Prayer Guides | Vol. 3, Days 21-30

    March 21, 2020 | Prayer Guides by Various Authors

    Praying For Our Church

    Day 21 - Opportunities to Grow Through Transition

    Initial findings through our assessment reports.

    Romans 15:4-6
    “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    By now you should be familiar with Dr. Ewart’s presentation “A New Normal” complete with the assessment process circles. The main circle in the middle that the others function around is labeled “Mission.” We would define bringing glory to God as the ultimate Mission of Richland Creek. The other five circles that continually cycle and intertwine around this core belief are, in order of application: Assessment; Identification; Vision Development; Adjustment; and Implementation. We have recently completed assessment reports involving our church family, church leadership, and the community around us, with much of this being shared in our worship services on 2/16/20. Visit to view the video report.

    The initial findings have already led to the identification of 9 primary opportunities for our church. Some of these are even moving forward into the Vision Development & Adjustment phases through staff work groups and our Elder Body. While there are indeed several other opportunities for us to grow, these 9 were determined to be of highest priority. These each reflect corporate and individual opportunities for growth in discipleship, membership, church leadership, and more.

    In the following pages, each of the 9 opportunities is highlighted along with Bible verses and prayer prompts. Would you and your family please join with us in prayer for these vital areas? We look forward with great anticipation as we walk through this transitional season with you as we all follow God’s “train tracks” devoted to prayer, defined by the Word, and dependent upon the Holy Spirit.

    Prayer Prompts:

    • Psalm 86:11-12
    • Pray for the ongoing transition process and the spiritual growth of our church.
    • That I would be a part of the ultimate mission of our church, to glorify God, personally and corporately.
    • Pray regularly for our church family.
    • Pray regularly for our church leadership.

    Day 22 - Assessment: Discipleship

    Develop a clearly defined, unified vision for church programs, schedules and ministry to create true disciples and fulfill God’s Mission.

    Matthew 16:24-25
    “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

    Through our ongoing assessment process, we keep coming back to the truth of being defined by the Word. The Bible is God’s heartfelt message to us. It is what He wants us to know about Him and how He wants us to live for Him. It serves both as a cautionary tale and as a hopeful promise for each of us. The entire narrative of Scripture focuses on God’s love for us, our disobedience to Him, His promised rescue through His Son Jesus Christ, and His plan for us as His followers.

    Studying God’s Word is how we get to know Him better. We grow closer to Him as we read, study, and apply His truth in our lives. As disciples, and as a church family, our lives must be defined by His Word. Our leadership team is committed to working toward defining biblically what a growing disciple is at Richland Creek, teaching who a disciple should be, what should they know, and what they should do. Our assessment process has identified that this is something we can, and should, do better.

    We encourage you to pray for your own personal discipleship, as well as the corporate discipleship within our church family. Also, please pray for all in church leadership as we work to ensure our discipleship process is defined by the Word.

    Questions to consider:
    Is my life defined by God’s Word? How can our church improve our discipleship process to fulfill God’s mission?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - John 13:34-35
    - That I identify I am under the authority of the Bible in every area of my life.
    - That I understand that to know God’s Word fully, I need to study it carefully, and obey it completely.
    - That I will develop a continuing daily habit of studying the Bible in context for my own growth and regularly gathering with other believers to study it as well.
    - That our church would be defined by His Word.
    - That our church would be unified to help make true disciples.
    - That our church leadership team would biblically define and teach what a growing disciple at Richland Creek should be, know, and do.

    Day 23 - Assessment: Leadership Function

    Leadership polity, structure, alignment, responsibilities, and compensation must be clarified, modified and codified.

    Colossians 1:16-18
    “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

    Our church has been blessed with tremendous growth over the years, both spiritually and numerically. However, our focus in the past was often more on the numerical side of growth, and our leadership structure was built to chase this down. While we did see increased attendance and participation, we also saw competition and a lack of unity as our ministry bumper cars raced toward the next race.

    The assessment process has revealed many things about our leadership structure and function. We were operating as bumper cars, not aligned by the same mission. To put it another way, we were not on track. We are now in a unique season to assess, identify, develop vision, adjust, and implement our entire leadership function and structure. Things must be clarified (made clear to all), modified (changed as needed for the betterment of all), and codified (put into a working system to benefit all) to align with God’s mission for His church. Working together, we can glorify God through the function of our leadership.

    Questions to consider:
    How can I encourage our leadership as they grow in these areas? How can I help promote true biblical unity in our church family?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - Ephesians 4:11-12
    - That our leadership would walk with the Lord humbly.
    - That our leadership would be unified in God’s mission for His church.
    - That our Pastors/Elders would shepherd well, loving people in a Christ-like manner.
    - That God would grant wisdom and patience through this process.
    - That our church family would continue to grow in faith and love.
    - That God will identify to us His called man, in His timing, to serve as our lead Pastor.

    Day 24 - Assessment: Membership

    Define church membership, expectations, goals, and accountability.

    Romans 12:4-5
    “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

    As we continue our sermons series through the Book of Acts, the idea of “one” is a recurring theme. We hear about the church having one heart, one mind, and one accord. These are biblical goals that are worthwhile and attainable, but yet seem hard to truly grasp. After all, how can over 2000 people be, know, and do the same thing…at the same time! We can if our hearts, minds, and actions are based in and focused on Christ.

    The assessment process has shown that our church membership process needs to be reviewed and improved to develop the “oneness” we see in Acts. We must work toward clearer definitions, expectations, and goals for membership. We also must develop a higher level of accountability to God and to each other as a church family.

    Our church is a family. If you haven’t thought about it that way before, now is the time to change. Think about your own family and how it functions: What is your mission and what are your goals?; What are your expectations for your spouse/kids?; How are you measuring these things?; How are you accountable to each other? Working as one, our church can learn, grow, and live together as a godly family

    Questions to consider:
    If not a member, what issues are holding me back from committing to this family? How can I help grow in and promote the biblical idea of “one” at Richland Creek?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - Acts 4:31-32
    - That our church family would embrace the biblical idea of “one” from the Book of Acts.
    - That our leadership would develop clear expectations and goals for our membership process.
    - That as members we would gladly be held accountable to God and each other.
    - That we would lead and disciple our own families well.
    - That God will bring many new people into our church family.

    Day 25 - Assessment: Communication

    Define a proper communication strategy to support discipleship goals and issues.

    Ephesians 4:15-16
    “…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

    Communication is often a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, when we are “in the know”, understanding the value of something and why we are doing it, it is a unifying blessing. On the other hand, when we are “in the dark”, without understood value or the reasons why, it is a divisive curse. This is true in our homes, workplaces, and especially in our church.

    Clear, biblical communication is vital for a healthy church. It is absolutely crucial to the spirit of “one” we see with the early church in Acts. The goals then and now are the same: glorify God through unity and edify each other. Good communication in our church should be seen as much more than imparting information. It should clarify, unify, and edify, stirring us to participate in God’s mission.

    Communication was identified as one of our biggest areas of opportunity through the assessment process, with only “trust” being named more frequently in interviews/surveys. Improving our communication strategy to support our discipleship goals will go a long way in strengthening the trust we have in church leadership, and with each other.

    Questions to consider:
    How can I be an active part of communication in our church? Is my communication with others a blessing or a curse? How can our leadership communicate better with our church family?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - Psalm 133:1
    - That our church leadership will develop a clear, biblical communication strategy.
    - That our church communication would clarify, unify, and edify.
    - That we would use all communication tools available to help us as we follow God’s mission for our church.
    - That I would address any trust issues I have with a member of church leadership, or another church member, in a biblical fashion (Matthew 18:15).

    Day 26 - Assessment: Prayer

    Create a proactive vs. reactive corporate prayer strategy.

    Philippians 4:6-7
    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

    Have you ever been through a traumatic season of life, or known someone who has? It is in these times that we often do everything within our own power to change things, only to end up exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged. Once arrived at the proverbial “end of the rope” we turn to God in prayer as our final resort. This can be true in our personal lives as well as in the life of our church, especially in the season of great transition we are experiencing.

    Prayer should be our first and continuous response. We pray to glorify God, submitting to His will and timing. It shows our complete trust and utter dependence in God. We must be devoted to prayer individually and corporately.

    Through our Prayer Services and these Prayer Guides we have taken the first steps in a proactive prayer strategy. There is much more to be done in this area as we move toward having one heart, one mind, and one accord. Our leadership team looks forward expectantly with you all to what God has in store for our church.

    Questions to consider:
    How can I be an active part of communication in our church? Is my communication with others a blessing or a curse? How can our leadership communicate better with our church family?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - Colossians 4:2
    - That I identify my need to be devoted to prayer, privately and alongside others, as a basic part of being God’s children by grace.
    - That I understand that as I pray, I am not changing God’s mind about circumstances, but allowing Him to replace my anxiety with His peace.
    - That I will develop a continuing daily private prayer habit that incorporates praising God for who He is, confessing sin in my life, thanksgiving for His blessings, and humble petition for His provision.
    - That our families would pray together regularly.
    - That as a church we would make prayer a priority, continuing to create a proactive vs. reactive corporate prayer strategy.

    Day 27 - Assessment: Stewardship

    Grow a healthier understanding and practice of stewardship.

    Matthew 6:19-21
    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    The words of Jesus in the passage above give us the key to biblical stewardship and generosity: our hearts. Stewardship is not about what we have, but about who we are in Christ. Whatever tangible resources we have came from God; we do not own them. We are merely stewards of these resources for a season. We can choose to use these resources to glorify God, or ourselves. It all depends upon our hearts.

    God has blessed us with time, talents, and treasures. Time is not only how long we are on this earth, but also what we do with it. Talents are the things we are good at and/or enjoy doing through experience and practice. Treasures are the tangible resources we possess. As we think of these three areas, ask yourself these three questions: What is my focus? What am I good at and enjoy doing? What do I materially possess? Now, think about how these fit into your discipleship.

    Giving is an act of worship, guided by our hearts. When our hearts are focused on God, the Holy Spirit guides us to be good stewards of the things God has entrusted to us. Our generosity should never be grounded in legalism, compulsion, or selfishness. Following God together, we can develop a healthier understanding and practice of stewardship.

    Questions to consider:
    What is my focus? What am I good at and enjoy doing? What do I materially possess? Does my stewardship glorify God as I follow His mission?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - 2 Corinthians 9:7
    - That I identify as a steward, and never an owner, of my time, talent and treasure.
    - That I understand that biblically, giving is both a command and a privilege, and should be done joyfully and sacrificially.
    - That our congregation would grow a healthier understanding and practice of stewardship of God’s resources.
    - That through our generosity, the church budget would grow to provide greater Kingdom impact.
    - That our leadership team would operate with integrity and transparency regarding God’s resources.

    Day 28 - Assessment: Sunday Morning Schedule

    Adjust the current Sunday morning schedule to not rush the worship services and to create better transitional flow.

    Ephesians 3:20-21
    “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

    We live in a culture that never seems to slow down. We try to pack in as much as we can in the least amount of time possible. Everything from work, school, family time, meals, activities, and more turn into a race against the clock. Is it any wonder that our time together as a church family often also operates this way?

    Slowing things down a bit on Sunday mornings has been identified as an opportunity through the assessment process. The thinking here is that adjusting our Sunday morning schedule could facilitate deeper Bible messages, a fuller worship experience, and richer fellowship. Plus, it would likely have several practical benefits to areas such as parking, greeting, and more.

    The current Sunday morning schedule has been with us for many years and has been good overall. We are all used to it and it is comfortable. However, now is the time to assess the good in order to adjust to the even better.

    Questions to consider:
    Do I slow down to make time for personal discipleship? How can I help our church family to adjust to a different Sunday morning schedule should it change?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - Hebrews 9:11
    - That I make time to slow down for personal discipleship.
    - That our church leadership will adjust the schedule if needed.
    - That our Sunday morning schedule and programming would glorify God.
    - That the preaching and teaching at Richland Creek would continue to be defined by His Word.

    Day 29 - Assessment: Personal Witness

    Develop and implement a systemic strategy to engage the congregation in personal evangelism and not primarily event or attractional evangelism.

    Acts 1:8
    “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    When you put your faith in Christ, the most amazing exchange occurred. Christ took your sins from you, putting them on Himself having died on the cross as suitable payment for the judgment you deserve. He also gave you His righteousness in the person of the Holy Spirit, filling you to help as you live for Him. This is true for all Christians, whether or not you are gifted as an evangelist.

    We are all not only capable, but also commanded, to give witness of Jesus and how He transformed our lives. Of course, we could all benefit from the help of others who have been walking with Christ longer than we have. They probably know more Scripture than we do. They likely have shared the Gospel more than we have. They may also have shared their personal testimony more often.

    This is where the church can do better in this process. Events and attractions have proven to be less than effective in this endeavor. Our leadership team is working towards a strategy that will equip and encourage each of us to be prepared at any time to share the Gospel and our testimonies. God is glorified when we share the Gospel and tell how Christ has transformed our lives. Through His Word and our witness, other lives can be transformed as well.

    Questions to consider:
    Do I know how to share the Gospel and my testimony of faith? How can I help equip and encourage others in evangelism?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - 1 Peter 3:15
    - That I identify evangelism as a command of Scripture, both of the church corporately and of each believer personally.
    - That I will develop a clear and simple Gospel outline and personal testimony that can be shared at any time.
    - That I will embrace my faith as who I am rather than what I do, being His in all areas of my life.
    - I will pray for lost people I know regularly and fervently (pray for them by name).
    - That our leadership would develop and implement a systematic strategy to engage the congregation in personal evangelism.

    Day 30 - Assessment: Administrative Space

    Complete the current administrative space construction project.

    Nehemiah 2:18
    “And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.”

    In reading the Scripture above, we can all agree that completing the planned administrative space construction project pales in comparison to Nehemiah and the walls of Jerusalem. However, it is an important part of how ministry at Richland Creek can move forward and improve on the existing foundation.

    Our church is a busy place, with ministry occurring every day of the week at virtually all times of day. Effective ministry requires prayerful and thoughtful planning. Sometimes ministry is one on one, with a family, or in a larger group. There is much support needed behind the scenes to ensure excellence for God’s glory on Sunday and Wednesday. All of these things and more would be greatly benefited by completing the planned office suite area above the FLC front lobby. God has us in the financial position to complete this task as planned, and we look forward to how this space will be used for ministry and kingdom growth.

    Questions to consider:
    How can I be a part of ministry at Richland Creek? How can we best use our facility to glory God?

    Prayer Prompts:
    - Hebrews 10:23-25
    - That God is glorified in and through this construction project.
    - That every ministry of Richland Creek would glorify God in how we use our facility.
    - Pray for our facilities and administrative staff and volunteers.
    - Prayerfully consider what my role is in ministry at Richland Creek.

    Hebrews 10:23-25
    “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”