I had a "coming together of ideas" moments before writing this. I was watching an interview with Skot Shaw, creator of the band Leper, and he was talking about reconciling the events of life. As he was speaking, I flashed back to Sunday morning, to the guest speaker who shared an experience as a young Associate Pastor, who went on a hospital visit, took an intern with him...for the circumstances were dire. Sometimes, when you don't know how things will play out, yet, it's best to have someone nearby.
In that moment, I thought about how people feel when they are uneasy with new surroundings, especially when it comes to matters of relocation or a new job. An unexpected tragedy; an unexpected loss...a moment in time that changes your world and shakes you to the core.
For a church leader who people look to when such circumstances are, knowing what to do, say or convey is a challenge. Putting it in a spiritual context that points people to Christ and the hope made available to us through Him...sounds simple enough, but can be a struggle nonetheless. If seasoned pastors still have their moments in such circumstances, how much more the Associate Pastor(s) just starting out. Sure they've had training and interned and any other variety of circumstance...but to formally be in that position and knowing what is right for just that time...daunting.
Thus, pray for Associate Pastors, seasoned and fresh in ministry, to continue seek God, for wisdom and understanding. Pray for an increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, that as they help people reconcile the events of life, they would know what is right and relevant for effective ministry to the people and circumstances in front of them. For the believer, a pastor can be as much of a "first responder" as police, fire and EMS personnel. Pray that pastors would be ready, on all occasions, to minister to the lost, the dying, the broken, the shaken, the hopeless and shattered. May healing, restoration and reconciliation come forth, in a great dimension than ever before.
Whatever may lie ahead for the church, as society seems to be on fast-track transformation that have many "scratching their heads" wondering what and why things are happening, the call has quickly gone out, that now more than ever, the church has some challenges.
This is nothing new, except the expectation the church hasn't done a good job of portraying Christ to the world in the way the world thinks they know Him. That said, all we can do is do better job in our own lives of understanding who God is and what He is. The other thing we do is to not be so quick to opine who God can and can't use to accomplish His purpose.
I'd like to say, most churches probably don't have this problem, but in a time where society looks at the church and thinks there is a lot going that doesn't look like what the church should; then perhaps somewhere churches are missing the mark. Congregations don't know God as well as they should. Churches aren't as relevant in their community as God has called them to exist. And for communities that are in trouble; having a church in trouble is a double-whammy to those trying to hold-on to their faith; and to something bigger than themselves.
Now more than ever, we need our pastors. Pray Senior Pastors, that they would continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and the Word in a greater dimension. Pray for an increased awareness of how to reach out to the specific needs of their communities in tangible and relevant ways. Finally, pray that as the Word of God is preached, that the power of the Holy Spirit would transform hearts and lives to be more like Christ, in order for the world to truly see Christ in us and not ourselves.
As I've engaged in online conversations, it has indeed truly caused me to think more critically and attempted to come across as though I wasn't taking matters personally. Mostly, it felt like it was an exercise in restraining my sarcasm. More importantly, I believe it was an exercise in trying to portray truth with coming across as anything that would cause people to shut down and resort to the tactics that leave people frustrated as they walk away from the discussion.
To that end, one conversation in particularly was, I feel, incredibly successful. No name-calling, both sides sticking to the point as best they could, both seeking answers to the other's argument...and very little sarcasm. One or two lines might have slipped in with a smiley face emoticon at the end to express humor in making my point.
That said, I'm hoping my words were received well...not as one trying to force his beliefs, but with compassion and sincerity trying to portray that we are on serious and unstable grounds. Just in writing that line, I'm reminded of Jesus' as he carefully responded to woman who said she didn't have a husband, "You are right. You've had five husbands and the man you are with now, is not your husband." He wasn't trying to be smart with her...just that He knew where she was in life, to a greater degree than she was willing to share.
That said, as we pray for church effectiveness and efficiency on this last Sunday of June, the picture is appropriate. On the many social and cultural issues where it is easy to state our opinions or beliefs before we share the source of them, one way or the other, we need to invite people to understand the Source itself, and less concerned with how we will be perceived and most likely, misunderstood.
There are so many opportunities for which it is said, "You won't/don't want to miss out on this!". Yet for such a time as this, I sense God is saying the same for the believer. "You won't want to miss out how I can use you through this opportunity". What some seek to destroy is the same thing for which God has a plan and purpose. If we don't unplug with the intent to find our balance in Him for the purpose of re-connecting, then we will surely miss what God desires for us. And we will neither be effective nor efficient.
Starting with me, I'm praying I will do a better job of seeking first, the Kingdom of Heaven. If I don't then isn't possible, that what was meant to be added, will all be taken away? I'm not sure, but we can't live life on our own, let alone an effective life for Him on our own. Pray for His help anew and afresh, today.
The band, Petra, has a song from their "On Fire" album, simply titled "Another Crossroad. Written by Bob Hartman and based on Psalm 119:105 and Proverbs 10:30, it talks about days of indecision and how are minds change, as to what we should do and when. However, when I don't know which way to go, "my steps are ordered and I know I'll find the way, when your Word lights the path and I obey." Hartman closes the lyrics with the words: "It's not hard to miss a turn along the way; I know I've missed some in my day. I don't want to be wrong, I want to do what's right. I know that you can lead me through the maze; When I acknowledge you in all my way."
As I reflected on Friday's court ruling regarding marriage, and reading some posts online, the response is incredible. And for the couple of interactions I've had with people already, this is definitely a "crossroads" moment. As the world looks to how Christians respond, I found myself having to think carefully. Not out of fear of anyone's response, but in light of, am I responding as me, or as Christ through me?
Even, in typing this, I found myself engaged in conversation with one of a different opinion on this matter and again, found myself thinking... where is my reasoning and logic and perhaps a little sarcasm and where is speaking the truth in love to a world who thinks they understand and know what's going on, while anyone who disagrees with them, simply doesn't have a clue.
So...as we pray for church and community engagement this weekend, particularly in light of recent events, these are some things that I know I will struggle to keep in mind...
- We are all sinners in need of a Savior. There is but one evil nature in the heart of man. One broken relationship weighs in the balance of eternity
- But for the grace of God, go I. Before coming to Christ, who knows where any of us would find ourselves in any set of circumstances defending any kind of behavior or belief. You could be witnessing to yourself across the table, for all you know.
- Speak the truth in love.
- Many people know more than I do...but that doesn't mean I don't have a clue.
- Seek to understand. Then to be understood.
- Pray and let the Holy Spirit do His work. I can only share, not convince and certainly not convict.
Whether you believe He exists or not, none of us are qualified to be God.
While this is a national debate, it will happen "won by one" as Mylon LeFevre sang many years ago. Pray for God to do the miraculous as conversations between church and communities take place. Pray for patience and understanding to be shared during times of discussion. Pray for wisdom and discernment in the words and attitudes that are shared, that they would not be personal attacks against each other, but personal encounters with the Truth, that is Jesus.
We have all disagreed with people we love, people we care about, people we like...whether they are family, friends, co-workers, bosses and more. We have done so while one party or the other was not happy about the external scenario, but genuinely cared for the entire well being of each other. Pray that God will work the miraculous during this time. It's not a matter of one side or the other "winning" or being on the right or wrong side of history.
The only issue that matters is eternity. This issue isn't the end-all-be-all of issues...it's just the opportunity God will use for us to realize that in comparison to Him, the entire world is on the wrong side of His Story and Eternity, save the intersection where His Cross meets your road.
A friend of mine posted pics on social media of the recent commissioning service for the Assemblies of God World Missions What an incredible sight...for those who have prepared and planned and most importantly, prayed, for what God is about to accomplish in and through their lives.
This counts as a defining moment; a moment where reality sets in. Confident of their calling, they've taken the steps necessary to put their affairs in order and learned the skills to do the work God has placed in their heart to a people group desperately needing to hear the Gospel.
Even as I'm writing this, modern times have made this process so incredibly different from when Jesus called His disciples and they left everything right where it was and followed. However, they weren't "commissioned" to go into the world until they had spent time with Christ..learning. So perhaps the process of preparing for missions isn't quite so different.
Either way, missionaries of 40 yrs and missionaries wondering how they'll make it through their first 40 days, are in great need of our prayers. For those seasoned missionaries, pray for a strengthening and a revitalization to take place; that they would be encouraged to press on towards the prize of their calling. For the "rookies", pray for confidence and boldness. Pray that there would be a grace about their lives...yes, there will be an "on the field" learning curve and yes, mistakes will be made, but the power of the Cross works through all of that and will not return void. Pray that God would grant wisdom and discernment in carrying out their responsibilities. And as they watch the world changing at a record pace, pray they remain true to their faith, true to their calling and true to God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
It's a funny thing about creating and implementing a vision for an organization. It's one thing to get people to agree to what's been presented to them. It's entirely another matter, that what was presented prompts, not only an affirmative response, but a line of people ready to work together to bring that vision to fruition.
There's a difference between being apart of the events as a witness and being an active participant in the discussion and implementation.
It's no longer enough to want to be attend what's going on. We need people to contribute to what's going on.
Thus, we pray for deacons, admins and staff...those in church operations who have signed up, to actively contribute, daily, to fulfilling their churches vision in their community.
Continue to pray for strength and guidance as they seek to reach their communities for Christ, in relevant and effective ways. Pray over their discussions regarding the decisions they face, whether financial, physical or spiritual in nature. Finally, pray for a spirit of unity...that while there may be disagreements and contentions at various times, that there will be an overarching desire to work together and come to agreements that are not only consistent with the vision of the church but also consistent with the purpose God has for their church.
As previously mentioned, it's Vacation Bible School week at our church. And I as I thought about how to pray for Youth and Children's Pastors, something in my mind flashed to the realization of just how many kids from our youth group are participating in helping out in the program.
For years upon years, the church has talked about "the next generation" of leaders. Have you wondered how much the church...how much your church, is engaging and teaching "the next generation" how to involve themselves in ministering and being apart of the group of young people that come behind them?
Part of leaving an inheritance...a legacy...a foundation, is that there is a long-term plan in place. Attainable, actionable goals to pursue. A vision for the future.. that goes not just beyond themselves, but decades of generations to follow.
Sometimes we talk about youth and children's ministries as one, but obviously they deal with different issues and aspects of life, particularly in how things can be explained and discussed. That said...what an incredible opportunity to find moments to teach and to train both generations at the same time. How awesome to witness the skills acquired by the youth group as they learn and experience ministry first hand and the joy experienced by the children of having someone who is neither an adult, nor a sibling, haven taken a genuine and active interest in their life.
Pray for youth and children's pastors, to seek and continue to seek, to create opportunities for their respective ministries to work together. Pray for new-found creativity and collaboration in teaching leadership skills to the youth, while finding relevant and exciting ways to ministry and reach kids effectively. Pray for wisdom and discernment for their ministries, as our youth and children continue to experience life situations at levels we wish didn't exist, being bombarded with social, cultural & political issues that seemingly defy logic and common sense. Perhaps most importantly, pray that youth and children, as they come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, would find their identity in Christ. While agendas would draw them in every direction away from God, pray that they would be drawn unto Him and Him alone. God has a plan and purpose for their lives and it can't be followed if it can't be heard.
Yesterday, I found myself thinking of the words of my missionary friend who lost his wife almost 2 months ago now. When he shared at our men's meeting a couple weeks ago, he told us how Africa has so many new churches growing from the ground up, that many times, people who started bible school, seemingly moments after getting saved, were graduating and practically being handed the keys to one of these churches.
They have more churches needing Pastors than they can train and graduate people to put into the pulpits!! Now, that's a great problem to have, but it accurately portrays the picture to your left. Talk about feeling like Moses, when God told Him his mission regarding reclaiming Israel from the hands of the Egyptians.
Similarly, how many pastors, and associate-level pastors in particular, feel exactly the same way. Whether it's their very first pastoral position in a church or their 5th and this latest ministerial program they are launching is uncharted waters; I would venture to say moments like these are unsettling at best and nerve-wracking at their worst.
As you pray for Associate Pastors today, continue to prayer for moments of strength and words of encouragement. Pray for revelatory ideas, fresh vision and clarity of thought. Pray for confidence-inspiring boldness within their ministry and the church-body that they serve. Pray for those teams who would come alongside and partner with them, to accomplish their ministerial goals. Finally, for those who dream and desire of greater pastoral responsibilities in their calling, pray for opportunities for mentor-ship; opportunities to learn and grow from people who have served in the capacities they desire to be placed one day. Pray that not a single moment would be missed, that could be a critical tipping point to propel them to the next level, both in their personal faith and in their calling, for the glory of God.
In the closing moments of our Father's Day service, as he was about to pray over the men in attendance, our Senior Pastor of 22 years offered this advice...
"Every Monday morning, I pray "God, this is your week." For 22 years, it's what I've always done" - Dr. Bradley Trask.
It is all Gods', everything we have and the reasons for which we set out to accomplish the responsibilities that await us. Yet, this reminder at the start of each week provides a continually fresh perspective that whatever happens, God is in control. Whatever happens, by the grace of God, may we have the knowledge and skill to accomplish and endure whatever we may encounter.
Pray for Senior Pastors, who are struggling to continually trust God for what weighs on their hearts and minds. Pray for those, who have somehow gotten caught up in deception that they've "been doing this long enough" to know what they are doing or perhaps can fix or control or handle a situation on their own We've all been there, done that and the pressure placed on the pastorate can make it hard to remain humble and able to confess their need for God's grace. Pray that God would gently remind them, it's all His. There is nothing that isn't worth His time and attention.
Two areas of focus, on this Father's Day Sunday, as we pray for church effectiveness and efficiency....perhaps three, quickly.
With the thoughts and prayers for Charleston still fresh on our hearts and minds, pray that this would be a day that the body of Christ at large, comes together corporately, to support and uplift the families dealing with the aftermath. Pray for unity and that the message of Christ would ring loud and clear to those in the community seeking solace and understanding.
Secondly, pray for Fathers...for those leading their families, for those who have lost their families...for those struggling to keep their families together. I'll be the first to admit, I would do well to be more and learn more from my Heavenly Father. I would dare say that men much smarter and much more mature in their faith and walk with God would agree the same statement applies to their life.
Finally, I've seen many signs this past week for various Vacation Bible Schools programs this summer. A few have already started/happened. Our church's VBS is this week. Pray for final preparations to go smoothly. Pray for safety during this weeks events, again, especially in light of Charleston. Most importantly, pray for the relevancy of Gospel to come alive to kids and their families. It's a time of fun and games and friends, definitely; but a potential decision for Christ that could change the rest of their life and the course of history from now to eternity...that is a moment to be remembered. And covered in prayer.
As we pray for churches and communities this weekend, I'd be remiss if I don't mention the impact of the response by the people in Charleston, SC and the members of Emanuel AME church.
The reports of those who stood in the courtroom and spoke during the arraignment, interviews with the meeting, prayer vigils are incredible...and as someone posted online...the city is not rioting or looting or destroying property in their outrage.
Simply an outpouring of prayer and support and statements of love and forgiveness, at time that our flesh would cry out revenge. Yet they remain focused on their faith and the power of the cross, even praying for God to work the miraculous in and through the life of this young man, who like all of us, desperately needs to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Pray that more churches and communities, even as they talk about the events in Charleston, that they would imitate the grace and kindness being exhibited by those at Emanuel AME. Pray that no matter the circumstances, that communities would see a difference in how believers respond, whether in a matter of little importance or matters of life and death. Everything we have need of is found in the life of Christ, who Himself, overcame death.
Finally, continue to keep the church and community of Charleston in prayer. May God work the miraculous in many throughout this land as they see and hear the message of grace and forgiveness and the sovereignty of God even in tragic ev
I reflected yesterday on how to pray for missionaries for our Friday focus. Of course, getting tossed into the mix of thoughts, were updates on the tragic incident at the church in Charleston, S.C.
I couldn't help but focus in on the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior, and that, but for grace of God, go I.
It's easy, in the comforts of Western Civilization to "forget" that every time we get out of bed, we are entering a mission field. Whether it's a loved one that is away from God, a co-worker/boss, or the driver of the car next to you at the gas station. You never know what window of opportunity you will have to share the message of Christ to the world...to a person, who desperately needs to hear the Truth. Nor do you know how long that window will remain open.
The story of Marcus Stanley showed up in my social media news-feed...this gospel musician who has an incredible testimony, posted the following to the Facebook page of the young man, allegedly suspected of causing the Charleston tragedy. As you pray for missions, pray that all of us would be keenly aware of such windows of opportunity. They are short indeed, as young man's Facebook profile is now closed.
I was thinking and praying about Bring Me 70 practically all morning, yesterday...then as I got ready to type this, my mind drew blank. So I am taking this brief insight as a prompting of the Holy Spirit, that this perspective needs to be mentioned...and it's this:
When it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven, it's never "just another day". While any job can become routine, and one can lose their enthusiasm for their work to the point they dread "clocking in" everyday, we should do well to remember that every day we are given is a day we can make an impact of eternal value. I know this is hard to do...as I struggle with it, just as much as the next person.
It doesn't matter the influence of your job title, the meat of your paycheck or the quality of relationship you have with your coworkers. We are to be salt and light. As I consider this, two things come to mind: 1) I'm preaching to myself. 2) How does this play out for those in church offices who feel they are just doing ordinary, everyday tasks, just like any other business. Office work, custodial, maintenance...it makes no difference, as long as they make it through to the next payday. You have as much eternal purpose to your work as does those in church operations.
Pray for your deacons, admins and staff today; that they would be reminded, their work is not routine, nor boring or mundane. Though they task may feel that way, they are doing work to advance the kingdom. Whether it's a phone call, a home visit or business meeting, pray that as the church staff interacts with their community daily, that they will be able to meet people in the spiritual realm. Something as simple as one finding out you work at the church and casually mentioning they used to go and something in there life happened that has them thinking about going back. What an opportunity! Pray for an increased awareness of these opportunities and that feelings of the routine or unsatisfying will not hinder them from being to take advantage of what is a divine appointment from a Sovereign God.
Whenever I have "one of those days" with my kids, I wonder how other parents do it. Often, the ones that come to mind, have more kids than I do. More experience, more patience, more of "something I don't have"....what gives?
Then again...maybe they don't have it all together when it comes to this parenting thing either. Add a "few more" kids to the picture and let's talk about how Youth and Children's Pastors do it. Well, they have help!
People within the congregation come alongside, whether it be parents who volunteer, young adults who help in children's ministry or, as our Youth Pastor has implemented, Leaders In Training, a select group of teens and young adults, assisting and training to lead and be actively involved in ministry.
But what about smaller congregations, fewer resources, tighter finances...less people in general who can come alongside...how do they do it? Many struggle...and do so with a good number more kids than the number I have who call me Dad.
Pray today for those Pastors who are struggling to keep and maintain stable ministries of kids and teens. Continue to pray for resources and finances to carry out effective programs and events that will make an impact in their lives. Pray for people to come along side them, not only in support, but in contribution. May they be strengthened and encouraged as they work with a generation who, now more than ever, needs to know and understand who they are in Christ.
"Anything worth fighting for...is gonna involve a fight" - Ron Conlin
I always enjoy conversations with my beloved, older brother. He's been in town over the weekend, so last night for a good 90 minutes or so, we were able to sit on the front porch and have a great time. The wisdom he has in the past 25 years amazes me; what God has shown him, how God is using him, and God has blessed him; and how, at the end of the day, none of it is about him, for him or because of him. It is all about God and learning the role he plays in His plan even when he doesn't understand what's going on or how it will look when it's done.
Towards the end, he was sharing so many good thoughts, I almost felt like I need to take notes; especially as we talked about Bring Me 70 in the final moments. Some how, today, as we pray for Associate pastors, the "worth fighting for" stood out. There's always something going on in church operations, especially one that is healthy, growing and active in the community; but for Associates carrying so much of the daily ministries over a wide range of demographics and a variety of situations at any stage in life, it's easy to consider whether the work is worth it.
As my brother encouraged me, that helping pastors combat burnout in their ministry lives as well as their personal lives, is desperately needed, so to, Associate pastors, your work is worth it...even when you feel like you aren't making the progress or seeing the results you thought, hoped and prayed you would.
We agree in prayer with you, that you will be strengthened and encouraged, that you and your efforts to help the church move forward, are worth it. May God give you glimpses of victory, that you are witnessing eternal success for the glory of God. Whether over coffee, in a hospital or a late night chat on the porch listening to the light rain...your investment to the church community is necessary and vital and we pray lasting and effective gains, as you advance the Kingdom of God.
Sunday night, we closed out our sermon series; God's How To Manual, taken from the book of James. This sermon finale, was how to pray about your problem. Towards the end of the sermon, I began to think about how this tied into praying for our Senior Pastors for our Monday focus.
Then it came...straight from our Senior Pastor..."The #1 struggle for pastors is their prayer life...starting with this guy right here." (points to self)
You think the devil is attacking you regarding the quality of your relationship with God and here is a man with 20+ yrs of Senior Pastor, plus a few more, in Associate and Youth ministry and he still struggles with prayer. I felt better for a moment until I realized perhaps I'm in significantly worse condition in my prayer life than I thought.
Then came the closing remarks...a meeting b/w Billy Graham and a dear, fellow pastor of a large NYC congregation.
Dr Graham, if you could do it all after again... famous last question, right?
Dr. Grahams' response... I wish I could have been a greater person of prayer.
So, needless to say, today we work on our prayer lives utilizing the subject matter: an increase in the quality of prayer life for our pastors. Pray an ever-growing and deepening relationship with God for our pastors. Pray for a strengthening, that they are equipped with knowledge, wisdom and confidence to do and succeed at the work and ministry to which they have been called. Pray for an increase in revelation during their prayer time; that whatever the need, that they would sense their effectual and fervent prayer accomplishing much for the glory of God.
It's amazing how things come together. Yesterday, we focused on praying for how the church engages its community. Today, we pray over church effectiveness and efficiency. And in the few hours prior to writing this post, I heard the story of a young man who attended Saturday night's church service. The church actually has two Saturday services,(in addition to three more on Sunday morning) but they were late for the first one. The young man ended up talking with the young adult pastor for the remainder of the first service, then proceeded to stay for the entirety of the second.
Those involved in the conversation were excited for the young man's enthusiasm regarding the service, as he has been in a difficult place of late. But in hearing the story, I was excited for the investment the pastor took in reaching out to someone in need. Granted, that's part of the job description, but in the middle of the service, I'm sure there's other things needing attention.
The fact that this pastor recognized "leaving behind the 99, to look after the 1" means much to me and hopefully even more to the young man in a difficult place.
As we pray for church effectiveness, these are the stories we need to hear more often. As that effectiveness continues, we'll hear more like this young man's response..."that was the best service I've been a part of in a long time." Now, I have no idea how long "a long time" has been, but God certainly used this opportunity to make an impact, and I hope you will agree with me in prayer, it will be positive and long-lasting for eternity. And may there be many more moments for many more "1's" such as was this case, just a few hours ago.
Last night we had our church-wide, small-group year end gathering. There are those who attend church and those who become the church; and while there are many reasons people may find themselves in any given service, if you aren't eventually getting "plugged in" with the body of Christ, you are genuinely missing out.
The strength of the church is in the people, so its influence and impact in the community is directly affected by the maturity and depth of faith within the lives of believers. A shortfall of evidence pointing to a depth of faith will disengage a non-believing community instead of engaging a community desirous to know the difference Christ has made in our lives.
The difference between those two congregations and their communities over a period of time is significant, to say the least.
Pray that church members and attendees will be a people desirous to grow in the knowledge and grace of God. Pray that their lives will prompt conversation and interaction with those in the community that will cause people to recognize a genuine distinction and inquire as to the reason. Finally, pray for increased opportunities within church life, for members and attendees to come together and learn and share life together; for friendships to be formed and strengthened; for unity and oneness of purpose for the glory of God.
For the few moments I had to myself earlier this evening, I thought about the previous post on support systems, in light of praying for missionaries.
I know there are tons of prayer support and that's great. There's financial support and that's certainly needed. There's preparation as they enter the field and resources as they continue the good work of advancing the Gospel, and those are required.
But what a sacrifice!! The family they leave behind. The friends. The daily contact with people who speak their primary language. The safety and comforts of home. Resources and supplies just minutes from where you live.
Missions is a calling. It's a step of faith, on par with Peter stepping out of the boat. Yet, the reward that awaits in heaven...only bits of it are seen on earth. Just enough to stay encouraged to keep up the good work.
Pray for missionaries and their families, that they will be strengthened and encouraged to continue to the work God has called them to. Pray for an increase in support, whether through prayer, finances, resources or people. Pray for a multiplication effect of their efforts. Pray that they will not be discouraged, and that their moments of frustration, worry and questioning will be few and short-lived. Pray the Holy Spirit to remind them...they are valuable, they are appreciated, they are needed and they will be rewarded by God for their faithfulness to His plan for their lives; for having set theirs aside for the gains of eternity.
Last night, during our Wednesday Night Prayer service our church prayed for the Koch family , and the community of Glad Tidings Assembly, (see 6/10/15 prayer post), and I reflected and prayed for the support system that exists in the body of Christ.
In particular, I thought of the pastors, deacons, administrators and staff, who help the church move forward, daily, acting on the vision of their Senior Pastor.
So, as you pray today, for deacons, admins and staff of churches around the globe, keep in mind, the community in Pennsylvania. Pastor Koch was incredibly involved in that region in other areas of influence and leadership beyond the 4 walls of Glad Tidings church. I'm sure an incredible system of people will indeed, "step up their game" during this difficult and challenging time, but I also considered how many churches may not have such a great system(s) in place, should tragedy ever strike elsewhere.
Pray the miraculous in the situations such as the Koch family, that congregations go through together. Pray for strength, for those who step in and step up to make sure church operations and services continue w/o interruption. And most importantly, pray for an increase during that time...that God would provide; resources, finances, growth in numbers and depth of maturity. As we prayed tonight, may this time (and others like it) be a time for churches to be an increased light to their community.
May they truly witness, blessings from ashes.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.