Have you ever noticed how some people have a special life verse while others don’t? If I had to pick one, I think I’d choose Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” I recently read in my quiet time one morning that God is determined to finish the work that He began in our lives. After reading that statement I suddenly felt an immense amount of heaviness and began thinking more deeply and praying even more sincerely, asking the Spirit of God to help me become who He wants me to be and to do what He wants me to do.In July, after ten years of church planting ministries in South Africa, we were approached by ABWE (our mission agency) with a request for me, Tom, to become Regional Administrator for Southern Africa. Initially the thought of doing more administration was not very appealing. Our ministry passion is church planting, discipling, and I just love being a pastor shepherd. However, as we prayed and worked our way through the specifics of this additional ministry, we came to realize that the Lord was asking more of us. He seemed determined to want to expand our borders, which was ultimately what we had been praying about.
The timing of the request was very thought-provoking too. Mostly because for the past few months I’d been reading and studying for a new Sunday morning series that I began teaching in August on God’s will entitled, Knowing Why You Were born Before You Die. With this decision of a new ministry before us, all of a sudden the truths I was about to preach became much more real to me personally. It’s obviously not the first time we’ve had to work our way through a big decision, however, the timing was definitely a God-thing.
So, after we searched the Scriptures, prayed, and sought wise counsel, we made a decision that we believe pleases God and accepted this position. It was reassuring to us that throughout the journey we found comfort in God’s leading and in all the people we talked to who unanimously supported this decision. Most people said, “I can see you doing this” or “God has been preparing you for this ministry.”
The plan is that I will still be the lead church-planter/pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church, even if in a lesser capacity over time, as we grow into and develop the position of Regional Administrator for Southern Africa. We will still live in Cape Town and our first ministry priority and responsibility will be our church plant, Mountain View. The church is progressing nicely and we have the full support of Dr. Drullinger assisting and leading the Centre for Biblical Studies as well as two South African men on staff who are being trained and mentored, as well as our Leadership Team. Pastor Wright, at our home church, and many supporters have been amazingly helpful while giving us their blessing as we now begin to lead the South African missionaries and begin to expand our borders beyond and into other parts of Southern Africa.
Let me wrap this up. Dr. Drullinger has introduced me to the new ESV Study Bible. Listen to what it says about my “life verse”… it says the foundation for spiritual growth is recognizing that it is God who began a good work in you and that He will bring it to completion. Genuine spiritual progress is rooted in what God has done, is doing, and will do. His faithfulness ensures that He will be with believers until Jesus returns and
that we can have confidence that the God who saved us will never let us go, and
someday soon we will inherit our eternal reward.
How exciting is that? God is not only determined to work in our lives, He is also going to finish the work He began and will continue to use us for His glory. Even if that seems hard and we feel stretched beyond our known limits, God continues to enlarge our borders so many more will come to believe and worship Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your faithful support and for partnering with us. As part of our support team God wants to use you too. Please let us know if you are able to help with the new financial support that is needed for our expanded responsibilities. Some of you may be able to increase your current monthly support while others could help with a one-time gift (see the Blog Support tab for more information). Either way, it all helps. So, would you please consider and pray about how you could further be involved in this new ministry endeavour?
Thanks for connecting through our new Blog! We covet your prayers (updated in the Prayer tab) for God’s continued leading. All our love, prayers and appreciation to you too!