“God is the best strategist!” remarked a friend in our recent conversation as she recounted how she had been recognizing God’s leading in her life during challenging times. That conversation left me thinking about our strategic planning sessions AAFCN leadership held earlier this year.
Your AAFCN leaders came away with a similar impression. Yes, God is the best strategist! The vision God placed in our hearts and minds was something I do not think any of us fully anticipated. It was a broader, higher, and wider vision for which we could only praise God for the giving.
What is this vision? In essence, it is to invite and equip every Adventist nurse in the North American Division to embrace their calling more fully in ministry.
You read correctly! Yes, it is a broad and large vision but our God surpasses what our human minds can fathom.
We began those meetings by pondering a passage found in Matthew 16:13-20
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you? “He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Two things stood out for me in this text. First, God alone revealed to Peter who Jesus was. He did not come to this conclusion on his own. Secondly, nothing can stop Jesus from building His church, not even gates constructed by the strongest opponent.
Any strategic plan that does not give God front and center space will not result in church-building. This vision calls for each one of us to dedicate ourselves to using our gifts and working in the power of the Holy Spirit as we work together to advance the mission of Christ, our Rock.
Asking for God’s ongoing wisdom and power, we are committed to carrying out the vision brought forth from that time together. Four steps to vision-driven growth were pointed out as we came together.
- Establishing the vision
- Creating a plan to bring the vision to reality
- Executing the vision (a vulnerable time)
- Receiving feedback and making adjustments
We are aware that church-building has inherent threats. We have been told by our Lord that in this world His followers will have trouble. But those facts come with hope as Jesus comforts us with the promise of peace for He has already overcome the world. (John 16:33)
As you read this newsletter, I urge you to consider yourselves an integral part of the Master Strategist’s plan. Whether you are a nurse ministering as an FCN in your local church, a registered nurse ministering at a hospital, clinic, or elsewhere in your community, in a paid or unpaid position, or a friend (supporter) of nurses, you are called and commissioned by Jesus to be strategically a part of His plan for saving and healing mankind. AAFCN is committed to be a tool to build up the church (community) of Jesus in this world. Tools are very useful, but God is relational and His love for us is what drives Him. He invites everyone to unite with Him and join others in this process. The entire North American Division is the field in which we have been called to work and that is going to take every single person to make this vision a reality. Together we can do what we could never do alone.
Our vision involves working together to equip all Adventist nurses to embrace their calling in ministry. Won’t you help us by inviting your nurse friends in the Adventist church to join us, and praying about how God can use your gifts to contribute to fulfilling the vision? We pray regularly for God to make us of one heart, one mind and one spirit as we work together for our Master Strategist.