A Fateful Sushi Dinner

By Journal

Are we really ready to step out into our ideas and dreams if all the barriers are removed? Or do we manufacture excuses so that we never give have to risk failure.

It was over sushi that a long time Epic Lifer asked me, “When are you guys coming back?”

He had read what had been stirring in my heart for months.

Sometimes it’s the simplest of questions from a friend where God pulls at your heart to reveal what is inside you.

With a long pause, and a gulp, I shared with him that I wasn’t sure that what was in my heart was going to be something people wanted. He asked me to elaborate…

I don’t want to pursue a church-like gathering. No one needs another thing to attend. I don’t want to start a church, and I don’t want to create something just because. I want to run what is fully in my heart.

I want to be part of a body of believers who want dream big dreams, take big risks, and reach the ends of the earth. I want to use technology and social media to encourage people with truth. I want to use the spirit of entrepreneurship that is of the age to encourage people to step out and create. I want to explore radical generosity where give away more than what we need. I want to see people move from followers to leaders and go start and lead their own ministries.

It’s a different way to look at kingdom impact. We certainly want to gather people to have a community, but the gathering is not the main thing. What comes out of our community is the main thing.

With a millisecond delay, he replied, “I’m in. When are we starting?”

I wasn’t prepared to give an answer. I had been sharing with Eric Waterbury and a few others that I had something stirring in my heart but wasn’t ready to talk about it.

Maybe it was the ginger and sriracha, but something in me told me that now was time to move forward. I needed to detail out in writing at a high level what we wanted to do and why.  But so much stood in the way with logistics, planning and casting vision, that it seemed overwhelming.

My friend said, “Whatever it takes, I will help. What do you need?”

Our conversation continued for a while. All my feeble attempts to rationalize why this would be too difficult or expensive were promptly met with a reply that dismantled my excuse.

I learned something in this moment —

we will still do the things God is placing in our hearts when all our excuses are no longer legitimate?  

I no longer had any excuse not to pursue this idea, so now what? I get to decide if I am going to be a person of all talk, or a person of action.

“This bigger idea and vision could be a total failure” I warned him. He replied, “You can always go back to just doing a service.”

Just doing a service.

Those words echoed in my mind long after our meeting ended. The easiest thing we could do would be to host a service. The most courageous thing we could do would be to pursue this bigger idea that calls people to step out to be someone and do something. Even if it fails, I would rather fail at trying to unleash people into their calling than failing at hosting a service.

And with that, we put a date on the calendar and put the word out to our old leaders that we were going to be sharing what is on our heart’s and what we are weighing. More on that meeting later.

It was a fateful sushi dinner that God used a friend to call my bluff on what is in my heart to do. We give ourselves so many reasons not to do something. Because we fear the unknown and we fear failure. I believe those are the real excuses we wrestle with that stop us from pursuing our dreams.

If you are reading this and there is something in your heart that you want to pursue, you need to ask yourself if you are holding yourself back due to fake excuses. Probably like me, there are sensible, reasonable and practical answers to everything you can a roadblock. You probably can move forward today with something. But that’s not the issue. The real issue is if you are willing to begin stepping out in the unknown and risk your reputation on something that might fail.