Are you familiar with the Gospel story of Jesus feeding the large crowd of people with a few loaves of bread and fish? (John 6:1-14) Reflecting on the strategic planning sessions within our diocese, I’ve been thinking of that child in the story who was found with a small lunch. John humanizes the miracle by telling us of that child’s presence, something the other Gospel writers don’t do. Can you imagine being that child? I’m sure they weren’t necessarily following everything Jesus was saying, between chatting with friends and the excitement of a huge crowd, but they had to know something important was happening. Suddenly they’re in front of Jesus himself, and Jesus is holding out his hands for that small packed lunch. Good stuff is about to happen!
Strategic planning and dreaming with God is a very human thing to do. We’re asked to plan. Scripture gives us some wisdom about planning, like when Jesus taught on the seriousness of discipleship with the analogy of a builder counting costs before starting. (Luke 14:28-30) Proverbs speaks many times of planning, especially Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Sounds like an exciting invitation to dream dreams, and then to share those dreams with a listening, supportive God.
Strategic planning is a work we do with God, humbly, faithfully, expectantly. Like the child in John’s Gospel we come, maybe feeling quite small against the enormity of the needs we see, but we’re willing to step up, to step out, to answer the call. We’ll dream and plan, and we’ll watch for God to do, as Paul prayed, “far more than we can ask or imagine.” Good stuff is about to happen!
The Rev. Todd Thomas
Interim Missioner for Young Adults