Monday, December 16, 2013

Year of Prayer... Please Pray

It's been an exciting year for The Pathway and most ultimately for God's kingdom.  We've seen God do some pretty incredible things.  He's answered so many prayers, he's raised up leaders, multiplied Intentional Communities and most importantly he's brought life change.  In 2014 we saw 13 baptisms, God allowed us to finally reach the point of having Intentional Community gatherings on every weekday night, we moved our worship gathering to Franklin Elementary and we raised up our first global mission team!  We saw numerical growth in the number of Intentional Communities that are gathering, the number of people gathering in those IC's and the number of people attending our Sunday gathering.  But most importantly we've seen growth in discipleship.  We've got a long way to go, but we were able to implement a discipleship process and see many people enter into disciple-making relationships.  All glory to God!

So what's next?

Going into 2013 I would have told you that The Pathway has 3 core values: the gospel, biblical community, and the mission of God.  If an idea, strategy or approach to church pops up that does not encompass these values, we won't do it.  Even if it's a great idea.  But as I prepared for this years vision series, God began showing me that he wants us to intentionally value something else.  Something vital.  Something that really comes before and leads into the other 3.  Prayer.  At the same time, or probably before, God was working in our Intentional Community Director, Stacie Hooks heart that our church needs to value prayer and lean into prayer if we want to see a movement of God beyond our capacity.  Beyond what we could make happen on our own.  It seemed like a God thing to me!

So what have we been doing?

Well, over the last few months we've been preaching prayer... not just on Sunday mornings, but any chance we get.  Stacie has headed up a small team of people to read multiple books on prayer and how God has used it to spark spiritual awakening in the past.  We brought it to our open leadership gathering as well as our Leadership retreat.  Stacie's team has been praying, learning about prayer, and planning to launch monthly concerts of prayer beginning the first Sunday evening in January.  We really don't know what to expect, and I think that's a good thing.

So what are we expecting?
We are expecting BIG things.  We are doing our best not to dictate to God what he should do and how he should act.  But we are asking him for things.  We're asking him for growth.  Somethings we're asking specifically, somethings we're asking generally.  But we are expecting him to do what he does in an Ephesians 3:20 manner.  We know that prayer brings in the power of the Holy Spirit in a unique way and we know that he can do more in a minute than we can do in a lifetime.  Our request is that you pray with us.  Pray for life change.  I'm asking God to more than double our baptisms in 2014!  Please pray with us for that.  We're asking God to double our IC's in 2014.  Please pray with us for that.  Most importantly, please pray that God would spark in our church a passion for prayer that goes beyond our leadership.  Pray that we begin to value prayer so strongly that we cannot, we will not function with out it!

If my people who are called by my name ghumble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

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