Working Together in Cincinnati
by Stan Elder
The story below explains how networking is reaching students and the community for Christ in Greater Cincinnati.
Emily Richardson is my network coordinator for Harrison, Ohio. If you are not familiar with where Harrison is, it's the last town in the Greater Cincinnati area before you reach Indiana. Emily shared with me something powerful that is happening in Harrison.
The Harrison network consists of youth pastors, senior pastors, a high school principal, and parents who take time to pray and worship. Emily said, "Powerful day today; it was awesome to see how the senior pastors came around the youth pastors to pray for them. They put an encouraging arm around their shoulders, and then also prayed for our community together as leaders."
She told me that it brought to her mind the Scripture in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says- "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
"Over 15 different churches or denominations are coming together in Harrison, Ohio. To work together to make this city into His city they are starting a challenge called THIS CITY. People in the community can get to know others from other churches; so people who don't even know the Lord might start asking what it's all about. This can truly become something more like the "Church of Harrison" rather than individual groups doing their own thing. Both the youth and head pastors are working on combined events to help make this happen."
The Beechmont network has blessed us with an "open door" at Nagle Middle School. We have seen God at work in this school. One of the new programs that are happening at the middle school is called the LiveFAITH Club. The LiveFAITH Club is about challenging and encouraging one another to live and share their faith in Christ.
One week in March, the students had an event after school. The event was to tell students about the club and to share Christ with them. It was such a huge win for our middle school students. A group of about eight of them regularly attend this club. They invited their friends, and 30 students attended that time. The students from the club introduced and welcomed everyone. They spoke about their club, led prayers, and stepped up to make the event happen.
Youth pastors, Young Life leaders, and school staff were there to help and support the students. At the event, they had a guest speaker - Jake Shaffer - who plays with the Seattle Mariners. He spoke about our identity coming from God. God created us to do great things when we are used by Him. The students really responded to the message!
Students are already talking about what they want to do and share the next time they get together. Keep praying for the student leaders at Nagle Middle School; students like Carter and Sydney. Carter got baptized just a few weeks ago and he is now one of the students that leads this group. Sydney just started coming to one of the local church youth groups a year ago. Her family does not come to church and they are not very supportive about her developing a relationship with Jesus. She is one of the regulars at the LiveFaith Club, and it was so cool to see her help plan the LiveFaith event, and even close the group in prayer.
What's happening through networking in YOUR community?