When we’re not dodging the Corona-19 virus, the mid-week service attendance at our church averages about half that of our main weekly worship service. Not as high as it might be, but higher than some. Our congregation takes that weekly appointment very seriously. We call it Prayer With Purpose. It’s not a time to preach or read a book; it’s a time to pray.
One of the things we’ve begun to do is to invite leaders from our community to come help us understand how we can pray for them and what are some ways we can help with what they do. We want them to know how very valuable they are to us. We recently hosted the Director of the HUD office in our area. Among other things, they specialize in helping needy families find affordable housing. We learned that if there is someone whose home needs some minor repairs, the office may be able to help fund materials. For instance, if a family has a handicapped member and they need a ramp for wheelchair access, her office may be able to help provide lumber to build it if we’ll provide the labor. Our folks were pleased to learn we could partner with them.
Recently we invited Ms. Lawson, principal of one of the Middle Schools in our community. She’s a delightful lady, a strong believer, and we spent a pleasant 30-minutes getting acquainted and learning of her deep commitment to our kids and their families. We asked her if there were some ways we could help. (By the way, that’s especially important if your church operates a church school.) She was delighted to have the discussion. We concluded by gathering around her (respecting social distancing) and urgently asking the Lord to provide her with wisdom, courage, discernment, and skill. Managing a major school in today’s climate is a huge assignment. Staffing, budget, physical plant, creating a learning environment, keeping parents happy, helping kids learn character traits as well as the multiplication tables…all are on her menu. That’s a big order and she’s the principal of the thing. There seemed to be a spring in her step when she left that she hadn’t had when she arrived.
We’ve invited the mayor to put us on his calendar; we have a police officer scheduled to come talk to us about some of the bigger needs in our city we might be able to help with. And to pray. We’ve been pleased to see the deep appreciation that radiates from each civic leader as they detect serious non-partison spiritual support from our church family.
We encourage you to take whatever steps you feel led to take that will demonstrate your church’s desire to bless your community. It’ll bless you, too. Incidentally, if you have a feisty member who is prone to use an event like this to express his/her displeasure, ask them to stay home this evening. This is a time, not to confront, but to bless. That’s the principle of the thing.
By Don Jacobsen