How To Keep Pressing Forward

by | Mar 9, 2021 | Church Planting, Church Revitalization

A friend and I were talking about the value of encouragement, and he said, “Hey, let me tell you a story.”

Jared learned to play T-Ball at 5.  After working with his dad at home, he played his first game.  Taking a mighty swing the ball went about 4 feet.  “Run to first base”, yelled the crowd.  And after a few bewildering moments, he safely ran down to first.

The next batter up hit the ball.  This time the ball ran through the infield, and the crowd began screaming, “Jared, go home, go home!”  Standing stock still, tears began to stream down his face thinking the crowd didn’t like him and wanted him to go home.  The father of the teammate who had just hit the ball, came down out of the stands, and crouched next to Jared.  He whispered something in his ear, and then Johnny Bench and Jared, ran the bases to home.  I wasn’t there, but I’m told it’s true.

What a story for Jared to treasure, I ran the bases with Johnny Bench.

For a church planter, many times the crowd seems to be yelling—Go Home!  In many cases, we are not sure whether or not they are telling us to pull up stakes and slink away, or triumphantly score.  I know in my church plant, those were the lonely times, when you didn’t know whether to quit or to celebrate—or both.  I didn’t have a coach per se,  but every Sunday night my Dad would pick up the phone and call me to say,  “I love you and I’m proud of you.”  There were many weeks when I lived for those phone calls.  That’s been over 25 years since I first started getting those phone calls.  One Sunday night, my Dad called about 8:30 pm, just to tell me he was proud of my decision to go into the ministry.

It may not be your Dad, but you need to hold on to those people who will call you and whisper in your ear,  “Let’s run the bases together” – You can do it.

And above all, the Comforter, who runs alongside and inside you daily, is saying.  Come on.  You can finish.

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Marcus Bigelow

Marcus is an 18-year veteran in leadership and organizational coaching. He has coached hundreds of leaders and entrepreneurs — motivating and mentoring CEOs, presidents, and business owners to increase their leadership impact and grow profitability through peer-to-peer collaboration and one-to-one coaching. Marcus teaches Vision Casting for Hope International University, is certified in Life Planning and Strategic Planning through the Paterson Center, and coaches many leaders in the for-profit and non-profit arena. He is the co-author of “Better Together: Networks and Church Planting” and “Church Planting from the Ground Up.” Both works are applicable in non-profit and for-profit sectors and focus on building effective, reproducible and scalable processes and teams. He is currently the Northern California of Sacramento Chair of Convene™. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys woodworking, fly fishing, and marathon running.