For some time, I’ve been working with a church in a relatively “non-exciting” way: through reviewing and consulting on survey data. I said “non-exciting” only because processing and statistics isn’t exactly glamourous. HOWEVER – the Process of Renewal on which this church is embarking IS exciting!
I’d like to share a bit with you about another recent LRM event – a Catalyst weekend. Although the church was initially considering a Celebration weekend, there were a few signs that it might not be able to be what the pastor and leaders were prayerfully seeking to achieve. Therefore, after more prayer, they determined to hold a Catalyst first.
The Catalyst is much simpler to facilitate. There are three options: David, Moses, or Ruth. A 30-Day pre-event devotional guide is used to both prepare hearts and minds as well as develop interest in the event. Instead of preparing required aspects of the Celebration like housing, transportation, and more, the church only needs to have housing for two leaders and arrange for two church dinners (and even those can be flexible!). The only “mandatory” that is consistent between the two is the prayer vigil.
In many respects, it was just like a Celebration. We had a Friday late-afternoon team meeting. During it, we reviewed guidelines for discussion groups and talked about sharing testimonies. The difference was that instead of having visiting team members, the church members served in those roles – both experienced as well as first-time group leaders. We also equipped them to share 9-sentence faith stories.
The church then gathered for dinner and fellowship before we began the general session. We dove into the Word and walked our way through the Story of God’s rescue of His children through Moses. We then shared faith stories – usually in 9-sentences but some felt led to share a bit more (PRAISE GOD!). We then dispersed into small discussion groups. When those completed, we gathered together once again for review and celebration. The other times [Saturday morning and Saturday night (with a bridge to God’s rescue of His children through Christ)] finally wrapped up with a special time of shared prayer. On Sunday morning, we gathered for a unified worship service.
The prayer for AFTER these weekends is simple: continue. We pray that the sharing of stories will continue. We pray that the relationships and group conversations will continue. We pray that ALL God has done will continue.
And, I’m not changing direction, but have you ever noticed the way in which the Apostle Paul interrupts himself in the Letter to the Ephesians? In the middle of his missive, he stops and PRAYS!
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 14-19
While it may seem random to us, we know that Paul, writing through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is moved to pray before he begins to give practical instructions for the Church. In that same respect, I lift up each church with whom we are given the honor of serving. LRM is dropped into the middle of all that is happening. As the church then moves forward, we pray that they can continue to take steps forward to deeper faith and outreach. But, because just like the Apostle we are no longer there, we must pray for these things to continue (and for the NEXT event!).
So, would you please continue with us? Will you continue in prayer and support for DEEPER? In whatever way we are able to serve a particular church, may God continue to move them towards His purposes and will!
Yours in Christ,