Recently I’ve done a ride-along with our local PD, and attended a Police Department Chaplaincy Conference in the Des Moines area. A common theme that’s already standing out to me is the importance of practicing an intentional presence. During the ride-along I learned that it’s good for the PD to show it’s colors in the community, whether at schools, on the streets, or in businesses. Presence earns trust. And at the conference I learned that a ministry of presence is key to a successful PD Chaplaincy…just to be there for, and to be ready to serve in any capacity the community and our PD ought to be a Chaplain’s goal.
We often hear that we as believers are to preach…and sometimes use words. That’s a ministry of presence. At times Jesus Himself exemplified a ministry of presence for us when He states in John 10:36c-38, 42 that, “‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.’…42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.” The apostle Paul was also intentional with practicing a ministry of presence. He would often be intentional and go to where he knew the people would be…along the river (Acts 16:13); the synagogues and market places (Acts 17:17; 19:8); publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20).
May we never underestimate the ministry of just being in someone’s presence. We might not have the words to say…that’s fine. Just being there for them, just developing that trust, just providing that smile, just providing that hug is sometimes all that they need…BUT we got to be there. Practice a ministry of presence…let them see Jesus in you. And use words if God so leads you to…in His perfect way and time.
Practicing His Presence,
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter