Every person has “defining moments” in his or her life. As groups, we can experience communal defining moments. A family, business, nation, or church can experience life-changing events or circumstances. A defining moment is one of those times in the life of an individual or group of people where a present set of circumstances significantly impacts the future direction or decisions of that person or group.
In my own life, I’ve had a number of defining moments. I’ve experienced circumstances that forever changed things I believed and things I did. One such defining moment was when I attempted to share my faith with a person who ended up “ripping me to shreds” logically. He knew his own argument and my argument better than I did, and that short conversation changed my life in many ways. I walked away more resolved than ever to know what I believed in such a way that I could always defend my faith.
Another defining moment in my life came about a year into a church plant. I was pastoring the church well, but hurting myself and my family in the process. I had no balance in my professional and personal life. While attending a conference for pastors, I was reminded that I needed to be a disciple before I could build disciples. The combination of those circumstances and attending at that conference forever changed how I chose to prioritize things in my life.
The church where I pastor has also experienced several defining moments. I remember a time when our congregation was told we were told we could no longer meet in the school building we were renting. That moment of uncertainty led us to a place of faith which eventually brought us to a new chapter in the history of our church. That set of circumstances in our present significantly impacted our future direction. That was a defining moment.
This same church has recently faced a new set of circumstances that will impact our future direction. It is actually a good set of circumstances that hopefully will lead us to a positive direction in our future.
This past year, our church became 100% debt free. God enabled us to retire a significant amount of debt on a worship center we built years ago. This debt retirement puts us in a very different position financially. The question now is, “How will this current set of circumstances impact our future direction?” Will our church play it safe and rest in the accomplishments of our past, or will we take some risks and keep moving forward to accomplish the mission God has given us?
The decisions we make in response to “defining moments” in life bring different results. We are faced with choices of how we will respond and what course of action will we take that might determine our future direction. Defining moments can propel us forward or move us backward. I would encourage you to seize the moments in your life that might appear to be set-back as opportunities to grow.
If someone rips you when you are sharing your faith, let that be the resolve to study more and grow in wisdom. When you face rejection, let that be the resolve to press forward rather than quit. When stressful situations occur in your life, let that be the catalyst for change. Let every defining moment be a stepping stone to make you or your organization better.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. We want to encourage you and help you learn how to be and build disciples of Christ. If we can assist you in any way, connect with us today!