May 25, 2023

The Surprises of God

Bill Wilson

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Psalm 37:23

When God directs your steps, you can be assured of surprises. The unexpected is part of the adventure you experience when you follow the Lord’s guidance and direction in life and leadership. He never disappoints and always leads you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 

In my recent read through the Bible in 90 days, I was again reminded of the various moments of surprise for those following God’s direction. New opportunities, new assignments, new revelations, new provisions, new accomplishments, and new victories are seen over and over again throughout God’s written story. He does order our footsteps.   

A few weeks ago, I was rehearsing the significant transitions that Joy and I have experienced in ministry together since 1972. The first surprise came when I received an unexpected call from a pastor who wanted to invite us to be his youth pastor. That was totally unexpected. That call began our adventure of serving in the local church and over the last 51 years we have had similar moments in time when unanticipated invitations led to a new season of growth and increased responsibility.     

One of the major surprises for Joy and me in ministry came on Tuesday, May 8, 2007. During the Network Summit held in Bend, we were selected to serve as the 8th superintendent-lead pastor of the Oregon Ministry Network. I still remember the moment when it was announced and the overwhelming sense of surprise. Over the last 16 years, we have walked as a Network family together. It has been an honor for Joy and me to be your leaders during this amazing season. We are grateful for what the Lord has helped us accomplish and marvel at the progress made. Here is just a brief wide-angle view.

  • The strengthening of the Network family connections.
  • The raising up of a new generation of pastors and leaders.
  • The resetting and planting of new churches across the state.
  • The restructuring and rescheduling of ministry operations.
  • The commissioning of a new group of missionaries and world changers.
  • The transformation of Network operations and procedures.
  • The release of properties that no longer were beneficial to ministry function.
  • The strengthening of financial accountability and resources.
  • The introduction of numerous cohort and training ministry groups.
  • The establishment of care and coaching initiatives.
  • The implementation of current technology in communication and resourcing.
  • The recognition and elevation of women in ministry.
  • The expansion of training and leadership resources.
  • The increase of missions’ experiences and projects.
  • The inclusion and engagement of young leaders.
  • The relentless guard of the Network’s purpose and mission.

To God be the Glory!

Space nor time do not allow more detailed accounting. However, both Joy and I are grateful for the advancements made and the lives that have been transformed, enriched, empowered, and commissioned since 2007.

Finally, I want to again express our gratitude for the awesome privilege we have had in this season of ministry. I want to thank our Network team, our presbytery, and the wonderful OMN family. It has been an honor to serve you all.

As we all step into a new chapter and pass the baton to Pastors Lee and Cindy McCloud, we can all look forward to the God surprises ahead. I know they will be amazing. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 1:12

Oregon Ministry Network

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