“What next” we question in frustration.
“What next” we cry out in anger.
“What next” we ask in anticipation…”What next?”
“What next” for Wall Street?
“What next” for Main Street?
“What next” for our sisters and brothers around the globe?
“What next” for me?
“What next” for my church?
Glory to God, whose power, working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” Those words of Apostle Paul resonate as the alpha and omega of all our frustrations. What is the vision for your church? Do you have crucial program needs for mission and outreach, needs for enlarged worship space or classrooms, infrastructure needs to update over-worked and out-dated mechanical / electrical systems, debt retirement needs, endowment needs…the visioning list is all encompassing. With an articulation of the vision comes “we need to do this…but, what are the priorities.” In other words…”What next?”
The answer to “What next” can best be expressed in terms of our faith. Oswald Chambers, renowned devotional writer, suggests the lesson of the next step when trying to discern what God is calling forth from us. “If you do not know what to do next, simply trust God and do the next thing.” The point is God is not hiding his will from you. His will is right before you, represented by the next thing for you to do. While there is much “we do not see”, nevertheless, the next step must be taken – doing so in faith with trust in God.
Prayerful meditation opens the way to the possibilities of “what we do not see”. Put wondering and questions aside and listen for God’s will with a confidence that the next step will be made known. As always, the challenge is to “Let go and let God”. The next step, whatever that may be, is what God is asking your church to take. What is the next thing to do? The next thing is to take the next step and do what is right before you to do.
“O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavor any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory.” — Quotation from Celia Haddon’s The Yearbook of Hope and Inspiration for January 12.