We all have Next Steps. And I’m sure you know the old saying: Change is the only constant in life. Truth resides there because yesterday cannot be changed and tomorrow will never look like yesterday. Everything around us is in a constant state of change. But to successfully navigate our next steps we must realize change is not the only constant in the world!
Next Steps: A Current Example
Last week we wrapped up the Perfect Prayer series based on Psalm 90. It concluded with an example of how our Father establishes our work and why we should pray for that today. And what I didn’t share is the next step of change revealed in a request made by some of the pastors we teach.
I hope you were as blessed as we were to learn what these faithful pastors are doing. They view what they have been given in the Mathes Pastor Training school as a gift. But that brings an attitude of stewardship. So however you may have invested in them, their work is both confirmation and affirmation of a good Kingdom investment. And what they’ve asked for underscores that fact.
Next Steps: Pressing On
Whether we are talking about a ministry or an individual life, we must put change in its proper perspective. First, believers are followers. We don’t necessarily have to know what lies around the corner. We are following the One Who does know. Second, we are never commanded to know what’s next but simply to follow and obey.
Why is that way? Because our Father loves us. Our tasks are really simple (but challenging). Trusting and obeying should be great stress relievers. Yet too many of us remain anxious. The words of the Apostle Paul serve us well (if we heed them!). So even though we can be blessed and celebrate what has happened, we must keep following. And that will always mean pressing on.
The pastors we have invested in have demonstrated a commitment to Paul’s instructions to Timothy:
Entrust the Gospel to faithful men who will in turn entrust it to others.
And they have asked us to help them with every pastor’s job description. No pastor, including yours, should be expected to do the work of ministry by himself. God certainly doesn’t have that expectation. If He did, He wouldn’t have instructed pastors to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. And that is the exact point at which our student pastors want to follow and obey. It means change for them and change for us.
Next Steps: Helpers
Whatever Next Steps one may face, we are not required to face them alone. The real Constant in the world is our Sovereign God. But it’s more specific than that. He has personally promised to never leave or forsake His own. Whatever changes we face He will face them with us. In Him we can do all things – including meeting new challenges. But it gets even better.
In Galatians 6:1-2 we get an instruction to bear one another’s burdens. So if a brother has a daunting task like equipping saints for ministry, what should he do? Ask brothers and sisters for help! And that is our Next Step.
We have been asked to teach and train other leaders and teachers in the churches led by our pastors. So over the next few weeks I am going to be looking for people who can and will do that. The goal is for the pastors to bring some of their key people with them to the next week of class. We will have two classrooms active at the same time. One is the usual class for pastors. I’ll teach there with a pastoral teaching team as we always do. But the other classroom will be lead by people like you. People who can train and equip these saints to work alongside their pastors just like capable teachers do in your church.
So Next Steps really is following and seeing what the Father has set before us. And with my somewhat daunting task of staffing another classroom to train teachers for children, youth, and adults, I need some help. Will you help?
Soli Deo Gloria!