by Nathan Artt, on November 2020
This week has given us all an incredible opportunity to reflect on what has been a very fascinating year. This year brought a significant amount of disruption to our lives, but if I had to use a word to describe how I feel heading towards the close of 2020, the word that comes to mind is grateful.
Working from home as a single dad with a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl has been… interesting. My kids have made appearances on most of my Zoom calls and have interrupted many, many phone calls to let me know that they’re hungry, tired, or simply want me to get off the phone to play with them. I’ve even been hosed down (literally, with a garden hose) by my son during a surprise water gun attack while sitting on the porch leading a Zoom call with 20+ people. But, I’ve never had more time with them. While it’s been chaotic and sometimes downright overwhelming, I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything.
Work life has also been the opposite of what was expected back in March. We’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing leaders, churches, and teams during this enormous time of disruption. We’ve even launched some new service offerings.
Months ago, I was fasting and praying through the direction that God wanted to take my life. I felt prompted to write a book, which seemed like a completely silly idea to me. I am not an author. I am not a pastor. I am a real estate and finance guy who happens to have a strong conviction to see the church realize that it’s in one of the greatest Evangelical moments in history. But who would care what I have to say?
God really does seem to enjoy using the least qualified. The ideas He put on my heart, that made it to pages of Gutenberg, Amazon, and the Evolution of the Modern Church, have been circulated and discussed by more churches than I could imagine. I had a chance to interview a CEO who sits as the chairman of the board of multiple Fortune 50 companies, and who is literally considered a world thought leader on digital transformation. As a team, we’re creating opportunities to connect leaders in the business and church world that I never would have dreamed of. This is all because I chose to step out of my own insecurity and into one single action of obedience.
I share this with you for two reasons. One, people are looking to leadership now more than ever, and I imagine it is easy to feel the weight of everyone looking to you for answers. Don’t worry. Just follow the tug that the Spirit is putting on your heart, even if (or especially if) it’s a tug away from the “norm”. The normal is exactly what is being disrupted right now. Have courage, follow His leading, and He will do great things in you as you lead.
Remember, the harvest is plenty and the workers are few. The Father is not looking for the most influential churches or the most entertaining leaders with the biggest Instagram following. He’s looking for leaders who will choose to be led by Him. Always remember, a life of significance starts with a choice of obedience. It doesn’t matter how big you think your influence is, how limited you feel with resources, or how you feel compared to other leaders. All of those lies we tell ourselves are focused on the wrong thing: US. What matters is this: will you have the courage to obey? Will you follow the prompting of the Lord to be a part of the change He is creating in His Church? What matters is how big He is and what He can do with people who love Him and follow His leading.
As we move into 2021, more uncertainty awaits us. But that’s ok. We must remember that none of this took our Father by surprise, and that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. We’re not only going to be just fine, but those leaders who are seeing this as an opportunity to adapt, improve, and change will actually get better. Your church will experience more relevance and impact. Your congregations and teams will be on the front end of radical amelioration.
While this season is difficult, I feel strongly that this is one of the most important Evangelical periods in our history. What will we do with it? Will we cower down and wait for it to be over? Will we lead courageously through change, with better and more relevant organizations on the other side? The choice really is ours.
Either way, I know it’s taxing. It’s not easy when everyone is looking to you for answers when we still mostly have questions. I will encourage you in this: seek Him. Ask God to bring you into what He is doing, versus asking Him to bless what you’re doing. When the Father invites us into His story, He promises us a spirit of peace, love, and a sound mind. He promises that our burden will be light, regardless of our circumstances. Remember, He loves you. He is not only with you, but for you. He’s inviting you to cast your cares (dreams and stressors) onto Him.
As a team, we are always so grateful for the wonderful people we get to work with. It’s such a privilege and a joy. So, thank you! Thank you for all that you do to bring the Kingdom to a broken world. We’re grateful to be on the journey with you. We hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving.