Small Steps to Living Life On Mission
I have this client. She's a raving fan of One Foot really. She is here when the doors are open for coaching. She not only loves what she learns about herself from coaching. She also loves the coach. In fact, she likes to tell me and anyone else who will listen that I'm going to be famous some day.
To be perfectly honest, when I quit my job in a flourish over 2 years ago - that was my goal. I stepped out in faith. I wanted to speak and write and inspire women to change their lives with courageous faith. In my mind, the reward was big stages and groups to speak to. A book in the works. A big following on the Facebook (among other places).
What I experienced was exactly the opposite. There were no big stages or speaking events. My blog continues to be read by the small band of women (and some men) who seek inspiration for living by faith. My coaching business serves those same people with group and individual coaching to help those who come change their lives - one step at a time.
Learning to Go Small
About six months in to my big adventure, God began to speak to my heart about going small. It really started because I expected the success of my business to be different. Since I was trusting God with all the big things like income and clients and such, I thought my business would be a raving success financially -you know with the numbers.
But as I continued to pursue God's heart for my business, I realized that God cares more about changing hearts than changing the success of my business. Through a mixture of my own experience and following the If:Gathering for many years, God developed a conviction in my heart. He didn't want big, necessarily. Our greatest ministry comes from being willing to be small. From real life relationships. From the coffee date with your friend. From the person who sees the success and mess of our lives all in the same hour. From the clients who have seen me lead with finesse and with a cranky spirit
Six months into my business, God was reminding me that the number of clients or the number of stages I spoke on didn't define me. God gets to define me and my business. God defines your success too.
At times, I run back to the numbers. I compare myself with other coaches. I rise up defensive when someone innocently asks where my business is going. But I'm always reminded.
My recent reminder came by attending the If: Local gathering at a nearby church. I had committed to be a sponsor of the event and be available to connect with ladies over the morning coffee I sponsored.
But in the middle of the IF: Gathering, God spoke to me and reminded me that playing small is for the faithful. Playing small is for Christ followers. Choosing small is still God's plan to share his love with a waiting world.
So, in my effort to give you some talking points, here are my random thoughts from IF: Gathering 2017.
1. We're trying to go big when Jesus called us to go small.
Ouch Jennie Allen, just ouch. I don't know if you're anything like me, but I've done a lot of waiting in my life for the big things. I waited for the big church ministry job. I've waited for bigger audiences for speaking and writing. I started a business with the hope that it would be big.
Jennie's illustration was the woman who mentored and discipled her in college. She was faithful to pour into college student after college student. And today, we have a movement of women hungering to live life on mission.
It made me think of my own people. The people who poured into me. Who taught me about faith. Jill. Carrie. Deb. Kris.
Our greatest work of God is sitting at our kitchen table with a cup of coffee and pouring into someone else. Pouring faith and Jesus. Jennie reminded me that my greatest mission is found in Matthew 28:18-20. To teach others the things that Jesus has taught me.
Small is the new big - that's all I'm saying.
2. The place between your two feet at any given time is your mission field.
Recently, I preached at Clarity Church. My home church. I talked about my friend Jen. Jen left it all - well most of it anyway - to make a difference in one of the poorest counties of the world. Haiti. She's lived there for years.
When I think of my mission field - I think of Jen. I at times think I'm not doing enough and going enough. And then, Jill Briscoe reminded me. My mission field is where ever my feet are. It's in my home. With my clients. With my neighbors. With my church.
Where are your two feet standing? Start there.
3. Give it all you've got.
Jill Briscoe was one of the speakers. Her message was her story. From being in a bomb shelter in England during World War II to teaching students about faith to stepping out in courage when she felt like she had none, Jill's story was a testimony to faith and making a difference right where you are.
I struggle with the staying where you're put part. I like change. I like to be on the move. I'm always looking for that next thing. What would our lives look like if we're committed to staying where we're put and giving it all we've got?
4. Get up, go back to where you're from. There is work to be done.
Bianca Olthoff, in speaking on Paul's conversion, talked about God's very first instructions to Paul the Apostle. Get up and go back to your city. There is work to be done.
Paul did it. He got up and went back to where he was from. The reality is that Paul eventually went to almost every other city too. But he started where he was from and did the work right in front of him. And he waited for God to move him.
Sometimes, I get in front of God. I want to move. I want the new and big thing - when God is calling me to be faithful. For me, right now - he's asking me to stay put even when I'm getting restless. He's asking me to be faithful to the people He's placed in my life. To pour out my faith to those who have become precious to me.
What about you? In what ways is playing small exactly where you need me? Let's support each other as we step out in faith right where we are. I'd love to hear from you and pray for you on your journey. Simply comment here!