‘Bridging the gap’

Published 9:35 am Monday, June 12, 2017

As a pastor you take interest in the people you serve. Your desire is to help them become all that God wants of them. As a church leader you want to see and experience spiritual vitality and growth. You want the community in which you serve to be healthy and prosperous. Several weeks ago a lady at my church spoke to me. This is not uncommon to have parishioners speak to you, but this quiet, soft-spoken, prayerful, and compassionate lady spoke to me with concern and authority. Her name is Janis Nave. (She will not be happy that I have mentioned her by name!) Janis expressed to me her deep concern for our church, our community, our nation, and our world. She asked if I would consider hosting an event on behalf of our churches as we take on the issues that are affecting our communities and fervently pray that God would act in our time to bring transformation to people’s lives and homes.
I have to say I was taken back. I could tell that this request was not coming with the power of suggestion but with the power of her heart and her desire to see people flourish in ways they may not have previously known. Needless to say I began to pray. What specifically should our churches assemble to confront?
Over the last several weeks my course of action has become obvious. The vast majority of families in our community are hurting as a result of opioid addictions and the methamphetamine pandemic. This is one of the top issues robbing our families and destroying our community. We must not sit and watch this destructive force. We must declare war on drug addiction and not the drug addict! We must compassionately and redemptively address those individuals and families that have suffered under this plague.
Therefore I am proud to announce that First Baptist Church, and hopefully many of our other community area churches, will come together on Sunday, July 2, at 6 p.m. in Elizabethton’s Bridge Park. We will meet for the purpose of bringing awareness of this great need, and to begin a process of addressing this problem so that we may usher in strength and vitality to homes and families that are suffering as a result of this problem. We will fervently pray for our community and for wisdom in how the Church can strategically address this drug problem. I hope you will join with me in helping us “bridge the gap” between those suffering with drug addictions and our community that has struggled to find the best way to address this problem.

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