This year was supposed to be the best year yet. Half of the churches on social media were claiming that this was the “year of 2020 vision.” Personally, I was set to speak at the most conferences I’ve ever done in one year. I was humbled and grateful. God was really elevating me. Yes Lord! Then the unexpected happened. Four months later…70% of them gone. As additional challenges came, by May I was ready to press the reset button on the whole year. How do we recover? How do I adjust?
By now, one thing is abundantly clear: The world has changed. Some things may never be like they once were. Lost jobs, lost income, and sadly lost loved ones. All over the world people are praying to resume some level of normalcy in our lives. But for now we are left having to adapt to what is. What does that mean? Change. With every change come two things: self-examination and visualization. The process of identifying where you are now and visualizing where you want to be are critical. I like what one man says about change: you can have control or you can have growth but you can’t have both. That means we have to pivot.
If you are a basketball fan like me you are glad to see the NBA resume. In basketball, coaches teach players how to use their body position to make plays. The “pivot foot” in basketball is the foot that stays planted, while the other foot can move freely so you can get a different angle giving you a better opportunity to score, pass, or dribble. When one opportunity to pass closes, another opportunity to dribble opens up. But if you don’t pivot, you won’t see it. Your willingness to pivot dictates your ability to succeed. Great NBA players know how to pivot well, and so do many successful people.
Pivoting is staying grounded but getting a new perspective. It’s finding a new outlook so that a new option can present itself. One foot grounded in God, His Word, and His purpose for my life, while the other part of me seeks a new expression of that purpose. Usually it’s the season or environment that we are in that dictates what part of our purpose needs to be exposed. The environment dictates the expression. The season prompts the evolution.
I love the story of David in the Bible because it depicts how he had to pivot from protecting sheep to protecting people. Naturally it might seem like a big leap. However, what he went through was preparation for who he would face: Goliath. He fought off a lion and bear while keeping the sheep. That expression shifted when he went to the battlefield. But notice, it was the problem that the Israelite people were facing that brought about David’s “pivot” moment. The problems our society is facing today may be bringing you to a “pivot” moment. Don’t worry! God has been secretly preparing you for this for a while now.
You may currently be facing some Goliaths (disease, economic hardship, social injustice, family challenges, etc.) But this is not a cause to pause; This is a reason to pivot. It’s time to shift into the next expression of your destiny. I’m reminded of what the late Dr. Myles Munroe said, “Great leadership is not attained by pursuing greatness but by persevering through great tests.”
Over the last 4 months I have had to pivot. Church went virtual. Speaking engagements were cancelled. Plans changed. I thought that this meant things would slow down for me. Wrong! In May, God instructed me to start an online 12-week leadership course. But I knew nothing about building ecourses. Long story short, in less than 3 months I went from concept to full launch of the Winston Leadership Institute, and I’m already getting some tremendous feedback. There’s no way that I would have been able to put that together that fast under normal conditions. But when the pandemic hit, I had to be willing to pivot. The pandemic precipitated the pivot, and the pivot produced the product.
With every season of pivoting, a pruning needs to take place. Jesus said that the Father is the vinedresser and he cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear fruit, so that you may become more fruitful. The pivot is necessary for greater production. Remember, God’s pruning is not punishment, it’s simply preparation. When He cuts something out of your life, it’s always in preparation for growth. So how is God prompting you to pivot in this season? Your season of greater is only one pivot away.
“A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.”
Meet David S. Winston
David Winston is the pastor of Go Hard for Christ Youth Ministry at Living Word Christian Center and the director of Bill Winston Ministries, a worldwide outreach ministry. Both ministries are based in Forest Park, Illinois. In these roles, Pastor David has dedicated himself to planting and advancing the kingdom of God in the hearts of people around the world.