And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
When Rev. Price received Rev. Dr. Helen Lockwood’s invitation to preach a revival at her church he knew God had a call that He wanted to put on the life of the church. During the 3 days of the revival he delivered the special message God gave him for their church. He told the members and their leaders of God’s love for their church and His desire that they become more involved with the hurting people in their community. He told them he realized his message would be like hearing that there is a “pink elephant in the room”. Those who have already chosen to hear God’s call can see the “pink elephant in the room” but cannot prove to others that it is there.
Violence and trauma destroy lives. They force victims to change in order to find new hope and build new lives. With so much violence and loss in our society today, there are many hurting people coming to the church desperately in need of a path to healing. Rev. Price also added that with the large number of people being incarcerated there will be a huge number of offenders looking for support from the church when they have changed their life from living a life of crime. If their needs are not seen by the church these people will not be able to find healing and will leave from the church in a greater need and experiencing more pain than when they arrived.
Churches often fail at being there for those who are in need because they do not focus on the need for change. If they are going to keep up with their mission to help those in need they must be open to change. People naturally fear change. When the church prayed for God’s Word to speak to them at the revival He spoke to their hearts. Transformation takes place by a renewing of the mind and they heard His call to them to care about victims and offenders. Learning to love who God loves means learning how to be there for both the victim and the offenders. They can expect that this change will create a strong resistance and a deep need to seek support from leadership in the church to help them through it. They discovered how God wants them to listen and to support both victims and offenders in their search for new hope and healing. New Bethel Church and its leaders were very receptive to the message.
People, by nature, fear change and resist anything that pressures them to change. In his new documentary, Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson described how this natural fear was also around during the time of Jesus’ birth when people depended on the constant, familiar movement of the stars overhead to be their clock and calendar.
When society has so much victimization and God continues to call the church to be involved with the healing process it means that there are going to be changes that need to be made in order to keep up with best practices and how to best work with the needs that are there. During times of change, people experience a sense that a crisis is upon them. They need spiritual understanding to understand God’s purpose. The needs of traumatized victims of violence in the church and the offender seeking to live a life without crime can be like a “pink elephant in the room”. Only those who are open to hear God’s call can see the “pink elephant in the room” but cannot prove to others that it is there. There is this strong resistance to providing Christ-like leadership to the hurting people who cry for its true justice.