There is no lying, I went to bed last night completely discouraged. You see, for about a year now, I have been trying to start some type of live Christian music series in my small little home town. My church has been behind my mission, and the board and members have done everything they can when I have asked for help. The groups I am bringing in come in with smiles on their faces, thankful they have a place to play. Every single artist that has performed on stage has done so with a performance worthy of Madison Square Garden. The problem: no one sees it. No matter what I try, what marketing I do, and how much I beg and plead for people to come to the shows, show night after show night, I am sitting in an empty church with a few close friends enjoying a private performance of these incredibly talented artists.
So as I crawled into bed last night, I could not help but think: why am I doing this to myself? Why do I get my hopes up that “this time it will be different”? Why do I play the “well, this church will send their teens out for this one for sure” game? I was basically wallowing around in a dirty pin of self-pity. Because the questions should not be “why do I”. The focus should not be placed on my success or failure at each event, I should not be sitting back waiting for the “wow, Patrick did a great job” pat on the back.
The only thing that should matter to me is “did the Word of God get delivered at the show? Did someone who is struggling with something in their life find any help through the Gospel by hearing what came from that stage?” The devil wants us to fall into the self-pity pit. Satan loves it when we start questioning why we are doing something for God, because when we do start asking the “why” question, normally that means we are about to give up doing God’s work. We say things like “it’s too hard” or “my time is better spent doing something else” or “my money can be used on something that actually will succeed.” Whenever we think or even say things like this, we are placing the worldly view of success ahead of God’s path for our lives. We are seeking self-satisfaction from others as opposed to thinking about how much God has blessed us by giving us the chance to share His word with even one person.
Feeling a little beat up and tired this morning, I rolled out of bed, not discouraged, but determined. Determined not to let the devil get a foothold in my thinking. Determined to continue to pour my time, effort and (what little I actually have lol) funds into these shows. Because I live in an area which is simply ravaged by heroin, prostitution and alcohol abuse. And if only one person stumbles into church on a night of a show and hears the message of salvation, then the time, effort and money is the best investment I could have every made.
If you are feeling like your ministry is not going anywhere, do not give up. Continue to push through those feelings of self doubt and pity, and just wait to see what is on the other side as God shows just what faith in Him can do.