The church we have attended for a quarter century -- where Kingdom Impact Theater Ministries was birthed -- is going through changes. In the last two years there has been a change in the leadership structure, including, in recent months, the pastoral staff on which Mike served for 13 years.
As part of those changes, Mike and Vikki are embarking upon a new season of ministry service apart from their home church. It's a frightening and exhilarating time for both our ministry and that of our church. The transition is reminding us many things about God, and more about our faith IN God through Christ.
In his farewell address to the congregation, Mike expressed new-found trust in Jesus' admonition, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34)." Subsequent months gave practicality to these words by creating an urgency to each 24 hours that had become hard to embody in recent years. Indeed, a change in seasons is often The Lord's way of invigorating even the most veteran Christ-follower (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). We must confess, in the Psalm 51 mode, that two great Christian sins are complacency and protectionism. So, God stirs the eagle's nest.
Our church family has been making similar discoveries throughout their search for a new lead pastor. That perspective, noted the elder board chairman leading the search, is more akin to the Old Testament Jesus -- Joshua.
LEARN MORE: Jesus or Yeshua?
Suburbs of the Promised Land
The pastoral search neared its climax in mid-summer. In the midst of a new hope with a new pastor, the Elder Chair reminded the members (that still includes us) of the expectant hope of the children of Israel knock, knock, knocking on the Promised Land's door.
"What has struck me lately," he wrote speaking of Joshua chapter 1, "is that they did not know what we know. As the people stood on the banks of the Jordan (River) looking into the Promised Land all of that was part of an unknown future for them. "
This bolt of insight struck a chord with us as KIT Ministries. So did what followed.
"We, too, as a church are on the banks of a new and promising future," he continued. "The promise of the future is just that -- future and unknown. Like the children of Israel we must also step out in faith that God will go before us and lead us into a bright new day."
Those steps of faith, we have been discovering, are each day. Steps of faith each day as the ensemble of KIT Ministries pursue the grunt tasks before us : knock, knock, knocking on employers' doors; filling out applications; updating resumes; making calls; reviewing our statements of faith; tightening finances; recognizing and facing financial errors; defining and unifying our organizational structure, improving interpersonal communication.
As we have been taking these detailed baby steps in this transitional season, we have been experiencing many promises of Scripture. Experiencing these promises have made the passages we read and the songs we sing more personal. More meaningful. We have been learning anew that the abundant life Jesus promised is not about lots of material "stuff."
LEARN MORE: John 10:1-10
To Every Season
In the months since Michael's staff position ended, we have seen God's hand moving us to find creative solutions to day-to-day problems, even when that "creative" solution was accepting that the answer to the prayer request was, "No."
Accepting the rejections rather than wallowing in disappointment is a dose of humility. Humility tells us that we're not as ready as we thought; makes us recognize the reality there is more work to do. Such humility is an impetus to, like Paul, "press on toward the goal."
In the months since, we have seen God introduce us to people, training, opportunities and performance possibilities that have been "more than we can ask or imagine."
At the same time, putting these observations together -- the work-to-do and the possibilities -- have left us speechless. This happened at the first ensemble planning meeting of our new ministry calendar year.
For two hours, Garlan, Vikki and Mike penciled in dates for performance possibilities in the next 12 months. We juggled rehearsal schedules with day-job hours. We looked at the nuts-and-bolts of touring, preparing budgets for things like transportation, hotel stays, meals, and honoraria. We reviewed applications to present at conferences and marketing outlines. We mapped out our workshops that need updated handouts, scripts that need rewriting, study guides than must be edited, music that needs remixing. We the sobering bottom-line figures, and reviewed positive responses to our pitch for a 2018 tour.
At the meeting's conclusion, we sat back in their seats and sat in silence the weight of the promise. We rested like an athlete having finished a gym workout, or regular guy after a 30-minute DVD. We rested, trying to catch our collective breath. After several moments, Vikki sighed. All she could say was, "It's big." In such a moment, there is nothing to do by bask in the bigness of God. So, we rested in His rest.
Sadly, the longer people follow Christ -- period; or serve Him in the same place -- we can lose sight of His Bigness. As faithful as our attendance can be, as proficiently we can memorize Scripture, as comfortably we bellow our favorite songs Service of Worship, we have to admit that our passion and awe of God can wane. Whatever the reason -- busyness, predictability, fatigue -- there are times we have "forgotten our first love," as Jesus told John to write to the church at Ephesus in the book of Revelation. So, He stirs His nest (Deuteronomy 32:1-10).
LEARN MORE: Letter to the Church at Ephesus
Stirring the nest, looking at human realities, also evokes fear. Despite our faith and belief in the numerous times Scriptures tell us to "fear not." Individually, the KIT ensemble knows each of our needs as parents, family leaders, homeowners, employees. We experience concerns about bills, physical ailments; while we intuitively know "tomorrow will worry about itself," we struggle with worrying about tomorrow's provision today. We admit on any given day we are afraid of phone calls or the mailbox or other people. Even Jesus had His Gethsemane moment.
Yet, as we think about the bigness of what rests before us -- the promised land of a theatrical mission field -- we stand back and gaze: awestruck that God has invited little ol' us toward the pursuits ahead; that we are part of something bigger than ourselves; and we are humbled.
We take heart in the words of Joshua, as we prepare to call others -- you -- into the journey before us. We take heart in the reminder of our Elder Chairman, who wrote to our church family -- meaning us:
Courageously, we began the work KIT has to do that will involve others.
Between typing and standing up from the keyboard, we're learning the 21st Century meaning of grunt work.
"Some day," our Elder Chair concluded, "we may look back on how far we have come and praise God for the privilege and opportunity to join God on such a great adventure."
We pray you go with us. #AndAmen
An Ephesian Revelation
The KIT 'n' Kaboodle Blog
The essays here are culled from our travels, conversations, worship experiences and discoveries.
Many are reprints from our newsletter, The KIT 'n' Kaboodle, or Facebook notes over time.
They're written by our ensemble, Garlan Garner, Michael Edgar Myers or Vikki J. Myers -- solo, or collectively.