Planning, in the Bible and Now

By Rev. Lynn Bartlow

Are you a planner? I lamented recently that we don’t seem to be planning well in our household. It seems that I have been invited repeatedly lately to change my ways. Maybe you can be challenged to join me in planning better, too!

In the Bible, we see that several of our giants of faith were planners. Moses, for example, had a plan for how to lead the people out of Egypt, but his father-in-law Jethro wisely told him in Exodus 18 that Moses needed a new plan for how to lead the people in the wilderness. A new plan was formed, a plan that would take the people well into the Promised Land.

Joshua had a plan when the walls of Jericho fell. Nehemiah had a strategic plan for how to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls, and his work was blessed. Even Jesus, in Luke 14:28-30 reminds the people of the value of planning.

What is your plan for your future? The Endowment Committee would love to help you plan for your future through a seminar this week, to be repeated later in the month (see the announcement in the weekly email). Nothing is being sold at this meeting; our resident expert is simply helping you to ask the questions and to be prepared.

What is our church’s plan for our future? We have now merged two churches into one. Who are we, and where are we going? Our consultant from Ministry Architects was on campus for two days this last week, leading us to a new mission statement, stated values, and three-year goals for our future together. There’s still some additional work to do, but we will share the results of this work at our annual Church Conference, to be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Magee Campus sanctuary.

Planning. If we don’t plan, we will be blown and tossed about without a clear destination (Ephesians 4:14-19). I’m excited for our future together. We may not know what winds will blow us, but we have our eye on the mission of changing the world for Christ. Let’s be wise in our plans, while we let the Spirit speak to us in our work.

See you soon.
Pastor Lynn


• 8:30 and 10 a.m. Traditional service in Magee Campus sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
• 10 a.m. Modern service at Sanctuary Campus
• 10 a.m. Magee Campus youth and children’s Sunday School (except fifth Sundays) and child care
• 10 a.m. Traditional service livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

Worship online at 10 a.m. on Sundays at or YouTube UMC St. Mark’s AZ. You can also watch the service at a later time.