The exciting thing about a journey is that there is always something new just around the next corner! The scary thing about a journey is that there is always something new just around the next corner! It is a paradox of the human condition to be both excited and scared within the same context. Much of our lives are experienced in this paradox: graduation from high school is both exciting and scary; marriage or a new job is both exciting and scary; the birth of a child; a move to a new place, the leaving of a child; changing roles. Life is full of these exciting, but scary, moments. So is our journey of faith.
The writer of Hebrews draws this out in Chapter 11 where it begins with these words: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd…By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going.” (Hebrews 11: 1, 8 Message).
So much of our faith journey is a call to just such an experience as Abraham. It is a call to trust God, even when we cannot see a way or the destination. First Baptist Church Clinton finds itself at just such a place. Over the next few months, we will be asked to make a decision about new staff members. What a rich heritage you have had in your past staff. It is unusual to have the length of stay for staff that you have had. It is a blessing, but can be a challenge. The challenge is to give thanks for those past relationships and then embrace the new ones that God is bringing to us.
These new staff members will bring new gifts, new ideas, and new ministries, just as your old staff did many years ago. I am praying that you will embrace these new folks and what they will bring with the same faith that Abraham embraced on his new journey. If we will, God will indeed bless the world through our obedience just as He did through Abraham’s obedience.
I have come to strongly believe that you have done an excellent job of listening, talking, dreaming and planning about the future of our ministry emphasis and staffing. The needs are clear. Granted, the “path” might seem scary, but I believe you have listened and followed God to this point. And as the old song says, “He didn’t bring us this far to leave us.”
Do you believe that God wants to continue to work through this congregation as He has in the past? I do. Join us as we move forward together in this journey!