It's Ok to Fail

Tim Parkman November 2023


Do you remember that film ‘The Mask’ with Jim Carrey, it centres around an ordinary man who puts a mask on and becomes an extraordinary nuisance. It is almost as if the mask gives him a new personality and the ordinary man can hide behind it. I think sometimes in Church we can hide behind masks, and one of the areas we hide is failure.

Failure is something we don’t want other people to see, we sometimes feel shame and regret, we feel a sense of letting other people down. Throughout the years we have seen people in Church fail and feel like they can no longer be part of the community. It is so sad, because in one sense we are all failures needing the grace of God and I don’t think the Church has always handled failure well.

As I sat at my desk recently and wrote an email that basically ended the Radio Station that we had worked hard to build up, it was easy for me to feel a failure and that the church had failed. I could sit here and write a whole list of reasons why it didn’t work and what I would have done differently… I almost feel the need to justify the decision and do just that…. But I won’t.

Did we not hear from God correctly? Did we really test it properly? Were we led by one or two voices? All these questions went through my head and a sense of guttedness (not sure that is a word) as I had to retell the story of the decision with those around who were wondering why. I have my own reasons why and I think sometimes those things are best kept quiet, but what I have seen is that in the perceived failure, sometimes we learn lessons.

In the journey of Gateway Radio we have met some amazing people, learnt new skills, engaged with our community in a new way and understood God’s call to mission and ministry in ways we could never have known if we hadn’t taken this step.

So is it really a failure, I am sure many people will think so, but in learning so much I don’t think it was. I thank God for the journey and the learning and look forward to the next failure that God will call us to 😊


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