We had one of our training days for the chaplaincy team. A day to relax, pray, go for a walk and pray for one another too.
The theme and prayer for the day was that as a city centre team we would have soft hearts, that we would reach people out of compassion and rather than just go through the motions, we would be people of emotions.
In Mark Chapter 6 Jesus is described as someone who is ‘moved with pity’ or another version puts it like this:
When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke—like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them.
When his disciples thought this had gone on long enough—it was now quite late in the day—they interrupted: “We are a long way out in the country, and it’s very late. Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”
Jesus said, “You do it. Fix supper for them.”
This is my how I want to be. With my heart broken for people around me who need hope.
The day felt special, setting aside time to ‘pray and be’ is so important in any form of ministry. Without meeting with Jesus afresh ourselves all we have to offer people is stale bread. We need the freshness and childlikeness of following after Jesus to offer anything of life to those around us.
To keep us focused on what we’re all about as part of the day we wrote up the names of those we have met recently and made their names into an art piece. Afterwards I wrote the name of Jesus over the names as a prayer that he would be close to them.
It’s an encouraging exercise to do to see how many people we have met recently and how we have been able to bring Jesus to people. I am so grateful for my team of chaplains.