It’s vital for us to listen to what God is saying and then in faith and obedience follow the leading of the Lord. It doesn’t take but a moment to look throughout the Word of God to see that blessing follows obedience to the Word of the Lord, but things don’t go so well for those who choose to not follow what God is saying.
As your pastor, my heart is to follow the leading of the Lord and to lead First Assembly in the way that God is speaking to us. I I have heard God speak clearly to me about our future. God is calling us in faith to break ground on our new campus by 2020, because where we are is not big enough for what God is going to do. In our 2020 Vision, hundreds and hundreds of families are going to come to Christ and become a part of our faith community. This is the why! So He is calling us to devote the next three years to seeing this vision become a reality.
There are four words that can easily keep us on track with where God is taking us. Faith, Focus, Change and Commitment! I want to break those down for us on how that practically looks as we move forward in our 2020 vision.
Faith: In Hebrews 11:6 God tells us about faith…And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Faith is the foundation of our relationship with God. Not only can we not please God without it, He rewards those who believe and seek Him. Faith in a very elementary way believes God and follows His Word. Faith looks like creating a space for Him to work in our lives and letting Him fill that space. God has set the mark, now we live to accomplish what He has called us to do.
Focus: It is very easy to have a focus for a short time, but much more difficult to maintain focus over the long haul. God has given us not only a vision of our preferred future, He also has given us a timeline. He’s set the goal for us to break ground on our new property by 2020. Because of that we will need to continually refresh our focus, daily even…remembering the “why” this is vital. It is not about breaking ground, it is not about the new property and it’s not about a new building…everything we do in this 2020 vision is about ONE BIG IDEA – people coming to Christ.
Change: It’s been said that “Old ways won’t open new doors.” We live in a constantly changing culture, but change is nothing new to God. God has constantly raised up His church to reach the changing culture throughout history. How He reached people with the Gospel in one generation and culture has changed throughout the ages. Sometimes we struggle with change but I want to remind you of a quote I shared a few weeks ago: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle but gorgeous at the end.” But with all the change there is one constant, God’s unchanging Word. We have to allow God to change us, our expectation and even the way that we have done things in the past will change, but our commitment to the Word of God and preaching the truth unashamedly will never change.
Commitment: Focus and commitment sound similar but they are actually two different things. Focus is our why! Commitment is our how. It’s the rolling up our sleeves and doing the work of ministry. It means we’re all in. It’s understanding our role and joy of inviting people into faith and into our faith community. It looks like serving, praying, giving and loving people.
So here we go, let’s enjoy the journey that God is taking us on. A journey of Faith, Focus, Change and Commitment…and remember it’s about one big thing: People coming to Christ! That is a vision worth following.