I have a unique opportunity in my job as the director of a day-care program for the largest Presbyterian Church in New England. Technically I am an officer in their church, and the day-care program is one of their primary outreach ministries. It is a joy to work with an organization that prays unabashedly about everything, albeit from some very different starting points than my own. I also enjoy opportunities to gently offer a perspective that differs from the prevailing (Protestant) approach.
I have been in this job since December of 2008. When I took over, the day-care program was in disarray and the church hoped I would begin to close a $50,000 operating gap, although the program was not expected to pay its own way. There was surprise and delight when the gap was significantly reduced at the end of 2009. By December 2010, day care had provided an unexpected profit of $76,000, which helped to close the church’s operating expense shortfall! The real joy of this success lies in the fact that the pastors, business manager, and governing body of the church recognize that it is the result of my consistent reliance on prayer to point out the next right steps for the ministry under my direction.
At the start of my employment, the Senior Pastor, knowing my background as a lifelong Christian Scientist, somewhat tactfully said he hoped I wouldn’t talk a lot about “Eddy ideas” as I worked with staff and parents, although I should feel free to share “my Christian testimony.” I told him that I was not there to proselytize for my church, but he could be assured that I would definitely apply “Eddy ideas” in my prayers. I think he now has a greatly improved view of the application of “Eddy ideas”!
I am judicious in what I say, but feel quite free to share the results of prayer with individuals and also at the staff and director level. The director of membership has said to me, “I’m going to have to learn how you pray because you always have quick results and they’re always good.” She often consults me on different topics because she finds new, more spiritual ways of looking at things. We have had many talks exploring ideas from the basis of perfect God and perfect man.
In a conversation with one of the administrative assistants, I mentioned my daily Bible study. She was so surprised that anyone had the discipline to study the Bible every day! I explained that this is a daily habit of most Christian Scientists. I also described the Bible Lesson, its relation to our weekly sermon, and how serving as a Reader helped me grow in my knowledge of the Bible. She noted how daily Bible study gave me the inspiration to always have God’s Word at hand for every need.
On another occasion, I shared Psalm 91, verse 11, with her. She was not familiar with it, but immediately marked it in her Bible. I was also able to relate physical healings my daughter and I had experienced through application of Psalm 91. While I have offered to pray about certain challenges in her life and she has gratefully accepted, I have not yet offered Christian Science treatment.