(October 27, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a concerned friend…

Dear Dr Robert

You’ve helped me before and I want to share something with you that has me confused. I really love the church I’ve been attending for the last few months… the preaching is great, the teaching is soundly Bible-based, and the pastor really cares! Nothing is wacky! But  recently I’ve felt somewhat uneasy. Nothing wrong with the church, but I don’t feel to become a member, or to be involved in any ministerial way that would commit me. I started thinking what’s wrong? Then last week while enjoying the service, I heard that ‘inner voice’ whisper one word… ‘Transition.’ Transition? Would you please help me here. Harold

Hi again Harold

Yes, I believe I can. I’ve come to know you and suggest you take a step back and see the bigger picture. I believe what’s happening to you gels with what has happened to some certain others in their Christian experience, even myself. Let me paint the picture as I see it.

The word ‘transition’ means the ‘process of changing, or a change from one from or condition to another.’ Now you won’t find the word in scripture – unless you read the Message version of Hebrews 9, that chapter that talks about the Calvary death of Jesus and the new covenant. It actually combines verses 16 and 17 as one, and begins ‘Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one.’

Scripture tells of God transitioning chosen ones into new positions or locales… Abraham, Moses, Gideon (His being supernaturally called by God, such as in Judges7:9 is very interesting).

I know you, Harold… you’ve grown in Christ, in your faith, over the past year. You’ve learned so much, had some great experiences, and have willingly been of great assistance to various individuals and blessed them. Yes, you had a few bad experiences along the way, but you avoided being burned, and have found a good church which has been a blessing to you.

It seems to me that God will be taking you further – into what and when, I don’t know. The Lord will make it known in His timing – but you have to be patient! Keep enjoying that church you mentioned, the good fellowship and Bible teaching. Now It may be that whatever God has for up ahead is in that church… not elsewhere. You’ll discover the ‘whatever’ as you be patient and prayerful. And keep on reaching out to ‘love thy neighbour’ as you do. You don’t have to have a title or ‘a church membership card’ to serve Jesus or help someone.

Actually, your situation reminds me of something that happened to me some 50 years ago! The church was growing and the pastor was reorganising things. He called me into his office one day and asked about ‘my future plans in God.’ I told him that I just didn’t know, except that I knew that God had something up ahead for me.

He opened a folder and began going through a list of ministry opportunities… to which my response was: ‘No, thank you, Pastor, but God has something else for me to be involved in. I just don’t know what or where at this time.’ I’ll never forget how that conversation ended! He sat back, looked at his list of ministry opportunities, shook his head and said, ‘You’re mad, man, mad!’

To cut this recollection short, I just did whatever he asked to do, including humbly cleaning the large church (he actually stuck a broom in my hand, saying ‘Go clean the loos!’). But within a short time, the Lord clearly called us interstate to pioneer a new church, which lead to other ministries. Graciously that pastor, in farewelling us with church blessings, said, ‘You were right, Robert, you were right.’

Now, I’m sure that your pastor will be understanding of your feelings at this time, Harold, and won’t pressurise to become a member. Go on ‘being you’ but don’t be surprised when the Holy Spirit clearly speaks to your heart… a farewell to the ‘old’ and beginning of something new. Trust this all helps you. My prayers are for you.

Got a question for Dr Robert or Pr Maureen McQuillan? Email either:   

One comment

  1. Your wise answer, Robert, reminds me of Psalm 84 which contains the words, ‘I’d rather be a door keeper in the house of the Lord….’

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