Here’s our recent prayer update:
About a dozen times over the past three months, five men have gathered at our home on Saturday evening for discussion and prayer. These meetings have been particularly rewarding as the future leadership for the church slowly takes shape. Each week we cover these four headings.
Our meetings open as we discuss how the previous Sunday’s worship services were conducted. Was everything set up on time? How could we improve the singing? Were there any awkward moments? Did the service lift our hearts to Christ?
Then we move to church discipline. If there are members who have not been attending we assign someone to visit or call them. Each man has a chance to say if he knows about any church member in need of spiritual help. We then prepare to pray for members and any unbelievers who have been attending our worship services. Typically, about a dozen unconverted youth and adults are with us on Sunday mornings. When we average 30 people in attendance that can be quite a significant segment of the congregation.
If any comments or review of the finances needs to be made, we make them here. Our average offerings per week have raised from $1.40 (2008) to $3.24 (2011) to $28.80 (2014). We also discuss our building plans for the week. Currently, after having laid the first 3,000 bricks, the toilet is finished and the foundation is underway.
From time to time theological and philosophical issues come up that the leadership of the church can discuss at this time. Last week, for example, we talked about what age we should allow children to be baptized. We’ve also discussed what message would be sent if our church played soccer against false churches.
Depending on the issues to be covered, these topics take about 30-45 minutes.
Nearly all the requirements for a pastor or deacon are some aspect of character and personal godliness in 1 Timothy 3. Thus, as men we ask each other the following four questions (or derivations thereof).
- Have you been reading your Bible this week? In what book? What have you learned?
- Have you been memorizing and meditating on Scripture? (EBC is working through Philippians this year.)
- Is there any sin that you have fallen to this week that you have not yet repented of?
- As far as you know, do you still meet the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3?
So far, about one man per week has admitted that he is struggling with anything from laziness to anger to lust and asks for the rest to pray for him. Though it only takes about 10 minutes, this section of our weekly meeting may prove to be the most valuable in forming and guarding Christlikeness.
Scripture assumes a church leader would be fluent, or at least conversant, in at least five areas. So we have chosen to take one of those categories per year as our theme over a five-year cycle: character, doctrine, preaching, prayer, and Christian worldview. In 2014, we are focusing on character using William Bennet’s Book of Virtues. The men read the story in the week, and then we discuss the meaning and application for about 15 minutes on Saturday night.
The previous headings take about an hour, but after we’ve worked through them, our hearts are ready to pray. We gather up the church discipline scenarios, accountability issues, and character studies for prayer as well as asking for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our Sunday worship. On top of these is added the needs of sister churches. Our prayers are conversation-style, and usually take about 20-30 minutes.
Is the growth 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, or 10 steps forward 9 steps back? I don’t know, but I do know that God’s grace has been evident in our assembly. Please pray that our church and family would be filled with the fruits of righteousness to the glory and praise of God. (Phil. 1:11)
Investing in eternity,
Seth and Amy Meyers
sonofcarey.com | Reflections on theology, missions, and culture
itavitaafrican.wordpress.com | Homeschool and missions from a woman’s perspective