GPS Update

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

In September I was preaching in North Carolina at a camp meeting for the Wilmington district. Francis Daniel is the District Superintendent. He was just appointed this past June.

I had an opportunity to spend some time with Francis around meals and the worship experiences. He is a super DS. He loves what he is doing and has a great vision for the church.

He related an interesting experience to me. We were talking about technology and I was trying to impress him with some of my technological skills. I pulled out my cell phone and cut it on – that is about the limit of my technology. We started talking about GPS systems on cars. My car is a 2004 model and does have GPS but it is not updated on recent construction, streets, etc.

Francis and his wife Gail moved to Wilmington last June. To show you the kind of District Superintendent he is, he and his wife started visiting every new pastor and spouse who was moving into his District. They didn’t spend their time getting their house in order—they first wanted to officially welcome all new ministers.

The Wilmington district is about 60 miles long. That is a pretty good route to visit all the new pastors. Francis said that in the afternoon he was looking for a pastor in a church with which he was not familiar. He placed it into his GPS in the car to lead him there.

The route took him into the upper part of South Carolina and he approached the church from the north. The street address was Oak Drive. He and his wife followed the GPS and wound up on a new golf course. There was a new development behind the golf course but no houses had been built yet. He knew the golf club house was not the parsonage, but he could not figure why the GPS had placed him on the first Tee box.

He called the pastor for directions. The pastor explained that the golf course was new. It tricked his GPS. He suggested that Francis and Gail go to the church and there reset his GPS and come in from the east. They went to the church, got the directions and easily found the parsonage.

The church is a place where people can go to receive correct directions. The church helps us determine what our ultimate destination is, and then gives us directions how to get there.

The Bible is God’s software for the church’s GPS. It does not get out of date or make mistakes. It is totally adequate to facilitate any church in helping people reach their destination.

Some churches might be out of date and unable to give good directions. Churches that pattern themselves after Acts 2 are clear about their purpose and explicit in their directions to achieve that purpose.


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