By Jessica Brodie
My husband once told me he had big plans for me. He told me this when we were first dating, and his words naturally made my heart go pitter-patter and I began to dream of all sorts of wonderful future romantic what-ifs.
God also has big plans for us, as he says in Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
It’s hard sometimes to know these divine plans are out there, known by God but not by us, and we try hard to be faithful and believe that “our time” will come. After time passes, however, sometimes we become complacent and eventually our hope begins to dissipate, like ice slowly melting into oblivion. Eventually we take the reins in our own hands and decide we know the answers, only to find in our stumbles that “Father knew best” all along.
One church in the Columbia District has decided to go out on a limb and live into the God-sized dreams our Father put before them. As part of following the Great Commission to go make disciples, Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, Lexington, decided to take on a massive expansion and raise $6 million in pledges. Six million is a lot of money, and leaders were just hopeful they’d come close to that goal. But when the pledges were tallied, leaders were shocked: today, current pledges stand at a whopping $10.8 million.
Talk about faith.
God clearly has plans for this church that are beyond its leaders’ wildest expectations, so now they’re just doing their part to step out of His way so those plans can come to fruition.
Mount Horeb isn’t the only church in the South Carolina UMC whose members are stepping up in faith and helping God carry out His plans. Last month, we reported that Advent UMC, Simpsonville, members raised $265,000 for the homeless—far more than its pastor ever dreamed.
As we go to press on the Advocate this month, men from every district in the South Carolina UMC are heading to a men’s ministry retreat expected to draw 1,000 people in attendance—six times the attendees they had two years ago and so big they’ve literally outgrown their venue.
The stories abound in every corner of this state, in big churches and little churches alike.
God has big plans for South Carolina, friends. Let’s open our hearts in faithfulness to those plans and allow Him to use us to make His dreams come true.
By Jessica Brodie