Every year I share the content of my report for our annual report and this year's I think is particularly timely. As I sit and write this report we are in the throes of the growing fear over the Corona Virus, the concern over blockades throughout the country and the noise of the upcoming US election. There seems to be lots of fear and lots of things to fear. Then we look at the state of the church in Canada. The recent report from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in regards to not only shrinking church attendance but also interest in what we do is sobering. Closer to home, we’ve seen a dip in attendance here at GBC and struggles to meet our budget.
Lots of things to fear….
Then I read these ancient words, spoken to Isaiah, in another time of turmoil, tension and upset: “fear not”.
It’s easy to get distracted by everything going on and the question: ‘what is our future?’ arises. How do I answer? Our future is the one that God has chosen. He has a purpose and plan for you and me, he has a purpose and plan for GBC. Our job is to quiet ourselves from all the white noise around us and in the media and seek to understand what that plan may be.
We need to listen for the voice of God.
We’ve been doing this through our 100 Days of Prayer initiative going on as I write this. So, we pray and listen. Still, its good to remember what God has done since there is much light behind the clouds we may be currently experiencing.
We experienced MANY blessings in 2019 as a church. We continue to watch God use our Oasis ministry, we see lives touched in our study groups, our youth ministry grows, especially with many coming from our community, our Oasis@Midweek monthly children’s ministry event grows as a genuine outreach with those we’re connected with and on and on. Yes, there is much to be encouraged by here.
Still, we have a part to play in this process. Israel entered the Promised Land God had taken them too but it was a different group of people then the ones who’d been on the threshold 40 years earlier. This is a reminder that we need to LISTEN for the Lord, TRUST he is moving in our circumstances and have COURAGE to do what he is calling us to do. We are people with Good News, we have lots to share and lots of love and grace to distribute. May this be our focus.
So, we have lots to be encouraged by despite the challenges we face. Yet challenges are also an opportunity to grow in our faith as we trust God and take steps of obedience towards our own Promised Land. Until the Lord reveals himself, let us press on and fear not.