God's Plan for the future of Thrive.
by Bonnie Walworth, member of pastor search team
While my family was skiing at Alpine Valley last week, a friend took a picture of our girls riding the lift, but the fog was so thick you couldn’t make out anything around them. You could just see the three young friends facing the mystery of what was in front of them.
As the photo popped up in my text messages, the Spirit whispered, isn’t this our story too? Thrive Church, a band of friends on the adventure of life, is moving forward into what may feel like a foggy mysterious future. We’re a part of a new denomination and going through a new pastor search process as our current pastor retires. It’s uphill, and it’s foggy, and we can’t see the top clearly. It’s unknown.
It reminds me of the Israelites, only they weren’t out in the cold snow but wandering through the hot desert. Like them, we’re looking forward to the promised land God has for us. Moses, the leader of the Israelites, faithfully led them out of captivity and through the desert. The Israelites learned to trust him. Their relationship wasn’t always perfect, but they worked it out. They looked to Moses for leadership. They loved him and he loved them. In the last seven years, we’ve grown to trust Pastor Tom and we count on his leadership. Our relationship hasn’t always been perfect, but we’ve worked it through. We love Pastor Tom, and he loves this church.
If you recall, Moses did not lead the people into the Promised Land. Check out Numbers 27 and Joshua 1. The people needed a new leader to lead them across to the future God had planned for them. God gave the people Joshua, who was different from Moses. I imagine he had a different style, different gifts, was from a different tribe; but he had the same faith in God. As we move forward in our pastor search process, we thank God for blessing us with this faith-filled man who has led us and shepherded us; however, let us not cling to him but look forward to what God is doing, and to the new leadership He will provide.
Our future as a church is not in the past. It is not reliving past glories, in looking to imitate former pastors or leaders, it is not in comparing ourselves to other churches. Our future is all forward into the unique plan He has for us in our community and into the good plans God has for Thrive Church. Perhaps right now there is a little fog, but when the fog lifts, we’ll find ourselves in the bright and exciting future God has planned for a people who are faithful to Him!
He who was seated on the throne said,
“I am making everything new!
Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”