By Cath Tallack

[3 min read]

We are officially in the second half of the year where we usually find ourselves asking ‘what’s next? It might be a big moment of transition, perhaps finishing up in a significant season and wondering where God is leading. Or maybe you are starting to ask (post COVID, as things begin again and shift, change and challenge your leadership), what’s next for my development as a leader, how can I be better, lead better, influence more and lean into what God is doing around me?

It’s in these moments that I think about Acts 16. You probably know this chapter as the story of Paul and Silas imprisoned and a great earthquake breaking them free. But there is much more to the story. 

The chapter begins with Paul wondering which direction to head in as he begins his second missionary journey. The Sprit of the Lord keeps him from heading in a certain direction and, as he seeks the direction of the Holy Spirit, he falls asleep and God sends him a dream of a man standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’. Paul wakes up gets in a boat and heads directly to Macedonia.

Here is a list of some of the important things that happen in this chapter…

  • Paul meets Timothy.
  • Luke begins using personal pro-nouns in his telling of the story as he joins the mission in person.
  • Paul brings the Gospel to Europe for the very first time.
  • Paul meets Lydia (she will fund his next missionary journey).
  • Paul and Silas get arrested, beaten and thrown into the centre of the jail.
  • God sends an earthquake that unlocks doors and chains.
  • Paul and Silas see the jailer saved.
  • The church in Philippi is planted. 

It’s an action packed, history making chapter in the Bible. But, when Paul is looking for his ‘What’s next?’ God very simply leads him to Macedonia. What God doesn’t do is give him a vision that takes him through the dot points above. He doesn’t tell Paul that what he is about to walk into will take the Gospel message to a place where it will spread further and faster than ever before. Nor does he share that the church in Philippi will become a healthy, strong, generous church to whom he will write, resulting in people being encouraged for thousands of years in places that he has never heard about. 

No. God says ‘Go to Macedonia.’

Often in leadership when we are looking for what’s next, we desire God to show us the whole path, the whole story, the end of the story. We desire assurances that it’s all going to be worth it, we’ll be okay and it is in fact where God wants us to travel in life and leadership. 

The truth is when we surrender to the will of God our lives, ministry, leadership, and development, God leads us to opportunities that have an impact and perhaps even in ways we could never imagine or even comprehend.