I had a great time at another Pastors and wives gathering at Mt. Pleasant a few nights ago. it was at least a year in coming! We had some reps from the Anderson IN churches come and share with us about their city-wide church efforts and what Fusion ministries has done with them to help.
The two pastors who came and shared with us were at their congregations for 25 and 30 years each! Long term guys who have seen a lot come and go. They encouraged us and our efforts by reminding us it is a marathon and things do come and go as fellow pastors come and go. They have about 120 churches in Anderson and about 80% of those are on their email list. They ahve about 40 active pastors in their group. They have a leadership team of seven pastors. This prayer leadrship is a distinct group from their ministerial group. They shared their joint efforts with racial reconcilliation (CURE); and their efforts to work with a specific elementary school that was having a lot of problems and effecting the whole district.
I was especially excitied about a phrase the Fusion rep made. He said, "You are not to be pastors of congregations, but co-pastors of a community!" Kingdom stuff; no turf management. Seeing the big picture. He stressed the importance of relationships gained through praying together. They do so every other week and have a monthly gathering at a non-church locaation downtown. They also have regualr GAP meetings (God Answers Prayer).
I enjoyed getting to meet a new pastor in our city, Evan Casey, at Northside Christian Church. He and his wife Tricia are excited about their new ministry with this congregation. They showed a lot of enthusiasm for the church and for the community of pastors they saw in Terre Haute. I am always excited about meeting new pastors who want to join us in our city-wide effort. BUT especially one who likes a good cup of coffee and palys golf! Way to go God! Welecome Evan!
I am teaching on Prayer and Unity this Sunday from John 17. I have been living out the possibilities of this teaching for nearly 21 years here in Terre Haute. We began with three guys in the basement of the old MCC building on seventh street; praying at believe it or not; Tuesday mornings at 6:30 am! Things have come a long ways! They still have a long way to go!