It wasn’t a great start to my second year at Crusaders!

In September 2001, we were hoping for over 3,000 young people to attend a massive one-off weekend festival, called Life-2-The-Max, in Tatton Park, Manchester.

When it came to it, less than a 1,000 attended and, despite it being a fantastic experience, we were now facing down a six figure deficit!

Should I resign? I wondered!

A few weeks later, I went for a prayer walk around Gratham Water lake and I asked God, “Where had I gone wrong?”

The following is exactly what I wrote in my journal that day. What I sensed God was saying to me – challenging me – with that still small, gracious whisper…

“I gave you the dream and vision for this event. It was my will that it should go ahead. But, you ran ahead with the dream without talking and listening to me along the way. You asked me to bless your decisions rather than ask me if they were the right decisions. You went beyond what I wanted you to do. You started to walk ahead of me rather than following close behind. Whilst I was at work before, during and after the event, I have allowed you to see the consequences of walking ahead without me. I do for this for one reason only. So that you will learn to walk every step, of every journey, hand in hand with me. Remember my word “Unless the Lord builds the house the labourers build in vain”.

Ouch! Nailed me!

It’s so easy to walk ahead of God – or, a little too far behind. And then, before you know, you’re one degree off course – which at first you can get away with, but after a time, you’re in a big trouble!

I’ve never forgotten that excruciating lesson the ’30-year-old’ me had to ‘own’ all those years ago. I’m grateful to the Trustees that they had faith in me to learn from it and put it right. I’m even more grateful to God for His forgiveness and merciful nudge.

I’ve done my best since then to learn to walk in step with Jesus. To ask if I can join in with what He’s blessing, rather than ask Him to bless what I’m doing.

Before I am a leader, I’m first and foremost called to be a faithful follower. Start there.

May God help each of us to keep in step with Him – and may we discover what He is blessing, and simply join in.