I have made some big promises in my day. Although I never said the words, “I promise”, I definitely said, “It’ll work”. I’ve also invoked God’s name to show how much I believed my idea, program, event, etc. would work. This was a bad idea.
If you have to invoke God’s name to sell an idea, there’s something wrong with the idea. I heard entrepreneur/marketer Seth Godin talk about The Reality Distortion Field. The Reality Distortion field is a term Bud Tribble, from Apple, used to describe the charisma of Steve Jobs and how he used that charisma to distort people’s realty about his idea. This how he got people to buy in to what he was selling. This is also manipulation.
When you use God’s same to sell an idea you use terms like,
God will bless it
God will grow it
God will change it
Let’s face it, you have no idea what God will do. Big promises like, “The iPhone will revolutionize the world”, required a reality distortion field. You have to be presumptuous to get funding or to get the ok or get people to work harder.
Yes, the iPhone changed everything, but this was Steve Jobs making the promise. He knew something about products and about people. His big promise payed off. We’re trying to do good youth ministry not reinvent the wheel.
Youth Pastors need to make boring promises like, I promise…
I’ll give 150%
I’ll experiment more
I’ll show up and do the work
I’ll be accountable
Sell what you can do, not what God will do. Your pastor knows that God can do anything, be he or she may not know what you are capable of. Pitch your expertise, your passion your willingness to invest, build a team and work hard.
You know what you can do, you have no idea what God will do, but it’s not because God can’t do big things. In fact, God says I’ll blow your mind, if you trust me.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
I’m not saying you can’t make big promises. In fact, I did a whole episode on the Three Big Promises Your Youth Ministry Needs To Make. This is no way contradictory. If you make a big promise, make it based on the work and skill you will put into it not on any insider knowledge of what God will do.
Focus on what you can do and leave the results to God and God will always exceed your expectations.
If you have to use God to distort someone’s reality about your ideas, it’s probably a bad idea.