When God calls us to go to a new place, He first calls us to leave. Leaving precedes going. For instance, when God called Abram in Genesis 12:1 to go to a new land, he was first being asked by God to leave his homeland—to leave comfort, certainty, familiarity, security and the known for the unknown, unfamiliar, uncomfortable and uncertain. The call for Abram was to leave and go, but it would take faith. There is no getting around it: Following God’s leading to new seasons, assignments and places is a journey of faith.
On October 27, Sandy and I said goodbye to a place and people whom we loved deeply and had been committed to for over 16 years, Beaverton Foursquare Church. I’m not a good “leaver,” I’ve discovered. Leaving takes certainty, obedience and surrender. Leaving risks misunderstanding and potentially disappointing others.
Having pastored three different congregations in the past 28 years, I’ve always struggled with leaving because in the natural, it felt like I was abandoning or forsaking the very people whom I was called to love, serve and partner with. However, in seasons of transition, we discover that Jesus is faithful to His people and to His mission; He never blesses one place at the expense of another. In a sense, transitions remind us that we are all interim, and none of us is indispensable. That reality keeps us humble and dependent on Jesus, understanding that we are simply stewards of that which doesn’t belong to us.
As Sandy and I have embarked on this interim period as president-elect, we have completed the leaving portion and are now fully engaged in the going season, even though we won’t fully arrive at the new destination until Sept. 1, 2020. Until then, we view this transitional journey as a gift, and to make the make the most it, we are currently involved in three points of focus:
The primary verse that God has given us in this season is James 1:19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak …” (NIV). I have been traveling a lot, engaging in district conferences and Foursquare meetings, spending time with district supervisors, area missionaries, chaplains, ministry leaders and pastors. These conversations have been invaluable as we listen to the heart and stories of how God is at work in our beautiful and increasingly diverse family. We want to get to know you, and we want you to get to know us. This interim period is a gift in that regard.
I’m thankful to follow a leader like Glenn, who has been committed to relational, financial and organizational health. He is a man of integrity and spiritual maturity; his passion has always been to point us to Jesus, to help us stay focused on the mission and to do so together as a united family. Along with Glenn, the executive team has been a gracious and invaluable resource; continually available to help in any way I need while remaining patient with all of my questions and processing. Foursquare has a lot of moving parts, including district offices, the board of directors, many committees, task forces and councils. In this season of transition, I get the opportunity to observe and learn as well as look at things with an outsider’s perspective, to bring fresh eyes to everything even as I honor and value our history and present realities.
Prayer + Fasting
This season of transition has heightened our need to be seeking Jesus like never before. We want to move out in faith, and the only thing that precedes faith is a promise, a word from the Lord. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17, NKJV). We are listening for His voice, and seeking and hungering for a fresh anointing of the Spirit for this new season and role; we want to come out of this interim period having heard from heaven, fully refreshed and spiritually empowered.
I’m grateful that we began 2020 with 21 Days of Prayer + Fasting, the perfect way to be engaged in a common ground for spiritual, personal and corporate transformation.
Upcoming Calendar Dates
Jan. 1-21: 21 Days of Prayer + Fasting
Jan. 14-15: LPU-Virginia meeting in Christiansburg, Va.; Foursquare executive meeting
Jan. 16: ICFG board of directors meeting
Jan. 27-30: Global Leadership Summit in Orlando, Fla.
Feb. 10-11: Executive team meeting in Los Angeles
Feb. 20-21: Life Pacific University board of directors retreat
Feb. 21-28: Pentecostal Leaders + PCCNA annual meeting
Three resources Randy Remington is enjoying this month:
- 24-7 Prayer: Prayer, Mission and Justice
Empirical proof exists showing that we are in the midst of the greatest prayer movement in history. This site includes resources such as the prayer course and equipping books as well as instructing in and connecting the global movement of 24-7 prayer rooms.
- Pastor Jim Putman’s Blog
Jim Putman leads a large church in a rural area of northeastern Idaho that was built primarily with an emphasis on relational discipleship. Although not overly academic, this site includes a lot of practical and helpful resources on how to disciple others and create a culture of discipleship in your church.
- Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear
Although, not a Christian book per se, Atomic Habits is a tremendously practical and helpful approach to making positive changes through small changes in our habits. James Clear makes a compelling argument that in the case of habits, thinking small produces the biggest results over time.