A few weeks ago I was asked to give the invocation at a group called the League of Nevada Cities; they were holding their annual meetings here in Elko.  My plan was to just show up, pray and leave.  As I thought about it, I decided to stay.  My hope was that I would have the chance to talk to some of the city leaders there and possibly help them understand the role of the churches in their cities.


Most city leaders look at churches as places of inconvenience.  Large churches cause traffic problems on Sunday (and possibly other days).  Churches don’t pay property tax, nor do they pay sales tax.  They look at us and think they get no benefit from us.


I was really hoping to get the chance to help them see the benefits that churches offer (or should offer) to the communities where they are located.  First of all, we are required to pay sales tax on about half of the things we buy.  No, we do not pay property tax, but again, the idea that we don’t “contribute” is short sighted.


The church’s role in a community is to produce better people.  People who obey the law, respect their leaders, pay their taxes.  In addition, church people are told they should participate in the life of the community.  Most of the charitable organizations are supported by Christians (not to mention started by them).  We rally behind those in need, volunteer as coaches, serve on committees.  Christians are required to pray for and seek the benefit of their leaders (whether they want to or not).  Even when we fight against a proposal, or a law, we are told to be respectful.  Christians are supposed to make their own lives better and to help others do the same.


I never got the chance to talk to anyone about these things, but I got the chance to bless them; and apparently, that was enough. 


By the way, how are you doing in making Elko a better place?