“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
Throughout almost fifteen years of marriage, twelve years of parenting, and over a decade of pastoring, the invitation into humility has been abundantly offered to me.
Humility is a lot like the way John in Revelation 10 described eating the scroll. In his mouth, it tasted like honey; however, when he swallowed it, it became bitter in his stomach. Isla Vista Church has ranged from about 25 people when I took the church over, to about 150 people in number. We have never been a big church; being in a college town, we are constantly gaining new people and losing people. In addition to this, Holly and I have had a difficult time finding people to run with because of the transient nature of the city and the age group we are made up of.
In my early years, I was very ambitious to build something that would attract more people. Today, I have come to understand that the goal is not to build a church, but to build the people God sends our way.
It has taken a lot of years, and a lot of loss, to realize that the goal isn’t a bigger church. My pride and unholy ambition at times have gotten in the way of the gold that was in front of me – the gold being the sons and daughters that are currently with IV Church. The ones that God has strategically sent us to invest in, build up, and help them see Jesus.
I can’t say I have fully arrived, but over the last few years, I have really had to “eat the scroll” of humility with Isla Vista Church. I have come to joyfully embrace the unique call of doing church in a college town, and trust the Father more with what He is growing in our city.
I believe humility is the key to longevity, as it releases grace into our life. We need grace to move with God and partner with what He is doing. I really believe a key indicator of humility is when we begin to wait on the Lord. Sometimes we may be trying to do or build something that He is not doing in the season we are in (or our church is in). Waiting on the Lord releases grace into our lives so that we are not running before God.
After a decade of pastoring, I have come to understand that God is looking for men and women who will seriously be okay to wait on Him. Who will humble themselves and realizing that often we don’t know what is always best. That we need to learn to wait, listen, and humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the Lord. That God has a plan for His church and loves His bride. Our role is to trust, love, and walk humbly with God.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Peter 5:6)