If anyone cleanses himself . . . , he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. —2 Timothy 2:21
With 4 years of seminary under my belt, I walked into my first ministry with a long agenda. As a new pastor, I thought I was there to change that place. Instead, God used that place to change me.
The board members were supportive, but they relentlessly kept my feet to the fire in administrative details. I needed to learn how to work with lay leadership, how to be careful in my work, and how to dream with others.
We often think God has assigned us to change the world around us when in reality He is interested in changing us. Why? To make each of us “a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21). God often uses the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places to teach us some of life’s most difficult lessons. And just when we think we’ve arrived, He is instructing us further.
Not long ago I entered a new season of ministry. I may be a “seasoned veteran,” but I’m still learning, still growing, and still amazed at how God continues to shape this vessel for His noble purposes.
If you want to be an agent of change, don’t resist the true Agent of Change. He has your best interest—and His—at heart! — Joe Stowell
Only when we are changed can we be agents of change.