The book of Acts is the incredible story of how Jesus’ church grew from a handful of followers to a worldwide movement in around 30 years. Each time I read the story I’m blown away by the miracles performed, the boldness of the disciples, and the transformation that took place in numerous lives, families, and communities.
Sometimes in our haste to get to the real good stuff—the excitement, the action, the mission—we miss the preparation. Remember that the disciples spent a lot of time with Jesus. Three years, in fact. They watched him. They listened to him. They learned from him.
The first part of preparation for the mission is spending time with Jesus. If we are not spending time with Jesus on a regular (even daily!) basis, we will not be prepared for the mission he has for us. That’s why my growth plan for 2014 includes consistency in God’s Word, the Bible. (You can track with me here.)
Reading, studying and knowing God’s Word is a vital part of our preparation for mission. But it isn’t the only thing. Alone, it can leave us self-assured, maybe a little prideful, and, worst of all, impotent. At the very least we can become a little too eager to act while remaining unprepared for the real action.
Again, remember that the disciples were eager to start the work of restoring the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). They had the training. They had a risen Messiah! Now they were ready to start the mission. Or were they?
In Jesus final days with his followers he told them to wait for the promise of the Father (1:4). He told them that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit, and then they would be his witnesses (1:8). Then look at what the disciples did next.
All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer (1:14).
The disciples prayed. They waited. Then God spoke to them. Then God empowered them with the Holy Spirit. Then God gave them boldness to witness. Then God gave them opportunity to proclaim the message.
The second part of preparation is all about prayer: waiting on God for empowerment and for direction. That’s what The River Church needs to be about. Now is a crucial time in the life of The River Church. Now is the time to establish a pattern of waiting, praying, receiving and proclaiming.
One way we’re doing this is by prayer-walking through the neighborhoods of Moxee. Over the next several weeks we want to develop a rhythm of systematically praying through every street of the city. Small groups of several individuals or families will pray for the salvation and blessing of every home and business. And we will ask for the Holy Spirit to empower us to be a bold witness of the good news of Jesus.
If you’d like to join a prayer group let us know. Click “Contact” and tell us when you’re available. And be sure to let us know how we can pray for you. We want to hear from you!
To give to the work of planting churches in the Yakima valley click “Give.”