Did you watch any of the snowboarders during the winter Olympics? You wonder how these athletes can perform the stunts they do knowing the potential disaster they face if they crash. Gold medalist Shaun White says they have to have considerable confidence in their own abilities.
But what's good for Olympic snowboarders isn't good for those of us in ministry. Too often we can explain everything we do by our own abilities and the abilities of people on our team. That's not what God calls us to do, though. God is looking for ministers who risk everything on his power and his ability.
Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (NIV) God is pleased when you trust him. Does your ministry consistently demonstrate that you trust God for what you can't do on your own?
Most ministries can be explained away through simple human effort. Most of the time you can see exactly why a ministry succeeded or failed by looking at the talents and abilities of those in leadership. You don't want a ministry like that. If your ministry can be done without God's power, you're aiming too low. The only reason Saddleback keeps moving forward is by God's power. It wouldn't happen any other way.
You live by faith by taking risks in your ministry. Too many pastors start casting a vision before they've decided to trust God for the results. They use logic rather than faith to build their ministry. Faith – the radical faith God is calling us to – is believing God when you can't see what he is going to do. Faith actually leads to vision – not the other way around. You've got to believe God before you can see what he is going to do.
You've heard the famous line from William Carey: "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God." Carey knew he had a big God. And he leaned on that big God for great things.
Jesus says in Matthew 9:29, "According to your faith it will be done unto you." (NIV) What are you believing God for in your ministry?