Church as Family
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family. ”
~ Virginia Satir
Well meaning people stay out late at night and can't get enough social entertainment in local drinking establishments. One supportive taxi cab driver notes that after the airports close all of his fellow drivers head towards local bars to wait for the enebriated. Their cabs are a reminder of the obvious. It is not safe to drive while intoxicated but as one taxi driver after another will attest, nine out of ten drunks pass them by, enter their own cars, and endanger the innocent.
The insanity of this is accentuated at closing time, when those who simply can't give it up are forced out of the bars. Many drivers time their visits to closing time. It is a serious problem and it happens every single night. Professional drivers know each bar's hours and which are the worst offenders.
The high and regular incidence of this has driven many to conclude that cooling off spots for sobering up are deeply needed. Located not far from the drinking establishments where this most frequently occurs, the cab bill could be subsidized from the bar to an All Hours Church and back again three hours later.
The obvious concern with this suggestion is always the risk and it brings up questions about how to handle certain situations. What if someone passes out? What if someone has an over dose on drugs? What if one of the cab drivers gets robbed or injured? What if someone becomes violent? What if someone simply disturbs others because they are drunk and rowdy? Should we allow visitors to sleep off their drunkeness on our couches? Would this turn the All Hours Church into a mecca for drug addicts and dealers at the end of every night?
It is useful to imagine the worst and then realize that in this world, the worst is even worse than we ever imagined. We must prepare for it and be equipped at all times. It is often suggested that we hire security guards to ensure that the All Hours Church remains a safe place that encourages sobriety rather than decadence particularly in the wee after hours of the morning.
A problem managed responsibly and effectively becomes a very great opportunity. Those who need the light of the Gospel more than any other are drawn to the beacon of light in the night that receives them in sanctuary at all times. They arrive at an oasis of kindness and truth, where they regain their senses and are sent off to live more carefully.
The All Hours Church is also a place where AA groups and Christian Recovery groups can meet up regularly. Some, who seek the fellowship of other recovering alcoholics and drug addicts look for places to meet constantly. There is a saying among those in recovery - "forty meetings in forty days." That is to say that in order to see the miracle of deliverance from substance abuse it is necessary to surround yourself with others who are going through the proven twelve step programs. It is necessary to find a sponsor and when a sponsor is not available to find a safe place to go to be encouraged.
The ideal location for such a place, such a sanctuary for those in recovery, is an All Hours Church.
This is how the Lord has fit the pieces together. Those in recovery tend not to be present during closing hours because they leave that lifestyle. Others see an opportunity for outreach to those in need. There is a burden some may be called to given their personal deliverance, finding purpose and spiritual gifts in that area. Don't be too surprised if a team of volunteers becomes available all through the night to minister to those who arrive at the All Hours Church by subsidized taxi cab and to support other team members. Don't be too surprised if these same team members work to make the All Hours Church into a very welcoming place, where healthy social relationships are built and the world finds the genuine light of Christ.
The sobering truth is that those in recovery are the real deal when it comes to faith. They recognize that without God their lives are a wreck. In such a humble way of thinking, they come to believe that God can fix them and they allow Him to do so bravely inventoring through their own fears, confessing their sins and faults to one another, seeking amends where possible, repeatedly and then giving back as volunteers and sponsors so that others have the same benefit. In short, they bear testimony to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a city in need of His truth.
Who is running this?
our Director of Education and ministry preparation.
Coordinator of women's outreach and counseling.
serving as web master and master of calendars and advertising.
Fellowship, hospitality, facility booking coordinator - one amazing woman!
will head up the volunteer team that will meet with pastors and follow up seminars.
Jesus Our Lord
is our head and sovereign king. All are welcome to join us in serving Him.