Before you launch your New Year ministry plan, begin with prayer. How might you pray to start the year?
- Passion for people, not numbers. You should track your numbers and know your metrics. Yes, each number represents a person. I get it. But you don’t shepherd numbers. If you struggle with caring more about numbers than people, now is an excellent time to take a new posture. Pray God gives you this passion.
- A filling of the Holy Spirit over comfort with nostalgia. I have a deep love for the sanctuary room. Even when I’m alone, I still enjoy the comforting presence of the room. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, but our prayers should be first for a filling of the Holy Spirit.
- Outward movement rather than an inward bent. Pray your church has a desire to reach outward rather than inward. Ask God to give your church a wake-up call for evangelism.
- Compassion for the lonely. Some people need more time alone, but isolation is never beneficial. Pray for those who are experiencing loneliness. Pray that your church shows compassion.
- New avenues for hospitality. Many churches believe they are friendly, but too few demonstrate genuine hospitality. The problem is friendliness is often directed internally. Members are kind and pleasant with each other and overlook guests. You can be nice to someone without showing hospitality. Hospitality involves generosity and sacrifice with outsiders.
- Strength for the elderly. Older generations come to church more frequently. Ask God to allow them to continue this pattern of faithfulness.
- Readiness for spiritual warfare. The local church is the front line of ministry. In the battle against the spiritual forces of evil, the church is the trench. Christ’s bride is dug in, charged up, and ready to die for the freedom of souls. While there is no beauty in warfare (spiritual or otherwise), the battling bride is a gorgeous organism.
- Sensitivity with guests. Inevitably, the Holy Spirit will prompt people to show up for the first time. These guests could be desperate for spiritual guidance, longing for connection, or bringing a long list of questions for God. Pray for extra sensitivity with those who bravely approach your campus for the first time.
- Graciousness with doubt and questions. A crisis will cause people to question their beliefs. Pray for graciousness for those seeking God, even during a season of doubt.
- Mental, spiritual, and emotional health for church leaders. Pastors and other church leaders have faced many obstacles in the last few years. Ask God to provide ways for people to seek help and maintain health.
I am sure you are preparing for an excellent start to the year, but don’t forget to pray! God’s plan for the church always includes prayer.
Posted on January 3, 2024
As President of Church Answers, Sam Rainer wears many hats. From podcast co-host to full-time Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church, Sam’s heart for ministry and revitalization are evident in all he does.
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