As I mentioned last week, WE are the church. If the gates of hell cannot overcome the Church (Mt 16:18), then will we allow a closed building? A bit of distance between us? No friends around us? No worship team or pastor to lead us? We are the Church! Throughout history, God has always used adversity for greatest growth. Let’s sing louder, pray harder, listen more, worship deeper. Will you join me again for half an hour this Sunday? (the usual 10:03 start)
Here’s my suggestion this week:
-first 5 minutes: In your mind as you come to church, walk through it with me. Who do you sometimes see in the parking lot? What cars do you sometimes notice? Who do you meet on the way in? At the door? As you walk through the hallway into the fellowship room, or downstairs, or into the main auditorium? Who do you hope you see? Who haven’t you seen for a while? Same for throughout and after. Take some time to give thanks and pray for them.
-next 5 minutes: Last week, we prayed for the hospital and the farms. While we can definitely continue to remember them, let’s pray for the small businesses around us: the grocery stores, clinics, banks, gas stations and other places that remain open. Also, the restaurants, stores and other places that have closed. Pray for the business owners, the staff that continue to work and those that have been laid off, the customers and clients.
Ask that God would bring specific names to mind and pray for their work and provision.
-next 5 minutes: Let’s pray for our homeless – both those that do not have a physical roof over their heads and for those that are apart from the places/people that they call home (ie. migrant farmers and refugees, those estranged from family/friends for various reasons etc.). Do other groups come to mind that may feel separated, vulnerable or alone? Pray generally for them and specifically as God brings them to mind.
It’s not important that you follow this guide. It’s important that we’re praying together!
Finally, let’s take 15 minutes to worship. As last week, if it’s listening/watching some worship music, there’s some links on our webpage - “ministries” then “ideas/links”. If you want a message, I’ll have a thought for us on our/a youtube page (Saanichton Bible Fellowship) or you can find something at RightNow Media. Or worship through walking, painting, drawing, writing or 15 minutes chewing on the Bible. There’s some devotional material on our webpage under “ministries” then “connecting devotionals”.
Worship is a heart attitude that involves activity so let’s get our focus right first.
Benediction: What difference will what I learned/did make in my upcoming week? Write down a short phrase/sentence on a post-it note or piece of paper and remind yourself daily