“Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
One of the most important things we train church leaders to do in the Timothy Leadership Training Institute is to identify “Kingdom Change” that needs to take place in their lives, families, congregations and communities. “Kingdom Change” is that change which takes place when God’s reign – God’s Kingdom – is more fully realized in these different spheres of our lives. It’s what we pray for when we pray, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
While we identify the changes that we anticipate God will bring because of the activities we plan to do, we realize that God, in his sovereignty, may and often does bring about results that we didn’t think of. When participants report on their plans, therefore, we ask them to also tell us about any “unexpected Kingdom changes” that took place as they carried out their activities.
Recently we were privileged to continue our training with a group of churches living and ministering under very difficult conditions near the front lines of the war between Russia and Ukraine. As my group of trainees reported on their plans, I learned of a wonderful “unexpected Kingdom Change” that came about from my plan to train these brothers and sisters.
We first visited New Life Church in Dobropollya the first week of November, 2015. 24 people from 5 different churches finished our first course, Caring for God’s People. Among them were a young man who was a recovering alcoholic with a difficult past. His name is Mikhail. The other was a young woman named Olga. She was divorced, also a recovering alcoholic and new to the church. They met for the first time at the training.
Mikhail told me how he didn’t think much about Olga at the time, but at the end of April, 2016, when we gather for the second training, he noticed how she reported on the plan she had made the previous November. He says that he thought, “Wow, she’s really serious about this.” And he decided to try to get to know her better.
When we returned to do the third training this past November, I was surprised by a wonderfully “unexpected Kingdom change”. That summer Mikhail and Olga were married in that church. During our training they also announced that they were expecting their first child together! Maybe if it’s a boy they will name him Timothy. J
May your Kingdom come and your will be done in Mikhail’s and Olga’s lives and in their new family, in New Life Church, in Dobropollye, in Ukraine and throughout the world!