"What am I supposed to do with this?" I handed my wife a photo of "Ground-breaking Sunday." It was a beautiful scene. Senior citizens, children, new families, and our leadership team were celebrating the start of construction on our new ministry center. She graciously smiled and said, "Frame it, and let it be a reminder of your need to be humble."

The picture that was supposed to represent a great moment in the life of our church actually represented some deeply personal lessons on how to lead a congregation through risk, uncertainty, and failure.

Four years earlier, I had cast the vision for this new facility we desperately needed. Our leadership team had determined to pursue a capital campaign that relied completely upon the gifts of our people. No debt. Our church family had given faithfully over a three-year period, and our construction estimates indicated that we finally had enough funding.

The final bids came back a few days after Groundbreaking Sunday. Much to our dismay, they were ...

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