It has been 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. It may seem like a total downer to point out these realities, but there is some really good news! If the problems are similar in big cities and small towns, then so are many of the solutions!
One of the underlying principles that must guide sustainable, successful solutions to community challenges is collaboration.
This probably sounds a bit cliché, but some clichés achieve their status because they have developed a track record of truth over time.
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.
Friends, if collaboration works around the world it will also work in beautiful Williams Lake.
In fact, there are people in this town that have operated by this principle of collaboration for a long time.
One of the best is Mayor Cook, a person this author is privileged to call a friend.
For every issue our city faces, it seems our Mayor is inviting new combinations of folks to work together.
Our mayor is a shining example of what our city needs most.
The fruit of her efforts to draw us all together is already ripening. Look around the city and the region—you’ll see!
This kind of community networking is actually one of the inspirations for the formation of a new collaborative group in Williams Lake. It is called the Christian Leaders Network (CLN).
The Williams Lake CLN was formed during conversations between Mayor Kerry Cook, Pastor Paul Lomavatu (Cariboo Community Church) and Pastor Jeremy Vogt (Cariboo Bethel Church). The CLN is modeled off of other Christian leaders networks that have sprung up all over North America (Abbotsford, for example, has a CLN).
The mandate of the CLN is to draw together a broad spectrum of Christian leaders, pastors, service providers, government employees, business people and citizens. The CLN’s intention is to develop distinctively Christian responses to some of the major challenges that this wonderful city has struggled with for far too long. Most of you will know that Williams Lake has a longstanding Ministerial, which fulfills an important role in uniting churches and pastors in this region.
The CLN hopes to fulfill a similar unifying role alongside the Ministerial. In addition, the CLN will seek to make unique contributions to the health of our city by drawing on the wisdom and experience of a diverse table to tackle important issues together.
In Jeremiah 29 God says this: “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 CLN believes seeking the peace and wholeness of our city and region is a mandate for every Christian. Community wholeness is a project that calls us together folks! Thank you for your time.
If you have questions about the Christian Leaders Network, please contact Jeremy Vogt at email@example.com.