By PPL Board Member, Rev. Lowell Avery
One of the ways we urge folks to champion human life is by helping them form a Life Team, and you can find helpful information about doing so on our website
life team page.
However, there are many challenges to developing a Life Team, and here is one of the most difficult to overcome: the temptation to just give up. Or to put it more positively, in the face of all the hardships, struggles, resistance, and even failures, how does one persevere? Every person in every Life Team in every church will eventually have to deal with headwinds and perhaps even some form of suffering. So what do we do? Each person and group will have to work out their own approach, but I urge you to do four things:
1. Pray for yourself and the team daily;
It helps to keep a prayer list to which you refer daily, and to which you can add specific praises and thanks and confessions and new needs, especially for wisdom. Even if some days your request is a very brief, “Help us, Lord,” keep praying.
2. Also, pray with the team, as frequently and regularly as doable;
In this time of pandemic it is more difficult to get together, but phone connections are easy. Many people can video chat, and some may be able to use Zoom or Microsoft’s Teams or another app to “gather” a group. Your church may have a room large enough for most of the group to gather safely distanced from each other. Just remember to speak up so that others can add their “Amens”. Do whatever it takes, and remember: devote most of your gathered time to actually praying.
3. Encourage one another frequently and regularly;
For those of us who much prefer face-to-face conversations, connecting by phone, or on-line, or even by mail feels awkward and unnatural. Do it anyway. Something is better than nothing. And as part of that encouragement, remind yourself and each other of the importance of your service. You will not receive such reminders from the culture of our world.
4. Participate in some way in corporate worship weekly.
You may not be able to gather as you normally would, but many churches are providing opportunities for on-line worship. Please, do not neglect such resources, and make sure you do more than just watch: actively participate. Follow along in your own Bible when the scriptures are read. Stand and sing aloud the “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Take notes during the sermon, and make a list of the prayer requests. Remember, your participation in worship honors God, helps you stay connected with the broader church, and will strengthen you for the long haul so that you may persevere in our important work.
The Grace and Peace of God be with you all.