Willing to Try

Read: Numbers 13:1-3, 17-33

Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it. (v. 30)

The story of the spies is so applicable to today. The new land God was leading his people to was beautiful, abundant, and rich. It was also filled with trials, trouble, and temptations. Most of the spies were having none of it. “We can’t do it,” they said. But Caleb and Joshua saw something else. They saw opportunities. More important, as Moses’ aide, Joshua would have known that God had already promised it. “Let’s go!”

I could probably write a book containing some of my wildest ideas for ministry, outreach, fundraising, and community. Sometimes we pastors come up with some pretty weird ideas that might be a little hard to understand. Here’s what I need you to know: first, we share your desire to see our churches thrive, and second, ministry is increasingly difficult. “Doing church” is not an easy endeavor, and what worked even as recently as five years ago will likely not have the same impact today.

One of the things I love about my church is that our people are willing. One of our sayings used to be: “If you’re going to fail . . . fail big.” We have done exactly that. We’ve lost a lot of money on some new things. But we’ve also launched some really innovative ministries and connections to our community that we otherwise wouldn’t have done. Be willing to try new things. God is still the same! —Joel Plantinga

As you pray, release the fear of new things to our unchanging God.

About the Author

joel plantinga

Rev. Joel Plantinga has now been in full-time pastoral ministry for more than 20 years. He serves as the Lead Pastor of Desert Winds Community Church (RCA) in Palmdale, California, and is married to Teresa with children Noah, Eden, and Rachel.