“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

In the movie Hunt for Red October, Jack Ryan’s character is trying to help a Russian submarine captain who he believes is trying to defect. It’s one of my favorite movies based on Tom Clancy’s book by the same name. As Ryan is thinking about his next move he realizes that if the Russian is going to defect he surely must have a plan. “Russians don’t do anything without a plan,” he remembers the US Navy Captain having said earlier. Then it dawns on him. He doesn’t have to come up with a plan. He simply has to find a way to help the Russian defector execute his plan.

How much like that is our task at making disciples and seeking God’s reign and rule! God has a plan. It is a good plan. It is a plan for hope and a future. It’s a plan that brings the message of Jesus to all people. It’s a plan that will culminate on the Great Last Day when Jesus returns and receives all who trust in him into his eternal kingdom of glory. It’s a plan that was set before the foundations of the earth. It’s a plan that was revealed throughout the Old Testament times by the prophets. It’s a plan that was fully revealed in Jesus, birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, reign at the right hand of God, and ultimately in his return.

I believe in planning. In fact, it’s one of the things I help congregations do. We gather a group of church members and leaders, explore God’s mission, their resources, the opportunities before them, and their unique sense of calling, and strive to set forth a plan for their future mission efforts. God’s mission and purpose for us never change. Our plans will always need to be tweaked and changed as we discover more and more of what God is doing.

Our best attitude toward all this is to pray, prepare, and participate. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send more laborers into the harvest. Prepare yourself for playing your part in God’s plan as it unfolds around, in, and through you. Participate in what God is doing.

God has a plan that through you and me and other women, men, boys, and girls more and more people will hear of Jesus, believe in him, and be saved. I’m excited to be part of that plan. I pray that you too will discover and live out your part in his plan.

By Rev. David Bahn, D. Min.
Congregation Support Specialist