Archive for the 'Pastors' Category
A Winning Idea: Consider Taking Your Church Through 21 Days of Prayer and a One-Year Bible Reading Plan
As we wind down 2018 and look toward the new year, I would like to share what we are planning at Cross Church and encourage you to consider something similar at your church.
I believe the pastor should lead the people of God to seek the Lord seriously. 1 Peter 4:7 says, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer.” As we look at the world around us, I believe we must resolve to take our spiritual lives and prayer seriously.
A Clear Challenge
For the past few years, we have begun each year at Cross Church with 21 consecutive days of focused prayer. We ask everyone in our congregation to participate, and even fast if they are called and able. We ask everyone to pray for their own spiritual life and development, our church, and our nation. We lead this from the pulpit, our staff champions it, and our people engage.
This year, we are asking our people to focus on four specific things which involve them personally and also the church as a whole:
- Their greatest personal burden (in one sentence)
- Someone who does not know Jesus Christ personally
- Elimination of church indebtedness by the end of 2020
- Anything else on their heart about their life and future
It’s remarkable as we all go on this journey individually and as a church, praying specifically for our own spiritual lives for 21 days in a row, God takes us to a new level as individuals and as a church.
An Attainable Goal
Making this a win for everyone helps people engage. Think about it this way: What could God do with your life if you focused on your spiritual life for 21 days in a row? What could God do with your church if your regular attenders pray specifically for your church for 21 days in a row? What could God do with our nation if we pray specifically along with thousands of other believers at other churches who are also praying? Everyone can pray. Everyone can participate.
We have also challenged our people to take their commitment to the next level by fasting from something during this time. It could be television, social media, one meal a day, or something else God has brought to their attention. The point is to use the time gained to seek the Lord.
Our ultimate challenge is this: Find the level you believe God has called you to, and go on this journey with us. Everyone can find some level of commitment. This is not about legalism, but about focusing on our spiritual lives individually and together. Our goal is for everyone to spend these 21 days taking their spiritual lives seriously enough to go on a new journey with God.
Beyond 21 Days
Beyond the 21 days of focused prayer, we are encouraging our people to read the Bible with us over the coming year. For simplicity, we are providing a reading plan so everyone can read together. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage your people to read the Word of God on a daily basis, even if they choose a different plan. The important thing is to encourage them from the pulpit, and even read the same plan so you can discuss where you are and what the Lord is saying through these passages.
Walk in Expectation
Many times, we do not walk in expectation. Journeys of faith require that we walk in expectation for what the Lord wants to do with our lives.
I can assure you, I am expecting great things in my own life, the lives of the people at Cross Church, and our church as a whole. I am looking forward to seeing the Lord do some powerful things in our midst. If we expect the Lord to do great things, then we will see the Lord do great things.
Pastors, live your life, operate your ministry, and lead your church to expect great things when we seek the Lord.
After reading this, if you feel God calling you to engage your church in any or all of these ideas, we have put together all the resources we use, along with the editable files, so you can take this and make it your own. You can find these resources here.
Commit to leading your church to a new level in a strong way in 2019.
Now is the Time to Pray,
Ronnie W. Floyd
The Value of Pastors and Churches Leading the Way on the 2019 National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2
The churches in America are God’s footprints in our nation. God’s churches are blessed and anointed by Him, and the greatest network our nation has for prayer and the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 350,000+ churches and 200 denominations have the opportunity to impact America on one day in 2019: The National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2.
As the president of the National Day of Prayer and senior pastor of a local church, I am convinced that we cannot complete our mission of mobilizing unified public prayer for America without the support of the pastors and churches in America. Additionally, each denomination and network of churches can be involved in advancing the Kingdom of God together, which far surpasses our own church and denomination. If there is any one day annually that we can work together for the greater good of God’s Kingdom, it can be the annual National Day of Prayer, which is the first Thursday of May annually.
Our priority must be to mobilize pastors, churches, and denominations to pray for America.
Will You Enter Your Community and Participate?
Pastors and churches, will you enter your community individually or even together, to join us in praying for America on Thursday, May 2, 2019?
Imagine with me for a moment: What would happen if each pastor and church in America established a prayer service or observance on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2, 2019? It would become the most prayed-for day in America.
Each pastor, church, or denomination can do any one of these options:
- Connect with and mobilize your church to an existing observance somewhere in your community.
- Create a new observance in your community in order to mobilize more people to pray for our nation.
- Realize you can create as many observances in your community as desired and there will still not be enough of these to mobilize your entire community to pray for America.
On each National Day of Prayer, there should be no less than 100,000 gatherings for prayer nationally, due to pastors, churches, and denominations leading the way or working together for the greater good of God’s Kingdom. Every Christ follower should want to take an hour on the National Day of Prayer to pray for America in a public prayer worship observance.
What Every Pastor, Church, and Denomination Needs to Know
If I had the opportunity to personally speak with every pastor and church in America, as well as each denominational leader, I would explain to that the National Day of Prayer provides a unique opportunity to engage all kinds of people in their communities who love America and hope for her best.
Some of these community members may not know Christ personally, but this service or observance can introduce them in a positive, non-threatening way to the things of God and the claims of Jesus Christ.
Regardless of your perception or what others may say, I believe the people of America love our nation. They realize our nation is broken and in trouble. Most also realize it will take some kind of divine intervention to see our nation move forward together positively.
The National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2019, provides a way to connect with one another in a positive, unifying way to pray for America. Pastors and churches are always seeking a way to create good will in the community. The National Day of Prayer is a wonderful way to do this. They will appreciate your participation and leadership in it.
Pastors, Churches, and Denominations, What’s Next?
Right now, get out your phone or calendar and mark this date: Thursday, May 2, 2019. Please mark your personal and your church calendar. Determine to schedule the National Day of Prayer as a priority on your personal and church calendar.
Go to our National Day of Prayer website and sign up to host an observance in your community in 2019. Talk to your staff team or church leaders and determine to become a strong participant in the National Day of Prayer. Also, on our National Day of Prayer website, watch this brief video on how pastors and churches can be involved in The National Day of Prayer in 2019.
The church in America should stand strong on the National Day of Prayer in thousands upon thousands of gatherings, proclaiming we believe in the power of prayer, even prayer for our nation. We need to become proclaimers of hope for our nation. Why would we not want to do this?
In humility, I appeal to all pastors, churches, and denominations in America: On Thursday, May 2, 2019, let’s plan to unite together, participate, or even lead, the National Day of Prayer in our communities. This may be one of the greatest ways you can add value in your community in 2019. God blesses pastors, churches and denominations that that value on the power of prayer.
Now is the Time to Lead and to Pray for America,
Dr. Ronnie Floyd