Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Fellowship of Christian Police Officers-Elgin Chapter

I am a member of FCPO and used to attend the Elgin Chapter.  I really didn't know a lot of people there but I attended a number of times over the course of the year so they did know who I was and my department.  A scheduling conflict then came up and I missed a number of meetings.

Here's what bothers me a bit...I am on their email distribution list so I am notified about the meetings and coming events so they have my contact info...no one followed up about my missed meetings.  I started thinking that really no one at that chapter really cared if I attended or did not attend.  It was a little click-y and I was a new comer with limited or no professional contact with the other members and they had a lot in common but I did think at the time they wanted me there.  So I decided to wait it out and see what happens, because I could really be over reacting or just being selfish about my feelings.

My hypothesis became conclusion when I was serving at the Greg Laurie Chicago Crusade.  I happened to run into another member of the group, and he even remembered my name.  But, no how have you been, thinking about making another meeting or anything at all about the FCPO.  I had to bring it up and just gave him an excuse about why I was not currently attending just to see what he said.  What I got was a nodding of the head and nothing more.  So clearly they did not want me at the meetings...and with that I never went back, even though that scheduling conflict has since resolved itself.

Now the point of all of this is not to place blame since I could have been the cause of the problem and unintentionally alienated everyone and no one wanted to confront me on it.  I have just closed that chapter and moved on.  But the point is, please, if you are in a leadership position in church or Christian organization make sure you check in and reach out to the marginal people in your group.  It is easy for new Christians or people with problems or whatever to flow right out of church and right back into the evil of this world.  You need to always be holding that hand out to bring them back in.  One call, one coffee, may be all thats needed to shine a little of his light into another's life.

By the way a friend of mine went to the Chicago chapter of FCPO a couple of months ago and the first thing they mentioned after they had caught up with her was to ask how I was doing and see if I would be attending again any time soon.  Guess which group I will be going back to...


Celebrate Recovery said...

Thank you for the inspiring words!!

Jimk151 said...

I'm very sorry to hear that you feel the way you do. We have police officers come and go all the time based on their schedule, distance traveled, and other job/family commitments. The last thing I would want to do is put a burden on someone that otherwise didn't feel comfortable with the group or if they directed their spiritual growth somewhere else, with some pressure of why they weren't there.

We try to be as open and accommodating as we can. I'm sorry we didn't follow up with you, but we generally don't do unsolicited callouts unless we specifically hear of something of concern or the person reaches out to one of us.

Also I am sorry to hear that, in your opinion the group was cliquish, we certainly don't mean to be. Several of us worked together for many years and sometimes get caught up in chat during the pre-meeting fellowship to catch up with retirees, but we are always open to anyone leading the group or taking us in the direction the Holy Spirit takes us. The great thing about our group is that we are as open and accepting as we are to everyone, wherever they are in their walk with the Lord. We have been blessed by Christ to have this group stay together and be as active as it has been for over 7 years. We have between 9 and 19 members and guests in attendance every month and also hold an annual prayer breakfast in the fall to welcome all that would like to check us out or hear who Jesus is.

This year the National FCPO is coming to Chicago in the Fall and we hope to be there too. Our group has been meeting regularly since 2003 every fourth Saturday at 0815 at Judson University and will meet this Saturday (4/23). You don't have to be an FCPO member or even a police officer to attend. We are all coming to this Bible Study all looking for spiritual growth and recharge that only Jesus can give from the rigors of this profession. I'm here to get closer to Christ like everyone else and quite frankly we don't have a very structured system of tracking attendance or membership. However I know I can speak for anyone of the guys that do come is if someone needed help, prayer, or guidance, we'd be there. Come back and see us. May God bless you and your family during this Easter season. Chief Jim Kruger, Chapter President.