Williams Lake has a new organization called the Christian Leaders Network.
It has been operating since July 2011 and has participation from a variety of organizations across the city designed to tackle some of the major challenges of our community.
Should you be awake and at the Youth For Christ Hotspot early on the last Wednesday of every month, you would find 15 to 20 Christian leaders from all walks of life gathered to pray and discuss how God is working in Williams Lake. They are focusing on God’s solutions to some of the major challenges of our city.
The Williams Lake Christian Leaders Network was formed during conversations between Mayor Kerry Cook, Pastor Paul Lomavatu, Cariboo Community Church and myself, Pastor Jeremy Vogt, Cariboo Bethel Church, who is the group’s facilitator.
The group is modelled after other Christian Leaders Networks all over North America.
I have heard it said by more than one person that Williams Lake is a small town with big-city challenges.
The deeper insight behind that statement is that human communities, no matter what their size, tend to break down in some very common ways. Towns and cities of every size all suffer from the reality of abuse, disintegrated families, violence, gangs, property crimes, suicide, murder, drugs, alcohol abuse and racism.
One of the underlying principles that must guide sustainable, successful solutions to community challenges is collaboration.
All over the world, communities are addressing real issues of brokenness and disintegration by coming together around a common table, developing action plans that are uniquely tailored to their context.
If collaboration works around the world it will also work in beautiful Williams Lake.
In fact, there are people in this city who have operated by this principle of collaboration for a long time. One of the best is Mayor Kerry Cook. For every issue our city faces, it seems our mayor is inviting new combinations of folks to work together. Cook is a shining example of what our city needs most and the fruit of her efforts to draw us all together is already ripening.
This kind of community networking is actually one of the inspirations for the formation of this new collaborative group in Williams Lake.
The mandate of the Christian Leaders Network is to draw together a broad spectrum of Christian leaders, pastors, service providers, government employees, business people and citizens.
The intention is to develop distinctively Christian responses to some of the major challenges that this wonderful city has struggled with for far too long.
The Christian Leaders Network will seek to make unique contributions to the health of our city by drawing on the wisdom and experience of a diverse group of people across our city to tackle major important issues together.
For example, watch for details on our first community collaborative effort regarding the awareness and prevention of domestic abuse in April.
In Jeremiah 29 God says: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
The Christian Leaders Network believes seeking the peace and wholeness of our city and region is a mandate for every Christian.
If you have questions about the Christian Leaders Network and how you can be part of it, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.