By Dr. Rick Vance
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
–– Jeremiah 29:11
Jeremiah was writing to the Babylonian exiles when he spoke of God’s plans for them.
Imagine being in a place and/or a situation you do not want to be, and you receive a letter that proclaims God has a plan for your life.
Many people today may feel that the pandemic is their exile. You and your church and community have spent almost a full year in this now not-so-new reality. Many are getting frustrated and there are many who are living in fear.
I want to remind you that God has a plan for you and your ministry. As I sit at my keyboard this second week of January, I have been reflecting on how men’s ministry around the world has grown.
We formed many virtual small groups, held national and international virtual prayer services, and launched new outreach and mission events in annual conferences and local churches.
Regrettably, may people focus on what we have not been able to do, rather than on the amazing things that we have done.
God did great things in 2020 and will do great things in 2021. Last year, I wrote about the fatigue that comes from a constant state of anxiety, fear and loss. For most people, that sense of fatigue continues to grow. Time and again I have heard people say, “I just want to get back to where we were.”
I’m not sure if we will ever get back to the place we were prior to March of last year. I do know that God has a plan for 2021 and that it is not to go backwards.
Jeremiah told the exiles that God had plans to “prosper” and “not harm.” He also said God’s plans are to “give hope and a future.”
My friends, this proclamation should encourage us to move forward into 2021 looking to God for guidance as we seek to serve our communities.
The Center for Men’s Ministries will continue to develop new resources for 2021. We look forward to see how God will prosper our shared ministries, and we look forward to an amazing future.
Please let us know how we can resource your ministry
The Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministries
General Commission on UM Men