It sounds like the start of a bad joke… a Baptist minister, a Wesleyan minister and a Nazarene minister all walked into city hall. But, the gospel impact these pastors are making in North Vernon, Indiana is no laughing matter.

I was recently invited to attend a time of prayer with the mayor of this Midwestern city and was blown away by what I experienced.

A group of pastors gathers every week at town hall to pray for the Mayor and to ask how they can help their city. This group of pastors also started a chaplaincy program in a local factory, recently received a $65,000 donation from that factory to build an addiction recovery home and is now running the Potter’s House, a faith-based addictions recovery program for men.

This program has been so successful that it has been highlighted by the major newspaper in Columbus, Indiana and by Outreach Magazine, a national publication.

Key takeaways:

  • Why Mayor Mike Ochs initiated a time of voluntary prayer on his lunch hour one day a week.
  • How these pastors started a chaplaincy program at (of all places) a local factory.
  • Why Indiana passed the Indiana Displaced Workers Act and how the church can help individuals coming out of jail find work.
  • The great story about one Potter’s House graduate (who was formerly homeless) serving on a community board that addresses homelessness.
  • Lessons about leading a church toward an outward focus.
  • Great thought, “The world has the right to expect the church to be different.”