Came across this thought provoking quote from Pastor Mark Buchanan in the most recent edition of Leadership Journal. Would you have the courage to pray this way for the ministry of FPC? Let me know what you think....
Jim Cymbala once said that pastors should pray, "Bring us the drug-addicted, the prostitutes, the destitute, the gang leaders, those with AIDS, the people nobody wants, who only you can heal, and let us love them in your name until they are whole."
I had never prayed for God to bring such people to my church. So I repented and began to cry out for "those nobody wanted." And darned if God didn't bring them. But then I found out why nobody wants them: they're messy and costly and dirty.
When God brings messy people, it does two things: first, it make you real and then it makes your desperate. It makes you real because your are dealing with a magnitude of sin that bromides and platitudes are powerless against. You have to name sin in all its ugliness and minister the cure undiluted. It makes you desperate, because with the sex-trade workers and crack addicts, there's no three step technique, and unless Jesus is with you, ready to catch you when you fall, you are going to fail.
Some days I wish things were tidy again. But if ministry and mess are inseparable, I'll take them both.