And then there is God

"And then there is God"- Pastor Melvin Good

I was not going to be one of "those people"; one of those who went from one local church to another. I made a promise that there was no way I would leave the church I grew up in. The Lord had great things for me in this box and I needed to stay in it to remain in the Lord's will.

In 1998, the Lord had opened the door for me to reach out to youth at a local Mennonite Church. At the beginning I made it clear that if I ever had any thoughts of leaving my home church, I would immediately stop because I was leaving my “box.” After about nine months the thoughts of leaving my church came and I knew I had to stop, because I had made a promise.

There was no way the Lord would have me move out of a non-denominational congregation where I regularly played drums, led worship, and was a small group leader. It scared me to think about joining a denominational structure because of my false understanding of how it worked. I was unwilling to lay down the drums and leading worship regularly and enter into what I thought was a “religious” environment.

Nine months after my "righteous" decision to stop leading the youth, the Lord did something that I have never experienced before or since that day. During a time of prayer in the most unlikely of places (work) the Lord spoke to me in a way that was so clear it was as if I heard His audible voice. He wanted me to make a radical move and leave my box. At that moment I knew exactly what it meant and the purpose for it. This has led to a series of God directed decisions that has placed me in my current position at Elim Gospel Church.

James 4:13-17 cautions us not to make plans without the Lord's leading. I had great intentions to support the church that laid a firm foundation in my life and desired to help them and their vision. Unfortunately this would have been at the expense of the vision that God had for my life.

- This blog was written by Shawn Neitz for the Radical Series. Shawn is the Facilities Manager at Elim Gospel Church.