“To whom shall we go?” That’s how Peter responded when Jesus asked if he too was going to leave. Peter for his part knew that there was nowhere else to go, nowhere else he could be. “You have the words of eternal life” (Joh 6:68), he said, reaffirming his commitment to be wherever the Lord Jesus wanted him. Peter knew he was right where he was supposed to be. In my own life, I am right where God wants me too.
When I think about the plans I had for my life the Detroit metro was not part of the equation. It wasn’t even on my radar, and yet here we are, three years into ministry at Cornerstone. I know we are where we are supposed to be, this is the place God has chosen for us. It’s been evident over the last several years as God has given me tremendous encouragement, gracious reminders of His call, and unique joys of ministry at CBC. It’s not always been easy, of course, and I’ve made mistakes and dropped the ball. Not everyone has enjoyed my ministry at CBC, I am sure I’ve rubbed some people the wrong way or been a disappointment to others. I know I have struggled to adjust to the culture and life of the church and the city in some ways. Yet, when I think about the possibility of leaving I am inclined to say, “Where else shall I go?” This is where God has put me and I believe wants me.
In particular, God has seen fit to give me a vision for our counseling ministry at Cornerstone. I have big plans, desires, dreams, and goals for the Cornerstone Counseling Ministry. I want to see our impact in the community expand, our ministry to our congregation improve, and our training program develop a team of competent counselors. I believe in the earnest desires of our Recovery team and want to see that ministry develop into a bigger and grander tool for helping addicts. I am excited about the equipping work we are doing with all our Small Group leaders later this year to give them the basic tools to help their Small Group members. I am thrilled about the inter-church dialogues happening right now, and the opportunities we have to equip other congregations to care for their people. Our pastor’s training seminar earlier this year was exceedingly well attended and the outworking of that initial contact has been blossoming into some greater training efforts for other churches.Our own in-house training program has introduced over 100 people to the basics of Biblical Counseling. That’s 100 people who know what counseling is, and how, generally speaking, to use the Scriptures to lovingly encourage, challenge, and support their brothers and sisters.
As we continue to move forward in this ministry I am hopeful that counseling will simply become part of the DNA of our church. That we will all know how to use the Word to help one another grow in Christ-likeness, and wrestle Biblically with life’s problems. I believe in that future and want to strive for it. There are signs of this shift already happening.
I am right where God wants me to be. The move away from Southern Ohio has been difficult. Adapting to a new culture and way of life, a new church, new schools, and a new city has been hard. We miss those we left behind. We miss family and friends that have meant the world to us, whom we love and cherish. We miss simple things like the small town feel and pace of life. There have been discouragements and frustrations along the way, disappointments and heartaches. But we are where God wants us to be. It’s been three years and I can still ask “where else would I go?” This is where God has put us and where God wants us, and where we want to be.
I believe you are a valuable member of our ministry team. Cornerstone and the community is blessed to have you with us. ________________________________________