… To Connect, Encourage & Resource Small Group Leaders at LifePoint Church – that’s our mission, that’s why we do what we do. It’s about keeping you, all of us, connected to the heart of the church and to one another. It’s that kind of connection that encourages each of us to keep going, to finish the race, to fight the good fight.
Resourceing? Our hope is that the Resources we provide throughout the year will help equip you to do the ministry God has called you to do – to run the race with solid footing, and fight the good fight with heart and passion. We all want to run together, run well and find joy in the race.
This year we are working on several Resources that focus on you, the Small Group Leader, and your personal spiritual growth. The basic premise behind this year’s plan is that we as Leaders must ‘walk the path’ that we hope to see others walk. Put simply, we need to model the path of authentic Christianity, the path of growth and change. Do you want the members of your group to cultivate a healthy prayer life? Begin to internalize and apply God’s Word? Understand what they believe and why? In practical terms, effective ministry happens when we reflect to others what God is doing in our own lives.
In October and November we will begin this year’s Resource journey with a two-part series on Prayer. (‘Part I’ can be downloaded from ‘Resources’ box in the right sidebar.)
Prayer Part I
I have a long-standing somewhat dysfunctional approach to ‘volunteering’ – I don’t like to do it, so when my hand goes up I typically look to God and ask, “why?”
I “volunteered” to write the October Resource (now a two-part series) on ‘prayer’ and I knew immediately why; it was the weakest arrow in my quiver of disciplines. My lack of understanding often led to discouragement in prayer, which led to less time and intentionality in prayer, which in turn seemed to sap my spiritual strength. I knew that my prayer life was the key to a healthy and vibrant relationship with God and mine had been faltering for too long. I had to rediscover prayer.
I’m also an obsessive ‘underliner’ that’s right, I underline, highlight, scribble in… generally ruin my best books, and even some good library books… by accident of course! There are many good, Biblically solid and informative books on the subject of prayer, but I had yet to find one that honestly addressed the most difficult questions on prayer; things like, “does prayer work, does it affect outcomes?” “What about unanswered prayer…?” I had yet to ‘ruin’ a good book on prayer!
In late September on a visit to Portland Oregon, in a small college bookstore, I found yet another book on prayer, a supposed ‘classic.’ First printed in 1931, by Ole Hallesby, Norwegian pastor and seminary professor – not only did the book capture my attention, it captured my mind and my heart. Hallesby honestly and humbly addresses the most difficult concepts related to prayer in a clear and thought-provoking manner. He answered many of my questions and gave me comfort in the ones that cannot be fully answered. My copy is officially ‘ruined’ with massive sections underlined, starred and highlighted along with multiple pages dog-eared both top and bottom!
In this two-part Resource on prayer, I’ve tried to capture some of the foundational elements of Hallesby’s book. It’s nothing earth shattering, in fact it is not ‘new’ per se; Hallesby himself has simply and profoundly highlighted the Bible’s teaching as he understands it.
Adam purchased two copies of Hallesby’s book and those are available for loan in the church library. We have several more copies on hand for purchase ($9) in the event some of you would like to ‘ruin’ your own copy. I’d also encourage you to use Hallesby’s book as a Small Group study – and ‘ruin’ the book together! There’s a study guide in the back of the book.