Football season is in full swing, and the Seattle Seahawks have been winning some crazy games. Because of this, football analogies are dying to get out! So please bear with me.
Every player does all he can throughout the week to prepare for the game on Sunday. They all plan, they practice, and they perfect their strategy to win the game. But just about every game, the head coach has to change his game plan because the opposition or situation has changed. It is at this point that the players have to trust and submit to their head coach to execute the new game plan.
Paul changed plans
While coming on board at Mars Hill, there was one statement that I kept hearing over and over again: “The only constants at Mars Hill are Jesus and change.” As I read through the missionary journeys of Paul, I am challenged and encouraged to be constantly changing for Jesus. At the end of 1 Corinthians, Paul tells the church that he will visit them soon, but at the beginning of 2 Corinthians, Paul speaks of how his plans to visit Corinth had changed. Paul’s missional circumstances had changed and to stick to his purpose and calling—to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible—he had to change plans at times.
No matter how much I plan things with a missional mindset, Jesus may call me to a different place than I ever expected. This is often in strong opposition to “my plans” and “my expectations.”
We gladly change
Since I have been at Mars Hill, things have changed a few times and the above statement has held true. By nature, I don’t like change. By nature, change makes me anxious. I praise the Lord that these words are true: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my [the Lord’s] ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9)
The Lord knows what he is doing, and I do not always know what the Lord is doing or what he has planned for the future. I am learning at Mars Hill, where things change fast, that we are a church that is sensitive to new missional circumstances and because of that, “things change fast.” For that reason we don’t only change, but we change for Jesus, and although things change, the good news of Jesus Christ is the same.
We gladly change, both as a church and me personally, for Jesus and his good news!