As I signed up to write this blog post, I ashamedly realized that my own bulletin from last Sunday was in the trash under my desk with old minty gum smashed between the first two pages. I was brave and pulled it out anyway. I started to flip through the pages trying to figure out how the words here could be used throughout the week. A good way, I think, is to use our bulletin as a guide for daily prayer for our church body.
Monday: Praying for our Purpose
The bulletin always states Redeemer’s purpose: Our church “exists to glorify God as a Gospel presence in downtown Charleston by being a grace-filled community that worships Christ and develops disciples who serve Him in our families, neighborhoods, and the nations.” In this one carefully crafted sentence, we have ten things to pray about (if not more). We can ask:
- That the church upholds this entire mission statement daily (not just on Sundays)
- That we each glorify the Creator, whether we “eat, or drink, or whatsoever we do” (I Cor. 10:31).
- That we carry the gospel not just to other nations, but also to those lost in Charleston.
- That we exhibit grace.
- That we are a community that loves one another.
- That we worship Christ with pure hearts.
- That we create disciples.
- That we serve the Lord in His calling for us.
- That we present the Gospel to our families and our individual neighborhoods.
- That we reach out to foreign lands and people.
Certainly, this list could be developed even further as we pray for specific needs of our church body in each scenario.
Tuesday: Welcome to Redeemer
In each bulletin, we welcome visitors to Redeemer and tell newbies how to become part of our church family. New faces walk through our old red doors every Sunday (and Gray somehow remembers them all). On Tuesdays, may we pray that they heard the Gospel and that they’ll find a church to call home (whether it be with us or another congregation in Charleston).
Wednesday: Wee Ones
We all desire for the children of our congregation to grow to love the Lord. We can pray that seeds of the gospel will be planted, that parents will lead by Christ-like example, and that true learning will take place in our Christian-education classrooms.
Thursday: Who’s Who
Redeemer doesn’t function without our leaders, and those leaders who constantly pray for us need prayer, too. Our elders and deacons work diligently each week to serve the congregation spiritually and practically. May we pray for them to carry out their duties effectively and with a heart of servitude. More pragmatically, we can pray for their time management and their ability to organize and plan. We can remember Craig who studies Scripture each week to bring us truth from the pulpit. Furthermore, we can pray for Fred as he uses his gift of music, JaiLynne as she handles the day-to-day functions of the church, and for Gray as she meets new members and serves as a beacon of communication for us.
Friday: Where in the World
Redeemer supports a handful of missionaries around the globe, and one is highlighted each week in the bulletin, along with his or her specific needs. Let’s use Friday to pray for that missionary. (Only printed bulletins contain missionary info.)
Saturday: Within the Community
Our church hinges on our six thriving community groups that act as mini-churches within the Charleston area. Each group exists to provide in-reach (support to its members), out-reach (service to our respective communities), and up-reach (praise to our Savior); every group needs the prayers of the other five in order to thrive.
And, would you look at that? Suddenly it’s Sunday again, and we have a whole new bulletin to pray over!