The following is an excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 3 of “Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America” (edited by Darrell L. Guder)
Sally sat and reflected on the meeting she was attending. Because she had spoken out at her local church, the pastor had asked her to represent her local congregation at this regional gathering. Area church leaders in the city were planning for the upcoming National Day of Prayer. A broad coalition of persons from diverse denominations and religious groups attended the meeting.
Some of the evagelical churches were advocating that the group make a sincere application for the 2 Chronicles’ concept of national repentance. Others, especially from mainline denominations, wanted the day to focus attention on the problem of homelessness in the city. Several Roman Catholic sisters were asking that the issues of world peace and dismantling nuclear weapons be a main focus. Then there were those from the right-to-life crowd who insisted that the coalition accept their agenda up front. Of course, a significant number of representatives from various churches sharply protested this proposal.
By this time in the meeting, the gathering had split into two separate groups, each making plans for different ways to honor the day of prayer. One group seemed to made up mostly of evangelicals, representatives from parachurch organizations, and the right-to-life people. The other group appeared to be largely from mainline churches, while the Roman Catholics divided up and joined both groups in planning for the separate day’s events.
“What a collage!” Sally thought, “…and they all claim to represent God as they articulate their vision for the country.” She pondered whether God really identified with any of these agendas. “After all, what is a ‘National’ day of prayer, anyway?”