On January 3, 2015, I will release my 15 trends for churches in 2015. Before I get to those trends, I want to share with you readers my specific prayers for congregations as we enter a new year. Obviously my prayer requests and trends are not the same. The latter is my assessment of where churches are headed. The former is my heartfelt desire where I pray they will heed.
You will likely recognize some of these themes if you read this blog with any regularity. These are my eight prayer requests for churches in 2015:
- For greater emphasis on prayer. Many, if not most, churches have a woeful emphasis on corporate prayer. Churches who do not give prayer a high priority are churches without God’s power.
- For standing firm on biblical truth. Culture is trying to push our congregations away from the truths of Scripture. We cannot yield to that pressure. If we do, our congregations cease to be true, biblical churches.
- For greater unity in our churches. There is too much infighting in many of our congregations. And there is too much disunity from church to church. The world is watching our fights. “Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us” (1 John 3:23).
- For greater intentionality in evangelism. The typical church in America is doing very little to share the gospel of Christ boldly and intentionally. May we be so grateful for what Christ has done for us that “we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
- For greater emphasis on groups. Churches should grow larger by growing smaller. A church member not in a small group or Sunday school class is not fully committed to the body.
- For membership to be more meaningful. For many churches, membership has become nearly meaningless. For others, membership is a perceived entitlement, much like country club membership. I pray that membership in our congregations will become truly biblical as Paul demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 12.
- For clear plans of discipleship. Too many congregations cannot clearly articulate how members can become more obedient followers of Christ. This issue was the thesis of my book with Eric Geiger, Simple Church.
- For more ministry involvement and impact in our communities. I pray that our churches will become known by the positive impact they have in their respective communities. As we obey Acts 1:8, we must first be obedient to our own Jerusalem.
These are my eight prayers for our churches. What do you think of them? What are your prayers for our congregations?