Aug 1, 2021 | by Dolph Laraio
Brothers and Sisters,
Things are being shaken in the Body of Christ right now. Which can be both a very good thing,
and at the same time a very scary thing. It's scary when we look around ourselves and see all
the division, hatred, and fear permeating throughout not only the world, but also the Church.
But it's a good thing when we focus our eyes on Jesus, and realize that He is removing the
things which can be shaken, that we may receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken. We
often think of pruning as something God does to individuals; we're now seeing it as something
He also does on a larger scale. While it doesn't feel good in the moment, it's going to produce
far greater fruit in the end.
At Netzer, we have been preparing the Church for days such as these. We are seeing all the
same circumstances that everyone sees, but experiencing a far different response from most of
the pastors and churches we work with. We are seeing pastors dive even deeper in love,
prayer, and care for one another. We are seeing support and encouragement for those who
need it, rather than an inward-focused mindset. We are having conversations around Covid,
politics, and race that are defined by respect and a listening/learning posture. Pastors and
leaders are working hard to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It's a wonderful
thing to witness!
Another positive development over the past year has occurred in the area of racial unity. The
Lord is working in both churches of color as well as white churches to bring pastors together, to
have more honest conversation, to learn from one another, and to deepen relationships in a way
we have not seen before. The beauty of these men and women coming together, hearing and
having a voice at the table, and discerning together what God is doing in our midst, is a direct
answer to years of prayer. And it's even more beautiful than some of us could've asked or
I thank Providence for your continued partnership in this ministry. Both the pastors and
congregation have been a huge encouragement since day one of this journey (13 years ago).
As we are now working in 12 different towns to help bring unity to the Body of Christ (so that
every man, woman, and child can have repeated opportunities to hear, see, and respond to the
Gospel of Jesus Christ), I'd covet your prayers for wisdom in when to say yes/no to
opportunities, leadership development in pastors so they can "own" the vision for their town, and
continued progress in bridging cross-racial lines.
Anyone interested in taking steps with us--please reach out to me! We have a real heart to see
individuals building relationships in their neighborhoods with both churched and unchurched
neighbors. There are so many ways we can have fun while connecting with others; all it takes is
a willing heart to take a step! Also, primarily due to Covid, I have personally had to lower my
salary for the first time in 13 years. So, in a moment of vulnerability, I would ask you to consider
coming alongside the ministry in that sense--my ask is $10/month. My heart is to see many
people own the vision for themselves and take small steps to live it out in their daily lives, and I'd
love to take those steps with you together!
Thank you, Providence family. I love you all,