When I share the story of how Brenda and I decided that it was time for us to leave Compass I usually get a couple of responses. The first is “wow, what an example of faith.” I have to admit that doing this shows that I have faith never crosses my mind. I have always seen what we are doing as an act of obedience generated out of necessity. I appreciate the affirmation about my faith but for me the decision to leave Compass was generated out of what I perceived to be a need to lead and minister effectively to the church family that we love very much. For over a year we wrestled with whether God wanted us to stay or leave. We could not shake in our minds and hearts that our time in senior leadership at Compass was coming to a close. I still remember praying to God that I did not feel it was right for Compass and the kingdom of God for me to be going back and forth on this. I felt it was impacting my leadership. So in April/May of 2013 I cried out to God again that I believed it was important that he confirm in my mind and heart whether I should reinvest my energy and stay or to begin the process of looking for what He had in store for us next. I am not that mystical when it comes to making decisions. There was no cloud with writing on it in the sky. I did not hear an audible voice from God. But as I was searching the Scriptures and reading Genesis it was clear to me that if God could ask Abraham to go and leave his father, God could be asking me to do the same. So after more prayer Brenda and I submitted our wills and motives to the possibility of leaving a fantastic ministry here in Orangeville and wait on God to provide what would be next for us. We believe we were following God’s moral will in our lives and trust that the choice we made to leave Compass was a good one. That is faith but not the way that most people use the word. I would hope that most who claim to be followers of Christ would do the same if in the same situation.
This leads me to the second response. It is a non audible, look in my eyes very carefully, “are you crazy man” response. While I don’t pretend to be the model on how to make major life decisions for people, I have found it interesting how many who are followers of Jesus Christ seem foreign to the idea of making a decision before knowing what is next. Again, I am not saying that people should just always step out and not consider what is next before making a big decision like this. I have counselled many and wisdom will look differently in different situations. But I am surprised how many are not willing to consider the possibility that God may be leading them to leave before they know exactly where they are going. I take solace in our decision from the fact that there are biblical examples of people who went even though they did not know where they were going.
There could be lots of reasons for why this is the case. Being tied to good things like material needs, family, and personal history are some that come to my mind. These are good things that should be considered but ultimately that can’t get in the way of making a choice that honours God.