Most of the time when we think of God's provision we think of material things (and I don't mean that in a bad way at all). We think of God providing for us financially. Sometimes we just don't have enough income to pay the bills. We also think of God providing tangible goods. Sometimes we see God provide vehicles for people who need transportation, food for the hungry or even clothes and kid stuff for young parents having a new baby. We even see God provide food for the hungry or water for the thirsty.
But God has taught me a lot over the past few years about his provision of people. When I think of God providing people I think a lot about Moses and that famous conversation he had with his father-in-law Jethro. Moses was the leader of the Israelite people. In a lot of ways they looked at him as their savior. After leading them out of slavery and oppression and into the promised land, he became overwhelmed with the task of leading so many people. He was spending an overwhelming amount of time settling disputes and handling small issues between people that could be handled by any good leader. So Jethro stepped in and told him he needed to share the load. He needed to delegate. What he needed was people. And God provided.
I also think of the Apostles in the first century church. Early in the book of Acts we see the church grow like crazy. Thousands of people gave their lives to Jesus and the Apostles quickly became consumed with all the needs of the people. They found themselves spending so much time meeting tangible needs that they were neglecting the ministry of the Word. Thankfully, God revealed to them the need for deacons, servant-leaders who could carry a great deal of the day-to-day responsibilities of the church so the Apostles could be effective in their areas of leadership.
All that to say God has taught me the value of shared leadership and the provision of people. From the very beginning of The Pathway we had 3 other adults on our team who shared responsibilities. When we needed someone to take on the role of Kids Ministry Director, Intentional Communities Director and worship leader God provided people from unexpected places. And when we just needed some spiritual maturity and missional passion injected into our congregation of new and not-yet-believers, God provided people from places like Puyallup, WA and Ada, OK! His provision amazes me.
Most recently we've been praying for God to provide us with a worship leader while Donna, our current worship leader, is on maternity leave. Every possibility we came up with kept falling through and she was slated to wrap up at the end of this month and be out through January. For any of you who have heard me lead worship... well, lets just say we don't want to go down that route again! So we've been praying. I was in Oklahoma this weekend and shared specifically with some people our need for a worship leader.
Then, just as God always does, he provided. It was either the Sunday or Monday that I was in Oklahoma that I got an email from a worship leader that's a part of another church here in Tacoma offering to help us out. Not just once or twice, but for 3 months! The church he's a part of is incredible and has always been willing to help us out in the past. The church gathers for worship right now on Sunday evenings so it's a perfect fit. God's provision is absolutely perfect and when he provides people I still stand in awe!