Although our leadership structure has changed, one of the keys to multiplication and kingdom growth is still raising up new leaders. As I looked around the room at one of our first gathering times during the weekend I was counting the crew to see if everyone was there. For some reason at that moment it struck me. There were 12 of us. With several part-time staff and 5 Intentional Communities going strong it's amazing to see the people that God has raised up and brought to us.
Thank you Jesus for answering that prayer!
But does that mean were finished? Heck no! There is still so much to be done, so many people to be reached, so many hurting and broken individuals and families to serve. The gospel is so deep and so wide but the lostness in our world is vast as well. Penetrating that lostness is going to take even more people, even more buy-in. The work is far from complete.
We did a lot at the retreat. We rested, we played and of course we ate! We dreamed, we updated, we heard stories from some of our newer leaders so we could get to know each other better. We calendared, we shared ideas and we debated. But the most important thing we did was pray.
For quite some time now if you asked me what the core values are of The Pathway I would have rattled off 3 words: Gospel. Community. Mission. Everything we do or don't do is decided and filtered through the lens of those 3 values. But leading up to our vision series this year we realized that something has been missing. There was a value that we have cared about, but have not emphasized nearly enough. We realized that this new value was going to have to be emphasized in 2014 if we really wanted it to become a part of who we are. That value is Prayer.
It seems odd at first to suggest that we haven't valued prayer. But to put it very simply... we haven't valued prayer. And it's my fault. I think strategically. I think big picture. I think in terms of vision and what I think could ultimately be accomplished. But too often, far too often, I get so focused on vision and strategy that I neglect inviting the God of the universe into the mission that he has sent us to accomplish. Crazy right? But our hope is that this will no longer be the case. 2014 is going to be a year of prayer for The Pathway. We don't know what all that entails, but I want to ask you to be praying for us as we figure it out.
We've already gathered a small team of passionate prayer warriors together to seek the Spirit's guidance on how to make prayer a true value, on how to make it a part of the DNA of our entire congregation instead of a passionate few. This small team is gathering weekly to pray. They're reading multiple books on prayer and prayer movements. And they're searching the Scriptures to see what God has done while we ask him to spark a new movement. We are planning to launch a monthly Concert of Prayer in January. We don't know exactly what it will look like, but it will be a time of worship and crying out to the Father to move in power in our city. We believe he will respond.
So to kick off our leadership retreat, we prayed. We spent an hour praying. Repenting of sin, asking God to prepare our hearts, praying for God to remind us that our work is not in vain. We asked God to spark something in us during the weekend, a flame that cannot easily be extinguished.
Where will this lead?
Only God knows. But I'm excited to be a part of the journey and I'm expecting the population of the Kingdom of God to grow exponentially as a result. To God be the glory!