Hey Friends, At 7:24 in the morning and the evening or near those times, I’ve been praying, “What's next, Papa? What dream do you have for our church that only You can fulfill? Let New Zion see the new possibilities you have for us to reach new people and make new disciples for Jesus Christ. Amen.” It is my prayer that you have been joining me as well. I’ve also been using the Lenten prayer guide to pray for specific ministries of New Zion and also for our surrounding communities. I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to answer those prayers. I’m expecting great things and for God to do a work in and through us as the church.
All this prayer is for us to be the church God has called us to be. A group of us sensed God’s call to spiritually rebuild New Zion and have been meeting together on Sundays after the second service for food, prayer, and training in revitalization by Thom Rainer. This is by no means a closed group; it is open to any-one. Feel free to ask someone who has been attending about it. If you plan to join us, please let me know or another of the group so we can have enough food for everyone. This group is not formed just for education, but also for action. It does no good to learn if we aren’t willing to implement what we learn.
Revitalization means to live again. After 200 years, there are some areas where our vitality as a congregation has ebbed away. There are others where it has died. There are still others where life still thrives. As we approach Easter, the time when we celebrate God raising Jesus from the dead, what better time is there than now to focus on God breathing new life in us as the church. Jesus’ resurrection changed every-thing. The disciples were changed. They went from a fearful group huddled together in an Upper Room to a group moved by the Spirit boldly proclaiming the Good News on the streets of Jerusalem and beyond. The world was changed. They realized the truth that Jesus was who He said He was after the resurrection. The whole calendar system changed to reflect Jesus as the hinge of history. The world was impacted as the Christians ministered to the sick and dying without fear because of the promise of the Resurrection.
We are praying and working with God to revitalize New Zion Church because we want to be a 7:24 church. A 7:24 church is not just a church that prays at 7:24. It is a church that hears God’s word and then acts on it. Hear Jesus’ word found in Matthew 7:24 (NRSV), “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” That’s why we are asking God, “What’s next, Papa?” That’s why we will be taking practical steps toward revitalization. We want to be a wise church built on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ. He is the only firm foundation for New Zion. It is not enough for us just to hear, we must act on them. Let’s move forward for the glory of God allowing Him to breath new life into us. He is the Resurrection and the Life.
Adventurously expecting God’s work in us, Pastor Rick