It was a new low point for me in ministry. Well, at least a laughable one.
We were hosting a small group in our home and before turning to the Word for a time of discussion and prayer we were hoping to hear people share a few testimonies of ways God had been at work and answering prayers in their lives.
My experience has been that often once people start sharing testimonies, not only does the sense of faith rise, but it's hard to stop sharing. Testimony times can have a beautiful way of getting a group of people carried away in glorifying God.
Except this time.
I opened the floor for testimonies.
I looked around.
Someone finally spoke up and (absolutely sincerely) began sharing how the participant they found most annoying on that season of "Survivor" was voted off that week.
This was their answer to prayer.
This was their testimony.
I felt defeated. Had our months of setting the vision for a missional group made no difference at all? I had thought this group might be prayerfully concerned about something with a little more substance with that.
You can tell a lot about someone when you learn about what they pray for.
Maybe we learn something about a church when we consider what it prays for.
When I reflect on recent years, I am proud of the things our church has embraced as prayer priorities for each year.
Let me list our priorities for the last two years, and add in a little comment here and there.
- God's Vision for CPC
- The People of the Comox Valley
- Vitalization of our Church Two years ago it was important for us to pray for God to begin a new thing in our church. We prayed specifically for: greater passion for Jesus in all generations, emotional and relational health throughout our church, and organizational progress for teams & ministries to flourish. We will always need God's help with this, but it's exciting to pause and see that God has been dynamically at work in these ways these past two years!
- Young Families It was clear to our church in 2019 and 2020 that we needed God's help in reaching parents with young children. We needed to see new life and growth in our children's ministry. Isn't it wonderful how families are beginning to abound in CPC. Our nursery has new little lives in it again!
- Stewardship & Future of our Building God helped us to repair a significant building issue for tens of thousands of dollars UNDER budget. We also have exciting progress on potential building development for our future.
- Vibrant Relationships with Jesus Nothing matters more!
- Our Neighbours I have enjoyed hearing people talk about their own mission fields in our local community more and more!
- Baton of Faith Passed Effectively to our Children All generations matter deeply to our church, but the opportunity to impact the next generation is such an important priority.
- Big Ears & Big Empathy Learning to love others so well that they feel understood and cared for means learning to love like Jesus. How important!
- God's Vision for CPC This past Fall we were able to celebrate the launch of a new mission statement and values. After two years of 25+ special meetings, prayer gatherings, surveys and events, God helped to clarify a new sense of call and direction for our church family.
It seems that God is responding to what we prioritize in prayer!
Is anyone curious about what our 5 Prayer Priorities for 2023 are? (spoiler alert: not Survivor)
I can't wait to share them with you this Sunday Evening at 6.30 pm at our Prayer Service!
Hope to see you then!