In this final blog about The Succession Story, I will share a few things (among many) that I learned during the journey.
God is trustworthy
I learned once again how faithful and good God is. When I accepted the challenge to find my successor, I knew that I was incapable of finding the right person on my own. I had no idea of how to even go about it. I was certain that God would have to do it and I would have to get out of the way.
I wasn’t sure I had the faith necessary to proceed. But then, I remembered the words of Jesus when He said, “…for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20b
My faith was assuredly no larger than the size of a mustard seed. Even so, mountains could be moved because “with God all things are possible”. Matthew 19:26b
God’s timing is impeccable
Ecclesiastes 3:1a says, “There is an appointed time for everything.” I have always believed with all my heart that God has a timetable for everything under the sun. Believing it and living it are sometimes two very different things. I am forever trying not to get ahead of God and start operating on my own sense of timing, which isn’t a good thing because as a human being I tend to be impatient. I want most things done yesterday.
The succession journey was all about God’s timing. When you juxtapose my life, Rocky’s life and the life of our church, you can see very clearly how God brought everything together in the fullness of time, just as He brought His Son into the world at the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4).
Football and the Senior Pastorate
I learned that God can use any and every life experience as a training ground for ministry. The most effective means of training for ministry is not found in seminaries, but in the hallowed halls of life.
Moses was peacefully tending sheep in the land of Midian, Gideon was fearfully threshing wheat in a winepress in the land of Manasseh and Paul was zealously persecuting Christians in the city of Jerusalem when God called them into their ministry assignments. Their training ground was living life and learning life’s lessons.
Rocky Seto has been coaching football since graduating from the University of Southern California when God’s call intersected his life. It’s interesting that one of our church members, Andy Pearce, who is a missionary, said to me when he learned about Rocky being my successor that the skill set of a football coach is similar to the skill set necessary to be a senior pastor. He vocalized something I already believed.
If I weren’t a pastor I would be a coach. The sport I would have preferred to coach would have been football. It’s ironic that I am a pastor who would be a football coach and Rocky is a football coach who is to be a pastor.
There are so many more lessons to be learned and things for which to be grateful.
And, as is always the case it gives us something to think about…