I’ve dabbed in several leading positions in my lifetime: from Sunday School teacher, to youth pastor, to worship leader, to now pastor’s wife. I recently (June 2016) graduated college to further pursue my passion of teaching and these couple of days I’ve thought back and remembered the rather tentative, inglorious starts. In all honesty, when I look back at the path that has led me to what I consider the most meaningful moments of my life, they all began with a modest step forward, but full of belief. These steps forward have reaped a much greater harvest that I anticipated. With the eyes of hindsight, I look back to such starting efforts with awe and gratitude and it takes me to the scripture in Zechariah 4:10 that states, “Do not despise these small beginnings.” I realize now there was greatness in that moment of small beginning that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time, although I fully believed.

The people who have achieved the most staggering, world changing things in their life have all looked back and agreed they didn’t do so by believing in small portions. They believed fully and said no to all the other voices that dismissed their faith in themselves and the dreams God placed in their hearts. If you are a young leader starting out in ministry, I want to highlight the importance to believe in what you have in the now. Not only should you not underestimate it, but you should believe in it- fully, without a doubt, without a hesitation. You will cheat the future of your ministry if you don’t fully engage in believing in the now, in the burning passion God has placed in your life. As Christian leaders, we are different, religiously, culturally, socially, etc. But one characteristic that brings us together is the capacity to believe and the need to do it. All people build for themselves a belief system through which they give life meaning. Why? Because faith is fundamental. So much so that the Bible declares it impossible to please God without it.

Psalms 119:30 (NIV) challenges us to “choose the way of faithfulness…” In other words, fill yourself with faith, with belief. You will have no passion to embrace the future if you don’t believe in the now, however challenging, however small, however paradoxical. If God has placed that passion in you it is because He believes you are a great asset to His Kingdom. He believes in the believer. Don’t just verbally and mentally acknowledge what you are told, cling with conviction to what you have discovered through faith and belief. If your belief is small, it’ll easily be overpowered.

Realize that most people aren’t failing because of their potential. They’re failing because their potential is spread in too many directions; being pulled by different voices that they lose their own voice. They diminish their choice to believe. Putting your all into believing is the quickest way to ensure success. It’s not easy, but if leadership is for you, at least you know the price. Believe.

Laura L. Sanchez-Martínez holds a degree in Elementary Education from Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. She served as youth pastor and worship leader in Iglesia Sendero de la Fe in Brownsville, Texas for 12 years. She’s currently a pastor’s wife serving in the Church of the Nazarene in Puerto Rico. Reach her at mrslauramartinez@hotmail.com.

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