My first chance to attend the Church Leaders Prayer Fellowship (CLPF) Pune was a few months ago as part of my work. When I first heard that church leaders gather to pray to Jesus together, I must confess my first few thoughts were –
Can we have that level of unity, what with the multitude of denominations and theological differences in Pune churches?
I was a bit apprehensive. What kind of “leaders” was I to expect there? I just trusted God and the judgement and vision of my church leaders who had invited me.
What to expect in a regular CLPF Meeting
As I entered the venue, there were a few church leaders already present. Now, I do not know how you picture “church leaders”. These are not “Fathers and Brothers” from main-line churches, so I did not run into several clergy-men in billowing white robes.
As we took our seats, in poured regular-looking men, some dressed in their formal best, some in just sandals and casual wear. Some were in their late thirties, some were wizened veteran pastors, armed with a satchel, hobbling up to the nearest seat.
The meeting began with a music team leading us in giving voice to the fame our good Lord Jesus deserves. Leaders who are not used to exuberant “Charismatic” singing might need to adjust themselves to this session that seemed to have been rigged by a Psalmist (Ps 33:3).
Then we all prayed for matters concerning India, Maharashtra and our city, Pune. We were urged to break into small groups and pray for one another too. I was blown away by the time and attention given to prayer. In times that seldom see a surplus of prayer, this was fitting.
Then there was a sermon. This intended to encourage leaders who daily bear the cost of being a disciple of Jesus and the joyful burden of shepherding His people. This was followed by announcements and lunch that attendees chose to sponsor.
How CLPF changes church dynamics in Pune
It was comforting to see church leaders agree unanimously to take matters to the Lord in prayer. This dependence on Christ is the future of God’s people.
These leaders seem to believe that unless the Lord builds, it’s all in vain (Ps 127:1)
At CLPF, I saw an intentional attempt to build gracious bridges from between evangelical church leaders. Of course, there will be differences until we all get Home, but,
How do you hope for some unity, unless you meet “the others”?
CLPF also gives a larger perspective to God’s gigantic work and even provides avenues for communication and support among churches in Pune. God knows we all need it.
You can respond in the comments section to know about the next CLPF meeting!
Next – CLPF prays for fellow Puneri Muslims.