A Way You Can Be a Key Part of Your Church’s Mission

There’s a famous story told of five young college students visiting Charles Spurgeon’s London church to hear the famous “prince of preachers” give a message. Arriving early, they were greeted by a man who offered to show them around, particularly so they could see the church’s “heating plant,” despite the fact that it was a hot summer day.

Being polite, they followed the man to a door that he quietly opened. “This,” he told them, “is our heating plant.”

Looking inside, the students found 700 people praying for a blessing on the service about to take place. Their guide then introduced himself as Charles Spurgeon.

That anecdote illustrates that Spurgeon, a man who regularly preached to thousands on a Sunday morning, believed that the efficacy of his ministry depended upon the power of God. Then, as now, prayer was an expression of dependence on, and a request for, God’s gracious power to work in any number of ways.

At The Crossing, we regularly talk about how our church won’t work effectively if we don’t all play some kind of role, whether that be parking cars, teaching kids, making coffee, playing on the worship team, running a camera, etc. But one way every one of us can play a vital part in the life and ministry of our church is to do exactly what those 700 people were doing that Sunday morning: we can pray.

To that end, this is The Crossing’s vision:

To see the redemptive power of the gospel transform our individual lives, as well as our entire culture. Our conviction is that Jesus Christ is reconciling all things to himself (Colossians 1:19-20). This means that every part of our lives and everything in this world should be brought into contact with Christ’s restoring grace. Therefore our vision is for the transformation of the whole person and the whole of life.

…and mission:

To build an increasingly redemptive Christian community moving hearts and minds to believe the gospel—which is treasuring all that God is for us in Christ.

One way to pray is simply to ask God regularly for grace to build this community to live out this vision. But under this broad goal we could also pray any number of more specific requests. The following list is a small sample:

1. That we, as a church body, would find open doors for the gospel (Col. 4:3). And that we would be able to proclaim that gospel clearly, boldly, winsomely, and in the power of God, rather than our own (Col. 4:4, Eph. 6:19-20, 1 Pet. 3:15, 2 Cor. 4:7).

2. That we would be “salt and light” in Columbia and anywhere else our life intersects, working redemptively for the good of our city and providing compelling evidence for the truth of the gospel (Mat. 5:13-16, Jer. 29:4-7, John 17:22-23).

3. That people attending The Crossing would invest in significant relationships within the church community in order to encourage their faith and be developed spiritually, always remembering that biblical Christianity is a “one another” religion (John 13:34; Col. 3:12-13, 3:16; Gal. 5:13, 6:2; 1Thess. 5:11; Jas. 5:16, etc.).

4. That though we seek to work hard and wisely in the service of the gospel, using our talents, skills, and opportunities, we would not grow proud and self-congratulatory, but rather remember God is ultimately responsible for anything worthwhile (Psa 127:1; 1 Cor. 3:5-9, 4:7) and deserving of our thanks and praise (Psa. 145; 1 Thess. 5:18).

5. That God would protect both the staff of The Crossing and the church as a whole as we seek to follow Christ faithfully amidst the challenges in our particular lives and our larger culture (Mat. 6:13, Eph. 6:10-20).

Again, this list should be seen as merely as a start. Feel free to add additional requests. After all, it may be that what Paul Miller has written about parenting is true for ministry in general: we do it most effectively on our knees.

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