Stop, Listen and Pray

by Melissa Hoyt

Have you ever stopped and thought about what goes on behind the scenes in a church?  What goes on in a church to make the weekend church services happen?  How does a church keep running on a weekly basis to meet the needs of a body of believers?  Why have Pastors and Elders anyway?  If you are prone to just slip into a church service on the weekends and not really engage with anyone around you and figure out the bigger picture of church; I challenge you to STOP, LISTEN, and PRAY!

As a church, we are going through a sermon series on “Body Building” and exploring how to make an individual commitment to the church for Kingdom results.  We are also engaging with the I AM A Church Member book by Thom Rainer.  Let’s look at one way we can make an individual commitment to bring results to God’s Kingdom.

As you rush into church during a weekend service, I challenge you to STOP, LISTEN, and PRAY!  Stop by taking a moment to slow down, and look around at what God is doing in the Body of Believers around you.  Listen to what is being said and how God is encouraging you through the Pastors and Elders bringing the Word of God.  Pray for the church, especially for the Pastors and Elders.  There are many leaders of the church, but let’s take a look at the Pastors and the Elders that God has given the authority to lead within our church.

1 Timothy 3 discusses the qualifications for church leaders that include our Pastors and Elders.  It’s quite a list of what God expects from our leaders.  The chapter begins with “if anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task”.  There is a high calling put on Pastors and Elders of a church by God to be able to lead a body of believers well!  Would you be qualified to lead the church by God?  Take some time to look through 1 Timothy 3, and STOP, LISTEN, and PRAY!  Stop and think about the responsibility that these leaders have to lead our church well.  Listen to what God wants you to hear through His Word.  Pray for the Pastors and Elders of our church.  They are human, just like us, but they need our prayers to be able to able to stand up against the challenges and struggles that come their way so they can do their job to the best of their ability and to lead the church well.

Thom Rainer in I Am A Church Member makes a list of some of the top things that these leaders need prayer for:

-For spiritual protection

-For protection from moral failure

-For the preaching of the Word

-For their families

-For encouragement

-For physical strength

-For courage

-For discernment

-For wisdom in their leadership

Will you and your family take some time this week, this month, and this year to STOP, LISTEN, and PRAY for the church leaders?  Will you pray that God will help these leaders to lead the church well?  We may not be in the position of a Pastor or Elder of our church, but we have the great responsibility to PRAY for those whom God has given the authority to lead us!

As a family, you may want to commit to “The Fifth Pledge” of “I Am A Church Member”!

“I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well.  We will pray together for our church.  We will worship together in our church.  We will serve together in our church.  And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church because He gave His life for her.”

Take some time right now, to STOP, LISTEN, and PRAY for the church leaders by name.  You can start with those you know about, and then stop by our website and click on “Home” and “Staff” and “Leadership” to see more Pastors and Elders you can pray for by name!

All of the kids classes will be reading “What is the Church?” by Mandy Groce and Bill Bell in their classes during the month of January.  Ask your kids what they have been learning about what the church is!  

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