Wow! What a January. We were able to celebrate some amazing victories from 2019. A new website and social media platform. Bible engagement and daily prayer. Community engagement. Giving 110% of our fourth quarter financial goals. Giving 112.5% of the annual goal for our missions offering, The Blessing. And funding more than 100% of every mission goal within The Blessing! When I am reading a good book, that’s the kind of ending that makes me want to turn the page!
And so we have turned the page to The Next Chapter of Huffman Baptist Church. Like Nehemiah, we have developed a burden for God’s glory to be restored. That burden has led to brokenness and repentance before God. And in return, He has given us a bold vision for the next five years at Huffman Baptist Church. I sincerely hope that you were present on January 12 when I shared what the Lord had laid on my heart. How God was leading us to become a family of churches who are sending transformed people to make Jesus known across the street and around the world. If you were not present, you can watch the message here.
I was most impressed with the response of our people to the challenge. With a strong voice you said, “Let us rise up and build.” The altar was full. We are ready.
As I shared that Sunday morning, we can not become a family of churches who are sending transformed people to make Jesus known across the street and around the world apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, we are placing a huge emphasis on our Wednesday night prayer meeting. This will become one of the most significant gatherings we have. I hope you will join us at 4:30 on Wednesday afternoons.
Here are five ways we will be praying for HBC in 2020:
1. Pray for the unity of the church
A lack of unity is a common characteristic in declining churches. There are often competing agendas. Personal preferences abound. Alliances have been formed. God establishes unity in the church. It is our job to maintain it. So pray for members “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
2. Pray for protection from the enemy’s fiery darts
Whenever a church is experiencing revitalization, the enemy takes notice. He takes notice because Jesus is reclaiming his glory in the church. And the devil does not want that to happen. Revitalization is spiritual warfare. So pray for protection. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
3. Pray for members to function as the body of Christ
God has placed every member of your church in the body according to his design. Regrettably, there are many churches functioning at less than capacity because so many members are not fulfilling their role. “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1 Corinthians 12:18).
4. Pray for workers to go into the harvest
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). Be careful how you pray for this. It is highly likely that the Lord will remind you that you are in fact the answer to your own prayer!
5. Pray for the people around our church
Drive slowly through the neighborhood. If you see someone outside, stop and ask them how you can pray for them. If it is safe, you may even want to knock on a few doors. “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
During February we celebrate Valentine’s Day, so our minds are attuned to matters of the heart. Accordingly, I am looking forward to preaching a three-part miniseries challenging us to get to The Heart of the Matter. We will explore several Old Testament passages to see what it takes to have a heart like his. Make your plans to join us. It could change your life!