Jan 4, 2021

Navigating Uncertain Times

2020 was quite a year, wasn't it.  One of the most challenging years I remember in my 53 years on this planet. 
 
Of course, the pandemic was a big factor that took all of us through challenges we never expected.  My father almost died from Covid-19.  He spent 3 weeks in ICU.  Thankfully God brought him through it.  I also had some friends die in a plane crash this past year.  I grew up with their children.

Many churches have had to shut down their in person services for the time being.  And many are using precautionary measures like social distancing, wearing masks, having outdoor services, etc.

And just because the clock turned over into 2021, doesn't mean everything will instantly get better.  We are hopeful and prayerful that the virus will be curbed this new year as vaccines have been made and are being distributed. 
 
All that to say this - we are living in uncertain times.  As I talk with and interact with churches across the country, I have found some similar challenges most churches are facing.  One of the biggies is not being able to have children's ministry services or classes.  And those who are having children's ministry services are seeing attendance numbers significantly down.  I was with a church in the Nashville area a few weeks ago.  Before the pandemic, they were averaging over 600 children a weekend.  The weekend I was there, they had 100 children.  
 
Many churches have also had many of their volunteers step down from serving due to the pandemic.
I'm not trying to discourage you, I simply want to remind you that we are living in very uncertain times.  And as leaders, we are called to support families as they attempt to navigate these uncertain times. 
 
As we think about leading in uncertain times, I am reminded of Joshua leading the Israelites to the promised land.  Talk about leading in uncertain times.  Joshua experienced this to the extreme.  Look with me at what happened in Joshua 1 and how God showed Joshua how to lead in uncertain times.
 
"After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant."
 
Stay connected with God and walk with Him.  If you will listen, He will guide you with the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
 
He said, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.
 
Realize that it's your time to step up and lead.   Everything you have been through or experienced has led you to this moment of time.  God has been preparing you for this.  Now is the time to trust Him and lead forward. 

I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 
 
Lean into the promises of God.   He has been with you all along the way.  His plan for your life and those you lead will come to pass as you trust God and rely upon His promises.  The same God who led Moses will lead you as well.  

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
 
God is with you.  He will not fail you.  He will not abandon you.

I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you -  from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 

Remember that God has always kept His promises and He's not going to stop now. 

 6Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.

Leading in uncertain times takes courage.  Step out in faith even when your knees are knocking.

7Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

Walk in obedience.  Obedience leads to blessings. 

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Rest on the promises of God.   God's Word will help you navigate these tough times. Stay in the Word and walk closely with Jesus.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Be courageous...knowing that God has got this and He will be with you each step of the way.  When you incorporate these steps into your life and ministry, you will be able to navigate these uncertain times

Praying for you as you lead through these uncertain times.  Trust God.  He is with you and will not let you down...no matter how uncertain things can get.

Here is a blessing for you today.  Watch this music video where a father and his son sing about the promises of God.  May it encourage your heart and put a smile on your face.

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