Recently, I had another opportunity to catch up with two longtime ministry friends. As would be natural, having recently resigned a local church position, these conversations always gravitates toward questions about my future in ministry.
The conversations go something like this....
Friend - "Are you looking for another church?"
Me - "I'm not actively looking. "
Friend - "So, what are your plans for the future?"
Me - I don't really know. My ministry future is totally in God's hands."
My answers have never changed, but I am no longer parroting what God's told me. I've finally embraced the truth.
Eight months ago, the conversation would have been the same, but I would have squirmed in my seat uncomfortable with a truth I barely understood and sometimes questioned. Admittedly, I was still shell-shocked by the abrupt change in God's directions for my life and shaking in my shoes fearful of an uncertain future.
Back then, I put on a brave face, but there were holes in my faith. Intellectually, I know I am a work in progress, but inside I struggled with wavering faith. Thank God, I had the support of family and friends to give myself a break. I would have driven myself insane if they didn't so enthusiastically and readily accept my bravado without questioning me further.
This time it was the same questions and answers, but it suddenly dawned on me. I am totally at peace and relaxed about my uncertain future. I'd finally internalized and claimed it. It's no act, I'm truly in God's hands and following His divine plan with complete abandon.
It's still true. I'm not looking for a specific church to serve. At present, I'm focused singularly on serving, as we say in the Apostle's Creed, "the holy catholic church". This past week, I volunteered alongside my niece at Grace UMC's morning Babylon VBS and visited at another family member's evening VBS. I don't know if I was much help, but not being in charge allowed me to soak up lots of new ideas and simply experience the wonder of God through the eyes of a child.
This coming week, I go back out on the road as a ministry consultant. Tuesday, I will train a local church team in Virginia. Saturday after next, I will be in South Carolina. After that, only God knows and when he let's me know, I'll go.
Now, back to the recent conversation after I shared my focus on ministry consulting.
Friend - "Yes, your ministry has changed. It's gotten bigger"
Me - "No. Not bigger, just different."
Years ago, I might have bought into that notion that ministry consultants' ministry is bigger. Of course, that was before I was one. Experience taught me there is NO bigger job than serving in a local church and I'm honored to serve and support those who do until God comes up with another assignment.
Feels fantastic to say "My future's in God's hands."
Gold Lines of Grace
15 hours ago