to small thinking. We will make excuses for our mini-success. I remember all too well having excuses before we even tried to do anything great. Seriously, before we even got out of the gates, the enemy was giving me great excuses for a failure that hadn’t even happened!
Over 25 years ago, we knew the Lord had called us to start a church and we knew the Lord had called me to write books; however, I remember thinking these small thoughts: “We aren’t connected to the ‘who’s who’ in the Christian world. How can God use us to start a church? Or use me to write books?” And, “Jeff and I were not raised in a pastor’s home. We don’t know the first thing about ministry. I was raised Catholic and Jeff was raised Methodist. We don’t have the pedigree of a 2nd or 4th generation preacher in the family. How can we pastor a great church?” And, “I'm a 'no name'—I don’t know any publishers or editors—how can I write a book?” There were plenty of reasons to go small.
As it turned out, our inexperience, lack of connections and lame ministerial pedigree made us the perfect candidates to start a church and write books. We couldn't take any credit—Jesus could have it all! We were simply first generation Christians, on-fire for the Lord, idealistic, full of faith and as green as they come. We believed that with God all things are possible—so we decided to break the mold and get busy about His business!
Perhaps these two stories will encourage you to break the mold and go for it!
A Mega Church in Kalamazoo:
When the time came for us to start a church from scratch, we felt that God wanted us to break the mold of "average-sized churches" by raising up a mega church in Kalamazoo. Why not? Kalamazoo is a town with a crazy name. Kalamazoo is NOT a large metroplex; it is NOT a bedroom community for a large city full of millions of people. It’s an average-sized town in Southwest Michigan. Greater Kalamazoo has 123,000 people and the entire county is 225,000. We believed God wanted Kalamazoo to be an example to encourage other pastors/churches of what Jesus can do in an average-sized town when people will believe Him for big things! Indeed, Jesus is building His Church, the mold is breaking, and to date over 4,000 people call Valley Family Church their home.
To put this in perspective, I recently spoke with a pastor from a large city and he said, “Wow, you guys are doing a great work in Kalamazoo.” I said, “It's the Lord, He's been good to us!” He said, “No really, having a 4,000 member church in Kalamazoo would be like us having a 50,000 member church here!” Glory to God!
We are not unique. We know several churches with a story like ours. Some churches are bigger than the actual population of the city they are in—now that IS breaking the mold! How about you? God wants to do big things through you, your ministry and your church. Don’t settle for small thinking—break the mold, believe God, work smart, be led, mobilize people and go for it!
A "No Name" Writing Books:
Back in 1979, one of the first things God put in my heart as a new Christian was a literal vision of writing books. It was such an odd vision as I was in college as a biology major with plans to be a dentist at the time.
Ten years later, the Lord led me to write Getting a Grip on the Basics, the first book of over a dozen books. I found out that writing a book is the easy part. Having a book published, distributed and selling over a long shelf life requires much more. That’s where breaking the mold of small thinking comes in.
In the publishing world, I was what they called a "no name." (Yes, they told me that!) I was unknown, didn't have a large ministry, TV show or massive public relations platform. So, I had some serious mold-breaking to do! My secret to being a “no name” author, being rejected twice by the same publisher and yet ultimately seeing “Getting a Grip on the Basics” published, land on the top 40 best-sellers list for over 10 years, being translated into over a 14 languages and used by thousands of churches around the world is simple: Prayer!
It was during a five-hour drive to speak at a church when I began to pray about how God wanted to use the newly released Getting a Grip on the Basics book. I prayed something like this, "Lord, I ask You to use the Get a Grip book to help the Body of Christ all over America." I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “Why stop with America?” I prayed again, “Lord, I ask You to use the Get a Grip book to help the Body of Christ all over the world in every English speaking country.” I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart again, “Why stop with English?” I prayed again, “Father, I ask You to use the Get a Grip book to help the Body of Christ all over the world in any and every language You desire.”
Fast forward nearly 20 years and today He broke the mold and answered those very prayers.
So…do you get the idea? Today, break the mold of small thinking! Pray, believe, and work together with God to do big things in whatever vision, purpose or ministry He has called you to fulfill.
Say It: “Father, I am sorry I have had such small thinking. Today, I am breaking the mold and I believe You are a big God. I ask You to do a big work in and through me for Your glory and purposes. (Go ahead and talk to the Lord about your calling, giftings, ministry and purpose—break the mold!) In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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