The year was 1995. I was off to VA to train and then work with YWAM. We had so many sessions on prayer and worship and the passing on of the “mantle” to other leaders. It was an amazing time. Eventually I was off with a small team to Kiev, Ukraine, but before I went I had a good 3 months in VA. One day we had invited a guest speaker and prophet to come to the missions school to pray over us. Prophets are scary people because you never know what they will say and they don’t seem to have a filter. This man didn’t trudge up a deep rooted sin or an unrepentant bitterness, but instead cast a vision that I will never forget.
He said “Joel…God is raising you up to become a green beret in His army. So will be doing things that have never been done before and may seem odd to others all while rescuing drowning people and pulling them into the boat.”
Wow…at the time I did not know what to do with that. That was a huge vision and one I would pray about for years. in the last 16 years of ministering in many different kinds of churches and atmospheres I have attempted to do what God has called me to do. To create things that have not been created. In essence to tap into the creativity that God has birthed in me to lead others to the hope of Christ.
Lets fast forward to 2010 where God gave me friendships with a few guys named Adam, Jack and Doug. We all had interesting visions as to what God was doing in our lives and God made some crazy things happened that created The Forge Conference. The first one was amazing and I was starting to get a glimpse what God saw as my main ministry. Then the second Forgecon God started moving people around and shifting visions and agendas and what was left was what God wanted to do and not 5 peoples separate visions mashed together. Of course that year went even better. Most recently another friend of mine, Mike Mahoney, and I hosted a Forgecon alumni get together that we called a 1day. Much like the other events it was uncharted territory for the likes of the small church.
What happened at the last event though seemed to tie 16 years of ministry up into a nice bow. While we were discussing our needs and prayer requests something came out of my mouth that I did not expect.
“God has called me to build arks”
I believe God said that through me because I had never thought of that before. Think about Noah for a second though. God asked him to build a GIANT boat because it was going to rain and flood the earth. In context though we know they most likely had not ever seen rain or even a boat. So basically God called him to create something that had never been seen before for his glory. He would guide him and help him all the while Noah built something that he didn’t understand the need for until it came time to use it.
Right then my mind flashed to the prophecy over my life in 1995 and it all clicked. God called me to create the seemingly absurd and impossible so He could do the impossible and get all the glory.
Right after that Mike Mahoney chimed in “God has called me to gather the wood and the animals”
I was floored and synapses started firing in my brain. I started to think about how many times leaders latch onto a vision and try to work in roles they were not created to do.
Noah was given the vision of building the ark. He was handed the blueprints.
Then his family jumped in with hammers, gathered wood, and slapped on the pitch. Sometimes one of his sons wold help him decipher the blueprints which may have taken more heads than one.
Some of us were meant to build arks and to create the seemingly impossible. Others were meant to gather the wood. Others were meant to administrate the team.
- In your ministry do you know what your role is?
- Are you letting your ceiling be somebody else’s floor?
- Are you bringing skilled people to fill in your weaknesses?
- Are you willing to support the vision even if you don’t get the spotlight?
- Is God getting all the glory?
- Does impossible vision and the mystery of God paralyze you from doing what He has asked of you?