Budgets and sponsorships make December/January a good time to look back and look ahead. It’s an occasion to absorb the big picture, to look at where we’ve been and see if any patterns emerge. Projecting forward from those patterns sometimes provides a sense of what God’s been up to.
It’s a good time to consider how our vision has evolved. When I see a bit more clearly where we’re trying to go, it’s easier to set goals and work toward them.
Recently I encountered an attention-grabbing image.
BUILD A BIGGER TENT
What do you picture when you hear that challenge?
Politicians use the “big tent” metaphor to describe including more people, often by diluting their message. But to me it inspired a different impression based on this passage from Isaiah 54.
Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room…
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed. Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
Isaiah 54:2-4 (MSG)
Suppose you erected a big tent because you expected something big to happen? What if the big tent was a sign of hope, a confident expectation that God keeps His promises?
Small-tent-builders are cautious or afraid. Let’s not get carried away…what if nobody shows up? We’ll have all this extra space. What will people think?
Small-tent-builders are reluctant to dream big and invest in the dream. They conceal doubts about God’s faithfulness behind a cloak of “careful stewardship.” Trapped in a scarcity mentality, they grasp “their resources” tightly in closed fists.
Big-tent-builders ask what happens when lots of people show up? What if our “big” dream shrinks to insignificance beside what God has in mind? What if He’s waiting for us to do something outrageous and remarkable so He can work through us and bless our efforts in ways we can’t imagine?
Jesus wasn’t cautious. Big-tent-builders assume He was serious when He said, “Follow me.”
It’s really pretty simple.
The world says wait until the people show up, then build the tent. And if a few folks get left outside…we’ll expand later.
God says, “Trust me. Build the tent way too big, and watch what happens.”
The world says, “You can’t be too careful.”
God says, “You can’t trust me too much. You can’t love too much. You can’t make the tent too big.”
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So for 2014, I’m thinking RICH’S RIDE needs to build a bigger tent. We need to take more risks, reach beyond what’s safe and comfortable. We need to plan for God to be faithful in bigger ways than we can imagine.
That’s a vision, a dream, and by itself it means nothing. Now it needs goals, commitments, and effort to become something God can use.
Time to get to work.
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Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
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We’ve got big plans for 2014. You can read about them here.
Would you like to support RICH’S RIDE financially? You can join our team as a sponsor, book benefactor, or donor.
Click the chain ring for more details or email us and let’s discuss how you can help us build a bigger tent in 2014.
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