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One Sentence That Impacted My Life Greatly

By July 29, 2009January 27th, 2012Church, Church Planting, Encouragement

Cheryl and I were invited to dinner at a woman’s house that attends our church.  She had previously attended The Gathering in Nashville, but the drive was wearing on her each week, so she was excited to find a similar church closer to home.  She wanted us to meet her former pastor and his wife, David and Paula Foster.  I cannot accept every invitation, simply because there are too many in a church our size to accommodate them all, but I am glad I accepted this one.  David is a great leader and church planter.  I had met David several times, but never spent any time getting to know him.

David Foster made a huge investment in my life Friday night.  I had previously written a post about this need.  (Read that post HERE.)  God must read my blog…or my heart.  ☺

It was really simple.  David is a great listener so he heard my story of planting the church.  I shared with him the struggles, the heartaches, the sadness in losing friends, and of course, the joys of seeing God do amazing things in people’s lives.  I do not talk about the struggles much, but David understood firsthand the difficulties in church planting and he encouraged the conversation.  David said he considers himself a renegade.  In fact he wrote a book about it.  See an excerpt HERE.  I am sure he has faced controversy, but his words to me were invaluable.

David said one line to me and it rocked my world! He said, “Ron, you know this already (I am not sure I did.)

Find your affirmation in the people to whom God has called you to minister…in whose lives God is changing through your work.”

Wow!  Such a simple thought, but honestly, I am not sure I had really stopped long enough to see things through that paradigm.  I had probably spent more time seeking affirmation from other pastors or comparing our ministry to other churches. Sometimes I compare myself to them competitively.  I may get discouraged if I am not as successful as them. Frankly some pastors seem to resent or question the reasons behind our success.  There may be struggles if we have different methodologies.  I can wish the church world was less competitive, but even though its leader is perfect (Christ) it is an organization run by imperfect people.

When I apply David’s principle of finding affirmation I am overwhelmed at what God is doing.  He is molding, shaping, changing, growing, spurring, releasing, capturing, and saving countless lives through the work of Grace Community Church.  I have never been so encouraged to continue the work God has called me to do!  In addition, my greatest calling is to my family and they are flourishing in Christ!  (I am writing a separate post about this in recent days.)

Thank you David for investing in my life! You have no idea the impact your few words had.

Have you ever had a few words impact you in a powerful way?  Who is investing in you right now with words of wisdom or encouragement?  In whose life are you investing?

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Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • JenM says:

    Ironically, words that greatly impacted me recently were about affirmation. I was leading a team on a church project for the first time. I had been involved before but this was my first time assuming all responsibility for the event. I mentioned that I wanted to run a few things by my mentor, and really the mentor of the whole team. (Our desire and ability to lead while continually looking to God as our Leader was most definitely the fruit of her investment in each of us) It was evident God was in it every step of the way but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

    One of the ladies said something that impacted me greatly. Even now she doesn’t understand the value of her words:

    “You don’t need affirmation from her. You’ve already received it from God.”

    Truth spoken in love. (For the record, this was not “against” our mentor, it was a statement of truth of whose affirmation we need to seek. And as I fully expected, she was delighted with that statement because her desire is to point people to God, not herself.)

  • Mindy Warman says:

    You, your family, and Grace touched me so deeply and so dearly. It is amazing work that you guys are doing there. I am so honored to have meet you and been apart of your small group before moving. I think God brought me to your small group for many reasons and one of the best ones was the life long friendships I found in that group! I admire all the work you do and the people you and Cheryl are. I thank God that our paths crossed.

  • lori graham says:

    Somehow I missed this the first time you posted it, so I'm glad to read it today. I spend too much time and energy seeking affirmation from those who I think don't care for me. I needed this reminder today to refocus on those that God has put right in front of me…
    I am so thankful for you and your precious wife, Cheryl.
    Blessings ~Lori Graham

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks Lori. God uses you and David in might ways! That's where you should place your attention. Love you guys.

  • Jennifer says:

    One thing the Lord has shown me is that its not the denomination that is important – how large or small the congregation may be… what matters is that I am focused on the Lord and doing HIS Will. When I read of congregations of thousands and then I think of my little church 15 children at a VBS may not seem like much to some but I know that in God’s eyes those 15 as just as special as the thousands at other places because God has a special plan and purpose for each and every child.

  • Peter P says:

    Most of the people investing in my life right now are not doing so directly but rather are doing it through their blogs and tweets.

    People like you and @br8kthru and Joe Stallard.

    There are also two in the real world. I’m very blessed.
    .-= Peter P´s last blog ..How can I pray for you? =-.

  • Teri says:

    You touched on something I have always found amazing-in-not-a good-way, depressing and sometimes a little demoralizing. “Frankly some pastors seem to resent or question the reasons behind our success.”

    WHY do so many Christians “eat their own” so to speak?

    A nasty church split when I was a teen and watching the real hatred spewed is why I left church behind for too many years.

    It took me a while to grow up and realize what I saw isn’t what God is about. And that I need to focus on Him and doing what He wants of *me* – and leave everyone else as His problem, not mine.

    And thank you Ron, for having the courage to step out as y’all did. I know you knew what was coming… and you did it anyway.

  • Jeremy Bullock says:

    No one spoke this particular comment to me but I read it on Mark Batterson’s blog. The comment was “God is more worried about who you’re becoming then where you’re going.” I don’t know if he came up what that idea but being in a transitional time between ministry jobs this was huge for me to hear. Instead of focusing so much on where the next job opportunity was I tried to start focusing on the work God is doing in my life during this time.

  • Ron says:

    Wow Teri, you made my day! Thanks!