Where should we begin when we face a huge challenge, when we are starting a new direction in our lives, or have had something very discouraging hit us? Where do you begin?
This Saturday, February 2, at 9:30AM, church leaders and anyone passionate and interested in helping our church face the challenges and plan a direction for the coming year will meet for a morning of planning and visioning.
I have been praying about how to get ready for that extremely important day. What can each person do to help us find the vision, the passion, and the energy God wants us to have as we decide what we need to be about in 2013? Before I begin to focus on what I personally want us to do, what I personally as pastor can do, and before we begin to listen to each other, we HAVE TO BE SPIRITUALLY CENTERED and SEEK GOD’s WILL for ALDERSGATE. Well you say, I know what comes next, we need to pray. But how can we pray with focus and allow God to lead us? The answer came in my morning devotion: PRAY THE HYMNS!
Think of a hymn that moves you. Start there. Maybe you love the old hymns; “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”, “Sweet Hour Of Prayer”. How about a more contemporary hymn, ”Spirit Song”, “I Am The Lord Of The Dance”. Invite the hymn’s words to become God’s message to you, to our church. Now branch out and pray hymns you don’t know so well. Pray these hymns daily.
Listen to what a more unfamiliar hymn like “Make Me A Captive” says: “Make me a captive, Lord and then I shall be free. Force me to render upon my sword and I shall conqueror be. I sink in life’s alarms when by myself I stand, imprison me within your arms, and strong shall be my hand.”
My favorite site for researching hymns for worship is www.hymnsite.com. It has all the hymns listed in the hymnal, and many of the Faith We Sing hymns, the small more contemporary hymnal we use. You can listen to the tunes and read lyrics for many hymns. Start and read hymns daily this year along with your Bible reading. I find many of the words powerfully inspirational even if I can’t sing the tune.
Pray the hymns daily and ask that God will guide all of us at Aldersgate. Every time God sent his children on a big task, they first sought God’s will. How can we ask God to bless us as a church, guide us through the challenges ahead if we don’t try to be in God’s PERFECT WILL? Will you pray the hymns daily with me and let me know what hymns personally speak to you? I will go back and reread it for that hymns’ guidance for me as minister. God bless each of you and God bless our church, Aldersgate! Great days are ahead for Aldersgate!!! - Pastor Pam