Taking That Next Step…

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This Sunday Pastor Ray talked about next steps.  He challenged us to all ask “What is my Next Step?” and “What am I waiting for?” No matter where we are in our walk with God he is always calling us to a next step.  I just came out of a season of outright disobedience to what God was calling me towards, because I loved where I was.  I feel like such a bum writing this, but now I’m remembering that there is no condemnation is Christ (Romans 8:1) and I’m back on track.  

God had given me a whisper of what he was calling me into.  I knew that he was moving me from something I loved, something He had cultivated vision and passion in me for years, into something new.  God was moving me back into the unknown just when I was getting comfortable and established in what I was doing, it had become second nature.  So I thought well maybe that is a whisper for the future or maybe that is just me thinking too much, or what ever I told my self each time I would feel God nudging me for the next year.

 In case you haven’t heard I am no longer the Next-Gen Pastor at CCA, let’s get one thing straight I will always serve the next generation of CCA I’m just not leading what’s next for them.  God has been cultivating a passion for the next generation in me since I was 15.  I became a Children’s Pastor at the ripe age of 23.  I was SO uncomfortable and under qualified in my own eyes, but God spoke vision and passion into me and I listened and WOW.  I have never experienced anything like seeing God move in the heart of a child.  It’s so amazing watching them learn to grasp his infinite power, presence, and overwhelming love for them.  

Flash forward to three years later (about a year ago ), I feel like God is moving me out of Next-Gen ministry and I brush it off.  How could I just walk away from it all?!  I think no that can’t be God, over and over until it’s not up to me anymore to be obedient; God puts it in the heart of my pastor.  So now a year later I am again feeling under qualified and uncomfortable as CCA’s Equipping Pastor (I help equip people to take their next step so they can go from where they are, to where God is calling them to be), but at least this time I have first hand experience with what God can do with that.  I am excited for what God has laid out before me and I know that He will do amazing things as long as I am closely listening to Him, and as long as it doesn’t take me a year and a word from God to my Pastor to act.

I am so grateful for God’s grace and patience with me, but I don’t ever again want to have to say it took me a year to be obedient, because I was scared or I wasn’t sure.  That is so selfish and prideful when you think about it.  Selfish because I was still serving in a ministry that I was no longer called to and keeping someone else from what God was calling her into,  I was being a horrible example as well as a hypocrite, and I was leading the next generation out of my own fear of the unknown, what a poopy thing to do!  Selfish also because I was afraid of what people would think about what God was calling me too.  Prideful because I couldn’t fathom God calling me out of Next Gen ministry who could possibly do this as well as me? WOW!  What a butt-head!  

I don’t know why God has been so gracious with me, but I am overwhelmed by all of it.  I don’t take my disobedience lightly because I don’t want to let myself be deceived again.  I hope you aren’t like me and are unknowingly, but also knowingly being disobedient to God.  When we let him whisper he does amazing things.  I have heard from so many people recently that they are actively being disobedient to what they think might be a whisper from God. Let me just say having been on both sides, God loves you no matter what, but you are more free to experience His love when you are going with Him then when He moves without you.  What is your next step? What are you waiting for? – ERICA VOGT

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