On Monday I wrote about what I’ve learned on the road this year preaching in 20 churches. The senior pastor, I said, sets the pace. If he’s excited about what we’re doing, the congregation generally mirrors that too. If he’s not, the response is usually tepid.
I still stand by that observation, but there’s a counterpoint, and it’s this:
Sow indiscriminately. You can’t predict the results. Leave that part to God.
I recently spoke at a church and thought it was a bust. Hardly anyone talked to me. Just one person signed up to receive email updates. I walked away feeling like I’d wasted the day.
I didn’t think I’d connected with anyone until I received an envelope in the mail almost two weeks over. I spoke to hundreds that day, and gained one supporter — but that one supporter was worth it.
I’ve found that the same is true with meetings. I’ve been told to be strategic with the connections I’ve made. There’s some truth there, but I’ve also learned that it’s wise, whenever possible, to meet with pretty much anyone. You never know what will come out of a meeting. You certainly don’t know in advance.
I still stand by what I said on Monday: Look for pastors who share the same passion, because it makes a world of difference. But that’s not the whole story. You can’t predict what will happen, so take every reasonable opportunity to share with others, and leave the results up to God. It applies to church planting; it applies to evangelism and a whole lot of other areas as well.