One Saturday night I was doing a police chaplaincy ride-along with a veteran sergeant. We checked on a lakefront nightspot that college students near and far would flock to. Since liquor was served, they had to be 21 or older. Local high schoolers hung out near the nightclub, aimlessly wishing for the day when they could get inside where the action was.

As this old sergeant and I walked past them, making sure nothing illegal was happening, he suddenly stopped and turned to me: “All these kids! They’re just waiting to get themselves into trouble. I’m not religious myself, but I know they really need church.”

He looked back in their direction. “Where are the churches? They should have something going for these kids. Some kind of community center, to get them off the streets and have some safe, clean fun. Games, music, refreshments—you know.”

He looked at me. “Your church should be doing something here for them.”

Indeed, but what could I say? We weren’t ready for such spiritual adventure. We weren’t prepared to step outside our comfort zone and do anything radical like what the officer had in mind.

Maybe that old cop didn’t go to church, but he sure had a heavenly vision of what the body of Christ could be on earth.