Fifty years ago I made the decision as a teenager to preach the Gospel of Christ. Although there have been various opportunities, interests and even the need on occasion to “make tents,” I’ve never wavered from my primary passion.
The commitment to preach has taken Norma Jean and me to many cities and states throughout the years–from Maine to California. And even a mission trip to Kazakstan. We have lived and engaged in located work in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and now Missouri. I have tried to approach what I might do and where I would live based on the exhortation in James 4:13-17.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Yet, even in view of that passage, I felt when we moved to Kansas City four years ago, this might well be my last full time, located preaching work. But it seems the Lord has other plans!
Recently I was approached by the Shepherds of the West Main Street church of Christ in Lewisville, Texas, about moving to work with them. Initially, I declined. I stated several reasons why I was not ready or wanting to make another move. However, they kindly and loving persisted to share spiritual reasons why I should come and join their church Family. So over the course of several weeks of conversations, emails, conference calls and finally a visit to North Texas, Norma Jean and I have decided to accept their invitation to move to Lewisville and work with the West Main Street brethren.
This decision has been preceded by constant prayer, serious thought, and the counsel of close friends whose advice I value. Yesterday I wrote a few thoughts about providence–God’s role and working in the world today. While we cannot know for certain God’s will, apart from His Divine Revelation, it has seemed the recent events have pointed us in a direction that we never anticipated.
It reminds me of Paul going to Macedonia in Acts 16 when he had intentions of preaching other places. Of course, there was a direct intervention of the Holy Spirit in that case. I claim no such vision or revelation. Yet, I’m reminded again that we should always make our decisions with the caveat, “if the Lord wills.”
Leaving the Hickman Mills church and Kansas City is not easy. We have grown to love the brethren here and this wonderful area in which we find ourselves very comfortable. I am grateful for the encouragement given to me by the Hickman Shepherds and the good brethren here over these four years. And I appreciate their kindness, understanding and support of this recent decision. They have been very gracious.
So, a new chapter of our lives will soon begin. Our intention is to be in Lewisville (25 miles North of Dallas) to start working by June 1st. The West Main Shepherds, Deacons, with their wives and all brethren have already touched our hearts with their outpouring of love, concern and a fervent desire for us to join them.
ThePreachersWord will continue when we move to North Texas. Hopefully, without interruption.
We solicit your prayers during this major change in our lives. May God be glorified we as embrace new opportunities, make new friends, and share the Gospel in a new venue.
Ken Weliever, The Preacherman