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City ImpactGeneral Interest

Churches at Center of Response to Last Week’s Killings

By July 11, 2016 No Comments

By Warren Bird

Photo from Dallas Morning News - From left: Bob Anderson, Vicki Smith and Miller Cunningham held hands in prayer during the Together We Stand service at Concord Church in Dallas on Friday. (Ting Shen/Staff Photographer)

Photo from Dallas Morning News – Three worshipers holding hands in prayer during the Together We Stand service at Concord Church in Dallas on Friday. (Ting Shen/Staff Photographer)

Yesterday at the small Metro New York City church where my wife and I are members, our pastor shelved his planned sermon, and instead led us to focus on Scriptures and prayers related to last week’s killings.

It turns out that our church was not alone. Apparently many other churches did so—and the media gave lots of positive coverage in response. Here’s a sampling of headlines, along with the relevant articles:

The tragedies came especially home for churches where the slain were members. The New York Times, for example, wrote the following:

At Watermark Community Church in Dallas, those who dropped off their children for Sunday school walked by the place where Sgt. Michael J. Smith had stood for years, sometimes on Sundays, sometimes during the week, by the glass doors leading to the preschool classrooms.

He had been there the previous Sunday, but he was not there for this one. Sergeant Smith, who provided security at the church while off duty and was also a member, was one of the sniper’s victims on Thursday night.

Even in cities far from the violence, churches were proactive on several fronts. Examples:

What did your church do? What’s ahead for your church? What other helpful examples of response do you know about? Please use the “comments” section below to add to the conversation.

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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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