The What If?… program was designed to be used during this past Lenten Season, believing that God would call each of us and each church into the first steps of a ministry responding to the opioid epidemic. We have heard of very creative uses of the What If?… materials over the past few weeks. Some churches used the bulletin inserts and videos for Bible studies, some have used the Bulletin inserts for the bases of a sermon series, some have used the videos during worship (sorry about the length of the videos!), some have used the materials just as it was planned for individual spiritual growth. No matter how the material was used, I believe that seeds have been planted and new ministries are about to be born.
So what are the next steps?
1. If you have received a clear vision of what to do…do it, what are you waiting for?!
2. If you feel led to respond but not 100% sure what to do, visit organizations that are responding already in your community. Visit your local elementary school, meet your Drug Court Personnel, visit your local Family Resource Network there are dozens of groups that are responding…it is time to make connections and get involved. Remember how the disciples were holed up in their apartment after Jesus had ascended into heaven, and then the Holy Spirit came into their midst and empowered them to go out into the streets and proclaim the Gospel at Pentecost? We have been holed up in our sanctuaries for way too long, let the spirit move you!
3. Remember all ministries start small, what is a first step you can take, what is a first step your church can take?
4. If you want some more motivation, email me and I will come and present a program at your church or with a group of churches. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
5. If you did not use the What If?… program during Lent, use it now! Just ignore the Lenten language and use it now. People are dying, people are lost, people are hurting…we have got to respond with the good news of the empty tomb.
6. If you have started a ministry…no matter how small, let us know about it. We want to collect the stories of how we are responding and tell others about the faithful witness in West Virginia. As we collect the stories our hope is to put them on our webpage so others who are considering their response can gain creative ideas from what is already happening. We are in this together and there is no need to re-invent the wheel.
What if we allowed God to use us in ways we had never considered before?..
What if during the Easter Season?………………….