By David Evans
TBC Evangelism Specialist
As you are aware, our nation is struggling with a great divide. Those that stand in the middle of the divide are our men and women police officers. They wake every morning to fears that most of us cannot comprehend. They face the unknown everyday to protect and serve their communities. Lately they have been compensated with news of fallen officers. They are not paid enough and are not encouraged enough.
Within this same divide are other people — people that are not classified as police officers but are worried. They are worried for their communities and they are worried for the men and women that serve as police officers.
This divide also includes some people who may be mischievous and do not have the best intentions. They desire to take advantage of such moments for their selfish ideologies. They may provoke people to unpeaceful and unloving action. May it never be!
Where should the church be in this great divide? Paul wrote to the church of Thessalonica: “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (I Thessalonians 5:14). Much of the time when the Bible speaks of encouragement it speaks of encouragement of the children of God. The church should encourage one another and what a wonderful time to be a source of encouragement to men and women police officers and those within our community.
Where is the church when it pertains to the great divide? The church should be in the community serving its people and supporting its police officers. Why do we serve? At a time like this, the gospel is needed more than anything. Our communities and those that serve it need to see the ambassadors of the Gospels being Jesus’ hands and feet. People all around us need to see a living embodiment of hope, peace, and love. The church can do that.
What can you do? Here are a few ideas:
(1) Prepare a public service (Sunday service if you desire) to pray for your community. Invite those that are around your community and police officers to attend and let them know it will be a service for prayer, peace, and reconciliation.
(2) Your small group could write letters to your local police department to encourage them, and later follow that up with providing a meal for them. They are on the clock 24/7 so anytime would work. Just let them know that you are coming.
(3) You can conduct a servant evangelism project in a neighborhood in which your church has never ministered. There is a list of servant evangelism ideas in The Reaching App (Tools).