I am a planner. I like to plan a course of action, list the steps, and cross-off the tasks after they are completed. But I’m learning that the best planning is a response to being led.
For instance, my wife and I recently moved to Santa Rosa. Our home in the Seattle area is on the market (and close to being sold!). Now we are planning to buy a home that will work for the type of ministry that God has led us into. We’ve looked at many homes, and we trust that God will lead us to the right home. Having been led to Santa Rosa, we are making plans, but we hold those plans with open hands, not clutching too tight, so that we might continue to be responsive to God’s ongoing leading.
This week I led a planning retreat with the pastors at Redwood Covenant Church. We gathered in a rustic, peaceful setting under a canopy of Redwood at Mission Springs camp. We reviewed the vision that God is leading us toward and we charted plans that will move us forward as a church. Our planning was collaborative, engaging, even inspirational for me because it was a response to what God is doing at Redwood.
As followers of Jesus, we learn to to love God above all. Out of this relationship, we discern, plan, and move forward by faith. This is especially important for leaders in the church. As for me, I’m still learning this way of being led to lead, and open-handed planning as response, but I’m very encouraged to be among others who are listening, willing and ready to respond to the God who leads us for his great purposes.