LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS
REV. JAY HANSON
There are certain times when something happens that words are inadequate to describe. We know it was special … in fact, everyone in the room senses it, but none can fully articulate what happened. We say things like: “The magic happened,” “The room lifted and the Spirit fell,” or “It was palatable.” “You could feel the energy shift and the momentum build,” we might say.
When you have experienced it and try to describe it, you begin to more fully appreciate phrases like “a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house” or “tongues of fire separated and rested on them.” When we wander into the will of God and His breath fills our souls we know it, but just can’t fully explain it.
Something similar happened in the early 80s when a group of United Methodists from the Southeastern Jurisdiction gathered at Lake Junaluska. The Spirit blew, the magic happened, and the people caught a vision: a huge glorious vision of a million Methodists praying. Out of those gatherings, G. Ross Freeman from South Georgia edited a book of daily devotions called, “40 Days of Prayer for 5 Friends,” designed to be a practical tool for that vision to become a reality.
This year, God has blown a fresh breath into a similar endeavor through the efforts of 40 lay leaders and clergy across our conference who have shared their wisdom and insights in a new 40-day devotional called, “Praying for Five: Forging Eternal Friendships Through Daily Prayer.” This booklet is a practical tool that provides a pathway to enable us to pray for our friends to come to know and follow Jesus.
The booklet is comprised of two sections. The first is a brief “How To” section that provides practical advice: Find Five Friends, Pray for Your Friends, Have Meaningful Conversations with Your Friends, Tell Your Story to Your Friends, Invite Your Friends to Come Hear The Story. The main section of the book is 40 one-page daily devotions divided into eight subsections that focus our daily prayer time and help us be intentional in praying for our five friends.
Imagine the power of God that would be released across our conference if every one of our churches and church attenders were actively praying for five of their friends to come to know Christ this Lent! This is an awesome time for our connectional churches to walk in a spirit of unity as we flood Heaven with prayers for our friends who don’t yet know Christ as their personal Savior. Will you join us on the journey?
The cost of each booklets is just $1 and can be purchased from your District Superintendent either individually or in bulk. Buy one for each person in your congregation and distribute them the first Sunday of Lent, consider setting out a donation box with a suggested amount to help cover the cost, or ask someone to sponsor the purchase of booklets for everyone in your congregation. What an awesome opportunity for all of our churches to be united and working toward expanding the Kingdom this Lent!
Jay Hanson, Lead Pastor, and Anne Bosarge, Director of Discipleship, serve at The Chapel in Brunswick. They love sharing about the ways God is moving in their church. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for more information.