I need to be honest.
I sat in a church pew for 30 years and had no idea of the work that was being done outside of the four walls of my local church. As I mentioned in my last blog “They Blew Me Away“, I was shocked that there was incredible kingdom work being done behind the scenes that I had no idea about. Sure, I’d send a monthly check to a couple of local ministries, and I’d get their newsletters, but that was about it. (Actually my wife sent the checks. I barely knew who we supported!)
Here’s your takeaway from my frank admission:I was no different than many of the other believers in our community. As I have been visiting with our evangelical community these past few weeks, some things have come into sharper focus.
At one time (30-40 years ago) we had a small handful of local ministries (outside of our churches) reaching out to Spokane for Christ and serving the needs of our community. Today, I can assure you we have dozens and dozens of them. We have local, national, and international ministries – each of them wanting “just a few minutes” of the pastors’ time. Para-church ministry leaders tell me that they get some support from the pastors and churches in Spokane, but that they also really need help. Many of these folks are doing tremendous ministry for Christ and are winning souls for the kingdom. Their hurdle is getting their message out to the people in the pew. They communicate with pastors, and yet they can’t seem to reach the folks in churches that often need to hear their message. Pastors tell me that top priority for them is to shepherd the flock they’ve been given responsibility for. They have lots of these ministries knocking on their door wanting access to their congregation every week. The ministry organization is hoping that the pastor will mention their ministry from the pulpit, or they would like to have their flyer inserted into the church bulletin a few times a year, or perhaps include a link on their website. The GSAE will become a distributor of information and resources. We will be the network of local churches and believers knit together as one body reflecting Christ to our area. We can reach out to the entire community to alleviate some of the pressure on the pastors.If you believe:
- There is tremendous ministry going on right now in the Greater Spokane area by the body of Christ
- Believers in local churches need to know more about what the entire body of Christ is doing in Spokane and the surrounding communities
- God wants to reach the non-believers in our area with salvation in Jesus
- There is much that local churches can do to disciple believers
- There are many local people hurting and NOW IS THE TIME we need to reach out with the love of Christ
- A vibrant and active network of believers in our community can do incredible kingdom work
Coming into Focus