“Are we going to stop the plans we had in place?”
“Because God is eternal. Let me explain …”
That was a conversation that played out several times during the pandemic. God is eternal and this weighty theological belief practically impacts leadership.
God has always been and will forever be. Moses declared: “Lord, you have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, you are God” (Psalm 90:1-2). Wayne Grudem, in his systematic theology book, has articulated that God’s eternal nature means that God sees across all time and all events with equal clarity and vividness. God exists outside of time. It is staggering and beautiful to ponder the reality that He sees the moments of my wandering and the moment of His sacrifice for my wandering with equal clarity and vividness.
There are implications for leadership. When God gives clarity of direction, He is giving that direction with full view of what we do not yet see. If God gives you a vision, a challenging season does not need to destroy or even disrupt the vision because God gave the vision with full and vivid view of the challenging season. Our eternal God saw the challenges you are facing with equal clarity as He saw the moment you said “yes” to His leading.
This weighty theological conviction grounded our team multiple times while leading in the midst of the pandemic. Before the pandemic our directional elders set several initiatives that our church was going to run after for the next several years: a new congregation each year, engaging our cities, serving the next generation, and increasing how we serve people digitally. With the onset of the pandemic, I was so thankful to be surrounded by leaders who had the faith to think, “Maybe God will actually use the pandemic to accelerate the plans we have in place.” We launched smaller neighborhood gatherings during CoVid that will become four new congregations this fall and the pandemic created new opportunities to serve our cities. Instead of asking how the pandemic would ruin the plans we believed God gave us, our understanding in the eternal nature of God helped us hold tightly to the belief that He wisely gave those plans before the pandemic.
The truth that God exists out of time can give us confidence in our leadership. We can rest knowing that God saw the challenges when He nudged us in a direction. And He sees the future too. He sees it all and He can be trusted.