"I'M DONE WITH THE CHURCHES..."
I was speaking to a friend of mine who used to be a police chief. He was very respected in his community and had served them for a long time.
He decided one day to host a luncheon and invite all the pastors in his city. He set the date, got the food, and anxiously awaited for the special day.
When the day came came, however, NOT ONE of the pastors in his city attended the luncheon.
He told me something I'll never forget: "Jimmy, I'm done with the churches. They fight with each other, they don't get-along. And I'm done with them."
I was embarrassed on behalf of my fellow ministers.
Unfortunately, I have witnessed this scene play out all over this country.
The chief's purpose was to enlist the churches in the fight against crime, as well as to build a stronger community. He believed the churches would help them. He was, to say the least, disheartened at the church's response.
Someone will say, "Our church isn't like that." Well, that's good, so spare us your comments. This is for those churches who continue to think the world is going to break down your doors to get to your Sunday services.
At some point the churches must learn to engage the community - to show concern for their communities. To "go after" the people.
I once tried to get a minister to reach out to the local police department and invite them to a Sheepdog Seminar we were having at his church. He ignored me. "Please, pastor. We might even be able to save some lives" (of the police).
But he ignored me.
Two weeks after the seminar, two police officers were assassinated not too far from his church.
Dear pastor: if you are serious about serving in your city, you must reach out to the local police department. I encounter very few churches that are willing to do this.
Have you ever considered this? When God decided to go outside the Jewish world and win the Gentiles, the FIRST PLACE He went was to the house of a man named Cornelius. Cornelius was a... law-enforcement officer.
How interesting. When God decides to go after the Gentile world, He begins with the ... police...
Engaging the community is a must.
We have a seminar this weekend (January 27) on this very topic in Ft Worth, Texas. Former Charleston, SC Police Chief Greg Mullen will speak. Chief Mullen is the one who walked Charleston through the dark days of June, 2015. It was then, in Charleston, that 9 precious Brothers and Sisters were murdered at church while attending a Bible study. It's not too late to join us.