James Macdonald steht seit 30 Jahren im Dienst. Für viele Außenstehende sieht seine Arbeit sehr erfolgreich aus. In einem Interview erklärt er, ob er in dieser Zeit jemals daran gedacht hat, aufzugeben:
There was very, very much a time when I wanted to quit. But it was less I want to quit and more This is too hard, I can’t keep doing this, and How much longer can I do this?
There are definitely down times and down nights and sleepless people and questions about finances and burdens about conflict in the church, but God’s been really faithful to us, and that always seems to supply a season of encouragement just about when we really need it.
Er ist überzeugt, auch wenn es sich widersprüchlich anhört, dass Gott ihn gerade durch Misserfolge wachsen ließ und dass der Herr unsere Fehler zum Guten gebrauchen kann:
I would say that God’s taught us a lot more through failure than through success. You have to learn to be humble and give God all the glory for any good thing that happens. Honestly, I haven’t found that as hard as some of the trials that the Lord has allowed.
I think that God sometimes uses a lot of failure in our lives. I have sometimes failed in the way I have handled some of our staff. I think we have failed as well as we could in the way we plan financially. I’ve failed sometimes by allowing outside ministry to distract me from the main responsibility of pastoring our church. Those are examples of areas where the Lord has allowed our church to do better over time.
Rückblickend sieht Macdonald, dass Nachfolge und Dienst uns ständig vor Herausforderungen stellen. Jeder nächste Schritt birgt das größte Risiko:
Each next risk is the biggest one. I think it was a big risk to go to Bible college when I didn’t even know that God could use my life. I think it was a risk to move two hours away from my family and become a youth pastor while we were still finishing our education. It was a risk to buy a house and stay there for a couple of years. It was a massive risk to put the house up for sale, when my dad probably thought we’d never even own a house in ministry. But we did, and we left Canada and moved to Chicago to go to seminary—another risk. While we were packing the van, someone called and asked if we could interview at a church there. But we didn’t even have a work visa in the States, and we only had enough money for one semester. When we were done with seminary, we’d been praying, “God, we’ll go anywhere you want us to go,” never dreaming that we’d stay in Chicago.But we launched out and planted a church with 18 people, wondering if we would be meeting around a card table in 15 years. We didn’t even have any idea what the Lord would have in store for us. Every single step of faith has seemed massive at the time, and as we’ve prayed, God has really honored that beyond our expectations.
Das gesamte Interview kann hier nachgelesen werden.