grow a healthy church


When God’s Plan is Better than You Could Ever Imagine

god's plan

I was recently sitting by the ocean in southwest Western Australia, enjoying a perfect autumn day and reflecting on God’s plan and the last 12 years of our ministry life.

My wife Di and I started an exciting adventure back then, launching our consulting and coaching ministry, “Grow a Healthy Church.”

As I sat there, looking out at the vast ocean, it hit me just how much we’ve accomplished, and how much of it was due to God’s plan being way bigger than anything we could have dreamed up.

When we first started in 2012, we had a clear plan. We would coach and consult with pastors, helping them grow healthy, thriving churches.

That’s why we chose the name “Grow a Healthy Church.” It summed up our vision and what we wanted to focus on.

But here we are, 12 years later, and wow – things have turned out so differently than we planned!

We’ve had the opportunity to reach people in the UK and Europe. I never thought that would be possible. Many thanks to my good friend Ian Borkent who opened so many doors for us.

We have started a YouTube channel and even got into podcasting. Crazy!

We’ve coached scores of pastors and ministered to 100,000s through our online channels.

It’s been an incredible journey and one that we never could have predicted.

It just goes to show that God’s plan is always bigger than our own.

As Ephesians 3 says, He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.

Our ministry is a testament to that truth. It’s like a beautiful tapestry, woven together by God’s hands, with threads that we never could have imagined.

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What have we learned?

It’s simple: step out in faith and trust God with the next phase of your calling.

You don’t need to know the whole journey; just focus on being faithful in the step you’re on right now. God rewards diligence and creativity, and He loves to give us even bigger dreams than we have for ourselves.

We’ve seen this truth play out time and time again in our lives and in the lives of countless pastors we’ve worked with. When we take that leap of faith and trust God with our future, He always comes through in ways we couldn’t have planned for.

I think of the pastors whom we’ve helped move out of discouragement to clarity, raise more money for their specific mission, grow stronger leaders, establish thriving small groups, live sustainable lives, and much more.

I think of the pastors we’ve coached through their transition to retirement or other opportunities. We helped them navigate the often treacherous waters of succession. They moved on with the deep satisfaction of leaving a legacy for the next generation.

We are beyond grateful for all the pastors who have entrusted us with the privilege of consulting and coaching with them.

Jesus gives us wisdom and favor

And Jesus gave us wisdom, loving guidance, and favor all through these steps of faith.

That’s the kind of God we serve – a God who delights in surprising us with His goodness and faithfulness.

He takes our small steps of obedience and turns them into something greater than we ever could have dreamed.

Psalm 57:7 says, “My heart is confident in you, O God, my heart is confident.”

God's plan

That’s the kind of unwavering faith we need as we move forward. God’s plan is always bigger and better than our own, so let’s embrace them with open arms and willing hearts.

To all of you who are standing on the edge of your next big decision or venture, remember this: the journey with God is about more than just reaching a destination.

It’s about thriving in the voyage itself.

Trust in His perfect plan, and let your heart be confident as you grow a healthy church and fulfill the calling He’s placed on your life.

Grow your team

Of course, Di and I would not have achieved anything without an amazing team around us. Our daughter Erin has faithfully and skilfully served us as our Client Manager.

Our prayer team (you know who you are) has given unwavering prayer support throughout the seasons.

Our church’s Beyond ministry backed us strongly and generously in the fledging years. In truth, we couldn’t have done it without them.

Caring friends have cheered us on with encouragement and kindness.

We are in debt to many who have backed us with love and support.

God’s plan in your life will never be fulfilled without a team around you who love and support you through thick and thin.

Dream big

Let’s keep dreaming big, friends because when we do, God dreams even bigger.

Embrace the vastness of His plan and watch as He leads you to greater fulfillment and impact in your ministry.

And if you’re feeling stuck or uncertain about your next steps, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Di and I are here for you. We can come alongside and help you navigate the ups and downs of ministry life.

We’ve been there, and we know how challenging it can be. But we also know the incredible joy and fulfillment that comes from following God’s call and watching Him work in ways we never could have planned for.

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Let’s keep pressing on

Let’s keep trusting in God’s plan and stepping out in faith, even when it’s scary. He’s got us, and He’s going to do more than we can ask or imagine.

May Christ continue to bless you as you continue to labor in faith, pursuing the unique calling He’s placed on your life.

Let’s keep growing healthy churches and making a difference in this world.

Bible verses about God’s plan

If you feel your faith is small meditate on these verses and exercise faith in God’s plan for you.

  1. 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.”
  2. Proverbs 16:9 – “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
  3. Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
  4. Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
  5. Psalm 138:8 – “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

These verses highlight the truth that God has a plan and purpose for our lives, and that we can trust in His goodness and faithfulness to guide us and work all things together for our ultimate good. They offer encouragement and reassurance in the face of uncertainty and challenge, reminding us that our lives are in the hands of a loving and sovereign God.

John is a wellspring of information, experience and advice in all things church. His responses were often out of the box of what's been said before.
Ps Christie Blaikie
Oasis Church

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