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Jason Webb, Milwaukee-based Public Speaker Shares His Experience With Embracing Uncertainty
Friday, 15 May 2020

 “Do you want to know what is wrong with Americans?”

I sat there in the coffee shop in Nairobi, Kenya thinking, “This is a dangerous question to answer.” I had just spent the last half hour trying to convince my Kenyan colleagues that their plan to take our one church in Kenya and multiply it into 5 churches in one Sunday was a terrible, ill-conceived idea. In theory, it was nice, but they had not thought through the details of how it would all work out. So, I came with questions and data and reasons why we couldn’t do this yet. 

The following is an article by Jason Webb - pastor and public speaker from Milwaukee, WI, discussing our relationship with uncertainty and offering advice on how to embrace it. 

They listened, quietly.  And then they asked me that question.

“Do you want to know what is wrong with Americans?”

I had learned enough over the years to know that there are moments when you just need to listen.  This was one of those moments. So, I bit my tongue, and said, “No, tell me what is wrong with Americans!”

My colleague continued, “You live by the motto: ‘Ready! Aim! Fire!’ But all you do is aim.” 

“In Kenya, we live by the motto “Ready! Fire! Aim!” We don’t wait for everything to be perfect.  We move on to what we sense God is asking us to do and then when we need to adjust, we adjust. But this is how the world changes for good. You can’t just aim all your life, Jason!” 

He was right. Oftentimes I feel like I spend my whole life aiming and aiming and aiming and aiming but never firing. My guess is that you do this too. And the reason we never fire is that we are afraid. We are afraid of what might happen. We are afraid of losing what we know. We are afraid, deathly afraid, of failure.

So, we know that God is asking us to reconcile a relationship, but we are not sure how they will respond, or what we should say. So, we keep aiming, telling ourselves that “someday” we will do it. But someday never comes. We never fire.

Or we know that God is asking us to sacrifice our image a bit and talk to someone about the habit we can’t seem to break and so we aim, and we aim, but we are so afraid of what they might think that we just keep aiming and never fire.

Or we know that God is asking us to sacrifice our comfort and step into a new adventure, a new job, maybe even somewhere else, so we aim. But we’re afraid of the unknown, and so we keep aiming and aiming and aiming, and we never fire.

We hate uncertainty. We want details. But faith embraces uncertainty. 

Mark Batterson writes, “Faith is embracing the uncertainties of life…Embrace relational uncertainty. It’s called romance. Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It’s called mystery. Embrace occupational uncertainty. It’s called destiny. Embrace emotional uncertainty. It’s called joy. Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It’s called revelation.”

Uncertainty is part of life. If you wait for things to be one hundred percent certain, you will be waiting for it your entire life. And the thing God has in store for you will pass you by.

Several years later I wonder what would have happened if my colleagues in Kenya had listened to me. I wonder if the church that we served at would still be in one location reaching about 3,000 people each week. The good news is that they didn’t listen to me. And now, several years later, because they stepped into the uncertainty that one church is not just five churches, it has multiplied into hundreds of churches across Africa and around the world. And now, instead of reaching 3,000 on a weekend, these churches reach tens of thousands every weekend.

Ready! Fire! Aim!

About Jason Webb

Jason Webb is a Milwaukee-based public speaker, movement leader, strategic thinker, and a results-driven executive with a proven track record in fundraising. He has helped start multiple churches and non-profit organizations, ran their multimillion-dollar campaigns, and oversaw a complex $12.5 million budget at his last organization. Mr. Webb is also a philanthropist, passionate about helping those in need on a global level.
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