A Word From Steve Jones
december 9th, 2019
Gord Baptist loves what he does. His job as the Fellowship Advancement Director is to help facilitate generosity. His first day on the job was January 1, 2016 and the official launch of our Fellowship Foundation was in March 2015. Gord has been busy!
Our Fellowship Foundation’s MISSION is, “Helping God’s people be generous”, and the VISION is, “Connecting faith with finances”.
In three years the Fellowship Foundation has grown to $4.7 million in gifts, estate legacies and investments. Believers who love the Fellowship have designated their legacies toward the following:
How Can You Get Involved?
Visit www.fellowship.ca/Foundation for more information about the Fellowship Foundation and contact Gord Baptist here to discover more about:
Have a blessed week,
Aaron described it as “loitering with intent”. I found that interesting. Pastor Aaron Groat recently became a Fellowship chaplain in 2017. Aaron serves as lead Pastor at Calvary Baptist in Burlington, ON, but became a volunteer Fellowship chaplain as a means to be on mission in his community. Our full-time and part-time (volunteer) Fellowship chaplains are entering the “closed communities” in our towns, villages, and cities in order to demonstrate the love of Christ.
We commonly call it the “ministry of presence”, but I was intrigued by Aaron’s catch phrase when describing his ministry as a police chaplain. He called it the ministry of “loitering with intent”.
I recently heard from Aaron about what happened on one of his early “ride-alongs” with an officer. Chaplain Aaron strapped on a protective vest, sat in the police cruiser and assured the officer he would not be in the way. The officer assured Chaplain Aaron that he might be needed. During the ride along, chaplain Aaron assisted the officer in an arrestI’ll let chaplain Aaron tell the rest of the story:
The Journey from "Them" to "We"
“My journey as a chaplain for the Halton Regional Police began in the spring of 2017. It started as an invitation to meet with a Sergeant and have a conversation. Little did I know that they had been watching me for some time and had decided to ask me if I would be interested in coming on-board as their new service chaplain for 2 and 3 District in the Region. Basically, that covers Burlington, Oakville and Headquarters and all the units that run out of those locations. I was replacing a well-known and respected chaplain named Hans Hamer, who had passed away due to cancer four years earlier. They were big shoes to fill but God seemed to be opening doors for me to reach out and care for the men and women in law enforcement in Halton Region.
“I was issued some protective equipment and told I could get started. But where? The job of a police service chaplain has been described as to ‘loiter with intent’. You are not a police officer, nor will you ever be, and that makes the task of chaplain very difficult in a law enforcement environment. You are there to be supportive, encouraging and, if need be, talk about issues that they are dealing with. This requires a lot of trust.
“You need to understand that with police I was a ‘them’ and not a ‘we’. For officers, everyone is a ‘them’ and only rarely, do you become a ‘we’. Moving to a ‘we’ means inclusion and that is a tough place to get to. Building trust is part of the equation and that takes time. I also needed to demonstrate that I was for the police and not simply a silent bystander.
“How was I going to build trust with the officers? Little did I know that God was moving to help me build that trust beyond anything I could ever imagine.
“One night this past summer, while on patrol with a platoon in Oakville, we got a call for an alleged impaired driver who needed to be stopped. As we approached the car, the driver pulled away and slowly came to a stop in the corner of the intersection. The driver was commanded to exit the vehicle and told he was under arrest for suspected impaired driving. The driver became combative and refused to comply with the officer's orders. The officer requested assistance from me and the suspect was apprehended. The officer was relieved and very grateful for the assistance given.
“What happened next was something that only God could have orchestrated.
“That night I had earned a little bit of ‘street cred’. What that meant was that God opened doors for me to move a little bit closer to the ‘we’ side of law enforcement life. That evening I was able to talk and meet the officers in a fresh and meaningful way. The rest of the night was spent entering into their lives and encouraging them. It was unbelievable how God opened those doors and I will forever be grateful for the way that He can use me to build relationships and show the love of Jesus. The next day I woke up to emails from the Chief and my Inspector who were checking in on me and thanking me for my involvement. I'm still building trust over time, but in that one event, God moved the ministry along further than I could have ever imagined.
“I am looking forward to continuing this ministry of ‘loitering with intent’ and see what God does as I journey from ‘them’ to maybe one day, ‘we’.
I love this picture of one of our pastors hanging onto an impaired driver and assisting a police officer in making an arrest. Let’s be praying for our Fellowship chaplains as they continue their ministry of presence, or “loitering with intent”, among police, first responders, hospitals, nursing homes, soldiers, airport passengers, truck stops, sports teams and more.
Consider joining Fellowship Chaplaincy as a full-time or volunteer chaplain. Go to www.fellowship.ca/AboutFellowshipChaplains for more information on how to join. This would be an ideal way for many pastors or church leaders to volunteer in their community; ministering in places otherwise closed to clergy and the community.
Have a blessed week,
Mother’s Day is this Sunday. I hope we’re all planning to celebrate the mothers and grandmothers within our church families and communities.
A pastor heard another pastor preach a sermon on mothers. He started by saying, “You know the happiest days of my life were spent in the arms of another man’s wife!” The congregation gasped!
He quickly added, “It was my Mother!
The pastor liked the joke, and so, the following Mother’s Day Sunday he started his sermon with: “You know, the happiest days of my life were spent in the arms of another man’s wife!” His congregation gasped. But he froze, forgetting the punch line, he blurted out “And I cannot remember who she was!?”
I doubt any of us would ever forget our mother. Mothers make such an indelible impact on our lives. They are instrumental in developing our beliefs, values, and skills in life. A mom’s role is critical in helping a child to gain a world view that will bring purpose and meaning in life. What purpose might be worth passing on to a child?
The Bible says true meaning in life is found in a relationship with God.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 3 about our spiritually lifeless state. Spiritually lost people have “no understanding” of God and they do not “seek God.” Like spiritual cadavers they have “turned away” from God and their “throats are like open graves” (vv. 11-13). Their response is like throwing themselves into the cougar’s jaws.
On Mother’s Day, many local churches will give the gift of a carnation to each mother. They are beautiful; they smell nice for a day or two. But the carnation is dead. It died the moment the florist cut its stem. If you wait long enough you see it wilt. No matter what you do, you’ll never bring life to the carnation. The flower is dead.
The spiritually-lost are dead. They are the spiritually-walking dead. Cut off from their Heavenly Father, dead spiritually and utterly incapable of making themselves spiritually alive. A dead flower has no life. A dead body has no life. A dead soul has no life.
Jesus could not stand the idea of spiritual orphans rotting and dying for their sin. Just like a young mother hen willing to give up her own life for her chicks, Jesus came to rescue us.
"Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God; He gave us new life in Christ.” Ephesians 2:5
One of Jesus’ best friends, Lazarus, lay dead in his tomb. Jesus yells: “Lazarus”, and his dead friend rises from the dead. The stink of four days of rot must have been horrible in the hot Judean sun.
The human race is dead. Dead in their sin and they don’t notice it. We’ve been in the smell so long we’ve grown accustomed to the stink. But Jesus has not! The Lord cannot stand the smell.
Spiritually-lost people don’t need to try to get up, but admit they are dead. The only ones who remain in the grave are the ones who don’t think they’re dead.
Why have I shared this?
More husbands will show up this Sunday for their wife’s sake than any other Sunday on the calendar. For God’s sake… preach the Gospel and point spiritual orphans to the Heavenly Father they are currently estranged from. Let me know what happens, ok?
Have a blessed week,