My church is about to head into a pretty big transition. Our Pastor for the last 17 years leaves in February to a new position at another church. By God's great grace this is set to be a peaceful parting, Rob and I are on the Leadership Team of our church and there is a strong united feeling amongst us all that God really is calling our Pastor and His wife to a new fellowship where they can do a tremendous amount of good. We are happy to release them with our full blessing and support to follow God's call. Even though this is going to be a healthy step it is still going to be a major leap into the unknown and unusual for our church. People will take on new responsibilities, changes will be made, there will be a fresh approach to some areas of ministry. The phrase that keeps returning to my mind over and over again, is faith, not fear. I recently read this poem written by Kent Keith and allegedly revised by Mother Teresa It drives home to me that that there are many fearful reasons to not do the right thing. You might be misunderstood, you might fail, you might feel alone. Some of your fears may very well be valid; people do get jealous of success, so why not just stay mediocre? But letting your fears dictate your choices is a pretty poor way to live a life. I am so adamant that I don't want to enter 2018 with a sense of fear, no matter how great the challenges are that lie ahead. Instead I want to let faith direct my choices and decisions. If you are ruled by fear you will always be mindful of the hundred things that can go wrong, but if you are ruled by faith you only need to think of one wonderful thing at a time. Faith tells me that God is a Good Shepherd who has led our church faithfully to this point and He will lead us to take the next step, and the one after that. Faith tells me that God wants to build His Church in love, beauty and strength so I am filled with hope. Faith tells me that although my church is full of all kinds of different people with different viewpoints and experiences, that in Christ, we can have unity of the Spirit to move forward together as a family. Faith tells me that even when I feel inadequate to be part of leadership that Christ is the all sufficient chief Pastor, and as long as I stick close to Him, I will be enough, just as I am in Him. Faith, not fear, is all it takes to face the next step...and the one after that, and the one after that.