Tonight at 6:00, the Central Baptist family will join together to prayer walk in some of our surrounding neighborhoods. This is the start of our 1st Wednesday Prayer Walking ministry. While it is starting as a monthly ministry, my hope is that our people will see its effectiveness and we’ll do it even more down the road.
I’m thankful for those who are helping organize this ministry. As we met to brainstorm and plan, the intention was clear: we believe God will bless and bring opportunity through our efforts to pray for our neighbors.
Here’s why our church is starting a prayer walking ministry:
- We believe prayer is commanded by God (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
- We believe churches should be houses of prayer (Is. 56:7; Matt. 21:13)
- We believe we are to love our neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39)
- We believe that we should intercede for others, and that the Holy Spirit will intercede for us even when we don’t know what to pray (1 Tim. 2:1; Rom. 8:26)
Our hope, then, is that going into our neighborhoods will increase our opportunities to pray for, witness to, and serve our neighbors, effectively loving them. We want to be a house of prayer where people know that we love them enough to lift them up before our Father in Heaven.
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By Ryan Strother — 12 months ago
Lottie Moon is a great namesake for the International Mission Board’s annual Christmas offering. She was committed to spreading the gospel and upholding the Bible. She died at the age of 72 after ministering 39 years in China, mainly in Tengchow and P’ingtu.
Let me tell you a quick story about Lottie Moon’s almost-husband and her commitment to the gospel to encourage you to follow her example.
Charlotte “Lottie” Digges Moon (1840-1912) attended Albemarle Female Institute, the female counterpart to the University of Virginia. In 1861, she received a master’s degree, becoming one of the first women in the South to reach that achievement. One of the teachers there was a man named Crawford Howell Toy. In June 1861, Toy asked Moon to marry him, but she refused at that time.
Toy was a student in the first session of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1859 and went through the program very quickly. He was sent to Japan as a missionary for a short time in 1860, then joined the Confederate troops in the Civil War in 1861, eventually becoming a chaplain in General Lee’s army. He went to Berlin, Germany, to study from 1866-68 then returned to America to teach at Furman, an institution of Southern. In 1869, he was invited to be a professor of Old Testament at Southern. Toy’s theology, however, started shifting from conservative interpretations. Instead, he entertained ideas like evolution and the Bible having divine and human origins. Ultimately, it led to his dismissal from Southern with a tear-filled vote of 18-2 by a committee. They were saddened because they loved Toy and felt that he was a brilliant thinker who was getting off track.
Now, back to Lottie. She had been sending letters home from China as she served as a missionary. Toy saw them published in the Religious Herald and initiated communication between them. Eventually, she accepted his proposal for marriage and was planning to return to America to marry Toy, who was becoming the professor of Hebrew at Harvard University. Moon did not know of the controversy surrounding Toy, however. As she eventually heard about it, she studied books representing Toy’s position and became greatly opposed to his theology, broke the engagement, and never married. Toy eventually associated with the Unitarian Church before his death.
Lottie Moon should be commended not only for her mission work but her faithfulness to Scripture even when it came with great sacrifice. Is the gospel a priority in your life to the point where you obey Christ no matter the cost? Let’s follow Lottie’s example.
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By Ryan Strother — 12 months ago
Pastor, you should be interacting with church members, attenders, and guests frequently since you are their shepherd. Shepherding comes in many forms: hospital visits, “checking in” phone calls, home visits, meetings in the office, texts and Facebook messages, lunches, coffee meetings, and others.
My question: do you record those interactions?
My encouragement: do it!
Why Record Shepherding Interactions?
- You will learn details about someone or their situation that will help you minister in the future to that person. It’s easy to forget unless you record it somewhere.
- In a more negative sense, you have a record in case you are ever challenged. Someone complains that you never visited with them–what do you do? Unless you have a record, it is your word against theirs and probably will not build much unity as you flesh it out. If you have a record, you can either say, actually, I did, or you can honestly say, you’re right, I didn’t. And then minister to that person accordingly.
How To Record Shepherding Interactions
I have found AirTable to be very helpful for this task and many others (maybe I’ll write about those later). If you have never used it, it is a web-based spreadsheet tool that is pretty simple to use, has accompanying apps, and is sharable with a team if needed.
I set up an AirTable with these headings: NAME, STAFF, DATE, INTERACTION TYPE, LOCATION, TIME, NOTES, ATTACHMENTS.
After an interaction, I record that information. Most of the headings are self-explanatory, but let me explain some:
- STAFF. If you have multiple staff members, elders, deacons, etc., who might have access to this table, then you can put each person’s name and select one or more who had the interaction. Bonus: AirTable has nice sorting options and you can save different “views.” So, you could save a view that makes it easy to see what interactions each staff member has had.
- INTERACTION TYPE. Phone call, contact from member, encouragement card, visit, meeting, text message, etc. All can be set up as options to choose from.
- NOTES: I record a simple summary of what was discussed or any important follow-up items so that I don’t forget…
- ATTACHMENTS. There might have been a picture or document pertaining to that interaction that you’ll want to remember.
Why do you record shepherding interactions and how do you do it?Post Views: 903
By Ryan Strother — 9 months ago
David messed up pretty badly when he slept with Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba) and then tried to cover it up. When that didn’t work, he had Uriah killed and then took Bathsheba as his wife (2 Samuel 11). It’s easy to wonder how a King of God’s people could get into such a situation, and it would be easy to think that he could never be restored to the Lord after that.
But God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love (Ps. 103:8). He forgave David when David confessed his sin, repented, and asked for forgiveness. David suffered under the weight of unconfessed sin, however, and he wonderfully recorded the internal struggle at the beginning of Psalm 32, even remarking on how it impacted him physically.
Psalm 51 is David’s penitent prayer after he finally acknowledged his sin (read how a prophet helped him realize his sinful ways in 2 Samuel 11 and 12). It is the source of at least one great song and is a go-to passage on sin and repentance.
In verses 7-12, David expresses his desire for forgiveness and what would come with it. He desired joy, gladness, rejoicing, purity, a clean heart, and a right spirit. Then at the beginning of verse 12 he says Restore to me the joy of your salvation…
David was following a pattern that Jesus later gave in the book of Revelation. Jesus told the church in Ephesus: “Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. . .” (Revelation 2:5, CSB) The two verbs there (remember and repent) show us how the joy of our salvation can be restored after we sin.
David remembered the joy of his salvation.
Maybe he was recounting all the blessings of the Lord and the incredible work of God in his life. He could think back to times of joy that came when he was abiding in the Lord and saw the blessings of obedience. He wanted that again. Sin stole his joy.
David repented of his sin.
He confessed his sin, realizing that he had sinned against God. He knew that if he could be forgiven of sin and purified in his heart, then he could have that joy that was stolen. The chasm that sin created between God and him (Isaiah 59:2) could be removed and he could live in the power of the Lord with joy. This power and joy is why repentance is still a necessary part of a Christian’s life.
Sometimes remembering how far we have fallen helps us come to the humble place of repentance. Recounting your testimony of how you came to the Lord and received new life reminds you of perfect fellowship with the Lord. We can remember where we once were with the Lord, and then remember that He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love.
Remember, repent, and find joy restored.Post Views: 366