A Catholic priest, a Baptist and a Mennonite walk into a coffee shop…

…and we greeted each other with joy and laughter. Father Barnhill even bought the coffee!

One of the great things about Beatrice is our Ministerial Association. This is a group of local church leaders who get together once a month to encourage one another, share resources and pray together for our city.

When my family first moved to Beatrice in 2015, we really only knew people from our church. Moving somewhere new can be a lonely and difficult experience, and while our church did a good job of ensuring that we felt welcome, it’s still strange to be in a new place.

But soon I would run into a few other pastors from our community and they invited me to come to the local ministerial gathering. There, I would meet other local pastors and ministry workers. Suddenly, I knew a few people who didn’t go to my church! Not only that, but I had a small fellowship group that I could work alongside.

In John 13:34-35, Jesus says: “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Historically, Christians have really struggled with this. We don’t always do a good job of getting along with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes, it seems more like churches are competing against each other, rather than working together.

Jesus says that people will know that we are following him by how we love one another. This doesn’t mean that we have to agree about everything. But it’s a love that lets go of our need to be right about everything, so that we can better serve our community as we work together to care for those in need, introduce people to Jesus and encourage them to follow his ways.

So local pastors continue to meet together each month. We continue to learn from each other. We continue to pray and look for new ways that we can work together. Why? Because we’re better when we serve Jesus together! So that through our lives and by our prayers, we’ll see Jesus’ kingdom come and his will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven.

It is our hope and prayer that this would be true of Beatrice.

Ask your pastors if they are participating in the Beatrice Ministerial Association—we’d love to have them join us!


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