Prayer-Driven Outreach

Beginning July 1st my job at New Life officially changed. My role now is community relations coordinator. The session has also started an outreach committee of which I am a non-session member. Steve Smallman (Interim Pastor), asked me, Nancy Bower, to write this blog to help explain my role at the church. I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past few years thinking and praying about outreach ministries and getting connected to our Glenside community. Under the leadership of Terry Traylor and David Goneau, former pastors, the church made a shift to focus more on our local community. In the absence of an outreach pastor, my job was created to fill in some gaps.

People have asked me what my new job will entail. Some of the job is event planning. Upcoming events that I am working on include the August carnival and movie night and the “Get Real” seminar with John Leonard in September. The church will also be involved in a number of community events in the fall. Keep your ears open for announcements. I hope you will plan to participate in these events!

As part of my job I also represent New Life at community organizations including the Keswick Village Business Association, The Downtown Glenside Community Partnership and The Abington Community Taskforce. Feel free to ask me about any of these organizations and how you might get involved. Another part of my role is to encourage you to get connected to your community where you are able and to intentionally be a light of Christ in your relationships. If you have places you are involved and there are ways the church can come alongside you in this, please seek me out! In many ways this job suits me well. I am a planner, organizer and get it done type of a person.

However, the Lord has been showing me for the past few years that the real “work” of outreach is to continually lay the needs of our community at His feet in prayer and then wait on Him to lead. Last year Sean Roberts, our youth pastor and my boss when I was the youth administrator, challenged me to spend at least one hour of my ten hour work week in private prayer seeking the Lord’s leading. My first response to Sean was, “That’s a waste of the church’s money.” When I heard myself say that, I realized I needed deep repentance and heart change. Thankfully, Sean stuck by his command and my job included private prayer. This has become THE essential component of my work week. Two weeks ago at Sean’s installation service in Maine one of the men speaking used the first verse of Psalm 127 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Since then this verse has resounded in my heart. We can “do” a bunch of outreach things and we will certainly do many of them, but this is not what will ultimately build the Kingdom. The Lord will build His Kingdom. Our job is to be faithful to be where He has called us, to see the souls around us with His eyes and to bring the message of the Gospel to a needy world.

With this in mind the outreach committee has started a new prayer meeting during which we intentionally pray for those in our community who do not yet know Jesus. We have created a list of our contacts and pray weekly through this list. Please consider joining us. We meet on Thursday mornings. The time has varied over the summer, so if you want to join us, please let me know and I will add you to the invitation list. We’ll announce the time in the fall as it gets more permanently set. As we pray and follow His leading, we will watch the Lord grow His kingdom here in Glenside.