The last few months have been amongst the most surreal and unsettling of my life. Having spent 10 years living in London, being the worship pastor of the most amazing church, HTB, I find myself and my family living in Birmingham, the 2nd largest city in the UK. We’re on an adventure, a journey of faith, stepping out of the familiar, into the unknown of leading and planting a city centre church.
We are the current owners of a massive building, located centrally, that used to generate gas to light up the street lamps throughout Birmingham. Now, we hope and believe this building, and more importantly this community, will carry a light, an everlasting light that will bring life, hope, and healing to many.
Alive and Exposed
So many hopes; so many fears. Every day seems to embrace the emotional four seasons. The excitement and anticipation of what could be, mixed with the uncertainty of stepping into something way beyond my gifts and strengths. The delight of a small breakthrough colliding with the disappointment of a setback. I’ve never felt more alive and yet more vulnerable and exposed.
This whole adventure has got me thinking a lot about faith, obedience, and calling. In Luke 17:6 Jesus says, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to the mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
What’s in your pocket? In mine you’ll find a scrunched up receipt, a couple of coins and a guitar pick—it’s not going to change the world. Like a mustard seed, it feels so insignificant. Yet Jesus says if we have faith, even a tiny amount of faith, we can see miracles, breakthroughs and extraordinary things happen.
Fear vs. Faith
What are the dreams God has placed in your heart? Is there anything holding you back from fully throwing yourself head first into God’s purposes for your life? What governs your decision making: fear or faith? Fear will tell you that you’re inadequate and ill-equipped. Faith will remind you that God doesn’t call the equipped; he equips the called. Fear will say, “You don’t have what it takes.” Faith will say, “The same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in me!”
I feel totally out of my depths in this new venture, and yet I’ve never felt more confident in the power of God’s saving love. It’s so easy to settle in life and to carve out a comfortable existence. But, as a friend once challenged me, “We can either exist in security or live in adventure.” The challenge I’ve had to confront on this journey of the last 18 months has been, ultimately, “Do I trust God, and am I willing to obey?” Am I trying to build a great career for myself, or when I feel God call and lead, am I willing to let go of my plans and take hold of his? It’s uncomfortable and unsettling, but I don’t want to miss out on all that God has for me. A recent song I wrote captures my heart and prayer:
Take this pocketful of faith,
It’s all I have today.
I’m giving it all,
I’m giving it all.
Tim Hughes is the writer of such songs as “Here I Am to Worship,” “Beautiful One,” “Jesus Saves,” and many more. His new album, Pocketful of Faith, can be found here.