In this episode I talked about a shift in focus that can allow us greater opportunities to engage our communities with the grace, love, and good news of Jesus.
- A pastor’s original prayer: “Lord, give me this community.”
- The pastor’s new prayer: “Lord, give me TO this community.”
“Through the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” (Proverbs 11:11, New International Version)
First, I shared a story of how one church’s actions damaged the reputation of churches in the community and how service to the community by the community of faith rebuilt trust.
Then, I shared real life examples from pastors I know as well as my own experience as a pastor of how choosing to serve and bless the community opened doors for ministry and bringing the influence of the gospel into community life.
Another Perspective Shift
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38, English Standard Version)
- My daily prayer at 9:38 a.m. for the past 5 years: “Lord of the harvest, send workers into Your harvest. Send pastors to our pastorless churches. Send churches into their communities. Send me where You want me to go.”
- My new prayer since February 21, 2015: “Lord of the harvest, send workers into Your harvest. Send pastors into YOUR churches. Send churches into YOUR communities. Send me where You want me to go in YOUR world.
Tips on how to give ourselves TO our communities:
- See yourself and your church as a gifts to your community
- See yourself and your church as servants to your community
- Maximize your current connections and activities (change from participant to servant)
- Reject competition among churches (keep a kingdom focus)
- Reject Us vs. Them mentality (insiders vs. outsiders)
- Commit for the long haul (as long as you are in that community)
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