What I Don’t Know

23 03 2008


1 Corinthians 8:2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.


What do I know? What do I not know? Now these are good questions. I can’t even remember all the times I said something that seemed intelligent at the time, but upon gaining more knowledge and wisdom, I realized how wrong I was. Sheesh. It is amazing to think about all the things I don’t know.

I remember saying how easy it would be to plant a church. My thinking was that the world was dying (literally?) to find a church that ignored the trappings of religion and instead sought to find God. I thought they would come running to such a church; that it would be simply a matter of marketing. Once they found this awesome church, they would fall in love with Jesus and seek to bring others to the church – and therefore to God. Ha!

In fact, before we launched a new church, I was told that it would be the hardest thing I’d ever done. Well, they lied: It was much harder than that!

I knew before we moved to Columbia County that the churches here would tell us anything we wanted to hear, just to convince us to come and be their pastoral family. I knew they really didn’t want to grow (though some do). I knew they really didn’t want to change (though some do). I knew they really didn’t have any intention on changing (though, as I’ve said, some do).

But now, six months into this, I already see how much of a challenge this is going to be. Yesterday was a less than optimum worship experience. Not only was I tired, sick, and concerned about my family, but there were some key families missing and the energy and responsiveness was low. If yesterday had been my first time attending our church, I probably would never come back. In fact, this morning, when I awoke, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to go back.

Now, let me get this straight, I’m not quitting. I won’t quit. I’m talking about feelings here. I’m being honest, transparent, and real. We cannot keep doing things the same way – over and over and over and over again. However, our system is perfectly designed to get the results we are getting though. We have set up a system without vision, mission, and values. And, we are reaping the results.

But, as Einstein once said, “We will not find solutions using the same level of insight that got us into this mess.” Until we delve deeper, explore farther, and unleash more Godly wisdom in our lives, we will keep repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again. That is because we don’t know what we won’t know.

It is time to make some changes. But how does one begin that process without losing the ground we’ve already gained.


Recently I saw a movie that really caught my attention. The hero of the movie was stranded in an unknown locale and was presumed dead to everyone who knew him. Through the use of his previous training, skills, and ingenuity, he was able to discover some clues that led to his self-rescue. He made decisions without hesitation and he didn’t rely upon, or wait for others input before he moved forward. He seemed incredibly self-aware and able to handle any obstacle that came his way.

I believe that blockbuster movies like this have so much appeal because of the obstacles we all face in our day to day lives. Committees, bureaucracies, protocols, rules, regulations, politics, and other social customs prevent us from doing what we think is the right thing. Somehow, at least in this man’s eyes, we think that if these obstacles were removed, we could do the right thing and “git-r-done!”

I wonder if the church plant would have been more successful if I’d had unlimited resources, freedom, and opportunity? I wonder if we would be better able to make the necessary changes at our church here if we didn’t have to wait for the bureaucratic/democratic political processes?

All I know is that I don’t know what I don’t know and this can only be done with much prayer and fasting.


Father God:  Teach me patience.




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