When I first entered the world of Social Media in January of 2012, I was meeting with a business coach. And I vividly remember sharing with her how I REALLY wanted to serve churches; I wanted to help churches with their online presence.
And when I shared this with her, she immediately said, “Don’t do it. You’ll never make money.” And because I was so new to this “harvest,” I took her words to heart and moved forward in other ways.
Well, fast forward to 2017 and you will see that more and more churches today are not only seeking outside help with their online profiles, but they are also hiring full-time Communication/Online Specialists. Churches today are realizing the importance of having a great presence online. Not only are churches hiring people for these positions, but there are now multiple conferences for church leaders around this topic, Facebook groups, coaching groups and self-study courses.
As I’ve thought over this the past few days, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Did I miss an opportunity to lead in this specific niche?”
Possibly. But what I think I regret the most is that I listened to the voice of a human, rather than God; someone who “opposed” what I felt was part of the calling of God in my life.
Opportunity is defined as, “a favorable juncture of circumstances; a good chance for advancement or progress.” And if we look at the travels of Paul in the New Testament, we will find that he captured God-given opportunities on a regular basis:
“I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia, for I am planning to travel through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay awhile with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination. This time I don’t want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay awhile, if the Lord will let me. In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost. There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” 1 Corinthians 16:5-9
What I LOVE about this specific passage is that Paul had a plan in place to visit a variety of cities in order to share God’s message with the people there. But yet, in verse 9, we read how Paul encountered an open door for great work that he knew he had to capture. But here’s the kicker: even though a great opportunity presented itself to him, many people were opposing him.
You see, anytime God gives us an opportunity to advance or progress towards the very thing that He has called us to, there will be obstacles to face. And for many of us, I think this is where we get tripped up.
For some reason, we tend to fall prey to the thinking that if God has called us, then things should just fall right into place. No obstacles, no challenges, no opposition. But the reality is, that’s not how God works and we see this multiple times throughout the Bible.
- In order to save her people, Esther ran the chance of losing her life when she approached her husband, the king.
- When Ruth followed her mother-in-law to a new land, she had to face the challenge of starting over from scratch. She had nothing.
- Nehemiah had to overcome the doubters; the people who not only mocked him, but also tried to distract him as he and his people rebuilt the wall.
- Joseph had to live through and overcome the hurt that was brought about when he was abandoned by his brothers and lied about by his boss.
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, had to walk through a tough time when she realized she was pregnant but not married. What would people think? What would they say?
These are just a few of the many examples in the Bible where men and women had to overcome challenges and obstacles in order to reach the other side; the side where the fulfillment of their calling would be seen.
God is bigger than any person and bigger than anything that you will face. People can’t see and they don’t know what God knows. He sees the big picture, everyone else only sees the here and now.
Here’s the good news!
Maybe today, you feel as though you’ve already missed out on some opportunities that God was bringing your way. You readily admit that you allowed fear, worry, excuses, challenges, obstacles and the opposition of others to stop you. If this is you, be encouraged:
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet with the staff of a local church where we chatted about all things communication, social media, storytelling, etc. And the wonderful news is that I had the opportunity to work with them as we dove into creating a GREAT online presence for them.
Additionally, I received an email asking if I would be interested in being the FIRST female speaker at a pastor’s conference.
Friend, when these opportunities came to me, I immediately captured them. Why? Because despite my “mistake” of listening to the voice of a human in 2012, I realized that God was giving me a second chance, an opportunity to help a church and pastors with their online presence. God began a good work in me and will complete it. He gave me one of the desires of my heart.
Be encouraged today. If no one understands your calling, your business, your ministry, and if others oppose you or if the obstacles and challenges just seem to be too much, don’t lose hope. Capture the opportunities that God brings to you (even if they look different than what you had originally planned) and get ready to plow through the negative voices, obstacles, and challenges. Choose to see the great work that God wants to do in and through you!
Share with me below: What doors of opportunity for great work is God opening up for you? Are you fearful of stepping into that open door? Why or why not?