“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,
to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Many congregations will be praying, watching and waiting, as our seminaries hold call services for our new pastors this week. Whether you or your congregation has a personal connection to these men and their calling congregations, I urge us all to pray for pastors and congregations involved in the call process.
Surprising though it may seem, a time of calling is a time of growing for the congregation. It may feel like winter at times, without leaves on the trees, but underneath God is at work in the root of congregations in these times. He’s working in our hearts to prepare us for His next step.
Therefore, this is a time for listening to the Word of God and seeking His will for our harvest field. It is a time for prayer, so that the Lord’s voice and plans will be the one that counts.We support one another in this process.
Pray daily for the congregations listed in “The Voice” who are in various stages of the call process.
Pray for their patience, discernment and clarity in the plans the Lord has established. Pray for those who shepherd congregations in the call process. This includes our District President, the Circuit Visitor, a Vacancy or Interim Pastor, the Call Committee and the congregational conversation through Bible studies, surveys, interviews and meetings.
I’ve had church leaders share their personal gratitude for what they learned through the call process. Time and time again, they shared their initial doubts that this would be helpful and fears that it was only delaying a Call. Yet consistently, the word I hear is “gratitude” for how the call process became a spiritual process for their congregation to be ready for their next pastor or church worker.
These will be our “10:02” daily prayers this month: let’s pray for churches in the call process and the church workers they impact.
- Pray: To Recognize and Raise Up Church Workers
The Church is in great need of pastors, teachers, directors of christian education and deaconesses. Even before they were born, the Lord has prepared men and women to serve in these ministries. He uses the teaching, nurturing and praying people of congregations to recognize and raise them up. I would not be a pastor today, if it were up to me alone to figure that out. My church family saw my Calling before I did. This week I experienced the mutual comfort shared among one of those families. Their 91-year old mother had died, and in our conversations were stories of how she had prayed for me, and rejoiced the day I was ordained, and had prayed for me ever since.
- Pray: For Congregations in the Call Process
As you read news from the Missouri District, you will see many congregations in various stages of the call process. There are many challenges for a congregation without a called pastor. One of the most unnoticed of those challenges is the anxiety we naturally feel to fill the void quickly with our own plans. We believe, however, that God’s Spirit is in this process. He graciously gives our congregations the privilege of participating! It is not merely hiring a new worker. The call process is more about the Lord shaping our congregation in the transition. If we skip these steps, we act on our plans rather than what the Lord has established.