Larry’s Lines. . . .
By Larry Murphy, Executive Director
In the book Praying with Jesus: 40 Days toward Church Revitalization produced by Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, the author, Dr. Jamison L. Work, helps us in a 40-day walk of prayer seeking church revitalization.
Day One of the forty days is entitled ‟Do You Feel the Urgency?” Mark 1:1, 3 carries the tone of urgency – ‟make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” Dr. Work states that while many factors have contributed to your church’s current condition, we cannot treat them with kid gloves and even sweep them under the carpet. I would say that this applies to us personally, our associations, state convention, and even our national Southern Baptist Convention.
At a crucial time as this, we need a vibrant, growing group of believers individually seeking God and leading our families, our church, association, and conventions to reach the lost; showing warmth, love hope in a Christ centered act of sacrifice and fellowship.
I believe Galatians 5:22-23 is one of the most evangelistic and life transforming scripture of the New Testament – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.” While these verses and others are calling us to live the Spirit-filled, Christ centered life, and to seek His kingdom first, (which by the way, Day 20 of this prayer guide is entitled “A Kingdom Agenda”) we seem more concerned about our own kingdom and our own agendas.
Several years ago, George Barna led in a survey of 1,000 church attenders. One of the questions on the survey was, “In your opinion, what is the main purpose of the church?” Eighty-five percent of those 1,000 said the main purpose of the church is to meet my individual needs. I think the main purpose of the church is to glorify God and the other things will fall in place.
So, do we have an urgency to see His church, not our church, healthy and kingdom focused? Would you be willing to pray the following prayer and see God move in mighty ways?
“Father, I realize the complete revitalization of Your church depends on my willingness to “make ready Your way” now. Jesus, this is your church, I surrender it to you; and I invite you to change me in every way necessary to make Your church a healthy, vibrant, Kingdom-focused people fully living YOUR WAY! Jesus, I “repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Now is Your time, Jesus! Have Your way!! Use me as Your instrument. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
(Prayer taken from Day One of Praying with Jesus: 40 Days toward Church Revitalization.)
Association Office Holiday Closing
The association office will be closed July 3 and 4 to observe Independence Day.
Madison-Chester Association of Baptists
Administrative Team Meeting
Monday, July 9 • 10:30 a.m.
Crockett County Baptist Association
Executive Committee Meeting
Tuesday, July 10 • 7:00 p.m.
First Baptist Church, Alamo
Kenya Mission Trip
August 5-18, 2018
Begin now praying for this mission work. For more information contact Larry Murphy at 731-668-5690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday School Leadership Training
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Conference for pastors and staff, directors and coordinators, adult, youth, children, and preschool teachers and leaders. Practical helps for leaders and teachers. Contact Mark Miller (email@example.com) for further information.