Lay Witness Mission 2016 — What just happened here?
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NIV)
This past weekend our church held our first Lay Witness Mission. Wow! I knew the weekend would be powerful but I had no idea how many hearts would be changed as a result of the weekend. I want to thank everyone for all of your hard work in getting this event off the ground. The Lord showed up and so did about 70 of us in the congregation. We heard inspiring stories from 13 lay witnesses from eastern NC. We prayed together. We broke bread together. We met in one another’s homes. On Sunday evening, around 30 participants joined together in our closing worship service to reflect on this amazing weekend at “what just happened here?” I imagine this was a lot like the disciples who were gathered in Jerusalem waiting for further instructions from the Risen Christ. (*I have included a page in this news-letter for you to read some of the testimonies we recorded from this weekend.)
With many renewal experiences it is often a powerful moment but often hard to sustain. Lynn Harmon, the chairper-son of our Missional Engagement Team commented at our closing prayer service: “The Lord sent a fire on us this weekend and the devil is standing outside with a water hose just waiting to put it out.” So how might we sustain this movement of God in our midst? Here are a few ways you can keep the fire ablaze:
PRAY! We saw the power of prayer and how easy it is to pray from the Lay Witness Team this weekend. We saw how powerful it was to meet in one another’s homes during the cottage prayer meetings on Saturday morning. Out of this renewal event, a prayer team has formed under the leadership of Pat Culler and Linda McDaniel. They have been leading Soaking Prayer Sessions on Fridays at 2-3pm in the Sanctuary. (I personally would like to see us have 1-2 Sunday nights a month a Soaking Prayer/Healing Service on Sunday nights.) If you would like to be a part of this, please let them or me know! Pat and Linda will also be setting up a permanent prayer room in our church located on the first floor next to the Sarah Hunter Class.
GROW! You can’t spend time in God’s Word without something happening! On Wednesdays at 10:30am and 7:30pm Pastor Mary leads a Prayer and Bible Study group on different topics. We also have four wonderful Sunday School classes that meet on Sunday mornings at the church at 9:45am. There are others of you who have ex-pressed an interest in starting a Prayer Group or Bible Study or small group in your home. That is very easy to do. If you would like help getting that organized, please let me know!
GO! On the first Sunday of the month there is a visitation team that meets with the Pastor to take communion to our homebound members and also to visit new persons in the community. The group meets at 2:45pm in the Church Parlor, has prayer and then we go out and visit in groups. We finish around 5pm. Maybe you would like to join us or create your own visitation team? The Lay Witness Team showed us how easy it is to share your faith story in just 5 minutes or less. We learned this weekend how easy it is to do if you simply listen to the needs of oth-ers. You can do this in your neighborhood or even at the grocery store. Be creative and just go!
I want to close with a challenge Mr. Tom Walden, the Lay Witness Team leader, delivered in his sermon to us on Sunday. Tom read to us in Genesis 3:8-9. He asked us three questions: Where are you in your New Birth? Where are you in your Witness of Jesus Christ? Where are you in your Devotion and Love for Jesus Christ? Let me encourage you that the Lord knows just where you are, and wants to take you to a new place in your faith so He can use you greater to share the love of Christ in all the world!
Until The Whole World Hears,