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You Are God's Plan A: There Is No Plan B

You Are God's Plan A: There Is No Plan B

by Dwight Robertson

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Every day and everywhere, everyone can live a powerful life of Kingdom impact . . . Jesus-style!

One ordinary life making a powerful difference—that’s God’s amazing “Plan A” on display. Using real-life, riveting stories and a contemporary scriptural lens, Dwight Robertson shows how God’s exciting kingdom-building plan


Every day and everywhere, everyone can live a powerful life of Kingdom impact . . . Jesus-style!

One ordinary life making a powerful difference—that’s God’s amazing “Plan A” on display. Using real-life, riveting stories and a contemporary scriptural lens, Dwight Robertson shows how God’s exciting kingdom-building plan takes life—literally—in ordinary individuals. Robertson explains how God calls and equips average, everyday people—even those who don’t think they have anything special to contribute—to creative ministries that are as distinct and unique as the individual.  God’s Plan A encourages average Christians everywhere to follow the model of Jesus: ministering up close, one life at a time, outside church walls in our everyday lives. God’s Plan A involves all of us…and there is no Plan B.   

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David C Cook
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5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

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YOU ARE GOD'S PLAN A {and there is no plan b}

By Dwight Robertson

David C. Cook

Copyright © 2010 Dwight Robertson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6463-8


Overlooked and Undervalued

"Where did that come from?" I asked my wife, Dawn, as I rose from my recliner to take a closer look at the nasty water spot I had just noticed on the entryway ceiling of our home.

"We had some really intense thunderstorms yesterday," she explained, staring at the ugly spot. Apparently the combination of high winds and quarter-sized hail had taken its toll on our roof over the weekend while I was gone.

Dealing with a leaky roof was the last thing I wanted to tackle following a hectic weekend. After a full speaking schedule and then flight delays, missed connections, and turbulence on the way home, I just wanted to relax.

However, when Dawn said another round of storms was forecast to hit that week, I knew the work needed to be done that day. Feeling a bit nervous about hiring someone I knew nothing about—and yet knowing I didn't have much of a choice—I grabbed the Yellow Pages and the phone and started dialing. Seven calls later, I found someone who could fit me into his schedule. When this roofer, James, answered the phone, his reassuring voice and polite manner immediately put me at ease. He told me he could be at my house in four hours.

Right on time, the doorbell rang. Opening the door, I was surprised to see a rugged-looking guy with long hair pulled back in a ponytail. I confess he didn't quite fit the mental image I had conjured up during our phone conversation.

After introducing himself and asking some questions about our problem, he returned to his truck, grabbed his ladder, and climbed up onto the roof to assess the damage. A few minutes later, he crawled back down and quoted me a price for the work. It was surprisingly reasonable. He said the job would take only two or three hours, and he could do it right away. I agreed to the price, and before long, he was back on the roof, making the repair.

About an hour later, I heard a knock on my door. I cringed, thinking it was too soon for him to be done. As I opened the door, I thought to myself, He's probably going to say that the damage is much worse than he expected—and that it's going to cost a lot more than he quoted.

"All done!" James announced. "It shouldn't give you any more problems. If it does, just give me a call." Then he handed me a bill at a price that did not match his original quote. It was much less.

"I finished your roof quicker than I expected," he said. "So I only charged you for the actual time it took to complete the job."

Thankful for his honesty, I went to my home office to retrieve my checkbook. When I returned, James was talking to another customer on his cell phone. As I wrote out the check, I listened to his interaction with the other person. He treated her with the same professionalism and courtesy as he had treated me.

"Don't ever hire an answering service," I said as I handed him his check. "You really do a great job interacting with your customers on the phone. You have a way of quickly gaining people's confidence."

Then something unexpected happened.

He humbly looked at the ground for a moment, and then he looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Thank you for your kind words, but to be honest, I haven't always been good with people."

"What do you mean?"

"I made some pretty bad choices when I was younger. But about thirteen years ago, God caught my attention, and I began a personal relationship with Him. My life really changed after that. I'm a very different person than I was before."

As he shared some of the changes that had transpired in his life, he occasionally looked down and shook his head, still amazed at the work God had done.

"My desire is to serve God every day by serving my customers with kindness and respect," he explained. "I treat every roofing job as a daily assignment from God."

He spoke so openly about God that I glanced around to see if something had given him a clue that I was also a Christian—like a Bible lying within view. Nothing was there that would tip him off, so I said, "James ... brother ... hey, I'm a Christian too."

James' face lit up. He was excited to discover that we shared a common faith in God. And I was thrilled to find someone who lived out his faith so naturally in the everyday moments of his work life.

"Do you realize you're going places where few pastors could go and reaching people with your personal story that few pastors could reach?" I asked.

"You know, I've been thinking about that a lot," he replied, "but I've never heard anyone talk about it that way."

"James, God has uniquely positioned you to minister to others!" I continued with a growing sense of excitement. "You remind me of how Jesus ministered when He was here on earth. Most of His ministry took place outside the synagogue walls. He met needy people and served them where they lived. James, that's what you're doing!"

By that time, Dawn and our two children, Dara and Dreyson, had entered the room. I asked if we could pray for him and his ministry. He agreed, and so our family surrounded James the Roofer and placed our hands on his shoulders.

"Lord," I prayed, "we commission James for ministry. We pray for James just as church leaders would do for missionaries before sending them out to their fields of service."

His body trembled under our hands as we prayed. Then he began sobbing, which I didn't expect from such a rugged guy. Teardrops fell on the hardwood floor, literally forming a small puddle. As we concluded, James needed a moment to regain his composure.

"I'm sorry for crying," he said while sniffling. "It's just that no one has ever treated my ministry as if it's important. For the past thirteen years, I've believed that this is how God has chosen for me to represent Him to others—and in all that time, no one has ever validated that what I do for Him is important."

James went on to explain that he regularly prays that God will send him customers who need to hear about Jesus. Then he prays for each of them by name and asks God to give him opportunities to minister to them. He told us about one of those opportunities:

"A few years ago, I was working on the roof of a home in inner-city Denver. Suddenly a gunshot sounded from inside the house, and then I heard a scream. I scrambled off the roof and ran inside to find an older man lying on the floor in a pool of blood. His family had already called 911, but it was clear the man wasn't going to survive.

"Knowing that this may be his last chance to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, I knelt down next to him. He couldn't move, but he locked his eyes on me.

"'Sir, God loves you very much. Do you want to know if you're going to be with Him in heaven when you die?' I wasn't sure if the man could hear me. He couldn't talk or move his body, but he could move his eyes up and down as if he were nodding his head. That moment, I led the man into a relationship with Christ by asking him questions and allowing him to continue answering with his eyes. He died a few moments later."

As James finished his story, I looked around at Dawn, Dara, and Dreyson. We were all fighting back tears. Before this holy moment ended, I asked James for his business card and told him I'd place it on our refrigerator next to the other prayer magnets for our missionary friends. Then our family promised James that we would pray for him and his ministry. Although we haven't seen him since that day, we still pray for him.

Then he thanked us repeatedly as he walked out our front door.

After my chance encounter with James the Roofer, I returned to my recliner to reflect on our exchange. God began deeply stirring and convicting my heart. I was grieved because James felt so overlooked and undervalued in his ministry to others. Week after week, he sat in church services that validated "up-front" and "specially called" people in their ministries. But no one had ever validated or commissioned James into the ministry that God had called him.

I thought about the countless people who must feel the same way—the nameless, faceless followers of Jesus who serve Him in ordinary ways in their ordinary lives. But, tragically, no one notices, validates, or affirms their faithfulness. No one notices that their ministries are extremely important to God.

Yet the Bible clearly shows us that God chooses and uses ordinary people like James the Roofer to do the extraordinary work of His Kingdom in the ordinary venues of life.

He always has. He still does. And we have every reason to believe He always will.

Where was it along the way that we lost track of Jesus' plan? When did we become so preoccupied with our own modern methods that we stopped recognizing and valuing the extraordinary work God performs through ordinary people? Instead, we've become enamored with "professional" ministers (people who make a living from their ministry service) and Christian celebrities (the highly gifted few who serve in ministry spotlights and on ministry platforms). We point to these people and methods as the standard for what it means to do something important for God.

But the day-to-day ministry of faithful servants like James the Roofer is at the heart of God's plan for reaching the world.

It's time to take a closer look at what God says in His Word about the nature of ministry and who's called and qualified to do it. Jesus chose the ordinary. He validated the weak. He called out the imperfect. He honored the poor in spirit. He sought after the humble of heart. And He gave them all a significant role to play in His Kingdom work.

If you've avoided involving yourself in the work of God's Kingdom because you don't think you have anything significant to contribute, then I have good news for you: God wants to work through you. He chooses you.

Perhaps you're like James the Roofer—you faithfully serve God in His Kingdom work, but you feel overlooked, undervalued, and maybe even unimportant. I have good news for you, too: God highly values your service to Him, regardless of the recognition you might receive. His announcement to you right now is "You are My plan!"


Wrapped in Ordinary

Grace was about as ordinary as any woman I've ever known. Few people would identify her as a likely candidate for high-impact ministry.

She lived in an old farmhouse on Strawtown Pike in rural Indiana. One of her legs was shorter than the other, giving her a signature limp. In her seventies, Grace wore her wiry gray hair in a bun, along with a colorful dress and nylon stockings that occasionally bunched around her ankles.

Over the years, Grace and her husband raised five boys, all of whom were grown and living with their families in other places. After her husband passed away, she entered a strange season in life—with fewer responsibilities and meaningful things to do.

But Grace didn't want to spend the final years of her life limping to the finish line. She wanted to sprint! So she asked God to give her something significant to do for Him.

"I don't know how God could use an old woman like me, but if He'll show me what He wants me to do, I'll do it!" Grace once told me. God answered her prayers and gave me a front-row seat to watch a miraculous story unfold.

One day, while thumbing through a prison-ministry magazine, she read an open letter from an inmate. Bobby had just committed his life to Christ at a prison revival service, and he wasn't sure what to do next. So in his letter he asked for a "godly grandmother" who would disciple him.

Grace wrote the magazine editor and asked if he could help her get in touch with Bobby. She wanted to be this man's spiritual grandmother. The editor decided to help her.

Grace began by leading Bobby through a Bible study correspondence course. Soon afterward, Bobby led his cellmate to Christ, and he became Grace's second spiritual grandson.

Over lunch a little time later, she showed me pictures of her growing "family" of seven boys—each of whom met Christ through Bobby's influence.

"I'm having the time of my life!" she exclaimed as she recounted their stories.

"Right now, I have a captive audience," she said with a smile and a twinkle in her eye, "but I figure they won't be in prison for the rest of their lives. Today, they'll impact their fellow inmates, but someday, they'll get out of prison and impact the world."

A surprise happened on my next visit. As I walked into her home, I opened her closet door to hang up my coat—but there was no room inside. It was packed with filing cabinets and Bible study booklets. And to my amazement, her couch and coffee table had been replaced by worktables and computers.

"Wow! What's going on, Grace?" I couldn't wait to hear all about it.

"Oh, Dwight, a lot has happened since you were last here," she replied. "God has done more with this ministry than I ever imagined! Did you know that prisoners get transferred? Some of my boys were moved to prisons in Alabama and Texas, and they've been sharing Christ with inmates in those prisons too. I'm now leading Bible studies with inmates in three prisons—all from my little farmhouse on Strawtown Pike."

Impacting the World with Grace

Over the years I have dropped by Grace's house to check up on her. During my last visit, she showed me a world map on her wall with dots all over the Americas.

"Grace, what are all these dots?" I asked.

"Those are my boys and all their 'extras,'" she replied.

"Okay, I know about your boys, but what are their extras?"

"Well, awhile back, some of my boys started getting out of prison, and they'd lead their wives, children, and other family members to Christ. So, they asked me if I'd be a spiritual grandma to their family members as well. Those are the extras that I never expected God to bring into my spiritual family."

"But what about all those dots in the Latin countries?" I asked in amazement. "How did they get there?"

She explained that when some of her Hispanic inmates were released from prison, they introduced her to their friends and family members. Soon, letters written in Spanish started arriving from people in Cuba, so she asked God to send her someone who could translate. God led her to a retired Spanish teacher named Clara.

"I'm in over my head, Dwight!" she chuckled. "We're now discipling more than a thousand Spanish-speaking people, and Clara comes over to my house three days a week to translate their correspondence. I've even added seven college students who volunteer with me."

A few months later, I called her on the phone.

"Grandma Grace, you've been on my mind this week."

"You're not the only one," she quipped with her trademark laugh. "My kids have been thinking about me this week too. In fact, they're worried about me, Dwight. They fear I'm depleting my personal energy, time, and resources beyond the capacity I have to give at this season of life.

"I told them not to worry 'cause souls will be going to heaven!"

Smiling, I asked her a question that had been pestering me for quite some time.

"Grace, how many people are you corresponding with?"

"Oh, that doesn't matter," she said humbly. "I love all of them as if they're my own grandkids."

After some coaxing, she finally answered my question. "I don't know the exact number. Last I counted there were more than ten thousand."

I was shocked. I really didn't know what to say, so she continued as if it were no big deal.

"Last week, the U.S. Postal Service told me I had to get an industrial-sized mailbox or they wouldn't deliver all my mail anymore."

Her eyes twinkled with a bit of mischief as she smiled and said, "Dwight, I have a dream that someday the post office will assign me my own zip code!"

While I chuckled with her about it, my spirit soon gave way to praise. What an amazing feat to witness. God chose to send ripples through all of eternity in the form of an old gray-haired widow who worked out of a farmhouse on Strawtown Pike in rural Indiana.

But this shouldn't come as a surprise. Kingdom multiplication is always God's plan. Throughout history He has often chosen obscure people who live in remote places to accomplish His eternal plans and purposes.

Writer Richard Exley expressed it this way: "God has a history of using the insignificant to accomplish the impossible."

God's Unlikely First-Round Draft Choices

The Bible clearly proves that commonplace laborers aren't the losers who get picked last for God's ministry team while the Christian celebrities get picked first.

Willing laborers are God's first-round draft choices!

Just look at the twelve common men Jesus chose to be His disciples. They weren't superstars or rabbis. No one pointed to them as brilliant scholars or proven leaders. They came from a cross section of average people—small-business owners, an accountant, day laborers, and the like.


Excerpted from YOU ARE GOD'S PLAN A {and there is no plan b} by Dwight Robertson. Copyright © 2010 Dwight Robertson. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Speaker and author Dwight Robertson is founding president and CEO of Kingdom Building Ministries (www.KBM.org). Armed with three decades of successful leadership in community outreach, local church, parachurch, radio, and television ministry, he has spoken at churches and conferences around the world. Dwight, his wife, Dawn, and their two children, Dara and Dreyson, reside in Denver, Colorado.

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