Last spring when I came to Springfield to interview, the Transition Committee told me they had done a meeting-wide survey. Everyone in the meeting, the committee said, agreed on three things:
1. We want to be non-judgmental
2. We want to grow
3. We’re willing to change
All three of these are great, but they do involve some work. In the last newsletter, I reported on some of the changes we’ve already started – housecleaning, repairs, getting things organized, teaching, calling on people.
We’ve hired a new music director, and made adjustments so we could keep our pianist. Most exciting of all, we researched and bought new hymnals for worship!
But if we want things to change here at Springfield, we have to pray more.
Growth and change aren’t mainly a matter of spending more money. The big changes we have to make are mostly about attitude, and acceptance, organization and excitement. The big changes are spiritual, rather than physical. And every change that I can think of here in this meeting really starts with prayer.
If we want to grow, the reason can’t be so we can just pay the bills. That is NOT a good reason for growth! If we want to grow, it’s because we want to share the good news that Christ is alive and present and available in our world.
The only good reasons to grow are because we want to love more, and reach out more, and serve more. And the way we start getting to that kind of growth, is through prayer.
If we don’t pray, we won’t grow. Or to turn it around, if we want to grow, we need to learn to pray, and we need to pray constantly.
Every single gathering of this congregation needs to include this prayer – every meeting for worship, every Sunday School class, every Bible study, every fellowship meal, every social gathering, every committee, every business meeting, every pastoral visit.
Every time two or three people from Springfield meet together, we need to include a prayer that God will bless us, that God will lead us, that God will help us grow.
That is my #1 recommendation for change for this meeting, and I’m completely serious about it. If we don’t pray, we won’t grow. If we pray to grow, if we ask for God’s blessing, I believe that it will happen.
If we’re at any kind of a gathering, and we haven’t prayed, I want to hear somebody speak up and say, “Hey, we didn’t pray to grow yet. We have to do that before we leave!”
It’s going to take practice. Just remembering to pray is going to take some getting used to. You can use your own words. You can say it your own way. But everybody pray!
This is something we all do together. You all are going to have to pray, too. It isn’t just my job. To turn this group around, we all have to pray.
– Josh Brown