Larry’s Lines. . . .
By Larry Murphy, Executive Director
Over the past three or four years, I have been working with Steve Holt, Church Revitalization Strategist with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, and four other men across our state convention. Our goal comes from the Five Objectives of our TBMB. The objective says that we will prayerfully see at least 500 Tennessee Baptist Convention churches revitalized by 2024. How do we accomplish this? How do we define Church Revitalization?
Church Revitalization is a process of redirecting a church toward healthy and sustained exaltation of Christ, proclamation of the gospel to the lost, utilizing God’s Word for direction and expressing God’s love in the community.
Hopefully, when a church moves in these steps towards healthy they will begin to see tangible evidence of God working in their midst. Some of these, but not all, would see:
- Increase in worship attendance and baptisms
- Increase in Bible study
- Greater faithfulness in stewardship
- A desire to do more in missions and ministry
- Connection with the community
- Visible change in the spiritual climate of the church
You may ask, “How do we start in this process?” All of this has to start with the pastor and leadership being involved in a culture of prayer. None of the definition or evidences will take place and have any lasting effect if, first and foremost, there is not a spiritual transformation in the heart of the pastor and the leadership of the church.
Seek first God and His direction. This comes through prayer.
Powerful Prayer for Every Believer
Prayer is the heart of a successful relationship with God. Consider these questions:
1. How do you receive Christ as Savior?
2. How do we abide in Him?
3. How do we grow as Christians?
4. How do we overcome temptation and weakness?
5. How do you resist Satan and prepare for spiritual warfare?
6. How do you confess your sins?
7. How are you fitted with the Holy Spirit?
8. How do you gain wisdom from God?
9. How do you experience power to serve?
The answer to all of these questions is prayer!
How do you create a culture of prayer? The pastor and leadership must be people of passionate, expectant, and consistent prayer. When I speak of leadership I am talking about pastor, staff, and all deacons. Any weakness in any of these in relation to prayer will be felt among the fellowship. Acts 6 tells us that the ministry of the Word and prayer must be modeled in the lives of these men.
What are some steps to promoting a culture of prayer?
- Never put off praying
- Model a prayer life before the fellowship and never let crisis praying be the only thing your people pray for
- Have consistent times of calling the fellowship to prayer
- Teach and preach consistently the importance of prayer
- Be hungry! Hunger more for the presence of God and for your people to be hungry for God more than anything else you hunger for
- Guard your heart
- Live repentant
Do you want your church to be revitalized? Pray and seek God and His direction. Then watch what He can and will do as we obey His will.
On Monday, July 15, Randy Davis, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board executive director/treasurer, will be the speaker at the Madison-Chester/Crockett Baptist Associations Pastors Conference. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at the association office located at 603 Wallace Road, Jackson.
Saturday, August 10
Calvary Baptist Church
119 Oil Well Road, Jackson, TN 38305
$35/PERSON (includes lunch)
$25/PERSON for GROUPS of 10+
Registration Deadline: August 3
Madison-Chester Association of Baptists
Senior Adult Ministry Meeting
Tuesday, September 10
Liberty Grove Baptist Church
(1071 Harts Bridge Road, Jackson, TN)
Program Guest: Grover Westover
Crockett Baptist Association
Senior Adult Ministry Meeting
Tuesday, September 17
Host Church Needed.
Contact the association office (731-668-5690) if your church is willing to host this event.