It takes time. In my morning devotions I just began the gospel of Mark. Before this I was in Luke. What a contrast. While Luke takes his time getting through the birth of Christ and extensive teaching, Mark moves things along very quickly. In just three quick chapters of Mark, Jesus has attracted not only crowds of followers, but also plenty of opposition and they are already plotting to kill Jesus. After three chapters in Luke, Jesus is just getting warmed up for his public ministry.
In many ways, I think we come at the church and ministry from Mark’s perspective. We expect things to happen quickly. Whatever ideas, projects, and programs we implement, we look for quick results. This may not be true everywhere, but in my experience, it takes quite a while to see things develop in the church. In our own congregation it has taken many years to move from talking about missions to actually going and doing mission work. It’s taken many years to develop some of our music programs, community involvement, and teachers for classes.
So I’ve learned that you can’t force these things to happen. You can’t rush them. And all those months when it seemed like absolutely nothing was happening, something was happening. God was working to prepare his people for ministry. Note to self: when it seems like not much is happening, relax. There’s actually a whole lot going on.