“My ways are higher than your ways, declares the Lord.”

State of South Baptist Church

At the end of each year of ministry here at South, I take some time for reflection and ultimately
try to tie my thoughts back to Scripture (which should be our foundation for everything). This year
my thoughts drew me almost immediately to Isaiah 55, where God shares the following with the
Israelites, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Surely, at the beginning of the year, I had much different plans than God had for this ministry for
this year. For starters, and probably the most obvious, was the fact that I did not plan on losing
a staff member this year. God did, however! When His plan was made known to me, it was my
plan to replace the vacant staff position very quickly. Once again, my thoughts and ways were
not God’s thoughts and ways. However, the truth of those verses is that while my thoughts and
ways have been different than God’s in this matter, His thoughts and ways are higher than
mine. They are higher because they are filled with much more wisdom. They are higher because
they are absolutely for our best. While I am tempted to doubt and second-guess this reality, it
does not change the fact that God’s thoughts and ways regarding the losing of a staff member
and the difficulty in replacing him is a part of God’s sovereign plan for us, and will lead to a
stronger body of Christ in the end. Please continue to pray that God would make His thoughts
and ways in this matter clear to us, and that we would be patient and trusting as we wait.

Another way in which I had different plans than God for this ministry this past year was in
regard to our future facility plans. I certainly did not plan to have construction costs go up about
25% percent. As a result of this change in plans, we have had to re-evaluate and make changes
to our original design plans. And this has, in turn, delayed our planned timeline. Of course all of
these changes did not take God by surprise, and the reason for that is that these changes are
His thoughts and plans for us. While I haven’t enjoyed the inconvenience that God’s thoughts
and plans have caused, I take comfort in knowing that His thoughts and plans, that have led to
the changes, are higher than our thoughts and plans. God knows exactly what building
improvements are needed here, as well as the proper amount of money we can handle to pay for
said improvements.

Throughout this past year, I certainly did not plan on having 15 of our active members move
away from this area, or pass away. Since God describes the church as a body, losing members
is actually like lose a limb or a part of our spiritual body here at South. This is not a pleasant
process, and it can leave us a little handicapped as a ministry. Once again, God was not
surprised, like I was, by the moving away and passing away of these members. In His sovereign
plans, He knew that this would happen. He also knew that His ways for our ministry this year
would be to first, add 22 new members to our body this year, with another 5 currently in the
process to become members. He also knew that He would work in the lives of current
membership to fill in any gaps within our ministry left behind by our members who moved or
passed away. We have had a great year regarding our ministries being staffed by people who
love the Lord and who love this ministry. So, while it has been sad to lose several different parts
of our body this past year, it has been a tremendous blessing to see God at work, through His
people, continuing to carry out the work of the ministry here.

At the beginning of this past year, a couple of the plans that we did have was to start a ministry
to moms called Mom Squad and recruit several people to attend a biblical counseling conference
put on by Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana. For months we spent quite a bit of time thinking
about and planning for both of these things, but once again, my thoughts and plans weren’t

completely in line withGod’s thoughts and plans. Don’t get me wrong, both of these plans
actually materialized this past year, but they happened in a way that far exceeded my thoughts
and plans. The Mom Squad ministry took right off from their first meeting. They have had over
60 women be a part of the meetings, and it is having a great impact to moms who attend church,
as well as those who do not. One of the reasons for this is because of the mentoring that takes
place within this ministry as the truth of Titus chapter 2 is being carried out – older women are
teaching the younger women. As far as the biblical counseling training is concerned, God’s
plans far exceeded my own, as He laid it upon 11 people’s hearts to attend the conference. This required not only some
financial sacrifice, but also a sacrifice of their time as the conference took place over three
different weekends during the months of September, October, and November. As a result
of God’s ways being much higher than mine, this ministry is one step closer to ministering to
the hurts and needs of people, by being able to offer them counseling centered on the Word of

Finally, throughout most of this past year, while I had different opportunities to have my thoughts
directed to the Mountain of Hope ministry, in no way did my plans match what God had
planned for us. After two of our members returned from their trip to Haiti this year, God began to
burden their hearts with a couple of major needs that were present in the ministries there. Needs
that would require the raising of close to $40,000. They shared that burden with me and then
with the Outreach Committee. From there, God began to unfold his plan for us to partner
with Mountain of Hope in order to help meet the said needs. This in turn led to the mobilization of
a team that redesigned the Coffee Corner with a focus on Haiti, and for the purpose of helping to
raise funds. When God’s plan for us to partner with Mountain of Hope was presented to the
church, God proved once again how His ways are so much higher than ours by having His
people donate over $20,000 in two weeks. No one but God planned for this to happen in this

Because of my personality, I am a guy who likes to have a plan. I am also a guy, who once that
plan has been set, I don’t like it to be changed. But God has used this past year to show me
that when He changes my plans, it is not a bad thing. And the reason for that is that His
thoughts and ways are higher than mine. They are higher because they are filled with much
more wisdom. They are higher because they are absolutely for our best. In light of that, I am
looking forward to what God has planned for us in 2019. He is up to something much
higher and much better than we could ever imagine.

Pastor Scott Snyder

Two other things – The budget passed with just one “No” vote, and these are the deacons for 2019:

Kyle Alexander, Jared Bayley, Jerry Beil, Rick Belt, Steve Brown, Scott Davis, Andy Fraser, Marty Park, Gary Reid, Tyler Shelton, Clifton Stokes, Brian Taylor