Church 2 0 3

As this Church 2.0 study wraps upon, it is my hope that three essentials have been emphasized throughout the study.

The Word of God - God’s revelation of himself to the world.  In each study, we looked to the Bible to understand what the church is and does. 
Prayer – “The fruit of a relationship with God, not a technique for acquiring blessing.”  In each study, we took time to break into smaller groups to pray to God and for one another.
Relationships with God and with each - Relationships that bring glory to God and encourage others to do the same.  Each week, there was an opportunity to connect with others and there was teaching that stressed the reality that church is not to focus on programs but rather relationships with others. 

On this last night of the study, the focus is going to be on Paul's prayer in 1 Thessalonians 3:9-14 and what we can pray for our church.

In verse 9, Paul is thankful for God's people.  In Praying With Paul, D.A. Carson writes “How much would our churches be transformed if each of us made it a practice to thank God for others AND THEN tell these others what it is about them that we thank God?"

God, I am thankful for the people at my church. 
Thank you, specifically for ____who is a blessing because ____
Thank you, specifically for ____ who serves as a ____
Thank you, God, for using people to bless and encourage me.

In verses 10 and 11, Paul wants to be used by God to help the church grow.

Consider what Milton Vincent writes in the Gospel Primer.  "The more I comprehend the full scope of the gospel, the more I value the church for which Christ died, the more I value the role that I play in the lives of my fellow Christians, and the more I appreciate the role that they must be allowed to play in mine."

God, use me to help individuals and the church grow closer and closer to you. 
Use my time on Sunday mornings to encourage others to grow into the image of Christ.
Use me throughout the week to seek out opportunities to help our church grow.


In verse 12, Paul prays that God would make them increase and abound in love for the church and all people.

I preached a sermon on this passage at Oakfield Baptist Church, where Chris Minor, a pastor friend, serves.  You can listen to the sermon HERE

God, help our church grow in its love for other believers.
God, help our church grow in its love for the people of the community around us and around the world.
God help us pursue peace (Romans 12:18), do good (Galatians 6:10), be patient (Philippians 4:5), and show consideration (Titus 3:2) for the church and the world. 

Verse 13 - Paul wants the church may have established hearts that are blameless in holiness before God.  "There is no prayer we can pray for others more fundamental than this:  that God might strengthen their hearts so that they will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father on the last day.

Bottom line for this 3-week study: 
Ordinary Christians need to be growing as disciples and making disciples.  
An ordinary Christian is not merely someone who shows up to a Sunday morning service.