Pastor’s Message

Aug 1, 2019 by

Greetings!

Last month’s article was about the whirlwind in our lives and our world today. It’s still whirling, but we know who is our anchor in the wind—Jesus! That’s right! I gave us the challenge to pray, pray for direction from God. Pray how God wants to use us in our communities and in this world for all to come to know Jesus. Have you been praying and seeking the Lord?
Our Wednesday morning Prayer Group is studying, “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. Excellent book! Mark Batterson has set a challenge for us to be people who pray and pray hard. He calls them BHAPs, which are “Big Hair Audacious Prays” and the purpose of these BHAPs is to achieve or for God to achieve through us BHAGs, which are “Big Hairy Audacious Goals!” I don’t know about you, but I love to plan and set goals. I’m an achiever, and achievers like to set goals and check boxes! Then we like to move onto the next thing. So this excites me to hear Mark Batterson talk about goals and dreaming big and trusting God to come through as we circle our goals in prayer. Does it do anything for you? Well, maybe reading his book will excite your more than me telling it second hand. However, he says, “Goals are a great way of thinking long…setting goals is a practical way of dreaming big…if prayer is the genesis (beginning) of dreams, then goals are the revelation. Goals are well-defined dreams that are measurable…Goals are dreams with deadlines.”[1] Are you excited yet?
We are called to pray and envision our goals and our future. Scripture says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prv. 29:18, KJV). So Mark Batterson says, “With a vision, people prosper.”[2] I think this makes great sense. The chapter on goal setting spoke to me in how we do this personally, and not just short term goals but long term goals. I think about them, but do we write them down and begin to circle them in prayer? The same holds for ministry goals, family goals, church goals, and so on. He gives ten steps to goal setting, and it starts with prayer, then checking your motives about your goals. A great measuring rule of thought is, does this glorify God? He created categories for goals such as family, influential goals, experiential, physical, and travel. Narrow down your goals and be specific, just like your prayers. The goals need to be measurable. Write them down, include others such as giving generously or involving others to participate in your goals. Don’t forget to celebrate when goals are accomplished. Make sure you have some BHAGs and think long-term, not just short-term. And of course, PRAY HARD!
As we read this chapter this past Wednesday in our group, the thought came how this could shape our ministries, our meetings, and our lives as a church. Think about it; prayer is to be the foundation; it’s where Jesus is, the Spirit is when we are seeking God we cannot go astray — asking God for direction, for goals setting and those BHAGs that only God can bring to fruition. I don’t know about you, but it excites me to think about how God wants to meet us in this discipline of prayer and planning. I challenge you to get a copy of “The Circle Maker” and begin a different way of praying and seeking God for your personal and our community life as his church.

God’s blessings to you all as we journey forward!

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Terry

[1] Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker, page 240.
[2] Batterson, 240.

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