Four Trends That Need to Continue
My family and I were quite surprised by Muskegon when we moved here from Chicago late in 2014. Living near Chicago meant that we were living in the 3rd most segregated city in the United States. In our time there, we were often inescapably aware of racial tensions and divisions that occasionally boiled over into violence. While I enjoyed our time there, it also had its share of dangers.
When we made the move to Muskegon, we heard negative comments about our city being a smaller version of Chicago. While there are some definite comparisons, I have to tell you that we have been very surprised. . . . in a good way. I am surprised at the number of things going right in Muskegon that we did not see happening in the bigger city.
I know that we still have to continue reducing the violence in our area and growing economic opportunities. I know. I can see that.
Plus, I know our tendency can be to focus on the negative, but as a relatively new person in Muskegon, I see lots of things going right.
As a pastor in our community, I see four trends that are very clear evidence that we are beginning to move in the right direction. If the community of faith continues to build on these trends we will see the transformation of our cities.
Here are the four positive trends that I see.
Trend 1: Pastors Praying Across Lines
In the communities I have served, I have never seen pastors praying across denominational and racial lines like we do in Muskegon. I am a part of several groups that intentionally facilitate pastors uniting in prayer for each other and for the community. The more we gather to pray for each other and our community, we see more transformation of the city. Here are two groups that I attend.
- Muskegon Area Pastors (MAPS) and the Shoreline City Minister’s Fellowship joining each other’s groups in prayer.
- Barnabas Ministries’ John 17:23 groups that intentionally group pastors from different traditions together in prayer and support
Trend 2: Churches Praying Strategically
Many cities around the country have gatherings across denominational lines for the simple and powerful purpose of praying for their city. Muskegon is one of them. We have a number of churches that dedicate one day a month and pray all day for our city. Seems hard to believe, but it’s true. Muskegon is being prayed for 24/7. Click here to find out more.
- Pray Muskegon is a ministry of MAPS and that coordinates churches in prayer.
Trend 3: Christians Worshipping Together
In John 17:23 Jesus tells us that our unity as Christians is a witness to the world. One of the natural outworkings of pastors and churches praying is that we partner together for worship. Here are some upcoming worship events:
- April 13, 2017, (6:30pm) Maunday Thursday Worship at Forest Park Covenant Church
- April 14, 2017, (1:00pm) Good Friday service at Evanston Avenue Baptist Church
- April 14, 2017, (6:30pm) Good Friday worship at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
Trend 4: Christians Serving Together
The challenges Muskegon faces are too great for any one person or any one congregation to handle. However, when we unite as one Body of Christ there is so much more we can do. Here are some partnerships I am working with that have been a tremendous blessing.
- Love, INC. We host their food pantry, resource room and a number of their classes. A great ministry that helps people transform their lives
- Beacon of Hope: A Biblical Counseling Ministry. We are working to bring this awesome ministry into Muskegon County in the next few months.
So yes, there are many things going right in Muskegon. As Christians continue to support these trends, I believe we will see a powerful transformation continue in Muskegon county. Plus, there are many more agencies and partnerships besides these few I’m working with!
Join the conversation:
What are some great Christian organizations that you partner with?