Tag Archives: Prayer

“Continue in Prayer” (June 2014)

Yesterday was New Morning Church’s second “5th Sunday Prayer and Communion Service”. For those that couldn’t make it, or who simply want to “continue in prayer” (Colossians 4:2) this week, here are the prompts used during the service with the corresponding verses that were read:

  • Pray that God would open the eyes of our lost family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to the truth of His Word (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).
  • Pray that our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors would be willing to listen to the truth when it is shared (cf. Matthew 13:15).
  • Pray that every believer would recognize his or her responsibility to share the truth, and ask for specific opportunities for you to to do so this week (cf. Matthew 9:38).

Also, leading up to this service we used social media to solicit prayer requests. Each need was shared, the individual’s state of residence given in place of his or her name, and someone volunteered to pray. Everyone enjoyed this unique component and we prayed for needs in UT, TX, VA, and NC.

Join us for out next “5th Sunday Prayer and Communion Service” on Sunday, August 31, 2014!

Highlights from Guest Teaching at Southeastern

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to guest teach the Discipleship Ministries class at Southeastern Free Will Baptist College via FaceTime. While the slight delay in connection made it difficult in the moment to determine how jokes—not to mention my main points—were landing, the feedback I received afterwards was encouraging. Here are some of the highlights from my lesson.

“Continue in Prayer” (March 2014)

I was thrilled with both the turn out, which included a number of return guests, and the participation in New Morning Church’s first “5th Sunday Prayer and Communion Service”! For those that couldn’t make it, or who simply want to “continue in prayer” (Colossians 4:2) this week, here are the prompts used during the service with the corresponding verses that were read:

  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict the hearts of your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers of their need for Jesus (cf. John 16:8).
  • Pray that the collective Church in Provo will be faithful to present the Gospel, clearly, creatively, and compassionately (cf. Mark 9:38-40).
  • Pray that New Morning, the other local churches in our area, and you will become burdened about the lost in our community (cf. Romans 9:1-5).
  • Pray that you will be the one God sends and uses in reaching the lost with the Gospel (cf. Matthew 28:18-20).

Join us for out next “5th Sunday Prayer and Communion Service” on Sunday, June 29, 2014!

Don’t Let the Prayer Service Scare You!

This coming Sunday New Morning Church will hold its first “5th Sunday Prayer and Communion Service.” I understand though that the idea of giving an entire hour to prayer may be completely frightening to some. Don’t let it scare you! Let the following put your mind at ease:

  • No one is going to call on you randomly and ask you to pray out loud. True, there will be several people who will pray out loud, but they have been asked beforehand. All you have to do is pray silently along with them at your seat.
  • I will provide several prompts for your prayers by way of asking questions and reading Bible verses. So while you are encouraged to pray for what is on your own heart and mind, you don’t have to worry about “running out” of things to pray for.
  • We aren’t going to pray for an hour straight. Instead, the service will be broken up into segments seven to ten minutes long. I will provide a new prompt for each segment and after several minutes of silent prayer, someone will close that segment by praying out loud.

I have eagerly been looking forward to this service and hope, if you are in the area, that you will make it a point to join us as we come together “with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14)!

How to Set Realistic Attendance Goals

Our first winter in Utah a couple from Pleasant Acres Church came out to help Grayson and me with outreach. Brian and I were knocking doors, and talking about what I’d learned so far, when he asked if I set weekly goals for meeting people and getting them to come to church. I didn’t—I just worked hard and hoped for a big crowd. Drawing from his experience as a recruiter, Brian pointed out the importance of realistic numerical goals and how to go about setting them. With a little adaptation, I implemented this process immediately and have been using it for nearly a year. It’s simple and if your church (or Sunday schools class, youth group, etc.) doesn’t already have a process for setting numerical goals, I recommend you try it.

If you don’t keep attendance records, the first step is to start. You’ll need at least four previous weeks’ numbers to begin. Once you have them, average those four numbers together and add one. That’s your goal for this week. For example, if your numbers were 5, 4, 5, and 2, the average is 4. Adding 1, this Sunday you would pray to have 5. (I’m using single digits both for simplicity and accurate portrayal of the situation here.) Of course there will be times you’ll have to do some rounding. If the average is 4.25, the goal would still be 5; if it was 4.75, the goal would be 6.

On special days such as Christmas or Easter you will doubtlessly have a higher than average attendance. I don’t use that number in setting my goal. For example, at our first baby dedication service—a very special service—and we had 34 people in attendance. That’s high for us at this point. So in setting the next week’s goal, instead of averaging 34 (attendance at the baby dedication), 8, 6, and 8 (the other three previous weeks), I averaged 8, 6, 8, and 7 (the fourth previous week).

Lord willing, your average will grow over time. The plus 1 will become plus 2, plus 5, and so on. When our average here is regularly in the teens, I think I’ll begin to add 2.

Now one of the first things I do after church on Sunday is set next week’s attendance goal. I’m not one to set such goals for the sake of it. There are a number of benefits to entering a new week with a concrete number in mind. My goal this Sunday is 11. That number keeps my outreach a bit more individual-oriented. Yes, we do mass mailings and knock hundreds of doors, reaching out to thousands of people we don’t know. But I do know 11 people and I can find time this week to spend with at least of few of them personally. Along that same line, it allows me to pray more specifically. I continue to pray for the city as a whole, but I want to make sure I call out those individuals’ names that I’ve had recent contact with, who could make up 11. It also saves money. Early on I kept buying refreshments for two dozen people when our average was less than seven. Having that goal helps me not only anticipate the amount of food to buy but also the amount of non-reusable print materials to make up. Finally, it minimizes discouragement. I always try to go into church expectantly. God may one day pack the place out and save every one there! But if I know we’ve only averaged enough lately to set our goal at 11, I won’t be overly disappointed if that doesn’t happen this Sunday. (But it could.)

Do you have a process for setting attendance goals? Have you tried this method before? How has it worked for you?