A PAL meeting to remember
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 11:23PM
Living with Freaks

I cannot stop thinking about a PAL meeting we had last week. PAL stands for Prayer, Administration, Leadership meeting (if you are wondering who came up with that name, it's my spiritual gift so back off). We have been having them for a year and a half, meeting about every other week. The purpose is to come before the Lord as a church in an intentional way. It is also a meeting that gives both men and women equal opportunity to come to the Lord together about matters involving the church.

Most PAL meetings start with anywhere from 30-45 minutes of prayer. We try very hard to pray before we discuss anything or share something on our hearts. The point is to come to the Lord first...together...and receive from Him anything that should need to be discussed regarding administration or leadership in the church. Those who have any interest in the administration and leadership of the church are welcome, and those who do not have an interest do not come (and there is no pressure or guilt-trip to come).

Four things (or people) struck me about our last PAL meeting:

  1. Erin. This PAL meeting was initiated by a woman. Since late January, we have been having some teaching times on Wednesday nights. Since these teaching times have been weekly, we have not had a PAL meeting recently. But Erin, a sister in the church, expressed her desire for us to not forgo this meeting, so she emailed Patrick (who was graciously coordinating the teaching times) and said she thought we should take a break from teaching one week in order to pray together. And it happened. I think that's significant for both Erin and our church.
  2. Todd. Todd is a man who has been visiting recently. He came to us through Greg, who invited him to the teaching times. Visitors are not a common occurrence for us, and we probably are not the best at including them. But Todd has really made himself at home with us, and I have just loved it. During the meeting, as we were praying, Todd decided to pray out loud. In his prayer, he thanked the Lord for giving him a fellowship of believers that he has been praying for. As he prayed, tears filled his eyes. It was absolutely beautiful.
  3. Jeremy. Jeremy is Jeff's son, and he fellowships with us when he is in town (as opposed to when he is in Austin, Alaska, or some other place). Jeremy has a condition in which his skin does not properly adhere to his body. He is in his mid 20's, and he has already lived longer and lived better than doctors predicted. As part of this condition, Jeremy has not been able to use his vocal chords. Recently, he had surgery to repair his vocal chords that we pray is a permanent fix. But either way, for the time being, Jeremy can speak. He can use his vocal chords. At this meeting, it was the first time for many to hear Jeremy's actual voice. So what did he pray with this voice of his? He prayed, "I want to use my voice to bring glory to You." There was almost a holy gasp in the room. It was simply awesome. 
  4. Tonya. Tonya is a woman who has had a really hard time in life. We, as a church, are trying to help her get back on her feet and show her what it means to be part of a family of believers. Tonya was not at this meeting, but we prayed for her, and we sought the Lord together about how to love her, help her, and give Christ to her. Sometimes, we can get too caught up in our church community and miss opportunities for God to express Himself through us to those outside. Tonya has been a wonderful gift - both because of who she is, and because God is beginning to teach us how to love those who are not in the best of circumstances and who are not a part of this local church.

All that to say: it was a heck of a meeting. Jesus really showed up and led us. I saw and felt the unique expressions of God we all are. Don't let me give you the wrong idea: all of our meetings are not like this. Too few are. But I am so thankful for this one.


Article originally appeared on Living with Freaks (http://www.livingwithfreaks.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.