Urban church planters truly are some of our personal heroes. They are men and women of faith, who follow Jesus into hard places to share His love with people who desperately need it. Often bi-vocational out of necessity, they squeeze out every ounce of the rest of their time to serve their family and church.
It is exhausting, challenging, and fraught with traumas and set-backs for their congregation. They show up at pastor’s gatherings and feel like failures next to churches with hundreds (or thousands) of members and full-time staff. They wonder if they are doing it wrong when they have a basically non-existent budget...again. And then, wonder again, when they have a seemingly solid church member take a catastrophic slip back into the broken cycles of their life.
The truth is that they aren’t doing it wrong! It is just that difficult of a task.
It is an honor for us to be able to walk with leaders like this: to be encouragers, to be able to offer support through training and resources, and to be in prayer for them as they serve Christ. We know that many of our ministry initiatives are desperately needed, but, truth be told, some of our most important work with these leaders is sitting down with them and reminding them of the truth of who they are and whose they are.
A few weeks ago our family went over to an urban pastor’s house to pray with him and his wife. She has been dealing with difficult health issues and they are tired and discouraged. They are part of other pastoral networks, but Andrew and my collective 30 years of inner-city ministry experience can offer them something they don’t often find in those networks—true understanding. It was a deeply meaningful experience for us to be able to pray with them and be able to encourage them to keep fighting the good fight.
Thank you for your prayers and support that allow us the privilege to walk with urban leaders like this pastor and his wife, and many others. God’s Kingdom is being advanced in our city and God is using all of us who are linking arms to do it!