Lead Team & Listening Prayer

June 3, 2014 Bethany UMC Lead Team Listening Prayer Recap

Father, we come to you in the name of Jesus and according to James 1:5 we are seeking wisdom for the questions we have as The Body. In the name of Jesus, may only your voice be heard. May mine, others or the enemy’s be muted and my thoughts taken captive to the obedience of Christ according to 2 Cor 10:5. We ask that only your Holy Spirit will speak as we wait on you for wisdom, insight, and direction; and what you show us and direct us to do we will obey through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Amen.

What’s next Lord?  Where should we place our foot next?  What should our vision be?  What do you want us to know?

(Gayle R.) Felt like God shifted the question of “what next?” to four verses telling me, “reliance on God,” Trust (Esther 4:16, Isa 8:19, Ps 106, Ps 107)

(Ramona H.)“He will…”  Trust.  I will go before you (Isa 45)

(Denise M.) Isa 1 and Isa 2.  We are called to be God’s temple so that “He can teach us His ways, so that we walk in His paths (Isa 2:3b)  Stop trusting in mere humans (Isa 2:22a)  Trust Him.

(Carl D.) It’s not about the buildings or parking lot, etc.  It’s about what the church is to be and to do.   Bethany is on a spiritual journey to become a 1st Thessalonian church.

1 Thessalonians:  God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life (vs 7); you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.  And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more…(vs 9b-10)

From a 1976 John MacArthur sermon on the Apostle Paul’s Epistle regarding the church in Thessalonica:

“…there is no reference to numbers in this particular epistle. Doesn't tell us how big the church was or any of their numerical objectives or goals. None of that is described. It tells us absolutely nothing about their programming. It doesn't tell us anything about the kind of sermons that were preached, the kind of music that was done. It doesn't tell us how big their parking lot was. Doesn't tell us about their Sunday School, their worship services. Doesn't tell us about their high school camp. It doesn't tell us about any of those things. But it does tell us about internal things. You know, whenever you're...whenever the Lord takes the temperature of the church, He always wants to know the internal temperature. You know, somewhere along the line, the Lord puts the thermometer inside, and Thessalonica came out 98.6, normal. And because of that it sets a tremendous pattern for us.”

(Rita T.) Used Ps 23 to calm the mind and better listen for God’s voice.  Trust God to provide.  Jesus sent the twelve disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God with His power and authority.  Five loaves and two fish feed five thousand (Luke 9:1-17).  Jesus sends 72 others:  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go!...” (Luke 10:1-24).  Our purpose is dual:  to reach out and to build

(Royce L.) Rom 15:7-13  Gospel for Jews AND Gentiles.  Make disciples locally on top of what we already do.

(Sue T.) planting of the churches for the Gentiles (Acts 14)

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,

         they will walk and not be faint. (Isa 40:30-31)

(Paul D.) 2 Corinth 10:7-8: I am sure of my commitment to Christ, and I will not back off from my challenge to you, the others of the congregation. Every bit of that is to build you up, not to tear you down.

Hosea 6:4-7: He seeks love that lasts, not religion. He wants people -- including those that aren't churched -- to know him, not just to go to worship services and prayer meetings.

Galatians 5:23-24: When we live in God's way, we see the gifts in our lives -- affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We get a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion, and a deep conviction that basic holiness permeates things and people. It's these traits that let us get out of God's way and to marshal our efforts wisely.

 (Cliff W.)  Have endurance and be resolute.   “…for the hand of God was gracious upon me…” (Neh 2:8b) “…the God of Heaven is the one who will give us success…” (Neh 2:20a)

“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-3)  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works (Heb 10:23-24)

(Pastor Tom) Rejoicing, God protects (Ps 105: 12-15).  That His power be made known (Ps 106:8).   The power of the Holy Spirit enables us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).   David to Solomon regarding building of the Temple….“Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord (1 Chron 28:20).”  Trust in God’s power –the emphasis is on what God is doing, not what we are doing or able to do.

(Pastor Sheri) The Holy Spirit is upon us to tell our story…His story (Acts 2:1-12).  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).”  Heard the thought “feed people.”

(Pastor Wynn) We are required to participate to be agents of our God who transforms.  Our identity as Israel is to be His people and claim God’s Promised Land (Numbers 33).

(Bob G.) Jesus feeds five thousand.  He commanded the Disciples to “give them something to eat.”  Their hearts were hardened because they didn’t understand the lesson of the loaves:  TRUST  (Mark 6:52)

(Bryan K., Spawglass- General Contractor) Go out early & pray (Mark 1:35) “Throw your net to the right side of the boat…”  Trust, obey, catch (John 21:6).

Other questions lifted up during listening prayer time:

(John W.) What is our purpose?

Telling people about Jesus has to be why we’re doing this.  We are to serve… ”Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve” (1 Pet 5:2).  Jesus feeds five thousand (John 6:1-15) “I am the bread” (John 6:48)…Jews began to grumble…”stop grumbling among yourselves, Jesus answered”(John 6:43). 

(Jim P.) What do those who are not here (in the pews) need? 

(Titus 3:3-7) “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.  But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”  This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good…

(Titus 3:9)…Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights…These things are useless and a waste of time.

I read verses about Warrior/King David and how he learned to trust in God and thus was successful.

(Alan G.) What is next for the leadership to address the needs of the community? 

Ephesians – Love:  “We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine….But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. (Eph 4:14-16)

Nehemiah 8:13-18 – Party! Festival of the booths celebrated after the wall was built.  There was great rejoicing.

Philippians 3:14 - Claiming the Prize: press on toward the prize of Christ who already won

 (Cathy W.)  What do you want known in this meeting Lord?

Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near…prepare the way for the Lord and make straight paths for Him (Matt 3:2-3).  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matt 3:8).   God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles and they will listen! (Acts 28:28).  Prayer for those God will send us: Let their hearts be softened.  Let them see with their eyes.  Hear with their ears.  Understand with their hearts.  That they turn and be healed (Acts 28:27).  In Him all things hold together (Col 1:17).   God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things (Col 1:19-20).