Not as I had Planned3 min read

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

It was a bright and glorious spring Sunday morning. I was in the balcony of my home church operating the video camera. Every few weeks it was my job to record the service for shut-ins of our congregation. The previous afternoon had likely been spent mowing the church lawn. Nothing was special about that Sunday. I was a Senior in high school at the time and, with Easter behind us, my school year was winding down. I was looking forward to attending one of our church colleges, thankful that our congregation had a fund that made attending one financially feasible. The Lutheran college I planned to attend had a good business program. I had no intention of going into church work. Little did I know at the time.

My freshman year of college was my first experience in a Christian school. I was baffled at how my Psychology 101 professor talked about the theory of evolution AND creation. I attended student-led Bible studies in my dorm that lasted sometimes into the morning. I ended up helping one of my buddies to run a lock-in at a local church. Through all of this it was becoming clear that, despite my best laid plans, God was calling me in another direction, one I had not considered. Looking around at my Christian professors and how they lived the Gospel in and out of class, I found myself looking into the education program.

Four years later, I was newly married, graduating from college with a call to serve as a teacher at a school in Las Vegas. I had friends and family at the time that questioned why anyone would take a call to Sin City. If I was honest, I had those questions too. And yet, I look back on those first years of ministry with a smile.

I am thankful for the dedication to Christian education shown to me by the members of my childhood congregation at Our Redeemer Lutheran in Emmett, Idaho. Without their help, who knows what I would be doing today. I am also thankful for the members of Christ, Stevensville, who have likewise dedicated years of commitment to Christian education in our community. Due to the dedication of the members of Christ Lutheran Church, our school is affordable for our families that desire a Christian education for their children.

A few years ago, I got the opportunity to attend church again at Our Redeemer. As is often the case, it seemed so much smaller than I remember. A good number of the members have long since gone home to be with their Savior. A few members that I remember from my childhood still attend. It was good to see them and tell stories of where I have served. They still pray for me.

A lot of time has passed since the days of that young man mowing the church lawn and recording services for shut-ins. Little did I know at the time the plans that the Lord had for me. The world has changed a lot. The video camera that I used back then was the size of a suitcase; we now have a device that fits in our pocket. The culture of our society has changed a lot as well. It is my belief that Christian education is needed more today than when I entered into this ministry. Over the years, a good number of things have not gone as I had planned. However, everything has gone according to HIS plan, and I am all the better for it.

Photo © Sielemann/iStock

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About the Author

Neil Webb serves Christ Lutheran School in Stevensville, Mich. as its principal as well as religion and PE teacher. He is a researcher for He can be reached on Twitter @webbnf.

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Lois Ott - June 22, 2023

I enjoyed reading your blog Neil. God guides our future even when we think we are in charge.