In planning a small group ministry, you may wonder how much you can expect from your coaches, leaders and members. But one person you can expect great things from is yourself—that is, if you expect God to use you.
Here's what Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has to say about our expectations:
If He's going to use you, you need to expect Him to. There are many examples I could have used, but the one I use is from John 11:41-42, where Jesus is going to raise Lazarus from the dead. Remember this? Jesus was just a few miles away in anther town. One of His best friends, Lazarus, was sick. Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, sent a message to Jesus, "Jesus! Please come quickly. Your friend Lazarus is sick."
And it takes Jesus about three days to get there—and He's only a few miles away. What was He doing? He should have rushed over immediately, right? But nothing ever pressured Christ. He was never in a hurry. They said, "Your best friend's dying," and it took him three days to get a few miles!
By the time he arrives, Lazarus has died. The friends of Lazarus cry, "Oh, Lord, if You'd have been here, He'd still be alive. You blew it."
He said, "No, this illness is for the glory of God. I had a purpose in delaying. I am fulfilling the plan of God." He walks up to the tomb where Lazarus has already been buried and in verse 41, says, "Father, I thank You that You have already heard Me [emphasis added]. I know You always hear Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me."
When Jesus Christ went to raise Lazarus from the dead, He didn't say, "Father, please ...