A couple of weeks ago you probably heard on your news about some severe tornados that hit southern Indiana. Those ocurred just a few miles south and north of where I live. Some of the worst damage happened less than 30 minutes from my house. People lost their lives in these storms and many others lost their homes and possessions. Clean up and assistance has been coming in from all over the country, and our denomination's Disaster Relief Team has been hard at work in one community helping people begin to put their lives back together.
Last Saturday a group of individuals went to one community to assist. These individuals are from churches in the Area I serve as an Area Resource Minister. What makes this group different is that they represent several churches in their association, all of which are bivocational. What makes this group even more special is that they do these types of things all the time. We live in an age where denominational associations have lost much of their meaning, but this group doesn't know that! They still believe that one of the purposes of being part of an association is to be able to work together to represent God to the people they serve.
Many small, bivocational churches feel that because of their size they cannot do much, so they do nothing. These individuals believe that when they come together they can do great things, so they do! Each fall they leave the confines of southern Indiana and go to the Appalachian area of eastern Kentucky to lead a week-end revival in one of the community parks. They hold joint Lenten and Advent services meeting in different churches each week during those seasons. They provide a Christmas party with music and gifts for patients at a nearby mental hospital. And, they reach out in times of crisis to help hurting people.
You may be in a church that is limited in what it can do by itself, but you are not limited in what you can do when you work with other churches. Let me hasten to add that these do not have to be churches in the same denomination either. When smaller churches come together they become much larger and their resources dramatically increase. What ministry needs exist in your community that your church could meet if it was willing to work with other churches? How soon do you plan to meet with the leaders of those churches to put together a ministry game plan to meet those needs?