By Pastor/Chaplain Jim Lightle with Chaplain Andy Meverden
We live in a challenging world. Church ministry is especially challenging; but imagine, as pastor, balancing the merger of two churches, and serving as a volunteer chaplain in your local Sherriff’s Department. Pastor Jim Lightle finds himself exactly there: “We have merged two churches together and I am now the Senior Pastor of FBC Oroville while Victory Christian Fellowship is being dissolved. There are many blessings as well as challenges in this merger.” There’s a list of prayer concerns a mile long right here.
If that weren’t enough stress and time pressure, Pastor Jim also serves as a local volunteer Law Enforcement Chaplain. “Meanwhile in the area of Sheriff’s Chaplain we have had a lot of tragedy in this time. Three line of duty deaths in neighboring counties that we have participated in the memorial service and processions; these have caused the surviving deputies and officers to work under constant stress. Ride-alongs have become like counseling sessions more in these times than usual.”
We all have seen the uptick in police shootings. How does this impact these Public Servants? “All of our active duty LE members see themselves as targets for ambush and hate crime. Theirs is a thankless job too much of the time; but meanwhile they continue in the role of Sheep Dog.”*
Chaplain Jim Lightle is one of seven Law Enforcement Chaplains endorsed by CBAmerica. These Chaplains serve at the Federal, State, County and Municipal levels. This year, they were there at the Orlando Nightclub shooting massacre, and at other tragedies in our counties and cities. Pray that God would give them the eyes and ears to assess the needs of those men and women – “Sheep Dogs” who protect us from the Evil that would destroy us and our loved ones; and may they be available to respond when the call goes out; as ministers of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.
For more stories of God’s amazing work in and through our CBAmerica chaplains, go to www.cbamerica.org/category/chaplaincy. For information on endorsement for chaplaincy, contact Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Note: *Chaplain Lightle is referring to the analogy popularized by Dr. David Grossman, LTC (Retired) Army Ranger, professor and author of two authoritative books, “On Killing” and “On Combat.” In them he likens the role of the Police and Military as “Sheep Dogs” in a society filled with generally docile, defenseless “Sheep,” who are occasionally victimized by “Wolves,” society’s predators. Sheep Dogs live peaceably among the Sheep who, when attacked by Wolves, call for rescue by their Sheep Dogs. David was an Old Testament “Sheep Dog” (See I Samuel 17:33-35 for his after-action report to King Saul).|