This is a pic of Chas Bailey (brown shirt in the middle) and Grace Wilson (front row to the right of Chas) and their Novi Sad, Serbia team. Novi Sad is situated along the Danube upstream from Belgrade. Loosely translated, “Novi Sad” means “new growth”. Chas, Grace and their team believe this name, Lord willing, will be prophetic to the abundant new life experienced there and throughout Serbia in the coming years.
Chas writes: “One thing that our team has been praying for as we were preparing for this year is that God would do some incredible miracles through us.” They are asking God to bring about exponential growth and to see 100 new believers this year. Considering they are starting off this year after two years of STINT and four summer projects with just 4 involved believers, this is huge faith; faith that initially caused people to question Chas’ math as he tried to explain the growth.
In response Chas wrote: “Considering it’s been 5 years since I solved a math assignment in a textbook, your doubts (in my math ability) are well founded. That being said, I will offer in my defense a few examples of the type of math that I think God prefers and on which I am basing my theory. ‘When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?’ ‘Twelve’, they replied. And: He saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this woman has put in more than all the others.’ One more: ‘Now to him is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.’ Now I am not a mathematician or a theologian, so explaining the amalgamation of these phenomena in the Divine will be understandably impossible. (Sounds like he is an English major though.) But that only proves my point. We humbly and boldly are believing our infinite God for the impossible: the rescue of souls from the kingdom of darkness and bringing them into the Kingdom of the Son who He loves. So yes, we are asking God for a miracle however you want to look at it just as long as it’s a miracle.”
Some might want to slow Chas and Grace down. You know, lower your expectations so you will not be disappointed. But if we are to believe Ephesians 3:20 which Chas quotes above, then are there really truly any unrealistic expectations when it comes to what God can do if He do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine? I think not. Faith, without which it is impossible to please Him, says He is able.
However there are some unrealistic expectations of a leader. I will give you my top 10:
1. That apart from Christ we can do anything. (Jhn 15:5)
2. That our weaknesses as leaders are a bad thing and that His grace is not enough to cover them. (2 Cor 12:9)
3. That as a leader, we will not face troubles, trials, opposition, difficulties, misunderstandings, accusations, betrayals, failures and the like. (2 Cor 11:23-29)
4. That being persecuted is shameful. (Matt 5:10)
5. That titles and what we accomplish mean anything. (Phil 3:4-8)
6. That leading means we call the shots. (Matt 20:25, 26)
7. That others will recognize and appreciate our efforts (2 Cor 6:9)
8. That people -the lost, administration, our teams, our co-leaders, those above us, etc. - are our enemies. (Eph 6:12)
9. That it’s all about us: our giftedness, our skill, our wisdom etc. (1 Cor 3:7)
10. That we fail if we don’t see what we are believing God for by faith. (Heb 11:13-16)