Change is scary.
Most of us are wired to prefer the status quo – to keep things the way they are. The irony of this is that even what we consider to be the way things are require change and development to get there. Even so, despite the fact that change can be disconcerting, there is almost always an element of excitement and anticipation about what might be.
When Phil announced that he was moving away from Christ Baptist and thus from his position as pastor of missions in 2017, it was clear that the status quo for the missions program at Christ Baptist was going to be disturbed. What will happen to our short-term ministry trips? Who will lead this important part of our outreach? Will the momentum we’ve gained be lost? So many questions.
As you all know, over the course of time and in the providence of God, Nathan came to us in the middle of 2018 in answer to the call to become our pastor for missions and discipleship. Many of you have expressed how pleased you are with what Nathan and his family bring to Christ Baptist, but the question lingered – will he be able to maintain our momentum in missions?
Last Sunday afternoon we held our annual sign up meeting for all short-term trips in the coming calendar year. In some respects, this was a first test for Nathan to see if the groundwork he had been laying over the previous 6 months would bear fruit and move us forward. When all was said and done, I was overjoyed to learn that we had over 100 people sign up to either go, pray or send. Of the 100+ people who signed up, more than two-thirds declared their intention to go on one of our trips, and the remaining one-third declared their intention to pray or provide financial help for people to go specific trips. This is unprecedented in our church’s history. To my knowledge, we’ve never had this many of our own people sign up this early, we’ve never had people sign up this early to say they want to start praying specifically now, and we’ve rarely had people step up this early to offer financial aid to those who need it.
At the beginning of the New Testament, Jesus reminds us that we must be like a light set on a hill. At the end of the New Testament, Jesus wrote to the church at Ephesus to warn them that their light was growing dim. I am grateful and delighted that I serve a congregation whose light is not growing dim, but burning brighter with each passing year. Join me in thanking our Lord for his mercy in continuing to include us in shining the light of his truth into a dark world, and never stop asking yourself what part you might play in HIS mission.