Permission To Fail Forward
I can take you to the exact spot where I heard the Lord give me permission to fail. It was 2016 and we were weeks away from embarking on what came to be known as the “Trail of Fire”. It was a year long journey around the United States to rediscover the locations that God had marked with powerful moves of the spirit and connect with ministries that were contending for fresh moves of God in the present.
The night before, God spoke to me. I was up all night worrying about everything that could go wrong. What if we make it half way and can’t finish? Can I handle the embarrassment of that failure? What if we break down along the road and can’t complete the journey? What if funds run dry? What if we finish up the year with nothing to show for it?
Those who have contemplated big risks know that restless night well.
The following day, I was driving down a long country road to work with a local printer who was putting decals on the motorhome we would use for the trip. I heard God say, “you have permission to fail—fail forward.” There was freedom in that word. It didn’t matter what happened on the trail, the outcome would bring something our way that we didn’t have before. In other words, failure wasn’t possible because no matter what, we moved forward into something new. New relationships, new opportunities, new skills and stories, new moments with our family. In the end, the year was highly successful. It exceeded expectations and opened brand new ministry opportunities for us.
On Sunday I prayed with several people who were reawakening dreams they know they are called to pioneer in the days and years ahead. They’ve held back because of the fear of failure.
Let me encourage you with the same words the Lord spoke to me and give yourself permission to fail forward.
On Sunday, I challenged everyone to ask yourself seven questions, journal your answers and read them daily.
Here are those seven questions:
- What is the worst case scenario? What would be the permanent impact, if any, on a scale of 1–10? Would it be permanent? How likely do you think it is that it would actually happen?
- How long would it take you to recover and get things back under control?
- What is the best case scenario? What would be the permanent impact, if any, on a scale of 1–10? Would it be permanent? How likely do you think it is that it would actually happen?
- If you lost your job today, what would you do to get things under control? Ask yourself questions 1-3 again.
- What are you putting off out of fear? Usually, what we fear the most is what we need to face the most.
- What is it costing you (financially, emotionally, and physically) to postpone action?
- What are you waiting for?
Imagine what would happen if a company of pioneers are awakened in this season to not only dream about a better future, but to dare to move forward into it, even if that movement results in failing a little in the first attempt.
And remember, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” So, what are you waiting for? I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!