Although I just turned 59, I don’t feel like I’m on the last turn or the last lap of my ministry. Just the opposite. I am re-energized by a vision for God’s preferred future for my life, my ministry, ReFRESH®, and Sherwood.
It would be easy to coast. After all, we’ve made four highly successful movies through Sherwood Pictures. They’ve been seen by millions around the world. We could easily live off the applause of others for having the vision to start this ministry. We could pat ourselves on the back until we get to the retirement home and then have others come in and tell us what a great ministry we’ve had.
It would be easy to coast. I’ve been here 22 years as pastor. I’m “settled, secure, and satisfied,” but at the same time, I still have a mountain to climb. I think about Caleb. He was 85 years old when he asked for a mountain. If an 85-year-old can still have passion and vision, a 59-year-old has no excuse. The church or the pastor who decides “we’ve built enough, borrowed enough, done enough” loses momentum that can rarely be recaptured.
It would be easy to coast. I’ve written more books than I ever expected to write. Two of them have made the bestsellers list. But I have other books in me—at least I hope I do. I want to get better as a writer, preacher, and communicator.
It would be easy to let our ReFRESH® conferences coast. We’ve seen God bless these conferences in the past, so it would be easy to go into autopilot and just do a conference. I can’t. I want to see God use this conference in a significant way to impact pastors around the country.
To be frank, I see many people my age, both in the pew and the pulpit, who start coasting once their kids are raised. They relax, take their foot off the gas, and hope to coast into the winner’s circle. It won’t happen that way. It can’t happen that way.
I find myself with a greater vision than I’ve ever had in my ministry. I am asking God for more than ever before. I am believing God for more than ever before. I am asking God to allow Sherwood to do something so significant that it will be remembered for generations to come. I have a big God who has done big things in the past. I’m simply following the flow of biblical history and asking Him to do “exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we could ever hope or imagine.”
As I reflect on the beginning of a new year, I see unprecedented opportunities. I see God-sized potential. I see no need to stand on the shore and sing “In the Sweet By and By.” This is, like every moment, when you ask God for a vision that will honor and glorify Him, a moment that could impact eternity.
I’m not making a resolution on New Year’s. I’ve already decided before Christmas that I am available to God.