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Crisis Ready

Tragedies are inevitable but never expected. When the next one occurs, will your church be strengthened or shattered?

Ministry means never knowing what the next phone call will bring. A complaint? A word of praise? Or soliciting? News of a birth, wedding plans, or a death? You never know. That's the nature of church ministry. We recently had two ministry-defining calls back to back.

One day I switched on my cell phone, and it immediately buzzed with an incoming text message. It was from my wife: SAD NEWS ABOUT MISSIONARIES. CALL.

That's when I learned that two of our long-term members, Warren and Donna Pett, had been shot to death in Uganda. I was stunned. Just a few weeks earlier Warren and Donna had stood before the congregation, explaining what they would be doing during their next term in Africa, and then we prayed for them.

A few days later, we gathered for their funeral, the two mahogany coffins shipped from Africa at the front of the church. Two coffins for two 49-year-old people. It is always shocking with more than one casket at a funeral. Usually it's because of an auto accident. This time it ...

May/June
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