James 5:16 - …pray one for another… Pastors and ministry leaders that serve on a church staff should make it a priority to pursue God daily on behalf of one another. I found that one of the biggest challenges is knowing exactly what to pray and how to pray when praying for our staff. One day I took the word STAFF and used it as an acrostic to guide me in my daily pursuit of God on behalf of our staff. It helped me. Here’s how I pray for our church STAFF:
Pray for their Spiritual Growth
Pray the staff will grow in God’s grace, love His Word, and seek His face. Pray they will be godly husbands and fathers; godly wives and mothers.
Pray for their Time Management
Pray the staff will be good stewards of their time in the office and around the ministry making the best effort possible to get the work done.
Yesterday was our annual Vision Sunday at Laurel Baptist Church. This has always been an enjoyable day as we focus on what the Lord desires to accomplish through our church in the new year. We distribute church calendars, hand out a free gift to all in attendance, and share goals for the ministry.
The Lord led me in a different direction this year. Since our beginning 6 years ago we have always had a theme and centered the entire year around that one theme. This year, I transitioned into more of a focus rather than a theme. What’s the difference? Historically for us a theme was most often restricted by time, but a focus was more related to a goal. For us, in this season of ministry, the goal is simply God; the focus is more prayer. What about the plan?…the theme to move us forward?…the strategy for marketing our ministry to the community? Well, that’s just it. I’ve taken me out of the equation. Our plan is to pursue God through prayer and let Him lead.
Just because we don’t have a “theme,” so to speak, this year doesn’t mean we don’t have goals. Annually, around the summer, I begin praying about what the Lord desires for me as I lead our church to honor Him. In September I share theses goals with our staff and on Vision Sunday with our church. In case you missed last night’s service, here are ten ministry goals God has given me for our church in 2015. They’re just goals. Goals that will only be met as the Lord leads.
Click here to listen to the message “Tis The Season To Start Fresh.”
The awesome thing about approaching a new year is that there are some areas of our life in which we can start over or start fresh. I’m encouraged through the Scriptures that God takes great pleasure in giving fresh starts. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Lamentations 3:23 – The Lord’s mercies…they are new every morning.
In recent weeks I have been studying Isaiah 43 and found it to be a remarkable passage about new things and fresh starts. God specifically says in verse 18-19 – Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a NEW THING.
Israel had been spiritually unresponsive to God, and because of that God brought judgment and exile upon them. Yet, in the midst of their exile He assures them of His presence and protection by saying I am the Lord, which maketh a way. So, He reminds them briefly about what He had done for them in the past by making a way of deliverance from Egypt, securing their redemption. But here’s the remarkable lesson of the passage: In verse 18 God shifts from reminding them of their past experiences to telling them, in a way, to forget them. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
He was not saying that we are to ignore past revelations of God that give us faith in the doctrine of who God is and what He can do (see verse 10). However, we cannot allow God’s former works of greatness to undervalue our present situations, as if the former days are better than these. You see, Israel believed their future was bleak because they measured their present situation by their past experiences. In other words, “The Red Sea deliverance was so great how could God ever top that? Those were the days!” Israel was so imprisoned by the ‘good ole days’ that they couldn’t look forward to the new thing (verse 19) that God wanted to do. “So, Israel, stop dwelling on the present crisis and stop yearning for the former days, because I will do a new thing.”