Church leadership is a funny sort of business. You meet and fall in love with people. They move. Or you move. You meet and fall in love with more people. They move. Or you move. Pretty soon, you have an incredible database of friends that feel more like family. Older folks who feel like honorary grandparents, people who are more like aunts and uncles than just friends, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. The body of Christ really is like a big extended family. For better or worse.
Some will always be just friends or acquaintances or people you say hi to on Sunday morning. But some people cry together, laugh together, hug tight, anticipate life and overlap lives so often that it really, truly does feel like whatever happens to them will greatly impact your own life. Some people, you really just love a lot.
It is a blessing to love like that.
But when they hurt, we hurt. When they're anxious, we're anxious. When they need prayer we step in and say, "Lord, we will still be worshiping you tonight, even if this doesn't go the way we want it to. You will still be on the throne. But, please, Lord, can you answer this prayer the way we're all hoping?" And maybe we don't think about it as much as they do but we sure think about it an awful lot.
We are praying today for a family we love big. Maybe they don't even know how much we love them. But we do. So much so that we are going before the Lord constantly and begging, "Oh Lord, hear our prayer..."
Please pray with me. You might not know them but trust me, they are worth your time. One day they will move. Or we will move. But for now, we share this space, this town, this church building. I am honored to know them and to partner with them in ministry. They need our prayers.
"Lord, bless this family's sacrifice. Accept what they have done. Allow it to come to pass as we hope and desire that it will. Amen."