In just a couple of months we will celebrate 4 years as CoastLife Church. I have been tremendously blessed to be a part of a redemptive miracle that God has done through the relaunch of the church. There has been growth, blessing, and an amazing amount of favor on my life and the church since day one. However, it would be dishonest to only highlight the goodness of God, without also highlighting the grace of God through this process. Even though I believe we have done many things correctly, I have also needed a tremendous amount of grace for the things that I/We (I now have a team that I can blame) have done incorrectly. Maybe you are believing God for something big, a major life decision, a huge step of faith, or just a general pursuit of His will. Here are three regrets that I hope you don’t have after you have witnessed the goodness of God.
1. I regret that I believed for the dream, but I didn’t actually plan for it to come to pass
I truly believed that God was going to bless CoastLife Church with growth. However, I didn’t necessarily live out that belief. To live out the belief would have meant that I would have worried less, planned more effectively, and wouldn’t have made some decisions based on the urgency of a moment and instead made decisions for the long haul. I worry less now, we have a plan now, and I have had to revisit some bad decisions from the early days. Keep worry out of the picture and enjoy the journey a little more. At some point you will look back and wish you did.
2. I wish I would have been more firm on my calling and style of church
In the early days I knew what I wanted to be, and I knew the style of church God was calling me to build. However, to keep peace and try to welcome everyone, I didn’t always live by those principles. As the church has grown, I have become much more bold in not only defending, but also in intentionally building the church around a specific culture and vision. The quicker you can come to terms and be honest about who and what God has called you to be, the better. There have been specific moments that I have dug down deeper into what God has called us to do at CoastLife Church and growth has been the result each time. Sometimes we aren’t honest and extremely clear about our vision or values for fear of losing people who don’t share them. Take my advice. You will lose them eventually. The quicker you become honest and transparent, the sooner God can bless what He has called you to do. Healthy things grow. Honesty, transparency, and clear vision/values creates health and growth.
3. I wish I would have dealt with my insecurities sooner
I had no confidence to deal with people and issues in the early days. With no confidence I was unable to handle conflict in a healthy way, and I completely avoided difficult issues. I began to pray and ask God for authority in my ministry and in teaching/preaching His word. Through prayer I came to the conclusion that insecurity and authority can’t coexist. At some point, you have to believe that God not only called you, He also well equipped you to do what He has called you to do. I’m still in process, but I feel much more comfortable looking conflict in the eye and dealing with difficult issues.
So, hey you, let’s meet in my office and go over your tithing record.