I’m not really a big crier. However, the other day I was moved deeply by a story Andy Stanley told. His church really took off when it got started, and they finally had to look for a facility to house all the crowds of people attending. After looking they landed upon a warehouse that could be renovated and reconfigured. The only drawback was that there was a little church next door, and they felt bad about that. When they opened, it was crazy times with people, traffic, parking issues and trying to make the logistics all work. After a few weeks of growing pains, Andy had a phone message left for him to return from the pastor of the little church next door. That’s all Andy needed … one more headache from the little church pastor about traffic, problems or whatever.
After delaying making the call for as long as possible, Andy made the call. The little church pastor surprisingly said, “I want you to know that for the last 10 years we have been praying God would reach this part of Atlanta and you are the answer to our prayers!!!” (Not what Andy expected to hear.) “Second, we see your parking lot is overflowing and our parking lot isn’t very full. We would like you to use our parking lot. Third, Pastor Stanley, we know you are a busy man but if you ever have time to come and preach at our service our people would love to have you.”
BAM! That got to me. Territorialism, competition, power-plays are so commonplace in politics, business and even among churches and para-church groups … unfortunately. It is so refreshing to see another approach … Unity, looking out for another’s interests, cooperation, serving and humility. In other words … the way of Jesus. It is moving.
Almost every day I am experiencing partnerships with thriving communities of Jesus followers and leaders from all stripes and traditions who humbly are loving God, loving neighbors, sharing the gospel of Jesus, serving cities and towns together as “the” church without a whole lot of notoriety, rancor, blaming, shaming and polarization. We are learning to build up, not simply tear down. Redemptive possibilities are everywhere, and mustard seed miracles are breaking forth. I’m believing our best days are ahead. May we all be more like that little church and pastor in Atlanta.
May we know Jesus and make Him known … even to LEADERS!
Speaking Opportunities in 2019
House of Representatives Bible Study
Capitol Lobbyist Studies
Meetings with Senators and Representatives
Bible Studies every day of the week but Saturdays
Northshore Bible Church
Baton Rouge Kiwanis Club
Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon
Christian Legal Society
Officers’ Christian Fellowship Retreat
Leadership St. Tammany Events
Mandeville City Council
Leader Faith Forum – St. Tammany
Methodist Ministers District Gathering
Giving Hope Retreat Center
Capitol Commission Gathering
National Day of Prayer at LA Capitol
U.S. Senator Event
Louisiana Treasurer’s Event
Leadership St. Tammany Retreat
Mens Unity Breakfast
Fallen Officers Memorial Ceremony
Lakeview Mens Gathering
Kingdom Group International
The Fellowship Cabinet Meeting
Countryside Fellowship Church
Parish President’s Forum
Chamber of Commerce
Alliance for Good Government
Grace Harbor Family Church
Prayer Community Event
Iron Sharpens Iron
Holy Land Tour
I have not mentioned finances since last December. The core of the ministry has been supported by people making monthly commitments to GRACE ADVENTURES, and this has been supplemented by one-time gifts. I am grateful. As a faith-based ministry, I am required to raise all of my support.
You have sacrificially partnered with Donna and me for years now to serve God’s Kingdom purposes. You have prayed, supported and encouraged us so we can minister to leaders with biblical values and our hearts. Out of caring for leader’s hearts comes relational equity to be considered their friends. These trust-filled relationships require empathy, time and consistency. Eternal fruit often flows out of extending God’s friendship to leaders. We are seeing Jesus’ impact on one of the most important mission fields. Thank you for strategically making this work possible and for many years of friendship with Donna and me. It is a joy to work with my friends to help new friends meet Jesus in a vital way. We love you and pray God’s best for you and your family.
Merry Christmas to you
Christmas is upon us. It is hard to believe that 2020 is only a few weeks away! (Was Y2K really 20 years ago?) This year has been a wonderful one, and as usual, we see God’s blessings every day. Donna volunteers at the Crisis Pregnancy Center and serves on their board. This year she started mentoring a group of young moms and oversees the ministry. I continue to be encouraged daily as I see men and women grow in their faith.
We will be taking my mom with us to see our son, daughter-in-law and precious grandchildren at Christmas. After Christmas we will travel to Maryland to see Donna’s mom and family. From December 30-January 3rd, I have the privilege of teaching the Scripture at the Officers’ Christian Fellowship Winter Retreat in White Sulphur Springs, Pennsylvania. Please pray for this wonderful opportunity! Our family wishes your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Michael and Donna
Year in Pictures