Failure -- never sought, always dreaded, impossible to ignore-- is the specter that hovers over every attempt at exploration. Yet without the sting of failure to spur us to reassess and rethink, progress would be impossible. Today there is growing recognition of the importance of failure. The very word "success" is derived from the Latin succedere, "to come after" - and what it comes after, yes, is failure. One cannot exist without the other. Robert Ballard, a veteran of 130 undersea expeditions and discoverer of the Titanic, calls this interplay the yin yang of success and failure.
[ reposted from a fantastic article, 'Failure Is an Option' by Hannah Bloch' in the September 2013 National Geographic Magazine. You should grab an online membership at NationalGeographic.com ]
I love adventure and change and challenge. I'm not sure why but I love roads less traveled and adventures that many would drive past in their mobile 4 wheeled cocoons at 75 MPH. And, I love to start things, thus I'm a Spiritual Entreprenuer. That is, I have the need and knack to explore new ideas and start new things. That wiring is part of why I answered a clear call from God to start a church several years ago.
As we embarked on the mission of starting Phos Community Church I prayed a ton, studied a bunch, was blessed with a great team and sought out coaching to get started but even then failure was likely and the statistics on failed church plants would tell you that the odds were not in our favor. Failure was always a strong possibility and I wouldn't say that we are out of the woods yet, except for the grace of God.
I tell people all the time that starting Phos Community Church has been the hardest and yet, best thing that I've ever done. The personal risks to me and my family were enourmous. I left a great church with a great salary and benefits package to step out into thin air and none of it made sense except for God was pushing me and He had wired me up for risk and hard work required.
I have no idea if God is calling you to be a Spiritual Entrepreneur and start a church or another enterprise to benefit others or maybe you sense the need to start your own business or strike out on a new career path.
If you are trying to eliminate risk and the possibility of failure before you start then you will never get going. You'll be perpetually stuck in the horrible place called, 'Someday I'll...' I was there for a while and it's no fun.
It'll take at least these four things to get you moving on risking into your highest calling:
1. Bolster your spiritual resolve to rely on your higher power for firepower you're gonna need. [ As a Christ follower I call on and trust in God as the ultimate and only true higher power. The one who is the Father of Jesus Christ and sender of the Holy Spirit. The One that ancient Jews called Yhwh. ] I can tell you that except for the Grace of God we would have failed miserably. He alone deserves credit because of what He did with me and our team to launch and grow Phos Community Church.
2. With the assistance of God stoke the fires of your imagination about WHY the world needs what you are called to do and what it's gonna look like when you get 'there.' Without a fired up imagination you simply won't take the action necessary to get moving. And, if you don't have a Holy Ego that what you are creating really matters and makes a difference then you'll wind up wondering off to do something else when the going gets tough.
3. Count the cost and then double or even triple it! Imagine the time and energy and team that you think it will take to get to your objective with your start up and then DOUBLE or even TRIPLE those because hardly ever do things go as planned. If you can imagine paying whatever price it takes to accomplish your objective then you truly have a shot. If you don't fully count the cost and have a mental reserve to go past what you presently think that you can then you will likely turn back when the going gets tough and you will have hurt your chances of ever starting anything else because you won't trust yourself as much as you presently do to try again. It's okay to fail but it's not okay to give up. If you try with all your might and pay the price and work your butt off and it still doesn't work and you wind up bankrupt and busted you'll learn from it and bounce-back. That's fine, your spirit can recover from that. But, what your inner persona cannot tolerate is a quitter because you know inside that you gave up and didn't give it all you had so you'll have a hard time rebuilding the internal trust to start anything else. It can be done but it will take a lot of time and renegotiating with your inner persona to trust yourself enough to start again.
4. EMBRACE FAILURE AS AN OPTION! That's right. Embrace the possibility that you could totally fail. Ask yourself, what's the worst thing that can happen? If you can live with the answer then you can overcome the fear that would keep you stuck on 'someday I'll'. Until you fully imagine the most dire failure possible and embrace that with all your heart the possibility of failing will overwhelm your best intentions to do something about your dream.
HERES TO YOU GOING FOR IT AND TAKING HOLY RISKS FOR A GREAT CAUSE!
Let me know how I can help you take action!
Founding / Lead Pastor of Phos Community Church near Louisville Kentucky
Action Coach for Holy Risk Takers!