I wonder if you have an on-going project that feels more like a calling than just something you fancy doing because it’s fun?
In this post, I’d like to share a few thoughts for those of you who are either in the thick of such an undertaking, or sensing that gentle push from God to step bravely into something new, be that a faith-based group, podcast, video channel or online community.
1. It will bring your spirit joy and satisfy like nothing else
Some clues that a prompting for a project are Heavenly in source, might be:
* The idea fills you with glee
* You can’t get it off your mind, even when you try
* It’s something that already comes naturally to you (though perhaps you don’t see the value)
* It’s something that involves you showing up and being real
Often God’s plans for us use giftings we already have: all He asks is that we show up with open, willing hands and hearts.
2. All good things take work
While the project may be joy-giving and perhaps something you already love doing, it will probably also require some work on your part.
But remember that it doesn’t have to be rewarded with money to be valuable.
It’s also worth remembering that sometimes just doing the work and being ‘out there’ has a certain cost involved. You may need to decide how much of ‘you’ you are willing to put into your project and set boundaries accordingly.
There may come a time when you want to stop. Maybe you’re tired and need a breather, or maybe you’ve ‘written the final chapter’ and there are fresh plans for you when the time’s right.
Take a ‘listening break’ and don’t rush it: your answer will come in time. Everything has seasons and those underground growth times are every bit as valuable as our spells of high productivity.
3. God will inspire you one step at a time
Just showing up regularly and letting God use you takes a whole lot of trust.
There’s the worry that it all depends on you and you don’t always feel able – but it’s not about you, so much as letting God use the loaves and fish we already have.
He’s a good God: when we ask, He shows up.
4. You will need to give yourself breaks
In order to keep giving out, you need to factor in rest periods for you. You need time to get inspired and build up your creative resources, ready to have something to offer again when it’s time.
It’s when we forget to look after ourselves by taking regular rests that we edge dangerously close to burn-out.
From my experience, your community will happily show up to enjoy whatever you’re willing to put out there, so you need to set the schedule that brings you life and adjust it when necessary.
On that note, the social media side of things is also well worth considering: make sure you set the rules for how much time you spend online, then adjust if things start to take their toll on you.
5. Your project shouldn’t lose its focus
Try your very best to ignore the following if you can:
* Your popularity or otherwise: ignore any numbers. If your project adds joy or meaning to one person’s life, God has used you.
* Career ambitions. Your project may lead onto something bigger or it may not. Leave it all with God and try not to let anything get in the way of your goal to spread God’s love.
* Money/product may or may not come into it (a faith-based business is a different ball game to the ‘passion projects’ I’m thinking of here) but things stay a whole lot simpler if you’re able to avoid monetising. There’s a whole lot more freedom if all you’re promoting is the Gospel!