By: Pastor Richard Izzard
George Danzig was a graduate student at the University of California studying systematic statistics. In his first class, the Professor put on the board two examples of famously unsolved problems. But George arrived late to the class and he mistakenly thought that the problems on the board were the homework assignment.
At home, he went to work. It took him longer than he anticipated, but ultimately, he solved both. The tools he developed shaped the way airlines scheduled their fleets, shipping companies deployed their trucks, and oil companies ran their refineries.
We often see today’s ministry as being full of unsolvable problems, e.g., lower church attendance, drop-in giving, biblical illiteracy, lack of leaders who are spiritually motivated, long-established traditions that are considered untouchable. But personally, unsolvable problems become great opportunities to see God at work. God does His best work when it seems that the odds against Him are greater than those for Him. I can’t believe that the challenges our churches face in New Jersey are any greater than the challenges that lay before Joshua, whose job was to cross the Jordan river, defeat the walled city of Jericho, and secure his nation’s future by conquering seven nations that were stronger than his!
Under the Spirit’s guidance, the challenges that lie before us are often the best way for our faith to grow and be groomed. With the Holy Spirit’s leading, we too are called to “be strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9), knowing that courage is not the lack of fear, but moving forward no matter how intimidating the enemy. As Pastors and the priesthood of all believers, let’s get excited about how God is going to use us and our congregations to bring about His glory through what now seems like unsolvable problems. Above all, let’s not settle for anything less than having an absolute determination not to shrink God to the size of our problems, but to take our thinking to the size of God’s glory.
I would love to hear from your congregation what adaptive and creative solutions you are undertaking in your congregation. Feel free to respond below in the comments section!