The most sobering part of facing strategic moments such as this in the life of a church is knowing that you've been built for exactly this purpose. All of my life, skills, experiences, knowledge, instincts, drives and passions have come together to train this church body for whatever comes next. Whether they execute my preferred outcome and humbly accept assimilation into the Gateway Fellowship ministry, or if they collectively disperse into their remote communities (knowing what they all now know regarding the missio Dei and their place in it), that will be the reason for which I was brought to this place. I have exactly the right team of people, at precisely the right time, with just the right mindset, who have undergone just the right training to execute the Spirit-let strategy for them. A striking sense of destiny floats into all of this.
The strategic planning that Woodcreek Bible Church has performed has accomplished so much more than merely planning for church growth. All who participated witnessed how the Holy Spirit leads believers in making plans for effective service. The gravity of that is astounding. Rather than blindly assuming that the Christian life is to be approached haphazardly, they saw how deliberately we must plan for serving Christ and pursing the Great Commission. This knowledge of the strategic process is not restricted merely to how churches run. It applies to all of life. The totality of the believers existence is to be strategically led of the Spirit into whatever they are to do next. Viewing themselves as the tip of an arrow, the Christian knows that God will use them strategically to accomplish outlandish results for the kingdom of God with pinpoint accuracy.
This is how I approach the closing of Woodcreek Bible Church. I see my calling to the church, and subsequent ministry here as very strategic. If the adoption into Gateway proceeds, then I was used of God to facilitate this expansion of his mission strategy in my community. If the members elect to disperse instead, then I was used strategically to advance his mission wherever they go, for they would appear not to be leaving just as they were when I came. In any case, the strategic life will seek to advance the missio Dei regardless of personal results. God has strategically designed me as a trainer of people to develop in their devotion to and service of Christ. That's his strategic use of me. It has been that wherever I've gone.
I see the adoption plan before our church members as the logical trajectory of our strategic planning, but any decision is possible if they all have elected to live a strategic life. Whatever they decide, through the leading of the Spirit, to do next, my great hope is that I have trained them well to pursue it.