Growing up on the mission field and traveling to 23 countries by the time I was 8 years old gave me a broad picture of God’s Church. I once thought it created in me a “color-blindness” I believed was godly. Rather my eyes were opened to view and celebrate the incredible array of color represented by God’s creation. He created one race…the human race, and in the beauty of its variety we find the full picture of our Creator. He rejoices over the beauty of the diversity He calls “very good”.
What our nation experienced collectively as we watched what happened to George Floyd during that 8 minutes and 46 seconds should open our eyes to the ways our enemy has attempted to steal, kill, and destroy God’s creation. We also saw people join hands across racial, political, and law enforcement lines for peaceful protests. Unfortunately, disruptive attempts to cause division infiltrated these attempts for unity as well. If the Church is the reflection of the God who created every human being in His image then we must work together to stand against injustice no matter where we find it. It is up to us to bring about justice and restoration, not destruction and division to our world.
How are you and I, as pastors, going to do this in our contexts and areas of influence?
We are called not only as pastors leading churches, but also as ministers of the Gospel, to reflect the love and beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ in our communities.
God has graced me with the gift of leading a church. He has also given me influence as I run an Anti-Human Trafficking organization bringing awareness and education to all ages across our county, while also working with law enforcement in the extraction and restoration of trafficked survivors. This ministry in the community has opened up relationships throughout my county and state. The favor through these relationships allowed me to be elected as a City Council Member in Eureka, California, where God has currently given me influence in law-making at my city, county, and state levels. You have also been given a context and a sphere of influence that Jesus wants to maximize in bringing about a clearer reflection of Him in your world.
We are not called to bring political reform to our world. We aren’t even called to bring religious reform. Rather, we are called to bring heart reform and in doing so Jesus will shine ever brighter and His Church will grow and be strengthened. Heart change begins with us and flows out of its abundance to those around us.
Over the past few months, I have been in conversation in my areas of influence regarding the issues of racial restoration. Listening and allowing God to break my heart as His heart breaks for the wounded, the suffering, and the angry (which is a reflection of hurt and fear) has opened the door to deep conviction and relationships.
As Sonya Brunswick and I join together seeking God’s will and purposes for this season and into the future for the Foursquare Church, we ask for your prayers first and foremost. The prayers of the saints are powerful and effective and thwart the enemy’s tactics. Secondly, we ask you to search your hearts and be open to how God wants to break and shape it as we grow in our understanding and unity to Him and one another across the Central Pacific District.
Pastor Heidi Messner, Eureka Faith Center
Co-Chair of the CPD Council for Unity, Restoration, and Engagement (C.U.R.E.)