This is the second half of a two parter. Click here if you have not read Part I.
The Gordon County Christian Ministerial Alliance (formerly the Gordon County Ministers Association) is a collaborative effort of a few local church pastors. Some will automatically be offended by anything that suggests ecumenical but what I wrote yesterday applies; we can do more working together than against each other. Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian pastors feel the same pressures and isolation. While we may be able to function as individuals we can thrive as members of a society, an organization. Is your church not enough? It’s not about that. The church is something a pastor pours into. Being part of a collaborative effort allows ministry leaders the same connections and opportunities as church members have in the body. I don’t want to use a cliche like synergy but it conveys what I mean in this case. There are members on paper we don’t see very often but the core of the group is one Baptist pastor, two Methodist pastors, one Methodist minister of music, one Presbyterian pastor, one Seventh Day Adventist pastor, one hospital chaplain and currently two ladies that represent another Methodist church and the local Episcopal church. We differ in our theology in ways there are secondary to our main goal which is bringing the Gospel into our community. When we make more of Christ and less of ourselves we can work together in spite of our differences.
This group meets on the first Tuesday of every month; it’s a monthly meeting rather than weekly. The local hospital, part of Adventist Healthcare, provides lunch from their cafeteria and a conference room for us to meet in. The chaplain I mentioned is our liaison with the hospital. There are a handful of activities throughout the year that we work together to sponsor, two of them are worship services. The ministry alliance puts together a community Sunrise Service at a local park in downtown Calhoun. There are people that will come to a Christian activity, even a worship service, that would never set foot inside a church. It doesn’t matter if you or I get that or not; it’s an opportunity to take the Gospel outside of the church walls and into a community of people that need to hear it. There is also a Thanksgiving worship service that we held in the theater of our local arts center last November. We hope to go back there again. That venue offers good seating, lights, sound, a stage and climate control… but it is not a church. Christmas in July collects and distributes cleaning supplies, toiletries and clothing to people that need them and Hunger Walk, the first weekend in October, raises awareness and money that is distributed among four local food banks. Those are the big activities the alliance organizes and there are other events we promote and take part in.
Building the Kingdom is a team sport and I have been blessed with some great team members. I have one more news of note item that I will save for the Saturday review post.