Doylestown United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Grow In Faith To Serve...Christ
With summer just around the corner, there are all kinds of summer vacation plans being made right now. I heard a great saying recently: “Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
Some people find it difficult to plan ahead. Many years ago, my idea of vacation planning was to choose a destination, pack a few things, and head out. I didn’t make plans to stay overnight along the way; I didn’t think about places to eat and when it would be a good time to eat; I didn’t research what we would do once we got to the destination. I did this because it was the only type of planning I knew. I grew up in a family where, when you wanted to go somewhere, you just headed out in the direction you wanted to go. Getting reservations at a campground or hotel? Unthinkable! Figuring out the route you will take? No way! Oh, we were prepared for vacation—the tent, the sleeping bags, the food, etc. Everything, including five children and two parents, was packed into that ’67 Chevy wagon pulling a little storage trailer that you could barely see in the rear-view mirror. Fortunately, my wife began to teach me the benefits of planning a family vacation—reserving places to stay, figuring out how and when we would eat, good directions, and even things to do when we got there!
Our church is like a big family and, therefore, planning is a good thing. It is a blessing when all of us are “on the same page” when it comes to the direction we want to go. But, too often in the church we set out on a journey without establishing a plan. We need to ask ourselves: What are some possible routes? What will be the benchmarks that will help us to know we are on the right track? What will we need to take with us on this journey? Who will be a part of this experience? What will it look like when we get there? What will be the timeline?
Over the past nine years that I’ve been here, I’ve seen the benefits of our church following God’s map. It has included the hiring of a dynamic staff, a focus on youth ministry, strong support of an active children’s ministry, the development of ministries that touch the lives of those who are struggling with the potholes of life, and an emphasis on missions, and outreach. While it’s important for us to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, it’s even more important for us not to pat ourselves on the back for too long. There is so much more to do. And, because there is so much more to do, we need to keep listening to the direction God has laid on our hearts and make the necessary plans to go that direction. Noah did a great job listening to God’s plan even when it wasn’t raining. And, when it began to rain and all the animals were on the ark and the waters began to rise, Noah also listened to God’s direction. But, God’s plan for Noah wasn’t complete. Even after Noah, his family, and the animals settled on dry land, there was more for Noah to do. God had big plans.
So, planning is a good thing. As a church, let’s keep listening to what God wants us to do and where God wants us to go. And, let’s keep making the plans.