Next Steps

question markDear Servant Leaders,

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24

Thought I would use this entry to update you on where the Lord is guiding in my leadership journey. I have recently accepted the position of Interim Senior Pastor at the Ivy Heights First Church of God in Woodriver, Illinois (just north of St. Louis). This position is for three months and consists of normal pastoral duties (whatever those are) as well as leadership development and generally helping to position them for the future. I would really appreciate your prayers as I seek to be what the Lord needs me to be for this wonderful congregation. In addition I continue to serve as a consultant for Illinois Ministries of the Church of God. I count it such a privilege to facilitate seasons of prayer, visioning and planning and especially to be an encouragement to the state leaders and my fellow pastors. I love it!

Meanwhile, God’s Word reminds me that His will is something that often remains on a “need to know basis.” Of course, I would prefer to know that will in precise detail with ample lead time served with a hot, comforting Grande Soy Chai – shot of caramel, nutmeg and a smile. However, God is far from a heavenly “barista” and takes orders from no one. I am well-reminded that He is sovereign, all-knowing, and perfect in His love for me, my family and those I have and will yet have the privilege of partnering with in ministry. So, what is the leader lesson in all of this? I just don’t have one. Not today.

This time around I am simply asking for your prayers, and even more so for Elisabeth and Andrew as they wait on the Lord with me. One thing I have been discovering is that it is so easy as a spiritual leader, pastor, consultant, mentor, etc. to have all the answers and to readily dispense them with creative flare. Yeah… right. On most days (my best, anyway) this shroud of self-confidence is torn away and the Light of the Word reveals my deepest need for more faith, especially when what I really want are more quick, just-the-facts answers to my deepest questions about next steps. “What happens after this interim?” “What next, Lord?!” “Planting, more consulting, take another established church, something else?!” “Shouldn’t I already know?!” “Can you give me a hint… a clue?!” “C’mon! You can’t be serious?!? More waiting?!?” I yet have so much to learn and this is far more transparent than I normally care to be.

So, there you have it. Feel free to chime in and feel even more free to offer any words of wisdom and insight you may have into seasons of transition.

He leadeth me,



  1. Tom, it was great for me to spend time with you and Johnathan today. I came away richley blessed and encouraged. Thanks again.
    Randy B.

    1. Thanks, Randy for coming over. It was a blessing to hear your passion for missional ministry! And, thanks for the advice on living life in simple ways, not forgetting our family along the way. Look forward to partnering with you in the future! Tom ps. thanks again for the pizza!!

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