Our theme for our new strategic plan is to be strong in the Lord. I love the realism of the Apostle Paul. He told the Corinthian church there was a wide-open door for a great work there. Yes, he saw opportunities and was ready. But he continued, there are many adversaries. How true. The headwinds of our culture are getting stronger – LGBT, BLM, social justice to name a few. But there are also problems within the church: pragmaticism, mysticism, pop-psychology, the health-wealth-and-prosperity gospel. Moving forward doesn’t mean smooth sailing. Remember, the church is involved in spiritual warfare.
God’s people have been called to live under his plan in other nasty times – the early church, inquisitions, wars, etc. Dale Ralph Davis has said, “God sometimes decrees a course of history which his people cannot welcome enthusiastically but in which they must live faithfully.” These past 11 months have been difficult. And yet we have the Lord Jesus affirming his many precious promises. Regardless of COVID, politics, the economy, health, tensions or conflicts, God wants his people to live faithfully – to do his will, to be obedient, to glorify him.
At times God’s plan involves suffering for the gospel. That certainly isn’t new in reading our NTs. No one desires to suffer, but we must when the gospel is threatened. God knows the future and he has charged us to make plans, plans surrendered to his will. As our strategic plan is explained today, may we be ready to embrace the opportunities before us and be prepared for any opposition that we might encounter resting in the truth that Jesus promised to build his church.