Pioneer Ministry Blog: Are we courageous in our waiting?

Published: Thursday June 1, 2023

Photo of lady looking out to seaAs we are all very aware, we have just celebrated ascension, and also Pentecost. And I have been reflecting on the learning that those early Disciples went through in those last days they had with Jesus on earth, and the promises he made to them.

So, be honest, how many of us are like Peter at the end of John’s Gospel? How many of us, not necessarily knowing where Jesus was, would have just gone and started fishing? Or, how many of us, would have been like the other Disciples who simply decided that they were just going to follow Peter?

There was clearly a need to do something, not just sit around, and so, what did they do? They went back to what they knew! They went back to what they understood, and what they knew they could do!

Interestingly, in the going back, they were unsuccessful! They caught nothing! It was only when they heard the voice from the shore, that they caught a huge amount of fish. They recognised the voice of Jesus. They listened, and they went toward him. So in the recognising, they heard, they listened, they went toward him, and they did what he said.

Following Jesus’ ascension, he told them to wait, and so what did they do? They waited! They didn’t do what they had done previously, they didn’t go back to what they knew, they learnt, they listened, they waited. And out of their waiting, their seeking God, they received what Jesus had said the father would give them, and from that day on, thousands, millions of people have encountered, and recognised the love of God in their lives.

So where are you? Where are we as a Church? So much was said during the pandemic, that “we can’t go back to the way things were before”. How many of us heard those words, or, even, how many of us said those words? But what has changed?

Have we gone back to what we know? Have we gone back to what we are comfortable with? Have we gone back to what we understand? Are we still in essence like those early Disciples? Or have we got better at listening? Are we courageous people who wait for what God says? Do we understand Gods timing?

The activist in me, often wants to get on, do something, not hang around, but I have learnt, over many trips, mistakes, that doing things in my own strength, and not asking God if it is the thing he wants, or the time he wants it to happen in, can bring struggles and pain.

So 6 elements of a process you may wish to explore on your own, or with your team:

1: What are you observing? Pay attention to what is around you;
2: What are your reflections? What are you noticing in your observations?
3: Who are you talking too? Who is helping you do the processing? Remember we are not meant to go alone!
4: What might your plan look like? Who is helping you put a plan together? Do you know what the next little, or larger steps might be?
5: Who is holding you to account? Accountability is not about power and control, but we do need those people in our lives who hold us to account for what we have said we will do.
6: What are our actions? What are we going to do?

This process helps with the process of courageous waiting, and paying attention to God. If we don’t do that, we will be like the early Disciples, and find our nets empty.

Picture of Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson
Lead Evangelist
Gloucester Centre of Mission

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