I recently read the following statement that made me stop and reflect: “The Key to Success in Life is how well you adapt to Plan B.”
There is a world of truth in that simple sentence, especially to those of us in Ministry. The majority of frustrations in my ministry emerged because I was spending so much time depending on Plan A. Plan A is the one where everything works out. Your marriage lasts forever. Your children grow up without any problems (in ministry we refer to them as PKs – preacher kids. In later years I referred to mine as TOs – theological offspring). Plan A is where everyone loves you. It’s where all your dreams come true and you live happily ever after. Plan A is life and ministry the way we all thought it would be. It’s life with a happy ending.
Unfortunately, Plan A rarely pans out. Life, especially life in ministry, isn’t that simple, or that easy. Check out Exodus 13:17-21. When the children of Israel left Egypt, God did not lead them by the shorter coastal route to the Promised Land. Instead, he led them south into the wilderness. No doubt there was some grumbling and murmuring. “Why go the long way? Why not take the road that goes along the seashore?” Answer: The Philistines lived along the coast and God
wanted to spare the Jews from having to fight them and be tempted to return to Egypt. What seemed like a detour turned out to be for their benefit. In this case, Plan B was better.
Can I make a confession? One year ago, I thought Plan A for Missouri Baptists was prayer walking and distributing the Gospel to every home in our state during 2010. Though we made it to some 750,000 doors, that does not equal our 2.3 million residences. Hmm, what do we do? Along comes Plan B. While many associations covered 80-90 percent of their areas, some did not= cover even 20 percent. Lo and behold, the churches that covered so much of their territory have been asking, “Can we go to an area that was less covered and prayer walk and distribute the Gospel with and for them?” Churches and associations in the lesser covered areas have begun to say, like the man from Macedonia, “Come over and help us” (Acts 16:9). Sure enough, churches and associations are responding to this Macedonian call and volunteering to serve outside their own Jerusalem. We are referring to them as Judea Churches.
“If ours is a Macedonia Church, what are we responsible for?”
1 Letting their director of missions know they would like to partner with a Judean Church in covering their area and which season of the year (Spring, Summer, Fall) they desire this
2 Mapping out the area they want prayer walked (driven) and the Gospel distributed. Having maps available when the Judean Church comes to prayer walk (drive) and distribute.
3 Provide some from their church to join the teams that come to prayer walk (drive) and distribute since they are more familiar with that area.
4 Provide a contact person that the Judean Church can keep in touch with, prior to and during ministry.
“If ours is a Judean Church, what are we responsible for?”
1 Letting their director of missions know they would like to partner with a Macedonia Church, and what season of the year they would prefer serving.
2 Provide the clear plastic door knob hangers, the Gospel inserts and information card.
3 Provide prayer walking (driving) and distribution teams.
4 Provide a coordinator who will be the contact person for the Macedonian Church to be in contact with. Plan A not working out for you? Don’t despair, it rarely does. Ask the Israelites:
Joseph, Hosea or me. Contact us in the Evangelism Office if you would like to be
a part of Plan B for GPS in 2011.
GARY TAYLOR / MBC Director of Evangelism