At the close of the worship service Sunday, our pastor challenged each one in attendance to consider one thing that we are grateful for, one thing God is doing in our life, and how He is using us, growing, building, teaching, and blessing us. Well, our pastor may not have gone into that much detail, but I certainly did. I could not help myself. I am truly grateful to God. I have many things to be grateful for, more than I can number – and I am very grateful. But the one thing that came to my mind sitting in that church service is Reaching the Summit.
In December 2008, while riding alone in my car, God asked me a question. It was one of those rhetorical questions coming from God. There was no need to contemplate it. God was not expecting a discourse on the various thoughts of the topic. Though not the actual question, the topic was, “Are you ready for your next step of faith?” Was I ready to leave a thriving ministry, serving among godly men and women in a work God was using? Was I willing to leave a solid based financial package for no guarantee of income at all? Because of what God had done in the past the answer was easy.
Six months later Pam and I were moving from California to Kentucky to begin a new ministry. By accepting God’s renewed call in the car that December afternoon I agreed to go where God led me; to work with churches anywhere I was asked as long as funding and calendar/scheduling allowed. Little did I know at the time where that would lead. (I’m still finding out each day and month)
In 2010 I began writing for my own purposes and ministry use (so I thought) insights and experiences I had seen throughout the past seventeen years as church consultant, coach, and staff member. I wanted to see correlations and similarities, warnings and cautions, as well as victories and effective ministry practices. Those personal notes became the book Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church.
While the manuscript was going through the editing and pre-publishing stages at the publisher I was compelled to write an Implementation Guide to assist pastors and church leaders in implementing the practices and principles recorded in Reaching the Summit. The release date for Reaching the Summit was March 1, 2012. By the end of April I was asked to prepare a training program to equip others around the nation to lead churches through a Reaching the Summit process. To date we have equipped more than 100 coaches in various states and will continue to do so in 2015.
Every church that I know of whch has undertaken this Reaching the Summit process has experienced spiritual maturation, increased baptisms, renewal to the purpose of the Great Commission, and more. Not because of me, but because of the faithfulness and grace of our Lord.
Each step of the way, these steps that I have mentioned and the miracles and wondrous works in churches who have experienced this process, is truly an act of God – an experience I am truly grateful to be part of. So this Thanksgiving week I am thankful for many things. But most of all I am thankful for a God who is merciful to one such as I. (I know from whence I came.) Thankful that He would choose to use me and allow me to be part of something like Reaching the Summit.
What about you? What one thing are you grateful for God doing in your life right now? How is He using you or desiring to use you in his great manifold plan? He has a plan far greater than you can imagine and his blessings flow in proportion to how we follow and allow Him to use us in fulfilling His plan.
I gratefully await the coming months and 2015. What joy and blessings will fill my heart from my God and Lord of All?
For more on this topic and to find out about Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church contact George Yates and visit soncare.net.