This morning during the pastoral prayer Aaron began praying for our church – that we would be a Gospel-centered congregation who loves Jesus and loves our neighbors. He didn’t stop there. He followed in a line of men who have been doing the pastoral prayer each Sunday morning for some time. That is, he continued to pray for other congregations in the area. He prayed that they would be renewed in their minds and that the preacher would declare the truths of the Gospel clearly.
The beauty of this has to do with the fact that we understand that missions in our city is bigger than our meager offering. We understand that we are not in competition with the larger congregations…we are in cahoots.
I was involved in a college ministry that was one among five. I have to confess I would get jealous whenever someone would visit our weekly meeting but then got involved in one of the other ministries. It could be due to the fact that I liked my ministry and knew that it was evangeliatic and theological. More than I would like to admit, it was due to competitive pride.
What has been refreshing about beign at Third Avenue is that, although we struggle with pride, we desire to encourage the ministries around us and build up the Body of Christ through concerted efforts. May God continue to humble us and other congregations to pray for each other and encourage each other rather than talk about ‘them.’