Do you ever wonder if God has prepared you for a particular assignment through your life experiences? I have had the privilege these past several years to serve on the AFLC Schools Board of Trustees and as the chairman of the Building Committee for the Student Life Center project that is nearing completion on the Free Lutheran Bible College (FLBC) campus. I feel like God has been preparing me for this work through various people and circumstances throughout my life.
I studied structural engineering and have experience as an engineer, project manager, and facility manager over a more than 30-year career, having worked on several projects valued at more than $200 million. Even though my education was in structural engineering, God orchestrated opportunities where I oversaw architects and civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers on a variety of projects so that I was exposed to these other areas of expertise. I had the opportunity to directly oversee construction contractors doing much of this work. God also gave me the opportunity to oversee facility maintenance for a utility company, which introduced me to operational concerns that needed to be addressed in the design of the Student Life Center. Going back further into my teenage years, God used my dad’s desire to build a new house to give me construction experience.
I did not seek out most of these experiences, but God brought them to me. Sometimes I had the choice to say yes or no. Other times these opportunities were just assignments that I was given. Most were not easy and involved long hours, but God was schooling me for future assignments.
God prepared me in other ways for the Board of Trustees and Building Committee chairman work. As a supervisor and manager, I received training in leadership and the basics of board governance. God began preparing me for serving on a board by giving me opportunities to serve on church boards. I did not always say yes when asked to serve on the board, and that was probably to my detriment in training for future opportunities that He brought my way.
As I look forward to my retirement years, I look expectantly to see how God will continue to train me and use my life experiences in His Kingdom’s work. How will God use you?
Phil and his wife Robin (Peterson) Johnson, Esko, Minn., are 1983 graduates of FLBC along with their four children Luke (2007), Bethany (2008), Olivia (2012), and Joey (2015).
By Phil Johnson