Knowing and Praying for One Another
Pastor Eugene encourages us to use the church’s membership directory to know and pray for one another.
What is a pastor’s most important book? No prizes if you said, “the Bible”. Obviously, Scripture is crucial for all of life and ministry. No pastor—indeed, no Christian—should be without it.
What about the second-most important book for a pastor? Any guesses? When I heard a pastor-friend say it is his church’s membership directory, I confess I did a double take. Why would a list of names of church members be so vital to him?
My friend explained: The membership directory helps him to know and love the church more intentionally. It is a practical tool that enables pastors to obey biblical passages such as Hebrews 13:17: God has entrusted Christian leaders with the responsibility of keeping watch over the souls of His people, “as those who will have to give an account”.
My friend keeps a printed copy of his church’s membership directory with his Bible. This reminds him to consistently pray for his brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. He likens it to the precious stones on the breastplate worn by the priests in the Old Testament. Exodus 28:21 says, “There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes.” The priests were to bear the names of the twelve tribes close to their hearts, and to regularly intercede for them before the Lord. What a beautiful picture of God’s people knowing, loving and praying for one another!
In Christ, we are “living stones…being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood” (1 Pet 2:5). Therefore, we—as fellow members of this local church—share the responsibility of praying for one another. Yes, the elders have a stewardship to faithfully shepherd God’s flock. But Scripture also calls all of us to work together for the building up of the whole body. Every member has a part to play—and pray!
So, if you are a member of Grace Baptist Church, can I encourage you to pray through our membership directory? I try to pray through one or two pages (each page has around twelve names) of the directory every day, as a part of my personal devotions. It takes me around a month to pray for the church. I’ve found this to be an excellent way of knowing the church, since the directory includes photographs of each member.
This is especially important in the current pandemic. Because we are still unable to gather as a whole church, it is easy to become disconnected from one another. Regularly praying for one another through the directory helps keep our fellow church members in our thoughts and on our hearts.
GBC members can obtain a copy of the directory by contacting the church office: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Drop any one of us an email, and we will send you an electronic copy of the directory.
God has been graciously adding to our spiritual family. Next Sunday (Sep 27) we have the joy of welcoming a number of new members, who will be joining us through baptisms and transfers. God has entrusted His precious possession—His people—to us. Let us commit to know, love and pray for one another. May God find us faithful stewards of His treasure, which He bought with His own blood!
We will be hearing more about how we can be focused on God’s kingdom on Sunday, when Pastor Ian preaches from Luke 12:13-34. May God’s word move us to trust in Him and to seek first His kingdom.
Our monthly prayer meeting will take place on Zoom on Friday, September 25 at 8pm. Do join with the rest of the church in prayer here: https://tinyurl.com/prayermeeting-sep25
On Sunday October 4, we will be having our quarterly congregational meeting at 11am on Zoom: https://tinyurl.com/qcm-4oct2020 GBC members, please do attend. These members’ meetings are an important part of our life together as a church. At this QCM, we will be welcoming new members, as well as hearing about key leadership plans. May God continue to knit our hearts together with the love of Christ!