What’s Next?

Since Sara and I have been married, we have constantly been asking the question, “What’s Next?”   In our first 7 1/2 years, we have experienced seemingly endless transition and change.  Here’s a brief scope of this change:

We have moved 7 times, been involved in 3 churches, welcomed 3 little boys into the world, and worked 6 different jobs.

However for the past 2 1/2 years, we have lived in one town, worked one job, and been involved with one church.  Needless to say, we have enjoyed the recent stability and comfort.  It has been a blessing to focus on building up…a family, a ministry, a church…rather than always feeling spread thin.

But, we know that God does not want us to get too comfortable where we are at in life because that’s when we tend to lean too much on the comforts instead of Christ.  So for the past few months, we have been asking God, “what’s next?”  (Note: This is a dangerous prayer to pray!)  And our faithful God answered in two ways!

First of all, starting in May, I (Mike) will begin taking seminary courses at Winebrenner Seminary here in Findlay.  My plan is to get a Master’s in Divinity degree.  However, I will only take a class or two at a time so that I can continue to invest in my family, ministry, and church.  Taking only one or two classes at a time will also allow me to be more productive in my learning, and I will be able to pay for classes without loans.  I am very excited for this opportunity because I have wanted to pursue a seminary degree since I graduated college in 2003!  I am also grateful for how this education will allow me to better minister to students on campus.

Secondly, God has blessed us with another child on the way.  We are honored to serve God as parents and are excited for a new opportunity to raise up another child in the ways of Jesus.  The baby is expected to arrive sometime in November.  With another child comes great responsibility, so we would appreciate your prayers.  Please pray for us as parents to be guided by the Holy Spirit and to have the necessary energy and inner strength.  Pray for our three boys to be understanding, compassionate, and patient as a new little one enters our family.  And please pray for the baby’s salvation, health, and growth.

When life is comfortable, it is much easier for us to be distracted from our calling and purpose.   We need to continually re-evaluate and ask God for vision.  For some of us, this might result in major life changes like a new job, relocation, more education, or a new baby.  For others, it may be as simple as taking a meal to a neighbor or donating time or money to a gospel-centered cause.  But for all of us, it means asking God a simple, yet daring question…”What’s Next?”

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About Mike Barnhart

I am a Christ-follower, Husband, Father, & Campus Minister.
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