Advent is a season of waiting which marks time with pondering, prayer and patience. Scripture tells us to wait on the Lord, however, not just in preparation for Christmas. We are to wait on the Lord for all types of incarnations of His life with us. We can wait for the Lord to birth a new ministry, for example, holding out prayers as we wait and see. We can wait for the Lord to awaken a relationship that has been conflictual, holding out prayers as we wait and see.
Waiting on the Lord has come to be a central understanding for me of what it is to pastor a church. Waiting is a dimension of servant leadership that I have come to appreciate, although struggle to faithfully employ!
Leaders, especially pastors, are to be wise and strong. We are to make things happen. We even use language that reinforces this - how often do you hear pastors say "We need to move the congregation" as if we can cause large action in simply by preaching the right sermon. I am not discounting the power of the spoken word - I just see the source of the power as coming not from the speaker but from God.
Any gift in leadership that I posses comes from the Lord, to whom I am serving. This is the basis for servant leadership to which I am called. Servant Leadership reminds me of my spiritual place as a Pastor.
So when I "wait" on God - turning in prayer first - this is because I know who is the true leader, the true authority over all. It is God. And God is working things out for good - while inviting me to participate in the process.
I say I struggle to "wait" because I love to get things done and see results. So often, I will set out on a course, relying on my human efforts - and it fails miserably. That is when I return to the posture of waiting. My desire to see a grand idea come into being has many time become a spiritual wedge between me and the Lord. I find myself worn out, discouraged - all because I was running on human steam rather than the grace of the Lord.
If you have something big that you feel God is calling you to - perhaps you may want to consider waiting on the Lord through the 40 Day Prayer Experiment that is happening in our church. Here's what one person has said about the 40 day experiment so far -
"This has just made me more aware to ask God each day help me be more connected to him and his desires for my life."