Our church is in the middle of a huge change. After more than 17 years of incredibly faithful and visionary leadership, our pastor and his wife are retiring and moving into what God has next for them. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine Connection Point without them. Yet, I know this is God’s will, hand, and timing.
The new pastor and his wife bring a very different background and three young children with them. They have served in the Sudan and Jerusalem. And now they’re coming to West Lafayette, Indiana.
I know this will be good and right.
I can sense God’s hand all over it.
Yet there are so many emotions wrapped up with it.
Isn’t that the way of change?
It’s a process we resist with all of our being. We often think where we are is the best we will ever experience. Yet isn’t it most often in the change that we are stretched and grow.
I think of our two months in Germany. It was a temporary change, but it effected our family and it effected me. My world was broadened. My heart was softened. And it still breaks for those in that part of the world. You might say that’s a waste of tears on a first world country with few challenges. But I’ve been there, I’ve developed friendships with those who call Germany home, and I’ve read the headlines of all that is happening there with the refugee crisis. My heart continues to break for this country that birthed the Reformation.
If I’d never opened my mind to going somewhere new for the adventure of it, I never would have been in a place where God could break my heart over the needs of an entire people.
I don’t know everything this new change will mean. I know it will mean an alteration of our church’s mission. It can’t not. When you bring in a new man with an unique vision, that is part of the process.
The challenge for me — for us — is to embrace this new family and their hearts for God. To allow him to lead us into the future as God has revealed it to him. To be willing to do new things, challenging things, hard things. To be willing to stretch and change and alter. To be willing to acknowledge that what has been a wonderful Promised Land under the inspired leadership of our current pastor can become our Egypt or place of slavery if we do not move when God says move. And we are in the middle of a call to move.
So I want to leave you with one more verse. One more promise.
We’re all in stages of change. Some aren’t as dramatic as the one our church is experiencing. But change is a constant part of life. Therefore, our choice is to embrace or resist. May this promise from God’s Word encourage you in the midst of your change.
What verses or principles help you when you are experiencing change?