Surveying the Opportunity: A Pastor's PerspectiveRich Stigall
The basis for disheartenment has had room to flourish in recent days. Whether from the reminders of the brokenness of lives playing out in the most supreme of forums or the constant iterations of disenfranchisement circling through our personal social media feeds, it seems that the well for discouragement has no concerns of running dry.
Indeed, discouragement is an alluring temptress, enchanting us with false confidence in a sinking sand, wishing to bury our hearts in shackling anger and hopelessness at the revelation of a misplaced faith. Yes, contritely, I have danced so very close with this devil, and I have seen my own misplaced aspirations lead to days, months – nay, years – of a private struggle to crawl out of a lingering despair.
Take courage, oh faltering heart! Remember, oh heart of mine, that “Yours is the day, yours also the night” (Psalm 74:16). Look at that wondrous cross, where sorrow and love flow mingled down!
So, it is to my heart’s great encouragement that I reviewed a recent survey from a pastor engaging with The Care Portal. We at The Care Portal are humbled, blessed, and heartened when we observe the church choosing to engage its surrounding community. This pastor recently responded to a request in his community, and he noted the following:
“The Care Portal is one of the greatest recent developments concerning the church. We love having the opportunity to meet needs in our community, city, county. The more we are meeting needs in our community, the more we are looking like the church. This is such an exciting thing to see taking place: the church connecting with the state and showing them the love of Jesus by seeing needs and meeting needs. What a powerful opportunity!
I would like to say thank you to the Care Portal team and to all who are making this possible. This makes my heart as a pastor happy, and it should get the church excited and make them want to move into action and start meeting needs in the community.”
In an age where it seems that the church is seemingly moving towards isolation, this pastor surveyed the ministry landscape and identified the opportunity intrinsic to The Care Portal: to engage both state and community! Real, tangible needs being met! Testimony to those in need, to those government agency personnel submitting the need!
Church, do we not long for ways to understand and to meet the needs of those in our very backyards? Are we not constantly searching for openings to demonstrate our love to a broken world? To allow our lives to shine as lights in the world?
In the Gospel of Luke, as Jesus foretold Peter of his forthcoming denial, he provided this message of encouragement despite the reality of Peter’s soon-to-be-realized despair: “And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). Christ acknowledged the discouragement that we would feel: yet, a new day is always on the horizon, and there is hope for the church.
We’re excited to watch how the story will unfold at this pastor’s church.
What will be your church’s story?