I have been hired as the Pastor of Families and Children at First Baptist Church in Valdosta Georgia.Â During a series of question and answer times with the congregation I received multiple forms of the same question, â€œwhat new programs are you going to start?,â€ or â€œwhat are you going to do thatâ€™s new?â€ I explained that I desired to gather a team of people in order to put together an overall long-range plan for the spiritual formation of the children and the strength of the families, and then either keep, tweak, or add new programs to help us accomplish that plan.
The church is looking to begin a new journey. They are looking for vision, creativity, and direction from the Lord. So together we will begin a new journey together (once I sell my house and move to Georgia). Â But the hanging question is â€œso what now?â€ Every now and then in life you get a mulligan, a do over, a new beginning. Just like a new day, God gives a chance to begin anew.
It has been said, â€œevery great journey begins with the first step.â€ So what should that first step be? My nature already begins to rush toward logos, web sites, print materials, programming, recruiting, policies and procedures, conferences, but my experience shouts â€œstop.â€ In know from mistakes I have made in the past, the first step has to be prayer, Bible study and making sure that I am where I need to be with the Lord and nothing else. He has to lead, and I have to follow. Then I have to surround myself with people who understand this essential first step (and do so in their own lives). The first step in a great journey is two steps back to God. One step in our own wisdom, and two steps back to piety. Â God does what only He can do; He moves the church forward, as we go back to Him time and time again.
How can we put something together that will â€œturn the world upside down,â€ if we are doing it our own strength and our own wisdom? The truth is that we will get a great looking, sharp, crisp, professional, and cool stuff â€“ but at the end of the day it will be hollow, it wonâ€™t last, and it wonâ€™t do what you intended for it to do (trust me).
So we begin our journey with pleading for God to lead us, guide us, and give us the plan. We then pour our lives into the plan that God has given us.Â We prepare our hearts to be able to even hear from the Lord, and to be able to fathom His plan. Let us pray that it will bring Him all the glory, and that His church will be strong for future generations.Â Isnâ€™t that exciting? God is going to give us a plan (maybe in pieces, maybe all at once) as we seek His face and give Him glory.Â This plan will be wonderful, beautiful, and together we will change the world.