It is often said there are only two “sure things” in life: death and taxes. At least one more, however, should be added to this list, the concept of “change.” There will always be change in our lives and also in our church family. New members will come, current ones will move away, babies will be born, and saints pass away. How classes and ministries are organized and managed will adapt to growth. The facility will change in appearance, layout, and size. New ministries will be created and others ended as the needs of the congregation, community, and world evolve. I have only been here for twenty years and I have seen an incredible amount of growth and change. I firmly believe the Lord has been in control and worked through the wisdom of godly leadership to help this congregation grow, enduring good times and bad, and coming out of both in a closer walk with God.
The pictures on the wall of our foyer are also subject to change. New deacons will be appointed while others step down. The number and personality of our eldership will look different ten years from now just as it looked different ten years ago. The ministry staff picture is also subject to change and has changed several times just over the past six years. It is about to change again in the near future.
We do not typically like change because it forces us out of our comfort zone and makes us face the unknown. However, if you look back over your own life, think about the changes you have been through which may have been scary at the time, but you endured and now they are just memories in the rear view mirror. Becoming an adult, getting married, raising children, experiencing loss, illnesses, tough family times, and workplace changes are huge obstacles we all face. There is a huge difference in how the lost and the saved face changes. The priests of Christ can lean on hope, faith, and one another to endure change.
How the members of this congregation face the challenge of a change in the pulpit will demonstrate whether or not they trust in God. His plans are bigger than our plans, His decisions are beyond our ability to anticipate or understand, and His will is superior to our own. I personally believe God is ready for the Mt. Juliet congregation to do big things. I believe He is ready for us to continue growing and maturing. The lost souls of our community will still be there tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year no matter who is in the pictures hanging in our foyer. Our members will still need shoulders to cry on, visits when they are sick, a compassionate embrace at the funeral home, and congratulatory hugs in maternity wards.
May we all follow God’s lead, pray for wisdom in our leadership, and continue the Lord’s work here in Mt. Juliet and the world.