5 Ways To Pray For Your Church

Nothing in ministry happens by chance. God works. He builds his church. If we want to see our church grow, we must be humbly dependent on God. We must pray. Below, I our 5 great ways to pray for our church and ministries.

1. Pray For Unity:

Friends, unity is supernatural. Churches are made up of people like you and like me. old man prayingI.e, Churches are made up of sinners. This means that every day we worship together, we teach Sunday school, and lead a bible study there is an opportunity for conflict. “Did you see what she was wearing; why didn’t Bob talk to me; do you think is upset about my Facebook post; how dare you correct my child?” It’s easy to let these thoughts fester. It’s easy to get offended and then to have fights in the church. It’s easy to destroy God’s house from within. This is why so much of the new testament is focused on relationships, on loving one another. We have to work at it. Notice what Paul says in Philippians 1:27

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”

When the gospel takes hold of our lives it should produce unity and peace. Pray for God to work. Pray for God to give us humble hearts that are quick to ask for forgiveness and that are quick to defer to others. Pray for God to give us unity.

2. Pray For your Pastor and leaders:

Hebrews 13:18 says, “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all thing.” Paul regularly asked for prayer. We need to pray for our leaders’ holiness, for their relationships with their families and for them to have opportunity to reach the lost.

3. Pray for Wisdom:

Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” To fully understand the word of the God, we have to apply it to our lives. Sure, we can understand the Bible on our by going to school and getting a degree. We can know what it says. But we can’t live it out on our own. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. We can’t be changed by ourselves. Pray for God to open our eyes to his word. To fully understand it and to apply it, we need God’s help.

4. Pray For Salvation:

John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” If we want to see someone “get saved,” then we need to invite God to work. We can’t save anybody. I don’t care how cool your games were, how fun your lock-ins are, or how techy your service will be. We will save no one. Rather, we need to apply to the God from whom nothing is impossible.

5. Pray For God To Work:

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” (Eph. 3:20). The reason I get stressed when kids’ ministry workers quit, when events flop, and when new programs take forever to launch is that I miss this truth. I often think it’s up to me. For a ministry to grow, I have to be smart, creative, and cool. But that’s not the case. God’s working. He can do way more than we expect. God is not a little idol in a closet somewhere. He is the ruler of the universe. He moves planets and starts. And he can do more than all our tiny brains could ever imagine. I can’t tell you how many times God has provided, blessed events, and grown new programs simply through prayer. Time and time again, God has gone ahead of my phone calls and has already begun drawing people to teach, lead and serve.  Let’s pray to the God of the universe. And then let’s expect him to work. 

5 Reasons Why VBS Is A Big Deal

 

i-love-vbs

Ah…Vacation Bible School, there is nothing like it. Screaming kids, water games, snacks with gummy worms hidden in them. What kid wouldn’t be up for a week of summer fun? (I was always ready for some gummies and water balloons!) Hopefully, we adults are also getting bit with the VBS excitement bug! Sure we have to manage all those sugar filled, crazy kids. But hosting a great VBS is worth the cost! Here are my top five reason VBS is a big deal!

1.  VBS Connects Us To Our Community! 

Yes, some kids spend their entire summer hoping from one VBS to the next. When they drop into our VBS, we should be thankful! Each time we connect with a new family, we develop a better picture of what our community is really like. VBS will help us to better understand how to ministry to our neighborhoods.

2. VBS Demonstrates The Love Of Christ!

Bible believing Christianity is increasingly unpopular in our culture. If we affirm biblical marriage and label sin as sin, we wkids free 1ill be unpopular and perhaps even labeled as bigots. 

One of the best means for fighting against the angry Christian stereotype is to love our neighbors. VBS gives us the chance us to do just that! As we serve our neighbors’ and co-workers’ kids, we can dispel many of the myths that surround our church. Remember the words of Paul: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).

VBS provides our church a premium stage for wowing the world with the love of Christ! Remember the words of our savior, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Let’s highlight God’s love this summer by loving kids via VBS!

3. VBS Fulfills The Great Commission!

Evangelism is not just something missionaries do. Nor is it something we do “out there.” Jesus said all of us are to be making disciples (Math 28:18-20)! We need to be sharing the gospel in Asia. But, we also must talk about the good news of Jesus in our towns, homes, and ballparks! VBS gives us an amazing venue for reaching and discipling the kids in our community! By participating in VBS, we get to experience the joy of obeying Jesus’ mission call!

4. VBS Connects Us To The Unchurched! 

Many kids only come to church during VBS. By breaking out the wacky games, we can reach the usually unreachable. VBS expands the reach of the gospel into our community introducing Christ to kids who have never sat in a pew before. 

5. VBS Can Lead To Redemption!

This is the big one. We have VBS every year because God saves. We welcome kids to church this summer because God uses VBS leaders to open the eyes of the blind. And I’m not talking about just the back kids. I’ve heard many reports of “good” church kids getting saved during VBS. Anytime the gospel is present, the Holy Spirit can move in powerful ways! He often works through VBS. Let’s hope and pray that God uses our VBS to bring many to salvation!

And now it’s your turn! Why is VBS a big deal to you and your church family?

Click Here To Register For VBS @ Amissville Baptist Church!

What’s on the Inside?

What's on the inside blog picMy heart leaped for joy. With a little help from my devious hands, I was able to peak through just enough of the brown paper to confirm my suspicions.  I was getting a castle for Christmas. The plastic walls, the sticker adorned knights and the flimsy drawbridge would all be mine! With my head buzzing, I settled into my daily routine of chores and holiday festivities, feeling as if Christmas would never come. Could the days pass any slower? Finally December 25 arrived with lighted Christmas tree and wrapped presents. I ripped open my gift and behold the castle in all of its very limited glory. Oh, the excitement!

Though the box sustained me for a few days, I found the reality of having a castle much more satisfying (albeit by a couple of months, but still). In the spiritual world, Christ is also all about what’s on the inside. He is not impressed with confessions of faith, baptism, or even tears on Sunday morning if we keep living for ourselves by lying, stealing, gossiping, and lusting. The outside trappings of our religion do not impress God when they are divorced from the internal realities of our hearts.

toy castleIf I had opened the box and found only the brown insides of an empty box, my little heart would have melted into despair. In the same way, God deplores giving, confession, and aisle walking that is driven by an empty heart. Quoting from the Old Testament, Christ says worship not driven by a love of God (even when exciting or emotional) is work, “in vain” (Math 15:8-9). In God’s eyes, such expressions are more worthless than an empty box at Christmas.

plastic knightsAs our children express interest in following Christ, we should be more excited than an 11 year old boy getting a castle. We should encourage our kids to seek after Christ by teaching them and by praying with them. But as we come alongside of our kids, we should not to make faith about the motions. Yes, baptism and the other signs of faith are important. But having a heart in love with God is even more important.  As John Piper notes, “Worship is essentially an inner stirring of the heart to treasure God above all the treasures of the world” (p. 206). As J.D. Greear says, “Repentance doesn’t mean we amend our behavior, it means we begin to pursue God’s will with abandon” (p. 80). Repentance and worship cannot be manufactured through physical efforts.  When we see that our children love God by loving family and friends and by placing a high priority on church, the Bible and prayer, then we should encourage them towards the more public expressions of faith and worship. We should get excited about what’s in the box!

Works Cited

Greear, J. (2013). Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart. Nashville: B&H Publishing .

Piper, J. (2003). Let the Nations be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions. Grand Rapids : Baker Academic .